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W.H. Auden
1907 - 1973
British poet who lived in the United States

One of the troubles of our times is that we are all, I think, precocious as personalities and backward as characters.

Only the free have disposition to be truthful, only the truthful have the interest to be just, only the just possess the will-power to be free.

Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself.

[A prediction of the future] Reason will be replaced by Revelation ... Knowledge will degenerate into a riot of subjective visions ... Idealism will be replaced by materialism ... Diverted from its normal outlet in patriotism or civic and family pride, the need of the masses for some visible Idol to worship will be driven into totally unsociable channels where no education can reach it. ... Justice will be replaced by pity as the cardinal human virtue.

1958 - from For the Time Being, quoted in "Annus Memorabilis", by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Prospect Magazine (Jan. 1998)