Two Quotes on Writing

This year will be year of writing – especially the early part.  So two quotes on writing to start the New Year:  

Dante Alighieri, De Monarchia, Bk 1, Ch 1:

“All men on whom the Higher Nature has stamped the love of truth should especially concern themselves in laboring for posterity, in order that future generations may be enriched by their efforts, as they themselves were made rich by the efforts of generations past. For that man who is imbued with public teachings, but cares not to contribute something to the public good, is far in arrears of his duty, let him be assured; he is, indeed, not “a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season,” but rather a destructive whirlpool, always engulfing, and never giving back what it has devoured. Often meditating with myself upon these things, lest I should some day be found guilty of the charge of the buried talent, I desire for the public weal, not only to burgeon, but to bear fruit, and to establish truths unattempted by others.”

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I.8 ff.

“Sing Heav’nly Muse … I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, that with no middle flight intends to soar above th’Aonian Mount, while it pursues things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime… What in me is dark illumine, what is low raise and support; that to the highth of this great Argument I may assert th’Eternal Providence, and justifie the wayes of God to men.” 

Fortunately, both of these men were much older than me when they wrote these lines.  Tocqueville, on the other hand…. 

 

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