Mike Beversluis

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Portable Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole was a bit of a gadfly and rather quotable.

Life is a comedy for those who think... and a tragedy for those who feel.

The Methodists love your big sinners, as proper subjects to work upon.

By deafness one gains in one respect more than one loses; one misses more nonsense than sense.

I avoid talking before the youth of the age as I would dancing before them: for if one's tongue don't move in the steps of the day, and thinks to please by its old graces, it is only an object of ridicule.

I never found even in my juvenile hours that it was necessary to go a thousand miles in search of themes for moralizing. [e.g.]

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn't. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

etc. He also coined the word "Serendipitous." Is serendipity, as a difficult to translate single-word sociological observation, the English schadenfreude? I think so.

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