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PAST
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[ Also see Age Antiquity Beginnings Contemplation Forgetfulness Future History Memory Present Reflection Regret Remembrance Retrospection Ruins Time Today Tomorrow Yesterday Youth ]

Time past, even God is deprived of the power of recalling.
      - Aristotle

Well does Agathon say: "Of this alone is even God deprived--the power of making that which is past never to have been."
      - Aristotle

Therefore Agathon rightly says: "Of this alone even God is deprived, the power of making things that are past never to have been."
      - Aristotle, Ethics (bk. VI, ch. II),
        (R.W. Browne's translation)

But there have been human hearts, constituted just like ours, for six thousand years. The same stars rise and set upon this globe that rose upon the plains of Shinar or along the Egyptian Nile and the same sorrows rise and set in every age.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

There have been many men who left behind them that which hundreds of years have not worn out. The earth has Socrates and Plato to this day. The world is richer yet by Moses and the old prophets than by the wisest statesmen. We are indebted to the past. We stand in the greatness of ages that are gone rather than in that of our own. But of how many of us shall it be said that, being dead, we yet speak?
      - Henry Ward Beecher

The past is a work of art, free of irrelevancies and loose ends.
      - Max Beerbohm

The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.
      - Henri Louis Bergson, Creative Evolution
         (ch. I)

Many classes are always praising the by-gone time, for it is natural that the old should extol the days of their youth; the weak, the area of their strength; the sick, the season of their vigor; and the disappointed, the springtide of their hopes!
      - Caleb Bingham

The past is the sepulchre of our dead emotions.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

No traces left of all the busy scene,
  But that remembrances says: The things have been.
      - Samuel Boyse, The Deity

Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to.
      - Ashleigh Brilliant

I think that we honor ourselves by honoring our past.
      - Tom Brokaw

But how carve way i' the life that lies before,
  If bent on groaning ever for the past?
      - Robert Browning, Balaustion's Adventure

Thou unrelenting past.
      - William Cullen Bryant, To the Past

The light of other days is faded,
  And all their glories past.
      - Alfred Bunn, The Maid of Artois

The age of chivalry is gone.--That of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded.
      - Edmund Burke,
        Reflections on the Revolution in France

John Anderson, my jo, John,
  When we were first acquent,
    Your locks were like the raven,
      Your bonny brow was brent.
      - Robert Burns, John Anderson

No hand can make the clock strike for me the hours that are passed.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

Gone--glimmering through the dream of things that were.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto II, st. 2)

The best of prophets of the future is the past.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Letter

I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there.
      - Herb Caen

Nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever does or can die; but all is still here, and, recognized or not, lives and works through endless changes.
      - Thomas Carlyle

The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.
      - Thomas Carlyle, Essays--Characteristics

Earth has scarcely an acre that does not remind us of actions that have long preceded our own, and its clustering tombstones loom up like reefs of the eternal shore, to show us where so many human barks have struck and gone down.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Not to know what happened before we were born is always to remain a child; to know, and blindly to adopt that knowledge as an implicit rule of life, is never to be a man.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)


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