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branches ::: I Ching

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object:I Ching
class:injunction
HOW TO CONSULT THE I CHING
A simple method of consulting the I Ching entails the use of three U.S. pennies. This is the method described here. Readers wishing to follow the more traditional methods using yarrow sticks or Chinese coins are referred to the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the I Ching, published by Princeton University Press (Bollingen Series).
After formulating your question, toss the three pennies on a flat surface. Notate the tosses according to the following system, in which tails has a value of 2 and heads a value of 3:
(scale .16 (bitmap "/home/j/Pictures/I_CHING_1.jpg"))
Cast the pennies six times in all, and write your notations in a column. Your first toss will be the first line, starting from the bottom. For example:
(scale .16 (bitmap "/home/j/Pictures/I_CHING_1.5.jpg"))
Identify the hexagram by consulting the key at the hack of this book. In this case, we have received Hexagram 20, Observing.
The next step is to read the text for your hexagram, up until the section covering the numbered lines. If your hexagram contains only 7's and 8's, you do not read any further. If it contains any moving lines- 6's and 9's-you also read the text pertaining to those particular lines. Thus, in our example, we would read the text for the third, fourth, and top lines.
When your hexagram contains moving lines, you can then receive a new hexagram-one in which each of the moving lines of your original hexagram has changed into its opposite. That is, the 6's (yin lines) become 9's (yang tines), and the 9's become 6's. Thus, in our example:
(scale .16 (bitmap "/home/j/Pictures/I_CHING_2.jpg"))
This new hexagram represents a further development or amplification of the situation about which you are consulting the I Ching. For your second hexagram, you would consult the main text only, not the lines.
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1. Ch'ien ::: The Creative
2. K'un ::: The Receptive
3. Chun ::: Difficulty at the Beginning
4. Meng ::: Youthful Folly
5. Hs ::: Waiting (Nourishment)
6. Sung ::: Conflict
7. Shih ::: The Army
8. Pi ::: Holding Together Union]
9. Hsiao Ch'u ::: The Taming Power of the Small
10. L ::: Treading [Conduct]
11. T'ai ::: Peace
12. P'i ::: Standstill [Stagnation]
13. T'ung Jen ::: Fellowship with Men
14. Ta Yu ::: Posession in Great Measure
15. Ch'ien ::: Modesty
16. Y ::: Enthusiasm
17. Sui ::: Following
18. Ku ::: Work on What Has Been Spoiled [Decay]
19. Lin ::: Approach
20. Kuan ::: Contemplation (View)
21. Shih Ho ::: Biting Through
22. Pi ::: Grace
23. Po ::: Splitting Apart
24. Fu ::: Return (The Turning Point)
25. Wu Wang ::: Innocence (The Unexpected)
26. Ta Ch'u ::: The Taming Power of the Great
27. I ::: The Corners of the Mouth
28. Ta Kuo ::: Preponderance of the Great
29. K'an ::: The Abysmal (Water)
30. Li ::: The Clinging, Fire
PART II
31. Hsien ::: Influence (Wooing)
32. Heng ::: Duration
33. Tun ::: Retreat
34. Ta Chuang ::: The Power of the Great
35. Chin ::: Progress
36. Ming I ::: Darkening of the Light
37. Chia Jen ::: The Family [The Clan]
38. K'uei ::: Opposition
39. Chien ::: Obstruction
40. Hsieh ::: Deliverance
41. Sun ::: Decrease
42. I ::: Increase
43. Kuai ::: Break-through (Resoluteness)
44. Kou ::: Coming to Meet
45. Ts'ui ::: Gathering Together [Massing]
46. Sheng ::: Pushing Upward
47. K'un ::: Oppression (Exhaustion)
48. Ching ::: The Well
49. Ko ::: Revolution (Molting)
50. Ting ::: The Caldron
51. Chen ::: The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)
52. Ken ::: Keeping Still, Mountain
53. Chien ::: Development (Gradual Progress)
54. Kuei Mei ::: The Marrying Maiden
55. Feng ::: Abundance [Fullness]
56. L ::: The Wanderer
57. Sun ::: The Gentle (Penetrating, Wind)
58. Tui ::: The Joyous, Lake
59. Huan ::: Dispersion [Dissolution]
60. Chieh ::: Limitation
61. Chung Fu ::: Inner Truth
62. Hsiao Kuo ::: Preponderance of the Small
63. Chi Chi ::: After Completion
64. Wei Chi ::: Before Completion
(scale .2 (bitmap "/home/j/Pictures/I_CHING_3.jpg"))
USING THE TAOIST I CHING
Trigram method ::: Regard the bottom trigram as the subject of the reading, the top trigram as the object of that subject. This object could be a person, a job, a situation, an event, and so on. The subject is yourself or the person you are reading for.
Focus on the meanings of the trigrams, and read for a particular quality in a particular situation. If, for example, someone is restless, that would indicate a reading for thunder, movement. If the external situation is perilous, that would indicate a reading for water, danger. With move- ment on the inside/bottom and danger on the outside/top, the hexagram is Difficulty. The statements and commentaries on this hexagram then go on to discuss this situation and how to handle it to the best advantage.
Analytic method ::: The trigram is composed of three lines, tradition- ally representing heaven, humanity, and earth. The heavenly, or celestial, is associated in humans with the spiritual, or reason or the ideal. The earthly is associated with the mundane, with desire and passion. The human or social is characterized by its balance of reason and desire, or of the spiritual and the mundane. Reviewing the meanings of yin and yang, analyze the subject and object, build a trigram for each, then consult the resulting hexagram. People often find it very useful to make two hexagrams from two trigrams, to consult from both points of view.
An alternative method of generating trigrams is to use a time scale.
The lower trigram represents the beginning, middle, and end of the effort or process that goes on within the subject. The upper trigram represents the beginning, middle, and end of the effect of that effort or process on the environment, social or material. This method can be used in up-to- the-moment retrospectives, where the top line is the present or visible future. It might also be used to assess picturings of the future.
In either method, since there are many alternative meanings of yin and yang under the opposing categories of true and false, the commen- tarial reading may be found to have shifted from the meaning used by the reader to derive it. This often provides useful insight through juxta- position of antithesis, and it also helps to compensate for the shifts that take place in ambiguous situations, where a line could be yin in one sense and yang in another. Because of this, and because of the fact that yin and yang always imply one another in some sense, people generally seem to find it useful to also read the hexagram that would be formed by the opposite of each line derived by each method. In cases where there is substantial ambiguity, hexagrams generated by varying the am- biguous lines also have p oved useful.
I Ching reading can be refined into an affair of endless complexity because of the nuances of situations and the complicated interrelation of. the elements of I Ching polar analysis. The simple methods outlined here have been tested with remarkable results and can easily be used by anyone. From beginning to end, however, there is no way to escape the effect of the reader on the reading.
For those who wish to become experts in the use of the 1 Ching, or who wish to make sophisticated, in-depth readings on situations of great complexity, my forthcoming volume on the I Ching mandalas, to be published by Shambhala Publications, provides traditional programs for further study. These programs can be used with any tradition and any translation of the I Ching.






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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO


AUTH

BOOKS
The_Everyday_I_Ching
The_I_Ching_or_Book_of_Changes

IN CHAPTERS TITLE

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0_1966-08-27
1.03_-_Concerning_the_Archetypes,_with_Special_Reference_to_the_Anima_Concept
1.05_-_THE_HOSTILE_BROTHERS_-_ARCHETYPES_OF_RESPONSE_TO_THE_UNKNOWN
1.15_-_Index
3.18_-_Of_Clairvoyance_and_the_Body_of_Light
4.04_-_THE_REGENERATION_OF_THE_KING
6.0_-_Conscious,_Unconscious,_and_Individuation
APPENDIX_I_-_Curriculum_of_A._A.
Book_of_Imaginary_Beings_(text)
Liber
MoM_References

PRIMARY CLASS

injunction
SIMILAR TITLES
I Ching
The Everyday I Ching
The I Ching or Book of Changes

DEFINITIONS

I Ching (Chinese) Also Yi King. The Book of Changes; also Holy Book of Mutations, these mutations being the manifestations of tao. The text of the original treatise is from a system of eight trigrams and 64 hexagrams, composed of whole and broken lines, thus:

I Ching: The Book of Changes (q.v.).

Book of Changes. See I CHING

Book of Changes, The: A Chinese collection of propositions and explanations used in divination, written by various authors of different periods up to the latter part of the third century B.C. (Chinese title: I Ching, also known as Yi King.)

Hsing (Chinese) Used in the I Ching for an individual’s character or the soul’s qualities. In the sevenfold classification of human principles, equivalent to kama: “Zhing [hsing], which is translated correctly enough ‘essence,’ is the more subtle and pure part of matter — the grosser form of the elementary ether” (BCW 4:242).

Huan (Chinese) Also hwun. Spirit; used in the I Ching, equivalent to atman.

iching ::: I Ching See Book of Changes.

Khi (Chinese) Also Ch’i. Breath; “The khi is the full manifestation of the shen” (I Ching), “while the bones and the flesh moulder in the ground, and imperceptibly become the earth of the fields, the khi departs to move on high as a shining light” (Tsi i 11). Blavatsky compares it in its essential meaning to buddhi in the human constitution; in other ways it is equivalent to the Hindu prana.

Number People usually think of number as merely a varying multiplicity of units, a plurality of individuals, which is correct enough. Yet “Number lies at the root of the manifested Universe: numbers and harmonious proportions guide the first differentiations of homogeneous substance into heterogeneous elements; and number and numbers set limits to the formative hand of Nature” (BCW 12:517) — a strictly Pythagorean vision and conception. Our reasoning minds lend a spurious reality to abstractions; and from this viewpoint the genuine realities appear in the guise of such abstraction. Number is such an apparent abstraction; we know it only by its effects in that world which seems to us so real, and of which we regard number as an attribute. Yet nothing can be more fundamental than number. As Balzac said, number is an entity, a divinity; the creative Logos itself is called the Number, meaning number one, arising out of no-number or the zero. After this we have the duad, triad, etc. For the Pythagoreans number was a creative, emanationally formative power, and the Hebrew Sepher Yetsirah (Numbers of Creation) gives out the whole process of evolution in numbers, while in China the I Ching speaks of celestial numbers. All esoteric systems set great store by numbers — some systems more so than others. For “we see the figures 1, 3, 5, 7, as perfect, because thoroughly mystic, numbers playing a prominent part in every Cosmogony and evolution of living Beings” (SD 2:35). See also SEPHIROTH

P’o (Chinese) In the I Ching “the full manifestation of the kwei” — the kama-manas or animal soul.

Shang (Chinese) In the I Ching, the constant virtues — benevolence, laws, and rites of social life, righteousness, and correctness — constituting the tao of man. “If the man of eminent virtue cultivates those four virtues, he is first and principal, all-pervading, beneficent, and immutably correct” (Wen yen 1).

Shao K'ang-chieh: Shao K'ang-chieh (Shao Yung, Shao Yao-fu, 1011-1077) was son of a scholar (Ch'eng I-ch'uan's teacher). Although he served in the government in a few minor capacities, in general, his life was that of quietude and poverty. But his reputation of integrity and scholarship grew so high that scholars far and near regarded him as their "teacher," and people "warned one another to refrain from evil for fear that Master Shao might know." His Huang-chi Ching-shih, (Supreme Principles for the States and for Society) is a standird Neo-Confucian (li hsueh) work. -- W.T.C.

Shen (Chinese) In Taoism, when employed in relation to yang, it refers to the celestial or spiritual, hence the gods; in relation to man it is generally translated soul. Yang is defined as a supreme, universal shen — living, creating, dividing itself into an infinite number of shen — depositing the shen in the various beings of the worlds. “The shen are omnipresent; it is they which perform the unfathomable work of the Yang and the Yin. These two vital breaths (of the universe) create the beings; their peregrinating hwun (or shen) are the causes of the changes (in nature), from which, accordingly, we may learn the actions and manners of the kwei and the shen” (I Ching, Hi-ts’ze 1).

Shu: Number, which gives rise to form (hsiang) according to which things become. This philosophy was based on the I Ching (I. Book of Changes), developed in the medieval interpretation of it (chan wei), and culminated in Neo-Confucianism, especially in Shao K'ang-chieh (1011-1077). According to this philosophv, to Heaven belong the odd numbers which represent the active principle (yang) and are characterized by the tendency to increase, and to Earth the even numbers, which represent the passive principle (yin) and are characterized by the tendency to decrease, forming two series of five numbers. The numbers of Heaven add up to twenty-five and those of Earth to thirty, making a total of fifty-five. It is by these that the changes and transformations are effected and the heavenly and earthly spirits have their movements. The system of numbers begins with 1, which represent the Great Ultimate ('ai Chi) and is completed with 5, which corresponds to the Five Elements (wu hsing) out of the interplay of which all things are what they are. Thus, in the final analysis, everything's comes from number, by which it can be understood, evaluated, and adjusted to other things with a corresponding number. -- W.T.C.

Speaking of the I Ching, Blavatsky says: “the Stanzas given in our text . . . represent precisely the same idea. The old archaic map of Cosmogony is full of lines in the Confucian style, of concentric circles and dots. Yet all these represent the most abstract and philosophical conceptions of the Cosmogony of our Universe” (SD 1:441).

Tao (Chinese) The way, road, path; the Chinese treat of tao in two aspects: the tao of man (jen tao); and the tao of the universe — which is again divided into two aspects, the tao of heaven (t’ien tao) and the tao of earth (t’i tao). There is no supreme god in this system of philosophy, no Demiurge or maker of the cosmos: the yearly renovation of nature is due to the spontaneity of tao. As explained in the I Ching, tao brings about the revolving mutations of the yin and yang: “there is in the system of mutations [of nature] the Most Ultimate which produced the two Regulating Powers [the yin and yang], which produce the four shapes [the seasons]” (Hi-tsze).

Ti (Chinese) In the I Ching, the name for the beneficent sustaining power or chief spirit of the universe. One of the minor deities is described there as engaging in rebellion against his superior, in which he maintains that he himself is ti. In consequence of this the rebellious spirit with seven choirs of celestial spirits were exiled upon earth: this “brought a change in all nature, heaven itself bending down and uniting with earth” (SD 2:486) — a Chinese version of the Fallen Angels. Back of this tale itself lies the fundamental concept that all things originate in the divine, emanate from it, and ultimately return to it, so that at any stage of this spiritual procession, any minor entity can claim that its inmost selfhood is identical with the highest, the originating source.

which, by altering the positions of the whole and broken lines form the changes in the diagrams. This has been assigned by scholars to Fu-Hsi (30th century BC). The first extant commentary on it is assigned to Ching Wen, founder of the Chou dynasty in 1122 BC, and his son. There have been many explanations offered regarding this work, called by many the Qabbalah of China: some see in it only a system of divination, a lunar calendar, phallic worship, or again the vocabulary of a tribe whose very existence had to be postulated for this purpose. Both Taoists and Confucianists regard the I Ching as the holiest of books; Confucius declared that he would like to give another 50 years of his life to its study, while the only Chinese commentator who is said to have understood it was Chu Hsi (1130-1200).

Y Ching, Yi King. See I CHING

Y-King. See I CHING



QUOTES [2 / 2 - 303 / 303]


KEYS (10k)

   1 Ludwig Wittgenstein
   1 Chinese Texts

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   4 Jim Butcher
   3 Neal Shusterman
   3 Li Ching Yuen
   3 Gary Keller
   3 E L James
   3 Abigail Roux
   2 William Shakespeare
   2 W B Yeats
   2 The Betches
   2 Sandy Koufax
   2 Rudyard Kipling
   2 Richelle Mead
   2 Randall Munroe
   2 Mariana Zapata
   2 Lysa TerKeurst
   2 Lila Monroe
   2 Kristen Ashley
   2 John Keats
   2 Joe Garagiola
   2 J K Rowling

1:We must be humble and reverent when face to face with the source of enlightenment. ~ Chinese Texts, I Ching,
2:Philosophy hasn't made any progress? - If somebody scratches the spot where he has an itch, do we have to see some progress? Isn't genuine scratching otherwise, or genuine itching itching? And can't this reaction to an irritation continue in the same way for a long time before a cure for the itching is discovered? ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
1:He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin. ~ george-orwell, @wisdomtrove
2:The person who takes power will never be happy with those things they gain. They have lost their essential balance and innocence. And without innocence, nothing can further, as they say in the I Ching. ~ frederick-lenz, @wisdomtrove
3:The parallels to modern physics [with mysticism] appear not only in the Vedas of Hinduism, in the I Ching, or in the Buddhist sutras, but also in the fragments of Heraclitus, in the Sufism of Ibn Arabi, or in the teachings of the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan. ~ fritjof-capra, @wisdomtrove
4:It is very pleasant to scratch an itching ring-worm, but the sensation one gets afterwards is very painful and intolerable. In the same way the pleasures of this world are very attractive in the beginning, but their consequences are terrible to contemplate and hard to endure. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
5:Astrology is one of the intuitive methods like the I Ching, geomantics, and other divinatory procedures. It is based upon the synchronicity principle, meaningful coincidence. ... Astrology is a naively projected psychology in which the different attitudes and temperaments of man are represented as gods and identified with planets and zodiacal constellations. ~ carl-jung, @wisdomtrove
6:The beauty of nature insists on taking its time. Everything is prepared. Nothing is rushed. The rhythm of emergence is a gradual, slow beat; always inching its way forward, change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival. Because nothing is abrupt, the beginning of spring nearly always catches us unawares. It is there before we see it; and then we can look nowhere without seeing it. ~ john-odonohue, @wisdomtrove
7:The people itching for immortal fame do not see that everyone who remembers them will themselves soon die, and the next generation in its turn, until these memories, transmitted by people who foolishly admire and then die, will perish. But even if these people were immortal and your memory stayed alive forever, what does it matter to you?  What good is praise to the buried, or even the living, except for some practical use?  You reject Nature's gift today if you cling to what people may say of you tomorrow.  ~ marcus-aurelius, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:mom with a part-time (inching ~ Jennifer Weiner,
2:All fools have still an itching to deride ~ Alexander Pope,
3:Itching to play a video game inside a video game? ~ Reki Kawahara,
4:Half an hour ago I was itching to knock his block off. ~ A J Cronin,
5:Says the girl whose wings are always itching to break free. ~ A G Howard,
6:Even weird breed of cat like Nazi Germany comprehensible to I Ching. ~ Philip K Dick,
7:Without innocence, nothing can further, as they say in the I Ching. ~ Frederick Lenz,
8:Your skin starts itching once you buy that gimmick about something called love. ~ Iggy Pop,
9:down the damp inching up the walls outside, or the slipped slate tiles on the roof. ~ Clare Mackintosh,
10:Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm. ~ William Shakespeare,
11:We live in a day of itching ears, but I have no commission from God to scratch them. ~ Leonard Ravenhill,
12:Ancient Hawaiians say: When you're itching for the waves, the only lotion is the ocean. ~ Josip Broz Tito,
13:Open displays of emotion make me more uncomfortable than itching powder in a pair of sandpaper panties, ~ Lila Monroe,
14:Thus drivers inching southward will see the phalanx of birds heading west as one spontaneous gesture. ~ Rae Armantrout,
15:My trigger finger itching, positioned at your dome, one twitch and it's on. No remorse or second thoughts. ~ Snoop Dogg,
16:Make it fast, you shower of stinking rabbit droppings, I've got a fresh blade that I'm just itching to test! ~ Eoin Colfer,
17:I am itching like hell to play America because I know that if I did the show over there, they would love it. ~ Bonnie Tyler,
18:Possibilities

...in the closet
...itching
...to break out
...but afraid of
...the fallout ~ Ellen Hopkins,
19:I would like television to produce some itching pills rather than this endless outpouring of tranquilizers. ~ Edward R Murrow,
20:There's something in every atheist, itching to believe, and something in every believer, itching to doubt. ~ Mignon McLaughlin,
21:Remember, when you don’t know what to do, it never hurts to play Scrabble. It’s like reading the I Ching or tea leaves. ~ Kelly Link,
22:And just because I was a little more willing and a lot more able to be a parent didn’t mean I was itching to become one. ~ Michelle Huneven,
23:Manando del Tao, el consejo del I Ching apela a nuestro mejor yo, despertando y confiriendo poderes a nuestro Sabio Interior. Si ~ Lou Marinoff,
24:My insides started itching and my feet started hopping, one then the other,because they were 10 min. Past being ready to go. ~ Katherine Hannigan,
25:I was searching for a vocabulary with which to make sense of death, to find a way to begin defining myself and inching forward again ~ Paul Kalanithi,
26:Paama looked at her, itching to ask more questions, but these were the ones she dared not have answered, so she wisely did not ask them. ~ Karen Lord,
27:I'm itching to see Usher & Shakira work their magic. And of course, Blake is so amazing! It was tough, but I went on my gut which was Adam. ~ Judith Hill,
28:You’re impinging on my private space,” I said, inching backward. Patch gave a barely-there smile. "Impinging? This isn’t the SAT, Nora. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
29:I am finding it very hard to get my novel started. I suffer from stylistic abscesses; and sentences keep itching without coming to a head. ~ Gustave Flaubert,
30:Now we think maybe Lake Erie is the great water referred to in the I Ching, and if we wait long enough we can walk across—to Buffalo or Cleveland. ~ Anna Clark,
31:You’re impinging on my private space,” I said, inching backward.

