Category Archives: Quotes

To walk

Walk  –  to move along or travel on foot at a moderate rate; to advance in such a manner that at least one foot is always on the ground, but always to advance and not retreat and wallow in the misery of hate.

“To walk the talk,” to set by example that which we demand of others.

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Promenade – pour se marche à pied à un rythme modéré; Pour avancer de telle manière qu’au moins un pied soit toujours sur le sol, mais toujours pour avancer et ne pas reculer et étouffer dans la misère de la haine.

“Faut-il joindre le geste à la parole,” par exemple devenir ce que nous demandons aux autres.

Good company

Il n’y a pas tant d’hommes de bonne fortune comme il y a des jolies femmes pour les méritons. Jane Austin

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My idea of good company is the company of well-informed people who have lots of clever conversation. That is what I call good company.

Lacking that, I find that a good chair will suffice. Alone, to sit in the shade and gaze upon God’s green earth is the most perfect refreshment. There, I can escape the unpleasant thought that there are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them.

Mainly Jane Austin

There are too many quotes on good company to quote them all. I’ll just leave you with this:

En général, l’espoir n’est pas un bon guide, mais il est la bonne compagnie et souvent tout ce que vous avez.

Hope is generally not a good guide but it is good company and too often all you’ve got.

Very big words

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Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. – C. S. Lewis

yes

Choisissez des petits mots, ils sont courts et précis, mais ne dit ‘oui’ quand tu veux dire ‘non’.

The importance of being human

“Ha, ha, ha” is how we write laughter, but it is no substitute for the real thing.

An American English major visiting the chateaux along the Loire, needing mightily take a leak, spots a French pissoir.

Going in he is Russian. Inside he is European. Leaving he’s Finnish.

When done, is he Danish?

Without humans, there would be no humor in the world, no laughter nor guffaws, and not even the hint of a smirk. A bird flying from pole to pole would find, on returning home to his nest for a well earned rest, sadly not even a smile.

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There once was a movie called Truman
That asked, “Is it important to be human?”
Said the fly as he visits the freshly laid turd,
If man was gone from the face of the earth,
Would one cockroach care?

Une fois un film a été appelé Truman
Qui demandé, « Est-il important d’être humain? »
Dit la mouche comme il visite l’étron fraîchement pondus,
Si l’homme avait disparu de la face de la terre,
Voudrais les cafards cesseraient-ils?

Einmal war ein Film Truman genannt
Das fragte: „Ist es wichtig, ein Mensch zu sein?“
Sagte die Fliege, als er die frisch gelegte Kackwurst besucht,
Wenn der Mensch aus der Erde verschwunden,
Würde Kakerlaken unglücklich sein?

loreno (7)

Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost

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Just a word before I go. It seems we are forever saying farewell. Often we say it casually, in which case, “goodbye” is appropriate. Now, if one wants to interject a little feeling into the goodbye, one says “farewell”. “Fare thee well” if one likes pomposity and English verse.

Farewell also suggests a more permanent departure. In the military, staff and friends put on a “hale and farewell” for departing members of a unit. Hail and Farewell being a translation of “ave atque vale”, Gaius Valerius Catullus’ last words of the poem Carmen 101.

All this leads me to the thought that nothing is permanent. Goodbyes and farewells are in order. And as I will be away for a few days, I will just say “goodbye” or maybe “so long”.

Personally I have always like the French way, saying “À bientôt!”

Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay was first published in 1923 and is I believe still under copyright. For that reason, I will quote only the first two lines and the last two in English and give the full translation into French. Therefore, it is an academic study and exempt from copyright laws.

If not, I will hear a “hello” from someone.

Premier vert de la nature est l’or,
Difficile sa teinte à tenir.
Au début sa feuille une fleur;
Seulement si une heure.
Puis la feuille affaisse à la feuille.
Alors Eden a sombré à la douleur,
Comme l’aube va à jour.
Rien de l’or ne restera.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.

So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

butterflies-wide

Mistakes

The unripened grape, the ripe bunch, the raisin, all are changes, not into nothing, but into something which does not exist yet. Marcus Aurelius
Le raisin non mûr, le grappe de raisins, le raisin sec, tous sont des changements, pas dans rien, mais dans quelque chose qui n’existe pas encore. Marcus Aurelius

Which leads me to wonder, ‘If I were I younger and knew what I know now would I not make the same mistakes?’

Si j’étais plus jeune et je savais ce que je sais, n’effectuerais-je pas les mêmes fautes?

Mistakes happened and books were written, knowledge exists and lessons are taught, and history will still repeat itself.

boy-2

The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, 167 A.C.E.

