Careful Words

universe (n.)

  Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.

Alphonso The Wise (1221-1284):

Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,

And to party gave up what was meant for mankind;

Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat

To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote.

Who too deep for his hearers still went on refining,

And thought of convincing while they thought of dining:

Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;

Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774): Retaliation. Line 31.

O Richard! O my king!

The universe forsakes thee!

Michel Jean Sedaine (1717-1797): Sung at the Dinner given to the French Soldiers in the Opera Salon at Versailles, Oct. 1, 1789.

  What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe!

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662): Thoughts. Chap. x. 1.

  But Chrysippus, Posidonius, Zeno, and Boëthus say, that all things are produced by fate. And fate is a connected cause of existing things, or the reason according to which the world is regulated.

Diogenes Laertius (Circa 200 a d): Zeno. lxxiv.

  You had that action and counteraction which, in the natural and in the political world, from the reciprocal struggle of discordant powers draws out the harmony of the universe.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797): Reflections on the Revolution in France. Vol. iii. p. 277.

  The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 a d): Meditations. iv. 3.

  "The earth loveth the shower," and "the holy ether knoweth what love is." The Universe, too, loves to create whatsoever is destined to be made.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 a d): Meditations. x. 21.

  One Universe made up of all that is; and one God in it all, and one principle of Being, and one Law, the Reason, shared by all thinking creatures, and one Truth.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 a d): Meditations. vii. 9.

  The nature of the universe is the nature of things that are. Now, things that are have kinship with things that are from the beginning. Further, this nature is styled Truth; and it is the first cause of all that is true.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 a d): Meditations. ix. 1.

  Is it not a noble farce, wherein kings, republics, and emperors have for so many ages played their parts, and to which the whole vast universe serves for a theatre?

Michael De Montaigne (1533-1592): Book ii. Chap. xxxvi. Of the most Excellent Men.