Patch gave a barely-there smile. "Impinging? This isn’t the SAT, Nora. ~ Becca Fitzpatrick,
32:Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked + The Divine is a warp into the middle of a wildly imaginative mythology and I'm itching to read more. ~ Rick Remender,
33:We’re always itching to go, to move on, to escape. We convince ourselves we could truly be happy if only we were somewhere else. Or somebody else. ~ Kirsten Hubbard,
34:As an architect, I always have mixed feelings. On the one hand, your fingers are itching. As a human being, you are happy to participate in the indolence. ~ Rem Koolhaas,
35:I love you, Miracle," he whispered. "You're mine," he said, inching his way forward a bit more, "and i'm yours," he added, moving further in. "Forever. ~ Michelle Leighton,
36:as corrie was about to hang up, stacy said, "i hope he shoots at my car. i've got a couple of black talon rounds just itching to explore his inner psyche. ~ Douglas Preston,
37:Then I went home to continue my life, which had changed a little, as lives do every day, inching by microspecks forward toward whatever surprises are coming next. ~ Lois Lowry,
38:I don't remember doing anything else; I don't remember not living in the studio. I'm itching for people to hear this album because I'm sick of hearing it myself. ~ James Hetfield,
39:The players were mostly seated, itching to begin, impatient men shuffling the packs of cards, a center lamp on each table, and a hail of welcome as Cornelius entered. ~ Edna O Brien,
40:It's not that war crimes stop as soon as a novel about them is published. Literature operates slowly, it is always inching toward bliss, never quite getting there. ~ Aleksandar Hemon,
41:I guess I was inching and crawling my way toward Elizabeth Bennett's words about unconditional love. That it was a dangerous thing without heavy doses of mutual respect. ~ Deb Caletti,
42:m For the time is coming when people will not endure  n sound [1] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, ~ Anonymous,
43:V rebuffed the magic that tickled beneath her skin, itching to get out. Ignored its incessant chattering, its constant thrashing against her every decision, her every movement. ~ Rosalyn Kelly,
44:I decide to go out and spend all my money on underwear, then throw them about the room to
decide my fate like a satiny, lace-gusseted I Ching. Let the gods of Beau Bra decide. ~ Belle de Jour,
45:I just don't see this old idea of the Red peril, itching to take over the world. I think you can explain a lot of the Soviets' moves as stemming from a basic sense of insecurity. ~ John Anderson,
46:These young folks say they can't leave home without their American Express, but nowadays I can't leave home without my pistol. I ain't used it in a while but I've been itching to. ~ Nikki Turner,
47:Oh shut up,’ I said. ‘It’s still Dan. He’s hardly the father of my children, is he? He’s the bloke you call after you’ve been to the doctor to ask if he’s the reason you’re itching. ~ Lindsey Kelk,
48:What do you say to your sister who poses in the nude? It's not like you are really itching to see photographs of your sister naked. I mean, it's just something that is not too exciting. ~ Ron Reagan,
49:The street was a living, breathing dragon of humanity, inching forward, wheezing dirt, honking horns; people yelling for help, babies crying, and the smell of sweat heavy in the air. ~ Kristin Hannah,
50:He was conscious of nothing except the blankness of the page in front of him, the itching of the skin above his ankle, the blaring of the music, and a slight booziness caused by the gin. ~ George Orwell,
51:I am itching to criticize some well-regarded writers' works, but I am not doing it because I am perfectly aware that my critique could easily be reduced to envy or just plain meanness. ~ Aleksandar Hemon,
52:I confess I have no sympathy with those that travel. I think it is empty heads that make itching heels, and I am convinced that wise people can learn more by staying at home than by going abroad. ~ Anonymous,
53:Yes, the past is a foreign country", I said, "but some of us are full-fledged citizens, others occasional tourists, and some floating itinerants, itching to get out yet always aching to return. ~ Andr Aciman,
54:If people have some sort of yearning, dissatisfaction or some itching irritability, then it might because they aren't looking in the right direction for a solution. They aren't looking within. ~ Russell Brand,
55:If you look at him when you're speaking, he always looks away, he's not listening, he's just itching to say things he's rehearsed while you were speaking and wants to say before he forgets them. ~ Andr Aciman,
56:As the fog swirled in through the open gates, inching across the stone, layering the courtyard and the inert cadavers with an undulating carpet of haze, he turned and made his way down to the subcellar. ~ Anonymous,
57:Buddhism teaches us not to want things, not to avoid things, not to be upset by the loss. In the I Ching, there's a hexagram that says, "Be like the sun at midday". View all things as being equal. ~ Frederick Lenz,
58:When Socrates, after being relieved of his irons, felt the relish of the itching that their weight had caused in his legs, he rejoiced to consider the close alliance between pain and pleasure. ~ Michel de Montaigne,
59:Commuting in London is basically warfare. It's a constant campaign of claiming territory; inching forward; never relaxing for a moment. Because if you do, someone will step past you. Or step on you. ~ Sophie Kinsella,
60:The suit caught light and stirred like a bed of black tweed-thorns, interminably itching, covering the man’s long body with motion so it seemed he should excruciate, cry out, and tear the clothes free. ~ Ray Bradbury,
61:The person who takes power will never be happy with those things they gain. They have lost their essential balance and innocence. And without innocence, nothing can further, as they say in the I Ching. ~ Frederick Lenz,
62:I tucked my hands behind my head, smiling up at my ceiling. She was an enigma, a puzzle I found myself itching to figure out. I wanted to take her apart, find out what made her tick. I didn’t know why, exactly. ~ Staci Hart,
63:Actually I'm taking her for a ride," I say slyly, inching my hand up the back of Ella's leg and she slaps the back of my head playfully. "I'm taking you for a ride in my car. And you think I'm the pervert. ~ Jessica Sorensen,
64:Chaos. Dust. Crowds. The street was a living, breathing dragon of humanity, inching forward, wheezing dirt, honking horns; people yelling for help, babies crying, and the smell of sweat heavy in the air. Automobiles ~ Kristin Hannah,
65:I don't really ever have to tell myself to seize the day. It's just, whenever I'm not, I feel like I'm slowly disintegrating or something. Like my soul is itching, and if I don't actively live my life, it'll never stop. ~ Adi Alsaid,
66:SITTING TIGHT? Holing up? Waiting for answers? Those are things I'm not good at. Planning a massive attack against mechanical geeky-like things when i was already furious and itching to kill something? Piece o'cake ~ James Patterson,
67:I don't really ever have to tell myself to seize the day. It's just, whenever I'm not, I feel like I'm slowly disintegrating or something. Like my soul is itching, and I'd I don't actively live my life, it'll never stop. ~ Adi Alsaid,
68:Dorian's scar itched. It did that when he was agitated, or angry, or experiencing anything one might call emotion. Or when rain was on the horizon, but he didn't think that was entirely relevant to why it was itching now. ~ Melissa Grey,
69:Even through the dulling effects of the pill, he wanted to be rid of his itching brain, his ignited skin, the flesh beneath, to in some way become so ethereal and Unbound to the earth that he could unsee, disavow, disavow ~ Jeff VanderMeer,
70:My own sense is that fiction is inching its way over to join poetry on the cultural margin. It's an area of passionate concern for me, as for many people, but it's nowhere near as central to the culture as it used to be. ~ Matthew Specktor,
71:There is not much sense in suffering, since drugs can be given for pain, itching, and other discomforts. The belief has long died that suffering here on earth will be rewarded in heaven. Suffering has lost its meaning. ~ Elisabeth Kubler Ross,
72:3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. ~ Anonymous,
73:It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence. ~ Ryan Holiday,
74:Not in this century, Aly. I want to spend my life wrapped up in you, wrapped up in that body that has me itching to drag you back to your room and show you just how much I don't want to let you go. Just how much I've been missing you. ~ A L Jackson,
75:Inching one's way along a steep cliff in the dark: on reaching the highway, one breathes a sigh of relief. Just when one can't take any more, one sees the moonlight. Beauty that seems to infuse itself into the heart: I know about that ~ Banana Yoshimoto,
76:There is something more powerful than any army. Something strong enough to topple kings, and even Darklings. Do you know what that thing is?”
I shook my head, inching away from him.
“Faith,” he breathed, his black eyes wild. “Faith. ~ Leigh Bardugo,
77:I totally ignore the sheer number of bookshelves lining the far wall, even though I’m itching to explore them, because, well, as everyone knows, if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to a girl’s is through a good book. ~ Julie Johnson,
78:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and ~ Anonymous,
79:Doing thousands of little things, day after day, inching along as consistently as you can, in the right direction as best you can tell, is management—and motivating or inspiring everyone to work together for long-term purpose is leadership. ~ Charles D Ellis,
80:The wise Chinese would say in the words of the I Ching: When yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin. ~ Carl Jung, Alchemical Studies,
81:but she still burns. she is on fire with need. burning that goes deeper than her skin, etched deeply, maybe in her soul, and there seems to be nothing for it, no balm, save inching her arms up to hold herself and wishin the arms weren't her own. ~ Mary E Pearson,
82:2Ti4.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  2Ti4.4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. ~ Anonymous,
83:I used to be surprised and a little annoyed when characters would reappear in my mind, itching to be in another story. Now I realize it's part of the deal, that you create these people out of thin air but then, if you do it right, they actually live. ~ Peter Orner,
84:PALM, n. A species of tree . . . of which the familiar "itching palm" ("Palma hominis") is most widely distributed . . . . This noble vegetable exudes a kind of invisible gum, which may be detected by applying to the bark a piece of gold or silver. ~ Ambrose Bierce,
85:He is climbing the spiral staircase of the soul of Gormenghast, bound for some pinnacle of the itching fancy - some wild, invulnerable eyrie best known to himself; where he can watch the world spread out below him, and shake exultantly his clotted wings. ~ Mervyn Peake,
86:Memoirs have at their heart a content that "happened" to someone in real life. Is that what you are itching at in your question, so that if you are a reviewer or you are writing a critique you might feel as if you are stepping on someone's actual face? ~ Lidia Yuknavitch,
87:the nature of science is not that of a steady, linear progression toward the Truth, but rather a tortuous road, often characterized by dead ends and U-turns, and yet ultimately inching toward a better, if tentative, understanding of the natural world. ~ Massimo Pigliucci,
88:Step on it, or I’ll knock your block off!” “Less KGB shtick,” said the cabbie, inching out into traffic. “More glass of vodka, you know I mean?” “All right, you little squeezer. Fifty bucks if you get there pronto!” “That’s like it! You are the cool man! ~ Christopher Bunn,
89:[T]he nature of science is not that of a steady, linear progression toward the Truth, but rather a tortuous road, often characterized by dead ends and U-turns, and yet ultimately inching toward a better, if tentative, understanding of the natural world. ~ Massimo Pigliucci,
90:Me pregunto si, quizá sin darnos cuenta, vamos buscando los libros que necesitamos leer. O si los propios libros, que son seres inteligentes, detectan a sus lectores y se hacen notar. En el fondo todo libro es el I Ching. Vas, lo abres y ahí está, ahí estás. ~ Andr s Neuman,
91:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths. ~ Anonymous,
92:Can I ask why you’re throwing knives at cheese?’ ‘Caleb came by to discuss something,’ Tobias says, leaning his head against the wall as he looks at me. ‘And knife-throwing just came up somehow.’ ‘As it so often does,’ I say, a small smile inching across my face. ~ Veronica Roth,
93:I’m going to take Charity to France. I can look after her there. You can go on with your life here, and I won’t be here to … to bother anyone.”
He muttered two quiet words.
“What?” she asked in bewilderment, inching forward to hear him.
“I said, try it. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
94:Since 9/11, the Bush administration has used that tragic event as a justification to rip up our constitution and our civil liberties. And I honestly believe that one or two 9/11s, and martial law will be declared in our country and we're inching towards a police state. ~ Michael Moore,
95:another arabic curse that cracks me up is the one my parents use whenever they go aggro at me. Instead of cursing me, they curse themselves! When Dad yells out "God damn your father" I'm absolutely chicken pox itching to tell him that he really is missing the point. ~ Randa Abdel Fattah,
96:Forget the Syria debate; we need a debate on why we are always debating on whether to bomb someone. Because we're starting to look not so much like the world's police men but more like George Zimmerman. Itching to use force and then pretending it's because we had no choice. ~ Bill Maher,
97:Job’s disease included all of these symptoms: boils (2:7), itching (2:8), loss of appetite (3:24), severe depression (3:24-25), broken skin (7:5), red eyes (16:16), bad breath (19:17), constant pain (30:17), discoloration and fever (30:30), and an emaciated appearance (2:12). ~ Anonymous,
98:mind at that point, my fingers itching with the need to tie knots and pull hair, every muscle in my body primed to fuck her so hard that she grunted like an animal. And then I would fill her with my seed, pump her so full of my cum that she’d be dripping with it for days. ~ Sierra Simone,
99:An accurate charting of American women's progress through history might look more like a corkscrew tilted slightly to one side, its loops inching closer to the line of freedom with the passage of time-but, like a mathematical curve approaching infinity, never touching its goal. ~ Susan Faludi,
100:He had always looked at the world and seen it in a thousand different colors, his fingers itching to paint each turn of light, each curl of the wind sweeping through the silver streets.

Every shade was unique in Valen's eyes.

And yet... he was losing colors, too. ~ Sasha Alsberg,
101:It is very pleasant to scratch an itching ring-worm, but the sensation one gets afterwards is very painful and intolerable. In the same way the pleasures of this world are very attractive in the beginning, but their consequences are terrible to contemplate and hard to endure. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
102:Is that any way to talk to your betrothed?” His syrupy voice set her skin to itching. Eden gathered her shawl a bit more tightly about her. “I’m not your betrothed, Sheriff. I refused your proposal three weeks ago.” “And nearly busted my heart in the process, but I forgive you. ~ Karen Witemeyer,
103:We do not ask for wealth because he that has health and children will also have wealth. We do not pray to have money but to have more kinsmen. We are better than animals because we have kinsmen. An animal rubs its itching flank against a tree, a man asks his kinsman to scratch him. ~ Chinua Achebe,
104:I wonder whether, perhaps without realizing it, we seek out the books we need to read. Or whether books themselves, which are intelligent entities, detect their readers and catch their eye. In the end, every book is the I Ching. You pick it up, open it, and there it is, there you are. ~ Andr s Neuman,
105:I love the smell of you. Sea air, leather, and your skin...all of you." She sewed soft kisses over his chest, inching toward the hollow at the base of his neck. "You'll never be free of me."
His arms tightened like manacles, squeezing her closer. "Never have I wanted to be free of you. ~ Gina Conkle,
106:My very first job was something called Nobodys Watching, that Bill Lawrence who created Scrubs, it was his pilot. It was my very first TV job, and it was a sitcom. Ever since that experience, Ive been so itching to get back to that kind of environment and just to be involved with comedy. ~ Mircea Monroe,
107:The strangest thing was that I felt it, I felt everything. Normally I feel nothing but itching, discomfort, tightness, soreness. The surface of my skin is dulled by scars, lots of it is numb -- nerve damage, apparently. When he touched me, I felt everything. It was like having new skin. ~ Elizabeth Haynes,
108:We lie there in the darkness in silence a few feet from the tent, my spine against his stomach, his hands on my sides. I've never been so aware that I am made up of bones and skin and I can practically feel my bones inching closer to the surface of my skin aching to get even closer to his. ~ Jasmine Warga,
109:Abra looked at his sunny hair, tight-curled now, and at the eyes that seemed so near to tears, and she felt the longing and itching burn in her chest that is the beginning of love. Also, she wanted to touch Aron, and she did. She put her hand on his arm and felt him shiver under her fingers. ~ John Steinbeck,
110:The death of Nighteyes gutted me. I walked wounded through my life in the days that followed, unaware of just how mutilated I was. I was like the man who complains of the itching of his severed leg. The itching distracts from the immense knowledge that one will forever after hobble through life. ~ Robin Hobb,
111:For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, niv) ~ Tim LaHaye,
112:I walked over to Osten, who looked like he was itching to climb on something.
“What are you up to today?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Go find the Selected guys and ask them awkward questions. Report back.”
He laughed and went running.
“Where’s he off to?” Dad asked quietly.
“Nowhere. ~ Kiera Cass,
113:You could open the door, Frances whispers. Find your way through the steam, not even bothering to remove your clothes before stepping in with him.
His hands could slide along where your thin shirt molds against your hips. His fingers could find the hem, slowly gather it, inching higher.
~ Carrie Ryan,
114:To me, the circle and the square where the sky and the earth, as symbolized by the ancient Oriental religions; they formed a kind of rudimentary alphabet by means of which everything could be expressed with the most limited means. They evoked prehistoric runes and the early I-Ching, or Book of Changes. ~ Michel Seuphor,
115:She has never messed up a single take yet. Recently I was in a scene and there was a table covered with a cloth. When the director said cut, I saw a black nose and two paws inching out from under the cloth. She had hidden there without making a sound until we were done with the scene. She wanted to be nearer to me. ~ Jack Lemmon,
116:Someone asked me about the difference between love and lust. Hmmm. That will take a little thought. How to tell the difference? Well, for guys, if she looks better AFTER you've made love to her than before, that might be love. If you find yourself itching to get out the door afterward, probably just lust, y'know? ~ Steven Barnes,
117:Long shadows of evening creep up the walls, inching closer. Gradually, they reach fully across us, holding us in the stillness that only night can bring. In the hazy gloom of dusk, we are silhouettes of ourselves, reduced to our very essence. The night grows bolder. Unafraid, it opens its mouth and swallows us whole. ~ Libba Bray,
118:With heads thrown back, legs pumping out of sync, Louie and Lash drove for the tape. With just a few yards remaining, Lash began inching up, drawing even. The two runners, legs rubbery with exhaustion, flung themselves past the judges in a finish so close, Louie later said, “you couldn’t put a hair between us. ~ Laura Hillenbrand,
119:It is midnight in the hard part of town. The mask is itching like it always does. The ragged end of my cape is soaking in a puddle of something I don't want to guess about. I'm crouched behind a kicked-in aluminum trash can. It stinks of rotted meat and drunkard's piss - and I feel right at home. (from Nothing to Lose) ~ Steve Vernon,
120:Philosophy hasn't made any progress? - If somebody scratches the spot where he has an itch, do we have to see some progress? Isn't genuine scratching otherwise, or genuine itching itching? And can't this reaction to an irritation continue in the same way for a long time before a cure for the itching is discovered? ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
121:Philosophy hasn't made any progress? - If somebody scratches the spot where he has an itch, do we have to see some progress? Isn't genuine scratching otherwise, or genuine itching itching? And can't this reaction to an irritation continue in the same way for a long time before a cure for the itching is discovered? ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein,
122:Ever since she’d come home from school three years ago, she’d been burrowing under his skin, itching like a host of chigger bites. He kept telling himself not to scratch, but invariably he did anyway, fool that he was. And here he was scratching again, thinking about her when he should be focused on the work at hand. He ~ Karen Witemeyer,
123:scores of scientists working in widely separated unrelated disciplines are crossing the threshold into the world of ancient science. We call it progress, but Merlin will have the last laugh. Science is inching into magic, and the science of the twenty-first century will probably be nothing more than a revival of alchemy. In ~ John A Keel,
124:Tim Johnson was advancing at a snail’s pace, but he was not playing or sniffing at foliage: he seemed dedicated to one course and motivated by an invisible force that was inching him toward us. We could see him shiver like a horse shedding flies; his jaw opened and shut; he was alist, but he was being pulled gradually toward us. ~ Harper Lee,
125:You seemed out of place," she blurted out. "You have very strong features. I was itching to get them down on paper. You have an interesting face and it was obvious you had a lot on your mind. I find people are a lot more open when they think no one is watching them. If you'd been posing , the picture wouldn't have been the same. ~ Maya Banks,
126:Healing hurts. If you break your leg, there is no stage in the healing process when your leg feels better than it does after it has healed. There is pain and itching and loss of strength. From the moment your leg is broken, it continues to feel bad … until, gradually, it starts to feel less bad. It's appropriate that it hurts. ~ Emily Nagoski,
127:You will feel the burning of Hell from inside your skin, itching and painful like writhing worms burrowing into your bones. You cannot escape it, you cannot beg your way out. A day here is a hundred there. Your dirty soul will feed Lucifer and the greater demons around him for eternity. You can’t be anything more than a slave. ~ Ashlan Thomas,
128:...if it isn't literally true that my wanting is causally responsible for my reaching, and my itching is causally responsible for my scratching, and my believing is causally responsible for my saying . . . If none of that is literally true, then practically everything I believe about anything is false and it's the end of the world. ~ Jerry Fodor,
129:When I found out I was a father, after the shock, I figured I'd try to be more fatherly and less of a horndog. When Masley is around it's like that part of me shuts down, and then the minute she out of sight I'm itching to fuck the both of you. To unleash the years of built up frustration on you both. If you knew what I want to do-- ~ Amelia LeFay,
130:The captain scowled at her. Then he threw Petey to the floor with a coarse oath, knocking the scrimshaw and the carving knife from Petey’s hands.
Petey gasped for breath as Captain Horn hovered over him, wearing the look of a man who’d just been struck in the noggin by a yardarm and was itching to tear apart the one who’d done it. ~ Sabrina Jeffries,
131:The I Ching tells us that for every ending there is a new beginning. In other words, what appears like a transition isn't really a transition; it's a continuum of existence. If you close your eyes for a moment the room will appear to go away. But does it really? Open your eyes again and the room will still be there. That's all death is. ~ Frederick Lenz,
132:Coming out of sleep, I had the advantage of two worlds, the layered firmament of dream and the temporal fixtures of the mind awake. I stretched luxuriously—a good and tingling sensation. It's as though the skin has shrunk in the night and one must push it out to daytime size by bulging the muscles, and there's an a itching pleasure in it. ~ John Steinbeck,
133:According to the L.A. Times, Attorney General John Ashcroft wants to take "a harder stance" on the death penalty. What's a harder stance on the death penalty? We're already killing the guy? How do you take a harder stance on the death penalty? What, are you going to tickle him first? Give him itching powder? Put a thumbtack on the electric chair? ~ Jay Leno,
134:Astrology is one of the intuitive methods like the I Ching, geomantics, and other divinatory procedures. It is based upon the synchronicity principle, meaningful coincidence. ... Astrology is a naively projected psychology in which the different attitudes and temperaments of man are represented as gods and identified with planets and zodiacal constellations. ~ Carl Jung,
135:He stilled. "What did you say?" "A few years ago, Nancy took me to a store in New York to buy a vibrator." "Holy shit, Faith." "It's all right. Mom said it wasn't a sin." "You told your mother Nancy bought you a dildo?" "Of course. Wanna see it?" "God, no." "You know," she said, inching closer. "I can do it as many times as I want with that." "Faith, stop! ~ Kathryn Shay,
136:Christians should not be hostile, they should not hate, they should not judge, and they should not condemn. But they also must not shy away from real Truth and real Christianity. Just because so many have “itching ears” and “will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” does not mean Christians should be willing to scratch that itch. ~ Erick Erickson,
137:the time will come when they will not endure gsound doctrine, hbut according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and ibe turned aside to fables. 5But you be watchful in all things, jendure afflictions, do the work of kan evangelist, fulfill your ministry. ~ Anonymous,
138:If any man imagines that there is a real happiness in these enjoyments, he must then confess that he would be the happiest of all men if he were to lead his life in perpetual hunger, thirst, and itching, and, by consequence, in perpetual eating, drinking, and scratching himself; which any one may easily see would be not only a base, but a miserable, state of a life.  ~ Thomas More,
139:Having poured my drink, I may not live to taste it, or that it may pass a live man's tongue to burn a dead man's belly; that having slumbered, I may never wake, or having waked, may never living sleep. Having heard tick, will I hear tock? Having served, will I volley? Having sugared will I cream? Having eithered, will I or? Itching, will I scratch? Hemming, will I haw? ~ John Barth,
140:You put what?” “Itching powder I took from Gabe’s prank box! It was just supposed to be a stupid joke. A payback for the porn bombing he pulled on my computer,” I say as my eyes start filling with tears. “You mean after you put a laxative in his Coke?” “Kaleigh, not now, for the love of God. You are on my side always. Blood thicker than asshat boss,” I remind her. ~ Natasha Madison,
141:I guess we all can't help peeking at our own imperfections, just like we can't help scratching a scab that keeps itching. When those imperfections are pasted across your face like that, exaggerated and magnified, it's hard to find all those good thoughts you have about yourself. If you believe those distorted reflections too deeply, you'll never get out of the maze. ~ Neal Shusterman,
142:I saw the 'Popstars' programme and to me it looked more like 'Opportunity Knocks' than the kind of cutting-edge postmoderism that The Guardian would like to have us believe it was. I think what it's more about is the public and the music industry's bloodlust. It's just like someone itching to say 'Oh, confound it all, let's bring back hanging, that was good entertainment'. ~ Luke Haines,
143:What all this means is that the ecosystems of cities around the world are growing more and more alike; their communities of plants and animals, fungi, single-celled organisms, and viruses are slowly inching toward a single globalized, multi-purpose urban biodiversity. And even if the exact species across cities may not be identical, you will find similar species playing similar roles. ~ Menno Schilthuizen,
144:No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. Without that, I am not alive. That is what makes the life I have now possible.

Inching one's way along a steep cliff in the dark: on reaching the highway, one breathes a sigh of relief. Just when one can't take any more, one sees the moonlight. Beauty that seems to infuse itself into the heart: I know about that. ~ Banana Yoshimoto,
145:My nose itched. I tried to ignore it, but it got worse and worse, until it was all I could think of, the flaming lance of itch that strobed at the tip of my nostril. Furiously, I wrinkled my face, rattled at my restraints. The doc absentmindedly noticed my gyrations and delicately scratched my nose with a gloved finger. The relief was fantastic. I just hoped my nuts didn’t start itching anytime soon. ~ Cory Doctorow,
146:A few moments of silence passed, and Mina was almost asleep when she heard Jared speaking out loud in a droning voice. “I’m keeping watch, and I see the river. I see the moon rise over the trees. I see that the forest looks really, really creepy right now. I bet you there is some sort of killer vampire turtle slowly crawling toward us out of the woods. Yep, I can almost hear its little turtle-y steps inching closer to us. ~ Chanda Hahn,
147:I was sleeping in the woods one night after a gig we'd played somewhere, when I saw this girl appear before me. That girl was Emily. (on how he wrote "See Emily Play") "Chapter 24"-that was from the "I Ching", there was someone around who was very into that, most of the words came straight off that. "Lucifer Sam" was another one-it didn't mean much to me at the time, but then three or four months later it came to mean a lot. ~ Syd Barrett,
148:Upstairs, in what had been until then the cash office, Young Sam slept peacefully in a makeshift bed. One day, Vimes hoped, he would be able to tell him that on one special night he'd been guarded by four troll watchmen. They'd been off duty but volunteered to come in for this, and were just itching for some dwarfs to try anything. Sam hoped the boy would be impressed; the most other kids could hope for was angels. ~ Terry Pratchett,
149:Now to contradict myself: If you do bring juice into your home, know that it’s the closest thing to giving your child an ecstasy pill. Your toddler will fiend for it hard. He’ll pace like someone itching for a nicotine hit as you pour it, and grab it out of your hands with legit desperation. Cut it with water if you want, but have you tasted your half-juice, half-water concoctions? They taste like piss. You’re the boss, though. ~ Bunmi Laditan,
150:This is not science fiction. Around the world, 50,000 men with prostate cancer have been treated with focused ultrasound. Over 36,000 women with uterine fibroids (benign tumors of the uterus) have been treated, thus avoiding hysterectomies and infertility. Clinical trials for tumors of the brain, breast, pancreas, and liver, as well as Parkinson’s disease and arthritis, are inching forward at over 270 research sites around the world. ~ John Grisham,
151:Kicking off my shoes, I climed in beside him.
I eased toward him. His body radiated heat in the bed. I relaxed, inching closer, burrowing the tip of my nose against his back, savoring the clean smell of his skin, fresh from the shower.
His voice rumled through his back toward me. "Hey, your nose is cold."
I grinned ahainst his skin. "How about my feet?" I wedged them between his calves.
He hissed. "Get some socks on, woman. ~ Sophie Jordan,
152:Really good acting is not about dialogue. It's really just about small moments that really make the whole entire scene and the intention completely different than even maybe what the characters are saying. Two characters could be saying, "I hate you, and I don't want to be with you anymore!" But yet somehow, their toes are just inching more, you know, closer to each other. So a really big thing about acting is really just with your body. ~ Bella Thorne,
153:This is not science fiction. Around the world, 50,000 men with prostate cancer have been treated with focused ultrasound. Over 22,000 women with uterine fibroids (benign tumors of the uterus) have been treated, thus avoiding hysterectomies and infertility. Clinical trials for tumors of the brain, breast, pancreas and liver, as well as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and hypertension are inching forward at over 225 research sites around the world. ~ John Grisham,
154:The pallbearers lowered the casket onto a metal stand, then moved to their seats. Thomas, James’s brother, slid into the front pew beside Claire, who was dressed in a black suit with her silver hair coiled as tight and rigid as her posture. Phil, James’s cousin, moved into the pew to stand on her other side. He turned and looked at me, dipping his head in acknowledgment. I swallowed, inching back until my calves pressed into the wood bench. Claire ~ Kerry Lonsdale,
155:clearly remembers the Soviet Union collapsing, so when I was a kid, he kept saying that the Affordable Health Care Act, and the way the NSA, DHS, EPA, and TSA were acting, was inching us closer to that system of government. Now, along with the United Nations’ Agenda 21, we’re almost there. I really wish the Conservative Party and Victor Tyson could win the Presidency, because he would ask the U.N. to leave and try to get us back to being a federal republic, ~ Cliff Ball,
156:He was a cop. A good citizen. But this cop had an itching finger and an eager ear for a word that rhymed with ‘trigger,’ and when Clifton fell he had found it. The Police Special spoke its lines and the rhyme was completed. Just look around you. Look at what he made, look inside you and feel his awful power. It was perfectly natural. The blood ran like blood in a comic-book killing, on a comic-book street in a comic-book town on a comic-book day in a comic-book world. ~ Ralph Ellison,
157:In Burton's day they [soldiers] were itching to get into the fray. Now it is the opposite. They are always whining about the dangers of being killed. Oh my God, they are such wimps now! The whole point of being in the Army is wanting to get killed, wanting to test yourself to the limits. Now you have to fly 15,000ft above the war zone to avoid getting hit. I don't think there is any point in having wars if that's how you're going to behave. It's pathetic. All this whining! ~ Rupert Everett,
158:The less I could do, the more I wanted. Wanted things I couldn’t have and I wanted things I couldn’t even think up yet, but I could feel myself wanting. And that feeling, it’s like itching. Like to drive you crazy.” She shakes her head slightly. “I just wanted and wanted and wanted. You ever felt that way?” “Yes,” I tell her. “I have.” I feel something warm light my chest. It’s maybe the first time in my life that my mother has put something into the right words for me. ~ Kayla Rae Whitaker,
159:I was searching for a vocabulary with which to make sense of death, to find a way to begin defining myself and inching forward again. The privilege of direct experience had led me away from literary and academic work, yet now I felt that to understand my own experiences, I would have to translate them back into language. Hemingway described his process in similar terms: acquiring rich experiences, then retreating to cogitate and write about them. I needed words to go forward. ~ Paul Kalanithi,
160:But as I stood there dressed in a cute black pants suit and white button-up shirt and heels, I felt completely out of place. Not necessarily because of the clothes, but…I just don’t belong there. I can’t put my finger on it, but that Monday and the rest of that week when I woke up, got dressed and walked into that store, something was itching the back part of my consciousness. I couldn’t hear the actual words, but it felt like: This is your life, Camryn Bennett. This is your life. ~ J A Redmerski,
161:I suppose in some ways that's why my collaborations worked out, because I would go in the studio with such enthusiasm and it would never be a chore for me. I was never itching for the process to be done so we could get out live. It's a different matter for me now. Now I've noticed that I actually have one eye or one ear on how I'm going to do it on stage. And maybe that's because I'm the frontman in the group; I do believe that any good frontman should be impatient in the studio to get out. ~ Johnny Marr,
162:Odi leaned forward and rested predatory palms on the edge of Potchak’s metal desk. “My point, sir, is that we’re giving up a crucial advantage if we don’t rehearse. I want to give my men every available advantage. They deserve no less.” Potchak did not twitch or blink. He just stared back cold and hard for a couple seconds and then said, “If you’re not up to it, Agent Carr, I’ll give Echo Team to Waslager. He’s been itching to go international. You can sit this one out—in isolation of course. ~ Tim Tigner,
163:Oh my god, no wonder she went so pale. She’s going to string you up for this, baby.” Sloane laughs.  Baby.  I’ve wanted to hit loved-up assholes for using that endearment before. But when Sloane says it… I don’t really know what to think. I catch Michael’s amused smile, itching at the corners of his mouth, and I don’t feel like busting his balls. I just raise my eyebrows at him, a look of shock and amusement of my own. The fucker grins, then, like it’s Christmas day and Mom and Dad aren’t fighting. ~ Callie Hart,
164:Alice's eyes fell to the bundle she carried. But she only said, 'People from the other side of the mirror want to know who and where and why and what is the name. They have to know everything. They are always gnawing at things and at one another.'
'It's good to want to know things,' Jack said defensively.
'It is? What happens when there is no answer?' she sneered. 'Wanting-to-know is always biting at you. Biting and itching. You want to much. Go back to your own world. You don't belong here ~ Isobelle Carmody,
165:I go to the saltwater and wash off the blood, trying to decide which I hate more, pain or itching. Fed up, I stomp back onto the beach, turn my face upward and snap, "Hey, Haymitch, if you're not too drunk, we could use a little something for our skin." It's almost funny how quickly the parachute appears above me. I reach up and the tube lands squarely in my open hand. "About time" I say, but I can't keep the scowl on my face. Haymitch. What I wouldn't give for five minutes of conversation with him. ~ Suzanne Collins,
166:2 TIMOTHY 4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound [1] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. ~ Anonymous,
167:Hunger"

Digging into the apple
with my thumbs
scraping out the clogged nails
and digging deeper
refusing the moon color.
Refusing the smell of memories.
Digging in with the sweet jucie
running along my hands unpleasantly.
Refusing the sweetness.
Turning my hands to gouge out chunks.
Feeling the jucie sticky
on my wrist. The skin itching.
Getting to the wooden part.
Getting the seeds.
Going on.
Not taking anyone's word for it.
Getting beyond the seeds. ~ Jack Gilbert,
168:From dawn each day the boats traveled, until their shadows grew so long that they joined each vessel with the one behind so that, instead of resembling a procession of dark swans in the distance, they seemed to turn into snakes, inching forward on waters turned to fire by the western sunset ahead. While on the bank, the last red light from the huge sky eerily caught the stands of bare larch and birch so that it appeared as if whole armies with massed lances were waiting by the riverbank to greet them. ~ Edward Rutherfurd,
169:I go to the saltwater and wash off the blood, trying to decide which I hate more, pain or itching. Fed up, I stomp back onto the beach, turn my face upward and snap, "Hey, Haymitch, if you're not too drunk, we could use a little something for our skin."

