David Madore's WebLog: Quotes of the day

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(Sunday) · Mother's Day (US)

Quotes of the day

For no reason at all, I'd like to quote the following bit of wisdom by US Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardoso (1870–1938), a thought which I've always found very true and very beautiful, from his essay Law and Literature (1931):

The heroic hours of life do not announce their presence by drum and trumpet, challenging us to be true to ourselves by appeals to the martial spirit that keeps the blood at heat. Some little, unassuming, unobtrusive choice presents itself before us slyly and craftily, glib and insinuating, in the modest garb of innocence. To yield to its blandishments is so easy. The wrong, it seems, is venial… Then it is that you will be summoned to show the courage of adventurous youth.

(it is already among my favorite Fortune quotes).

And while I'm at it, I'll also gratuitously quote the following verses from Sophocles's Antigone (verses 453–457):

οὐδὲ σθένειν τοσοῦτον ᾠόμην τὰ σὰ
κηρύγμαθ', ὥστ' ἄγραπτα κἀσφαλῆ θεῶν
νόμιμα δύνασθαι θνητὸν ὄνθ' ὑπερδραμεῖν.
οὐ γάρ τι νῦν γε κἀχθές, ἀλλ' ἀεί ποτε
ζῇ ταῦτα, κοὐδεὶς οἶδεν ἐξ ὅτου 'φάνη.

(Antigone is speaking to her uncle Creon; she says, Nor did I imagine that your decrees had such force, that a mortal could escape the unwritten and unfailing laws given us by the gods. For they live not today or yesterday, but for all time, and no man knows whence they appeared.).

(Of course, quoting verses in ancient Greek is also just another way of showing off the use of Unicode on this site.)

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