The chief consequence of setting up the Holyrood parliament has been that 129 Scottish villages are missing their idiots.
I asked what he meant, and he said, 'I've had a long talk with a
Catholic--a very pious, well-educated one--and I've learned a thing or
two. For instance, that you have to sleep with your feet pointing East
because that's the direction of heaven, and if you die in the night
you can walk there. Now I'll sleep with my feet pointing any way that
suits Julia, but d'you expect a grown man to believe about walking to
heaven? And what about the Pope who made one of his horses a cardinal?
And what about the box you keep in the church porch, and if you put in
a pound note with someone's name on it, they get sent to Hell? I don't
say there mayn't be a good reason for all this,' he said, 'but you
ought to tell me about it and not let me find out for myself.'
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
Listening to Philip Glass is about as rewarding as chewing gum that's
lost its flavour, and they're not dissimilar activities.
If I am to discuss what is wrong, one of the first things that are
wrong is this: the deep and silent modern assumption that past things
have become impossible. There is one metaphor of which the moderns are
very fond; they are always saying, "You can't put the clock back." The
simple and obvious answer is "You can." A clock, being a piece of
human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure
or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction,
can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed.
G.K. Chesterton (What's wrong with the world)
I believe that our Olympic athletes and everybody else in our country will remember that all the year round you show exactly the same courage, professionalism and dedication...
Some of you may have heard of Field Marshal Montgomery and at the battle of Allemagne, just before it, in the Second World War he spoke to his troops.
Gordon Brown, patronising the troops in Afghanistan, August 2008
If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.
Thomas De Quincey (Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts)
Nobody can spoil a life, my dear. That's nonsense. Things happen, but we bob up.
John Galsworthy (To Let)
The wanting, and the more, and the porridge.
Two-year old relative of Clive James.
It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer now posing as a fakir, well-known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the vice-regal palace.
You should make a point of trying every experience once, except incest and folk-dancing.
Prizes are for little boys, and I'm a grown-up.
Charles Ives (attrib.)
The tumult and the shouting dies, The captains and the kings depart, And we are left with large supplies Of cold blancmange and rhubarb tart.Last two lines by Ronald Knox, first two from Kipling's Recessional
To go in on an ad-homonym attack in the way they have indicates to me a level of desperation that indicates just how bad things have gone for the government.
Simon Davies, as misquoted on the BBC web site (now corrected)
To me the world Strindberg created is like some enclosed launderette of the spirit -- the underwear goes round and round but the water has been turned off.
The Listener, 1968.
I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don't know into what religion yet.
Awa' wi' ye, ye krankie. Stop your barmie noddle. I'll tak' nae more of your fancy billy-connolly. Go lauder yourself on the low road before I gi'e ye a motherwelling ye'll nae forget.
Oliver Pritchett (Scots wha hae and put yon bluidy fag out)
'What was that she said, Jeeves?'
'Yoicks, sir, if I am not mistaken. It seemed to me that Madam also added Tally-ho, Gone away and Hark forrard.'
'I suppose members of the Quorn and the Pytchley are saying that sort of thing all the time.'
'So I understand, sir. It encourages the hounds to renewed efforts. It must, of course, be trying for the fox.'
P.G. Wodehouse (Much obliged, Jeeves)
We didn't talk in metaphors in my day. We didn't beat about the bush.
We will not introduce 'top-up' fees and have legislated to prevent them.
The Labour Party manifesto, 2001
People always say: "You're a comedian, tell us a joke." They don't
say: "You're an MP, tell us a lie."
The 't' is silent as in 'Harlow'.
Margot Asquith, explaining the pronunciation of her Christian name to Jean Harlow
Astrology proves only one thing, namely that
there is one born every minute.
Patrick Moore (attrib.)
There was held at an inn in that county town a weekly meeting of a
festive, almost a riotous character, of a society of gentlemen who
called themselves the Buccaneers. Some of the choice spirits of
Chatteris belonged to this cheerful club.
W.M. Thackeray (Pendennis)
Simply admitting it
doesn't minimise the fact that she is a shallow,
blundering, confused, thick, morally contorted political
push-over and mental bankrupt. And so, it's important
that, the more she admits to it, the more must everyone
keep accusing her of it, but even louder.
Armando Iannucci (of Clare Short M.P.) 21.3.03
Enough gullible Americans want to get rich
quick, lose weight or increase their sexual
potency to make sending billions of e-mails a
worthwhile business expense.
Bill Thompson (BBC)
Our national nostrum, Not Proven..a verdict which has been construed
by the profane to mean 'Not Guilty, but don't do it again'.
W. Roughhead (Art of Murder)
O Lord our God arise, Scatter her enemies And make them fall; Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks, On Thee our hopes we fix, God save us all!The second (censored) verse of the National Anthem
Their painted faces guard and guide. Now or Tomorrow or whenever is the promise -- The resurrection comes: fix your eyes halfway Between Heaven and Diss.Peter Porter (An angel in Blythburgh church)
Nature, it seems, is the popular name for milliards and milliards and milliards of particles playing their infinite game of billiards and billiards and billiards.Piet Hein (Atomyriades)
"You haven't told me yet," said Lady Nuttal, "what it is your fiancé does for a living."
"He's a statistician," replied Lamia, with an annoying sense of being on the defensive.
Lady Nuttal was obviously taken aback. It had not occurred to her that statisticians entered into normal social relationships. The species, she would have surmised, was perpetuated in some collateral manner, like mules.
"But Aunt Sara, it's a very interesting profession," said Lamia warmly.
"I don't doubt it," said her aunt, who obviously doubted it very much. "To express anything important in mere figures is so plainly impossible that there must be endless scope for well-paid advice on how to do it. But don't you think that life with a statistician would be rather, shall we say, humdrum?"
Lamia was silent. She felt reluctant to discuss the surprising depth of emotional possibility which she had discovered below Edward's numerical veneer.
"It's not the figures themselves," she said finally. "it's what you do with them that matters."
Attrib. K.A.C. Manderville, The undoing of Lamia Gurdleneck, in Kendall and Stuart's The Advanced Theory of Statistics. (Spot the anagrams of Maurice G. Kendall and Alan Stuart!)
Your manuscript, sir, is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
I am not so young as I was once, and I don't believe I shall ever be, if I live to the age of Samson, which, heaven knows as well as I do, I don't want to, for I wouldn't be a centurion or an octagon and survive my factories and become idiomatic by any means. But then there is no knowing how a thing will turn out until it takes place, and we shall come to an end some day, though we may never live to see it.
