A blog for the comprehensive understanding of Literature, Applied Linguistics and ELT

July 8, 2017

Quotations by Ezra Pound

EZRA POUND (1885-1972) WAS AMERICAN POET AND CRITIC AND ONE OF THE SEMINAL FORCES OF MODERNISM.

“Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. It doesn't matter whether the good writer wants to be useful, or whether the good writer wants to be harm.” ~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“The man of understanding can no more sit quiet and resigned while his country lets literature decay than a good doctor could sit quiet and contented while some ignorant child was infecting itself with tuberculosis under the impression that it was merely eating jam tarts.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“Anyone who is too lazy to master the comparatively small glossary necessary to understand Chaucer deserves to be shut out from the reading of good books forever.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“No teacher has ever failed from ignorance. That is empiric professional knowledge. Teachers fail because they cannot ‘handle the class’. Real education must ultimately be limited to men how INSIST on knowing, the rest is mere sheep-herding.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. It doesn't matter whether the good writer wants to be useful, or whether the good writer wants to be harm.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“More writers fail from lack of character than from lack of intelligence.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“A people that grows accustomed to sloppy writing is a people in process of losing grip on its empire and on itself.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“The critic who doesn't make a personal statement, in remeasurements he himself has made, is merely an unreliable critic. He is not a measurer but a repeater of other men's results. KRINO, to pick out for oneself, to choose. That's what the word means.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“A nation which neglects the perceptions of its artists declines. After a while it ceases to act, and merely survives.

“There is probably no use in telling this to people who can't see it without being told.”
~ Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading

“A great spirit has been amongst us, and a great artist is gone.”
~ Ezra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir

“Why do you look so eagerly and so curiously into people’s faces,
Will you find your lost dead among them?”
~ Ezra Pound, Coda

“If a man have not order within him
He can not spread order about him;
And if a man have not order within him
His family will not act with due order;
And if the prince have not order within him
He can not put order in his dominions.”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII

“And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.”
~ Ezra Pound, The Garden

“Let the gods speak softly of us”
~ Ezra Pound, Greek

“If a man have not order within him
He can not spread order about him;
And if a man have not order within him
His family will not act with due order;
And if the prince have not order within him
He can not put order in his dominions.”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII

“And even I can remember
A day when the historians left blanks in their writings,
I mean, for things they didn't know,
But that time seems to be passing.”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII

“Without character you will
be unable to play on that instrument”
~ Ezra Pound, Canto XIII
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July 3, 2017

Quotations by William Faulkner

WILLIAM FAULKNER (1897-1962) WAS A NOBEL PRIZE WINNING AMERICAN WRITER WHOSE WORKS ARE GREATLY ADMIRED FOR THEIR PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL DEPTH. FAULKNER WAS ALSO ONE OF THE STRONGEST EXPONENTS OF THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUE.

War is an episode, a crisis, a fever the purpose of which is to rid the body of fever. So the purpose of a war is to end the war.” ~ William Faulkner, A Fable

“The saddest thing about love, Joe, is that not only the love cannot last forever, but even the heartbreak is soon forgotten.”
~ William Faulkner, Soldiers’ Pay

“Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”
~ William Faulkner, Light in August

“War is an episode, a crisis, a fever the purpose of which is to rid the body of fever. So the purpose of a war is to end the war.”
~ William Faulkner, A Fable

“The phenomenon of war is its hermaphroditism: the principles of victory and of defeat inhabit the same body and the necessary opponent, enemy, is merely the bed they self-exhaust each other on.”
~ William Faulkner, A Fable

“That’s what they mean by the womb of time: the agony and the despair of spreading bones, the hard girdle in which lie the outraged entrails of events.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“…any live man is better than any dead man but no live or dead man is very
much better than any other live or dead man …”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.”
~ William Faulkner, The Wild Palms

“The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
~ William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun

