Today I have been leafing through books around the house as I prepare to donate some to the huge book sale in August, the one I usually help with. The one I hold in my lap now is a big, heavy book of quotations. I am not generally smitten with quotations, but some that are close to the truth seem to endure. Some are absurd and as absurdly funny, may notoriously endure. "Poets . . .though liars by profession, always endeavor to give an air of truth to their fictions," writes David Hume.
A sampling of others: That humorous Frenchman of the seventeenth century, Moliere, has these quotations, "It's an odd job, making decent people laugh," and "It's good food and not fine words that keeps me alive." Augustine Birrell a nineteenth century essayist, penned "...that great dust heap called history." This well-worn one is by screenwriter Billy Wilder, "Hindsight is always twenty twenty." Francois Rabelais: "Nature abhors a vacuum." Thomas Shadwell: "Every man loves what he is good at." Leo Tolstoy: "There are no conditions of life to which a man cannot get accustomed, especially if he sees them accepted by everyone about him."