Benjamin P. Shillaber (the "Mrs Partington" books)
A complicated gentleman allow to present, Of all the arts and faculties the terse embodiment, He's a great arithmetician who can demonstrate with ease That two and two are three or five or anything you please; An eminent Logician who can make it clear to you That black is white--when looked at from the proper point of view; A marvellous Philologist who'll undertake to show That "yes" is but another and a neater form of "no". All preconceived ideas on any subject I can scout, And demonstrate beyond all possibility of doubt, That whether you're an honest man or whether you're a thief Depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief.W.S. Gilbert (Utopia Limited)
A stats major was
completely hung over the day of his final exam. It was a True/False
test, so he decided to flip a coin for the answers. The stats
professor watched the student the entire two hours as he was flipping
the coin...writing the answer...flipping the coin...writing the
answer. At the end of the two hours, everyone else had left the final
except for the one student. The professor walks up to his desk and
interrupts the student, saying: "Listen, I have seen that you did not
study for this statistics test, you didn't even open the exam. If you
are just flipping a coin for your answer, what is taking you so long?
The student replies bitterly (as he is still flipping the coin):
"Shhh! I am checking my answers!"
Sentence first, verdict afterwards.
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
At the age of seven, Carl Friedrich Gauss started elementary school,
and his potential was noticed almost immediately.
Quoted in the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive
If there is a problem you can't solve, then there is an easier problem
you can't solve: find it.
G. Pólya (How to solve it)
I know that journalism
largely consists in saying "Lord Jones Dead" to people who never knew
that Lord Jones was alive.
G.K. Chesterton (The Wisdom of Father Brown, The Purple Wig)
The accursed power which stands on privilege (And goes with Women and Champagne and Bridge) Broke - and Democracy resumed her reign: (Which goes with Bridge, and Women and Champagne).Hilaire Belloc
I suppose if Gladstone and Disraeli were around today they
would be known as Bill and Ben.
James Anderson (Sunday Telegraph, 1.7.01)
Was none who would be foremost To lead such dire attack; But those behind cried, "Forward!" And those before cried, "Back!"Lord Macaulay, Lays of ancient Rome
The chapter on the Fall of the Rupee
you may omit. It is somewhat too sensational.
Oscar Wilde, The importance of being earnest
Gin a body meet a body Flyin' through the air, Gin a body hit a body, Will it fly? and where? Ilka impact has its measure, Ne'er a ane hae I, Yet a' the lads they measure me, Or, at least, they try.James Clerk Maxwell
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always To be Blest.
Alexander Pope (Essay on Man, Epistle 1, 1.95)
Why should the public on this issue
believe you, a transient, here today and, if I may say so, gone
tomorrow politician rather than a senior officer of many years'
Robin Day to John Nott
Why should a man of your social position and charm and
personality have to go to whores for sex?
Robin Day to Lord Lambton
Can I get this question in prime minister, because we're having an
interview, which must depend on me asking some questions
Robin Day to Margaret Thatcher
There, an't shall please you; a foolish mild man; an honest man, look you, and soon dashed. He is a marvellous good neighbour, faith, and a very good bowler: but, for Alisander,---alas, you see how 'tis,---a little o'erparted.William Shakespeare (Love's Labour's Lost, V.2)
The King, observing with judicious eyes, The state of both his universities, To Oxford sent a troop of horse, for why? That learned body wanted loyalty; To Cambridge books, as very well discerning How much that loyal body wanted learning.Joseph Trapp, On George I's Donation of the Bishop of Ely's Library to Cambridge University
The King to Oxford sent a troop of horse, For Tories own no argument but force. With equal skill to Cambridge books he sent For Whigs admit no force but argument.Sir William Browne, Reply to Trapp's epigram
Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label
on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before
the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document
written on another computer, another word processor, or another
Tim Berners-Lee, in Technology Review, July 1996
When the Times reported that Rudyard Kipling was to be
paid £1 a word for an article, an Oxford undergraduate
sent Kipling £1 and asked, 'Please send us one of your
best words'. He replied, 'Thanks'.
Quoted in "Scientists Must Write", by Robert Barrass.
'My dear, a rich vocabulary is the true hallmark of every
intellectual person. Here now'---she burrowed into the
mess on her bedside table and brought forth another pad
and pencil---'every time I say a word, or you hear a
word, that you don't understand, write it down and I'll
tell you what it means. Then you can memorize it and soon
you'll have a decent vocabulary. Oh the adventure,' she
cried ecstactically, 'of moulding a little new life!' She
made another sweeping gesture that somehow went wrong
because she knocked over the coffee-pot and I immediately
wrote down six new words which Auntie Mame said to
scratch out and forget about.
Patrick Dennis, "Auntie Mame"
In Middlesbrough the unemployed huddle in frowzy beds, bread and
marg and milkless tea in their bellies.
George Orwell, "Keep the aspidistra flying"
A professor is one who can speak on any subject -- for precisely fifty
I should add only that, when I first subscribed to e-mail,
my system was clogged because 2,500 American high school students sent
me an e-mail asking about politics in Britain. E-mail does not solve
all communications problems.
John Battle M.P., quoted in Hansard
'There goes C.S. Lewis,' said Fen suddenly. 'It must be Tuesday.'
Edmund Crispin, "Swan Song"
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance
in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year
old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether
stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled, and I make no doubt that it
will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.
Jonathan Swift, "A Modest Proposal"
In due course I was invited to meet one of the original five
students who in 1869 joined the first College for Women, then at
Benslow House, Hitchin; in 1873 it moved to within two miles of
Cambridge and was renamed Girton College. Emily Gibson, Mrs
Townshend, an exquisitely pretty old white-haired lady of eighty,
observed, 'I will give you a piece of useful advice, my dears. If
ever you have to go to prison take a change of underclothes, so
that they will know you are a lady; and say you are a vegetarian
-- the food is better if you do.' In the cause of women's
suffrage, she had spent a fortnight in Holloway jail.
Muriel Bradbrook (an ex-Mistress of Girton)
The only thing to be said in favour of this book is its
labour-saving, cost-effective design in which a combination of
small type and narrow margins ensures that the reader goes blind
before he goes mad.
John Naughton (Observer, 1988) reviewing "Hurricane Force" by George Hill.
In Lucy Ellman's mouth the expletive is not a toad but something
delicate: if not a flower, then a leaf of Rapunzel's salad.
Nicholas Shakespeare (Sunday Telegraph Magazine)
A lawyer is a man who, when two people are fighting over an
oyster, sucks out the contents, and gives the shell to the
contenders, half each.
