Highlights from Recent Reading

It was through the Declaration of Independence that we Americans acknowledged the eternal inequality of man. For by it we abolished a cut-and-dried aristocracy. We had seen little men artificially held up in high places, and great men artificially held down in low places, and our own justice-loving hearts abhorred this violence to human nature. Therefore, we decreed that every man should thenceforth have equal liberty to find his own level. By this very decree we acknowledged and gave freedom to true aristocracy, saying, “Let the best man win, whoever he is.” Let the best man win! That is America’s word. That is true democracy. And true democracy and true aristocracy are one and the same thing. If anybody cannot see this, so much the worse for his eyesight.

The Virginian, by Owen Wister

“When a man ain’t got no ideas of his own,” said Scipio, “he’d ought to be kind o’ careful who he borrows ’em from.”

The Virginian, by Owen Wister

It was a variant of the situation Bill Veeck, then owner of the St. Louis Browns, had found himself in twenty-nine years earlier, when 20-game winner Ned Garver had asked for a raise. Veeck told him, “We finished last with you. It’s a cinch we can finish last without you.”

9 Innings, by Daniel Okrent

“They showed it on an airplane and people were walking out of the theater.”

Rodney Dangerfield on one of his movies

There is great danger, at the present day, of compromising truth for the sake of union. This should be carefully guarded against. There can be no true union attained at the expense of truth. The true Christian’s motto should ever be, “Maintain truth at all cost; if union can be promoted in this way, so much the better, but maintain the truth.” The principle of expediency, on the contrary, may be thus enunciated: “Promote union at all cost; if truth can be maintained as well, so much the better, but promote union.” This latter principle can only be carried out at the expense of all that is divine in the way of testimony.”

Notes on Genesis, by C.H. Mackintosh (1879)

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