“Love doesn't die; the men and women do.”
~ William Faulkner, The Wild Palms

“Memory believes before knowing remembers.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“The reason you will not say it is, when you say it, even to yourself, you will know it is true.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“The sun, an hour above the horizon, is poised like a bloody egg upon a crest of thunderheads; the light has turned copper: in the eye portentous, in the nose sulphurous, smelling of lightning.”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“I say money has no value; it's just the way you spend it.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“I'd have wasted a lot of time and trouble before I learned that the best way to take all people, black or white, is to take them for what they think they are, then leave them alone.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“… clocks slay time ... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you'd think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“She loved him not only in spite of but because he himself was incapable of love.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Caddy got the box and set it on the floor and opened it. It was full of stars. When I was still, they were still. When I moved, they glinted and sparkled. I hushed.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“I suppose that people, using themselves and each other so much by words, are at least consistent in attributing wisdom to a still tongue...”
~ William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“If you could just ravel out into time. That would be nice. It would be nice if you could just ravel out into time”
~ William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

“Though children can accept adults as adults, adults can never accept children as anything but adults too.”
~ William Faulkner, Light in August
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July 2, 2017

Quotations by James Joyce

JAMES JOYCE (1882 –1941) WAS AN IRISH MODERNIST WRITER WHO IS NOTED FOR HIS EXPERIMENTS WITH THE STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS TECHNIQUE.

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” ~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Pride and hope and desire like crushed herbs in his heart sent up vapours of maddening incense before the eyes of his mind.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant's heart on the hillside.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“In woman's womb word is made flesh but in the spirit of the maker all flesh that passes becomes the word that shall not pass away. This is the postcreation.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“People could put up with being bitten by a wolf but what properly riled them was a bite from a sheep.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“And then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Art is the human disposition of sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“To discover the mode of life or of art whereby my spirit could express itself in unfettered freedom.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“What's in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours.”
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

“Her lips touched his brain as they touched his lips, as though they were a vehicle of some vague speech and between them he felt an unknown and timid preasure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odor.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from beneath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether in life or revery, he had heard their tale before.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too.”
~ James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

“Why is it that words like these seem dull and cold? Is it because there is no word tender enough to be your name?”
~ James Joyce, The Dead

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July 1, 2017

Shaw’s Treatment of Love and War in “Arms and the Man”

The 19th century plays mostly centered on the idealistic aspects of life, frequently recounting the incredible deeds and exploits of the heroes. However, during the latter half of the very century George Bernard Shaw came forward and brought about an epoch-making change in the presentation of plays. His technique placed reason over emotion with a view to disillusion humanity of its cherished ideals. Hence, Shaw strongly liberated himself from the infatuation of romanticism and enacted his plays to reform the society. For this reason Shaw often regarded as an anti-romantic playwright.

George Bernard Shaw applied his anti-romantic technique most brilliantly in his 1894 play Arms and the Man. Shaw was realistic enough to ascertain that people hold an idealized notion about love and war since the society defines these from clichéd standpoint. Therefore, Shaw opted to define love and war from practical point of view, isolating all their traditional attachments or the romantic glamour.

In practical life, love is full of complexities and is not devoid of blemishes, such as inconstancy, carnality, etc. But in fairy tales or romantic stories the picture is quite the opposite. In such works love is portrayed ideally, i.e., from Platonic viewpoint, hence it lacks negative sides. On the other hand, in practical life, war stems from unavoidable circumstances and it entails violence, bloodshed, and atrocity. The warriors participated in war are made of flesh and blood like us, possessing all human qualities, especially hunger, fear, and an urge for preserving life. They only battle when it is essential and never exhibit courage unnecessarily. In fairy tales, however, war is a ground for the soldiers to showcase heroism. They are desperate in fighting and reckless in courage. In Arms and the Man, Shaw mainly focused on eliminating the fairy tale or romantic elements from the notions of love and war.

Arms and the Man

The opening scene confronts us with Raina, the heroine, whose thoughts and attitude are moulded greatly by romanticism since she hovers around the pages of Byron and Pushkin. As a result, her outlook on love and war is illusive.  To her, war is an act of heroism, a deed of glory and patriotism in which the brave soldiers risk their lives for the sake of their country. Her ideals get visible when she becomes a strong enthusiast of her fiancé, Sergius when she was informed about his cavalry charge in the battle at Slivnitza. The incident gives her a faith that the man she is going to marry will be brave and patriotic.