The Chubb mortice has a total of 17,000 computations and
Frederick Forsyth (The Fourth Protocol)
If you removed all the four-letter words which are Donleavy's
substitute for comedy, this 400-page tome would be halved in
size. If you then removed all the remaining words, you would have
the basis for a promising novel.
Paul Taylor (review of "Are you listening Rabbi Low" in Sunday Times)
At lunchtime on Thursday Michael Fish, speaking on BBC
television, gave what may become the most celebrated wrong
forecast in history. He said: "Earlier on today, apparently, a
woman rang the BBC and said that she heard that there was a
hurricane on the way. Well, if you are watching, don't worry:
Quoted in the Sunday Times 18.10.87
If your doctor tells you to go abroad at once you can always
settle for sunny Torquay instead. If your solicitor suggests you
go abroad, you'd be wise to make for Heathrow immediately.
P.D.James (The skull beneath the skin)
A man was charged at Hamilton sheriff court with wasting
firemen's time after he'd made some false-alarm calls.
The court ordered 13 firemen to appear at 9.30 a.m. as
witnesses. They all waited until 1 p.m., when they were told they
weren't needed and could go home.
Sunday Post, Scotland
This is how Tam Dalyell is feeling -- about the Belgrano, about Westland, the miners' strike, Libya, GCHQ, Zircon, the Peter Wright affair... this book is really just a cry of rage: "I was right -- surely you can see -- look, here is the evidence -- let's go through it all carefully again -- how can anyone disagree..?" But the thrust of the book, and the detailed evidence assembled, are for the most part familiar. Writing it all up, again, and publishing it in this way, is just one more try at persuading somebody (I don't think Mr Dalyell is quite sure whom) to say: "Yes, Tam, you were right. Off with Maggie's head!"
How he loathes Mrs Thatcher. She is variously called pig-headed, a fishwife, and a mass murderess as the story proceeds. This element of personal vendetta seriously weakens his case because -- for all that he rests it upon alleged facts -- his gravest charges rely upon his imputing to her the worst imaginable motives consistent with those facts. One has to say -- without denying that his allegations of facts need answering -- that there is a certain sleight-of-hand here.
Matthew Parris (Review of 'MISRULE - How Mrs Thatcher has misled Parliament from the sinking of the Belgrano to the Wright affair' by Tam Dalyell, 1987)
Jelly babies depicting the Holy Family on sale in West Germany
have been described by the country's Catholic bishops as
Catholic Herald (quoted in Punch 1987)
PLEASE NO EXPLANATIONS IN THE CHURCH
Seen in a church in Israel
Avagardo's Law. What goes up must come down.
When at night most people are stationary and thus using less oxygen the plants reverse their cycle to give out carbon dioxide and so keep this 28% fairly constant.
Aluminium is used in air craft as it is a very light metal, it is able to be supported by air, otherwise if it was a heavy metal it would fall to the ground.
'What is meant by the term "dehydration"?'
If I wanted to dehydrate a plum, I would heat it gently in an oven, this would remove the water. I would be left with a disgusting dried plum.
It is exceedingly dangerous to use a methane-burning appliance in a badly-ventilated room e.g. One without any windows which actually open or one without any doors which would be a bit silly wouldn't it because you wouldn't be able to enter into the room unless being a worm which could enter through a crack in the floor. But you aren't _likely_ to be a worm so that's no use.
Quoted in 'H2O and all that' by Martyn Berry
There is nothing evil or degrading in believing oneself a teapot,
but it argues a certain inaccuracy of the thought processes.
P.G. Wodehouse (The coming of Bill)
My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings, Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease. Another view of man my second brings, Behold him there, the monarch of the seas! But ah! united, what reverse we have! Man's boasted power and freedom, all are flown: Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave, And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone. Thy ready wit the word will soon supply, May its approval beam in that soft eye!Jane Austen (Emma) (Courtship)
Mr Xu Xin, chairman of the China National Advertising
Association, said: "The phonetic translation of the slogan chosen
by the Coca Cola company meant 'Bite the Wax Tadpole'. I altered
this to mean 'Let your Teeth Rejoice'."
Quoted in Private Eye 25/7/86
We of course take it as axiomatic that this [Category Theory] is
the appropriate foundational language for mathematics and
theoretical computer science...
CUCS book library
Jon Fairbairn, room 208 Computer Laboratory, looks after the CUCS library. It doesn't at present contain any books, though.
Cambridge University Computer Society Help File
This generalization of the projection results provides an answer
to a picturesque question posed by the author: 'Can one construct
a digital sundial?' It is, at least in theory, possible to
construct a set in R^3 such that at (almost) all times of day the
shadow of the set gives the digits of the time (to within area
K. Falconer, Sets with prescribed projections and Nikodym sets, Proc. London Math. Soc. (3), 53 (1986), 49.
I curse ye by a right line, a crooked line, a simple and a
broken. By flame, by wind, by water, by a mass, by rain, and by
clay. By a flying thing, by a creeping thing, by a serpent. By an
eye, by a hand, by a foot, by a crown, by a crest, by a sword and
by a scourge I curse ye. Haade, Mikaded, Rakeben, Rika, Ritalica,
Tasarith, Modeca, Rabert, Tuth, Tumch.
Margery Allingham (Look to the lady)
We apologise for the fact that in the title of the Tensors talk
in the last newsletter, the words "theoretical physics" came out
as "impossible ideas"
Archimedeans' Newsletter 30.1.86
Hedgehogs are handy to have about the home. Easy to store, unlike
sperm whales or rhinoceroses, the hedgehog fits neatly in a box
in your corner cupboard ready for any emergency. Hardwearing and
requiring nothing more than a daily saucer of milk, you'll find
hedgehogs fun to use and amazingly economical.
Origin unknown (children's book)
I could not morally recommend weird chemicals, alchoholic
excesses or gratuitous violence to ANYONE as a means to mental
stability ... but I must admit I'm doing pretty well on them.
Alan Mycroft (?)
Nudist welfare man's model wife fell for the Chinese hypnotist
from the Co-op bacon factory
News of the World headline c. 1971.
...when a party of six are seated in a carriage, the chances are
that one given person will be next to or opposite to any other
Trollope (Phineas Redux)
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him. He who knows not and knows that he knows not can be taught. Teach him. He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep. Wake him. He who knows and knows that he knows is a prophet. Follow him.Origin unknown.
When one reflects what a deal of harm a bishop may do, one wishes
that there was some surer way of getting bishops.
