Virginia Barton

3 October 2013: Fame

3 October 2013: Fame


3 October 2013


Byron_1824Byron wrote in 1819:

What is the end of fame? It is but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper:
Some liken it to climbing up a hill,
Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour.


And Luke Howard, amateur meteorologist, wrote the year before on the same subject:

Fame is, alas! a tinsel shred
Bound on the temples of the dead,
Full dearly bought with peace of mind
To envy and to care resign’d.


Incidentally, Howard wrote that in My Ledger, or, a compromise with prudence.

(Presumably, his Commonplaces.  Is mine a compromise with prudence? Never thought of it that way but I like it!)





  • Rosanne says on: October 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm


    Indeed, Ginny.

    And then there’s my personal favorite… Shelley’s Ozymandias :

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

  • Mary says on: October 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm


    Ah fame…I like this from “Breakfast at Tiffanys”:

    Certain shades of limelight wreck a girl’s complexion.

  • Harold says on: October 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm


    Above my desk I keep this quote from the Funeral Oration of Pericles, courtesy of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War:

    “For the whole earth is the tomb of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men. Make them your examples, and, esteeming courage to be freedom and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war.”

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