But very soon Shaw shatters Raina’s obsession with the romantic notion about war by introducing an antithetical character, Captain Bluntschli, a runaway Serb officer. With Bluntschli, Shaw has presented a realistic portrait of an average soldier who is of common stature, is ready to fight when he must and is glad to escape when he can. Bluntschli’s character also reveals the truth that a solder is not a superman, he suffers from hunger and fatigue and is roused to action only by danger.

However, observing Bluntschli’s concern about fear and death, Raina considers him to be a coward and proudly claims that in her country there are soldiers like Sergius who can lead to victory. But soon Bluntschli shatters her false ideals by revealing the fact that Sergius’ cavalry charge was not an act of bravery rather was a complete foolish and suicidal attempt. Bluntschli further clarified that Sergius made a heroic charge on the artillery of the Serbs Ignoring the orders of his Russian commander, thereby putting his entire brigade to fight. Pursuant to Bluntschli’s opinion, Sergius’ action was absolutely unprofessional and it was a so serious offence that he should be court-martialed for it. He and his regiment survived since the Serbs couldn’t shoot because of wrong ammunition:
He and his regiment simply committed suicide—only the pistol missed fire, that's all.
With this, Raina could understand that Bluntschli is not a coward, though he likes to save his life as far as possible. Thus Raina is moved by his realistic views on war and she determines to save his life. Afterwards, Sergius himself is also fully disillusioned about the glory of war when he finds that he has not been promoted for his bravery. Even though his country won the battle he still holds the rank of a major. Petkoff remarked that he should not be promoted to put in danger the whole brigade. Thus Sergius realizes that he won the battle by sheer of chance:
Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms.
After war, Shaw concentrates on the misconceptions of love. Shaw proves that the higher love between Raina and Sergius is tinged with sentiment and deceit. Apparently they glorify each other and are blind to the faults of each other. On his return from the war Sergius calls her his “Queen” and “goddess” and she calls him her “King” and “hero”, which recalls the legend of the medieval knight. The medieval knight dedicated his life to his beloved and fought his whole life against injustice and evildoers. Like the knight, Sergius fights solely for Raina and risks his life to get applause. He is not ready to accept that someone else desires his beloved. But at the same time he is getting tired of dealing with this higher love which is full of failure, incompleteness, and emptiness:
… do you know what the higher love is? … Very fatiguing thing to keep up for any length of time, Louka. One feels the need of some relief after it.
Hence, Sergius wants a type of love that is compatible with practical life. So he rejects Raina and accepts Louka as his wife.

Coming in contact with Bluntschli, Raina could realize that her love for Sergius is nothing but an illusion. She doesn’t find Sergius fit for her as his character is full of incongruities and contrarieties. On the other hand she is amazed by Bluntschli’s practicality, wisdom, determination, and strong personality. Although Raina wants to keep her feelings secret, ultimately the fact is exposed to everybody. This love is heart-felt and is devoid of feigned sentiment.

In fine, Arms and the Man is an amazing anti-romantic play exposing the synthetic appearances of love and war. With great comic sense, in this play Shaw endeavours to make his readers aware of the impracticality of romantic ideals.
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June 10, 2017

To His Coy Mistress as a Love Poem

Andrew Marvell (1621–1678) is a strong embodiment of the transitions that came over the English society in the course of the 17th century. Marvell is deemed by many as one of the greatest love poets and is praised extravagantly for his Metaphysical wit and finely balanced lyric verse. His love poems generally deal with the spiritual as well as the carnal properties of love. The following commentary attempts to undertake a critical inquiry into his attitude towards love along with a special reference to his most celebrated poem To His Coy Mistress.

To His Coy Mistress

Marvell’s romantic tour-de-force To His Coy Mistress is a rigorous representation of the spiritual and physical aspect of love.  It is a great poem on carpe diem tradition wherein we are confronted with a passionate speaker or lover who is requesting his beloved to forsake her shyness or modesty and submit herself to his embraces. The lover repeatedly offers a series of arguments in support of his proposition. With thoughtful wit and humour he justifies that human life is essentially short-lived and thus it is wise to gratify sexual passion while they still have time at their disposal. Hence, he appeals to his beloved to stop the lingering and expedite the pleasures of the flesh.

