More quotes of interest from my reading

From The Reformation by Will Durant
“…men prefer the assurance of dogma to the diffidence of reason.” P4
“Our instincts were formed during a thousand centuries of insecurity and the chase; their once necessary vigor exceeds present social need; they must be checked a hundred times a day, consciously or not, to make society and civilization possible. Families and states, from ages before history, have enlisted the aid of religion to moderate the barbarous impulses of men.” P4
Piers the Plowman by William Langland would “…weary any reader who lays upon authors the moral obligation to be clear.” P47“…flays rascals impartially.” P47
John Gower “…achieved dullness in three languages.” “…three things are merciless when they get out of hand: water, fire, and the mob.”p47
Of Chaucer, Durant writes, “…and living like a hermit in all but poverty, chastity, and obedience…” and “…a passion that runs to 8,386 lines becomes prose almost as rapidly as desire consummated.”

From The Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux– “The phlegmy, fruity laugh of the chain smoker.”

From Jude The Obscure by Thomas Hardy
“The wind dipped to earth and scooped straws and hay stems from the ground.”

Sandra Day O’Conner—“Everyone is going to grow up to be a citizen, Democracy is not a spectator sport.”

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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