George Byron

All is Vanity, Saith the Preacher
On the Day of the Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus

Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine,
And health and youth possess’d me;
My goblets blush’d from every vine,
And lovely forms caress’d me;
I sunn’d my heart in beauty’s eyes,
And felt my soul grow tender;
All earth can give, or mortal prize,
Was mine of regal splendour.

I strive to number o’er what days
Remembrance can discover,
Which all that life or earth displays
Would lure me to live over.
There rose no day, there roll’d no hour
Of pleasure unembitter’d:
And not a trapping deck’d my power
That gall’d not while it glitter’d.

The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
But that which coils around the heart,
Oh! who hath power of charming?
It will not list to wisdom’s lore,
Nor music’s voice can lure it;
But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.

Two Writers

There is the suburb talent that can put down in words an experience they share with other people, and others who have had that experience can see the honesty in the writing. Those who have not had the experience can none-the-less feel the authenticity and know that this is what it must be like. They may spice something up for the sake of plot, but they don’t stray far from the truth.

Then there are the writers who can extrapolate from all human experience and with a talented understanding describe an experience they have never had but one which the reader instantly know it accurate. Sometimes because they have done immense research such an with Thomas Hardy(who writes brilliantly about women)  or Steinbeck but on rare occasions the writer just knows.

Byron writes in the poem The Prisoner of Chillon about a freedom fighter called Bonivard , a Swiss patriot imprisoned by the Italians, who spends twenty years in a dungeon in the castle of Chillon. The actual Bonivard was not locked up with any brothers but those flights of fancy pale to insignificance against Byron’s last lines, when he is free, he takes his freedom with a sigh.

It is a staggering insight from Byron as to how sufferers imbibe their suffering, come to understand it and in some ways, treasure it as part of their life. It isn’t the loss, but the summation of their days they mourn. They leave a part of themselves behind.  To understand that without being locked up for twenty years shows true empathetic genius.

And, after all, what is a lie? ‘Tis but the truth in masquerade. Lord Byron

A Brief History Of Lies

A survey of a wicked, irreverent, serious, harmful, cruel and enjoyable (for some) side of human civilisation.
Including quotes on lies and lying (good, bad and indifferent) from famous people who should know better.

I wrote this book because of the new research carried out in 2005 and now improved by new results in 2009, about how our brains are naturally evolved to permit us to lie.

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December 2018
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