Success

He felt suddenly dubious and discontented, and wondered whether he was really and truly successful as a human being. After forty years' experience he had learnt to manage his life and make the best of it on advanced European lines, had developed his personality, explored his limitations, controlled his passions—and he had don it all without becoming either pedantic or worldly. A creditable achievement; but as the moment passed, he felt he ought to have been working at something else the whole time—he didn't know what, never would know, and that was why he felt sad.

—E.M. Forster, A Passage to India, ch 20.

English Pronunciation

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! 10
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say - said, pay - paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak, 20
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining, 30
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.
From "desire": desirable - admirable from "admire",
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind, 40
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. 50
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation's OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live. 60
Is your R correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes with Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy? 70
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You'll envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You'll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache. 80
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label. 90
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
But it is not hard to tell
Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor, 100
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the A of drachm and hammer.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but desert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",
Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor", 110
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose. 120
Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring? 130
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn. 140
Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don't mention,
Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did, 150
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme. 160
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you're not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty, 170
Episodes, antipodes,
Acquiesce, and obsequies.
Please don't monkey with the geyser,
Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan. 180
The TH will surely trouble you
More than R, CH or W.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em -
Wait! I've got it: Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight - you see it; 190
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does [1]. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry, fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath. 200
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer. 210
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry and awry. 220
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver. 230
Never guess - it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir. 240
Mind the O of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce;
Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen, 250
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid, vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll. 260
Pronunciation - think of Psyche! -
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won't it make you lose your wits
Writing groats and saying 'grits'?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don't you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father? 270
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??
Hiccough has the sound of sup...
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!
[1] No, you're wrong. This is the plural of doe.

—The Chaos, Gerard Nolst Trenité, 1920.

Others

I don't know that I understand people very well. I only know whether I like or dislike them.

—E.M. Forster, A Passage to India.

Works

The efficient cause of our salvation is God the Father's love; the material cause is God the Son's obedience; the instrumental cause is the Spirit's illumination (that is, faith); the final cause is the glory of God's great generosity; and those whom the Lord has destined by his mercy for the inheritance of eternal life he leads into possession of it (according to his ordinary dispensation) by the inferior causes of good works.

—John Calvin, Institutes, 3:14:21.

In other words, works are not what we do for God but what he does for us.

Unequal Distribution of Wealth

Rome itself was in the most dangerous inclination to change, on account of the unequal distribution of wealth and property, those of highest rank and greatest spirit having impoverished themselves by shows, entertainments, ambition of offices, and sumptuous buildings, and the riches of the city having thus fallen into the hands of mean and low-born persons. So that there wanted but a slight impetus to set all in motion, it being in the power of every daring man to overturn a sickly commonwealth.

—Plutarch, Life of Cicero.

How to Rule the State

When the people are weak the state is strong; when the state is weak the people are strong. Hence the state that follows a true course strives to weaken the people.

—The Book of the Ruler of Shang, 4th century B.C.

Last Words

Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. "Tell the tailors," said he, "to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take the first stitch." His companion's prayer is forgotten.

—Thoreau, Walden.

Definitions

For my part, when there is a dispute concerning anything, I am stupid enough to refer everything back to the definition itself, which is the hinge and foundation of the whole debate.

—John Calvin, Institutes, 3:4:1; Battles p 624.

Beethoven's Sonatas

That some sonatas of Beethoven are written tragic no one can gainsay; yet they can triumph or despair as the player decides, and she had decided that they should triumph. Victory of what and over what—that is more than the words of daily life can tell us.

—E.M. Forster, Part 1 Chapter 3.

Pronunciation Guide to English Names

An old couple living in Gloucester
Had a beautiful girl but they loucester.
She fell from a yacht
And never the spacht
Could be found where the cold waves had toucester.

An old lady living in Worcester
Had a gift of a handsome young rorcester;
But the way that it crough,
As 'twould never get through,
Was more than the lady was uorcester.

An obstinate lady of Leicester
Wouldn't marry her swain, though he preicester.
For his income, I fear,
Was a hundred a year,
On which he could never have dreicester.

There was a mechalnwick of Alnwick
Whose opinions were anti-Germalnwick.
So when war had begun
He went off with a gun
The proportions of which were Titalnwick.

A youthful schoolmistress named Beauchamp
Said: These awful boys, how shall I teauchamp?
For they will not behave
Although I look grave
And with tears in my eyes I beseauchamp.

A bald-headed judge named Beauclerk
Fell in love with a maiden seau ferk,
Residing at Bicester,
Who said, when he kicester,
"I won't wed a man with neau herk!"

There was a young fellow of Beaulieu
Who loved a fair maiden most treaulieu.
Said he, "Wilt thou be mine?"
When she didn't decline
The marriage was solemnised deaulieu.

A charming young lady named Geoghegan,
Whose Christian names are less peoghegan
Will be Mrs Knollys
Very soon at All Ksollys;
But the date is at present a veogheg'un.

There was a young lady named Wemyss
Who, it semyss, was afflicted with dremyss.
She would wake in the night
And, in a terrible fright,
Shake the bemyss of the house with her scremyss.

There was a young fellow named Cholmondeley,
Whose bride was so mellow and colmondeley
That the best man, Colquhoun,
An inane young bolqufoun,
Could only stand still and stare dolmondeley.

The bridegroom's first cousin, young Belvoir,
Whose dad was a Lancashire welvoir,
Arrived with George Bohun
At just about nohun
When excitement was mounting to felvoir.

An adventurous pirate named Menzies
Once waylaid and captured two denzies.
The Rover, Sir Ralph,
Said, "Do you think that's salph?
You don't want to damage your thenzies."

The Baron of Fawsley, Lord St John,
Had a fine buckskin coat with a frt john.
He said, "It was guthven
Me by Viscount Ruthven,
Who thinks I'm a cowboy, or t john."

As a youngster Sir Reggie Pole-Carew
Was a cissy, and dubbed the schole-farew.
He fled from Lord Tyrwhitt,
Who dressed as a spyrwhitt,
For he found any ghost or ghole-scarew.

A colonel by name Leveson Gower
Mixed tequila and lime jeveson mower
In a drink for Miss Featherstonehaugh
Who said to him, "Meatherstonehaugh,
This stuff might have some yeveson wower."

There was a young student at Caius
Who whizzed down the slopes on his skaius;
But a Fellow of Magdalene
Said "I prefer dagdalene -
"I've got where I am by degraius!"

There was an old lady of Wymondham
Who caught people's kittens and skymondham;
She made lovely fur hats
From the skins of the cats,
Then she chopped 'em and cooked 'em and tymondham.

A dashing young fellow named Cockburn
Was attempting to travel to Holborn.
He asked with a cough
If he please could get ough
When he found himself en route to Oban.

A visiting lady from Appisurgh,
Said "How they talk here would amappiz'urgh:
Typhoo, it is written
Put the T into Britain,
So who took the P out of Happisburgh?