Today’s Quotes

July 22, 2016

Excerpts from a letter by Adam Smith, LL.D., to William Strahan, Esq., about the death of David Hume.

November 9, 1776

DEAR SIR,

adam-smithIt is with a real, though a very melancholy pleasure, that I sit down to give you some account of the behaviour or our late excellent friend, Mr. Hume, during his last illness . . . . His cheerfulness was so great, and his conversation and amusements run so much in their usual strain, that, notwithstanding all bad symptoms, many people could not believe he was dying . . . . But, though Mr. Hume always talked of his approaching dissolution with great cheerfulness, he never affected to make any parade of his magnanimity. He never mentioned the subject but when the conversation naturally led to it, and never dwelt longer upon it than the course of the conversation happened to require: it was a subject indeed which occurred pretty frequently, in consequence of the inquires which these friends, who came to see him, naturally made concerning the state of his health . . . .

thThus died our most excellent, and never to be forgotten friend; concerning whose philosophical opinions men will, no doubt, judge variously, every one approving, or condemning them, according as they happen to coincide or disagree with his own; but concerning whose character and conduct there can scarce be a difference of opinion. His temper, indeed seemed to be more happily balanced, if I may be allowed such an expression, than that perhaps of any other man I have ever known. Even in the lowest state of his fortune, his great and necessary frugality never hindered him from exercising, upon proper occasions, acts both of charity and generosity. It was a frugality founded, not upon avarice, but upon the love of independency. The extreme gentleness of his nature never weakened either the firmness of his mind, or the steadiness of his resolutions. His constant pleasantry was the genuine effusion of good-nature, tempered with delicacy and modesty, and without even the slightest tincture of malignity, so frequently the disagreeable source of what is called wit in other men. It never was the meaning of his raillery to mortify; and therefore, far from offending, it seldom failed to please and delight, even those who were the objects of it. To his friends, who were frequently the objects of it, there was not perhaps any one of all his great and amiable qualities, which contributed more to endear his conversation. And that gaiety of temper, so agreeable in society, but which is so often accompanied with frivolous and superficial qualities, was in him certainly attended with the most severe application, the most extensive learning, the greatest depth of thought, and a capacity in every respect the most comprehensive. Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit.

Adam Smith


Today’s Gag?

July 15, 2016

TRUMP:BlogClick image to enlarge. (This is a repost from 3/22/16) To buy reprint rights for this cartoon, visit my archives at cartoonstock.com, and jantoo.com. You may also have this cartoon reproduced on mugs, t-shirts and other products. Here’s the link: http://www.zazzle.com/

Copyright © 2016 Jim Sizemore.

Today’s Gag

July 7, 2016

Stains9911:BlogClick image to enlarge. To buy reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, visit my archives at cartoonstock.com, and jantoo.com. You may also have this cartoon reproduced on mugs, t-shirts and other products. Here’s the link for that service: http://www.zazzle.com


Summer Solstice

June 29, 2016

Sun-2:right

What more could we have asked, so long ago,
than this, this endless noon, this cloudless sky,
idyllic, constant, calm? How could we know
we’d weary of that bright, unblinking eye?
Such blessings grow oppressive, and this grace
now lays upon us torpor like a pall;
each languid move, each whispered word, each trace
of breath–the weight of hours has stilled them all.
Life teeters on the fulcrum of the sun
until the course of nature drags it down,
progressing slowly through the vacant plain
to that last, passing point where we are shown
a shaft of light between two standing stones–
a sign–before the longest day is done.

Florence Newman, Professor emerita
Department of English, Towson University


Prose Styles Gone Wild, #1

June 24, 2016

This headed the menu at Richard’s Restaurant in Baltimore, 1983.

RICHARD’S MISSION

Our mission is a simple one. To Please your palate and to sooth you aesthetically. To make the drinking and dining experience singularly pleasurable to you and your friends as well as those you send to us. If we do not, you must let us know and know why. Remember, it is you, our client, whom it is felt by us, one and all, that on account of you, pay the bill, hence, therefore, you are only the most primary important and very gorgeous person with whom we do business.


Today’s Quotes

June 20, 2016

th-1“(. . . working on a play.) You do the first job as neatly as you can: She comes in. Then you do the next job: He sees her. And so on. It’s an extraordinarily useful lesson.”

“Elaine May has a wonderful motto: ‘The only safe thing is to take a chance.’ “I think she means that if you stay safe, and don’t take a chance — don’t do something that’s different from the last thing,  something that makes you nervous and holds dangers — if you keep trying to do the thing that worked last time, the encrustations of mannerisms begin to take you over. And pretty soon you’re no good at all — and therefore not safe at all. The longer you play it safe, the less interesting is what you do.”

Mike Nichols, the Director’s Art, by Barbara Gelb

NYT Magazine, May 27, 1984


Cartooning Tip #6

June 13, 2016

ToonQuote:Houghton-lzClick image to enlarge. This cartoon tip originally appeared in the January-February 2016 issue of The Cartoon!st, the newsletter of the National Cartoonists Society. All series images and texts are copyright © 2016 by the artist.


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