Source: Timescape (1980), Chapter 43 (p. 445)
„Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.“
"Under One Small Star"
Poems New and Collected (1998), Could Have (1972)
Context: I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.
— William the Silent stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, leader of the Dutch Revolt 1533 - 1584
As quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison, p. 75
Context: It is not possible for me to bear alone such labours and the burden of such weighty cares as press on me from hour to hour, without one man at my side to help me. I have not a soul to aid me in all my anxieties and toils.
— Edgar Allan Poe American author, poet, editor and literary critic 1809 - 1849
By this love, then, and by the God who reigns in Heaven, I swear to you that my soul is incapable of dishonor — that, with the exception of occasional follies and excesses which I bitterly lament, but to which I have been driven by intolerable sorrow, and which are hourly committed by others without attracting any notice whatever — I can call to mind no act of my life which would bring a blush to my cheek — or to yours. If I have erred at all, in this regard, it has been on the side of what the world would call a Quixotic sense of the honorable — of the chivalrous.
" Letter to Mrs. Whitman http://www.lfchosting.com/eapoe/WORKS/letters/p4810181.htm" (1848-10-18).
— Adrian Mitchell British writer 1932 - 2008
"Ten Ways to Avoid Lending Your Wheelbarrow to Anybody", from Adrian Mitchell's Greatest Hits (1991).
„People often complain that music is too ambiguous, that what they should think when they hear it is so unclear, whereas everyone understands words. With me, it is exactly the opposite, and not only with regard to an entire speech but also with individual words. These, too, seem to me so ambiguous, so vague, so easily misunderstood in comparison to genuine music, which fills the soul with a thousand things better than words. The thoughts which are expressed to me by music that I love are not too indefinite to be put into words, but on the contrary, too definite.“
— Felix Mendelssohn German composer, pianist and conductor 1809 - 1847
Die Leute beklagen sich gewöhnlich, die Musik sei so vieldeutig; es sei so zweifelhaft, was sie sich dabei zu denken hätten, und die Worte verstände doch ein Jeder. Mir geht es aber gerade umgekehrt. Und nicht blos mit ganzen Reden, auch mit einzelnen Worten, auch die scheinen mir so vieldeutig, so unbestimmt, so mißverständlich im Vergleich zu einer rechten Musik, die einem die Seele erfüllt mit tausend besseren Dingen als Worten. Das, was mir eine Musik ausspricht, die ich liebe, sind mir nicht zu unbestimmte Gedanken, um sie in Worte zu fassen, sondern zu bestimmte.
Letter to Marc-André Souchay, October 15, 1842, cited from Briefe aus den Jahren 1830 bis 1847 (Leipzig: Hermann Mendelssohn, 1878) p. 221; translation from Felix Mendelssohn (ed. Gisella Selden-Goth) Letters (New York: Pantheon, 1945) pp. 313-14.
„"The parts I like, well…" He shook his head, with pursed lips. "They just don't have anything to do with me: somebody else wrote them, it seems, about things I may have thought about once. The parts I don't like--well, I can remember writing those, oh yeah, word by word by word."“
Part IV, "In Time of Plague" (p. 357)
— Conrad Aiken American novelist and poet 1889 - 1973
"This image or another," The Nation (28 December 1932)
— Kenneth Rexroth American poet, writer, anarchist, academic and conscientious objector 1905 - 1982
Catullus (p. 28)
More Classics Revisited (1989)
Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium (Moral Letters to Lucilius), Letter LXXVIII: On the Healing Power of the Mind
„Cultivate quietness in word, quietness in deed, likewise in speech and gait; and avoid impetuous eagerness, for then the mind will remain steady, and will not be agitated by your eagerness. … For the mind, seated on high on a quiet throne looking intently towards God, must control the passions, … so that your quietness may be adorned by good proportion and your bearing may appear something divine.“
— Clement of Alexandria Christian theologian 150 - 215
Source: To the Newly Baptized, p. 371.
Pt. I, line 868.
The Hind and the Panther (1687)
— Anna Bartlett Warner American hymnwriter 1827 - 1915
Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 169.
— George Moore (novelist) Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist 1852 - 1933
Source: Confessions of a Young Man http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12278/12278-h/12278-h.htm (1886), Ch. 12.
Context: I will admit that an artist may be great and limited; by one word he may light up an abyss of soul; but there must be this one magical and unique word. Shakespeare gives us the word, Balzac, sometimes, after pages of vain striving, gives us the word, Tourgueneff gives it with miraculous certainty; but Henry James, no; a hundred times he flutters about it; his whole book is one long flutter near to the one magical and unique word, but the word is not spoken; and for want of the word his characters are never resolved out of the haze of nebulae. You are on a bowing acquaintance with them; they pass you in the street, they stop and speak to you, you know how they are dressed, you watch the colour of their eyes.
Original: (el) Καὶ γλῶσσα τοξεύσασα μὴ τὰ καίρια,
γένοιτο μύθου μῦθος ἂν θελκτήριος.
Source: The Suppliants, lines 446–447 (tr. Christopher Collard)
Part 1, Chapter 9 (page 32)
Notes from Underground (1864)
Context: To care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it's good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things.
— Eoin Colfer Irish author of children's books 1965
Source: The Last Guardian