Book Two

Begin each morning saying to thyself, ‘The busy-body, ingrate, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial, all these beings happen by reason of ignorance of what is good. But I who have seen the beauty of good and the ugliness of bad, and the nature of him who does wrong; they exist as do I, but I can not be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, for we are made to act jointly, like feet, hands, and eyelids, like the chatter of the teeth. To act against one another is contrary to nature, to be vexed and turned away.’

Tous sont fous, sauf moi, mais, avec toi, je dois ensemble toujours coexister.

Living color

 

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Nuance

Language is nuanced. Can you spot the differences and would you suggest others?

The valley is green, the hills are blue, the sun is a bright, bright yellow.
Here I stand, camera in hand saying to everyone and no one, hello.

La vallée est verte, les collines sont bleues, le soleil est un brillant, jaune vif.
Ici je me tiens, la caméra en main disant à tout le monde et personne, comment allez-vous?

Das Tal ist grün, die Hügel sind blau, die Sonne ist hell, hellgelb.
Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders, die Kamera in Hand, für jedem und niemandem, Wer sagt hallo?

Ves más allá?
El valle es verde, las colinas son azules, el sol es un amarillo brillante, brillante..

Aquí estoy, la cámara en la mano diciendo a nadie y todo el mundo, hola.

 

 

Silence

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?
The Scarecrow from Oz”

In the Land of Oz, silence is the most misunderstood art of conversation, and loneliness the most steadfast companion.

Silence c’est le mot le plus mal compris, et la solitude le compagnon le plus ferme. Je trouve, Certaines personnes sans cerveaux parlent souvent beaucoup trop, tu ne penses pas ?

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Dans la terre d’Oz on cherche la sagesse.

Oz is a mythical place where one goes to seek wisdom. I say “goes”, but I do not reply that one “finds” the answer. For that one must be willing to listen. More than that, one must know to whom and where to listen.

Changement

Alors pourquoi les Français aiment-ils à dire, “On ne change pas”?

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“Le monde déteste le changement, mais c’est la seule chose qui a apporté des progrès.”Charles Kettering.

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that [brings] progress.” Moreover, the only thing we can’t change is change itself, for it is inevitable in the progress of life. And what is this thing we call change? It is not something we can touch, though it can be felt. It can not be seen with the naked eye, but must be sensed. Change is the process of moving from moment to moment and then measuring the difference.

Never a good war

Once again it is Veterans Day.

My thoughts turn to my father and grandfather who served in the past two world wars. War is not an easy thing to discuss. It is paid for with human lives and often achieves very little. It is always tragic for those for pay the supreme sacrifice and for their families and love ones.

Sometimes, however, war becomes a necessary thing.

War is not something to be taken lightly or to be engaged in without deep thought and consideration. The price is never paid by those who make the decision to enter war. The price is paid by the patriotic men and women who selflessly serve their country. We may put up monuments to their lives, but that should never be enough.

We should act to make their sacrifice worthwhile.

Remember what Benjamin Franklin said in a letter written in 1783:

“Never was there a good war or bad peace.”
“Jamais une bonne guerre ou une mauvaise paix.”

Franklins’s full statement from War and Peace, is as follows:

I JOIN with you most cordially in rejoicing at the return of peace. I hope it will be lasting, and that mankind will at length, as they call themselves reasonable creatures, have reason enough to settle their differences without cutting throats; for, in my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace. What vast additions to the conveniences and comforts of life might mankind have acquired, if the money spent in wars had been employed in works of utility! What an extension of agriculture, even to the tops of the mountains; what rivers rendered navigable, or joined by canals; what bridges, aqueducts, new roads, and other public works, edifices and improvements, rendering England a complete paradise, might not have been obtained by spending those millions in doing good, which in the last war have been spent in doing mischief—in bringing misery into thousands of families, and destroying the lives of so many working people, who might have performed the useful labors.

***

Je m’associe avec vous la plus cordiale allégresse en réjouissant du retour de la paix. J’espère qu’elle durera, et que l’humanité finira par se raisonner, comme ils se disent des créatures raisonnables, pour régler leurs querelles sans couper la gorge; Car, à mon avis, il n’y a jamais eu une bonne guerre ni une mauvaise paix. Quels agrandissements aux convenances et aux conforts de la vie pouvaient avoir les hommes, si l’argent dépensé dans les guerres avait été employé dans des travaux d’utilité! Quelle extension de l’agriculture, même au sommet des montagnes; Quels fleuves rendus navigables, ou joints par des canaux; Les ponts, les aqueducs, les nouvelles routes, les autres ouvrages publics, les édifices et les améliorations, qui font de l’Angleterre un paradis complet, n’auraient pas été obtenus en dépensant ces millions à faire le bien, qui, dans la dernière guerre, La misère en milliers de familles et la destruction de la vie de tant de travailleurs qui auraient pu accomplir les travaux utiles.