It's almost funny how quickly the parachute appears above me. I reach up and the tube lands squarely in my open hand.

"About time" I say, but I can't keep the scowl on my face. Haymitch. What I wouldn't give for five minutes of conversation with him. ~ Suzanne Collins,
170:But no one else cared that Professor Lupin’s robes were patched and frayed. His next few lessons were just as interesting as the first. After boggarts, they studied Red Caps, nasty little goblinlike creatures that lurked wherever there had been bloodshed: in the dungeons of castles and the potholes of deserted battlefields, waiting to bludgeon those who had gotten lost. From Red Caps they moved on to kappas, creepy water-dwellers that looked like scaly monkeys, with webbed hands itching to strangle unwitting waders in their ponds. ~ J K Rowling,
171:We’re always itching to go, to move on, to escape. We convince ourselves we could truly be happy if only we were somewhere else. Or somebody else.
While it’s smart to plan for the future, we won’t find real happiness if our eyes never leave the horizon. When we’re all rushing off in different directions, we miss the worthwhile places, and worthwhile people, already around us.
But we can’t wait for them to chase us down—we’ve got to seek them out. Because for two people to meet in the middle, both have to take that first step. ~ Kirsten Hubbard,
172:And what did it say?” I ask, almost expecting to hear him tell me, “Soon.
“Check the bed.” His voice cracks saying the words.
“Excuse me?”
“That’s what it said.”
“And what’s it supposed to mean?”
“Call me crazy, but I think it might mean that I should check my bed.”
“Not funny.”
“Who’s laughing? I’m paranoid about going home now. I’m having major flashbacks to summer camp. You know, itching powder in the bedsheets, snakes under the pillow, getting your hand dipped into a bowl full of water while you sleep— ~ Laurie Faria Stolarz,
173:And now we were done. Our efforts had failed. I was not a Cold Warrior itching to get back into the arena with a Kremlin adversary; ever since my high school days debating Jackson-Vanik, I had held a different aspiration for our bilateral relationship. But Putin’s actions in Ukraine compelled the United States and Europe to pivot to a fundamentally different strategy for managing relations with Russia. We were not returning to a Cold War, but we were entering a new confrontational era, a hot peace. On March 23, 2014, I spelled out my proposed ~ Michael McFaul,
174:According to tradition, the originator of Taoism, Lao-tzu, was an older contemporary of Kung Fu-tzu, or Confucius, who died in 479 B.C.1 Lao-tzu is said to have been the author of the Tao Te Ching, a short book of aphorisms, setting forth the principles of the Tao and its power or virtue (Te e). But traditional Chinese philosophy ascribes both Taoism and Confucianism to a still earlier source, to a work which lies at the very foundation of Chinese thought and culture, dating anywhere from 3000 to 1200 B.C. This is the I Ching, or Book of Changes. ~ Alan W Watts,
175:When I wake, I have a brief, delicious feeling of happiness that is somehow connected with Peeta. Happiness, of course, is a complete absurdity at this point, since at the rate things are going, I'll be dead in a day. And that's the best-case scenario, if I'm able to eliminate the rest of the field, including myself, and get Peeta crowned as the winner of the Quarter Quell. Still, the sensation's so unexpected and sweet I cling to it, if only for a few moments. Before the gritty sand, the hot sun, and my itching skin demand a return to reality. ~ Suzanne Collins,
176:The story of our band is that we were this relentless touring band in those early years. We were leaving day jobs and going off on the road and having fun and seeing the country for the first time. We were playing Chinese restaurants and basements and record stores and houses. We were crashing on floors and it was all new and exciting. It was like a vacation. It didn't feel like work. I couldn't wait to go on tour back then. I would be sitting at my day job or my apartment, just itching to go. There were so many adventures that were about to happen. ~ Ben Gibbard,
177:Bright, blinding light.
Motherfucking sunshine.
A taste of sweet, sweet lemonade.
That’s what Nikki was. Felt myself itching to lean forward and glean some of it. to swim in her calm and her belief.
They say sunshine chases away the dark. I swore, all it did was illuminate mine. Amplify why I couldn’t take her. Have her.
I was a bastard.
A sinner.
God knew what I was responsible for.
He also knew what I’d be willing to do – vengeance a greed I carried in the palm of my hands.
But that girl? She was a sin I’d never again commit. ~ A L Jackson,
178:My work is very dear to me, and certainly I have had all the emotional highs and lows that go with trying to get it to an audience. But I do have some kind of detachment that seems somewhat unusual in my trade. I'm a writer who writes every day. I don't have a period of months where I can't get anything done and I wander around tearing my hair out. When I come back from a book tour, for instance, I might have one day where I sleep late and then check my e-mail, and then go for a walk, and then the next day I'm really itching to get back at writing a story. ~ Daniel Handler,
179:Chance in music doesn't have to involve the I Ching or rolling dice or throwing yarrow stalks. It can involve an out-of-tune guitar, or other impossible-to-replicate moments of awkwardness - even more so than an awkward, out-of-tune live performance, because there's something incredible about the way that an out-of-tune guitar becomes part of the song on a record. I won't be precious and say it's part of the composition - that's nonsensica l - but chance occurrences are so crucial to what's distinctive. It's the fingerprints all over so many of these recordings. ~ David Grubbs,
180:The touch was so hesitant at first, I thought for sure that he was still asleep, shifting in dreams. Liam’s hand came down next to mine on the seat, his fingers inching over one at a time, hooking over mine in a way that was as tender as it was shy. I bit my lip, letting his warm, rough skin engulf mine.
His eyes were still shut and stayed that way, even as I saw him struggle to swallow. There was nothing to say now. Our linked hands rose as he guided them to rest against his chest, and they stayed there, through the song, the mountains, the cities. Until the end. ~ Alexandra Bracken,
181:Art is the one form of human energy in the whole world, which really works for union, and destroys the barriers between man and man. It is the continual, unconscious replacement, however fleeting, of oneself by another; the real cement of human life; the everlasting refreshment and renewal. For, what is grievous, dompting, grim, about our lives is that we are shut up within ourselves, with an itch to get outside ourselves. And to be stolen away from ourselves by Art is a momentary relaxation from that itching, a minute's profound, and as it were secret, enfranchisement. ~ John Galsworthy,
182:How do you do that?” she whispered. “Do what?” He clasped her hands slowly bringing them above her head and then back behind his. “Make me feel like you’re the first man to ever touch me?” She fisted his hair and arched her back as he ghosted his hands back down, under her arms, around to her belly, teasing them just below the waist of her panties before inching up to her breasts. She moaned when he cupped them, and then she pushed them even more into his hands. “Because…” he dipped his head and pressed his lips to her shoulder “…my touch is the only one that will ever matter. ~ Jewel E Ann,
183:Where was I?""A different island," said old Tallow. Her voice was stern, but there was an ache in her look that Omakayas had never before seen. "An island called Spirit Island where everyone but you died of the itching sickness- you were the toughest one, the littlest one, and you survived them all.""You were sent here so you could save the others," she said. "Because you'd had the sickness, you were strong enough to nurse them through it. They did a good thing when they took you in, and you saved them for their good act. Now the circle that began when I found you is complete. ~ Louise Erdrich,
184:He was standing so close to her that he detected the faint fragrance of lemons in her hair. He sensed rather than felt the stiffness of her body. Was she remembering the blistering heat of their lovemaking? He had suffered for hours afterward, his loins aching viciously, his hands itching for the feel of her soft, silken flesh. It had not been easy to leave her that night. Yet he hadn't been able to take her innocence under false pretenses.
Someday he would be back in her arms, with no deception between them. And the next time, no power in Heaven or hell would be enough to stop him. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
185:Readiness is everything. Resolution is indissolubly bound up with caution. If an individual is careful and keeps his wits about him, he need not become excited or alarmed. If he is watchful at all times, even before danger is present, he is armed when danger approaches and need not be afraid. The superior man is on his guard against what is not yet in sight and on the alert for what is not yet within hearing; therefore he dwells in the midst of difficulties as though they did not exist…. If reason triumphs, the passions withdraw of themselves. THE I CHING, CHINA, CIRCA EIGHTH CENTURY B.C. ~ Anonymous,
186:Where was I?"
"A different island," said old Tallow. Her voice was stern, but there was an ache in her look that Omakayas had never before seen. "An island called Spirit Island where everyone but you died of the itching sickness- you were the toughest one, the littlest one, and you survived them all."

"You were sent here so you could save the others," she said. "Because you'd had the sickness, you were strong enough to nurse them through it. They did a good thing when they took you in, and you saved them for their good act. Now the circle that began when I found you is complete. ~ Louise Erdrich,
187:If ever he had harboured a conscience in his tough narrow breast he had by now dug out and flung away the awkward thing - flung it so far away that were he ever to need it again he could never find it. High-shouldered to a degree little short of malformation, slender and adroit of limb and frame, his eyes close-set and the colour of dried blood, he is climbing the spiral staircase of the soul of Gormenghast, bound for some pinnacle of the itching fancy - some wild, invulnerable eyrie best known to himself; where he can watch the world spread out below him, and shake exultantly his clotted wings ~ Mervyn Peake,
188:He looked back at Eve, holding out his hand. "Come on, then."
She looked between him and his hand, pressing her lips together, but not moving.
He frowned. "Eve."
She inhaled and took his hand, awkwardly inching toward him without a sound.
"Brave lass," Asa purred.
He caught her other hand, ignoring her flinch, and pulled her into his arms. What a small thing she was! She might be tall, but Eve's body was as light as a bird's. He could feel the delicate bones of her shoulder, the slender span of her waist, and he thanked God that she'd not been crushed by the planks falling on her. ~ Elizabeth Hoyt,
189:How it feels to me, and I guess to you as well, is that the present moves from the past to the future, like a tiny spotlight, inching its way along a gigantic ruler of time. Everything behind the spotlight is in darkness, the darkness of the dead past. Everything ahead of the spotlight is in the darkness of the unknown future. The odds of your century being the one in the spotlight are the same as the odds that a penny, tossed down at random, will land on a particular ant crawling somewhere along the road from New York to San Francisco. In other words, it is overwhelmingly probable that you are dead. ~ Richard Dawkins,
190:Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I've got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish–they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better. ~ Sarah Waters,
191:The exam results came out on the last day of term. Harry, Ron and Hermione had passed every subject. Harry was amazed that he had got through Potions. He had a shrewd suspicion that Dumbledore had stepped in to stop Snape failing him on purpose. Snape's behaviour towards Harry over the past week had been quite alarming. Harry wouldn't have thought it possible that Snape's dislike for him could increase, but it certainly had done. A muscle twitched unpleasantly at the corner of Snape's thin mouth every time he looked at Harry, and he was constantly flexing his fingers, as though itching to place them around Harry's throat. ~ J K Rowling,
192:The Trader held the ring horizontal and let the fingertips of his right hand circle over it. As he did so, he closed his eyes, murmured something to himself, and was silent again. His eyes remained closed; he did not move.
"What's he doing?" whispered Walker.
Soledad shrugged her shoulders. "Something terribly powerful."
"Wrong." replied the Trader. "I'm concentrating on the mosquito bite on my left heel, so it will stop itching."
"Oh," Walker said seriously.
"Mosquito bite?" Soledad repeated.
"I can't catch ghosts if my foot is itching. I beg you for a little more understanding."
"But of course," Walker said spitefully. ~ Kai Meyer,
193:A warrior of light respects the main teaching of the I Ching: 'To persevere is favourable.'
He knows that perseverance is not the same thing as insistence. There are
times when battles go on longer than necessary, draining him of strength and
enthusiasm.
At such moments, the warrior thinks: 'A prolonged war finally destroys the
victors too.'
Then he withdraws his forces from the battlefield and allows himself a
respite. He perseveres in his desire, but knows he must wait for the best moment to attack.
A warrior always returns to the fray. He never does so out of stubbornness,
but because he has noticed a change in the weather. ~ Paulo Coelho,
194:Sniper
Moves in the rocks with inching fingers.
We among the feathery banana trees
Imagine for him his aim: the steel helmet
And English face filling the backsight's V.
Again as it was last time, that spurting noise,
Thud, and the writhing figure in long grass.
until we match precision with precision:
We move ten men to one and have him then.
I saw the sniper in the afternoon. The rifle
Lay there beside him neatly like his shooting,
The grass twined all about his cap.
He had killed neatly but we had set
Ten men about him to write death in jags
Cutting and spoiling on his face and broken body.
~ Bernard Gutteridge,
195:Only kinship. Inching ourselves closer to creating a community of kinship such that God might recognize it. Soon we imagine, with God, this circle of compassion. Then we imagine no one standing outside of that circle, moving ourselves closer to the margins so that the margins themselves will be erased. We stand there with those whose dignity has been denied. We locate ourselves with the poor and the powerless and the voiceless. At the edges, we join the easily despised and the readily left out. We stand with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We situate ourselves right next to the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away. ~ Gregory Boyle,
196:A few old shits and some fucking woman,” he snarled. “We’re backing down to the likes o’ these without a fight?” “No, no.” Hardbread slung his own scarred shield onto his back. “I’m backing down, and these fellows here. You’re going to stay, and fight Whirrun of Bligh on your own.” “I’m what?” Redcrow frowned at Whirrun, twitchy, and Whirrun looked back, what showed of his face still stony as the Heroes themselves. “That’s right,” said Hardbread, “since you’re itching for a brawl. Then I’m going to cart your hacked-up corpse back to your mummy and tell her not to worry ’cause this is the way you wanted it. You loved this fucking hill so much you just had to die here. ~ Joe Abercrombie,
197:Je vais t’embrasser.” His mouth is moving, speaking words I don’t understand, inching closer. I nod. “Okay.” Those rough, callused hands cup my jaw, thumbs stroking my smooth skin. “Je suis content que tu sois ici, Laurel.” His lips brush the skin beneath my ear. “I’m really glad you’re here.” He’s so gentle. So tender. My eyes slide closed and I bite my lip, bite back a moan. “Putain, tu es jolie,” he murmurs into my ear. “You’re so fuckin’ pretty.” “Merci.” It’s the only other French word I know, and it slips out on a whisper as I tilt my neck so he can plant a kiss there. His warm hands slide to the back of my neck, lips dragging along my jawline. To the corner of my mouth. ~ Sara Ney,
198:When people first came to the West, particularly from the owned and fought-over farmlets of Europe, and saw so much land to be had for the signing of a paper and the building of a foundation, an itching land-greed seemed to come over them. They wanted more and more land—good land if possible, but land anyway. Perhaps they had filaments of memory of feudal Europe where great families became and remained great because they owned things. The early settlers took up land they didn’t need and couldn’t use; they took up worthless land just to own it. And all proportions changed. A man who might have been well-to-do on ten acres in Europe was rat-poor on two thousand in California. ~ John Steinbeck,
199:He listened some more; then he come tiptoeing down and stood right between us; we could a touched him, nearly. Well, likely it was minutes and minutes that there warn't a sound, and we all there so close together. There was a place on my ankle that got to itching, but I dasn't scratch it; and then my ear begun to itch; and next my back, right between my shoulders. Seemed like I'd die if I couldn't scratch. Well, I've noticed that thing plenty times since. If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain't sleepy—if you are anywheres where it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places. Pretty soon Jim says: ~ Mark Twain,
200:There is a wonderful simple human reality to Christ's hunger. The man is famished. He's missed meals for three days, He has a lot on his mind, He's on His way back to heaven, but before He goes He is itching for a nice piece of broiled fish and a little bread on the side with the men and women He loves. Do we not like Him the more for His prandial persistance? And think for a moment about the holiness of our own food, and the ways that cooking and sharing a meal can be forms of love and prayer. And realize again that the Eucharist at the heart of stubborn Catholicism is the breakfast that Christ prepares for Catholics, every morning, as we return from fishing in vast dreamy seas? ~ Brian Doyle,
201:just done nothing more exciting than water a begonia. “However, they will knock you out for several hours, and as I’m sure none of you want to miss your first day back, make sure your earmuffs are securely in place while you work. I will attract your attention when it is time to pack up. “Four to a tray — there is a large supply of pots here — compost in the sacks over there — and be careful of the Venomous Tentacula, it’s teething.” She gave a sharp slap to a spiky, dark red plant as she spoke, making it draw in the long feelers that had been inching sneakily over her shoulder. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were joined at their tray by a curly-haired Hufflepuff boy Harry knew by sight but had ~ J K Rowling,
202:I walk among the young and healthy and I am more or less one of them. I am trying not to itch. I am trying not to think about whether I'm itching. I am trying not to take my skin for granted. Sometimes my heart beats too fast, or a worm lodges under the skin of my ankle, or I drink too much, or I am too thin, but these are sojourns away from a kingdom I can generally claim - of being okay, capable of desire and being desired, full of a sense I belong in the world. But when I leave the Baptist church on Slaughter Lane, I can't quite the voices of those who no longer feel they belong anywhere. I spend a day in their kingdom and then leave when I please. It feels like a betrayal to come up for air. ~ Leslie Jamison,
203:Let’s say I do bother, big time. I turn my life upside-down, start biking to work, plant a big garden, turn down the thermostat so low I need the Jimmy Carter signature cardigan, forsake the clothes dryer for a laundry line across the yard, trade in the station wagon for a hybrid, get off the beef, go completely local. I could theoretically do all that, but what would be the point when I know full well that halfway around the world there lives my evil twin, some carbon-footprint doppelgänger who’s eager to swallow every bite of meat I forswear and positively itching to replace every last pound of carbon dioxide I’m struggling no longer to emit. So what exactly would I have to show for all my trouble? ~ Paul Hawken,
204:The Limit
I CAN stand for the man with the cute little bow
On the back of his green colored hat,
For there are a lot of good fellows I know
Who somehow have fallen for that.
The fedora of plush is a lid I don't like,
It's a fad that will never be missed,
But somehow I've always an itching to strike
The man with the watch on his wrist.
I've grown peevish at times at the ladylike man
Who says 'Mercy me!' and 'O, dear!'
And the chap in the ball room who uses a fan
Is the chap I could swat on the ear.
The swell with a cane in the crotch of his arm
Isn't human, I often insist,
But some day somebody is going to harm
The man with the watch on his wrist.
~ Edgar Albert Guest,
205:Henry McAllan was as landsick as any man I ever seen and I seen plenty of em, white and colored both. It's in their eyes, the way they look at the land like a woman they's itching for. White men already got her, they thinking, You mine now, just wait and see what I'm gone do to you. Colored men ain't got her and ain't never gone get her but they dreaming bout her just the same, with every push of that plow and every chop of that hoe. White or colored, none of em got sense enough to see that she the one owns them. She takes their sweat and blood and the sweat and blood of their women and children and when she done took it all she takes their bodies too, churning and churning em up till they one and the same, them and her. ~ Hillary Jordan,
206:You’re lying to yourself. Voron made us into serial killers. We can be okay without violence for a few weeks, but after a couple of months, the hand starts itching for the sword. You start looking for that rush. You get irritable, life turns stale, and then one day some fool crosses your path, attacks, and as you cut him down, you feel that short moment of struggle when he leverages his life against yours. If you’re lucky, he’s very good and the fight lasts a few seconds. But even if it doesn’t, that short moment of triumph is like getting an adrenaline shot. Suddenly color comes back into life, food tastes better, sleep is deeper, and sex is rapture.”

I knew exactly what he was talking about. I lived it and I felt it. ~ Ilona Andrews,
207:Yes, the past is a foreign country," I said, "but some of us are full-fledged citizens, others occasional tourists, and some floating itinerants, itching to get out yet always aching to return."

"There's a life that takes place in ordinary time," I said, "and another that bursts in but just as suddenly fizzles out. And then there's the life we may never reach but that could so easily be ours if only we knew how to find it. It doesn't necessarily happen on our planet, but is just as real as the one we live by—call it our 'star life.' Nietzsche wrote that estranged friends may become declared enemies but in some mysterious way continue to remain friends, though on a totally different sphere. He called these 'star friendships. ~ Andr Aciman,
208:According to the New York Times, last year as one of Google’s new cars approached a crosswalk, it did as it was supposed to and came to a complete stop. The pedestrian in front crossed the street safely, at which point the Google car was rammed from behind by a second non-Google automobile. Later, another self-driving Google car found that it wasn’t able to advance through a four-way stop, as its sensors were calibrated to wait for other drivers to make a complete stop, as opposed to inching continuously forward, which most did. Noted the Times, “Researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book.”15 ~ Martin Lindstrom,
209:In silence the man reined in his horse, dismounted, lifted me down to a high grassy spot that was scarcely damp. In the gathering gloom he tended to his horse, which presently cropped at the grass. My eyes had become accustomed to the darkness; the flare of light from a Fire Stick, and the reddish flicker of a fire, startled me.
At first I turned away, for the unsteady flame hurt my eyes, but after a time the prospect of warmth brought me around, and I started inching toward the fire.
The man looked up, dropped what he was doing, and took a step toward me. “I can carry you,” he said.
I waved him off. “I’ll do it myself,” I said shortly, thinking, Why be polite now? So I’ll be in a good mood when you dump me in Galdran’s dungeon? ~ Sherwood Smith,
210:Now isn't this role more fun than nun?" Gabrielle sauntered into the room, casting a sideways glance at the skirt she had personally hemmed.

Hamish nodded, "Kat... you have... legs."
"And boobs," Angus added, staring quite directly at the section of the white blouse that Gabrielle had made a bit too form-fitting for Kat's personal taste.

"Seriously Kat," Simon said, inching closer, "When did you get boobs?"

Hamish looked at Hale, "The boobs are new." He said as if that point hadn't already been thoroughly made.

"Is that padded?" Simon held out his hand as if to cop an oh-so-scientific feel.

"Hey!" Kat slapped his hand away.

"Her dad's going to get out of prison one of these days boys." Hale added, amused. ~ Ally Carter,
211:Happy we were then, for we had a good house, and good food, and good work. There was nothing to do outside at night, except chapel, or choir, or penny-readings, sometimes. But even so, we always found plenty to do until bedtime, for if we were not studying or reading, then we were making something out back, or over the mountain singing somewhere. I can remember no time when there was not plenty to be done.

I wonder what has happened in fifty years to change it all...But when people stop being friends with their mother and fathers, and itching to be out of the house, and going mad for other things to do, I cannot think. It is like an asthma, that comes on a man quickly. He has no notion how he had it, but there it is, and nothing can cure it. ~ Richard Llewellyn,
212:Kingbitter, as he did frequently nowadays, was standing at his window and looking out onto the street below. This street offered the most mundane and ordinary sights of Budapest's mundane and ordinary streets. The muck-, oil-, and dog-dirt-spattered sidewalk was lined with parked cars, and in the one-yard gaps between the cars and the leprotically peeling house walls the most mundane and ordinary passersby were attempting to go about their business, their hostile features an outward clue to their dark thoughts. Every now and then, perhaps in a hurry to overtake the single file inching along the front, one of them would step off the sidewalk, only for an entire chorus of rancorous car horns to give the lie to any groundless hope of breaking free from the line. ~ Imre Kert sz,
213:No one pries as effectively into other people’s business as those whose business it most definitely is not… What for? For nothing. For the sake of finding out, knowing, penetrating the mystery. Out of an itching need to be able to tell. And often, once these secrets are out, the mysteries broadcast, the enigmas exposed to the light of day, they lead to catastrophe, duels, bankruptcies, ruined families, shattered existences-to the great joy of those who “got to the bottom of it all” for no apparent reason and through sheer instinct. Sad. Some people are malicious out of a simple need to have something to say. Their conversation, parlour talk, antechamber gossip, is reminiscent of those fireplaces that swiftly go through the wood-they need a lot of fuel and the fuel is their neighbour. ~ Victor Hugo,
214:And here I was at the end of my trip, with everything just as fuzzy and unreal as the beginning. It was easier for me to see myself in Rick's lens, riding down to the beach in that cliched sunset, just as it was easier for me to stand with my friends and wave goodbye to the loopy woman with the camels, the itching smell of the dust around us, and in our eyes the feat that we had left so much unsaid. There was an unpronounceable joy and an aching sadness to it. It had all happened too suddenly. I didn't believe this was the end at all. There must be some mistake. Someone had just robbed me of a couple of month in there somewhere. There was not so much an anticlimactic quality about the arrival at the ocean, as the overwhelming feeling that I had somehow misplaced the penultimate scene. ~ Robyn Davidson,
215:Moreno was the first to see me, and he let out a curse as loud as Nicole’s shriek.
He pulled a gun from his hip. An automatic pistol.
Antone knocked it from his hand and pointed his flashlight at my flank.
“It’s Maya,” he said.
He started toward me. I was inching back, the branch too thin for me to turn around.
“It could be Annie,” Penny whispered, her gaze fixed on me. “Come looking for her brother.”
Antone shook his head. “That’s Maya.” He met my gaze. “I know it is.”
He kept walking until he was directly under my branch.
“This is your first time, isn’t it?” he said, his voice soft. “You’re scared and you’re confused--”
I let out a snarl that reverberated through the quiet forest.
Antone chuckled. “Or maybe not. I should have guessed you’d hit the ground running. ~ Kelley Armstrong,
216:You lost.” “I know.” “Drop to your knees.” “Why don’t you make this interesting,” he gritted out, “and take off your pants?” His words supplied an image of him kneeling between my naked legs. I stopped a shiver before it could form. My brows winged up. “You reneging?” Very slowly, he eased to his feet, inching his big body higher and higher. I gave my cuticles my attention. I heard his teeth grind together, even thought I heard his jawbone crack. I flicked him an insouciant glance and patted my mouth to smother a fake yawn. That murderous gleam had branched from his eyes and now consumed his expression. His black clothes rustled as he moved to his knees. I studied my cuticles again, waiting, my breath suspended, the casual pretense the only thing keeping me from gaping. “You did a…good job,” he ground out. ~ Gena Showalter,
217:Once the quietness arrived, it stayed and spread in Estha. It reached out of his head and enfolded him in its swampy arms. It rocked him to the rhythm of an ancient, fetal heartbeat. It sent its stealthy, suckered tentacles inching along the insides of his skull, hoovering the knolls and dells of his memory; dislodging old sentences, whisking them off the tip of his tongue. It stripped his thoughts of the words that described them and left them pared and naked. Unspeakable. Numb. And to an observer therefore, perhaps barely there. Slowly, over the years, Estha withdrew from the world. He grew accustomed to the uneasy octopus that lived inside him and squirted its inky tranquilizer on his past. Gradually the reason for his silence was hidden away, entombed somewhere deep in the soothing folds of the fact of it. ~ Arundhati Roy,
218:They were in a pub called the Chough when Nick returned from his investigation of every corner of the place to find Jamie sitting at the bar exactly where he had left him. 

