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Lawrence Durrell

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His profession [ diplomacy] - offered him something like a long Jesuitical training in self-deception which enabled him to present an ever more highly polished surface to the world without deepening his human experience [-] for he lived surrounded by his ambitious and sycophantic fellows who taught him only how to excel in forms of address, and the elaborate kindnesses which, in pleasing, pave the way to advancement. (II)

 
Lawrence Durrell

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As you read these stories you will see that whenever I was properly humble and willing to let something besides a human be my instructor, these various four-legged, six-legged and no-legged fellows shared priceless wisdom with me. They taught me that perfect understanding and perfect co-operation between the human and all other forms of life is unfailing whenever the human really does his required part.

 
J. Allen Boone
 

Robbery and murder are the worst of human crimes; but in the West there are robbers and murderers. There are those who form cliques to vie for the reins of power and who, when deprived of that power, decry the injustice of it all. Even worse, international diplomacy is really based on the art of deception. Surveying the situation as a whole, all we can say is that there is a general prevalence of good over bad, but we can hardly call the situation perfect. When, several thousand years hence, the levels of knowledge and virtue of the peoples of the world will have made great progress (to the point of becoming utopian), the present condition of the nations of the West will surely seem a pitifully primitive stage. Seen in this light, civilization is an open-ended process. We cannot be satisfied with the present level of attainment of the West.

 
Fukuzawa Yukichi
 

He sows June fields with clover, and the world
Broadcasts with little common kindnesses.
The plain good souls He sends us, who fulfill
Life's homely duties in the daily path
With cheerful heart, ambitious of no more
Than to supply the wants of friend and kin,
Yet serve God's higher love to human hearts;
Giving a secret sweetness to the home,
The hidden fragrance of a kindly heart,
The simple beauty of a useful life,
That never dazzles, and that never tires.

 
Samuel Longfellow
 

Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labour in it, but they labour in it because they excel.

 
William Hazlitt
 

The art of pleasing is the art of deception.

 
Luc de Clapiers Vauvenargues
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