Quoteland.com Logo Home Topics Resources Groups
FAQs Site Info Contact Us About the Authors

Quoteland.com    Quoteland.com User Groups    Quoteland.com User Groups  Hop To Forum Categories  Who Said It?    I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.

Moderators: Zendam
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.
 Login/Join
 
Junior Member
posted
Who said this?

"I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one."

wink
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 05-23-02Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quoteland Titan
Picture of Alice
posted Hide Post
"I am sorry to have wearied you with so long a letter but I did not have time to write you a short one"
and
"I am sorry I have had to write you such a long letter, but I did not have time to write you a short one"--
Found both attributed to Blaise Pascal

also found the following versions with no attributions
"Please forgive this very long and drawn out letter, I did not have time to write you a short one."

"Forgive me for sending you this long letter. I did not have time to write you a short one."


"Do all things with love."
Og Mandino
 
Posts: 4747 | Location: The Official "Surf City, USA" | Registered: 10-12-01Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Quoteland Godfather
Picture of Zendam
posted Hide Post
I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short (Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte)~Blaise Pascal, Lettres Provinciales (1656-1657), no. 16.
 
Posts: 18943 | Location: CT | Registered: 08-30-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Quoteland Potentate
Picture of thenostromo
posted Hide Post
Pascal, Blaise (1623 - 1662)
French philosopher and mathematician. At the age of 18 he invented the first calculating machine. His works include Lettres provinciales (1656), a defence of Jansenist doctrine...
http://www.xrefer.com/entry/169630

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Provincial Letters,
Containing an Exposure of the Reasoning and Morals of the Jesuits...
Originally Published Under the Name of Louis de Montalte.
Translated from the French.
To which is Added 'A View of the History of the Jesuits' and the
Late Bull for the Revival of the Order in Europe.
[Vanderpool & Cole for]. J. Leavitt, New York
and Crocker & Brewster, Boston: 1828
After the death of his father in 1651 and his sister entered the Jansenist convent at Port-Royal, Pascal divided his time between mathematics and the social rounds of Paris. Near midnight, on November 23, 1654 he had a revelation that his religious thought had been too remote and intellectual. He joined his sister in her retreat at Port-Royal. Abandoning mathematics, he flung himself into the battle for the Jansenists (and the doomed Antoine Arnauld) against the Jesuits of the Sorbonne. In a remarkable series of eighteen pamphlets (these 'Lettres Provinciales') Pascal attacked the Jesuits' for their meaningless jargon, casuistry, and extreme moral laxity. Models for much of Voltaire, they are masterpieces of French prose, and they undermined unceasingly Jesuit authority and prestige.
When this edition was published there was a strain of virulent anti-Catholicism and popery growing in the big cities of the United States. Printing Pascal's attacks lent an intellectual edge and continuity to the rising fears and xenophobia of the American political and social scene. It became one of the foundation classics of the 'American' and 'Know Nothing' parties.
"I have made this letter longer than usual,
because I lack the time to make it short"
-- Blaise Pascal, 'Letters Provinciales' (1657)
http://www.netrax.net/~rarebook/s971030.htm

the quotation is from Pascal's "Lettres Provinciales", Letter XVI and reads as follows:
"Mes Reverends Peres, mes lettres n'avaient pas accoutume de se suivre de si pres, ni d'etre si etendues. Le peu de temps que j'ai eu a ete cause de l'un et de l'autre. Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte."
~according to Ian M. Richmond, Department of French, University of Western Ontario
http://lists.village.virginia.edu/lists_archive/Humanist/v05/0444.html

Blaise PASCAL / Les Provinciales / OEuvres complètes / Bibliothèque de la Pléiade / nrf Gallimard 1954
Faire court.
"Mes Révérends Pères, mes lettres n'avaient pas accoutumé de se suivre de si près, ni d'être si étendues. Le peu de temps que j'ai eu a été cause de l'un et de l'autre. Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte."
~Seizième lettre, 4 décembre 1656 p.865
http://www.bribes.org/temps.htm

I don't know French, but Google's translation of this (their translations can often time be off, but this is what results of it)

Blaise PASCAL /the Provincial ones/complete Works/Library of the Pleiad/nrf Gallimard 1954
To make short.
"My Reverends Pères, my letters did not have accustomed to follow themselves of so near, nor to be if wide. The little of time that I had was causes one and other. I did this one more long only because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter "
Sixteenth letter , December 4, 1656 p.865

Did you know?
http://www.ualr.edu/~lasmoller/pascalstriangle.html
 
Posts: 17415 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 06-07-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
"Mes Révérends Pères, mes lettres n'avaient pas accoutumé de se suivre de si près, ni d'être si étendues. Le peu de temps que j'ai eu a été cause de l'un et de l'autre. Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte."

Translated very literally, that would read:

"Reverend Fathers, my letters are not accustomed to following themselves so closely, nor to being so extended. The little time I have had has caused the one and the other. I have made this one longer only because I have not had the leisure of making it shorter."

A less stilted translation, one that is more idiomatically satisfying in English, but that retains the formality and flavor of the period would be:

"Reverend Fathers, my letters do not customarily follow one another so closely, nor are they usually so ponderous. The little time I have had has caused both the one and the other. I have made this one longer only because I have not had the leisure of making it shorter."

The anthropomorphic attributes assigned to the letters in the original French do not sound quite right in English prose, so they have been toned down in my translation. The French "étendues", which can be translated directly as "extended", "widened" or "lengthened" carries a secondary connotation which we might today express as "bloated". "Ponderous" is, I think, the word best suited to the period and the intent. Since the letters are no longer little people with their own set of customs and the word "customarily" does not quite carry into the next phrase, I have added the word "usually" to reinforce the idea of habit. Feel free to improve upon this.
 
Posts: 6 | Location: Toronto, ON, Canada | Registered: 01-30-09Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
what did pascal mean????
 
Posts: 1 | Location: LEMOORE CALIFORNIA | Registered: 01-23-12Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by lilpina:
what did pascal mean????


He meant it's easy to ramble on; it takes effort to be succinct.
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Athens, TX | Registered: 01-30-12Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Moderator
Quoteland Godfather
Picture of Zendam
posted Hide Post
Check here for some interesting information. Chances are Pascal was joking when he wrote that line but it is also attributed to others including Cicero.
http://www.classy.dk/log/archive/001074.html


* * *
Since we are destined to live out our lives in the prison of our minds, our one duty is to furnish it well~Peter Ustinov
 
Posts: 18943 | Location: CT | Registered: 08-30-00Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Junior Member
Picture of RaymondVII
posted Hide Post
Pina, What he meant was that a short explanation is always better than a long one, because (if it is done right) it is more powerful and memorable and less diluted with distracting details.

Too many of these comments focus on the literal meaning rather than the intent. And Google Translate is awful!
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 02-02-12Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Quoteland.com    Quoteland.com User Groups    Quoteland.com User Groups  Hop To Forum Categories  Who Said It?    I did not have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.

Copyright © 1997-2010 Quoteland.com, Inc., All Rights Reserved.





Copyright © 1997-2012 Quoteland.com, Inc., all rights reserved unless otherwise noted. This page served by Aztec