Month: June 2015

60

“The present is a very small place, a place of diminished accomplishment and minimal expectations. Our wealth is in the past.”

~ Patrick Kurp of Anecdotal Evidence

Advertisements

58

“He began to perceive more clearly that greatness should always be on its guard against the snares of happiness.”

~ Simon Leys, The Death of Napoleon

57

“A neighboring gentleman one summer had lost most of his chickens by a sparrow-hawk that came gliding down between a faggot pile and the end of his house to the place where the coops stood. The owner, inwardly vexed to see his flock thus diminishing, hung a setting net adroitly between the pile and the house, into which the caitif dashed, and was entangled. Resentment suggested a law of retaliation; he therefore clipped the hawk’s wings, cut off his talons, and, fixing a cork on his bill, threw him down among the brood hens.”

~ Gilbert White, The Natural History of Selborne

56

“It is a received opinion among the Indians, that the geese turn to beavers and the snakes to raccoon; and though Tecaughretanego, who was a wise man, was not fully persuaded that this was true; yet he seemed in some measure to be carried away with this whimsical notion. He said that this pond had always been a plentiful place of beaver. Though he said he knew them to be frequently all killed, (as he thought) yet the next winter they would be as plenty as ever. And as the beaver was an animal that did not travel by land, and there being no water communication, to, or from this pond – how could such a number of beavers get there year after year? But as this pond was also a considerable place for geese, when they came in the fall from the north, and alighted in this pond, they turned beavers, all but the feet, which remained nearly the same.”

~ James Smith, Remarkable Occurrences in the Life and Travels of Col. James Smith

54

“[B]ut the forest was everywhere, rolled over hill and valley in billows of interminable green, – a leafy maze, a mystery of shade, a universal hiding place, where murder might lurk unseen at the victim’s side, and Nature seemed formed to nurse the mind with wild and dark imaginings. The detail of blood is set down in the untutored words of those who saw and felt it. But there was a suffering that had no record, – the mortal fear of women and children in the solitude of their wilderness homes, haunted, waking and sleeping, with nightmares of horror that were but the forecast of an imminent reality.”

~ Francis Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe