Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 75)

It's been a very busy week, but I'm really enjoying school. I've been deep in reading and writing mode, so instead of any original thoughts, I'll just share others' thoughts that I've encountered this week.

1. Ben Franklin on the Constitution: “I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an Assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another's throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best.”

2. Edgar Rice Burroughs, from Tarzan of the Apes: “‘There could be but one suitable reply to your assertion, Mr. Clayton,’ she said icily. ‘and I regret that I am not a man, that I might make it.’ She turned quickly and entered the cabin. Clayton was an Englishman, so the girl had passed quite out of sight before he deduced what reply a man would have made.”

3. H.G. Wells, from The Time Machine: “Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough—as most wrong theories are.”

4. G.K. Chesterton, from Orthodoxy: “The modern young man will never change his environment; for he will always change his mind.”

5. G.K. Chesterton, from Orthodoxy: “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to them being disqualified by the accident of death.” 

6. Fredrick Jackson Turner, from “The West and American Ideals:  “The appeal of the undiscovered is strong in America. For three centuries the fundamental process in its history was the westward movement, the discovery and occupation of the vast free spaces of the continent. We are the first generation of Americans who can look back upon that era as a historic movement now coming to its end. Other generations have been so much a part of it that they could hardly comprehend its significance. To them it seemed inevitable. The free land and the natural resources seemed practically inexhaustible. Nor were they aware of the fact that their most fundamental traits, their institutions, even their ideals were shaped by this interaction between the wilderness and themselves.”


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