I know that I did a Who said it? not so long ago, but I feel like another one, and it’s my blog. So, ravaging my beloved library. . . .
1) If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, with thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
a) Hammurabi: The Code of Hammurabi b) Moses: The Old Testament c) Izaak Walton: The Compleat Angler D) Woody Allen: Without Feathers
Sticking with religion but going to the other end of the spectrum:
2) So far I have seen nothing which could possibly give me the notion that cosmic force is the manifestation of a mind and will like my own infinitely magnified; a potent and purposeful consciousness which deals individually and directly with the miserable denizens of a wretched little flyspeck on the back door of a microscopic universe, and which singles this putrid excrescence out as the one spot whereto to send an onlie-begotten Son, whose mission is to redeem those accursed fly-speck-inhabiting lice which we call human beings-bah!! Pardon the “bah!” I feel several “bahs,” but out of courtesy I only say one. But it is all so very childish. I cannot help taking exception to a philosophy that would force this rubbish down my throat. “What have I against religion?” That is what I have against it!
a) J.R.R. Tolkien b) H.P. Lovecraft c) Robert Howard d) J.M. Barrie
Switch of topic. Here’s a story about Abraham Lincoln:
3) Tis said that in his younger days, he made a vow that if ever he should find a man uglier than himself, he would shoot him. One day while rambling over the hills with his rifle in his hand, in search of game, he met a man who was exceedingly ugly, immediately he cocked his gun and took aim, but upon being asked by the stranger what he was going to do, if he was going to murder him, Lincoln lowered his gun, told the stranger his vow and that he must prepare himself to meet his fate.
The stranger, after eyeing him for a while and scanning him from head to foot, exclaimed: “Well, if I am uglier than you, I don’t want to live—so just shoot.”
1) ) “If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness . . .” You’d think it be Woody Allen’s hysterical Without Feathers, which had a field day with the Bible or any of the others except the one it is. But, I swear to you that this is from The Old Testament: Deut: Ch. 23, 10-14. And, yes, it is exactly what you think it is. thou shalt clean up after yourself. Apparently, not only could a sparrow not fall without God noticing it, but he was quite the sanitarian.
2) “As far I have seen nothing which could possibly give me the notion that cosmic force is the manifestation of a mind . . .” Certainly not Tolkien, who was a religious Catholic, but neither was it the creators of Peter Pan or Conan the Barbarian, Robert Howard, but, Mr. Lovecraft, the creator of a literary world where his pathetic protagonists were the victims of a panoply of pagan gods – “the Old Ones,” who I believe were really space aliens. But, I have read too little of him to be sure, and unlike Stephen King, can’t say I really liked him so much. Obviously, he didn’t believe in many or one God himself. I hate to tell you he was also quite the racist and sympathetic to fascism, which does not make him very sympathetic to us. I know J.M. Barrie was at least technically a Calvinist, and I have no idea what Howard believed, though I know Lovecraft wrote to him of his atheism. Perhaps Howard’s views are contained within their correspondence, which I hope to one day peruse, rather than read.
3) “Tis said that in his younger days, he made a vow that if ever he should find a man uglier than himself. . .” Sounds like Twain, but it is actually Lincoln himself, as reported by a local man in a newspaper article. There are too many things I admire about Lincoln to list here, but I identify with him for his love of reading, his belief-even if futile-in the power of reason by persuasion, his lack of fashion sense and his recognition that we all can’t be Brad Pitt, can we? I guess he would have said we can't all be Stephen Douglas, can we?
