I never felt so fervently thankful, so soothed, so tranquil, so filled with the blessed peace, as I did yesterday when I learned that Michael Angelo was dead.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. The Innocents Abroad, ch. 27 (1896).
"I used to worship the mighty genius of Michael Angelo," Twain wrote of his visit to Rome, "but I do not want Michael Angelo for breakfastfor luncheonfor dinnerfor teafor supperfor between meals.... Herehere it is frightful. He designed St. Peter's; he designed the Pope ... the eternal bore designed the Eternal City, and unless all men and books do lie, he painted everything in it!")
I gather from a lawyer that there was a rehearsal yesterday. We haven't a hope. I know the presiding judge too: I've had the misfortune to sleep with his wife. He was specially picked.
(Alphonse Karr (1808-1890), French journalist, novelist. quoted in The Goncourt Journal, entry for Feb. 20, 1853 (trans. 1962).
Karr was on trial together with Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, accused of writing articles offensive to public morals.)
Yesterday, December 7, 1941Ma date that will live in infamythe United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 vols., New York (1938-1950). FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 9, declaration of war"Day of Infamy" (Dec. 8, 1941), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).)
Yesterday morning had gone to bed very early, and had done it once: thirteen in all. Was really affectionate to her.
(James Boswell (1740-1795), Scottish author. Boswell on the Grand Tour: Italy, Corsica, and France, journal, February 12, 1766, p. 279, McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company, Inc. (1955).
Sole evidence that Boswell had an affair with Thérèse Levasseur, Rousseau's mistress, on his return journey from France.)
If the only new thing we have to offer is an improved version of the past, then today can only be inferior to yesterday. Hypnotised by images of the past, we risk losing all capacity for creative change.
(Robert Hewison (b. 1943), British cultural historian. The Heritage Industry, introduction (1987).)
They got a lucky break. Yesterday they were just two German clerks. Today they're the honored dead.
(Howard Koch (1901-1995), U.S. screenwriter, Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, and Michael Curtiz. Rick (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca, when informed two German couriers have been assassinated (1943).)