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PROPHECY (PROPHESY)
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[ Also see Anticipation Astrology Futurity Imagination Invention Oracle Predictable Probability Visions Wonder ]

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
      - Bible, I Corinthians (ch. XIII, v. 9)

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
      - Bible, I Peter (ch. I, v. 19-20)

And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
      - Bible, I Samuel (ch. X, v. 9)

And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. XIV, v. 57)

Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?
      - Bible, Zechariah (ch. I, v. 5)

Study prophecies when they are become histories.
      - Sir Thomas Browne

Of all the horrid, hideous notes of woe,
  Sadder than owl-songs or the midnight blast;
    Is that portentous phrase, "I told you so."
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XIV, st. 50)

Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life!
  The evening beam that smiles the clouds away,
    And tints to-morrow with prophetic ray!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        The Bride of Abydos (canto II, st. 20)

The prophet's mantle, ere his flight began,
  Dropt on the world--a sacred gift to man.
      - Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope
         (pt. I, l. 43)

I shall always consider the best guesser the best prophet.
  [Lat., Bene qui conjiciet, vatem hunc perhibebo optimum.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Divinatione (II, 5), Greek adage

Ancestral voices prophesying war.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

From hence, no question, has sprung an observation . . . confirmed now into a settled opinion, that some long experienced souls in the world, before their dislodging, arrive to the height of prophetic spirit.
      - Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus,
        Praise of Folly, (old translation)

The best of seers is he who guesses well.
      - Euripides

Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word;
  And in its hollow tones are heard
    The thanks of millions yet to be.
      - Fitz-Greene Halleck, Marco Bozzaris

Prophet of evil! never hadst thou yet
  A cheerful word for me. To mark the signs
    Of coming mischief is thy great delight,
      Good dost thou ne'er foretell nor bring to pass.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. I, l. 138), (Bryant's translation)

A tunnel underneath the sea from Calais straight to Dover, Sir,
  The squeamish folks may cross by land from shore to shore,
    With sluices made to drown the French, if e'er they would come over, Sir,
      Has long been talk'd of, till at length 'tis thought a monstrous bore.
      - Theodore Hook, Bubbles of 1825,
        in "John Bull"

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
      - Alan Kay

This solemn moment of triumph, one of the greatest moments in the history of the world . . . this great hour which rings in a new era . . . and which is going to lift up humanity to a higher plane of existence for all the ages of the future.
      - David Lloyd George,
        in a speech at Guildhall after the signing of the Armistice, ending of World War I

My gran'ther's rule was safer 'n 't is to crow:
  Don't never prophesy--onless ye know.
      - James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers
         (no. 2, Mason and Slidell)

It takes a mind like Dannel's, fact, ez big ez all ou'doors
  To find out thet it looks like rain arter it fairly pours.
      - James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers
         (no. 9, l. 97)

The prophesying business is like writing fugues; it is fatal to every one save the man of absolute genius.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

No mighty trance, or breathed spell
  Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.
      - John Milton, Hymn on Christ's Nativity
         (l. 173)

Till old experience do attain
  To something like prophetic strain.
      - John Milton, Il Penseroso (l. 173)

O my prophetic soul!
  My uncle?
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at I, v)

There is a history in all men's lives,
  Figuring the nature of the times deceased,
    The which observed, a man may prophesy,
      With a near aim, of the main chance of things
        As yet not come to life, which in their seeds
          And weak beginnings lie intreasured.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Warwick at III, i)


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