Curtis Dahlgren
A fistful of words by some dead white people
By Curtis Dahlgren
February 10, 2020

"All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to think them again." – Goethe (1749-1834)

"THE MOST BRILLIANT THOUGHTS OF ALL TIME (in two lines or less)" by John M. Shanahan (Cliff Street Books) contains a lot of words that the Founders read. This week's column was going to be about the Founders, but I ran across this one from ten years ago:

"WE DON'T KNOW BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW," said Aldous Huxley (1894-1963). It's nice to know that Huxley sometimes agreed with writers of the "out-moded" Bible..

I'M SO OLD that my dad saw Teddy Roosevelt when he was running for President, and Teddy's been on Mt. Rushmore for almost 80 years! I'm so old that I was conceived before Pearl Harbor. Some contemporaries of Abraham Lincoln were still around when I was born (and Lincoln was born over 200 years ago), so I'm not too keen on "the wisdom of the young." Here's a fistful of words from the Shanahan book:

- "Clever liars give details, but the cleverest don't." – anonymous

- "A wise man will keep his suspicions muzzled, but he will keep them awake." – George Savile, Marquess de Halifax (1633-95)

- "Never trust a man who speaks well of everybody." – John Collins (1848-1908)

- "He who praises you for what you lack wishes to take from you what you have." – Don Juan Manuel (1282-1349) [class envy is self-defeating]

- "Unlike grownups, children have little need to deceive themselves." – Goethe

- "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)

- "Have a care, therefore, where there is more sail than ballast." – Wm. Penn (1644-1718)

- "Beware the fury of a patient man." – John Dryden (1631-1700)

- "Patience has its limits. Take it too far and it's cowardice." – George Jackson (1941-71)

- "So long as there is any subject which men may not freely discuss, they are intimidated upon all subjects." – John Chapman (1862-1933)

-"A wise man hears one word and understands two." -Jewish proverb [i.e., he reads between the lines]

- "Listen, or thy tongue will keep thee deaf." – Native American proverb

- "There is no such thing as conversation . . There are intersecting monologues, that is all." – Rebecca West (1892-1983)

- "Nothing has an uglier look to us than reason when it is not on our side." – John Donne (1572-1631)

- "Those that merely talk and never think, . . live in . . wild anarchy . . ." – Ben Jonson (1573-1637)

-"Don't trust everything you think." -.Bumper sticker, 2020

- "Every man becomes, to a certain degree, what the people he generally converses with are." – Chesterfield (1694-1773)

- "People are governed by the head; a kind heart is of little value in chess." – Sebastian Chamfort (1741-94)

- "A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." – Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

- "A wise man's questions contain half the answer." – Gabirol (1022-1070)

- "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius." – Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

- "There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." – Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

-"knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom." – Herman Hesse [I hope he was wrong]

- "Procrastination is the thief of time." – Edward Young (1683-1765) [Time's a-wastin']

P.S. Sorry ma'am, but just one more thing::

'Tis God gives skill,
But not without man's hands;
He couldn't make Antonio Stradivari's violins
Without Antonio.
George Eliot – Mary Ann Cross (1819-1880) [chalk up one for the ladies]

PPS: "This is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party" – oops, I mean country. And don't let procrastination keep you from doing the thing you CAN DO! The world may be in God's hands, but that doesn't mean He doesn't want you to use YOURS!

"Use your freedom to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men." – Peter, first century A.D.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


Receive future articles by Curtis Dahlgren: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it!

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Jerry Newcombe
The Key to our national motto

Cliff Kincaid
Heaven help us: Trump bails on protecting the right to life

Pete Riehm
It’s not Israel; it’s us!

Bruce Deitrick Price
Rita Kramer's book 'Ed School Follies' exposes how teachers are trained to dumb down America

Paul Cameron
U.S. LGBTs and their harms growing

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 13: Fomenting Race Wars Begins in Kindergarten

Jim Terry
Chaos and complexity: That’s how politicians control us

Rev. Mark H. Creech
The dwindling flame: Exploring the decline of church attendance in America

Cliff Kincaid
The Keystone Cops are running America

Jerry Newcombe
$1 million dollar challenge to replicate the Shroud

Pete Riehm
Extolling perversion at the expense of redemption

Cliff Kincaid
The attack on the Port of Baltimore
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons


Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites