Antique Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 138 quotes )
Antiquity! thou wondrous charm, what art thou? that being nothing art everything? When thou wert, thou wert not antiquity - then thou wert nothing, but hadst a remoter antiquity, as thou calledst it, to look back to with blind veneration; thou thyself being to thyself flat, jejune, modern! What mystery lurks in this retroversion? or what half Januses are we, that cannot look forward with the same idolatry with which we for ever revert! The mighty future is as nothing, being everything! the past is everything, being nothing!
To give you an idea of my state of mind I can not do better than compare it to one of those rooms we see nowadays in which are collected and mingled the furniture of all times and countries. Our age has no impress of its own. We have impressed the seal of our time neither on our houses nor our gardens, nor on anything that is ours. On the street may be seen men who have their beards trimmed as in the time of Henry III, others who are clean-shaven, others who have their hair arranged as in the time of Raphael, others as in the time of Christ. So the homes of the rich are cabinets of curiosities: the antique, the gothic, the style of the Renaissance, that of Louis XIII, all pell-mell. In short, we have every century except our own—a thing which has never been seen at any other epoch: eclecticism is our taste; we take everything we find, this for beauty, that for utility, another for antiquity, still another for its ugliness even, so that we live surrounded by debris, as if the end of the world were at hand.
To return to antiquity [in literature]: that has been done. To return to the Middle Ages: that too has been done. Remains the present day. But the ground is shaky: so where can you set the foundations? An answer to this question must be found if one is to produce anything vital and hence lasting. All this disturbs me so much that I no longer like to be spoken to about it.
What an immature, self-destructive, antiquated mischief is man! How obscure and gross his prancing and chattering on his little stage of evolution! How loathsome and beyond words boring all the thoughts and self-approval of his biological by-product! this half-formed, ill-conditioned body! this erratic, maladjusted mechanism of his soul: on one side the harmonious instincts and balanced responses of the animal, on the other the inflexible purpose of the engine, and between them man, equally alien from the being of Nature and the doing of the machine, the vile becoming!
Why should we celebrate These dead men more than the dying? It is not to ring the bell backward Nor is it an incantation To summon the spectre of a Rose. We cannot revive old factions We cannot restore old policies Or follow an antique drum. These men, and those who opposed them And those whom they opposed Accept the constitution of silence And are folded in a single party. Whatever we inherit from the fortunate We have taken from the defeated What they had to leave us - a symbol: A symbol perfected in death.
It's funny, isn't it, what will make you break? Your lover moves to London and falls in love with a news reader for the BBC and you feel fine and then one day you raise your umbrella slightly to cross Fifty-seventh Street and stare into the Burberry shop and begin to sob. Or your baby dies at birth and five years later, in an antique store, a small battered silver rattle with teeth marks in one end engraved with the name Emily lies on a square of velvet, and the sobs escape from the genie's bottle somewhere deep in your gut where they've lain low until then. Or the garbage bag breaks.
[She] knew there were women who worked successfully out of the home. They ran businesses, created empires and managed to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children who went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard or became world-renowned concert pianists. Possibly both. These women accomplished all this while cooking gourmet meals, furnishing their homes with Italian antiques, giving clever, intelligent interviews with Money magazine and People, and maintaining a brilliant marriage with an active enviable sex life and never tipping the scale at an ounce over their ideal weight... She knew those women were out there. If she'd had a gun, she'd have hunted every last one of them down and shot them like rabid dogs for the good of womankind.
The dialectic of antiquity tended towards leadership (the great individual and the masses--the free man and the slaves); so far the dialectic of Christendom tends towards representation (the majority sees itself in its representative and is set free by the consciousness that it is the majority which is represented, in a sort of self-consciousness); the dialectic of the present age tends towards equality, and its most logical--though mistaken--fulfilment is levelling, as the negative unity of the negative reciprocity of all individuals.
I met a traveller from an antique land. Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone. Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown. And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command. Tell that its sculptor well those passions read. Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear:'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'Nothing beside remains. Round the decay. Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
The Cardinal was bent over his writing desk, the room unchanged save for the light of what appeared a small antique oil lamp. And there were illuminated letters in the book before him, tiny figures fitted into the capitals, the whole gleaming as he let his hand, quivering, turn the page."Ah, think of it," he said, smiling as he saw Tonio, "written language the possession of those who took such pains to preserve it. I am forever entranced with the forms in which knowledge is given us, not by nature, but by our fellow man.
Who will believe my verse in time to come, If it were fill'd with your most high deserts? Though yet, heaven knows, it is but as a tomb Which hides your life and shows not half your parts. If I could write the beauty of your eyes And in fresh numbers number all your graces, The age to come would say 'This poet lies: Such heavenly touches ne'er touch'd earthly faces.' So should my papers yellow'd with their age Be scorn'd like old men of less truth than tongue, And your true rights be term'd a poet's rage And stretched metre of an antique song: But were some child of yours alive that time, You should live twice; in it and in my rhyme.
It has been the will of Heaven," the essay began, "that we should be thrown into existence at a period when the greatest philosophers and lawgivers of antiquity would have wished to live...a period when a coincidence of circumstances without example has afforded to thirteen colonies at once an opportunity of beginning government anew from the foundation and building as they choose. How few of the human race have ever had the opportunity of choosing a system of government for themselves and their children? How few have ever had anything more of choice in government than in climate?
Yes," he said, without looking at anyone; "it's a misfortune to live five years in the country like this, far from the mighty intellects! You turn into a fool directly. You may try not to forget what you've been taught, but -in a snap!- they'll prove all that's rubbish, and tell you that sensible men have nothing more to do with such foolishness, and that you, if you please, are an antiquated old fogey. What's to be done? Young people, of course, are cleverer than we are!
Ben and I walked by the Forum, which, with the green grass still growing among the stones, seems to be a double ruin: a ruin of antiquity and a monument to the tender sentiments of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century travelers, for we see not only the ghosts of Romans here but the shades of ladies with parasols and men with beards and little children rolling hoops.
A couple of hours after Sunset Michael Robartes returned and told me that I would have to learn the steps of an exceedingly antique dance, because before my initiation could be perfected I had to join three times in a magical dance, for rhythm was the wheel of Eternity, on which alone the transient and accidental could be broken, and the spirit set free.
Her antiquity in preceding and surviving succeeding tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.