Saturday, 13 September 2008

Quote Unquote

"NATURE," "natural," and the group of words derived from them, or allied to them in etymology, have at all times filled a great place in the thoughts and taken a strong hold on the feelings of mankind. That they should have done so is not surprising when we consider what the words, in their primitive and most obvious signification, represent; but it is unfortunate that a set of terms which play so great a part in moral and metaphysical speculation should have acquired many meanings different from the primary one, yet sufficiently allied to it to admit of confusion. The words have thus become entangled in so many foreign associations, mostly of a very powerful and tenacious character, that they have come to excite, and to be the symbols of, feelings which their original meaning will by no means justify, and which have made them one of the most copious sources of false taste, false philosophy, false morality, and even bad law.

J.S. Mill, "On Nature", 1894

herons flying upstream, their colour matching the sky so closely that they might have been flews of wind

Annie Proulx, "Fine Just The Way It Is", 2008


x said...

Ah! pseud's corner, Private Eye.

Chertiozhnik said...

Yep, always wanted to feature in Pseuds' Corner, never made it after 47 years of trying.

Stargazer said...

Notice that you've linked me. Returning the favour! :)