It haunts me, the passage of time. I think time is a merciless thing. I think life is a process of burning oneself out and time is the fire that burns you. But I think the spirit of man is a good adversary.
(Tennessee Williams (1914-1983), U.S. dramatist. New York Post (April 30, 1958).)
Examples are cited by soldiers, of men who have seen the cannon pointed, and the fire given to it, and who have stepped aside from he path of the ball. The terrors of the storm are chiefly confined to the parlour and the cabin.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Prudence," Essays, First Series (1841, repr. 1847).)
We love to hear some men speak, though we hear not what they say; the very air they breathe is rich and perfumed, and the sound of their voices falls on the ear like the rustling of leaves or the crackling of the fire. They stand many deep.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 406, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purifyso that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.
(John Keats (1795-1821), British poet. Letter, February 14-May 3, 1819, to his brother and sister-in-law, George and Georgiana Keats. Letters of John Keats, no. 123, ed. Frederick Page (1954).)
When she asked him about birth control, he sat down beside her and talked for half an hour about what a great woman Margaret Sanger was and how birthcontrol was the greatest single blessing to mankind since the invention of fire.
(John Dos Passos (1896-1970), U.S. novelist, poet, playwright, painter. Don Stevens in 1919, of the trilogy U.S.A., The Modern Library, Random House, Inc. (1937).
Speaking to Eveline Hutchins.)