He had not left him penned in by two men, however. Nick’s first thought was of magicians, and he reached for his nearest knife before it occurred to him that Jamie’s earring probably had more to do with this situation than his demon’s mark. 

It had been a long and frustrating search already. Nick was itching for a fight. 

“These guys bothering you?” he asked Jamie softly, and gave the two men his coldest look. One of them stepped back. 

“No, no, no,” Jamie said at once, looking wildly around at empty air, as if Nick had started to throw knives. 

Nick could throw knives quite well, but that was beside the point.  ~ Sarah Rees Brennan,
219:Ah, I understand", murmured the imperial scapegrace. Turning to the room: "When Franz Ferdinand drinks", he cried, "everybody drinks!"
Which helped restore a level of civility in the room, and soon even of cheer, as smart neckties were soaked in suds, the piano player came back from under the bar, and people in the room resumed dancing syncopated two-steps. After a while someone started singing "All Pimps Look Alike to Me", and half the room joined in. Lew, however, noticing the way the Archduke seemed to keep inching stealthily but unmistakably toward the street door, thought it wise to do the same. Sure enough, just before sliding out the door, Der F. F., with a demonic grin, screamed: "And when Franz Ferdinand pays, everybody pays!" whereupon he disappeared, and it was a near thing that Lew got out with his keester intact. ~ Thomas Pynchon,
220:Mi-mi dispiace, Aunt Agnese,” Cass finally stammered, inching away from Dubois toward the corridor that led to her room. “I…I went for a walk. I guess I lost track of time.” Maybe if she stayed far enough away, Agnese wouldn’t realize the state of disarray of her dress. Had Dubois somehow recognized her at the ball? Why else would he be here, on San Domenico, in her aunt’s portego?
Agnese’s mouth dropped open, causing a second chin to form in the loose, doughy skin of her throat. “You speak of time as though it were an unruly canine. What you really lost track of, Cassandra, were your manners, and meanwhile the entire house has been turned upside down looking for you.” The old woman clucked her tongue. “You need always consider how your actions might affect others.” She shook her head as if Cass were beyond hope. ~ Fiona Paul,
221:It’s been what – eleven years?” he says, his voice quieter now.

“Twelve.” I swallow.

“Twelve. Christ, yeah, right.” He runs his hand through his hair. “You look different ... but the same – you know,” he shrugs.

“I know,” I smile. “You look different too.” I gesture to the tattoos on his arms.

He grins down at them, then back at me.

“But still the same.” I point my finger to the freckles on his nose.

Surprised by how much my fingers are itching to touch him, I draw my hand back.

He rubs his hand over his nose. “Yeah, no getting rid of them.”

“I always liked them.”

“Yeah, but you liked the Care Bears, Tru.”

I flush. I can’t believe he remembers that.

It’s crazy that he, Jake Wethers, rock god extraordinaire, remembers that I liked the Care Bears when I was little. ~ Samantha Towle,
222:If we have largely forgotten the physical discomforts of the itching, oppressive garments of the past and the corrosive effects of perpetual physical discomfort on the nerves, then we have mercifully forgotten, too, the smells of the past, the domestic odours -- ill-washed flesh; infrequently changed underwear; chamber pots; slop-pails; inadequately plumbed privies; rotting food; unattended teeth; and the streets are no fresher than indoors, the omnipresent acridity of horse piss and dung, drains, sudden stench of old death from butchers' shops, the amniotic horror of the fishmonger.

You would drench your handkerchief with cologne and press it to your nose. You would splash yourself with parma violet so that the reek of fleshly decay you always carried with you was overlaid by that of the embalming parlour. You would abhor the air you breathed. ~ Angela Carter,
223:Leaning back in his chair, Westcliff regarded him with a cool speculation that raised Simon’s hackles. “I hope you’re not fool enough to fall in love with such a creature. You know my opinion of Miss Peyton—” “Yes, you’ve aired it repeatedly.” “And furthermore,” the earl continued, “I would hate to see one of the few men of good sense I know to turn into one of those prattling fools who run about pollenating the atmosphere with maudlin sentiment—” “I’m not in love.” “You’re in something,” Westcliff insisted. “In all the years I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you look so mawkish as you did outside her bedroom door.” “I was displaying simple compassion for a fellow human being.” The earl snorted. “Whose drawers you’re itching to get into.” The blunt accuracy of the observation caused Simon to smile reluctantly. “It was an itch two years ago,” he admitted. “Now it’s a full-scale pandemic ~ Lisa Kleypas,
224:It's strange but as I grow older, I find myself developing more optimism. I keep inching toward the point where I believe that it's more difficult to have hope than it is to embrace cynicism. In the deep dark end, there's no point unless we have at least a modicum of hope. We trawl our way through the darkness hoping to find a pinpoint of light. But isn't it remarkable that the cynics of this world—the politicians, the corporations, the squinty-eyed critics—seem to think that they have a claim on intelligence? They seem to think that it's cooler, more intellectually engaging, to be miserable, that there's some sort of moral heft in cynicism. But I think a good novel can be a doorstop to despair. I also think the real bravery comes with those who are prepared to go through that door and look at the world in all its grime and torment, and still find something of value, no matter how small. ~ Colum McCann,
225:Babies should not receive their first full bath until the umbilical cord has fallen off (10-14 days after birth on average). Never immerse your baby in water while the cord is still attached. A sponge bath is all a newborn really needs. Never try to remove the umbilical cord by cutting or twisting it off. It will fall off by itself any time after the second week of age. Keep the cord-area clean by using a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol or by using alcohol wipes. This should be done after each diaper change. After the cord falls off, and your baby is ready for a bath in the kitchen sink (easier on your back) or bathtub, be sure the water is warm to the touch but never hot. Go easy on the soap since it is drying to the skin, leaving it itching and flaky. Never leave a baby in water unattended, even after he is capable of sitting up by himself. The potential danger is too great a risk, even for a minute. ~ Gary Ezzo,
226:No matter how far they traveled, they always had this house to welcome them home.” “True. Did you ever wonder why they altered it so often?” “Miss Everleigh says they were innovators. Visionaries.” He glanced at her, the firelight shadowing his face. “They kept knocking down the walls. Expanding them, making new routes for egress. Not much innovation in that. As visions go, it’s the dream of claustrophobics.” The notion unsettled her. “What do you mean to say?” “I mean, they traveled to escape this place.” He reached for the bottle, splashed more liquor into his glass. Set down the bottle and stared at it. “Came back very reluctantly, already itching to leave again.” She did not like that idea. “It was their home. They were a famously loving family—” “It’s a house,” he said. “That doesn’t make it a home. And family—yes, family is important. But it can trap you more neatly than four walls and a locked door.” Her ~ Meredith Duran,
227:Just glad he’s not in pain anymore. He’ll have fun drawing pictures on the cast, getting autographs. When the itching starts, tell him to use a blow drier set on cool to blow air inside it.” “You’ve broken an arm?” “And a leg and a wrist.” “Oh my. You must’ve been a handful.” He chuckled. “And then some.” He had a feeling some of his escapades would shock the stockings right off her. But with the kind of childhood he’d had, he was lucky he wasn’t rotting in jail. “Never broke a bone?” he asked. She shook her head. She’d probably never stepped in a mud puddle, much less broken a bone. The same could probably be said for her anal-retentive fiancé. Not fair, Walker. You don’t even know him. He glanced at her hand in the darkened cab. The diamond glimmered under a passing streetlamp—an ordinary solitaire diamond. Boring. He’d buy his woman something unique, something that suited her, something different and special. Not that he had a woman. “Sit ~ Denise Hunter,
228:Brian stood by the fountain; his eyes locked on her while she inspected the plants and inhaled their sweet scents. He didn’t move as he watched her with a predatory hunger. She smiled as she walked back toward him; her fingers itching with the impulse to touch him. Her skin became electrified with her need for him. When she was only a foot away from him, he pulled something from his pocket and went down onto one knee before her. Abby froze, and her hand flew to her mouth as he opened the box to reveal the large diamond within. Tears burned in her eyes as the fading sun lit his hair and eyes and caressed his chiseled body. “I don’t know how long I’ll have to work with Ronan, but I can promise you that when it’s done, I will take you everywhere you ask to go and live out every one of your dreams with you. I will love you every second of every day for the rest of our lives, and I will protect and cherish our children with everything I am.” Her ~ Brenda K Davies,
229:He bared thick teeth. ‘I am Zacchariah. My price will be right. You show me now?’
In that moment, ten generations of horse-traders counted for more than half a lifetime in the legions. I was my father made young again, itching to make a sale. Abandoning the Eagle – I was a horse-trader, what did I care for a gold bird on a stick, however venerated by the Hebrews? – I gathered Pantera and Horgias about me, and trekked back to the inn of the Cedar Tree.
Along the way, we collected Zacchariah’s well-muscled younger relatives, three other, unrelated, horse merchants who gazed at him with undisguised venom, a woman who claimed she could more accurately assess the sex of the foal our pregnant mare carried, a bone-setter who set to arguing with Horgias but gave up when his poor Greek met Horgias’ worse Greek – and Nicodemus and his seven zealots who stood about as we conducted our business, obviously waiting for a chance to inflict violence upon us. ~ M C Scott,
230:I grow weary of this talk,” announced Tut, digging around in a bag attached to the camel. “Where are my figs?”
Kloo let out a sigh. “That boy and his figs.”
“I know,” Cordy said dreamily, staring at his six-pack. “What a tasty slice.”
Lex had to get out of there, but she didn’t want to panic anyone. “Remind me again why he’s still with you?” she said, inching away from them.
Cordy glared at her. “Because we are an item,” she said testily. “And I’ll thank you to keep your jealousy to yourself. I’m sorry that you ended up with a weird-eyed freak while I got the leader of the ancient world, but that’s just how the camel spits.” She dug her heels into Lumpy and waved. “We’ll see you around, okay?”
“We’re leaving?” Poe said, incredulous and bitter. “So soon?”
“Silence, Mustache,” Tut yelled down to him. “You irk me.”
Poe scowled and started muttering to himself. “I shall shove him into a vortex, I shall. The one at Mount Rushmore, right up Jefferson’s nose . . . ~ Gina Damico,
231:Hot.” The last word, barely a whisper, lost itself in my hair as he pressed his lips to that spot just below my ear that can, apparently, flip the off switch in my brain. Before I realized it my hands were inside that jacket, stroking the hard planes of his chest and stomach. And then, as if moving without any prompting from me they reached down, undid his belt, pulled it loose, and…“Ahhh, that feels great,” I moaned.“I am completely grossed out over here!” Cassandra informed us.Vayl, who’d been peering down at me with an expression of utter disbelief, stared at Cassandra over the top of my head. “It is not what you think,” he assured her.“As if I’d do something that disgusting,” I said, pulling away from him, but keeping the belt, because the buckle relieved the itching so much better than fingernails. I continued using it to scratch the inflamed skin across my stomach as I sat down by Cassandra.
“You are pathetic,” she told me.
“I’d get all offended, but I’m pretty sure you’re right. ~ Jennifer Rardin,
232:Assembling Novopangaea is a tricky game. It’s easy to take today’s continental movements and predict ten or twenty million years down the road. The Atlantic will have widened by several hundred miles, while the Pacific will have shrunk by an equal amount. Australia will have moved north toward South Asia, and Antarctica will have shifted slightly away from the South Pole, also in the direction of South Asia. Africa is also on the move, inching northward to close off the Mediterranean Sea. In a few tens of millions of years, Africa will have collided with southern Europe, in the process closing up the Mediterranean and pushing up a Himalayan-size mountain range that will dwarf the Alps. So the map of the world twenty million years hence will appear familiar but skewed. Looking as far as one hundred million years into the future in this way is fairly safe, and most modelers arrive at similar geographies of a world where the Atlantic Ocean has overtaken the Pacific as the grandest body of water on Earth. ~ Robert M Hazen,
233:SPECIAL AGENT ODYSSEUS CARR looked up at the graying tiles of his boss’s ceiling and began counting to ten. He almost made it to three. “What do you mean, I can’t brief my men? They’re putting their lives at risk, commander. Big risk. These aren’t stone-throwers you’re asking us to kill. These are the guys who took out the World Trade Center.” Commander Potchak stood. He was a head shorter than Odi but built like a fireplug, and every bit as tough. “What’s your point?” Odi leaned forward and rested predatory palms on the edge of Potchak’s metal desk. “My point, sir, is that we’re giving up a crucial advantage if we don’t rehearse. I want to give my men every available advantage. They deserve no less.” Potchak did not twitch or blink. He just stared back cold and hard for a couple seconds and then said, “If you’re not up to it, Agent Carr, I’ll give Echo Team to Waslager. He’s been itching to go international. You can sit this one out—in isolation of course.” Odi wanted to leap over the desk, grab his boss ~ Tim Tigner,
234:You ask for too much, Iain,” she murmured. “More than I can give.”
“Do I?”
Movement against her made her pause, made her stiffen as she felt him press forward, felt his body shift until his back and shoulders were pressing indecently against her belly and his head was turned, the curve of his cheek lying on her lap.
“Can you give me this, Beth? Just one moment to lie here and close my eyes, and feel you beneath me, soft and curved?”
“And what would you find?” she asked, her voice little more than a breathless whisper.
“Solace.”
Closing her eyes, she bit hard on her lip, trying not to weaken against that one word. There had been no hesitation when he said it. It was as if he’d known it—what he’d desired all along, a feeling of tranquility. Peace. Rightness.
Her hand hovered over his head, her fingers itching to touch, to run her fingers through his hair, which would be damp with snow. What picture did they make, seated on this bench, a tempest of white swirling around them as he laid his head in her lap? ~ Charlotte Featherstone,
235:THE EARL OF Hythe, who took a great deal of pride in the fact that he had never succumbed to the awkward and messy inconvenience of falling in love, was on the verge of salivating. Before him was a man's sweetest dream on creamy sheets, a treasure all but clamoring to become his. He reverently reached out one perfectly manicured hand and stroked along the elegant spine. "Beautiful," he murmured. "Utterly exquisite." Only heaven could have dictated such smooth, milk-pale expanses, such bold curves and delicate lines. And the colors, from the faintest blush of pink to glossy ebony, were of such perfection that any man's eye would be caught, his fingers itching to touch. Damn his rule about impulse. This was something he could not possibly resist having. "You are pleased with what you see, my lord?" The earl smiled faintly at the eager catch in his companion's voice.

"Perfectly." Satisfied, he drew a deep breath and stepped back. "We are agreed on the price?" The book dealer mopped his shiny brow with a wilted handkerchief and gave his own shaky sigh. ~ Emma Jensen,
236:I saw the folded note peeking up from behind the cover of the book in which I'd hidden it.
I brushed my fingertips across the lineny surface, my skin sparking with electricity, my fingers itching to pull it free.
I shoudn't, I told myself, even as I held my breath and watched myself withdrawing it from the book. I tried to tamp down the feeling of anticipation coursing through me at the same time I argued that it was a mistake to look at it again.
It didn't deserve anymore of my time. He didn't deserve the space he already occupied in my mind.
I glanced around to see if anyone had noticed me there, tucked beneath my desk, reading a note that I'd already memorized.
No one paid me any attention.
I held the letter, vividly picturing the six words written inside the folds. Six words that I already knew by heart. Six words that meant more to me than they should.
I unfolded the top third of the paper, then the bottom, purposely keeping my eyes unfocused for just a moment.
My heart stopped.
And then my eyesight cleared.

I pledge to keep you safe. ~ Kimberly Derting,
237:During forced exercise one day, Louie fell into step with William Harris, a twenty-five-year-old marine officer, the son of marine general Field Harris. Tall and dignified, with a face cut in hard lines, Harris had been captured in the surrender of Corregidor in May 1942. With another American,* he had escaped and embarked on an eight-and-a-half-hour swim across Manila Bay, kicking through a downpour in darkness as fish bit him. Dragging himself ashore on the Japanese-occupied Bataan Peninsula, he had begun a run for China, hiking through jungles and over mountains, navigating the coast in boats donated by sympathetic Filipinos, hitching rides on burros, and surviving in part by eating ants. He had joined a Filipino guerrilla band, but when he had heard of the American landing at Guadalcanal, the marine in him had called. Making a dash by boat toward Australia in hopes of rejoining his unit, he had gotten as far as the Indonesian island of Morotai before his journey ended. Civilians had turned him in to the Japanese, who had discovered that he was a general’s son and sent him to Ofuna. Even here, he was itching to escape. ~ Laura Hillenbrand,
238:O jogo paralisa as pessoas. Isto não é uma forma literária de o dizer. O meu pai usava o I Ching cada vez que tinha de tomar uma decisão importante. Atirava os paus do milefólio e agia em conformidade com o oráculo. Aos poucos, foi juntando às decisões importantes outras mais frívolas, chegando ao ponto de não ser capaz de decidir absolutamente nada sem a ajuda do livro.
-E isso não diminuiu a qualidade das suas decisões?
Chun-Chi serviu dois whiskies.
-Nem por isso. As nossas decisões já são relativamente arbitrárias. Nem sabemos verdadeiramente de onde vêm. Decidi levantar um copo, mas o meu braço mexeu-se antes da minha consciência. Enfim, o problema não foi esse.
-Qual foi?
(...)
-Para dar um passo, tinha de usar o I Ching. Para pensar, também, e assim chegou àquele lugar sem saída em que tinha de lançar os paus de milefólio para saber se poderia atirá-los. Agora está imobilizado, na cama.
(...)
-Sabe a história do sapo e da centopeia?- perguntou Chun-Chi.
-Não.
-Um sapo perguntou, um dia, a uma centopeia qual era a pata que ela pousava primeiro ao andar. E a centopeia nunca mais conseguiu andar. ~ Afonso Cruz,
239:O jogo paralisa as pessoas. Isto não é uma forma literária de o dizer. O meu pai usava o I Ching cada vez que tinha de tomar uma decisão importante. Atirava os paus do milefólio e agia em conformidade com o oráculo. Aos poucos, foi juntando às decisões importantes outras mais frívolas, chegando ao ponto de não ser capaz de decidir absolutamente nada sem a ajuda do livro.
-E isso não diminuiu a qualidade das suas decisões?
Chun-Chi serviu dois whiskies.
-Nem por isso. As nossas decisões já s��o relativamente arbitrárias. Nem sabemos verdadeiramente de onde vêm. Decidi levantar um copo, mas o meu braço mexeu-se antes da minha consciência. Enfim, o problema não foi esse.
-Qual foi?
(...)
-Para dar um passo, tinha de usar o I Ching. Para pensar, também, e assim chegou àquele lugar sem saída em que tinha de lançar os paus de milefólio para saber se poderia atirá-los. Agora está imobilizado, na cama.
(...)
-Sabe a história do sapo e da centopeia?- perguntou Chun-Chi.
-Não.
-Um sapo perguntou, um dia, a uma centopeia qual era a pata que ela pousava primeiro ao andar. E a centopeia nunca mais conseguiu andar. ~ Afonso Cruz,
240:O jogo paralisa as pessoas. Isto não é uma forma literária de o dizer. O meu pai usava o I Ching cada vez que tinha de tomar uma decisão importante. Atirava os paus do milefólio e agia em conformidade com o oráculo. Aos poucos, foi juntando às decisões importantes outras mais frívolas, chegando ao ponto de não ser capaz de decidir absolutamente nada sem a ajuda do livro.
-E isso não diminuiu a qualidade das suas decisões?
Chun-Chi serviu dois whiskies.
-Nem por isso. As nossas decisões já são relativamente arbitrárias. Nem sabemos verdadeiramente de onde vêm. Decidi levantar um copo, mas o meu braço mexeu-se antenada minha consciência. Enfim, o problema não foi esse.
-Qual foi?
(...)
-Para dar um passo, tinha de usar o I Ching. Para pensar, também, e assim chegou àquele lugar sem saída em que tinha de lançar os paus de milefólio para saber se poderia atiraram-los. Agora está imobilizado, na cama.
(...)
Sabe a história do sapo e da centopeia?- perguntou Chun-Chi.
-Não.
-Um sapo perguntou, um dia, a uma centopeia qual era a pata que ela pousava primeiro ao andar. E a centopeia nunca mais conseguiu andar. ~ Afonso Cruz,
241:I did it again, Robert Childan informed himself. Impossible to avoid the topic. Because it's everywhere, in a book I happen to pick up or a record collection, in these bone napkin rings -- loot piled up by the conquerors. Pillage from my people.

Face facts. I'm trying to pretend that the Japanese and I are alike. But observe: even when I burst out as to my gratification that they won the war, that my nation is lost -- there's still no common ground. What words mean to me is a sharp contrast vis-à-vis them. Their brains are different. Souls likewise. Witness them drinking from English bone china cups, eating with U.S. silver, listening to Negro style of music. It's all on the surface. Advantage of wealth and power makes this available to them, but it's ersatz as the day is long.

Even the I Ching, which they've forced down our throats; it's Chinese. Borrowed from way back when. Whom are they fooling? Themselves? Pilfer customs right and left, wear, eat, talk, walk, as for instance consuming with gusto baked potato served with sour cream and chives, old-fashioned American dish added to their haul. But nobody fooled, I can tell you; me least of all. ~ Philip K Dick,
242:Neither of us says anything for a moment. Then, quietly, he asks, “Do you want to break up?”
Break up? “No.” All of a sudden I feel shaky, like I could cry. “Do you?”
“No!”
“You asked me first!”
“So that’s it. Neither of us wants to break up, so we just move on.” Peter sinks down on a chair at the kitchen table and rests his head on it.
I sit across from him. He feels so far away from me. My hand is itching to reach out and touch his hair, smooth it out, to make this fight be over and in our rearview.
He lifts his head; his eyes are sad and enormous. “Can we hug now?”
Shakily I nod, and we both get up and I wrap my arms around his middle. He holds me tight against him. His voice is muffled against my shoulder as he says, “Can we never fight again?”
I laugh a shaky kind of laugh, shaky and relieved. “Yes, please.”
And then he’s kissing me; his mouth is urgent against mine, like he’s searching for some sort of reassurance, some kind of promise only I can give. In answer I kiss him back--yes, I promise, promise, promise, let’s never fight again. I start to lose my balance, and his arm locks around me tight, and he kisses me until I am breathless. ~ Jenny Han,
243:Ian nodded. Do not question her, he told himself. Not when she is in a state like this.
Still, it was a pity to attack them with such force. Especially the girl, Amy. He'd never met anyone like her. Shy. Gentle. With an exciting edge of hostility. So unlike the girls back home, who flung themselves at him so often that his chauffeurs traveled with first-aid kits.
Doesn't she know better? Isn't she smart enough to stop the hunt?
It was the boy and the au pair. He was a pint-sized hothead. She was a collection of piercings and piggishness. If only Amy and Dan had stayed trapped in the cave in Seoul, at least long enough to get discouraged. Why did they antagonize Mother?
They don't know what it's like to live with her.
"Right you are," Ian said. "They're asking for it. Heaven forbid they listen to the brains of the outfit."
"And that would be–?" Isabel asked.
Ian looked away. "Well, the sister, I'd say. Amy."
He felt a smile inching across his face.
"Ian?" His mother grabbed his wrist. "If you are having the inkling of a shadow of a thought..."
"Mother!" Ian could feel the blood rushing to his face. "How could you suspect for a moment...? ~ Peter Lerangis,
244:Young first encountered George Mallory in 1909, at a Cambridge dinner. At Easter he invited Mallory to Pen y Pass, and the following summer the two went off, at Young’s expense, to the Alps, where they were joined by Donald Robertson, a close friend and peer of Hilton Young’s. They climbed a number of peaks, none more dramatic than the southeast ridge of the Nesthorn, where Mallory nearly died. He was leading at the time, inching his way across fluted ice, seeking a route around the third of the four great towers that blocked the way up the ridge. Young would later recall his sudden astonishment: “I saw the boots flash from the wall without even a scrape; and, equally soundlessly, a grey streak flickered downward, and past me, and out of sight. So much did the wall, to which he had clung so long, overhang that from the instant he lost hold he touched nothing until the rope stopped him in mid-air over the glacier. I had had time to think, as I flung my body forward on to the belayed rope, grinding it and my hands against the slab, that no rope could stand such a jerk; and even to think out what our next action must be—so instantaneous is thought.” Miraculously, the rope held and Mallory was uninjured. ~ Wade Davis,
245:What do all of these involuntary shakes and shivers have in common? Why do we quake when frightened or tremble in anger? Why do we quiver at sexual climax? And what might be the physiological function of trembling in spiritual awe? What is the commonality of all these shivers and shakes, quivers and quakes? And what have they to do with transforming trauma, regulating stress and living life to its fullest? These gyrations and undulations are ways that our nervous system “shakes off” the last rousing experience and “grounds” us in readiness for the next encounter with danger, lust and life. They are mechanisms that help restore our equilibrium after we have been threatened or highly aroused. They bring us back down to earth, so to speak. Indeed, such physiological reactions are at the core of self-regulation and resilience. The experience of emergent resilience gives us a treasure beyond imagination. In the words of the ancient Chinese text, the I Ching, The fear and trembling engendered by shock comes to an individual at first in such a way that he sees himself placed at a disadvantage … this is only transitory. When the ordeal is over, he experiences relief, and thus the very terror he had to endure at the outset brings good fortune in the long run. ~ Peter A Levine,
246:Lex poked Elysia. “The relationship is going well, it seems.”
Elysia’s face erupted with worry. “Oh, Lex, I’m so sorry. It just sort of . . . happened. We were in that hotel for so many days, just waiting around to hear word from Croak, waiting for Mort to figure out a way to rescue you guys. And Wicket and Lazlo not letting us leave, we just went a little stir-crazy and—omigod, I must seem like such a bad friend, and all while you were still stuck in that awful jail and poor Driggs and—”
“Lys,” Lex said, taking her by the shoulders before she could launch into a full-blown monsoon of tears. “It’s fine. I think we’ve all learned a thing or two about taking happiness where you can get it. Plus . . . you know. It’s about time.”
“About time? What do you mean?”
“I mean you two have been itching to get into each other’s pants since the dawn of earth.”
Elysia looked shocked for a moment, then sighed. “I don’t know what I’m thinking,” she said, staring back and forth between her mostly uneaten sandwich and Ferbus. “He’s gross. He’s mean. He’s ugly. He’s a lousy drunk, he’s the biggest nerd on the planet, he looks like a leprechaun, his hair is the color of Cheetos—”
“And you luuurve him.”
Elysia scowled and crossed her arms. “And I lurve him. ~ Gina Damico,
247:What's that smell?" [my mother] shouted.

