The aim of this blog is to serve as a meeting point to those who study or have studied English philology and, more broadly, to all those who love literature and language.

17 Aug 2009


I’m back from a recent trip to the United States. Although it was my first stay in that country, it was really easy to find familiar places and names. While visiting different buildings, I came across different quotations by well known American writers and politicians. These are some examples:

The cathedral of Saint John the Divine displays a set of American writers’ quotes in its Poets’ Corner
Both in the Franklin Institute and the Underground museum at Franklin Court in Philadelphia, lots of wise and witty sentences by Benjamin Franklin were displayed. These are just a few of the many I read:

"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest"
"God heals, and the doctor takes the fees"
"You may delay, but time will not"
"Fish and visitors smell in three days"

I'll finish this post with an inscription shown in big letters at the Entrance hall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It displays a piece of advice addressed by Theodore Roosevelt to young male people. I think it reflects well the ideal that underlies in many fields of the United States society.


"I want to see you game, boys, I want to see you brave and manly, and I also want to see you gentle and tender.

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground.

Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to successful life.

Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike".

Further quotes in the same room

1 comment:

  1. It was long ago that I read about the importance of 'character' in life for the first time. It was in a writing of Cicero, but I think that he was just quoting a general belief among Romans and Greeks. It surprised to me because, at the time, I never thought that character could be so important.

    Juan F.

    Sadly, we don´t teach 'character' our youngsters anymore; all we teach them is knowledge or, in the best of cases, we teach them how to think trying them to be more inteligent. And the truth is that knowledge and inteligence are nothing if they don´t came escorted by a strong character.