Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.

So, how's this for a thought that bears pondering:

"There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven."

Or this:

"In the night of death, hope sees a star, and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing."

Or these words:

"Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so."

And whose was this happy creed? Robert Green Ingersoll, a man who must have been well worth knowing. I first heard his name coming from the lips [oohbaybee] of William Holden, in the character of What's His Name. His idealistic journalist character quoted Robt. Ingersoll, who'd 'rather have been a happy French peasant, wearing wooden shoes,' than the tyrant Napoleon. Something like that.... . He was speaking to blond, curvilicious, wonderful Judy Holliday, portraying dim bulb Billie Dawn, living with a rich thug, played by Broderick Crawford in Born Yesterday. Ah well. See the movie, the brilliant, perfect, smart, funny, black & white original [1950]. Not the remake.
But I digress. What I meant to say is that Robt. Ingersoll was born on this day in 1833, when Henry Clay was a big deal in the U.S. Senate, when wind in the sails powered ships across the oceans. Oh my goodness: Felix Mendelssohn composed his Italian Symphony that year, Chopin a collection of Etudes.... Gosh I love my battered copy of the Timelines of History. ANYWAY, back in the 1880s, Americans by the hundreds paid money to hear freethinking Robert Ingersoll say such things as:
"It is an old habit with theologians to beat the living with the bones of the dead."

"Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows."

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