"Biogas, it's-"

"It's horrible!"

By now the plastic was rumbling like mad, ready to blow. I had to act quickly. It was time to remove the reed and proceed with ignition.

I reached over and quickly popped out the reed, and when I did, a pipe of silver steam came rushing out the top. My mother was right, it smelled vile. I'd set aside a long piece of grass, so I grabbed it now and poked it into the fire, catching a flame.

"Stand back!" I shouted. "This could be dangerous."

"What?!"

I stood up and ran to the door, pushing my mother aside. With half my body shielded by the door frame, I stretched out my arm, inching the flame closer and closer.

"Here it goes," I said.

I touched the fire to the piping stream, clinching my eyes to shield them from the flash. But when the flame touched the gas, all it did was sputter and die. When I opened my eyes, all I saw was a piece of grass, dripping with foul water. My mother was furious.

"Look what you've done; you've ruined my best cooking pot! Boiling goats' poop, I can't believe it. Wait until I tell your father..."

I wanted to explain that I'd done it for her sake, but I guess it wasn't the right time. ~ William Kamkwamba,
248:We probably won’t arrive home in time for your wedding.”
She pictured the wedding gown hanging in her closet. The veil. The shoes. Even the strands of pearls, all laid out awaiting her return. Return. The heavy word weighed on her as Ira continued to snore and Oscar continued to study her in a way that made her feel captivating and beautiful.
Camille stood up, not sure if she’d been inching toward him. His lips had certainly seemed to be getting closer.
“Randall will understand, I’m sure. He’s a very reasonable person,” she said, her voice rapid.
Oscar started to stand. “Where are you going?”
“No, please, sit,” she said. “I…I just need to, um, use the trees.” Camille jiggled her nearly empty canteen to strengthen her excuse. She turned in a circle until she spotted a copse of trees. She had to be somewhere other than hidden in the flowers with Oscar, somewhere she could try and convince herself that Randall might one day be able to look at her with the same intensity Oscar had just displayed.
Oscar sat back down, and Camille trampled the grass on the way to the safety of the trees. Another attack of guilt snuck up on her as she glanced back at Oscar, who was watching her walk away. Camille would miss her own wedding-and she didn’t care one bit. ~ Angie Frazier,
249:The Haight-Ashbury hippies had collectively decided that hygiene was a middle-class hang-up. So they determined to live without it. For example, baths and showers, while not actually banned, were frowned upon as retrograde. Wolfe was intrigued by these hippies who, he said, “sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes and restraints of the past and start out from zero.”4 After a while their principled aversion to modern hygiene had consequences that were as unpleasant as they were unforeseen. Wolfe describes them thus: “At the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic there were doctors who were treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names, diseases such as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot.”5 The itching and the manginess eventually began to vex the hippies, leading them individually to seek help from the local free clinics. Step by step, they had to rediscover for themselves the rudiments of modern hygiene. That rueful process of rediscovery is Wolfe’s Great Relearning. A Great Relearning is what has to happen whenever reformers go too far—whenever, in order to start over “from zero,” they jettison basic values, well-proven social practices, and plain common sense. ~ Christina Hoff Sommers,
250:I just figured someone like him would be named Fabio or something.”
I want to be angry, I really do, but I can’t resist laughing. “That’s what I thought the first time I met him,” I admit.
Darren actually cracks a smile, and hope blooms inside my chest for an instant before it fizzles. I’m itching to tell Darren that he’s the one I want. But I don’t know how, or if I should. Keeping Darren at an emotionally safe distance might be the only way I make it through this summer unscathed. If that’s even possible at this point.
“Well, whatever his name is. I still don’t like him.” His voice is rough and his bright brown eyes pierce straight through me.
Tell me why you don’t like him. Tell me it’s because you’re jealous he kissed me and you haven’t. Tell me you want to. Want me.
“Gag,” Nina says with a groan. “Would you two just kiss and be done with it already?”
Darren and I gape at her. Fire creeps up my neck, and I press my body against the window, as far from Darren as possible.
“I thought you were asleep,” Darren says to her.
“With the both of you whining like children? Please,” she huffs. “I’m going to the little girl’s room.” She stands and her long legs step over Tate’s without waking him. “Fix this or we’re all going to be miserable,” she whispers to Darren loud enough for me to hear. ~ Kristin Rae,
251:She looked at me again, and the sweet and shy Nicole disappeared. Her eyes blazed.
"The others aren't here, are they?" she said. "You have no intention of rescuing me. Why would you? I'm competition for your precious Daniel. You don't want him, but you don't want anyone else to have him either. You're a selfish b*tch, Maya Delaney. A sl*t, too, fooling around with every guy in sight, right under his nose."
As Nicole raged, the hair on my neck prickled, because in her eyes, I saw madness. Obsession and madness.
"Everything comes so easy for you, doesn't it, Maya? School, boys, friends, sports. Even your precious animals. You can't just take care of them like any normal person. You have to be some kind of animal whisperer. Magical healer. So damned special. Like Serena, captain of the swim team and the best singer on the freaking island, and how much does she practice? Sings in the shower. Paddles around the lake. Do you know how hard I work? It's never enough. You two get the trophies and the solos and the As and the boys."
You're crazy, I thought. Did they do this to you with their experiments? Or is this just you?
I started inching back.
"You're just going to leave me here?" she said. "Well, you know what, Maya? I could use a little company."
She screamed, a long drawn-out shriek of feigned terror. ~ Kelley Armstrong,
252:and God, and all the other things. . .Yes, there is life after death. If you believe in science, that there is no God. . .Then there is no life after death.’ Despite clarifying my doubt, Guruji put the bar on my head. How could I ignore science? I was itching to ask for details, but it would give the others the idea that it was I who had asked the question. Guruji continued, ‘I don’t know who has asked this question, but I guess he or she has lost their close one, to death. Your loved one will only be happy when you are happy. There is no need to wait for someone. Always choose life, because life is precious. Remember, if you are waiting for the soul, the soul might be waiting for you. Always choose forgiveness and life. If you are in unrest. . .a soul can never be at rest. It will not be able to rest in peace.’ Unintentionally, Guruji had made me responsible for her unrest. It hurt. Everyone was interested in the next question. I had my own thoughts and feelings to handle first. A few questions later, I was pulled into reality with, ‘Why do we worship Ram? Is Ram a God?’ The attendees were stunned. I could guess easily, that almost all of them were Hindu. Someone was questioning their naked belief. I knew who had asked this question and why. Guruji said, ‘Frankly speaking, I don’t know the exact answer. . .’ I heaved a sigh. Why do intelligent people have to pretend every time that they don’t know anything? ‘Let me try to answer, however. Suppose ~ Ajay K Pandey,
253:Well, well, my dear, I’m sure I find your, ah, offer most tempting. I mean, you’re quite a lovely female for an alien but I am a mated male,” said a low voice in her ear. Sophie’s eyes flew open and she saw that Magistrate Licklow was frowning at her. “I’m sorry, what?” She looked at him uncertainly as she felt the sleeves of her tharp twitch again. “I’m just saying that while I appreciate your offer of, ah, intimate relations, I must politely decline.” He cleared his throat. “So please stop touching me.” “But I’m not!” Sophie was appalled. “What would make you think I was doing…doing something like that?” “Because you are.” He was beginning to look red in the face—clearly something was happening beneath the table but Sophie had no idea what. Her hands were still fisted in her lap with the long sleeves of her tharp hanging down almost to the ground. They still seemed to be twitching a little but it was hard to tell when she was itching so abominably. Her knees were together and her feet were up on the bottom rung of her chair, so it wasn’t like she was playing footsie with the Magistrate. What was he talking about? “I’m not,” she said earnestly. “I promise you. I would never—” “Oh, shocking!” Unfortunately Lady Whitethorn had picked up on what was going on—or what the Magistrate thought was going on, anyway—and she was glaring at Sophie. “No, really,” Sophie protested. “I don’t know what’s happening but I promise I have nothing to do with it. I’m not touching anybody, see? ~ Evangeline Anderson,
254:Slung on a stage over the gunwale of an old felucca, the Peri. A storm had just passed, rushing away toward the land in a great slope of clouds; already turning yellowish from the desert. The sea there is the color of Damascus plums; and how quiet. Sun was going down; not a beautiful sunset, more a gradual darkening of the air and that storm’s mountainside. The Peri had been damaged, we hove to alongside and hailed her master. No reply. Only the sailor—I never saw his face—one of your fellahin who abandon the land like a restless husband and then grumble for the rest of their term afloat. It’s the strongest marriage in the world. This one wore a kind of loincloth and a rag round his head for the sun which was almost gone. After we’d shouted in every dialect we had among us, he replied in Tuareg: ‘The master is gone, the crew is gone, I am here and I am painting the ship.’ It was true: he was painting the ship. She’d been damaged, not a load line in sight, and a bad list. ‘Come aboard,’ we told him, ‘night is nearly on us and you cannot swim to land.’ He never answered, merely continued dipping the brush in his earthen jar and slapping it smoothly on the Peri’s creaking sides. What color? It looked gray but the air was dark. This felucca would never again see the sun. Finally I told the helmsman to swing our ship round and continue on course. I watched the fellah until it was too dark: becoming smaller, inching closer to the sea with every swell but never slackening his pace. A peasant with all his uptorn roots showing, alone on the sea at nightfall, painting the side of a sinking ship. ~ Thomas Pynchon,
255:While Brambleclaw paused to taste the air, she crouched down beside one of the puddles and touched the ice with her tongue, grateful for the tingling freshness. “Come on,” the Clan deputy meowed. “This way.” Hollyleaf tried to jump up, only to stop with a strangled cry of dismay. Her tongue had frozen to the ice; a sharp pain shot through it as she tried to wrench herself free. “What’s the matter?” Lionblaze asked. “My tongue . . .” Hollyleaf could hardly get the words out. “It’th thtuck!” Lionblaze snorted as he suppressed a mrrow of laughter. Birchfall stooped down until he was nose to nose with Hollyleaf; irritation swelled inside her when she saw amusement dancing in his eyes. “It’th not funny!” she mumbled as clearly as she could with her tongue plastered to the ice. “Stand back.” Brackenfur’s calm voice came from behind Hollyleaf. “Let me have a look.” He leaned beside Birchfall, gently shouldering the younger cat out of the way. “Well, you’re certainly stuck,” he went on. Hollyleaf could tell that he was struggling not to laugh, too. “I suppose we could break off the ice. Then you’d have to carry it until it melts.” “Hey, you’ve discovered a new way to fetch water for the elders!” Hazeltail put in. Her pelt itching with frustration, Hollyleaf tried again to wrench her tongue free, only getting another stab of pain for her efforts. “It hurt-th! Do thomething!” She pictured herself crouched on the hard ground with her tongue stretched out, and suddenly she felt laughter bubbling up inside her. I guess I do look pretty funny. She couldn’t remember the last time she had found anything to laugh at. ~ Erin Hunter,
256:In the summer of 1914, he had headed to France in the company of his only son, Alistair. They were driving at high speed through woodland in Northern France when Alistair lost control of the wheel. The car spun into a roadside tree and flipped upside down. Alistair was flung from the vehicle and landed on his head. Cumming was trapped by his leg in a tangle of smouldering metal. ‘The boy was fatally injured,’ wrote Compton Mackenzie in his account of the incident, ‘and his father, hearing him moan something about the cold, tried to extricate himself from the wreck of the car in order to put a coat over him; but struggle as he might, he could not free his smashed leg.’ If he was to have any hope of reaching his son, there was only one thing to do. He reached for his pocket knife and hacked away at his mangled limb ‘until he had cut it off, after which he had crawled over to the son and spread a coat over him.’ Nine hours later, Cumming was found lying unconscious next to his son’s dead body. His recovery was as remarkable as his survival. He was back at his desk within a month, brushing aside any outer shows of mourning for his son. Cumming had the ramrod emotional backbone that so typified the gentlemen of his social class and era. Just a few months after his accident, one of his operatives visited him at his offices on the top floor of Whitehall Court. Cumming, who had not yet received his artificial leg, was inching his substantial frame down six flights of stairs: ‘two sticks, and backside, edging its way down one step at a time.’ Little wonder that his friends described him as ‘obstinate as a mule. ~ Giles Milton,
257:Inching into the room, it’s clear something is wrong here. There’s a tingling sensation up my legs and back before I can even really focus on the parlor’s details. There are silhouettes of people, but I can see through them. It’s like shadows were cast and left behind to do as they please. Lost in the surreal sight of them for a moment, I inch further into the room without noticing that some were now moving behind me.

There is no warning. I’m suddenly in the air, and moving backward rapidly toward the wall. It’s almost a full second before my body registers the actual pain of the blow my stomach just took. Being hit by a car doesn't even compare to this, and I didn't even see it coming.

“For a shadow, you hit like a sledgehammer!” The words barely escape before something else slams into the base of my skull embedding most of my upper body in the wall and all but removing my head. These things are like Lucy; the disembodied dead who haven’t moved on. I've never met others that can actually touch things physically, they must be fairly potent.

I pull my face out of the hole it had been planted in, letting plaster dust fall, coating my chest and legs like snow. Looking around quickly I try to gauge my surroundings. I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. Is one easy night, without a huge dry-cleaning bill, too much to ask for these days?

I only have time to dwell on it a moment before my head is bouncing off the hardwood floor; once, twice, and then a third time in quick succession. Now ‘pick splinters out of my forehead’ can be added to my Saturday night to-do list. Damn it, this is not going as planned. ~ Dennis Sharpe,
258:But this isn't standard Japanese picnic fare: not a grain of rice or a pickled plum in sight. Instead, they fill the varnished wooden tables with thick slices of crusty bread, wedges of weeping cheese, batons of hard salamis, and slices of cured ham. To drink, bottles of local white wine, covered in condensation, and high-alcohol microbews rich in hops and local iconography.
From the coastline we begin our slow, dramatic ascent into the mountains of Hokkaido. The colors bleed from broccoli to banana to butternut to beet as we climb, inching ever closer to the heart of autumn. My neighbors, an increasingly jovial group of thirtysomethings with a few words of English to spare, pass me a glass of wine and a plate of cheese, and I begin to feel the fog dissipate.
We stop at a small train station in the foothills outside of Ginzan, and my entire car suddenly empties. A husband-and-wife team has set up a small stand on the train platform, selling warm apple hand pies made with layers of flaky pastry and apples from their orchard just outside of town. I buy one, take a bite, then immediately buy there more.
Back on the train, young uniformed women flood the cars with samples of Hokkaido ice cream. The group behind me breaks out in song, a ballad, I'm later told, dedicated to the beauty of the season. Everywhere we go, from the golden fields of empty cornstalks to the dense forest thickets to the rushing rivers that carve up this land like the fat of a Wagyu steak, groups of camouflaged photographers lie in wait, tripods and shutter releases ready, hoping to capture the perfect photo of the SL Niseko steaming its way through the hills of Hokkaido. ~ Matt Goulding,
259:She didn't really know what any of that meant, but she did know it could be very bad. Like erase-your-whole-existence bad.Or maybe kill-your-angel-boyfriend bad.
That was when Luce panicked. Grabbing hold of Daniel's shoulders, she began to shake. Lightly, gently-he'd been through a war,after all.But enough to let him know that she needed a sign. Right now.
"Daniel," she whispered. "Daniel?"
There.His eyelids began to flutter. She let out her breath.His eyes opened slowly,like they had last night. And like last night, when they registered the girl in front of them,they bulged. His lips parted. "You're...old."
Luce blushed. "I am not," she said, laughing. No one had ever called her old before.
"Yes,you are. You're really old." He looked almost disappointed. He rubbed his forehead. "I mean-How long have I been-?"
Then she remembered: Lucia was several years younger. But Daniel hadn't even met Lucia yet.How would he have known how old she was?
"Don't worry about that," she said. "I need to tell you something. Daniel. I'm-I'm not who you think I am. I mean, I am, I guess, I always am,but this time,I came from...uh..."
Daniel's face contorted. "Of course. You stepped through to get here."
She nodded. "I had to."
"I'd forgotten," he whispered, confusing Luce even more. "From how far away? No.Don't tell me." He waved her off, inching back in his bed as if she had some sort of disease. "How is that even possible? There were no loopholes in the curse.You shouldn't be able to be here."
"Loopholes?" Luce asked. "What kind of loopholes? I need to know-"
"I can't help you," he said, and coughed. "You have to learn on your own.Those are the rules. ~ Lauren Kate,
260:the reactions were generally the same. As a rule, most people seem to appreciate being rescued by dashing strangers. Most people, perhaps, but not Sophie Quire. “Are you insane?” she shouted, her voice hoarse from screaming at him. “You nearly killed those men!” Peter almost fell over as she wrenched a book out from under his boot. He listened as she riffled through the pages, as though inspecting the book for damage. “And what were you doing up on that lamppost, anyway?” she demanded. “Were you following me?” Peter stepped back, caught off guard. “I . . . um . . .” Obviously he had been following her. People didn’t just spend their mornings climbing lampposts for the fun of it. But to hear her describe the activity, you would think it was the worst thing in the world. “In case you forgot,” he said finally, “I just rescued you.” “Rescued me?” The girl got right in his face. She was radiating indignation like a furnace. “I was going to have to pay a fine . . . Now I’m party to attempted murder. Who knows what they will do to me, or my father? One word from the Inquisitor and we’ll be on the street or worse—and it will all be thanks to you!” Peter opened his mouth but closed it again. He could feel his whole face flushing with anger, or perhaps embarrassment—he wasn’t sure which. All he knew was this was not what he had planned. “I . . . I was only trying to help,” he said, inching back. “Next time, resist the urge.” The girl yanked her cloak over her shoulders with a dramatic flap. “And if you’re going to throw something into the river,” she added, “why not start with that ridiculous hat? You look like an ostrich in mourning.” With a dramatic heel, she turned away and ran toward the road. ~ Jonathan Auxier,
261:It's barely 8:00 a.m., but my train mates waste little time in breaking out the picnic material. But this isn't standard Japanese picnic fare: not a grain of rice or a pickled plum in sight. Instead, they fill the varnished wooden tables with thick slices of crusty bread, wedges of weeping cheese, batons of hard salamis, and slices of cured ham. To drink, bottles of local white wine, covered in condensation, and high-alcohol microbews rich in hops and local iconography.
From the coastline we begin our slow, dramatic ascent into the mountains of Hokkaido. The colors bleed from broccoli to banana to butternut to beet as we climb, inching ever closer to the heart of autumn. My neighbors, an increasingly jovial group of thirtysomethings with a few words of English to spare, pass me a glass of wine and a plate of cheese, and I begin to feel the fog dissipate.
We stop at a small train station in the foothills outside of Ginzan, and my entire car suddenly empties. A husband-and-wife team has set up a small stand on the train platform, selling warm apple hand pies made with layers of flaky pastry and apples from their orchard just outside of town. I buy one, take a bite, then immediately buy three more.
Back on the train, young uniformed women flood the cars with samples of Hokkaido ice cream. The group behind me breaks out in song, a ballad, I'm later told, dedicated to the beauty of the season. Everywhere we go, from the golden fields of empty cornstalks to the dense forest thickets to the rushing rivers that carve up this land like the fat of a Wagyu steak, groups of camouflaged photographers lie in wait, tripods and shutter releases ready, hoping to capture the perfect photo of the SL Niseko steaming its way through the hills of Hokkaido. ~ Matt Goulding,
262:Smiling, Simon stared into the depths of his brandy.
“What a difficult evening you’ve had,” he heard Westcliff remark sardonically. “First you were compelled to carry Miss Peyton’s nubile young body all the way to her bedroom …then you had to examine her injured leg. How terribly inconvenient for you.”
Simon’s smile faded. “I didn’t say that I had examined her leg.”
The earl regarded him shrewdly. “You didn’t have to. I know you too well to presume that you would overlook such an opportunity.”
“I’ll admit that I looked at her ankle. And I also cut her corset strings when it became apparent that she couldn’t breathe.” Simon’s gaze dared the earl to object.
“Helpful lad,” Westcliff murmured.
Simon scowled. “Difficult as it may be for you to believe, I receive no lascivious pleasure from the sight of a woman in pain.”
Leaning back in his chair, Westcliff regarded him with a cool speculation that raised Simon’s hackles. “I hope you’re not fool enough to fall in love with such a creature. You know my opinion of Miss Peyton—”
“Yes, you’ve aired it repeatedly.”
“And furthermore,” the earl continued, “I would hate to see one of the few men of good sense I know to turn into one of those prattling fools who run about pollenating the atmosphere with maudlin sentiment—”
“I’m not in love.”
“You’re in something,” Westcliff insisted. “In all the years I’ve known you, I’ve never seen you look so mawkish as you did outside her bedroom door.”
“I was displaying simple compassion for a fellow human being.”
The earl snorted. “Whose drawers you’re itching to get into.”
The blunt accuracy of the observation caused Simon to smile reluctantly. “It was an itch two years ago,” he admitted. “Now it’s a full-scale pandemic. ~ Lisa Kleypas,
263:There were clear differences in how the young men responded to being called a bad name. For some, the insult changed their behavior. For some it didn’t. The deciding factor in how they reacted wasn’t how emotionally secure they were, or whether they were intellectuals or jocks, or whether they were physically imposing or not. What mattered—and I think you can guess where this is headed—was where they were from. Most of the young men from the northern part of the United States treated the incident with amusement. They laughed it off. Their handshakes were unchanged. Their levels of cortisol actually went down, as if they were unconsciously trying to defuse their own anger. Only a few of them had Steve get violent with Larry. But the southerners? Oh, my. They were angry. Their cortisol and testosterone jumped. Their handshakes got firm. Steve was all over Larry. “We even played this game of chicken,” Cohen said. “We sent the students back down the hallways, and around the corner comes another confederate. The hallway is blocked, so there’s only room for one of them to pass. The guy we used was six three, two hundred fifty pounds. He used to play college football. He was now working as a bouncer in a college bar. He was walking down the hall in business mode—the way you walk through a bar when you are trying to break up a fight. The question was: how close do they get to the bouncer before they get out of the way? And believe me, they always get out of the way.” For the northerners, there was almost no effect. They got out of the way five or six feet beforehand, whether they had been insulted or not. The southerners, by contrast, were downright deferential in normal circumstances, stepping aside with more than nine feet to go. But if they had just been insulted? Less than two feet. Call a southerner an asshole, and he’s itching for a fight. What Cohen and Nisbett were seeing in that long hall was the culture of honor in action: the southerners were reacting like Wix Howard did when Little Bob Turner accused him of cheating at poker. ~ Malcolm Gladwell,
264:In the car inching its way down Fifth Avenue, toward Bergdorf Goodman and this glamorous party, I looked back on my past with a new understanding. This sickness, the “endo-whatever,” had stained so much—my sense of self, my womanhood, my marriage, my ability to be present. I had effectively missed one week of each month every year of my life since I was thirteen, because of the chronic pain and hormonal fluctuations I suffered during my period. I had lain in bed, with heating pads and hot-water bottles, using acupuncture, drinking teas, taking various pain medications and suffering the collateral effects of them. I thought of all the many tests I missed in various classes throughout my education, the school dances, the jobs I knew I couldn’t take as a model, because of the bleeding and bloating as well as the pain (especially the bathing suit and lingerie shoots, which paid the most). How many family occasions was I absent from? How many second or third dates did I not go on? How many times had I not been able to be there for others or for myself? How many of my reactions to stress or emotional strife had been colored through the lens of chronic pain? My sense of self was defined by this handicap. The impediment of expected pain would shackle my days and any plans I made.

I did not see my own womanhood as something positive or to be celebrated, but as a curse that I had to constantly make room for and muddle through. Like the scar on my arm, my reproductive system was a liability. The disease, developing part and parcel with my womanhood starting at puberty with my menses, affected my own self-esteem and the way I felt about my body. No one likes to get her period, but when your femininity carries with it such pain and consistent physical and emotional strife, it’s hard not to feel that your body is betraying you. The very relationship you have with yourself and your person is tainted by these ever-present problems. I now finally knew my struggles were due to this condition. I wasn’t high-strung or fickle and I wasn’t overreacting. ~ Padma Lakshmi,
265:I do apologize, Mrs. Travers, for causing you undue distress. I certainly didn’t deliberately set out to get in my current predicament. It simply . . . happened.” “But how did it happen?” Mrs. Travers demanded. “That’s a bit difficult to explain,” Wilhelmina began. She was spared further response, though, when Miss Cadwalader took that moment to join the conversation. “She’s under there because of the mouse,” Miss Cadwalader said in a very loud, very carrying, voice before she took what looked to be some type of cookie from the platter and began nibbling around the edges of it. “A . . . mouse?” Mrs. Travers repeated slowly. Miss Cadwalader stopped nibbling and nodded. “Indeed, and it wasn’t a little mouse, mind you, but an enormous one, with rather large teeth.” She sent what almost seemed to be the smallest of winks Wilhelmina’s way. “Miss Radcliff should be commended for being brave enough to take on such a beast, but as she was attempting to lure the creature away, she got stuck underneath that chair.” Miss Cadwalader heaved a sigh. “Unfortunately the mouse charged straight through the middle of the ballroom floor.” Edgar could only watch in dumbfounded amazement as chaos immediately took over the ball. The chaos started when one of the ladies who’d been inching ever so casually closer to them let out a shriek, lifted up the hem of her skirt, and was soon standing on top of a chair, joined seconds later by additional ladies, their shrieks about mice being on the loose echoing around the ballroom. In the span of a single minute, all the chairs were occupied with ladies holding their hems up as servants began dashing into the room, all of them carrying brooms. Edgar heard Wilhelmina toss “That was brilliant” Miss Cadwalader’s way as Mrs. Travers seemingly forgot all about Wilhelmina being stuck underneath a chair as she hurried off to join the chaos that was interrupting her ball. Miss Cadwalader grinned. “I do have my uses.” Wilhelmina returned the grin. “Indeed you do—even though I have to say that, if I had seen a mouse, I’m hardly the type to throw myself on the floor in an attempt to lure it away.” With ~ Jen Turano,
266:Medicine once consisted of the knowledge of a few simples, to stop the flow of blood, or to heal wounds; then by degrees it reached its present stage of complicated variety. No wonder that in early days medicine had less to do! Men's bodies were still sound and strong; their food was light and not spoiled by art and luxury, whereas when they began to seek dishes not for the sake of removing, but of rousing, the appetite, and devised countless sauces to whet their gluttony, – then what before was nourishment to a hungry man became a burden to the full stomach. 16. Thence come paleness, and a trembling of wine-sodden muscles, and a repulsive thinness, due rather to indigestion than to hunger. Thence weak tottering steps, and a reeling gait just like that of drunkenness. Thence dropsy, spreading under the entire skin, and the belly growing to a paunch through an ill habit of taking more than it can hold. Thence yellow jaundice, discoloured countenances, and bodies that rot inwardly, and fingers that grow knotty when the joints stiffen, and muscles that are numbed and without power of feeling, and palpitation of the heart with its ceaseless pounding. 17. Why need I mention dizziness? Or speak of pain in the eye and in the ear, itching and aching[11] in the fevered brain, and internal ulcers throughout the digestive system? Besides these, there are countless kinds of fever, some acute in their malignity, others creeping upon us with subtle damage, and still others which approach us with chills and severe ague. 18. Why should I mention the other innumerable diseases, the tortures that result from high living?   Men used to be free from such ills, because they had not yet slackened their strength by indulgence, because they had control over themselves, and supplied their own needs.[12] They toughened their bodies by work and real toil, tiring themselves out by running or hunting or tilling the earth. They were refreshed by food in which only a hungry man could take pleasure. Hence, there was no need for all our mighty medical paraphernalia, for so many instruments and pill-boxes. For plain reasons they enjoyed plain health; ~ Seneca,
267:There was a dragon who had a long-standing obsession with a queen's breasts," she said, growing breathless. "The dragon knew the penalty to touch her would mean death, yet he revealed his secret desire to the king's chief doctor. This man promised he could arrange for the dragon to satisfy his desire, but it would cost him one thousand gold coins." She spread her soapy hands over his nipples, then down his arms. "Though he didn't have the money, the dragon readily agreed to the scheme."

