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."
"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."
"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."
"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.
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.
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.
"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
Chesterton: Manalive: slightly inferior to The Man Who Was Thursday, but only very slightly, and it is most definitely worth reading. Very short, very, very good.
McCarthy: The Road: Very dark, very descriptive. Without giving anything away, it is a father and son traveling through a post-apocalyptic world (horrifically reminiscent of Mordor). Pretty good.
Tolkein: Lord of the Rings: Words fail me. Somewhere around my fifth time through, I simply died. These books are true, in a very profound sense of the word.
Lewis: Chronicles of Narnia: Books that, as Frank Churchill said of Emma's fiancee, "I would not presume to praise". Read them. Repeat as necessary. It's necessary far more often than you might think.
Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday: I Read this one in two days. Just great, and despite his disclaimer, I still consider the large man to be somewhat like God. Thrilling read.
Dorothy Dunnett: Lymond Chronicles: easier to start than the Niccolo books, and only six in this series. What can I say? I consider Dunnett to be the best taleweaver that I have ever read, and would be hard pressed to change my mind. If you read no other books (other than Tolkein, Chesterton and Lewis), read these. You will be amazed.
Dorothy Dunnett: House of Niccolo: The first book in this series of eight took me three attempts to get through. When I did, I was astonished. I didn't pick up a book by any other author for about six months. This is one of the best series that I have ever read. Historical fiction, and absolutely world-class. These books will be around five-hundred years from now.
Lewis: Space Trilogy: Just great. That Hideous Strength started in the typical British nothing-is-allowed-to-occur-in-the-first-fifty-pages manner, but then never really lets up. "It's very shark?!"
Tolkien: Unfinished Tales: As brilliant as I expected from the master. Dostoevsky would have loved Narn I Hin Hurin. I did.
Hugo: Les Miserables: Great stories. Yes, that was plural intentionally. Read the bloody abridged version if you don't want twenty pages on the sewer systems of Paris and forty on Waterloo with no relevance to the story. Was he paid by the word, with a bonus for pointlessness? Still, if you can make it past his desperate and rambling tweakeresque garrulousness, a very worthwhile and surprisingly uplifting read.
T. S. Eliot: Murder in the Cathedral: there is no excuse for not owning this and knowing it at least passably. It is an absolute delight to read; one of the best books I have ever read, the best play that I have ever read.
John Donne: Complete Poems and Selected Prose: His Holy Sonnets are just great. His love poems are generally very good, with a sting in the tail. Prose has interesting titles: "That Women Ought to Paint ... A Defense of Women's Inconstancy ... Why Hath the Common Opinion Afforded Women Soules?" and so on. Very worthwhile.
G. K. Chesterton: The Ballad of the White Horse: "We know he saw athwart the wreck The sign that hangs about your neck Where one more than Melchizedeck Is dead and never dies." How did I live over two decades without reading this? The heavens are opened, and I am forever lost. Magnificent. About King Alfred.
Eliot: Four Quartets: Magnificent and evocative. I understood little, but loved what I understood. He is somewhat of an acquired taste, but very worth acquiring.
T. S. Eliot: The Waste Land: Eccentricy is like an accent--it's what the other person has. Eliot is not eccentric, but insane. This book is brilliant. I think. Hard to tell, really. If his target readers were humans, I don't think that I've met them. I've read this shy of twenty times, and am no nearer to understanding it than the third time (when I successfully translated the German).
C. S. Lewis: Poems: If you don't own this, repent and buy it. Read it with caution, as he didn't even agree with everything he wrote, but for the love of God, read it.
C. S. Lewis: Spirits in Bondage: He published this at the ripe old age of nineteen. Had God not saved Him, he would have been damned with a vengeance. This book is a mixture of screams at God and escapist longings. Brilliant, and very worth reading over and over. Even when he is wrong (the whole bloody book) he is beautifully wrong.
Alexander Pope: Essay on Man: First read when I was sixteen, and I cannot stay away from it. Shattering to any semblance of pride, and taught me more about the Sovereignty of God than I have learned since. Easy read, and immensely worthwhile.
Book Log: non-fiction.
Calvin: Institutes: Wow. Twenty-seven? If I didn't know I was reading his thirty-somethingth revision, I would commit suicide. Brilliant. Absolutely worldclass; a must read.
Leithart: House for my Name: Magnificent information, prose is somewhat thick. Worth working through it the way that Owen is worth the effort. Just astonishing, and the prose isn't at all bad, just not great.
David Hunt: What Love Is This? This is Hunt's critique of Calvinism. Except where he says what Calvinists believe, I agree with the entire book. He says that we believe heresies, and are therefore heretics. Don't know that he ever met a Calvinist, though he does once get a position right--there will be people in hell because God didn't save them. Funny how that's just kinda the position of all orthodox Christians. He would have failed my rhetoric class. Loaded questions, straw man arguments, fallacies of distraction; I had expected better. Oh well.
Tom Wolfe: From Bauhaus to Our House: quite informative and effective. If you're interested in architecture, it will thrill you. If not, do what I did: read it like a sleeping pill.
P. J. O'Rourke: All the Trouble in the World: "Sorry Al (Gore), for 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." That was from the intro. The book is hilarious and very informative (particularly on famines), but with reservations. There is cussing (though quite sporadic) and a few inappropriate spots. Worth reading, but probably not more than once.
Aristotle: On Rhetoric: Brilliant, the way a sewer system is brilliant: well thought out, well designed, but you wouldn't want to spend a lot of time there.
Plato: Gorgias: Very interesting, but shows the fundamental flaw in the highest form of humanistic altruism that can be found: it operates from the assumption that good deeds almost always give pleasure to the doer, and people are fully capable of doing good deeds. The problem is captured, at least partly, by Tozer: "as water can never rise higher than its source, neither can deeds be purer than the motives that cause them" or something to that effect. If you are doing good for the sake of pleasure, the day will come when there will be no pleasure in it. Good must be done for the pleasure of another, and the only way to know that what gives the other one pleasure is actually good is if that other one is God, Good Himself.
How to Read a Book: Ignoring the fact that if you didn't know how to read a book this should be the last book for you to pick up, if you actually followed the advice of this book, you might read another hundred books in your lifetime. Extremely impractical, though some worthwhile information in it.
How to Read Slowly: read it fast, or not at all.
Cicero: Ad Herrenium: Quite good. Frightening in places, as one of the world's greatest orators of all time is telling you how to manipulate massive numbers of people to do your bidding. Leaves you thinking the FBI should track the people who buy this book, not those who make pipe-bombs.