Shakespeare seems to have sensed very early—what the world at large has still to learn—that he who cannot rule himself is not entitled to rule a city, still less a nation. - Goddard's "The Meaning of Shakespeare"
After the birth of a human being his early years are obscurely spent in the toils or pleasures of childhood. As he grows up the world receives him, when his manhood begins, and he enters into contact with his fellows. He is then studied for the first time, and it is imagined that the germ of the vices and the virtues of his maturer years is then formed. This, if I am not mistaken, is a great error. We must begin higher up; we must watch the infant in its mother's arms; we must see the first images which the external world casts upon the dark mirror of his mind; the first occurrences which he witnesses; we must hear the first words which awaken the sleeping powers of thought, and stand by his earliest efforts, if we would understand the prejudices, the habits, and the passions which will rule his life. The entire man is, so to speak, to be seen in the cradle of the child. - Tocqueville's "Democracy in America"
Unlike every other famous tourist sight Mitchell had seen in his life, the Acropolis was more impressive in reality; no postcard or photograph could do it justice. The Parthenon was both bigger and more beautiful, more heroically conceived and constructed, than he’d imagined. - Eugenides's "The Marriage Plot"
a snapping turtle lumbered down the center of the asphalt like an ambulatory helmet. His long tail dragged, blunt head jutting out of the lapidary prehistoric sleep of shell.
the drowned boy blurred as much by memory as by water, molded toward an essential, remote ideal. Longing, of course, become its own object, the way that desire can make anything into a god. - Doty's "Fire to Fire"