February 17, 2014

“Variety’s the spice of life.”


THE POET’S FAMOUS QUOTE:

“Variety’s the very spice of life
That gives it all its flavour.”
      
William Cowper (1731-1800)
       British poet
       From his multi-volume poetic work The Task (1785), Book II, “The Timepiece”
       The saying “Variety’s the spice of life” is usually traced to this poem by Cowper, though it may already have been proverbial when he used it. Another familiar line from this poem is “God made the country, and man made the town.” Other famous lines from Cowper’s poetry include:
“God moves in a mysterious way” (Olney Hymns, 1779) and “I am monarch of all I survey” (“Verses Supposed to be Written by Alexander Selkirk”, 1782).


A PRISONER’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Variety is not the spice of life. It is the very stuff of it.”
      
Christopher Burney (1917–1980)
       British author and former spy for British Special Operations during World War II 
       Burney’s conclusion in
the book Solitary Confinement (1952), an account of the 18 months he spent in a Nazi prison cell during World War II.


JOHNNY CARSON’S QUIP:

“If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.” 
      
Johnny Carson (1925-2005)
       American comedian and host of The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992
       Quoted in
Ifferisms: An Anthology of Aphorisms That Begin with the Word "IF" (2009), one of the many entertaining books of quotations compiled by quote maven Dr. Mardy Grothe


OGDEN NASH’S VARIATION:

“I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, 
  particularly if he has income and she is pattable.”
 
      
Ogden Nash (1902-1971)
       The poem
“I Do, I Will, I Have,” included in Nash’s book Versus (1949)


BASEBALL WISDOM FROM “THE SCOOTER”:

“The bunt is the spice of baseball, the unexpected weapon, the stiletto in the ribs.”
      
Phil “The Scooter” Rizzuto (1917-2007)
       Baseball player for the New York Yankees, elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994
       Quoted
in the Baseball Digest, July 1964

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