No escape from responsibility


What can I say? It is hard to go through life with the weight of responsibility on your shoulders – it weighs you down and constrains your movements. It can hold you back from fulfilling even the most ardent wishes and, if it fails to do so, it will only add to your burden before capitulating. There is no escape from responsibility; and it is more rigorous in its search for truth, as well as harsher in its judgments, than even the most consummate, the most erudite and pedantic of high court judges. Judges presiding over earthly tribunals may be persuaded of your innocence, sometimes even bribed to acquit you, but your conscience, that tireless police constable in your mind and heart, stationed there by your responsibility from the moment you became aware of it, will not be swayed by even the most persuasive arguments or handsomest bribes – will not so much as take a nap, close its eyes for a moment or look the other way …

Zygmunt Bauman, On the World and Ourselves (Cambridge: Polity, 2015), 2-3.

Monsieur Le Clerc (on John Locke) on Common-places

In all SoLe Clerc on Lockerts of Learning, and especially in the Study of Languages, the Memory is the Treasury or Store-house, but the Judgment the Disposer, which ranges in Order whatever it hath drawn from the Memory: but lest the Memory should be Oppressed, or Over-burthen’d by too many Things, Order and Method are to be called into its Assistance. So that when we extract any Thing out of an Author, which is like to be of future Use, we may be able to find it without any Trouble. For it would be of little Purpose to spend our Time in Reading of Books, if we could not apply what we read to our Use.