4) “The vital thing is to ensure the right mixture of seeds for procreation . . .” I don’t think that Dr. Ruth, entertaining as she could be, would go quite as far as this author, but the others all seem like possibilities. Augustine, I do not know of discussing sexuality so carnally, though he confessed to his own long struggle with chastity and took the view that while sexuality was evil, in was good in marriage when related to procreation, fidelity or as a sacrament. Freud, who had many typical 19th century ideas about sex, could easily have written the above, but it was actually written by Lucretius, the Epicurian peer of Cicero and Caesar, whose On Nature delight me no less in my fifties than it did in my twenties. Was any of this correct? Well, actually, his biological reading of genetics seems fairly consistent with modern times, even if he did not have the scientific tools or vocabulary we are used to, but that a child was a product of mother and father was always pretty obvious from its traits. I just did a Yahoo search and there are serious articles about food and semen, so maybe he was on to something there. But, one search is my limit on this and I did not find anything that sounded like scientific knowledge. Although I enjoy human sexuality with respect to the psychology of attraction, life is too short for me to divert myself by researching whether a woman's position or movement affects the probability of pregnancy. You do it. I am just entertained by Lucretius, right or wrong.
5) “Since my last misfortunes I have led a quiet country life.” I threw Job in their just because of the mention of misfortunes, but among his travails was not quarreling with his friends while playing tric trac. Thoreau makes the most sense, but what the author describes would be a successful life to Thoreau, not time wasted. Peter the Great did spend some time kicking back in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, Germany and England, but he also was a man of great energy and rather spent his time learning to make ships, playing war games or acting the vandal with his drinking buddies. The answer is Machiavelli, who, suffering from the loss of his world,
, when it was conquered by Pope
Julius II, lived at a Villa in the country for much of the rest of his life where he wrote Il principe, among other things. It was
not printed until he was dead a number of years. But, still it is read today by
college students and the occasional glint-eyed employer or politician who hopes
to find some hint to make his own play for power.
Machiavelli actually did not have a long run. When Florence was defeated he was tortured and, though he survived, lost what influence he had and much later died impoverished,
quite unlike the impression so many have of him as a successful power behind the throne. Florence
6) “NEGRO, Homo pello nigra, a name given to a variety of the human species, who are entirely black. . . .” I know you think I’m picking on
again, but, no, he did not write it. He might have read it though. It was in
the first American edition of the Encyclopedia
Britannica in 1798. Gray’s Anatomy was a possibility (although not
published for decades after the EB made its debut in America), but I can’t tell you
why I rounded the list out with St. Ambrose, of whom I cannot tell you a thing about
his feelings about Africans.
7) “Though still in bed my thoughts go out to you, Meine unsterbliche Geliebte. . . .” And the answer is . . . Martin Luther. No, kidding. Lon Chaney. No, not really. It’s actually Larry Fine of Three Stooges fame. All right, Beethoven. This is his famous My immortal beloved (translation of the German) letter. Who was she? We don’t know. But he really liked her. I guess Larry Fine could have written it. I once wrote in one of my posts, to my own astonishment and humiliation, that Beethoven went blind. Of course, it was deafness that was his problem. But, even Homer sometimes nods.
8) “There is one reason why we cannot complain of life, it keeps no one against his will. . .” I often sneak in a Hitler quote, but this is not it. It was Seneca, who, soon after at Nero’s command did do away with himself. Kervorkian helped people kill themselves. He didn’t kill himself. Don’t beat yourself up if you picked van Gogh.
9) “Right here, on this very spot, I took leave of him. I wished him success and honor. . . .” Could have been any of them, even Tecumseh. But, Tecumseh's braves were the assailants II believe he was off scouting that day) and General Arthur
Clair’s army his victims. In any event, the words were George
Washington’s, as reported by his private secretary, Tobias Lear. GW did have a
temper and perhaps this time was very justified.
10) “I know this—that all the famous beauties love being put into comparisons . . . .” I was also going to suggest Soupy Sales. Boy is that guy puzzled. I may have cheated a little. Socrates was a real person, but, who knows if he really said it, or if what he is supposed to have said in Plato's Meno all made up. But, as the people he was writing for knew Socrates, I suspect it at least sounds much like something he said in an inimical fashion.
That’s all folks.