I haven’t seen my niece in almost two weeks and in that time she’s discovered lounging, which is a very significant burst of personality.

The human intellect is a sort of barometer, directed in its variations by the atmosphere which surrounds it.
William Godwin, Thoughts Occasioned by the Perusal of Dr Parr’s Spital Sermon (1801)

Love letters: September 30, 1796

William Godwin to Mary Wollstonecraft: “I am under a necessity of dining out. Thus circumstanced, will you condescend to admit me in the evening at eight or nine?”

Mary Wollstonecraft to William Godwin: “What say you—may I come to your house, about eight—to philosophize?”

Education ought to be an initiation into candour, rather than into systems of faith…it should form a habit of cool and patient investigation, rather than an attachment to any opinion.
Richard Price, Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution and the Means of Making it a Benefit in the World (1785)
It will be remembered that, in the Electra of Sophocles, an urn, supposed to contain the ashes of Orestes, is placed in the hands of his sister, who makes a lament over it. Polus once acted Electra not long after the death of his son. An urn, containing the youth’s ashes, was brought from the tomb; the actor, in the mourning garb of Electra, received it, and, on the scene, suffered a natural grief to have vehement course.
Jebb, Oedipus Tyrannus xxxiii
Polus the tragic actor, as Eratosthenes and Philochorus tell us, when he was seventy years old acted in eight tragedies in four days shortly before his death.
Plutarch Moralia 785c
We polish one another, and rub off our corners and rough sides by a sort of amicable collision.
Shaftesbury, Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, v.1, p.39 (1711)
I am always angry when I hear ancient times praised at the expense of modern times.
Samuel Johnson (in Boswell’s Life)
No expectation is more fallacious than that which authors form of the reception which their labours will find among mankind. Scarcely any man publishes a book, whatever it be, without believing that he has caught the moment when the publick attention is vacant to his call, and the world is disposed in a particular manner to learn the art which he undertakes to teach.
Samuel Johnson, Preface to Richard Rolt, Dictionary of Trade and Commerce (1756)
Distrust is a necessary qualification of a student in history.
Samuel Johnson, Review of the Account of the Conduct of the Duchess of Marlborough (1742)
And let us not, like snarling curs, in wrangling be divided.
Some political ad against Scottish independence from the UK. Metrically quite nice. (via sexpigeon)
(Reblogged from sexpigeon)

Shakespeare’s Coat of Arms at the Folger Shakespeare Library

"The spear was probably a play on the Bard’s name, says manuscript curator Heather Wolfe. Its fine tip represents dexterity and skillfulness. “The fact it looks like a pen might be intentional,” she adds."

"Shakespeare must have been fond of falcons, as they show up more often than any other kind of bird in his plays, says Nigel Ramsay, exhibit co-curator."

Farewell has a sweet sound of reluctance. Good-by is short and final, a word with teeth sharp to bite through the string that ties past to future.
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent (via reconnoitre)
(Reblogged from reconnoitre)

Lucanian Calyx-Krater c. 400 BC: Medea escapes in her flying serpent chariot and leaves Jason to discover their murdered children.

Medea by Bernard Safran (1964)