Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Twelve Favorites

My favorite excerpts from GKC's Twelve Types. One from each chapter:

Charlotte Bronte: The faculty of being shy is the first and the most delicate of the powers of enjoyment. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of pleasure.

William Morris: He has the supreme credit of showing that the fairy tales contain the deepest truth of the earth, the real record of men's feeling for things.

Byron: The man who is popular must be optimistic about something even if he is only optimistic about pessimism.

Alexander Pope: [I]t is immeasurably easier to pretend to have imagination than to pretend to have wit.

St. Francis of Assisi: [L]aughter is as divine as tears.

Rostand: We should all like to speak poetry at the moment when we truly live, and if we do not speak it, it is because we have an impediment in our speech.

Charles II: Despotism is the easiest of all governments, at any rate for the governed.

Robert Louis Stevenson: Stevenson had the first essential qualification of a great man: that of being misunderstood by his opponents.

Thomas Carlyle: He denied the theory of progress which assumed that we must be better off than the people of the twelfth century.

Leo Tolstoy: The command of Christ is impossible, but it is not insane; it is rather sanity preached to a planet of lunatics. If the whole world was suddenly stricken with a sense of humour it would find itself mechanically fulfilling the Sermon on the Mount.

Savonarola: He was making war against no trivial human sins, but against godless and thankless quiescence, against getting used to happiness, the mystic sin by which all creation fell.

Walter Scott: It is said that Scott is neglected by modern readers; if so, the matter could be more appropriately described by saying that modern readers are neglected by Providence.

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