"It is harder to make one’s name by means of a perfect work than to win praise for a second-rate one by means of the name one has already acquired."

Jean de La Bruyère (1645 - 1696), a French philosopher and moralist who was famous for his satire


"If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligence they are, the more they are frightened."

George S. Patton, an American general during World War II, c. 1945


"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit."

Frank Borman, commander the second successful manned Apollo flight, Apollo 8, which was mankind's first flight around the Moon.


"It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand."

Sonia Sotomayor (1954 - ) the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.


"The following question arises for a prince: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far better to be feared than loved if you cannot be both...He must only endeavor, as I said, to escape being hated."

Niccolo Macchiavelli, from The Prince (1513).


"I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am woman, because I am black, because I am lesbian, because I am myself."

Audre Lorde, 1977. She was an American writer, poet, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist.


"Wang Pou of the state of Wei, at the time of the Three Kingdoms, served his mother with filiality. When she was alive, she was afraid of thunder. When she died, she was buried in a hilly wood. Whenever there was wind and rain and Pou would hear the loud sound of thunder like the passing of the chariot of the thunder goddess Axiang, he would hurry to the grave and kneel and pray. He would weep, saying, 'Pou is here. Mother must not be afraid.'"

Circa 1300, China. Wang Pou was so admired for his filial piety, someone even wrote a poem in Pou’s honor:

His loving mother feared hearing thunder;
Now her chill spirit dwells among the dead, and
When Axian thunders over and over
He goes to the tomb to walk about it a thousand times.

Source is Lapham's Quarterly. Volume X, Number 3. Fear. "Voices in Time" pg. 131 New York, NY: American Agora Foundation, Summer 2017. Print.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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