Trollope (The Eustace Diamonds)
"I see you're not a married man." "That's true: How can you tell?" "A married man's a harried man and you look rather well!"From Offenbach's Christopher Columbus.
To be alone with the girl to whom he is not engaged is a man's
delight; - to be alone with the man to whom she is engaged is the
Trollope (The Eustace Diamonds)
I preach mathematics. I tell them that if they will occupy
themselves with the study of mathematics they will find in it the
best remedy against the lusts of the flesh. Mr. X was a bad case;
he took my advice. He is now busy squaring the circle, and gets
From 'The Magic Mountain', by Thomas Mann.
The pay is small, The food is bad. I wonder why I don't go mad.A maid in Norfolk, 1876.
On a day of bumps galore and an average of six per division, the
most unusual came in the fifth when Churchill 4 bumped Pembroke 4
coming out of Grassy pushing Pembroke into the side of a moored
cabin cruiser. The cruiser, taking water through a gash in its
side, sank slowly.
Cambridge Evening News, June 1983.
What used to be called prejudice is now called a null hypothesis.
"Watson," said he, "if it should ever strike you that I am
getting a little over-confident in my powers, or giving less
pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper 'Norbury' in my
ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you."
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Yellow Face)
The life of a dashing Cambridge Student is rather enviable for its independence than felicity. About half past nine he rises with the devil of a headache; at half past ten if he do not think it proper to pass the lecture room window in his shooting jacket he cannot refrain at least from sporting his great coat, and hiring a hack at Barron's he gallops a short way on the Trumpington Road so that if any dons be taking their morning walk they may admire his spirit and wonder at his agility. About one he moves off to Lichfield's and after eating as much pastry as would satisfy a dozen Bond Street Loungers, returns to his rooms and contrives by four o' clock to arrange his cravat; after dinner he has either a wine party and gets hellishly cut or sets off in a tandem to Bolsham. In the former case he staggers out about half and hour before gates are shut, rambles about the streets in search of a piece, kicks up a row with the townsmen, rushes into Frank Smith's Coffee house; tells a long story about his father's dogs in a tone so loud that all conversation is at and end. He meets with two or three friends as much done over as himself who pay a visit to Simeon, blow up the whole congregation; break half a dozen lamps, wrench off haf a dozen knockers and staggers into College just in time to escape the penalty of sleeping out of gates.
A sketch of a Cantab Collegian (Sporting Magazine, 1811)
Melbriniononsadsazzersteldregandishfelstelior had seldom been
exploited by terrestrial adepts, inasmuch as the use of a demon's
name was necessary in those rites binding him to servitude. One
missed syllable and the conjurer would step from the circle,
smiling, to discover that the demon was smiling also.
Then, leaving the remains artistically disposed about the conjuring area, the demon would return to the infernal regions, perhaps bearing with him some small souvenir of an amusing interlude.
It was Melbriniononsadsazzersteldregandishfelstelior's misfortune, however, that Baran of the Extra Hand hailed from Blackwold, where a complex, agglutinative language was spoken.
Roger Zelazny (The Changing Land)
There are four sorts of cut:
(1) The cut direct is to stare an acquaintance in the face and pretend not to know him.
(2) The cut indirect, to look another way, and pretend not to see him.
(3) The cut sublime, to admire the top of some tall edifice or the clouds of heaven till the person cut has passed by.
(4) The cut infernal, to stop and adjust your boots till the party has gone past.
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
'Son,' the old guy says, 'no matter how far you travel, or how
smart you get, always remember this: someday, somewhere,' he
says, 'a guy is going to come to you, and show you a nice
brand-new set of cards on which the seal is never broken, and
this guy is going to offer to bet you that a jack of spades will
jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. But son,' the
old guy says, 'do not bet him, for as sure as you do you are
going to get an earful of cider.'
Damon Runyon (The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown)
Even the best men are subject to aberrations, or at least
commonnesses, in their relations with women, just as they will
eat rotten cheese and half-putrid partridges that are really only
fit for pigs.
Trebitsch tr Shaw (Jitta's Atonement)
I have no more energy than a shrimp who has swallowed a Norfolk
Mai Thai Finn is one of the students in the programme and was in
the centre of the photo. We incorrectly listed her name as one of
the items on the menu.
What have you achieved? What have you achieved? You lost your
chance, me old son. You contributed absolutely nothing to this
life. A waste of time you being here at all. No place for you in
Westminster Abbey. The best you can expect is a few daffodils in
a jam jar, a rough headstone bearing the legend 'He came and he
went' and in between - nothing! Nobody will even notice you're
not here. After about a year afterwards somebody might say down
the pub "Where's old Hancock? I haven't seen him around lately".
"Oh, he's dead y'know". A right raison d'etre that is. Nobody
will ever know I existed. Nothing to leave behind me. Nothing to
pass on. Nobody to mourn me. That's the bitterest blow of all.
Tony Hancock (TV monologue)
And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing
you the latest in blood and guts, in living colour, you're about
to see another first - an attempted suicide.
Chris Hubbock (before shooting herself in the head on a news progamme)
Never let it be said of O' Neill that he failed to empty a
bottle. Ave atque vale.
Eugene O' Neill Jr. (Suicide note)
" You shall do no work : it is a statute for ever
throughout your generations in all your dwellings. "
- Leviticus 23 v 31.
The centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?' This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.Origin unknown
Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them
freely. Don't expect much from human life - a sorry business at
What Mr Gladstone used to call 'grubous' - a good blend of grim,
gruesome, and gloom.
... the would-be psychiatrist who, when asked why he wanted to be
one said 'I really wanted to be a sex-maniac, but I failed in my
Nose Tax (The): In the ninth century the Danes imposed on Irish
houses a poll tax, historically called the "Nose Tax," because
those who neglected to pay the ounce of gold were punished by
having their noses slit.
Brewer (The dictionary of phrase and fable)
What does seem likely is that before many years are out, no Maths
students of any worth will be coming to Cambridge.
J.J. Barrett (Editorial, Eureka, 1968)
Dr Dougherty ... felt that courses on programming were out of
place in the Tripos - they had the same relation to mathematics
as the art of glass-blowing did to physics.
(From Eureka, 1968)
A mature potato is not perfect ... but the mind of an intelligent
potato would at once admit it as being, beyond all doubt, a
genuine, fully developed specimen of his own particular species.
I am interested in everything that is convex.
