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George Santayana

1863-1952. American philosopher and poet.

Books by George Santayana

The family is one of nature's masterpieces.

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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. The dark background which death supplies brings out the tender colors of life in all their purity.

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Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.

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Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.

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Nothing can be meaner than the anxiety to live on, to live on anyhow and in any shape; a spirit with any honor is not willing to live except in its own way, and a spirit with any wisdom is not over-eager to live at all.

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Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it.

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Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable; what it is or what it means can never be said.

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The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.

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The theatre, for all its artifices, depicts life in a sense more truly than history, because the medium has a kindred movement to that of real life, though an artificial setting and form.

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The little word is has its tragedies: it marries and identifies different things with the greatest innocence; and yet no two are ever identical, and if therein lies the charm of wedding them and calling them one, therein too lies the danger.

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