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Football, Will He Do It?

"Football, Will He Do It?"
Oil on Canvas - 1875
George Elgar Hicks 

“Most of the very old games began with the use of ordinary tools or furniture. So the very terms of tennis were founded on the framework of the old inn courtyard. So, it is said, the stumps in cricket were originally only the three legs of the milking-stool. Now we might invent new things of this kind, if we remembered who is the mother of invention. How pleasing it would be to start a game in which we scored so much for hitting the umbrella-stand or the dinner-wagon, or even the host and hostess; of course, with a missile of some soft material. Children who are lucky enough to be left alone in the nursery invent not only whole games, but whole dramas and life-stories of their own; they invent secret languages; they create imaginary families; they laboriously conduct family magazines. That is the sort of creative spirit that we want in the modern world; want both in the sense of desiring and in the sense of lacking it.

--G.K. Chesterton, from The Thing: Why I am and Catholic


People in the Sun

"People in the Sun"
Oil on Canvas - 1967
Edward Hopper 

“At present [people] are always accused of merely amusing themselves; but they are doing nothing so noble or worthy of their human dignity. Most of them by this time cannot amuse themselves; they are too used to being amused."

--G.K. Chesterton, from The Thing: Why I am a Catholic 


Bumping Races, Cambridge May Week

"Bumping Races, Cambridge May Week"
Oil on Canvas - 1947
Cosmo Clark 

“[In reading an essay of Montaigne] one has the same pleasure in it that he feels in listening to the necessary speech of men about their work, when any unusual circumstance gives momentary importance to the dialogue. For blacksmiths and teamsters do not trip in their speech; it is a shower of bullets. It is Cambridge men who correct themselves and begin again at every half-sentence, and, moreover, will pun, and refine too much, and swerve from the matter to the expression.”

--Ralph Waldo Emmerson, from Representative Men: Seven Lectures


Stormy Coast Scene after a Shipwreck


"Stormy Coast Scene after a Shipwreck"
Oil on Canvas - 1825
Horace Vernet

From “Nepenthe”

Hurry me Nymphs! O, hurry me
Far above the grovelling sea,
Which, with blind weakness and base roar
Casting his white age on the shore,
Wallows along that slimy floor;
With his widespread webbed hands
Seeking to climb the level lands
But rejected still to rave
Alive in his uncovered grave.

--George Darley, 1834


Jacob's Dream

"Jacob's Dream"
Oil on Canvas - 1817-1818
Washington Allston 

There is an art to make dreams, as well as their interpretation; and physicians will tell us that some food makes turbulent, some gives quiet, dreams. Cato, who doated upon cabbage, might find the crude effects thereof in his sleep; wherein the Egyptians might find some advantage by their superstitious abstinence from onions. Pythagoras might have calmer sleeps, if he totally abstained from beans. Even Daniel, the great interpreter of dreams, in his leguminous diet, seems to have chosen to advantageous food for quiet sleeps, according to Greek physic.

--Sir Thomas Browne, "On Dreams"