On the subject I shall write you a most valuable letter, Full of excellent suggestions, when I feel a little better, But at present I'm afraid I am as mad as any hatter, So I'll keep 'em to myself, for my opinion doesn't matter.W.S. Gilbert (Ruddigore)
Whatever his intergalactic ilk, Mr Glover's head suddenly turned
into a nest of spinach with one eyeball planted in its midst.
Such is television and the actor's life. One day it's socialism
with a human face, next day you're the voice of a cyclopic
Russell Davies (Sunday Times, 24/8/80)
Flamingoes and mustard both bite. And the moral of that is -
'Birds of a feather flock together'.
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
She considered him to be a footman because he was in livery:
otherwise, judging by his face only, she would have called him a
If you wish large quantities of candy-floss you should promote
J.W.S. Cassels (Economics for mathematicians)
"I didn't get where I am today by having green frogs dropped down
David Nobbs (The better world of Reginald Perrin)
"Ours is the only trade," said [the policeman], "in which the
professional is always supposed to be wrong. After all, people
don't write stories in which hairdressers can't cut hair and have
to be helped by a customer."
G.K. Chesterton (The mirror of the magistrate)
Because of the need to prevent this source of large errors during
the evolution of problem solvers that must survive while they
master their domain, we infer that the generality-specificity
dimension of problem solving runs from ends-oriented to
means-oriented, and from continuous to discrete.
Midnight assist our moan; Help us to sigh and groan, Heavily, heavily: Graves, yawn and yield your dead, Till death be uttered, Heavily, heavily.Shakespeare (Much Ado about Nothing, V-3)
I am a mathematician, sir. I never permit myself to think.
John Dickson Carr (The hollow man)
I have three dinner-bells - the first (which is the largest) is
rung when dinner is nearly ready; the second (which is rather
larger) is rung when it is quite ready; and the third (which is
as large as the other two put together) is rung all the time I am
Lewis Carroll (Letter)
The chief use of vipers is for the making of treacle.
T.P.Blount (Natural History, 1693)
It will be noted that the man ... takes all these pains with the
dog ... He does not housetrain the earwig or give baths to
C.S.Lewis (The problem of pain)
The madrigore of verjuice must be talthibianised.
C.S.Lewis (That hideous strength)
Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o' clock is a
See the happy moron: He doesn't give a damn. I wish I was a moron: My God! Perhaps I am!Anon
A mermaid is a virgin from the waist up and a sturgeon from there
One of these superstitions is that cats always land on their
feet. Now the last thing I do before going to bed is to toss my
cat down the cellar steps and I have discovered that by giving it
a certain twist I can make it land on its head every time.
From the New York Times.
A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o'
clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.
Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)
Wash away your spleen.
A triumvirate of murine rodents devoid of ophthalmic acuity was
observed in a state of rapid locomotion in pursuit of an
agriculturalist's uxorial adjunct. Said adjunct then performed a
triple caudectomy utilizing an acutely honed bladed instrument
generally used for subdivision of edible tissue.
Is the creation you have in mind a magnificently seared thickness
of sizzling goodness that has been reduced by grinders of rarest
Toledo steel to mouth-watering palate-tantalizers of Kansas city
beef beaded with rich ruby globules served on a farm-fresh roll
and laced lavishly with great oozing lashings of rarest mustards
and onions from faraway Spain?
Willie built a guillotine, Tried it out on sister Jean. Said Mother as she got the mop: "These messy games have got to stop!"William E. Engel.
A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an
apple pie; and at the same time, a great she-bear coming up the
street pops its head into the shop. What! No soap! So he died;
and she very imprudently married the barber; and there were
present the Picinninies, and the Joblilies, and the Garyulies,
and the great Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at
top. And they all fell to playing the game of catch as catch can,
till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their boots.
Samuel Foote (Nonsense).
When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn,
trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles
your passage, tootle him with vigour, express by mouth the
warning Hi! hi! Beware the wandering horse that he shall not take
fright as you pass him by. Do not explode the exhaust box at him.
Translation of Japanese traffic regulations.
JANet was quite ill one day. FEBrile troubles came her way. MARtyr-like, she lay in bed; APRoned nurses softly sped. MAYbe, said the leech judicial, JUNket would be beneficial. JULeps too, though freely tried, AUGured ill, for Janet died. SEPulchre was sadly made; OCTaves pealed and prayers were said. NOVices with many a tear DECorated Janet's bier.Author unknown.
A knowledge of Sanskrit is of little use to a man trapped in a
He whose head resembles a Dutch cheese does not rest it on the
Do not wear earmuffs in the land of the rattlesnake.
Gloves make a poor present for a man with no hands.
George Van Schaick.
Folk songs do not inform us that it's great to be singing in
six-eight time, or that you won't get your dairymaid until you
have mastered the Dorian mode.
Constant Lambert (Music Ho!)
IN NO IST LAT WHEY CRATICT FROURE BIRS GROCID PONDENOME OF
DEMONSTURES OF THE REPTAGIN IS REGOACTIONA OF CRE.
C.E.Shannon (The mathematical theory of communication)
The head and in frontal attack on an english writer that the
character of this point is therefore another method for the
letters that the time of who ever told the problem for an
For as her foot swells, strange to say, Her intellect is on the wane - Oh, for some remedy I pray That may restore both foot and brain!Dostoyevsky (The brothers Karamazov)
(On the convalescence of the swollen foot of the object of my affections)
How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses
of this world.
I can count every one of my bones.
Psalm 22 v. 17.
Go (move, continue moving, leave, depart, Proceed, progress, be current, travel, start), Thou book (libretto, printed treatise, script): Help (aid, assist) those badly (ill) equipped (Fashioned) to read (interpret, scan) or write (Trace symbols, state in writing): and delight (Please highly, fill with pleasure) me (myself) With riches (royalties, cash, loot, money, pelf).Tony Brode (The Concise Oxford Dictionary)
A towel ... wrap it round your head to ... avoid the gaze of the
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid
animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you).
Douglas Adams (The Hitch-hiker's guide to the galaxy).
Oh freddled gruntbuggly, thy micturations are to me As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee. Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes. And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles, Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don't !Ibid.
Consider the wild flowers which you can see on nature trails or
in conservation areas. None of them are employed in the textile
industry. Yet even King Solomon in his 1,500,000-pound luxury
home was not nearly so well-dressed as they are in terms of
colourful visual impact.
