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George Frideric Handel

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I should be sorry if I only entertained them, I wish to make them better.
--
James Beattie, letter of May 25, 1780, published in William Forbes An Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie, LL.D. (1806) p. 331.
--
In reply to Lord Kinnoull, who had complimented him on his Messiah, "the noble entertainment which he had lately given the town". Beattie had this on the authority of Kinnoull himself.

 
George Frideric Handel

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Truth be told, I'm not an easy man. I can be an entertaining one, though it's been my experience that most people don't want to be entertained. They want to be comforted. And, of course, my idea of entertaining might not be yours. I'm in complete agreement with all those people who say, regarding movies, "I just want to be entertained." This populist position is much derided by my academic colleagues as simpleminded and unsophisticated, evidence of questionable analytical and critical acuity. But I agree with the premise, and I too just want to be entertained. That I am almost never entertained by what entertains other people who just want to be entertained doesn't make us philosophically incompatible. It just means we shouldn't go to movies together.

 
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Through your thoughts, you create your own games, and you win your own games because perhaps you have forgotten how to play the real game. What is the real game? It is the game in which the heart is entertained, the game in which you are entertained. It is the game that you will win.

 
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I tell you, in the first instance, that Ireland is an enslaved country. A great mistake is entertained by many persons to the effect that there cannot be slavery—that no man can be a slave unless he be in chains, or subject to the lash of the planter like the negroes; but the slavery of which I speak is the slavery of the people, which consists in this, that they do not make their own laws themselves—that they do not make the laws by which they are governed, but that those laws are made by others, and I say it boldly, that a people so circumstanced are in a state of slavery.

 
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Andrew Johnson had been suspected by many people of being concerned in the plans of Booth against the life of Lincoln or at least cognizant of them. A committee of which I was the head, felt it their duty to make a secret investigation of that matter, and we did our duty in that regard most thoroughly. Speaking for myself I think I ought to say that there was no reliable evidence at all to convince a prudent and responsible man that there was any ground for the suspicions entertained against Johnson.

 
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I have no need of your God-damned sympathy. I only wish to be entertained by some of your grosser reminiscences.

 
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