In the very beginning of the poem spiritual courtship is presented with a similar style and manner found in the poems of Petrarch. This is noted especially when the lover commends his beloved’s physical beauty. Just akin to a typical Petrarchan lover, the speaker praises the beauty of his beloved’s eyes and limbs in an extravagant manner:
A hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
 But thirty thousand to the rest;
Afterwards, the speaker’s spiritual love subsides and he tends towards physical relationship. This urge for physical love has been reinforced through the carpe diem concept. By presenting the images of death and decay the speaker tries to justify the futility of resistance towards carnal pleasure:
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Through the above coarse imagery the speaker throws an implication towards his beloved to sacrifice her virginity to him rather than foolishly saving herself for the "worms" when buried. Then he also adds that after demise her virginity will be transformed into dust along with her body. He further adds that although the grave is a peaceful place none does make love there. Hence, death would definitely cease their opportunity to make love.

Then the lover draws a conclusion to his arguments by stating that they won't be young forever and thus should take advantage of it while they can. To emphasise the aforesaid statement he makes the following comparison which is quite animalistic and hints at his barely-controlled desires:
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Here the lover becomes extremely impatient and passionately requests his beloved to “seize the day” and enjoy the present moment. The poet advises his beloved not to wait for death and urges her to gratify the pleasure of love like amorous birds.

Soon the lover moves away from all the negativities and reaches the zenith of his passion when he invites his beloved to have the pleasure of the flesh. He maintains that physical intercourse is the way to enter into another world, a way to break out of the confinement of time. He also feels that bringing the "strife" of life into the bedroom will enhance the sexual experience:
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Through the iron gates of life:
In the end of the poem the lover appears somewhat calmer since he admits that sex is a compromise. He also admits that sex cannot be employed to stop time but they can use it to make time go faster:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
To conclude, Andrew Marvell did an outstanding job in presenting the heart-felt emotions of a passionate lover from both spiritual and physical point of view. Although certain images seem a bit coarse and vulgar, To his Coy Mistress is still able to receive the reader’s admiration due to the speaker’s intense devotion to his beloved. Thus it won't be an overstatement if we call it one of Marvell's best love poems.

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June 3, 2017

Robinson Crusoe as an Allegory

The Eighteen century English novelist Daniel Defoe (c. 1660–1731) was part of a Protestant culture that was vigorously intellectual and energetically literary. Separated from the life of the upper classes and their erudite writers, he produced, amongst many pieces of commissioned writings, a series of purportedly true but actually fictitious memoirs and confessions, which made him one of the great masters of realistic narrative. His skillfully crafted fictions, presented by specific and well – chosen details create the illusion of exact truth, tricking the reader into suspension of disbelief.

Robinson Crusoe (1719) is an allegorical story of conversion employing metaphoric symbols readily recognisable to an audience familiar with a similar set of symbols found repeatedly in the sermons, tracts, and other religious writings of both Anglican and dissenting divines. Defoe’s novel does not simply chronicle a practical man’s continuous strife and struggle for adjustment of life on a deserted island; rather it is the record of a notable spiritual pilgrimage across the sea of life, from a lawless course of living to true Christian repentance.

Crusoe’s wandering in desolate and afflicting circumstances stresses the allegorical and figurative meaning of the novel. Crusoe’s journey advances through suffering, repentance and realisation. Finally, he finds atonement by exploring himself and God. Each adverse situation makes Crusoe realise that it is a punishment for him given by the God for his wicked deed of ignoring the good advice of his parents and defying his duty to God. Each time he promises and vows to God that he will not continue his journey and return to home. However, when he is saved from the danger, he forgets all his repentance and repeatedly makes the same mistakes. He learns almost nothing. His emotionally volatile mind entirely kept him aloof from becoming spiritually enlightened.

