Monday, June 2, 2014

Quotations from the past

In September 1895 Frances Glessner began collecting quotations in a book she labeled simply “Volume No. 1 Quotations.”  Over the next 34 years, she filled 194 pages with more than 1,200 quotations gathered from a variety of sources.  Most are written in her own hand, a few are clipped from periodicals.  Reading through the quotations provides a great deal of insight into her character, and the values that she considered most important in her life.  It is believed that the quotations were gathered to be shared with her family over breakfast.
Five quotations, written on the first page following the title page, were presented in an article on this blog published May 20, 2013.  In this installment, we provide a number of additional quotes for thought and reflection.  Some are light-hearted and are included because they elicited a laugh, but some have a much deeper meaning.  Quotations such as these were often inserted in newspapers and periodicals to fill empty space or were gathered together into columns with such lofty names as “Grains of Gold” and “Sententious Sayings.”  In many cases they were unattributed. 

“All persons are requested and positively prohibited not to cross this bridge with more than one horse in two directions at the same time.”

“According to Dr. Darwin and others, it takes a monkey thousands of years to make a man of himself, but a man can make a monkey of himself in a minute.”

“Some people complain because there are thorns on the roses.  For my part, I am glad there are roses on the thorns.”

“Even the elephant is not too large to concentrate his mind upon a peanut.”

“Society is what people are when they think they are watched.”

“Society is made up of concealments and the one who is most adept is the leader.”
(From the Chicago newspaper The Inter Ocean, December 24, 1893)

“All things come to him who waits.”

The next quote reads:
“All things come to him who knows when to stop waiting.”

“God has never tried to make a man who would please his neighbors.”

“It is always surprising how much deeper a hole is after one gets into it.”

“The man who points out our faults is a true friend, but we feel like knocking him down just the same.”
(Notation written in after quote – “Not always.”  The quote is attributed to the American humorist Josh Billings, 1818-1885, who wrote under the name Henry Wheeler Shaw.)

“The man who seeks your friendship has a motive in view; the woman who does so has two or three of them.”

“It is better to know less than to know so much that isn’t so.”

“Women are like religion: you take them on faith, or not at all.”

“I prefer the wicked rather than the foolish: the wicked sometimes rest.”
(Alexandre Dumas, 1802-1870, the French writer best known for his novels including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.)

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