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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Archbishop Whately

  • [Richard Whately, an eminent English writer; born in London, 1787; educated at Oxford; professor of political economy there, 1830; archbishop of Dublin, 1831; organized the national system of education in Ireland; published “Elements of Rhetoric,” 1828; died, October, 1863.]
  • You sit upon a form, but you stand upon a ceremony.

  • In answer to his own question of the difference between form and ceremony. He was the author of the conundrum, “Why can a man never starve in the Great Desert? Because of the sandwiches there. What brought the sandwiches there? Noah sent Ham, and his descendants mustered and bred.” He asked, “Why is Ireland the richest country in the world? Because its capital is always Dublin.” Another conundrum was, “Why would gardening be a dangerous indulgence for lunatics? Because they might grow madder.”
  • Can he draw an inference?

  • When told there was nothing a certain horse could not draw.
  • When a physiologist answered the question, “Why does hanging kill a man?” by saying that respiration was checked, circulation stopped, the brain congested—“Nonsense!” interrupted Whately: “it is because the rope is not long enough to let his feet touch the ground!”
  • Of a man who invariably closed his eyes when asking a puzzling question, he said, “He resembles an ignorant pedagogue, who keeps his pupil in darkness.”
  • Cultivate not only the cornfields of the mind, but the pleasure-grounds also.

    Be old when young, that you may be young when old.

    Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.

    Many a meandering discourse one hears, in which the preacher aims at nothing, and hits it.

    If all our wishes were gratified, most of our pleasures would be destroyed.

    Woman is like the reed, which bends to every breeze, but breaks not in the tempest.