Peter Simple (Daily Telegraph 10.10.79) [The Bevindon Bible]
Well, if I be served such another trick, I'll have my brains
ta'en out, and buttered, and give them to a dog for a new year's
Shakespeare (Merry Wives of Windsor)
I'm very well acquainted too with matters mathematical, I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical. About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news - With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypoteneuse.W.S.Gilbert (Pirates of Penzance)
Self-decapitation is an extremely difficult, not to mention
dangerous, thing to attempt.
W.S. Gilbert (Mikado)
Is this a grasshopper ? - Ha ! no; it is my Whiskerandos - you shall not keep him - I know you have him in your pocket - An oyster may be crossed in love ! - who says A whale's a bird ?Sheridan (The Critic)
The crack like a muffled shot of a small pistol which indicates
the official breaking of the criminal's neck ought to be
broadcast; when the neck is not broken, listeners would hear the
"squelch"1 of strangulation - which would give equal satisfaction
1 A scientific friend points out that "squelch" should read "dull plonk".
Charles Duff (A handbook on hanging)
Who amongst us cannot immediately recognise by intuition that
hanging is an art, and the executioner an artist ? Hanging has
all the characteristics of art: conservatism, the elaboration of
an instinctive mode of expression, balance, harmony in effects,
rhythm, tone; and effect.
The Oxford undergraduate leaves Oxford thinking he owns the
world; the Cambridge undergraduate leaves Cambridge not caring
who owns it.
Sir Max Beerbohm
Examples of the effect of channel errors on textual transmission
(i) Deletion, e.g. "The Prime Minister spent the weekend in the country shooting peasants."
(ii) Insertion, e.g. "The walkway across the trout hatchery was supported on concrete breams"
(iii) Alteration, e.g. "Say it with glowers", "For sale : Volvo 144 with overdrive, fuel infection, etc."
(iv) Transposition, e.g. "Yet, down the road, you will still find the corner shop where the lady behind the counter will lovingly warp your presents."
(v) Nonsense, e.g. "The benefits of pollution treatment are oozelumny gzzr dny32~m"
S.M.Moss (Ph.D. thesis)
That's rather a revolting-looking building. Trinity Hall, isn't
A tourist, seeing the Wren Library.
Beavers, even voluble beavers, didn't say 'Jesus wept' and
'Bloody Hell', not if they wanted to get into print as children's
Tom Sharpe (The Great Pursuit)
MP ACTS IN DEATH PROBE LEGAL AID TUSSLE
Headline (Cambridge Evening News 25/10/75)
Sing me your song, oh ! It is sung to the moon, by a love-lorn loon....W.S.Gilbert (Yeomen of the guard)
I can trace my ancestry back to a proto-plasmal primordial atomic
globule. Consequently, my family pride is something
...he put a monument over it with an inscription on one side:
'Here lies the leg of the collegiate secretary Lebedyev', and on
the other: 'Rest beloved ashes, till the dawn of a happy
resurrection', and that he had a service read over it every
Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
"You have wronged me, and in revenge I've come to cut my stomach
open before you."
A third case worthy of note is that of Isadora Persano, the
well-known journalist and duellist, who was found stark staring
mad with a matchbox in front of him which contained a remarkable
worm, said to be unknown to science.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Thor Bridge)
The source of these outrages is known and if they are repeated I
have Mr. Holmes's authority for saying that the whole story
concerning the politician, the lighthouse and the trained
cormorant will be given to the public. There is at least one
reader who will understand.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The veiled lady)
A man receives an average of ten letters each day. On a certain
day he receives no mail and wonders if it is a holiday. To decide
this, he computes the probability that in ten years he would have
at least one day without any mail.
Problem in 'Finite mathematical structures' - J.G.Kemeny et al.
Some things can't be ravished. You can't ravish a tin of
D.H.Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover)
A contribution to the Mathematical theory of Big Game Hunting
4.The Bolzano-Weierstrass method.
Bisect the desert by a line running N-S. The lion is either in the E portion or the W portion; let us suppose him to be in the W portion. Bisect this portion by a line running E-W. The lion is either in the N portion or the S portion; let us suppose him to be in the N portion. We continue the process indefinitely, constructing a sufficiently strong fence about the chosen portion at each step. The diameter of the chosen portions approaches zero, so that the lion is ultimately surrounded by a fence of arbitrarily small perimeter.
19.The Schrodinger method.
At any given moment there is a positive probability that there is a lion in the cage. Sit down and wait.
9a. The Eratosthenian method.
We enumerate the objects in the desert and then examine them one-by-one, discarding all those which are not lions. By a refinement of this method, we can ensure that only prime lions are captured.
H.Petard (Eureka 16)
...lunatics; they reason, in fact they often reason with great
acuteness, like the mad don who thought the don underneath was
trying to shoot him through the floor, and consequently always
sat on the table until at last he grew to believe that he was a
R.A.Knox (The Hidden Stream)
Il brilgue: les toves lubricilleux Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave Enmime's sont les gougebosquex Et le momerade horsgrave.F.L.Worrin after Lewis Carroll
I do account this world a tedious theatre,
For I do play a part in't 'gainst my will.
John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi)
I did impeticos thy gratillity.
Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
In sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night, when
thou spokest of Pigrogromitus, of the Vapians passing the
equinoctial of Queuebus.
You can almost define an analyst as a mathematician who doesn't
mind missing his lunch as long as he can prove it exists.
Dr.Woodall (Combinatorics seminar 26/4/79)
Whenever he found out a new thing about a triangle Pythagoras who
had no shame jumped out of his bath and shouted 'Q.E.D.' through
the streets of athens its a wonder they never locked him up.
Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle (Down with skool !)
Simulant - Something that doesn't exist but pretends to.
Stanislaw Lem (Futurological Congress)
The B flat major sonata ... was another work of which Beethoven
thought a great deal. He said it 'had washed itself' (hat sich
gewaschen), which, as Sir Donald Tovey suggests, might be freely
translated into 'takes the cake' or regarded as akin to
Stevenson's proud announcement that The Master of Ballantrae was
'a howling cheese'.
Eric Blom (Beethoven's Piano Sonatas Discussed)
There is Pleasure sure, In being Mad, which none but Madmen know !John Dryden (The Spanish Friar)
I am not yet born; O hear me Let not the blood-sucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the club-footed ghoul come near me.Louis MacNeice
You may look upon life as an unprofitable episode, disturbing the
blessed calm of non-existence.
All here is gloomy. A faint struggle with the tediousness of
time, a doleful confession of present misery, and the approach,
seen and felt, of what is most dreaded and most shunned; but such
is the lot of man.
One often falls in love with a woman out of boredom; one does not
know what else to do with her.
