Gleanings From the Past #86



We are strange beings, we seem to go free, but we go in chains — chains of training, custom, convention, association, environment—in a word. Circumstance — and against these bonds the strongest of us struggle in vain.

— Mark Twain, “3,000 Years Among the Microbes”, 1905

A man is worked upon by what he works on. He may carve out his circumstances, but his circumstances will carve him out as well.

— Frederick Douglass, The Portable Frederick Douglass, 2016

Without Language Barriers

A curé of a large city in France was obliged, upon a certain festival day, to reply to a Latin discourse, but as he did not understand that language, he managed to get out of the scrape by observing, “The apostles, sir, spoke many languages; you have just addressed me in Latin, and I am going to answer you in French.”

American Masonic Record, December 29, 1827


Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

— Oscar Wilde, “The Critic as Artist”, 1891

Cause and Effect

No incident, however seemingly trivial, is unimportant in the scheme of things. One event leads to another, which triggers something else and before you know where you are, the ramifications spread far and wide throughout History. Echoing down the ages. Getting fainter and fainter, but never completely dying away. They talk of The Harmony of the Spheres, but History is A Symphony of Echoes. Every little action has huge consequences. They’re not always apparent, and sometimes, in our game, sometimes effect comes before cause, not after. It makes your headache.”

— Jodi Taylor, A Symphony of Echoes, 2013

Posted by

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

5 thoughts on “Gleanings From the Past #86

  1. Oscar Wilde’s quote reaches out to those of us who enjoy a pre-dawn walk. No, we are not crazy for being up so early. Why should we sleep in and miss the dawning of another magnificent day.


What's On Your Mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s