On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth by Thomas de Quincey (1823) I was always puzzled about the knocking at the gate in Macbeth right after Duncan’s murder. But I never knew why. It reflected back on the murder with an awfulness & solemnity… but why? Don’t pay attentionContinue Reading

Introductory Essay to Essays on this Blog I’ve decided to start writing essays or thoughts on here. It was my New Year’s Resolution to make a post on this website every day – no matter how large or small. Just seeing the blog entry calendar loaded for the first coupleContinue Reading

Of Death – Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Men fear death like kids fear the dark Natural fear of the dark is increased by tales & so is fear of death The contemplation of death is holy & religious but the fear of it is weakness In religion, there’s often aContinue Reading

Of Discourse by Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) Some people would rather be known as being witty & being able to hold an argument than to be known for judgment & being able to discern truth. As if it were higher praise to be said to know what to say ratherContinue Reading

Of Adversity – Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) In a speech, Seneca said – the good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired If miracles are command over nature, they definitely appear in adversity In another speech,Continue Reading

“An Essay on Modern Education” by Jonathan Swift (c. 1720) After a lot careful reflection, I’ve come to conclusion that the wealthier you are, the worse your education is & if the whole world were under just one king, his son would be the dumbest person to have ever livedContinue Reading

“Of Studies” by Francis Bacon (1561–1626) Studies are for 3 different purposes Delight – in privateness &retiring Ornament – in discourse Ability – in the judgment & disposition of business Expert men can execute & judge particulars – but generally speaking, the best advice & plans come from learned menContinue Reading

“Lucretius” by George Santayana (1910) We don’t know much about Lucretius other than what St. Jerome said about him He’d been given a love potion & went nuts. In between the psychotic episodes, he wrote the poem & it was edited by Cicero. At the age of 44, he killedContinue Reading

“Dissertation on First Principles of Government” by Thomas Paine (1795) One subject is near & dear to most people’s hearts, government because no matter if they are poor or rich, their prosperity is tied to it Should know its principles There has been precious little development in improving governments excludingContinue Reading

“The Character of Socrates” by Xenophon Socrates always said what was on his mind to friends Also made sure that they were independent enough to pursue the avenues they were suited for He knew all his friends very well – often probing their minds w/ questions He taught his friendsContinue Reading

Ask: “What are modern virtues?” You might answer things we like: meekness, humility, renunciation of world Would you answer, “Intelligence”? Old idea that intelligence is dangerous Anglo-Saxons have derided the idea of intelligence being important As if you have to choose between being good & intelligent As if stupidity isContinue Reading

  Thomas Babington Macaulay – Machiavelli Machiavelli is usually referred to as a tempter presenter of an evil principle pushing ambition, revenge, perjury Only got this reputation after The Prince As if these things didn’t exist before the Prince Gunpowder Plot blamed on him, as well as other plots PeopleContinue Reading

David Hume – Of the Study of History Hume advises women of the 1700s to study history Women tended to eschew history & the like for fiction Gives a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives to a girl he likes Tells her that it’s fiction She likes it at first untilContinue Reading

Of Youth & Age – Francis Bacon Youth is a relative term Your mind is the real key But the youth tend to have a wilder imagination But some people are a bit too crazy & passionate to do anything productive Look at Caesar & Septimius Severus Septimius was knownContinue Reading