How shall a man escape from his ancestors, or draw off from his veins the black drop which he drew from his father's or his mother's life? It often appears in a family, as if all the qualities of the progenitors were potted in several jars -- some ruling quality in each son or daughter of the house, -- and sometimes the unmixed temperament, the rank unmitigated elixir, the family vice, is drawn off in a separate individual, and the others are proportionately relieved.
-- Emerson, Conduct of Life: Fate
O Damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q! Strange is the gift that I owe to you; -- What if, a hundred years ago, Those close-shut lips had answered No, When forth the tremulous question came That cost the maiden her Norman name, And under the folds that look so still The bodice swelled with the bosom's thrill Should I be I, or would it be One-tenth another, to nine-tenths me?
-- O. W. Holmes, Dorothy Q
i have often noticed that ancestors never boast of the descendants who boast of ancestors i would rather start a family than finish one blood will tell but often it tells too much
-- Don Marquis, a roach of the taverns