October 19, 2007 - 0 Comments

"His features might have been called good, had there not lurked under the pent-house of his eye, that sly epicurean twinkle which indicates the cautious voluptuary."

"Wamba whispered to Gurth, 'If this be the habitation of a thief, it makes good the old proverb, The nearer the church the farther from God.'"

'"Holy Mother," said the monk, as he addressed the assembled knights, "I am at last safe and in Christian keeping!"

"Safe thou art," replied De Bracy; "and for Christianity, here is the stout Baron Reginald Front-de-Boeuf, whose utter abomination is a Jew; and the good Knight Templar, Brian de Bois-Guilbert, whose trade is to slay Saracens—-If these are not good marks of Christianity, I know no other which they bear about them."

"'I forgive you, Sir Knight,' said Rowena, 'as a Christian.'
'That means,' said Wamba, 'that she does not forgive him at all.'"

"Say not my art is fraud - all live by seeming .
The beggar begs with it, and the gay courtier
Gains land and title, rank and rule, by seeming;
The clergy scorn it not, and the bold soldier
Will eke with it his service.--All admit it,
All practise it; adn he who is content
With shewing what he is, shall have small credit
In church, or camp, or state--So wags the world.
-- Old Play"

"Why,' said Wamba, 'an valour be so dull, you will please to learn, that those honest fellows balance a good deed with one not quite so laudable; as a crown given to a begging friar with an hundred byzants taken from a fat abbot, or a wench kissed in the greenwood with the relief of a poor widow.'
'Which of these was the good deed, which was the felony?' interrupted the Knight.
'A good gibe! A good Gibe!'"

-- Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, 1854.

October 15, 2007 - 0 Comments

"Nothing in it! What did he mean by nothing in it? If the critics praised it, and Clifford's name was almost famous, and it even brought in money...what did her father mean by saying there was nothing in Clifford's writing? What else could there be?
For Connie had adopted the standard of the young: what there was in the moment was everything. And moments followed one another without necessarily belonging to one another."

"And yet, deep inside herself, a sense of injustice, of being defrauded, had begun to burn in Connie. The physical sense of injustice is a dangerous feeling, once it is awakened. It must have outlet, or it eats away the one in whom it is aroused. Poor Clifford, he was not to blame. His was the greater misfortune. It was all part of the general catastrophe."

"She was angry with him, turning everything into words. Violets were Juno's eyelids, and windflowers were unravished brides. How she hated words, always coming between her and life: they did the ravishing, if anything did: ready-made words and phrases, sucking all the life-sap out of living things."

"If you could only tell them that living and spending isn't the same thing! But it's no good. If only they were educated to LIVE instead of earn and spend, they could manage very happily on twenty-five shillings. If the men wore scarlet trousers as I said, they wouldn't think so much of money: if they could dance and hop and skip, and sing and swagger and be handsome, they could do with very little cash. And amuse the women themselves, and be amused by the women. They ought to learn to be naked and handsome, and to sing in a mass and dance the old group dances, and carve the stools they sit on, and embroider their own emblems. Then they wouldn't need money. And that's the only way to solve the industrial problem: train the people to be able to live and live in handsomeness, without needing to spend."
-- D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, 1928.

October 14, 2007 - 0 Comments

"The devil made me rummage . . . / Yet how is it, I wonder / I am so steeped in guilt?"
-- Anna Akhmatova, Poem Without a Hero, 1976.