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Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
7:26p - Rats! -- Robert Browning

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
    -- Robert Browning, (1812-1889)

Well, Jack Sprat is obviously more than a weird name... now I must look it up.

According to Google, "Sprats are related to sardines and herrings and are caught in a minor and intermittent fishery."

Not much fat on that kind of a fish, I guess, so the nursery rhyme seems upheld.

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7:37p - On Help -- Jean de La Fontaine

Help yourself and heaven will help you.
    -- Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695)

Anyone know where the more Biblical reference of that sentiment occurs?

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7:40p - On Poverty -- François Rabelais

I owe much; I have nothing. I give the rest to the poor.
    -- François Rabelais, (1494-1553)

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7:43p - On Imagination -- George William Curtis

Imagination is as good as many voyages -- and how much cheaper!
    -- George William Curtis, (1824-1892)

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7:45p - On Swearing -- Samuel Butler

Oaths are but words, and words but wind.
    -- Samuel Butler, (1612-1680)

    Okay, so now I'm wondering just WHAT KIND OF oaths he's talking about. Swear words were my first thought, but maybe he's talking about vows, maybe the kind made with a hand shake... Far more sinister quotation in that case...

    The context in the story where I ran across it was a wedding vow, but I really don't know first hand if that was the original author's intent, or merely the use made of it in that passage...

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7:51p - On October -- Edgar Allen Poe

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crispèd and sere--
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year.
    -- Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)

    Accented e thanks to epi_lj's chart! (Monday, June 12th, 2006 comment)

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8:11p - On Curiosity -- Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind.
    -- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

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8:13p - On Doubt -- Thomas Carlyle

Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended in Action alone.
    -- Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish historian and essayist)

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8:14p - On Quiet Desperation -- Henry David Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
    -- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

    If I didn't mishear or misremember, today is his birthday. Yes! According to Wikipedia, "Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862; born David Henry Thoreau)"

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8:38p - On Ignorance -- Sophocles

The happiest life consists in ignorance,
Before you learn to grieve and rejoice.
    -- Sophocles (496-406 B.C.)

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