Saturday, April 19, 2008


Great story of Churchill; you've probably heard it.  He was arguing with that one stupid woman that never quite realized she would be immortalized by history as the recipient of the wit of Winston.

She:  "Winston Churchill, were I your wife, I would poison your coffee!"

He:  "Madam, were I your husband, I would drink it."

Name the Author

Answers will be published as soon as someone guesses, or next Saturday (unless I forget).

"You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless till it finds its rest in You."  

"Education, n.  That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the fools their lack of understanding."

"To lose one parent can be considered a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."

"You can't be a successful dictator and design women's underclothing."
"No, sir."
"I tell you, it's one or the other."
"Yes, sir.  Will that be all sir?"

Hard medium (listen to the prose):
"Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god.  They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist."

Harder medium: 
"For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

"He is a man whom I would not presume to praise."

"Of faith I have nothing, only of truth: that this one God is a brute and traitor, abandoning us to time, to necessity and the engines of matter unhinged."

Harder yet:
"It is a pity that we cannot persuade all ministers to be men, for it is hard to see how otherwise they will be truly men of God."

Impossible for all but Becky to name by whom it was quoted:
"So cler and so light hit was, that joye ther was ynough.  Treon ther were, ful of frut, wel thikke on everich bough.  Hit was evere more dai, hi ne fonde nevere nyght; Hi ne wende fynde in no stede so moch cler light."

Have fun; post the answers as you feel like.  All authors are worthwhile, most are commonly read by the same six people that commonly read my blog (I'm two of them).  The quotes are taken from my commonplace book, so if you know my reading list, you're somewhat ahead of the game, but I didn't limit myself to my reading list; sorry Brooke.

Bible Quiz

This (click on my title) is a Bible trivia quiz that Christ Church has utilized to test their Greyfriars students.  The only one that I know to have taken the test scored a ninety-eight, but his name is Jeff Moss, and he speaks more languages than I can name offhand.  Oh well. 

Thought you might enjoy it.  Takes about ten to fifteen minutes.

Jesse Broussard

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Books: On and In

Beautiful review by Bierce: "The covers of this book are entirely too far apart."

Dedication from Wodehouse: "To the critics: these pearls."


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Safire the Leech

Here is the best of our memorized declamations, by Timothy van den Broek, one of our two friends from the far side of the great wetness (he's a Brit).

A bit of quick background: Safire's Lend Me Your Ears is a huge tome of great boredom (the "world's best speeches," except they weren't half as good as our average Rhetoric declamations), and there is a leech that "stands" on bushes waiting for people to pass by, to whom it shall form an attachment.  In their sinuses.  They remain blissfully unaware.  No, I'm not joking, and yes, God made it too; why, I don't know.

Timothy van den Broek
Lend Me Your Noses

Frinds, Latinists, honorary countrymen, lend me your noses; I come to bury Safire, not to praise him.

No score and sixteen years ago, Safire wrote a book, and many scores before that, God made South American leeches.  They shoot out of a good looking bush, and fight against the established travel conventions of your nose, slinking up past all the hair and debris into the more hospitable parts of your nasal territory.  You flinch, you go "eww," but kudos to the leech, for it does at least make its intrusion pain free.

Ask not what pain Safire will withhold from you.  He came out of that lovely bush that is the rhetoric reading list, and in the style of such wormy ambushes, went straight for the nose.  Fat, slimy, slowly, wiggly--and with no anaesthetic.

I had a dream--and my dream was wrong.  In my dream, when I bought the 1,150 page book I was paying for two things: speeches and good judgment.  And don't get me wrong, there is good in Lend Me Your Ears.  I am an ardent lover of nature, and I cannot help but have warm fuzzy feelings when I hear about South American leeches.  I cannot but adore St. Francis' sermonette to the birdies.  Yet so many bad speeches!  And so many hacked up good speeches!  And what made it all so dashed awful was the way the anthologist made every possible reference he could to his own wit, skill, knowledge and general splendificoriousness.

Here I stand, I can do no other.  Vale, amici.

It was amazing.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Roll Them On Your Tongue...

"Sorry Al (Gore), for repeatedly calling you a fascist twinkie and intellectual dolt.  It's nothing personal.  I just think you have repulsive totalitarian inclinations and the brains of a King Charles spaniel."--P. J. O'Rourke, All the Trouble in the World

"Communists worship Satan; socialists think perdition is a good system run by bad men; and liberals want us to go to hell because it's warm there in the winter."--ibid

"(And memo to Generation X: Pull your pants up, turn your hat around, and get a job."--ibid

"How do you stop a Canadian tank?  Shoot the guy that's pushing it."--George Harrell, on the pressing subject of the growing Canadian threat.

"Aut insanit homo, aut versus facit."--Latin proverb

"Aut amat aut odit mulier, nihil est tertium."--ibid (ask me or Brooke, or better yet, look 'em up.)

"Heck is the place you go if you don't believe in gosh."--Stephen Sproul

"It is not really your reviewer's place to suggest that Christians who have serious ethical problems with the Bible may actually be Christians who have been smoking some imported vegetation.  So he won't."--D. Wilson, Contours of Post-Maturity

"He tried, He really tried, but those 250,000 people were just too slippery when wet."--unnamed teacher, intro to Westminster Term

I'm going to do homework.  Enjoy.

Wodehousian Fun