Never joke at funerals, or during business transactions.
(Herman Melville (1819-1891), U.S. author. Israel Potter (1855), ch. 7, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 8, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1982).
Spoken by a fictional Benjamin Franklin.)
The genius of Byron, which appeared at the beginning of this century, is like a funeral torch sculptured on our cradles.
(Emilio Castelar Y Ripoll (1832-1899), Spanish statesman, writer. Quoted in Doris Langley Moore, The Late Lord Byron, ch. 15 (1961, rev. 1976).
Moore commented: "The reader of our time would be more inclined to compare him to an inexhaustible Roman candle, or one of those rockets that goes on breaking out in varied coruscations and leaves in the air a luminous smoky trail, an acrid tang of gunpowder.")