I Wish I’d Said That.

Dr. Boli’s Occasional Journal of Quotations.

Artemus Ward on the Ballot.

I’ve no objection to ev’ry intelligent man votin’ if he wants to. It’s a pleasant amoosement, no doubt; but there is those whose igrance is so dense and loathsum that they shouldn’t be trustid with a ballit any more’n one of my trained serpunts should be trusted with a child to play with.

——Artemus Ward, London Punch Letters.

The Grand Principle of Education.

It is the Business of the Master to make all Things as easy as possible, and not to frighten Youth from Books and Study, by putting unnecessary Difficulties upon them. The not attending duly to this grand Principle of Education, but rather affecting a quite contrary Conduct, and forcing them, by the Terror of the Lash, to hammer out their Business in a poor bungling Manner by themselves, has been the Occasion that many, who have run through our Schools, and whose Business in the World requires they should be Scholars, have but a very sorry Pittance of Learning to support that Character.

——John Clarke, Preface to Eutropius.

The Danger of the Military.

On the period of near-anarchy in the Roman Empire of the third century:

It was seen then as it has so often been seen since in the history of the world, that if once the interests of the military profession are allowed to become a paramount consideration in politics, it soon ceases to be an efficient instrument even for its own purpose of scientific manslaughter.

——Thomas Hodgkin, Italy and Her Invaders, introduction.

Diogenes the Cynic on Beggars and Philosophers.

Someone asked Diogenes why people gave to beggars, but not to philosophers. 

He answered, “Because they think it’s possible that they themselves might become lame and blind, but they don’t expect that they’ll ever end up philosophers.”

——Diogenes Laertius, Lives of the Philosophers.

Artemus Ward on Shakespeare.

William Shakspeare was born in Stratford in 1564. All the commentaters, Shaksperian scholars, etsetry, are agreed on this, which is about the only thing they are agreed on in regard to him, except that his mantle hasn’t fallen onto any poet or dramatist hard enough to hurt said poet or dramatist much. And there is no doubt if these commentaters and persons continner investigating Shakspeare’s career, we shall not, in doo time, know anything about it at all.

——Artemus Ward, London Punch Letters.

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