I Wish I’d Said That.

Dr. Boli’s Occasional Journal of Quotations.



The Play of Children and the Play of Adults.

St. Augustine

For we wanted not, O Lord, memory or wit, which thou wast pleased we should have in proportion to our age: but we were fond of play; and we were punished for it by them, that were doing no better; but the boys-play of those that are grown up is named business; whilst the equal toys of children are punished by them, and no one pities the children, or them, or both. For who is he that weighing things well, will justify my being beaten when I was a boy, for playing at ball, because by that play I was hindered from learning so quickly those arts, with which, when grown up, I should play far worse; as he was in the mean while doing, by whom I was corrected, who, if overcome in some petty dispute by his fellow teacher, was more racked with choler and envy, than I was when out done by my play-fellow in a game at ball?

——Augustine, Confessions I.9, translated by Richard Challoner.

Thoughts on African Colonization.

Pittsburgh, (Pa.,) Sept. 1, 1831.

At a large and respectable meeting of the colored citizens of Pittsburgh, convened at the African Methodist Episcopal church, for the purpose of expressing their views in relation to the American Colonization Society, Mr J. B. Vashon was called to the chair, and Mr. R. Bryan appointed secretary. The object of the meeting was then stated at considerable length, and in an appropriate manner, by the chairman. The following resolutions were then unanimously adopted:

* * *

Resolved, That we, the colored people of Pittsburgh and citizens of these United States, view the country in which we live as our only true and proper home. We are just as much natives here as the members of the Colonization Society. Here we were born—here bred—here are our earliest and most pleasant associations—here all that binds man to earth, and makes life valuable. And we do consider every colored man who allows himself to be colonized in Africa, or elsewhere, a traitor to our cause.

Resolved, That we are freemen, that we are brethren, that we are countrymen and fellow-citizens, and as fully entitled to the free exercise of the elective franchise as any men who breathe; and that we demand an equal share of protection from our federal government with any class of citizens in the community. We now inform the Colonization Society, that should our reason forsake us, then we may desire to remove. We will apprise them of this change in due season.

——Quoted in Thoughts on African Colonization by William Lloyd Garrison, 1832.

Big Words, Small Meaning.

I know not whether they work that in others, which they doe in mee. But when I heare our Archi­tects mouth-out those bigge and ratling words of Pilas­ters, Arhi­traves, Cornixes, Frontis­pieces, Corin­thians, and Dorike workes and such-like fustian-termes of theirs, I cannot let my wandering imagi­na­tion from a soddaine appre­hension of Apolli­donius his pallace, and I finde by effect, that they are the seche, and decayed peeces of my Kitchin-doore. Doe but heare one pronounce Meto­nomia, Meta­phore, Alle­gory, Ætymol­ogie, and other such trash-names of Grammer, would you not thinke, they meant some forme of a rare and strange language? They are titles and wordes, that concern your chamber-maides tittle-tattle.

——Montaigne, Essays, translated by John Florio: The first Booke, the one and fiftieth chapter. Of the vanitie of Wordes.

Byron on Studying Armenian.

Four years ago the French instituted an Armenian pro­fes­sor­ship. Twenty pupils pre­sented them­selves on Monday morning, full of noble ardor, ingenuous youth, and impreg­nable industry. They persevered, with a courage worthy of the nation and of universal conquest, till Thurs­day; when fifteen of the twenty suc­cumbed to the six-and-twentieth letter of the alphabet. It is, to be sure, a Waterloo of an alphabet—that must be said for them.

——Lord Byron’s Armenian Exercises and Poetry.

Wiser than Our Fathers.

James K. Paulding

It tickles human vanity to tell us that we are wiser than our fathers; and it is one of those propo­sitions which is likely to pass without contra­diction, from the circum­stance that all those most interested in denying it are dead and gone. But if the grave could speak, and the church­yards vote upon the question, we living boasters would be in a most pitiful minority.

——James K. Paulding, The Merry Tales of the Three Wise Men of Gotham.

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