From the happy expression on their faces you might have supposed that they welcomed the war. I have met with men who loved stamps, and stones, and snakes, but I could not imagine any man loving war.
(Margot Asquith (1864-1945), British socialite. The Autobiography of Margot Asquith, vol. 2, ch. 7 (1922).
said of the crowds outside Downing Street, Aug. 3, 1914, the eve of the declaration of World War I...)
We imagine much more appropriately an artisan on his toilet seat or on his wife than a great president, venerable by his demeanor and his ability. It seems to us that they do not stoop from their lofty thrones even to live.
(Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of Repentance," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. III, ch. 2, Abel Langelier, Paris (1595).)
Children ... seldom have a proper sense of their own tragedy, discounting and keeping hidden the true horrors of their short lives, humbly imagining real calamity to be some prestigious drama of the grown-up world.
(Shirley Hazzard (b. 1931), Australian-American author. The Bay of Noon, ch. 1 (1970).)
Nostalgia is one of the great enemies of clear thinking about the family. The disruption of families in the nineteenth century through death, separation, and other convulsions of an industrializing economy was much more catastrophic than we imagine.
(Joseph Featherstone (20th century), U.S. social critic. "Family Matters," Harvard Educational Review, vol. 49 (February 1979).)
To be an American (unlike being English or French or whatever) is precisely to imagine a destiny rather than to inherit one; since we have always been, insofar as we are Americans at all, inhabitants of myth rather than history.
(Leslie Fiedler (b. 1917), U.S. critic. repr. In Collected Essays, vol. 2 (1971). "Cross the BorderClose the Gap," Playboy (Chicago, Dec. 1969).)
Our argument ... will result, not upon logic by itselfthough without logic we should never have got to this pointbut upon the fortunate contingent fact that people who would take this logically possible view, after they had really imagined themselves in the other man's position, are extremely rare.
(Richard M. Hare (b. 1919), British philosopher. Freedom and Reason, p. 171, Oxford University Press (1963).)
Frigidity is desire imagined by a woman who doesn't desire the man offering himself to her. It's the desire of a woman for a man who hasn't yet come to her, whom she doesn't yet know. She's faithful to this stranger even before she belongs to him. Frigidity is the non-desire for whatever is not him.
Imagine believing in the control of inflation by curbing the money supply! That is like deciding to stop your dog fouling the sidewalk by plugging up its rear end. It is highly unlikely to succeed, but if it does it kills the hound.
(Michael D. Stephens. "On Sinai, There's No Economics," New York Times (Nov. 13, 1981).)