“In a language like ours, so many words of which are derived from other languages, there are few modes of instruction more useful or more amusing than that of accustoming young people to seek the etymology or primary meaning of the words they use. There are cases in which more knowledge, of more value, may […]

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“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ―Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Deliberately cultivating the intent to understand rather than to reply is the key to effective listening. This is an appealing thought, but what does it […]

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“Now, as words affect, not by any original power, but by representation, it might be supposed that their influence over the passions should be but light; yet it is quite otherwise; for we find by experience that eloquence and poetry are as capable, nay indeed much more capable, of making deep and lively impressions than […]

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Cast forth


“Cast forth thy act, thy word, into the ever-living, ever-working universe: it is a seed-grain that cannot die; unnoticed to-day, it will be found flourishing as a banyan grove, perhaps, alas, as a hemlock forest, after a thousand years.” – Thomas Carlyle Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay, comp. by S. Austin Allibone. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott […]

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Hook, Line and Sinker


“Men create oppositions which are not, and put them into new terms so fixed, as whereas the meaning ought to govern the term, the term in effect governeth the meaning.” – Francis Bacon, Essay III., Of Unity in Religion. The moment I read this I thought it the perfect description of what has happened with respect […]

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“In all our reasonings concerning men we must lay it down as a maxim that the greater part are moulded by circumstances.” - Robert Hall: Apology for the Freedom of the Press, Sect. V. If the greater part of men are moulded by their circumstances, then the lesser part are not. But if a man is not moulded […]

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