Jean Paul Richter
All my misfortunes come from having thought too well of my
Jean Jacques Rousseau
The thought of suicide is a great consolation; by means of it one
gets through many a bad night.
Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.
Pangle could be a local variation of pightle, meaning a small
meadow or paddock. Or it could have something to do with pample,
meaning to tread lightly. We also have "pungled" (shrivelled) and
"pingle" (to pick at one's food), but these do not seem to help
with the Pangle.
Eric Fowler (Jonathan Mardle)
V: Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine R: Et tu das escam illis in tempore, V: Aperis manum tuam, R: Et imples omne animal benedictione. V: Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, R: Sicut erat in principio, nunc est, Et erit in saecula saeculorum. V: Benedic, Domine, nos et dona tua, Quae de largitate tua sumus sumpturi, Et concede ut illis salubriter nutriti, Tibi debitum obsequium praestare valeamus, Per Christum Dominum nostrum.Grace, Trinity College.
Wan Swan On the lake Like a cake Of soap. Why is the swan Wan On the lake ? He has abandoned hope.Stevie Smith (The bereaved swan)
Whip me ye devils, From the possession of this heavenly sight ! Blow me about in winds ! roast me in sulphur ! Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire !Shakespeare (Othello)
PANGLE In the parish of Wereham is one of those fenny
badly-drained pieces of land, which are usually called 'labours
in vain' from all attempts to turn them to profitable uses being
ineffectual; this is called the Pangle.
W.Rye (Glossary of words used in East Anglia)
After all, one can't complain. I have my friends. Somebody spoke
to me only yesterday. And was it last week or the week before
that Rabbit bumped into me and said 'Bother !' The Social Round.
Always something going on.
Blow, winds and crack your cheeks ! rage ! blow ! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks ! You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts, Singe my white head ! And thou, all-shaking thunder Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world ! Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once That make ingrateful man !Shakespeare (King Lear)
I hate his nasty insinuendos.
Samuel Butler (The way of all flesh)
A sofa, of incomprehensible form regarded from any sofane point
Dickens (The uncommercial traveller)
If I hadn't played chess, I would have been a mathematician. What
a bore that would have been !
Rich folk may ride on camels but it ain't so easy for 'em to see
out of a needle's eye.
Dickens (Martin Chuzzlewit) [Mrs. Gamp]
Go to, you're a dry fool.
Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
There's nothing in this world can make me joy: Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man; And bitter shame hath spoilt the sweet world's taste, That it yields nothing but shame and bitterness.Shakespeare (King John)
It is not, indeed, a book to be read through from cover to cover
at all, except by those wishing to be pole-axed in the interests
of science by a tedium so monumental as to be entirely without
precedent in the history of fiction.
N.F.Simpson (Harry Bleachbaker) [Sleeve note]
This is an uneven book, parts of it having been made more boring
than was in itself strictly necessary in order to highlight those
other parts which are less so.
Ibid [Author's note]
Ode to David Hilbert The drab, livid Bad live third, Bid diver halt The valid bird.Vassar Seminar (Amer. Math. Monthly 85/8)
The human body, if properly cared for, can last a lifetime.
The pancreas looked like a strangled football sock dipped in old
batter. It was apparently supposed to. Oh.
Russell Davies (Sunday Times 12/11/78)
If you are sitting at a grand table, do not lick your lips and exclaim, 'What a spread !' Remember, it is a vice to have a greedy eye. There is no greater evil in creation than the eye; that is why it must shed tears at every turn. Do not reach for everything you see, or jostle your fellow-guest at the dish; judge his feelings by your own and always behave considerately. Eat what is set before you like a gentleman; do not munch and make yourself objectionable. Be the first to stop for good manners' sake and do not be insatiable, or you will give offence. If you are dining in a large company, do not reach out your hand before others. A man of good upbringing is content with little, and he is not short of breath when he goes to bed. The moderate eater enjoys heavy sleep; he rises early, feeling refreshed. But sleeplessness, indigestion, and colic are the lot of the glutton. If you cannot avoid overeating at a feast, leave the table and find relief by vomiting.Ecclesiasticus 31 : 12-21.
O, let us howl, some heavy note, Some deadly dogged howl, Sounding as from the threatening throat, Of beasts and fatal fowl ! As ravens, screech-owls, bulls, and bears, We'll bill and bawl our parts, Till irksome noise have cloy'd your ears And corrosiv'd your hearts. At last when as our choir wants breath, Our bodies being blest, We'll sing like swans, to welcome death, And die in love and rest.John Webster (Duchess of Malfi, Madman's song)
Every man has his own ways of courting the female sex. I should
not, myself, choose to do it with photographs of spleens,
diseased or otherwise.
Agatha Christie (The Moving Finger)
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful: You might as well live.Dorothy Parker
Brains need gentle handling, or they are apt to disintegrate.
Jocasta Innes (The Pauper's Cookbook)
Brains are a taste worth cultivating.
There are three things I always forget. Names, faces and - the
third I can't remember.
Suicide is the sincerest form of self-criticism.
In my opinion the best way is to take a dead fish and make it
Prof. Sir James Lighthill (overheard)
There was an old Russian called Lenin Who did one or two million men in. That's a lot to have done in, But, where he did one in, That old Russian Stalin did ten in.Victor Gray
A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity.
It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: 'What is there?'
It can be answered, moreover, in a word - 'Everything'.
W. Van Orman Quine.
I wouldn't have said off-hand that I had a subconscious mind, but
I suppose I must without knowing it.
P.G.Wodehouse (Right Ho Jeeves)
They have mouths and speak not: eyes have they, and see not. They have ears, and hear not: noses have they, and smell not.Psalm 115 (referring to idols)
All political societies are subversive. Must be. Stands to
reason. Wouldn't exist if they weren't trying to subvert
something or other.
Tom Sharpe (Porterhouse Blue)
It is transparently obvious to any scholar that William
Shakespeare's plays were written not by William Shakespeare, but
by another author of the same name.
Patrick Moore (Can you speak Venusian ?)
Mathematicians are fatuous.
Strutter (True happiness)
If I were a cassowary On the plains of Timbuctoo, I would eat a missionary, Cassock, bands and hymn-book too.Bishop Samuel Wilberforce.
Choose your companions carefully, you may have to eat them...
W.C.Sellar, R.J.Yeatman (And now all this)
You'll be the tenth rat this week to have his brains sucked out
by a pneumatic tube.
William Kotzwinkle (Doctor Rat)
Erasmus Darwin had a theory that once in a while one should
perform a damn-fool experiment. It almost always fails, but when
it does come off is terrific.
