You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.
if the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. if the world were merely challenging, that would be no problem. but i arise in the morning torn between a desire to change the world and a desire to enjoy the world. this makes it very hard to plan the day.
The essayist . . . can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter - philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil's advocate, enthusiast.
We grow tyrannical fighting tyranny. . . . The most alarming spectacle today is not the spectacle of the atomic bomb in an unfederated world, it is the spectacle of the Americans beginning to accept the device of loyalty oaths and witch hunts, beginning to call anybody they don't like a Communist.