Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quotes of the Day

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was reading Daniel Walker Howe's magisterial Pulitzer Prize-winning tome What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848.  Howe provided the June 5, 2015 quote of the day at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

"To entertain guests meant to ply them with several kinds of alcohol until some fell down."

The more I read What Hath God Wrought, the more I get the feeling that Howe had a lot of fun writing this book.  The book is filled with pithy lines that are making me laugh out loud.

I found three more yesterday morning:

The first quote of the day comes from p.335.  Howe is talking about Andrew Jackson's choice of cabinet members after his election to presidency in 1828:

"The other cabinet secretaries were little-known figures who appealed to Jackson in large part because they all hated Henry Clay."

The second quote of the day comes from page 339.  Howe is quoting James Parton's 1860 biography of Jackson.  The subject is the Peggy Eaton affair and the way that Martin Van Buren endeared himself to Eaton in order to please Jackson and thus advance his political career.

"On the eve of the Civil War, James Parton could write that 'the political history of the United States, for the last thirty years, dates from the moment when the soft hand of Mr. Van Buren touched Mrs. Eaton's knocker.'"

The third quote of the day also comes from page 339.  Here Howe quotes Henry Clay's reaction when the scandalous Peggy Eaton finally left Washington.

Upon Margaret Eaton's departure from Washington, Henry Clay quipped, 'Age cannot wither nor time stale her infinite virginity."