Grace," Darius moaned, his erection straining against her stomach.

She hid her smile, loving that she had this much power over such a strong man. That she, Grace Carlyle, made him ache with longing. "The next day the physician made a batch of itching powder and poured some into the queen's bra… uh, you might call it a brassiere… while she bathed. After she dressed, she began itching and itching and itching. The physician was summoned to the Royal Chambers, and he informed the king and queen that only a special saliva, if applied for several hours, would cure this type of itch. And only a dragon possessed this special saliva." Out of breath, she paused.

Continue," Darius said. His arms wound around her so tightly she could barely breathe. His skin blazed hot against hers, hotter than even the steamy water.

Are you sure?"

Continue." Taut lines bracketed his mouth.

Well, the king summoned the dragon. Meanwhile, the physician slipped him the antidote for the itching powder, which the dragon put into his mouth, and for the next few hours, the dragon worked passionately on the queen's breasts.

Anyway," she said, reaching around him and lathering the muscled mounds of his butt, "the queen's itching was eventually relieved, and the dragon left satisfied and touted as a hero."

This does not sound like a joke," Darius said.

I'm getting to the punch line. Hang on. When the physician demanded his payment, the now satisfied dragon refused. He knew that the physician could never report what really happened to the king. So the next day, the physician slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the king's loincloth. And the king immediately summoned the dragon."
-Heart of the Dragon ~ Gena Showalter,
268:We will need to stay over two nights in a hotel on our trip home.”
Momentarily alarmed, I glanced at Ren. “Okay. Umm, I was thinking that maybe this time if you don’t mind, we could check out one of those bigger hotels. You know, something that has more people around. With elevators and rooms that lock. Or even better, a nice high-rise hotel in a big city. Far, far, far away from the jungle?”
Mr. Kadam chuckled. “I’ll see what I can do.”
I graced Mr. Kadam with a beatific smile. “Good! Could we please go now? I can’t wait to take a shower.” I opened the door to the passenger side then turned and hissed in a whisper aimed at Ren, “In my nice, upper-floor, inaccessible-to-tigers hotel room.”
He just looked at me with his innocent, blue-eyed tiger face again. I smiled wickedly at him and hopped in the Jeep, slamming the door behind me. My tiger just calmly trotted over to the back where Mr. Kadam was loading the last of his supplies and leapt up into the back seat. He leaned in the front, and before I could push him away, he gave me a big, wet, slobbery tiger kiss right on my face.
I sputtered, “Ren! That is so disgusting!”
I used my T-shirt to swipe the tiger saliva from my nose and cheek and turned to yell at him some more. He was already lying down in the back seat with his mouth hanging open, as if he were laughing. Before I could really lay into him, Mr. Kadam, who was the happiest I’d ever seen him, got into the Jeep, and we started the bumpy journey back to a civilized road.
Mr. Kadam wanted to ask me questions. I knew he was itching for information, but I was still fuming at Ren, so I lied. I asked him if he could hold off for a while so I could sleep. I yawned big for dramatic effect, and he immediately agreed to let me have some peace, which made me feel guilty. I really liked Mr. Kadam, and I hated lying to people. I excused my actions by mentally blaming Ren for this uncharacteristic behavior. Convincing myself that it was his fault was easy. I turned to the side and closed my eyes.
I slept for a while, and when I woke up, Mr. Kadam handed me a soda, a sandwich, and a banana. I raised my eyebrow at the banana and thought of several good monkey jokes I could annoy Ren with, but I kept quiet for Mr. Kadam’s sake. ~ Colleen Houck,
269:If we can use an H-bomb--and as you said it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed . . . and even losing the war . . . when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?'
Zim didn't answer at once, which wasn't like him at all. Then he said softly, 'Are you happy in the Infantry, Hendrick? You can resign, you know.'
Hendrick muttered something; Zim said, 'Speak up!'
I'm not itching to resign, sir. I'm going to sweat out my term.'
I see. Well, the question you asked is one that a sergeant isn't really qualified to answer . . . and one that you shouldn't ask me. You're supposed to know the answer before you join up. Or you should. Did your school have a course in History and Moral Philosophy?'
What? Sure--yes, sir.'
Then you've heard the answer. But I'll give you my own--unofficial--views on it. If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cuts its head off?'
Why . . . no, sir!'
Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it's not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It's never a soldier's business to decide when or where or how--or why--he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people--"older and wiser heads," as they say--supply the control. Which is as it should be. That's the best answer I can give you. If it doesn't satisfy you, I'll get you a chit to go talk to the regimental commander. If he can't convince you--then go home and be a civilian! Because in that case you will certainly never make a soldier. ~ Robert A Heinlein,
270:Paw, paw, paw. On his shirt.
“Fucking hell.” He gave in and rubbed that black belly. “And no, I don’t need anything.”
The purring got so loud, he had to lean in to the butler. “What did you say?”
“I’m happy to oblige whatever you require.”
“Yeah. I know. But I’m going to take care of my brother. No one else. Are we clear.”
The cat was now rubbing its head into his pec. Then stretching up into the itching. Oh, God, this was awful—especially as the butler’s already droopy face sagged down to what were no doubt knobby knees.
“Ah, shit, Fritz—”
“Is he ill?”
iAm closed his eyes briefly as the female voice registered. Fantastic. Another party heard from.
“He’s fine,” iAm said without looking at the Chosen Selena.
Leaving the kibitzers in the dust, he went into the pantry with the freeloading cat and . . . Right. How was he going to get the load of post-migraine recovery rations down from the shelves with his arms full of— What was its name?
Fine. It was G*dd*mn Cat, then.
Looking down into those wide, contented eyes, iAm thinned his lips as he rubbed under its chin. Behind an ear.
“Okay, enough with this.” He played with one of the paws. “I gotta put you down now.”
Assuming control, he took the cat out of its recline and went to put it down on the—
Somehow the thing managed to claw its way into the very fibers of his fleece and hang off the front of him like a tie.
“Are you kidding me.”
More purring. A blink of those luminous eyes. An expression of self-possession that iAm took to mean this interaction was going to go the cat’s way—and no one else’s.
“Mayhap I shall help?” Selena asked softly.
iAm bit out a curse and glared at the cat.
Then at the Chosen.
But short of taking off his pullover? G*dd*mn Cat was sticking with him.
“I need some of those Milanos up there?”
The Chosen reached up and took a bag from the Pepperidge Farm munchie department.
“And he’s going to need some of those tortilla chips.”
“Plain or the lime flavor?”
“Plain.”
iAm gave up the ghost and resumed servicing G*dd*mn—and the cat immediately went into full La-Z-Boy again.
“He’s going to want one of the Entenmann’s pound cakes. And we’re going to bring him three ice-cold Cokes, two big Poland Springs, room temperature, and a partridge in a pear tree.”

-Boo, iAm, Fritz, & Selena ~ J R Ward,
271:The first time I see him is during lunch. As I’m waiting in the cafeteria food line, Alex is two people in front of me. This girl, Nola Linn, is in between us. And she’s not moving down the line fast enough.
Alex’s jeans are faded and torn at the knee. His hair is falling into his eyes and I’m itching to push it back. If Nola wouldn’t be so wishy-washy about her choice of fruit…
Alex caught me checking him out. I quickly focus my attention on the soup of the day. Minestrone.
“Want a cup or bowl, hon?” Mary, the lunch lady, asks me.
“Bowl,” I say, pretending to be totally interested in the way she ladles the soup into the bowl.
After she hands it to me, I hurry past Nola and stand by the cashier. Right behind Alex.
As if he knows I’m stalking him, he turns around. His eyes pierce mine and for a moment I feel as if the rest of the world is closed out and it’s just the two of us. The urge to jump into his arms and feel the warmth of them surrounding me is so powerful, I wonder if it’s medically possible to be addicted to another human being.
I clear my throat. “Your turn,” I say, motioning to the cashier.
He moves forward with his tray, a slice of pizza on it. “I’ll pay for hers, too,” he says, pointing at me.
The cashier waves her finger at me, “What’d you get? Bowl of minestrone?”
“Yeah, but…Alex, don’t pay for me.”
“Don’t worry. I can afford a bowl of soup,” he says defensively, handing over three dollars.
Colin barges into the line and stands next to me. “Move along. Get your own girlfriend to stare at,” he snaps at Alex, then shoos him off.
I pray Alex doesn’t retaliate by telling Colin we kissed. Everyone in line is watching us. I can feel their stares on the back of my neck. Alex takes his change from the cashier and without a backward glance heads for the outside courtyard off the cafeteria where he usually sits.
I feel so selfish, because I want the best of both worlds. I want to keep the image I’ve worked so hard to create. That image includes Colin. I also want Alex. I can’t stop thinking about having him hold me again and kiss me until I’m breathless.
Colin says to the cashier, “I’ll pay for hers and mine.”
The cashier looks at me in confusion. “Didn’t that other boy pay for you already?”
Colin waits for me to correct her. When I don’t, he gives me a disgusted look and stomps out of the cafeteria. ~ Simone Elkeles,
272:In silence the man reined in his horse, dismounted, lifted me down to a high grassy spot that was scarcely damp. In the gathering gloom he tended to his horse, which presently cropped at the grass. My eyes had become accustomed to the darkness; the flare of light from a Fire Stick, and the reddish flicker of a fire, startled me.
At first I turned away, for the unsteady flame hurt my eyes, but after a time the prospect of warmth brought me around, and I started inching toward the fire.
The man looked up, dropped what he was doing, and took a step toward me. “I can carry you,” he said.
I waved him off. “I’ll do it myself,” I said shortly, thinking, Why be polite now? So I’ll be in a good mood when you dump me in Galdran’s dungeon?
He hesitated. I ignored him and turned my attention to easing forward. After a moment he returned to whatever he had been doing. After a little experimenting, I found that it was easiest to sit backward and inchworm along, dragging my left leg.
Soon enough I was near to his fire, which was properly built in a ring of rocks. Using the tip of his rapier, he held out chunks of bread with cheese, toasting them just enough. The smell made my mouth water.
In silence he divided the food into two portions, laying mine on a flat rock near my hand.
Then he held up a camp kettle. “Want tea? Or just water?”
“Tea,” I said.
He walked off toward the waterfall. I peered after him into the gloom, saw the horse standing near the pool where the water fell. One chance of escape gone. I’d never get to the horse before he could stop me.
With a small sense of relief, I turned my attention to the bread. I was suddenly ravenous, and even though the cheese was still hot, I wolfed my share down and licked my fingers to catch the last crumbs.
By then the man had returned and set the kettle among the embers. Then he looked up, paused, then picked up his share of the bread and reached over to put it in front of me.
“That’s yours,” I said.
“You appear to need it more than I do,” he said, looking amused. “Go ahead. I won’t starve.”
I picked up the bread, feeling a weird sense of unreality: Did he expect me to be grateful? The situation was so strange I simply had to turn it into absurdity--it was either that or sink into fear and apprehension. “Well, does it matter if I starve?” I said. “Or do Galdran’s torturers require only plump victims for their arts? ~ Sherwood Smith,
273:Blossom
A LONE rose in a garden burned—a quivering flame,
But yesterday blindly from out the bud it came;
And now an envious wind with itching fingers leant
And touched its lingering beauty, and the petals went
Upon the twilight tossing swift,
Like little dusky boats adrift.
Then in the birth and doom of that brief rose I saw
The long unrolling of creation's one vast law.
All things were blossom, and God thrilled at that flower's birth
As when from night-sheathed chaos broke this blossom-earth.
For God no large or little knows—
A universe slept in the rose.
The scattered star-mist, that dishevelled trails through Space,
Hears the low whisper of the Spring, and to its place
Whirls vastly, and its bulk with aching life is torn,
And with a pang that shakes all Space a sun is born
But God on it bestows the heed
He gives to any wayside weed.
About it bloom the planets, like a pageantry
Of rival blossoms in a garden-galaxy.
They break and wane and wither, till upon some earth,
Faded and chill and shrunken, a pallid thing has birth;
And on a world weary with strife
Creeps forth the efflorescence Life.
Strange vegetations fiercely bloom and fall from sight;
Monsters uncouth are spawned, and sink into the night;
Huge mountains blossom white beneath the ocean spray;
Vast tropics glow where once the glacier-ice held sway—
Till, like a lichen on the stone,
Comes Man, bearing a soul unknown.
The lichen spreads, and civilisations grow forlorn,
Bloom once, and, dying, blight the place where they were born.
Incomparable, unique, each in lone splendour burns;
Each bears one perfect grace that nevermore returns.
Ah! gone is sculptured Egypt—gone
The blossom that was Babylon!
The lotus of the East, the Grecian lily cold—
Each blossoms only one new beauty to unfold.
28
And this rich rose, the West, that opens now so vast,
Shall tell its message, then upon the night be cast.
But still God scatters through the gloom
New seeds whence nobler flowers shall bloom.
And æons rise and fade, and still the petal-years
Fall from the trembling stem of Time, that proudly rears
Space, like the last huge blossom of the far-thrown seed;
And Space itself shall wither like a trampled weed.
But in the void the Sower still
Scatters new seed, until—until…
~ Arthur Henry Adams,
274:Where is everyone?” Cat asked, looking around the deserted ship.
“Shore leave,” he said laconically.
“What about us?”
“If it’s urgent, we’ll just have to swim.”
Cat yawned and stretched languidly, feeling boneless from Travis’s loving and a long, wonderful nap. “Swim? Ha. I’d go down like a brick. Looks like you’re stuck with me.”
Travis tilted her face up and kissed her swiftly. “Remember that, witch. You’re mine.”
Her eyes widened into misty silver pools. She looked up at him through dense lashes that glinted red and gold.
He smiled.
“You really are a pirate, aren’t you?” Cat muttered.
“Where you’re concerned, yes.”
The sensual rasp in Travis’s voice sent echoes of ecstasy shimmering through her. His smile was rakish and utterly male, reminding her of what it was like to have him deep inside her.
It was all Cat could do not to simply stand and stare at her lover. In the slanting afternoon light his eyes had a jewel-like purity of color. His skin was taught, deeply bronzed, and his beard was spun from dark gold. Beneath his faded black T-shirt and casual shorts, his body radiated ease and power.
“Don’t move,” Cat ordered, heading back to the cabin.
“Where are you going?”
“Don’t move!”
She raced below deck, grabbed the two camera cases she used most often, and ran back on deck. While Travis watched her with a lazy, sexy gleam in his eyes, she pulled out a camera and a small telephoto lens. When she retreated a few feet back along the deck, he moved as though to follow.
“No,” she said. “Stay right where you are. You’re perfect.”
“Cat,” he said, amusement curling in his voice, “what are you doing?”
“Taking pictures of an off-duty buccaneer.”
The motor drive surged quickly, pulling frame after frame of film through the camera.
“You’re supposed to be taking pictures of the Wind Warrior,” Travis pointed out.
“I am. You’re part of the ship. The most important part. Creator, owner, soul.”
She caught the sudden intensity of his expression, an elemental recognition of her words. The motor drive whirred in response to her command. After a few more frames she lowered the camera and walked back to him.
“Get used to looking into a camera lens.” Cat warned Travis. “I’ve been itching to photograph you since the first time I looked into those gorgeous, sea-colored eyes of yours.”
Laughing softly, he snaked one arm around her and pulled her snugly against his side. ~ Elizabeth Lowell,
275:I have a trainer,” she confirmed while searching for an escape route.
Standing closer to this man is like being stuck in an elevator, she decided. You’d bargain with God to get free.
“But not just any trainer. Not only does this woman tackle a stallion no one else can seem to tame but she resurrects the dead, n’est-ce pas? You have done wonders to stir McCloud’s blood again, or so I have heard.”
A.J.’s mouth dropped open at the insinuation. “What are you talking about?”
“Surely you jest. The news is all around.” He gesticulated with a limp wrist. “Although I must say, you are faithless to leave your family in favor of a man who is not your husband. No matter how good you find his services.
Her vision narrowed on the man’s jugular. “Why, you little—”
Devlin appeared at her side. “A.J.! Time to go pace off the course.”
“Ah,” Philippe said grandly. “And here is your good teacher, the man you gave up so much for. Myself, I could not imagine leaving my family for someone else’s stable, but I am French and we are known for our loyalty. Then again, I also don’t need the particular kind of instruction this McCloud offers.”
A.J. could sense her face tuning brick red and felt like a boxer winding up for a punch.
“Come on,” Devlin said.
“Yes, run along, you two. I imagine there is much you must do to each other.”
That did it. She lost it.
“Why, you tar-mouthed gossip hound—”
She was itching to go further but Devlin put a firm hand on her arm and began to lead her away.
“And speaking of gossip,” the Frenchman called out as they left, “you would do well to keep your ear to the floor. I myself am going to make an announcement soon.”
“That’s ‘ear to the ground,’ you—”
“Enough,” Devlin hissed, dragging her off.
When they were out of range from the crowd, A.J. whirled on him, eyes flashing turquoise.
“How could you let him go on like that? You didn’t give me the chance to defend us!”
Devlin said nothing, which infuriated her further. He just stood there, staring at her calmly. Didn’t he have any pride?
“I mean, come on! Marceau made insinuations that were insane and you hauled me off before I could respond.”
When that didn’t get any reaction, she frowned.
“Hello?”
“You finished?” he asked. “Or do you want to give him more of what he’s after?”
A.J. looked confused.
He said, “Tell me what you’re thinking about right now.”
“How I’d like to crown him with a bag of feed. ~ J R Ward,
276:And because I’d begged my mom for the damn cat, guess who got stuck picking up after her?” I poked both of my thumbs hard into my chest. “This girl. But that wasn’t the worst of it.”

“Should I pull over for this?” Jamie teased.

“This is serious, Jamie Shaw!” I smacked his bicep and he chuckled, holding the steering wheel with his thumbs but lifting the rest of his fingers as if to say “my bad.”

“Anyway,” I continued. “So, Rory would always find small ways to torture me. Like she would eat her string toys and then throw up on my favorite clothes. Or wait until I was in the deepest part of sleep and jump onto my bed, meowing like an alleycat right up in my ear.”

“I think I like this Rory.”

I narrowed my eyes, but Jamie just grinned. “You think you’re hilarious, don’t you? Do you just sit around and laugh at your own jokes? Do you write them down and re-read them at night?”

Jamie laughed, the corners of his eyes crinkling.

“As I was saying,” I voiced louder. “She was a little brat. But for some weird reason, she always loved to be in the bathroom with me when I took my baths.”

“You take baths?”

“You’re seriously missing the point of this story!”

“There’s a point to this story?”

I huffed, but couldn’t fight the smile on my face. “Yes! The point is, I thought that was our bonding time. Rory would weave around my legs while I undressed and she’d hang out on the side of the tub the entire time I was in the bath, meowing occasionally, pawing at the water. It was kind of cute.”

“So you bridged your relationship with your cat during bath time?”

“Ah, well see, one would think that. But, one night, that little demon hopped onto the counter and just stared at me. I couldn’t figure out why, but she just wouldn’t stop staring. She kept inching her paw up, setting it back down, inching it up, setting it down. And finally I realized what she was going to do — and she knew I did — because as soon as realization dawned, Rory smiled at me — swear to God — and flipped the light off in the bathroom.”

Jamie doubled over that time, and I spoke even louder over his laughter.

“I’m terrified of the dark, Jamie! It was awful! And so I jumped up, scrambling to find a towel so I could turn the light back on. But because I’m a genius, I yanked on the shower curtain to help me stand up, but that only took it down and me along with it. I fell straight to the floor, but I broke my fall with my hands instead of my face.”

“Luckily.”

“Oh,” I chided. “Yeah. So lucky. Except guess where Rory’s litter box was?”

Jamie’s eyes widened and he tore his eyes from the road to meet mine. “No!”

