quote 0022

We have made thee neither of heaven nor of earth,
Neither mortal or immortal,
So that with freedom of choice and with honor,
As thought the maker and molder of thyself,
Thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer.

– Giovanni Pico della Miràndola – Oration on dignity of man (1480)

quote 0020

There was a hideous custom with origin at Scythia, that was stablished in India by the influence of the Brahmins and threatened to invade the whole East. When a married man died, and his beloved wife wanted to be saint, she must be burned in public over the body of her husband. It was a solemn party which was called “Bonfire of Widowhood”. The tribe in which there were more women burned was considered the best of all.
(…)
Zadig (…) immediately wanted to meet the chief of the tribe (…) and advised them to create a law which “is allowed to a widow go to the fire only after having a talk for an hour, face to face, with a young man”. Thereafter, widows no more immolated its life in a bonfire at Arabia.
 
– Voltaire – Zadig, or The Book of Fate (1747)
Scythia, arabia, widow, fire

quote 0019

“Do not despair, my son; once was a grain of sand that lamented for being an ignored atom in the desert; in the end of a few years became a diamond and today is the most beautiful ornament in the crown of India’s King.”

Those words left me impressed, I was the grain of sand, and I decided to become a diamond. p. 74

– Voltaire – Zadig, or The Book of Fate (1747)

grain of sand

quote 0011

After seen frequently the objects are differents of the first time we saw them; they lose all our repair and attention: our eyes easily forget what they see frequently, not because the frequency take away our admiration, but because the weakness of our senses can’t save it. – Mathias Aires – Reflexions on men’s vanity