Jan. 24, 2001
Never love unlesse you can
Poem: by Thomas Campion.
Never love unlesse you can
Beare with all the faults of man:
Men sometimes will jealous bee
Though but little cause they see,
And hang the head, as discontent,
And speake what straight they will repent.
Men that but one Saint adore
Make a shew of love to more:
Beauty must be scorn'd in none,
Though but truly serv'd in one:
For what is courtship, but disguise?
True hearts may have dissembling eyes.
Men when their affairs require,
Must a while themselves retire:
Sometimes hunt, and sometimes hawke,
And not ever sit and talke.
If these, and such like, you can beare,
Then like, and love, and never feare.
Today is the Chinese New Year, the first day in the Year of the Snake. According to tradition, Chinese homes are given an annual housecleaning today that sweeps the dirt of the past year out of every corner of the house. Children are given good-luck money wrapped in red paper, and everyone is supposed to be on their best behaviorno cursing, fibbing, or yelling. And for today, no one will use knives, scissors, or other sharp objects, for fear of cutting short the luck of the New Year.
Today is the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists. His Introduction to a Devout Life (1609) claimed spiritual perfection was possible for people busy with the affairs of the world and not only, as many believed at the time, for those who withdrew from society.
It's the birthday of zoologist Desmond Morris, born in Wiltshire, England (1928). In his best-seller, The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal (1967), he wrote:
"Human beings are animals. They are sometimes monsters, sometimes magnificent, but always animals. They may prefer to think of themselves as fallen angels, but in reality they are risen apes."
It's the birthday of abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell, born in Aberdeen, Washington (1915), a leader of what is called the "New York School" of art.
It's the birthday of Edith Wharton, born Edith Newbold Jones, in New York City (1862), author of Ethan Fromme (1911), The Age of Innocence (1920), and an autobiography, A Backward Glance.
On this day in 1848, a man named James Marshall, standing in the South Fork of the American River in northern California, yelled out "Boys, by God, I believe I have found a gold mine!"It was the start of the California Gold Rush.
It's the birthday of playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, born in Paris (1732), who wrote the stories for "The Marriage of Figaro," set to music by Mozart, and "The Barber of Seville," set to music by Rossini.
It's the birthday of playwright and poet William Congreve, born in West Yorkshire, England (1670), most famous for his Restoration Comedy, The Way of the World (1700). His characters are people of nobility and fashion, for whom manners are more important than morals; Mirabell and Millamant, the lovers in The Way of the World, establish an unconventional marriage arrangement. It was controversial in its day, but famous for its sparkling dialogue:
"Defer not till tomorrow to be wise.Tomorrow's sun to thee may never rise."
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."
"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."
"Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure; Married in haste, we may repent at leisure."
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®