I Wish I’d Said That.

Dr. Boli’s Occasional Journal of Quotations.



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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