the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest

Clearly a counterproductive multiplication of books: Hearing these things, despite the true knowledge which Nólemë had and spread abroad, there were many who hearkened with half their hearts to Melko, and restlessness grew amongst them, and Melko poured oil on their smouldering desires. From him they learnt many things it were not good for anyContinue reading “the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest”

it is enough for me to see you

Select sayings from Abba Anthony on the eve of his feast day (with a few repeats from previous posts): 3. Someone asked Abba Anthony, “What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, “Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes, whateverContinue reading “it is enough for me to see you”

she would hearken the voice of the midnight till she heard what the gods would do

For the wisest of women she was, and many a thing she knew; She would hearken the voice of the midnight till she heard what the Gods would do, And her feet fared oft on the wild, and deep was her communing With the heart of the glimmering woodland, where never a fowl may sing.Continue reading “she would hearken the voice of the midnight till she heard what the gods would do”

wisdom is found on the desolate hillside

From “The Story of El-ahrairah and the Black Rabbit of Inlé” (chapter 31) in Watership Down: A Novel by Richard Adams: El-ahrairah went along the hedgerow to the wood and sat alone under a nut bush, looking out across the fields. As the light began to fail, he suddenly realized that Lord Frith was closeContinue reading “wisdom is found on the desolate hillside”

good at pretending to understand more than I did

I got pretty good at pretending to understand more than I did, a skill which has served me through life. …But I’ve developed a great reputation for wisdom by ordering more books than I ever had time to read, and reading more books, by far, than I learned anything useful from. From Gilead by MarilynneContinue reading “good at pretending to understand more than I did”

thoughtless follies laid him low

Bard’s Epitaph by Robert Burns (1786): Is there a whim-inspired fool, Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule, Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool, Let him draw near; And owre this grassy heap sing dool, And drap a tear. Is there a bard of rustic song, Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,Continue reading “thoughtless follies laid him low”

to believe in nothing but his dinner

From The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald (chapter 2): He was a right good king and knew that the love of a boy who would not leave his father and mother to be made a great man was worth ten thousand offers to die for his sake, and would prove so when the rightContinue reading “to believe in nothing but his dinner”

it will always trouble the waters

But before one of them spoke Morano flung to them from far off a little piece of his wisdom: for cast a truth into an occasion and it will always trouble the waters, usually stirring up contraditions, but always bringing something to the surface. From “The Fifth Chronicle: How He Rode in the Twilight andContinue reading “it will always trouble the waters”