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Page 39 - That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish...
Page 46 - For instance, people call me a pessimist; and if it is pessimism to think, with Sophocles, that 'not to have been born is best,' then I do not reject the designation.
Page 47 - On the contrary, my practical philosophy is distinctly meliorist. What are my books but one plea against 'man's inhumanity to man' — to woman — and to the lower animals? . . . Whatever may be the inherent good or evil of life, it is certain that men make it much worse than it need be. When we have got rid of a thousand remediable ills, it will be time enough to determine whether the ill that is irremediable outweighs the good.
Page 49 - English as a dead language — a thing crystallised at an arbitrarily selected stage of its existence, and bidden to forget that it has a past and deny that it has a future. Purism, whether in grammar or vocabulary, almost always means ignorance. Language was made before grammar, not grammar before language.
Page 46 - But my pessimism, if pessimism it be, does not involve the assumption that the world is going to the dogs, and that Ahriman is winning all along the line. On the contrary, my practical philosophy is distinctly meliorist.
Page 37 - Hardy. Well, now, in this matter my position is just the reverse of yours. I am most anxious to believe in what, roughly speaking, we may call the supernatural — but I find no evidence for it ! People accuse me of scepticism, materialism, and so forth ; but, if the accusation is just at all, it is quite against my will. For instance, I seriously assure you that I would give ten years of my life — well, perhaps that offer is rather beyond my means — but when I was...
Page 48 - ... determined not to be taken in, and to be conscientious at all hazards, he made a point of getting up to re-read it on a wet morning before breakfast, and then found that it was worth very little. That seemed to me an excessive devotion to critical duty.
Page 21 - I think you would find," he said, " if you tried to write drama, not only that wealth and leisure are more productive of dramatic complications than poverty and hard work, but that, if you want to get a certain order of ideas expressed or questions discussed, you must go pretty well up in the social scale.
Page 38 - My mother laughed at the idea; and as a matter of fact she apparently recovered, and my mother went away to her home at some distance. Then one night — lying broad awake, as she declared — my mother saw this lady enter her room and hold out the child to her imploringly. It afterwards appeared (I need scarcely tell you) that she died at that very time; but the odd thing was that, while she was sinking, she continually expressed a wish that my mother should take charge of the child, though she...