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Some Fruits Of Solitude ~ William Penn | < Last - Next >

William Penn

William Penn was born in London on October 14, 1644. In early life he joined the Quakers, and while still a young man underwent imprisonment for the expression of his religious views. For "A Sandy Foundation Shaken," an attack on the Athanasian Creed, he was in 1668 sent to the Tower, where he wrote, "No Cross, No Crown." Under James II., however, he was high in the favour of the court, and received a grant of the region afterwards known as Pennsylvania, whither he went with a number of his co-religionists in 1682. After his return to England, he suffered by the fall of James II., but under William III. was acquitted of treason, and spent his later years in retirement. He died at Ruscombe, in Berkshire, on July 30, 1718. "Some Fruits of Solitude, or the Maxims of William Penn," evidently the result of one of his sojourns in prison, was licensed in 1693. It was followed by "More Fruits of Solitude." The whole forms a collection of maxims which are shrewd, wise, and charitable, informed with a good courage for life, and a contempt for mean ends, if in their variety they do not always escape the touch of the commonplace. The book has become known as a favourite of R.L. Stevenson, who said of it that "there is not the man living--no, nor recently dead--that could put, with so lovely a spirit, so much honest, kind wisdom into words."

Some Fruits Of Solitude ~ William Penn | < Last - Next >