History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. – Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clements (1835-1910), better known as Mark Twain, began his career as a typesetter, a newspaperman, and a Mississippi riverboat pilot. Eventually the author of roughly fifty books and essays, his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn still contends for the elusive title of the Great American Novel. – Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
I now make an open account and confession of my sins; if my reader is one whom you have called, who has followed your voice and avoided the same sins, let them not laugh at me as they read my account. I have been healed by the same Physician whose care has kept them from falling ill at all, or at least not so severely. Let them see that it is through you, who have saved me from the sickness of my sins, that they too do not suffer to the same degree from the sickness of their own. – Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
Augustine of Hippo (354-430), a Roman magistrate transformed into a bishop of the early Church, formulated his notion of Christian morality as a response to his having been sorely tempted by a peach. – Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
Carpaccio, Vittore. Vision of St Augustin. Venice. Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, 1502. Tempera on canvas.
“The man was born for trouble.” – Homer, The Odyssey
Believed to have been blind and unable to write his name, Homer (c. eighth century BC) is credited with the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey, books one and two of the Western Canon. – Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
That he is mad, ‘tis true: ’tis true ’tis pity,
And pity it is true: a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will use no art.
Mad let us grant him, then, and now remains
That we find out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause.
Thus it remains, and the remainder thus.
– William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), poet, dramatist, magister ludi of the English language. – Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
Unknown. Shakespeare. 1610. Oil on canvas.
Every calling is great when greatly pursued. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
In a note discovered after his death, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935) wrote that the uniforms to be found in his closet “were worn by me in the Civil War, and the stains upon them are my blood.” – Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
At the beginning of the war, it was possible to separate the Nazis from the Germans and recognize that not all Germans were Nazis. As the clash between the two nations wore on, and as more and more English fathers and sons and brothers died, distinguishing the difference became more difficult. Eventually the difference vanished altogether. Realizing he needed to fuel the British war effort, Prime Minister Winston Churchill fused the Germans and the Nazis into a single hated enemy, the better to defeat it swiftly and end the unrelenting nightmare. – Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), a direct descendent of the Duke of Marlborough, became Britain’s Prime Minister on May 10, 1940, the same day the German armies launched their invasion of France. In the front rank of the twentieth century’s most formidable statesmen, Churchill was renowned for his eloquence as an orator, for his gifts as a writer, and for his courage as both a soldier and a politician. – Lapham, Lewis H., editor. Lapham’s Quarterly. Volume 1.1.
McEvoy, Ambrose. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill. 1927.