Ohhh yeah. ~ Kandi Steiner,
277:Curse it,” Bran said the next morning, standing before the fire in shirt and trousers with his shoulder stiffy bandaged. “You think this necessary?”
He pointed at the mail coats lying on the table, their linked steel rings gleaming coldly in the light of two glowglobes. It was well before dawn. The Marquis had woken us himself, with the news that Galdran’s forces were nigh. And his messengers had brought from Renselaeus the mail coats, newly made and expensive.
“Treachery--” Shevraeth paused to cough and to catch his breath. He, too, stood there in only shirt and trousers and boots, and I looked away quickly, embarrassed. “We should be prepared for treachery. It was his idea to send archers against you in the mountains. He will have them with him now.” He coughed again, the rattling cough of a heavy cold.
I sighed. My own fever and aches had all settled into my throat, and my voice was gone.
Bran was the worst off. Besides the wound in his shoulder, he coughed, sneezed, and sounded hoarse. His eyes and nose watered constantly. Luckily the Renselaeus munificence extended to a besorceled handkerchief that stayed dry and clean despite its heavy use.
Groaning and wincing, Bran lifted his arm just high enough for a couple of equerries to slip the chain mail over his head. As it settled onto him, chinging softly, he winced and said, “Feels like I’ve got a horse lying athwart my shoulders.”
I picked up the one set aside for me and retreated to my room to put it on, and then the tunic they’d given me. Branaric’s wallet containing Debegri’s letter lay safe and snug in my waistband.
When I came back, Branaric started laughing. “A mouse in mail!” he said, pointing. He and Shevraeth both had battle tunics on, and swords belted at their sides; they looked formidable, whereas I felt I looked ridiculous. My mail shirt was the smallest of the three, but it was still much too large, and it bunched and folded beneath my already outsized tunic, making me feel like an overstuffed cushion.
But the Marquis said nothing at all as he indicated a table where a choice of weapons lay, with belts and baldrics of various sizes and styles. In silence I belted on a short sword similar to the one I’d thrown down in surrender above the Vesingrui fortress. I found a helm that fit pretty well over my braid coronet, and then I was ready.
Within a short time we were mounted on fresh chargers that were also armored. Despite the chill outside I started warm, for we’d each drunk an infusion of listerblossoms against illness.
Our way was lit by torches as we raced over the ancient road, under trees that had been old before my family first came to Tlanth. Except for the rhythm of hooves there was no sound, but I sensed that forest life was watching us. ~ Sherwood Smith,
278:Camille heard the rustle of grass. She opened one eye and saw Oscar settling down beside her.
“We can spare a few minutes,” he said. She sat up and cradled her knees in her arms. He plucked a blade of grass and commenced peeling it down the center. They heard the Australian snoring from his spot a few yards away, completely hidden in a blanket of green.
“I guess we can spare more than a few minutes.” Oscar smiled and met her gaze, holding it a moment. She suddenly realized how horrible she must look-her hair, her clothes, her skin.
“Do you miss him?” he asked, not seeming to notice any of those things.
Camille uprooted a purple flower and a white daisy near it. “Of course I do. But I’m hoping with the stone I won’t have to very long.”
“Not your father, Camille. Randall.”
She took a deep breath, shocked she hadn’t thought of her fiancé for so long. How many days had it been? A full week, maybe more.
“Oh. Well…I suppose I do.”
Oscar raised an eyebrow and laughed at her clear lack of conviction.
Camille shrugged. “What? A lot has happened and right now getting back to San Francisco isn’t something I’m concerned about.”
Oscar nodded and chewed on the tip of his blade of grass.
“It’s not that Randall isn’t a perfectly good man,” she said, fiddling with the flowers in her hands. The roots crumbled dirt onto her lap. “He’s kind and caring and handsome and an excellent businessman.”
Oscar continued to nod.
“And he’ll make a fine husband, I’m sure,” she added, knowing he really was all those things. If only all of them combined could make up for what she didn’t feel while with him.
“I’m sure,” Oscar repeated. Had he been mocking her? She thought she had caught a trace of sarcasm. All this talk about Randall had her itching.
“Why do you ask?”
“Just wondered if you missed home,” Oscar answered and threw the mangled blade of grass behind him.
“Do you?” she asked, ashamed to her Oscar know how little she desired to return. He thought for a moment, tugging up another switch of grass and rolling it between his fingers.
“No,” he answered with stark certainty. “I have everything I’d miss right here.”
Every inch of Camille’s body smoldered under Oscar’s gentle, and so very forward, gaze. He’d miss her. She looked into his gray-blue eyes, rimmed by thick, honey-colored lashes-had they always been so full? The bridge of his nose crooked to the left slightly, perhaps broken in a fight after he’d moved from her father’s carriage house to a small apartment along the San Francisco harbor front. She’d never noticed the charming imperfection before.
She watched as his eyes traveled over her own features, touching on the wound by her temple and settling on the heart-shaped fullness of her lips.
Oscar held his piercing stare. “We probably won’t arrive home in time for your wedding. ~ Angie Frazier,
279:Roscoe had fallen asleep from sheer exhaustion. He awoke to find persistent itching on his stomach. He scratched it through his T-shirt.
He went back to sleep. But dreams kept him from sleeping soundly. That and the itching.
He woke again and felt the itchy spot. There was a lump there. Like a swelling. And when he held still and pressed his fingers against the spot he could feel something moving under the skin.
The small room was suddenly very cold. Roscoe shivered.
He went to the window hoping for light. There was a moon but the light was faint. Roscoe pulled his shirt over his head. He looked down at the spot on his stomach.
It was moving. The flesh itself. He could feel it under his fingertips. Like something poking back at him. But he couldn’t feel it from the inside, couldn’t feel it in his stomach. And he realized that his entire body was numb. He could feel with his fingertips but not the skin of his stomach—
The skin split!
“Ahhhh!”
He was touching it as it split, and he shrieked in terror and something pushed its way out through a bloodless hole.
“Oh, God, oh, God, oh, no no no no!”
Roscoe screamed and leaped for the door. His hand clawed at the knob as he babbled and wept and the door was locked, locked, oh, God, no, they had locked him in.
He banged at the door, but it was the middle of the night. Who would hear him in the empty town hall?
“Hey! Hey! Is anyone there? Help me. Help me. Please, please, someone help me!”
He banged and the thing in his belly stuck out half an inch. He was scared to look at it. But he did and he screamed again because it was a mouth now, a gnashing insect mouth full of parts like no normal mouth. Hooked, wicked mandibles clicked. It was inside him, chewing its way out.
Hatching from him.
“Help me, help me, don’t leave me here like this!”
But who would hear him? Sinder? No. Not anymore. That was over. All over. And he was alone and friendless. No one even to hear as he screamed and begged.
The window. He grabbed the pillow from his bed and pushed it against the glass and then punched it hard. The pane shattered. He took off his shoe and smashed at the starred glass until most of it fell tinkling to the street below.
Then he screamed for help. Screamed into the Perdido Beach night air.
No answer.
“Help me! Please, please, oh, God, please help me! You can’t just leave me locked up!”
But still, no answer.
Fear took hold of him, deep crazy-making fear.
No. No. No no no no, this couldn’t be happening. He hadn’t done anything to hurt anyone, he hadn’t done anything awful. Why? Why was this happening to him?
Roscoe fell to his knees and begged God. God, please, no, no, no, I didn’t do anything wrong. I wasn’t brave or strong but I wasn’t bad, either. Not like this, please, God, no no no, not like this.
Roscoe felt an itching in the middle of his back.
He sat down and cried. ~ Michael Grant,
280:It was then that I noticed the canvas bag at Saadi’s feet. He must have seen flight in my eyes, for he started running at almost the same moment I did. He caught me before I passed the next shop, snatching my upper arm just as the butcher had. I cried out, hoping he would think me in pain and let me go, but he did not, cocking an eyebrow and strengthening his grip.
“I take it you’re responsible for this?” he said, hauling the bag of fruit, which he had slung over his shoulder, up to eye level with his other hand.
I kept my mouth shut.
“Despite the fact that you’re breaking the law, you’re lucky. The evidence you left at your previous site of conquest sent me on a search for you.”
“Lucky, because you did a lot of saving,” I scoffed.
Releasing me, he smoothed his bronze hair forward, but it stuck up at the center of his hairline, which I suspected was the opposite of his intention.
“I was getting there.”
He was mumbling, disagreeable, an attitude I did not expect. Why was he bothering to make conversation with a Hytanican criminal? And why did he keep smoothing that stupid hair of his?
“I haven’t done anything,” I said, inching backward in preparation for my grand escape, the details of which I was sure would come to me at any moment. Motioning to the bag, I lied again. “That’s not mine.”
“Yes, it is.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“But it is.”
No, it isn’t.”
“You know, the more you deny it, the more likely I am to arrest you.”
I stared wide-eyed at him. “You weren’t planning to?”
“No, it doesn’t look like you’ve caused any real harm--a couple of coins in payment for the broken lock should resolve the problem. I have a feeling if I arrested you, you wouldn’t make it out this time, not with what your uncle and cousin are guilty of.”
“Bravery?”
“Corza spends an hour terrifying you and I get a confession after a few minutes.”
Shocked and annoyed, I exclaimed, “I didn’t confess anything!”
Saadi smirked. “Nothing I’m going to share. Women and men shouldn’t be killed for bravery.”
“I suppose you condone the pranks and riots then?” I challenged. He was unbelievable--making things up to manipulate me.
“I don’t condone them,” he said more seriously. “I have a different idea of what bravery is.”
“What--compliance?”
“In a sense. Acceptance, resiliency. How strong must one be to throw a temper tantrum?”
“Is that what you’d call this? You and your people storm our homeland, take us all prisoner and any form of resistance is a temper tantrum in your eyes?”
He pondered this for a moment, his freckled nose crinkling. “Yes.”
I threw up my hands, not sure exactly what was going on or why I was still here with my enemy, but not willing to let this go.
“How do you justify that?”
“Well, for a century, our takeover of your kingdom has been inevitable. You should have acclimated yourselves to the idea by now.”
“You’re right. This is our fault, really. We’ve never been superb at preparation here in Hytanica.”
Saadi shrugged, and I thought for one stunned moment that he had taken my statements to be sincere. ~ Cayla Kluver,
281:That man,” she announced huffily, referring to their host, “can’t put two words together without losing his meaning!” Obviously she’d expected better of the quality during the time she was allowed to mix with them.
“He’s afraid of us, I think,” Elizabeth replied, climbing out of bed. “Do you know the time? He desired me to accompany him fishing this morning at seven.”
“Half past ten,” Berta replied, opening drawers and turning toward Elizabeth for her decision as to which gown to wear. “He waited until a few minutes ago, then went of without you. He was carrying two poles. Said you could join him when you arose.”
“In that case, I think I’ll wear the pink muslin,” she decided with a mischievous smile.
The Earl of Marchman could scarcely believe his eyes when he finally saw his intended making her way toward him. Decked out in a frothy pink gown with an equally frothy pink parasol and a delicate pink bonnet, she came tripping across the bank. Amazed at the vagaries of the female mind, he quickly turned his attention back to the grandfather trout he’d been trying to catch for five years. Ever so gently he jiggled his pole, trying to entice or else annoy the wily old fish into taking his fly. The giant fish swam around his hook as if he knew it might be a trick and then he suddenly charged it, nearly jerking the pole out of John’s hands. The fish hurtled out of the water, breaking the surface in a tremendous, thrilling arch at the same moment John’s intended bride deliberately chose to let out a piercing shriek: “Snake!
Startled, John jerked his head in her direction and saw her charging at him as if Lucifer himself was on her heels, screaming, “Snake! Snake! Snnnaaaake!” And in that instant his connection was broken; he let his line go slack, and the fish dislodged the hook, exactly as Elizabeth had hoped.
“I saw a snake,” she lied, panting and stopping just short of the arms he’d stretched out to catch her-or strangle her, Elizabeth thought, smothering a smile. She stole a quick searching glance at the water, hoping for a glimpse of the magnificent trout he’d nearly caught, her hands itching to hold the pole and try her own luck.
Lord Marchman’s disgruntled question snapped her attention back to him. “Would you like to fish, or would you rather sit and watch for a bit, until you recover from your flight from the serpent?”
Elizabeth looked around in feigned shock. “Goodness, sir, I don’t fish!”
“Do you sit?” he asked with what might have been sarcasm.
Elizabeth lowered her lashes to hide her smile at the mounting impatience in his voice. “Of course I sit,” she proudly told him. “Sitting is an excessively ladylike occupation, but fishing, in my opinion, is not. I shall adore watching you do it, however.”
For the next two hours she sat on the boulder beside him, complaining about its hardness, the brightness of the sun and the dampness of the air, and when she ran out of matters to complain about she proceeded to completely spoil his morning by chattering his ears off about every inane topic she could think of while occasionally tossing rocks into the stream to scare off his fish. ~ Judith McNaught,
282:Do you think they’ll ever be a place for us? I mean, do you think there’s a place for someone who lives under the radar, someone who has to pretend, someone who is a spy?”
“Yes.” Daly said it with such confidence that I sat up in my bed, my cast dangling over the edge.
“How do you know?” I asked.
“There has to be. I don’t usually philosophize, but I do know one thing.”
“What’s that?”
“That even when we’re pretending, even when we’re hiding under wigs or accents or clothes that aren’t our style, we can’t hide our nature. Just like I knew from the moment I met you that you would choose this life. And just like I knew, when you told me about this mission, that you would agree to help the CIA find this girl. You would sacrifice yourself and your time with your brother to save someone. It’s just who you are.”
“I’ve already messed things up, Daly. What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t do it?”
“That’s the thing, though. You’ll find a way.”
I lay back again and buried the side of my face into my pillow. “I’m just not sure how.”
“If you continue to think as you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got,” Daly said. I considered that. I wasn’t ready to give up. At least not yet. “That one is Itosu wisdom, in case you wondered.”
I yawned into the phone. “It’s good advice.”
“I’ll let you go. You should be resting. Don’t you have school in the morning?” He said the last part in a teasing tone.
“Yeah, if I make it through another day at school. Maybe they’ll get rid of me—kick me out or something. You’d think I would have inherited some of my mom’s artistic genius.”
“Can I give you one last bit of advice, Alex?”
“Sure.”
“Throw it all out the window.”
“What?” I stared at my open window. A slight breeze blew the gauzelike drapes in and out as if they were a living creature.
“Everything you’ve learned about art, the lines, the colors, the pictures in your head from other artists—just throw it all out. And throw out everything you’ve learned from books and simulations about being a good spy. Don’t try to be like someone else. Don’t force yourself to follow a set of rules that weren’t meant for you. Those work for 99.99% of the people.”
“You’re telling me I’m the .01%?” I asked skeptically.
“No, I’m telling you you’re not even on the scale.” Daly’s soft breathing traveled through the phone line. “With a mind like yours, you can’t be put in a box. Or even expected to stand outside it. You were never meant to hold still, Alex. You have to stack all the boxes up and climb and keep climbing until you find you. I’m just saying that Alexandra Stewart will find her own way.”
The cool night air brushed the skin of my arm and I wished it was Daly’s hand instead. “You sure have a lot of wisdom tonight,” I told him. I expected him to laugh. Instead, the line went silent for a moment. “Because I’m not there. Because I wish I was.” His words were simple, but his message reached inside my heart and left a warmth—a warmth I needed.
“Thank you, James.”
“Take care, Alex.”
I wanted to say more, to keep him at my ear just a little longer. Yet the words itching to break free couldn’t be said from over two thousand miles away. They needed to happen in person. I wasn’t going home until I found Amoriel. Which meant I had to complete this mission. Not just for Amoriel anymore. I had to do it for me. (page 143) ~ Robin M King,
283:No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.”
She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me.
“Hi,” she whispers.
It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear.
She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast.
Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says.
“Juliette—”
“I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it.
I don’t want to.
Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed.
There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling.
I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed.
Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back.
Because I want her.
Now.
Here.
Everywhere.
I want nothing between us.
I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me.
I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me.
I wonder if I’ve actually died.
But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.”
Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?”
“Just a little longer and I’ll leave.”
“No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—”
“You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.”
“No—”
But now she’s holding a gun.
And pointing it at my heart. ~ Tahereh Mafi,
284:Okay, so I shouldn't have fucked with her on the introduction thing. Writing nothing except, Saturday night. You and me. Driving lessons and hot sex ... in her notebook probably wasn't the smartest move. But I was itching to make Little Miss Perfecta stumble in her introduction of me. And stumbling she is.
"Miss Ellis?"
I watch in amusement as Perfection herself looks up at Peterson. Oh, she's good. This partner of mine knows how to hide her true emotions, something I recognize because I do it all the time.
"Yes?" Brittany says, tilting her head and smiling like a beauty queen.
I wonder if that smile has ever gotten her out of a speeding ticket.
"It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class."
I lean an elbow on the lab table, waiting for an introduction she has to either make up or fess up she knows less than crap about me. She glances at my comfortable position and I can tell from her deer-in-the-headlights look I've stumped her.
"This is Alejandro Fuentes," she starts, her voice hitching the slightest bit. My temper flares at the mention of my given name, but I keep a cool facade as she continues with a made-up introduction. "When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. And he has a secret desire nobody would ever guess."
The room suddenly becomes quiet. Even Peterson straightens to attention. Hell, even I'm listening like the words coming out of Brittany's lying, pink-frosted lips are gospel.
"His secret desire," she continues, "is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson."
Yeah, right. I look over at my friend Isa, who seems amused that a white girl isn't afraid of giving me smack in front of the entire class.
Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa.
I sit up in my chair while the class remains silent.
"This is Brittany Ellis," I say, all eyes now focused on me. "This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets."
It might not be what she wrote, but it's probably close enough to the truth. Unlike her introduction of me.
Chuckles come from mis cuates in the back of the class, and Brittany is as stiff as a board beside me, as if my words hurt her precious ego. Brittany Ellis is used to people fawning all over her and she could use a little wake-up call. I'm actually doing her a favor. Little does she know I'm not finished with her intro.
"Her secret desire," I add, getting the same reaction as she did during her introduction, "is to date a Mexicano before she graduates."
As expected, my words are met by comments and low whistles from the back of the room.
"Way to go, Fuentes," my friend Lucky barks out.
"I'll date you, mamacita, " another says.
I give a high five to another Latino Blood named Marcus sitting behind me just as I catch Isa shaking her head as if I did something wrong. What? I'm just having a little fun with a rich girl from the north side.
Brittany's gaze shifts from Colin to me. I take one look at Colin and with my eyes tell him game on. Colin's face instantly turns bright red, resembling a chile pepper. I have definitely invaded his territory. ~ Simone Elkeles,
285:Eclogue Of The Shepherd And The Townie
SHEPHERD
Not the blue-fountained Florida hotel,
Bell-capped, bellevued, straight-jacketed and decked
With chromium palms and a fromage of moon,
Not goodnight chocolates, nor the soothing slide
Of huîtres and sentinel straight-up martinis,
Neither the yacht heraldic nor the stretch
Limos and pants, Swiss banks or Alpine stocks
Shall solace you, or quiet the long pain
Of cold ancestral disinheritance,
Severing your friendly commerce with the beasts,
Gone, lapsed, and cancelled, rendered obsolete
As the gonfalon of Bessarabia,
The shawm, the jitney, the equestrian order,
The dark daguerreotypes of Paradise.
TOWNIE
No humble folding cot, no steaming sty
Or sheep-dipped meadow now shall dignify
Your brute and sordid commerce with the beasts,
Scotch your flea-bitten bitterness or down
The voice that keeps repeating, “Up your Ars
Poetica, your earliest diapered dream
Of the long-gone Odd Fellows amity
Of bunny and scorpion, the entente cordiale
Of lamb and lion, the old nursery fraud
And droll Aesopic zoo in which the chatter
Of chimp and chaffinch, manticore and mouse,
Diverts us from all thought of entrecôtes,
Prime ribs and rashers, filets mignonnettes,
Provided for the paired pythons and jackals,
Off to their catered second honeymoons
On Noah’s forty-day excursion cruise.”
SHEPHERD
15
Call it. if this should please you, but a dream,
A bald, long-standing lie and mockery,
Yet it deserves better than your contempt.
Think also of that interstellar darkness,
Silence and desolation from which the Tempter,
Like a space capsule exiled into orbit,
Looks down on our green cabinet of peace,
A place classless and weaponless, without
Envy or fossil fuel or architecture.
Think of him as at dawn he views a snail
Traveling with blind caution up the spine
Of a frond asway with its little inching weight
In windless nods that deepen with assent
Till the ambler at last comes back to earth,
Leaving his route, as on the boughs of heaven,
Traced with a silver scrawl. The morning mist
Haunts all about that action till the sun
Makes of it a small glory, and the dew
Holds the whole scale of rainbow, the accord
Of stars and waters, luminously viewed
At the same time by water-walking spiders
That dimple a surface with their passages.
In the lewd Viennese catalogue of dreams
It’s one of the few to speak of without shame.
TOWNIE
It is the dream of a shepherd king or child,
And is without all blemish except one:
That it supposes all virtue to stem
From pure simplicity. But many cures
Of body and of spirit are the fruit
Of cultivated thought. Kindness itself
Depends on what we call consideration.
Your fear of corruption is a fear of thought,
Therefore you would be thoughtless. Think again.
Consider the perfect hexagrams of snow,
Those broadcast emblems of divinity,
That prove in their unduplicable shapes
16
Insights of Thales and Pythagoras.
If you must dream, dream of the ratio
Of Nine to Six to Four Palladio used
To shape those rooms and chapels where the soul
Imagines itself blessed, and finds its peace
Even in chambers of the Malcontenta,
Those just proportions we hypostatize
Not as flat prairies but the City of God.
~ Anthony Evan Hecht,
286:ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do. ~ Jack Kornfield,
287:I guess there’s nothing else to say.” “Oh, I don’t know about that,” he said, crooking a finger. “Come here.” Her throat went dry, and her heart gave a thud. On instinct, she shook her head. His expression turned ruthlessly intent. “Maddie, I’ve been thinking about that mouth of yours for almost twenty-four hours straight. You don’t think I’m going to let you go without touching you, do you?” Had it only been one day? How was that even possible? It seemed as though a lifetime had passed since she’d run out on her wedding. “Um . . .” She swallowed hard and squeaked out, “Yes?” A long pause filled with sexual awareness so thick it practically coated the air. How did he do it, flip the mood? Only moments ago, she’d felt bereft, but with one wicked glance she’d forgotten everything dogging her. “I’ll tell you what.” He smiled, and it was so filled with cunning that the fine hairs on her neck rose in anticipation. “Tell me you won’t regret it and we can end things right here with a friendly pat on the back.” “I-I d-don’t know what you mean,” she lied, loving and hating the direction the conversation had taken. “Do I need to spell it out?” “No?” The word was a question instead of the statement she’d intended. “You want to take care of yourself, right?” She nodded, sensing a trap but unable to stop playing into his hands. He leaned close, placing his elbow on the console, taking up every spare inch of breathing room. “You’re ready to ditch the good Catholic girl and start doing what you want?” The strange mixture of lust and irritation he evoked pulled in her stomach. “Well, when you put it that way.” The curve of his lips held a distinct sexual tilt. “If you get out of this car untouched, tell me you won’t lie in bed late at night and regret it. Tell me you won’t wonder and wish you’d done things differently.” Her pulse hammered and her throat dried up, leaving her unable to breathe, let alone speak. He stroked a path over the line of her jaw, and Maddie forced her eyes to stay open instead of fluttering closed from sheer desire. Why did it feel like an eternity since he’d touched her? Even more troubling, why did his hands feel so right? The slightly rough pads of his fingers trailed down the curve of her neck, leaving an explosion of tingles coursing through her. “And remember, Princess,” he said, in a deep rumble of a voice that vibrated through her as though he were her own personal tuning fork. “Lying is a sin.” She gasped, sucking in the last available bit of air left in the car. “That’s a low blow.” He gave a seductive laugh, filled with heat and promise and the kind of raw passion she’d always dreamed about. “I’m not above playing dirty.” A sly smirk as he rubbed a lazy circle over skin she hadn’t known was sensitive. “In fact, I think you prefer it that way.” “I do not!” Her heart beating far too fast, she clutched at the credit card hard enough to snap it in two. “Liar.” He slipped under the collar of her T-shirt to wrap a possessive hand around the nape of her neck. “I’m waiting.” She gritted her teeth to keep from moaning. How did one man feel so good? Hot and sinful. Irresistible. She whispered, “For what?” “My answer,” he said, inching closer. Their mouths mere inches away. She swallowed hard. The truth sat on the tip of her tongue, and for once in her life, she decided to speak it instead of stuffing it back down. “I’d regret it.” “Exactly,” he said, the word a soft breath against her skin. The pad of his thumb brushed over her bottom lip, sliding over the dampness until it felt swollen. Needy. “I can’t live with myself unless I’ve tasted this mouth.” This ~ Jennifer Dawson,
288:I struggle with an embarrassing affliction, one that as far as I know doesn’t have a website or support group despite its disabling effects on the lives of those of us who’ve somehow contracted it. I can’t remember exactly when I started noticing the symptoms—it’s just one of those things you learn to live with, I guess. You make adjustments. You hope people don’t notice. The irony, obviously, is having gone into a line of work in which this particular infirmity is most likely to stand out, like being a gimpy tango instructor or an acrophobic flight attendant. The affliction I’m speaking of is moral relativism, and you can imagine the catastrophic effects on a critic’s career if the thing were left to run its course unfettered or I had to rely on my own inner compass alone. To be honest, calling it moral relativism may dignify it too much; it’s more like moral wishy-washiness. Critics are supposed to have deeply felt moral outrage about things, be ready to pronounce on or condemn other people’s foibles and failures at a moment’s notice whenever an editor emails requesting twelve hundred words by the day after tomorrow. The severity of your condemnation is the measure of your intellectual seriousness (especially when it comes to other people’s literary or aesthetic failures, which, for our best critics, register as nothing short of moral turpitude in itself). That’s how critics make their reputations: having take-no-prisoners convictions and expressing them in brutal mots justes. You’d better be right there with that verdict or you’d better just shut the fuck up. But when it comes to moral turpitude and ethical lapses (which happen to be subjects I’ve written on frequently, perversely drawn to the topics likely to expose me at my most irresolute)—it’s like I’m shooting outrage blanks. There I sit, fingers poised on keyboard, one part of me (the ambitious, careerist part) itching to strike, but in my truest soul limply equivocal, particularly when it comes to the many lapses I suspect I’m capable of committing myself, from bad prose to adultery. Every once in a while I succeed in landing a feeble blow or two, but for the most part it’s the limp equivocator who rules the roost—contextualizing, identifying, dithering. And here’s another confession while I’m at it—wow, it feels good to finally come clean about it all. It’s that … once in a while, when I’m feeling especially jellylike, I’ve found myself loitering on the Internet in hopes of—this is embarrassing—cadging a bit of other people’s moral outrage (not exactly in short supply online) concerning whatever subject I’m supposed to be addressing. Sometimes you just need a little shot in the arm, you know? It’s not like I’d crib anyone’s actual sentences (though frankly I have a tough time getting as worked up about plagiarism as other people seem to get—that’s how deep this horrible affliction runs). No, it’s the tranquillity of their moral authority I’m hoping will rub off on me. I confess to having a bit of an online “thing,” for this reason, about New Republic editor-columnist Leon Wieseltier—as everyone knows, one of our leading critical voices and always in high dudgeon about something or other: never fearing to lambaste anyone no matter how far beneath him in the pecking order, never fearing for a moment, when he calls someone out for being preening or self-congratulatory, as he frequently does, that it might be true of himself as well. When I’m in the depths of soft-heartedness, a little dose of Leon is all I need to feel like clambering back on the horse of critical judgment and denouncing someone for something. ~ Laura Kipnis,
289:To the river?” he suggested, pointing ahead down the road.
The Recorah River, which flowed south out of the Nineyre Mountains before curving to the west, marked both our eastern and southern borders, and was the reason construction of the wall was necessitated only along the boundary we shared with the Kingdom of Sarterad.
“Won’t there be patrols?”
He shook his head. “One of my duties is to regulate the patrols. I know exactly where they are. So--to the river?”
I nodded, and we lined our horses up as best we could, for our mounts had caught our excitement and were straining against their bits. We locked eyes and counted down together.
“Three, two, one--” I dug my heels into King’s sides and he sprang almost violently forward.
My father had never liked me racing. It was dangerous--the horse could fall, I could drop the reins or lose my seat, and at a full gallop, my chances of survival would be slim. But he had always loved to do it, and so had I. There was such freedom in letting a horse have its head, such joyful abandonment in the feel of the animal’s hooves striking the earth time after time, as fast and as hard as they could go. There was power and exhilaration in leaning forward, moving with the animal, feeling the wind on my cheeks, my hair whipping back. There was a oneness that could not be achieved in any other way, a single purpose represented by the finish line that loomed ahead.
King and I had the advantage at the start, and I turned my head to grin at Saadi before giving my full concentration to the task at hand. I would leave him far behind, but there was no point in testing fate. It wasn’t long before my confidence and my lead were challenged--I caught sight of the gelding’s front legs to my left, gaining ground as they arched and reached in beautiful rhythm. We bumped and battled, following the winding road, the horses breathing hard.
Then it was Saadi’s turn to grin. He gave me a nod, urging his horse up the slight incline that lay before us, gradually inching ahead until he succeeded in passing me completely as we flew down the other side. Knowing the race would be won or lost on the remaining flat ground from here to the river, I lay low against King’s neck, and the stallion pressed forward, sensing my urgency. Race for Papa, King, I thought. You can win for Papa.
The Recorah River spread before us, and both Saadi and I would have to slow soon to avoid surging into it. King’s burst of speed was enough to put us neck-and-neck once more, but my frustration flared, for I doubted we could push ahead. At best, the race would be a tie. And a tie wasn’t good enough, not when King needed to come home with me.
Then suddenly I was in front. I glanced over at Saadi in confusion, and saw him check his gelding, letting me win. King did not want to stop, but I pulled him down just before the river, swerving to let him canter, then trot, along its bank. Saadi came alongside me and we halted, dismounting at the same time. I leaned for a moment against my saddle, panting from my own exertion, then slid it off King’s back. Without a word, Saadi likewise stripped his mount, and we freed the horses to go to the water for a drink. Muscles aching, I flopped down on the grass and stared up through the branches of a tree to the graying sky above.
A shadow passed over me, then Saadi lay down beside me.
“You won,” he said.
“You let me.”
There was a silence--he hadn’t expected me to know. Then I heard the grass rustle as he shrugged. “You’re right. I did.”
Laughing at his candor, I sat up and looked at him. He was relaxing with his arms behind his head, his bronze hair damp and sticking to his forehead. ~ Cayla Kluver,
290:Guys, I’m not in labor. I just moved too quickly, OK?’’ Aisling said.

‘‘Take your hands off her,’’ Drake said in a low voice that sounded very much like a growl.

Jim sucked in its breath, sitting up to watch.

‘‘I’m not hurting her,’’ Gabriel answered, bending over her belly as he continued to gently prod her. ‘‘I’m simply trying to ascertain if she’s in labor or not. Aisling, is the pain sharp or dull?’’

The door opened, and Gabriel’s two bodyguards, Tipene and Maata, entered. Behind them came one of Drake’s men, a thick-necked, redheaded man named István. The latter picked up on Gabriel’s question.

‘‘Aisling is in pain? She is having the baby?’’

‘‘I should examine you more fully,’’ Gabriel said, smiling at Aisling as he took her hand. ‘‘Do not worry, Aisling. I have delivered many dragons over the centuries. My mother is a very good midwifeand has taught me well.’’

Drake snatched up her other hand. ‘‘You will not examine my mate any further! We have an excellent green-dragon midwife who is attending her. Now, get away from her before I have you removed!’’

Aisling looked perfectly fine to me. She rolled her eyes, casting a pleading look skyward. I might not have experience in this area, but it was clear to me that she was not in labor. I shot a glare at Gabriel, grinding my teeth just a little at the stupidity of what was normally such a bright man, my fingers itching to pry his hand from Aisling’s.

‘‘I will tell you once more—remove your hands from her!’’ Drake’s voice got even more menacing.

‘‘Gabriel, I think she would know if she was in labor,’’ I said, nudging the dragon of mydreams a bit more forcefully.

‘‘A voice of reason at last,’’ Aisling said, giving me a smile. ‘‘Guys, I’m not—’’

István turned in the doorway and bellowed out of it. ‘‘Pál! Call the midwife! Aisling is in labor! I will call Nora and Rene. They wish to be here, yes? Should I boil water?’’

