Tuesday, January 22, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.


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An unlucky rich man is more capable of satisfying his desires and of riding out disaster when it strikes, but a lucky man is better off than him…He is the one who deserves to be described as happy. But until he is dead, you had better refrain from calling him happy, and just call him fortunate.
Herodotus (trans. Robin Waterfield) The Histories Bk. 1, ch. 32, pp. 15-16.


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A book, like a person, has its fortunes with one; is lucky or unlucky in the precise moment of its falling in our way, and often by some happy accident counts with us for something more than its independent value.

Walter Pater

The way to find out about your happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you really are happy-not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what I call "following your bliss."

Joseph Campbell

Call no day happy 'til it is done; call no man happy til he is dead.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.

John Dryden

There is a wretched unbelief abroad which seems to contain much healing power. It deems such a connection accidental, and sees in it only a lucky conjunction of the different forces in the game of life. It thinks it an accident that the lovers win one another, accidental that they love one another; there are a hundred other women with whom the hero would have been equally happy, and whom he could have loved as deeply. It thinks that there has been many a poet who might have become as immortal as Homer, if this splendid subject had not already been appropriated by him; many a composer who might have made himself as immortal as Mozart, had the opportunity offered. ... The accidental has but one factor; it is accidental that Homer found in the Trojan War the most distinguished epic subject conceivable. The fortunate has two factors: it is fortunate that the most distinguished epic subject fell to the lot of Homer; here the accent falls as much on Homer as on the material. It is this profound harmony which reverberates through every work of art we call classic. And so it is with Mozart; it is fortunate that the subject, which is perhaps the only strictly musical subject, in the deeper sense, that life affords, fell to — Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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