Darwin played the trombone to his tulips. The result of this particular experiment was negative.
J.E.Littlewood (A mathematician's miscellany)
How soon the servant sun, (Sir morrow mark), Can time unriddle, and the cupboard stone, (Fog has a bone He'll trumpet into meat), Unshelve that all my gristles have a gown And the naked egg stand straight.Dylan Thomas (Poem)
I see no ships by holding the telescope to my blind eye with my
Peter Pook (after Nelson) (Pook's China Doll)
'Hallo !' says the baggy 'you seem to have got somebody's arm
in your box'
'So I have,' says Chapman, 'I expect it's my wife's. Careless woman ! Must have dropped it in when she was packing the box.'
R. Austin Freeman (Pandora's box)
"Really ?" said Setoc, "What was this security on which they
refused you this sum ?"
"My Aunt's corpse," replied the Egyptian, "She was the finest woman in Egypt. She used to go everywhere with me. She died on the way here, and I turned her into one of the most splendid mummies in the country. Back home I should be able to pawn her for any sum I wished.
I should as soon think of tickling a porcupine.
R. Austin Freeman (The Old Lag)
A French politician representing a somewhat backward district in
Africa was some time ago found to have been eaten by his
constituents. The journalist who discovered this used the phrase:
'Je crois qu'il a passe par la casserole' (I think he ended up in
a casserole). Clearly the Africans knew what they were about. For
making a delicious meal out of tough and intractable material,
the casserole has no rival.
Katherine Whitehorn (Cooking in a Bedsitter)
I was not sleeping, nor what a person would term correctly,
dozing. I was more what a person would strictly call watching
with my eyes closed.
Dickens (Little Dorrit)
You will find it serviceable, in the formation of a demeanour, if
you sometimes say to yourself in company - on entering a room,
for instance - Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism, prunes
Enter a messenger, with two heads and a hand.
Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus)
Bludgeoned to despair I lie deranged in a cell whose very walls rebound th echoes of remorse. Whilst from my heart the overflowing tears decry the hellish path that brought me here. What blundering fool am I to slip like Eve within the trough of guilt ? Is there no other man who knows, the torment, such as I of life. Yet life in Hell.L. Moelwyn-Hughes (Cambridge Evening News 21/9/77)
The following is taken from a United States newspaper of October
1935: 'At Lawton, Oklahama, John Brett, an attorney, sang "Home
Sweet Home" to a jury so as to induce clemency for his client,
Lloyd Grable, a bank robber. The jury responded with a verdict of
life imprisonment for Mr. Grable.'
P.A.Scholes (Oxford Companion to Music: Home Sweet Home)
Do not pry into things too hard for you Or examine what is beyond your reach. Meditate on the commandments you have been given; What the Lord keeps secret is no concern of yours. Do not busy yourself with matters that are beyond you; Even what has been shown you is above man's grasp. Many have been led astray by their speculations, And false conjectures have impaired their judgement.Ecclesiasticus 3 21-24
For whom all things are possible: The supremely intelligent
child; a psychagogic pandect.
Pat Gunkel (Book title)
As I made the mesmeric passes amid ejaculations of "dead! dead !"
absolutely bursting from the tongue and not from the lips of the
sufferer, his whole frame at once - within the space of a single
minute, or even less, shrunk - crumbled - absolutely rotted away,
beneath my hands. Upon the bed, before that whole company, there
lay a nearly liquid mass of loathsome - of detestable putridity.
E.A.Poe (The facts in the case of M.Valdemar)
There was never yet philosopher That could endure the toothache patiently.Shakespeare (Much Ado about Nothing)
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain, A mere anatomy, a mountebank, A threadbare juggler, and a fortune teller, A needy hollow-eyed, sharp-looking wretch, A living-dead man.Shakespeare (Comedy of Errors)
I suppose if the scruples I've overcome in my time were laid end
to end they would reach from London to Glasgow.
P.G.Wodehouse (Service with a smile)
Hark ! villains, I will grind your bones to dust, And with your blood and it I'll make a paste; And of the paste a coffin I will rear, And make two pasties of your shameful heads; And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam, Like to the earth to swallow her own increase. This is the feast that I have bid her to, And this the banquet she shall surfeit on; ------------------------------------------------ Why there they are both, baked in that pie; Whereof their mother daintily hath fed, Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus)
Mistress, I dug upon your grave To bury a bone, in case I should be hungry near this spot When passing on my daily trot. I am sorry, but I quite forgot It was your resting-place.Thomas Hardy ('Ah, are you digging on my grave ?')
The London police, Miss Samsonoff, are delightful, but rather on
the dull side. They are much given to standing in the middle of
crowded roads and dreaming, and in even your short stay in London
you must have observed what a serious, nay intolerable,
obstruction they are to the traffic.
Michael Arlen (The Ghoul of Golder's Green)
Tamb: Take it up, villain and eat it; or else I will make thee
slice the brawns of thy arms into carbonadoes and eat them.
Usum: Nay, 'twere better he killed his wife, and then she shall be sure not to be starved, and he provided for a month's victual beforehand.
Tamb: Here is my dagger: despatch her while she is fat; for if she live but a while longer she will fall into a consumption with fretting, and then she will not be worth the eating.
Marlowe (Tamburlaine the Great)
"Globble Blub Glub Bubble Glubble" - Well what else did you
expect a hot water bottle to say ?
Mike Higgs (Moonbird cartoon strip in C.E.N. 1977)
"I think there's a pain somewhere in the room" said Mrs.
Gradgrind "but I couldn't positively say that I have got it."
Dickens (Hard Times)
Whenever a second girl is born in a family she is thrown in the
river - they can't stand more than one girl in a house.
Maxim Gorki (Fragments from my diary) [The Chinese]
If you are worried about the possibility of illness caused by
your goldfish, you are probably suffering from what we doctors
call lunacy and should seek psychiatric help.
Private Eye 1977 (A Doctor Writes)
I used to be indecisive; but now I'm not so sure.
First Serv: O ! I am slain. My lord, you have one eye left to
see some mischief on him. O ! [Dies]
Corn: Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly ! Where is thy lustre now ?
Shakespeare (King Lear)
Your brain is like a sleeping giant...it seems we use less than
1% of the brain's capability.
Tony Buzan (Encyclopaedia Britannica advert)
He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four That stood beside his bed: He looked again and found it was A Bear without a Head. 'Poor thing,' he said, 'poor silly thing ! It's waiting to be fed !'Lewis Carroll (The mad gardener's song)