Eventually, under the stress of the hardships of life on the island, and more specifically under the severe strain of his illness, Crusoe realises his sin and undergoes a spiritual transformation. During his illness he sees a frightening dream in which a man, having descended from a cloud, threatens to kill him with a spear. This dream may be considered as a kind of divine warning or a divine guidance to him. On waking up from dream, Crusoe recalls the excellent advice which his father gave him at his desire to set out for the journey. But it is the irony of his fate that Crusoe did not pay any heed to his father’s advice. He now remembers that during the past eight years since he left home, he had not looked upwards to God with any sincerity of feeling even once. During these eight years he has been guilty of a certain ‘stupidity of soul’ without any desire for goodness and without any repentance of evil. Tears now begin to flow from his eyes, and he prays to God for help. This, Crusoe tells us, was the first prayer which he had ever addressed to God for many years. Here we have the turning point in Crusoe’s spiritual life. From this time onwards, his mind is essentially at peace and entirely free from spiritual apathy.

Thus, Robinson Crusoe allegorically treats the theme of transgression, punishment, and repentance. Crusoe suffers from his sin and he is salvaged through his repentance and prayer. In this way, the novel becomes essentially a religious tale. Crusoe ultimately possesses the infinite knowledge. He becomes spiritually enlightened by believing in God. Like the journey of the Christian hero in Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, the journey of Robinson Crusoe in not merely a physical journey but a religious journey too.

Robinson Crusoe
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May 29, 2017

Quotations by Daniel Defoe

DANIEL DEFOE (1660?-1731) AN ENGLISH NOVELIST AND JOURNALIST, WHO IS WIDELY REMEMBERED FOR ROBINSON CRUSOE (1719) AND MOLL FLANDERS (1722). BESIDES BEING A BRILLIANT JOURNALIST, NOVELIST, AND SOCIAL THINKER, DEFOE WAS A PROLIFIC AUTHOR, PRODUCING MORE THAN 500 BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, AND TRACTS.

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.” ~ Daniel Defoe, The Education of Women (1719)

“The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The Education of Women (1719)

“Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The Life and Adventures of Mrs. Christian Davies (1741)

“The best of men cannot suspend their fate:
The good die early, and the bad die late.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Character of the Late Dr. S. Annesley (1715)

“All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“And of all the plagues with which mankind are cursed, Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman (1701)

“Tis very strange Men should be so fond of being thought more wicked than they are.”
~ Daniel Defoe, A System Of Magick

“It is never too late to be wise.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth ... that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Nature has left this tincture in the blood,
That all men would be tyrants if they could.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The History of the Kentish Petition

“Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself when apparent to the eyes; and we find the burden of anxiety greater, by much, than the evil which we are anxious about : ...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Man is a short-sighted creature, sees but a very little way before him; and as his passions are none of his best friends, so his particular affections are generally his worst counselors.”
~ Daniel Defoe, The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

“Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them. All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Redemption from sin is greater then redemption from affliction.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“Wait on the Lord, and be of good cheer, and he shall strengthen thy heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“If you have regard to your future happiness, any view of living comfortably with a husband, any hope of preserving your fortunes or restoring them after any disaster, never, ladies, marry a fool. Any husband rather than a fool. With some other husband you may be unhappy, but with a fool you will be miserable.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Roxana

“So possible is it for us to roll ourselves up in wickedness, till we grow invulnerable by conscience; and that sentinel, once dozed, sleeps fast, not to be awakened while the tide of pleasure continues to flow or till something dark and dreadful brings us to ourselves again.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Roxana

“If a young women once thinks herself handsome, she never doubts the truth of any man that tells her he is in love with her; for if she believes herself charming charming enough to captive him, 'tis natural to expect the effects of it.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

“I had been tricked once by that Cheat called love, but the Game was over...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders

“But, he says again, if God much strong, much might as the Devil, why God no kill the Devil, so make him no more do wicked?
I was strangely surprised at his question, [...] And at first I could not tell what to say, so I pretended not to hear him...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“It is as reasonable to represent one kind of imprisonment by another as it is to represent anything that really exists by that which exists not.”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“How mercifully can our Creator treat His creatures, even in those conditions in which they seemed to be overwhelmed in destruction! How can He sweeten the bitterest providences, and give us cause to praise Him for dungeons and prisons! What a table was here spread for me in a wilderness where I saw nothing at first but to perish for hunger!”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

“How frequently, in the course of our lives, the evil which in itself we seek most to shun, and which, when we are fallen into, is the most dreadful to us, is oftentimes the very means or door of our deliverance, by which alone we can be raised again from the affliction we are fallen into ...”
~ Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

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