History is the most dangerous product which the chemistry of the mind has concocted. Its properties are well known. It produces dreams and drunkenness. It fills people with false memories, exaggerates their reactions, exacerbates old grievances, torments them in their repose, and encourages either a delirium of grandeur or a delusion of persecution. It makes whole nations bitter, arrogant, insufferable and vainglorious.
...in song the words tend to lose their significance, do often lose it, while at the other extreme, in current prose it is the musical value that tends to disappear - so that verse stands symmetrically, as it were, between song, on the one hand, and prose on the other - and is thus admirably and delicately balanced between the sensual and the intellectual power of language.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished a word that for them has no sense but abandoned; and this abandonment, whether to the flames or to the public (and which is the result of weariness or an obligation to deliver) is a kind of an accident to them, like the breaking off of a reflection, which fatigue, irritation, or something similar has made worthless.
The commerce of minds was necessarily the first commerce in the world, ... since before bartering things one must barter signs, and it is necessary therefore that signs be instituted. There is no market or exchange without language. The first instrument of all commerce is language.
The most ridiculous were those who, on their own authority, made themselves the judges and justices of the tribe. They seemed never to suspect that our judgments judge us, and that nothing exposes our weaknesses and reveals ourselves more naively than the attitude of pronouncing upon our neighbors.
Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign.