If Ideas Had Shapes

A quoteblog ranging from philosophers in bathrobes to galaxy-rises

Category: General

Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

We should enter into everyone’s situation. Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner.*

(Princess Mary)

* To understand all is to forgive all.

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Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace (1867)

“She flatters me,” thought the princess, turning away and continuing to read. But Julie did not flatter her friend, the princess’ eyes—large, deep and luminous (it seemed as if at times there radiated from them shafts of warm light)–were so beautiful that very often in spite of the plainness of her face they gave her an attraction more powerful than that of beauty. But the princess never saw the beautiful expression of her own eyes—the look they had when she was not thinking of herself. As with everyone, her face assumed a forced unnatural expression as soon as she looked in a glass.

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

Oh! be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstand you if you say that it shall not.

(this is very near the end)

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

“When younger,” said he, “I believed myself destined for some great enterprise. My feelings are profound; but I possessed a coolness of judgment that fitted me for illustrious achievements. This sentiment of the worth of my nature supported me when others would have been oppressed; for I deemed it criminal to throw away in useless grief those talents that might be useful to my fellow-creatures.”

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

The memory of that unfortunate king, and his companions, the amiable Falkland, the insolent Goring, his queen, and son, gave a peculiar interest to every part of the city, which they might be supposed to have inhabited. The spirit of elder days found a dwelling here, and we delighted to trace its footsteps.

(of Oxford)

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

I now also began to collect the materials necessary for my new creation, and this was to me like the torture of single drops of water continually falling on the head.

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

“You are in the wrong,” replied the fiend; “and, instead of threatening, I am content to reason with you. I am malicious because I am miserable. Am I not shunned and hated by all mankind? You, my creator, would tear me to pieces, and triumph; remember that, and tell me why I should pity man more than he pities me?”

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

“Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow-devils, to admire and encourage him; but I am solitary and abhorred.”

(the creature, alluding to Milton)

Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)

“Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind, when it has once seized on it, like a lichen on the rock.”