Tennyson

Alfred-Tennyson-001
Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life; …
‘So careful of the type’, but no.
From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She cries, ‘A thousand types are gone:
I care for nothing, all shall go’ …
Man, her last work, who seemed so fair,
Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
Who rolled the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation’s final law—
Tho’ Nature red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shrieked against his creed…
— Lord Alfred Tennyson
In Memoriam A. H. H. (1850), Cantos 56-57.
It’s nice to see that quote un context.

Blaise Pascal

blaise-pascal
What is man in the midst of nature? A nothing in comparison with the infinite, an all in comparison with nothingness: a mean between nothing and all. Infinitely far from comprehending the extremes, the end of things and their principle are for him inevitably concealed in an impenetrable secret; equally incapable of seeing the nothingness whence he is derived, and the infinity in which he is swallowed up.
Pensées. Collected in Blaise Pascal and O.W. Wright (trans.), The Thoughts, Letters and Opuscules of Blaise Pascal (1859), 160.
Blaise Pascal has the awesomest name. He should have a 1960s cop series. With an actor, though. To be fair, he’s not much of a looker.

John Ruskin

ruskin
“When I tell you that war is the foundation of all the arts, I mean also that it is the foundation of all the high virtues and faculties of men. It is very strange for me to discover this, and very dreadful, but I saw it to be quite an undeniable fact… I found, in brief, that all great nations learned their truth of word and strength of thought in war; that they were nourished in war and wasted in peace; taught by war and deceived by peace; trained by war and betrayed by peace; in a word, that they were born in war and expired in peace.”
John Ruskin, Crown of Wild Olive

Yeah, it’s not really science. But interesting.