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  • Writer's pictureMark Vallet

Daily-ish (probably a few per week) Collected Quotes

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

I have kept a journal of quotes for years and decided to share some of them here, along with why I may find them important or at least pleasing to the ear.

Here is how it started:


"When Ben Johnson was a small boy, his tutor, William Cameden persuaded him of the virtue of keeping a commonplace book; pages where an ardent reader might copy down passages that especially pleased him, preserving sentences that seemed particularly apt or wise or rightly formed and that would, because they were written afresh in a new place, and in a context of favor, be better remembered, as if they were being set down at the same time in the memory of the mind." - Harpers Magazine

I was reading an article in Harpers, which may or may not have been about Ben Johnson, I honestly don't remember, but the passage above made sense to me which is why I followed suit, buying a journal and writing down passages which I found well written or the message spoke to me in one way or another. The above was the first entry so it has been almost 22 years exactly.

I used the journal a lot when I first purchased it but there have been years where I haven't touched it all. As marriage, kids, and age have led to me reading less over the years fewer and fewer passages have made it into the book. I hope to change that going forward.

Finally, here is the first passage I wrote down after the one that explained the purpose of the book. It is Ben Johnson, from the article I was reading:

"What a deale of cold business doth a man mis-spend the better part of life in! In scattering complements, tending visits, gathering and venting news, following feasts and plays, making a little winter-love in a dark corner." Ben Johnson.

I like the phrase, "making a little winter love in a dark corner" which I assume was meant to mean flirting at the time, not Ben Johnson fucking in a dark corner while snow falls softly to the ground. It just has a nice ring to it.

"Gathering and venting news" is also a nice turn of phrase, I feel like all I do these days is listen to people "venting news" and their opinions. It is a cold business indeed.

The message would have resonated with me in different times. I am not a small talker, am not great at visiting people, or even keeping in touch with them. Feasts, let's call them dinner parties, are certainly not something I look forward to and scattering complements has never been my strong suit.

However, while COVID has only made my basic personality worse, I do find that I miss talking to people now and again. I miss traveling (without having to replay my every move looking for COVID exposure), restaurants and even meeting new people (just a little). Strange thing being an introvert missing people and connections.

Have any quotes you like for any reason at all? Share them with me and I will share them here.

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