He evidently asked the last bit of Maata, who, as the female member of Gabriel’s attendants, was obviously expected to know the answer. Maata looked surprised. ‘‘Would it make you feel better to boil water?’’ she asked.

István nodded his head vigorously. ‘‘It is done, is it not? The boiling of water? It is important. I saw it in a movie.’’

‘‘Then, by all means, boil water,’’ she answered.

István nodded again, announced to the room in general, ‘‘I boil water!’’ and rushed out to suit action to word.

Pál, the second of Drake’s two redheaded bodyguards, slammed into István as he was leaving, scattering apologies as he dashed into the room, a cell phone in his hand. ‘‘The midwife’s phone is busy!’’ he said, offering the phone to Drake as proof.

‘‘Oh, man, if there’s going to be baby juice and blood and guck, I’m getting out of here,’’ Jim said, sidling around the clutch of people that surrounded Aisling. ‘‘I’m going to Amelie’s to be with Cecile. Someone tell me when it’s all over.’’

‘‘Hello, can anyone hear me? I’m not in labor!’’ Aisling said.

‘‘What should I do?’’ Pál asked Drake, shaking the phone at him. ‘‘It is busy! Busy! How can it be busy?’’

A little wisp of smoke escaped Drake’s nose as he glared at the phone. ‘‘It should not be busy. Go fetch her. There is no business she can have as important as this.’’

Pál didn’t stop to answer; he just bolted from the room.

‘‘Oh, for the love of Pete! I’m not in pain! And unless dragons have some sort ofpainless labor, a notion your mother vehemently says is false, then I’m not having the baby,’’ Aisling said, but was drowned out by Maata asking if Gabriel needed help at the same time Tipene offered to take overmidwife phone duty. ~ Katie MacAlister,
291:O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy?

Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question.

O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre.

P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre.

O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction.

P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy.

Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that.

(Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself. ~ Terry Pratchett,
292:Are you certain you’re unharmed?” he asked as the carriage surged into motion. “My nerves are a little rattled, as can be expected, but other than that, I’m fine.” She caught his eye. “I’m incredibly grateful that you and everyone else worked so hard to find me, and were able to rid me of Silas once and for all.” A smile tugged at her lips. “I’m sure after a few weeks have passed, or . . . maybe a few years, when it’s not so very fresh to me, I’ll be able to laugh about it and tell people I was able to participate in my very own gothic-style story, quite like one our favorite author, Mr. Grimstone, might pen.” The mention of Mr. Grimstone had him leaning forward. “We have much to discuss.” Lucetta immediately took to looking wary. “Why do I have the feeling we’re no longer talking about me and . . . my abduction?” “Because we need to talk about us, and talk about where we go from here before we get back to Abigail’s house and everyone distracts us.” Lucetta’s wariness immediately increased. “I’m not certain there’s any need for that, Bram. The danger to me has passed, which means I’m free to return to the theater, and . . . you and I are free to go on our merry ways—and our separate merry ways, at that.” Bram settled back against the carriage seat. “I never took you for a coward, Lucetta.” Temper flashed in her eyes. “I’m not a coward.” “Then why aren’t you willing to at least see where whatever this is between us leads?” “There’s nothing between us.” “Your lips said differently a few days ago, and . . . you enjoy my company—you can’t deny that.” “Perhaps I do enjoy your company, but we’ll leave my lips out of further discussion, if you please. The truth of the matter is that I don’t trust you, I don’t like secrets, which you’re obviously keeping, and . . . I have no desire to become attached to a gentleman who spends time in a dungeon, of all places, and has a mausoleum marking the entrance to his drive.” “Ah, well, yes, but you see, those are some of the things I’d like to discuss with you.” He sent her what he hoped was a most charming smile, but one that only had her arching a brow his way again. Clearing his throat, he sat forward. “To continue, I have to admit that I’ve thought out my explanation regarding all of the things I need to explain in a certain order. So . . . if you’ll humor me, I wrote down a list, and . . .” Digging a hand into his jacket pocket, he pulled out the list and read it through, nodding before he lifted his head. “First, I need to say that—” he blew out a breath—“I’ve bungled practically everything with you so far, starting when I almost drowned you in the moat, er . . . twice.” “You won’t get an argument from me on that.” “I neglected to warn you about my goat.” Her lips twitched right at the corners. “That might be being a little hard on yourself, Bram. You couldn’t have known someone would turn Geoffrey loose on me up in the tower room.” “True, but I should have mentioned that I owned a goat with a curious dislike for ladies in skirts.” “I don’t believe Geoffrey is really at the root of the issues I have with you and Ravenwood, Bram.” He caught her eye and nodded. “I’m at the root of your issues, Lucetta—me and all of my secrets—which is why . . .” He consulted his notes again before he lifted his head. “I’m going to tell you everything, and then . . . ” He glanced one last time at his notes before he looked her way. “After you hear me out, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d consider allowing me to . . . court you.” “Court me?” She began inching toward the carriage door, which was rather disturbing considering the carriage was traveling at a fast clip down the road. Stiffening his resolve, and ignoring the disbelief in her eyes, he nodded. “It would be my greatest honor to court you, especially since I should have asked to court you before I kissed you, and certainly before I offered to marry you . . . twice.” “You ~ Jen Turano,
293:As I trod down the hall, I made and discarded plausible excuses. When I reached the tapestry I decided against speaking at all. I’d just take a quick peek, and if the livery was Merindar, then I’d have to hire someone to ride back and warn the Renselaeuses.
I pulled my soggy cloak up around my eyes, stuck out my gloved finger, and poked gently at the edge of the tapestry.
Remember the surmise I recorded on my arrival at the Residence that day in early spring--that if anyone were to know everyone’s business, it would be the servants?
I glanced inside in time to see a pale, familiar face jerk up.
And for a long, amazing moment, there we were, Meliara and Shevraeth, mud-spattered and wet, just like last year, looking at one another in silence. Then I snatched my hand back, now thoroughly embarrassed, and spun around intending retreat. But I moved too fast for my tired head and fell against the wall, as once again the world lurched around me.
I heard the faint metallic ching of chain mail, and suddenly he was there, his hand gripping my arm. Without speaking, he drew me inside the bare little parlor and pointed silently at a straw-stuffed cushion. My legs folded abruptly, and I plopped down.
“Azmus--” I croaked. “How could you--I sent him--”
“Drink.” Shevraeth put a mug into my hands. “Then we can talk.”
Obediently I took a sip, felt sweet coffee burn its way pleasantly down my throat and push back the fog threatening to enfold my brain. I took a longer draught, then sighed.
The Marquis looked back at me, his face tense and tired, his eyes dark with an intensity that sent a complexity of emotions chasing through me like darting starlings.
“How did you get ahead of me so fast?” I said. “I don’t understand.”
His eyes widened in surprise, as if he’d expected to hear anything but that. “How,” he asked slowly, “did you know I was here? We told no one when I was leaving, or my route, outside of two servants.”
“I didn’t know you were here,” I said. “I sent Azmus to you. With the news. About the Merindars. You mean you already knew?”
“Let us backtrack a little,” he said, “if you will bear with my lamentable slowness. I take it, then, that you were not riding thus speedily to join me?” With his old sardonic tone he added, “Because if you were, your retreat just now is somewhat puzzling, you’ll have to admit.”
I said indignantly, “I peeked in because I thought you might be one of the Merindars, and if so, I’d send a warning back to you. I mean, you if you were there. Does that make sense?” I frowned, shook my head, then gulped down the rest of the coffee.
He smiled just slightly, but the intensity had not left his eyes.
The serving maid came in, carrying a bowl of food and some fresh bread. “Will you have some as well?” she said to me.
“Please,” Shevraeth said before I could speak. “And more coffee.” He waited until she went out, then said, “Now, begin again, please. What is it you’re trying to tell me, and where are you going?”
“I’m going to Orbanith,” I said, and forced myself to look away from the steam curling up from the stew at his elbow. My mouth watered. I swallowed and turned my attention to pulling off my sodden gloves. “I guess I am trying to tell you what you already seem to know--that the Merindars are going on the attack, with hired mercenaries from Denlieff. But--why do you want me to tell you when you do already know all this?” I looked up from wringing out my gloves.
“I am trying,” he said with great care, “to ascertain what your place is in the events about to transpire, and to act accordingly. From whom did you get your information?”
The world seemed to lurch again, but this time it was not my vision. A terrible sense of certainty pulled at my heart and mind as I realized what he was striving so heroically not to say--nevertheless, what he meant.
He thought I was on the other side. ~ Sherwood Smith,
294:I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of the fathers under the streetlamps in the back streets
returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted
stations in the middle of winter, where sleepy sailors scrub the decks, pail in hand and one
eye on the black-and-white television in the distance; of the old booksellers who lurch from
one ϧnancial crisis to the next and then wait shivering all day for a customer to appear; of
the barbers who complain that men don’t shave as much after an economic crisis; of the
children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women
who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they
wait for the bus that never arrives; of the empty boathouses of the old Bosphorus villas; of
the teahouses packed to the rafters with unemployed men; of the patient pimps striding up
and down the city’s greatest square on summer evenings in search of one last drunken
tourist; of the broken seesaws in empty parks; of ship horns booming through the fog; of
the wooden buildings whose every board creaked even when they were pashas’ mansions,
all the more now that they have become municipal headquarters; of the women peeking
through their curtains as they wait for husbands who never manage to come home in the
evening; of the old men selling thin religious treatises, prayer beads, and pilgrimage oils in
the courtyards of mosques; of the tens of thousands of identical apartment house entrances,
their facades discolored by dirt, rust, soot, and dust; of the crowds rushing to catch ferries
on winter evenings; of the city walls, ruins since the end of the Byzantine Empire; of the
markets that empty in the evenings; of the dervish lodges, the tekkes, that have crumbled;
of the seagulls perched on rusty barges caked with moss and mussels, unϩinching under the
pelting rain; of the tiny ribbons of smoke rising from the single chimney of a hundred-yearold
mansion on the coldest day of the year; of the crowds of men ϧshing from the sides of
the Galata Bridge; of the cold reading rooms of libraries; of the street photographers; of the
smell of exhaled breath in the movie theaters, once glittering aϱairs with gilded ceilings,
now porn cinemas frequented by shamefaced men; of the avenues where you never see a
woman alone after sunset; of the crowds gathering around the doors of the state-controlled
brothels on one of those hot blustery days when the wind is coming from the south; of the
young girls who queue at the doors of establishments selling cut-rate meat; of the holy
messages spelled out in lights between the minarets of mosques on holidays that are
missing letters where the bulbs have burned out; of the walls covered with frayed and
blackened posters; of the tired old dolmuşes, ϧfties Chevrolets that would be museum pieces
in any western city but serve here as shared taxis, huϫng and puϫng up the city’s narrow
alleys and dirty thoroughfares; of the buses packed with passengers; of the mosques whose
lead plates and rain gutters are forever being stolen; of the city cemeteries, which seem like
gateways to a second world, and of their cypress trees; of the dim lights that you see of an
evening on the boats crossing from Kadıköy to Karaköy; of the little children in the streets
who try to sell the same packet of tissues to every passerby; of the clock towers no one ever
notices; of the history books in which children read about the victories of the Ottoman
Empire and of the beatings these same children receive at home; of the days when
everyone has to stay home so the electoral roll can be compiled or the census can be taken;
of the days when a sudden curfew is announced to facilitate the search for terrorists and
everyone sits at home fearfully awaiting “the oϫcials”; CONTINUED IN SECOND PART OF THE QUOTE ~ Orhan Pamuk,
295:I walked to the fridge and slipped the desserts and whipped cream inside, taking a deep breath. "What is that?" I asked, not able to place the smell that still somehow made my stomach growl. "Tacos?" I asked, brows drawn together.

"Don't insult me," he said with a smile.

"Not an insult. I like tacos."

"Okay, next time. This time, we're having wet burritos."

"What is a wet burrito?" I asked, propping myself up on the counter and watching as he scooped rice and then a supply of cooked veggies and beans onto the tortilla.

"Depends on your taste. But in general, a tortilla filled with rice, veggies, meat, beans, and cheese. Then you roll it up, melt some more cheese on top then add some Pica de Gallo, salsa verde, rojo, or habanero- depending on what heat-level you can take."

"That sounds too good to be true," I said, meaning it.

"It is. And it goes great with the beer I have cooling in the fridge," he told me, rolling up one burrito and putting a mix of shredded cheeses on top before nuking it for a couple seconds and handing me the plate, gesturing toward the supply of salsas.

He wasn't trying to sweep me off my feet with some three-course meal, but he cooked me something that made that frappe foodgasm moan sound tame when I had my first bite.

"Oh my God."

"I know," he agreed, smiling big at my enjoyment.

And I realized with a sort of blinding clarity that I literally couldn't remember the last time I felt quite so content. It wasn't that kind of 'high' you get when something goes right or you achieve something after a long time trying; it was deeper. It was soul deep. I felt it into my marrow.

"What's that look for?" he asked as he took my plate and put it beside his on the coffee table.

Not sure how to explain it and thinking it was perhaps too soon to even if I could, I took a long swig of my beer and shrugged. "What look?"

To that, his lips tipped up devilishly. "You really want to do this again?"

"Do what?" I asked as he stood suddenly and walked toward the kitchen.

He didn't answer me though as I heard some shuffling before he came walking back with the whipped cream.

"Do the 'I am going to get what I want out of you by using sex to do it' thing," he explained as he slammed the can down on the coffee table and moved to stand between it and the couch, reaching down and pulling me onto my feet.

"Brant..." I said as his fingers teased up under the material of my tee, running across my lower back and inching it off my skin.

"Know what?" he asked as his fingers paused to unclasp my bra.

"No, what?" I asked, feeling my chest get heavier as desire started to course through my system.

"I'm still hungry," he told me, pulling my shirt until I had no choice but to raise up my hands as he pulled off both my shirt and my bra.

"Brant, please..''

"Begging won't help you this time," he informed me as his hands whispered down my belly and unfastened my button and zip before yanking the thick material over my butt then down my thighs.

I stepped out of the material as his hands pressed into my hips and pushed me back toward the couch.

I had barely sat down before he was grabbing for the whipped cream and shaking the can, eyes devilish, smirk downright sinful.

"Lay back," he commanded and I automatically moved to do just that. "Unless you want to end it without all the torture and tell me."

Tell him what?

I had no idea what I was even supposed to tell him anymore and, honestly, even if I did know what... I was pretty sure I wanted every second of a torment that involved him licking things off my body.

I jumped slightly as he circled my nipple with the cold whipped cream, an unexpectedly erotic sensation. He covered both nipples and created a line down the center of my belly and completely covered the skin above my sex.

I waited for him to move over me, to kiss me, then move down to my chest. ~ Jessica Gadziala,
296:Diana” was the first thing out of her mouth. “I’m dying,” the too familiar voice on the other end moaned.

I snorted, locking the front door behind me as I held the phone up to my face with my shoulder. “You’re pregnant. You’re not dying.”

“But it feels like I am,” the person who rarely ever complained whined. We’d been best friends our entire lives, and I could only count on one hand the number of times I’d heard her grumble about something that wasn’t her family. I’d had the title of being the whiner in our epic love affair that had survived more shit than I was willing to remember right then.

I held up a finger when Louie tipped his head toward the kitchen as if asking if I was going to get started on dinner or not. “Well, nobody told you to get pregnant with the Hulk’s baby. What did you expect? He’s probably going to come out the size of a toddler.”

The laugh that burst out of her made me laugh too. This fierce feeling of missing her reminded me it had been months since we’d last seen each other. “Shut up.”

“You can’t avoid the truth forever.” Her husband was huge. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t expect her unborn baby to be a giant too.

“Ugh.” A long sigh came through the receiver in resignation. “I don’t know what I was thinking—”

“You weren’t thinking.”

She ignored me. “We’re never having another one. I can’t sleep. I have to pee every two minutes. I’m the size of Mars—”

“The last time I saw you”—which had been two months ago—“you were the size of Mars. The baby is probably the size of Mars now. I’d probably say you’re about the size of Uranus.”

She ignored me again. “Everything makes me cry and I itch. I itch so bad.”

“Do I… want to know where you’re itching?”

“Nasty. My stomach. Aiden’s been rubbing coconut oil on me every hour he’s here.”

I tried to imagine her six-foot-five-inch, Hercules-sized husband doing that to Van, but my imagination wasn’t that great. “Is he doing okay?” I asked, knowing off our past conversations that while he’d been over the moon with her pregnancy, he’d also turned into mother hen supreme. It made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t living in a different state all by herself with no one else for support. Some people in life got lucky and found someone great, the rest of us either took a long time… or not ever.

“He’s worried I’m going to fall down the stairs when he isn’t around, and he’s talking about getting a one-story house so that I can put him out of his misery.”

“You know you can come stay with us if you want.”

She made a noise.

“I’m just offering, bitch. If you don’t want to be alone when he starts traveling more for games, you can stay here as long as you need. Louie doesn’t sleep in his room half the time anyway, and we have a one-story house. You could sleep with me if you really wanted to. It’ll be like we’re fourteen all over again.”

She sighed. “I would. I really would, but I couldn’t leave Aiden.”

And I couldn’t leave the boys for longer than a couple of weeks, but she knew that. Well, she also knew I couldn’t not work for that long, too.

“Maybe you can get one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up—”

Vanessa let out another loud laugh. “You jerk.”

“What? You could.”

There was a pause. “I don’t even know why I bother with you half the time.”

“Because you love me?”

“I don’t know why.”

“Tia,” Louie hissed, rubbing his belly like he was seriously starving.

“Hey, Lou and Josh are making it seem like they haven’t eaten all day. I’m scared they might start nibbling on my hand soon. Let me feed them, and I’ll call you back, okay?”

Van didn’t miss a beat. “Sure, Di. Give them a hug from me and call me back whenever. I’m on the couch, and I’m not going anywhere except the bathroom.”

“Okay. I won’t call Parks and Wildlife to let them know there’s a beached whale—”

“Goddammit, Diana—”

I laughed. “Love you. I’ll call you back. Bye!”

“Vanny has a whale?” Lou asked. ~ Mariana Zapata,
297:Slickens
DRAMATIS PERSONAE.
HAYSEED _a Granger_
NOZZLE _a Miner_
RINGDIVVY _a Statesman_
FEEGOBBLE _a Lawyer_
JUNKET _a Committee_
_Scene_-Yuba Dam.
_Feegobble, Ringdivvy, Nozzle_.
NOZZLE:
My friends, since '51 I have pursued
The evil tenor of my watery way,
Removing hills as by an act of faith
RINGDIVVY:
Just so; the steadfast faith of those who hold,
In foreign lands beyond the Eastern sea,
The shares in your concern-a simple, blind,
Unreasoning belief in dividends,
Still stimulated by assessments which,
When the skies fall, ensnaring all the larks,
Will bring, no doubt, a very great return.
ALL (_singing_):
O the beautiful assessment,
The exquisite assessment,
The regular assessment,
That makes the water flow.
RINGDIVVY:
The rascally-assessment!
417
FEEGOBBLE:
The murderous assessment!
NOZZLE:
The glorious assessment
That makes my mare to go!
FEEGOBBLE:
But, Nozzle, you, I think, were on the point
Of making a remark about some rightsSome certain vested rights you have acquired
By long immunity; for still the law
Holds that if one do evil undisturbed
His right to do so ripens with the years;
And one may be a villain long enough
To make himself an honest gentleman.
ALL (_singing_):
Hail, holy law,
The soul with awe
Bows to thy dispensation.
NOZZLE:
It breaks my jaw!
RINGDIVVY:
It qualms my maw!
FEEGOBBLE:
It feeds my jaw,
It crams my maw,
It is my soul's salvation!
NOZZLE:
418
Why, yes, I've floated mountains to the sea
For lo! these many years; though some, they say,
Do strand themselves along the bottom lands
And cover up a village here and there,
And here and there a ranch. 'Tis said, indeed,
The granger with his female and his young
Do not infrequently go to the dickens
By premature burial in slickens.
ALL (_singing_):
Could slickens forever
Choke up the river,
And slime's endeavor
Be tried on grain,
How small the measure
Of granger's treasure,
How keen his pain!
RINGDIVVY:
'A consummation devoutly to be wished!'
These rascal grangers would long since have been
Submerged in slimes, to the last man of them,
But for the fact that all their wicked tribes
Affect our legislation with their bribes.
ALL (_singing_):
O bribery's great'Tis a pillar of State,
And the people they are free.
FEEGOBBLE:
It smashes my slate!
NOZZLE:
It is thievery straight!
419
RINGDIVVY:
But it's been the making of me!
NOZZLE:
I judge by certain shrewd sensations here
In these callosities I call my thumbs
thrilling sense as of ten thousand pins,
Red-hot and penetrant, transpiercing all
The cuticle and tickling through the nerves
That some malign and awful thing draws near.
(_Enter Hayseed._)
Good Lord! here are the ghosts and spooks of all
The grangers I have decently interred,
Rolled into one!
FEEGOBBLE:
Plead, phantom.
RINGDIVVY:
You've the floor.
HAYSEED:
From the margin of the river
(Bitter Creek, they sometimes call it)
Where I cherished once the pumpkin,
And the summer squash promoted,
Harvested the sweet potato,
Dallied with the fatal melon
And subdued the fierce cucumber,
I've been driven by the slickens,
Driven by the slimes and tailings!
All my family-my Polly
Ann and all my sons and daughters,
Dog and baby both included
All were swamped in seas of slickens,
420
Buried fifty fathoms under,
Where they lie, prepared to play their
Gentle prank on geologic
Gents that shall exhume them later,
In the dim and distant future,
Taking them for melancholy
Relics antedating Adam.
I alone got up and dusted.
NOZZLE:
Avaunt! you horrid and infernal cuss!
What dire distress have you prepared for us?
RINGDIVVY:
Were I a buzzard stooping from the sky
My craw with filth to fill,
Into your honorable body I
Would introduce a bill.
FEEGOBBLE:
Defendant, hence, or, by the gods, I'll brain thee!Unless you saved some turneps to retain me.
HAYSEED:
As I was saying, I got up and dusted,
My ranch a graveyard and my business busted!
But hearing that a fellow from the City,
Who calls himself a Citizens' Committee,
Was coming up to play the very dickens,
With those who cover up our farms with slickens,
And make himself-unless I am in error
To all such miscreants a holy terror,
I thought if I would join the dialogue
I maybe might get payment for my dog.
ALL (_Singing_):
O the dog is the head of Creation,
421
Prime work of the Master's hand;
He hasn't a known occupation,
Yet lives on the fat of the land.
Adipose, indolent, sleek and orbicular,
Sun-soaken, door matted, cross and particular,
Men, women, children, all coddle and wait on him,
Then, accidentally shutting the gate on him,
Miss from their calves, ever after, the rifted out
Mouthful of tendons that doggy has lifted out!
(_Enter Junket_.)
JUNKET:
Well met, my hearties! I must trouble you
Jointly and severally to provide
A comfortable carriage, with relays
Of hardy horses. This Committee means
To move in state about the country here.
I shall expect at every place I stop
Good beds, of course, and everything that's nice,
With bountiful repast of meat and wine.
For this Committee comes to sea and mark
And inwardly digest.
HAYSEED:
Digest my dog!
NOZZLE:
First square my claim for damages: the gold
Escaping with the slickens keeps me poor!
RINGDIVVY:
I merely would remark that if you'd grease
My itching palm it would more glibly glide
Into the public pocket.
FEEGOBBLE:
Sir, the wheels
422
Of justice move but slowly till they're oiled.
I have some certain writs and warrants here,
Prepared against your advent. You recall
The tale of Zaccheus, who did climb a tree,
And Jesus said: 'Come down'?
JUNKET:
Why, bless your souls!
I've got no money; I but came to see
What all this noisy babble is about,
Make a report and file the same away.
NOZZLE, RINGDIVVY, FEEGOBBLE, HAYSEED:
How'll that help _us_? Reports are not our style
Of provender!
JUNKET:
Well, you can gnaw the file.
~ Ambrose Bierce,
298:The Book Of Hours Of Sister Clotilde
The Bell in the convent tower swung.
High overhead the great sun hung,
A navel for the curving sky.
The air was a blue clarity.
Swallows flew,
And a cock crew.
The iron clanging sank through the light air,
Rustled over with blowing branches. A flare
Of spotted green, and a snake had gone
Into the bed where the snowdrops shone
In green new-started,
Their white bells parted.
Two by two, in a long brown line,
The nuns were walking to breathe the fine
Bright April air. They must go in soon
And work at their tasks all the afternoon.
But this time is theirs!
They walk in pairs.
First comes the Abbess, preoccupied
And slow, as a woman often tried,
With her temper in bond. Then the oldest nun.
Then younger and younger, until the last one
Has a laugh on her lips,
And fairly skips.
They wind about the gravel walks
And all the long line buzzes and talks.
They step in time to the ringing bell,
With scarcely a shadow. The sun is well
In the core of a sky
Domed silverly.
Sister Marguerite said: 'The pears will soon bud.'
Sister Angelique said she must get her spud
And free the earth round the jasmine roots.
Sister Veronique said: 'Oh, look at those shoots!
249
There's a crocus up,
With a purple cup.'
But Sister Clotilde said nothing at all,
She looked up and down the old grey wall
To see if a lizard were basking there.
She looked across the garden to where
A sycamore
Flanked the garden door.
She was restless, although her little feet danced,
And quite unsatisfied, for it chanced
Her morning's work had hung in her mind
And would not take form. She could not find
The beautifulness
For the Virgin's dress.
Should it be of pink, or damasked blue?
Or perhaps lilac with gold shotted through?
Should it be banded with yellow and white
Roses, or sparked like a frosty night?
Or a crimson sheen
Over some sort of green?
But Clotilde's eyes saw nothing new
In all the garden, no single hue
So lovely or so marvellous
That its use would not seem impious.
So on she walked,
And the others talked.
Sister Elisabeth edged away
From what her companion had to say,
For Sister Marthe saw the world in little,
She weighed every grain and recorded each tittle.
She did plain stitching
And worked in the kitchen.
'Sister Radegonde knows the apples won't last,
I told her so this Friday past.
I must speak to her before Compline.'
Her words were like dust motes in slanting sunshine.
250
The other nun sighed,
With her pleasure quite dried.
Suddenly Sister Berthe cried out:
'The snowdrops are blooming!' They turned about.
The little white cups bent over the ground,
And in among the light stems wound
A crested snake,
With his eyes awake.
His body was green with a metal brightness
Like an emerald set in a kind of whiteness,
And all down his curling length were disks,
Evil vermilion asterisks,
They paled and flooded
As wounds fresh-blooded.
His crest was amber glittered with blue,
And opaque so the sun came shining through.
It seemed a crown with fiery points.
When he quivered all down his scaly joints,
From every slot
The sparkles shot.
The nuns huddled tightly together, fear
Catching their senses. But Clotilde must peer
More closely at the beautiful snake,
She seemed entranced and eased. Could she make
Colours so rare,
The dress were there.
The Abbess shook off her lethargy.
'Sisters, we will walk on,' said she.
Sidling away from the snowdrop bed,
The line curved forwards, the Abbess ahead.
Only Clotilde
Was the last to yield.
When the recreation hour was done
Each went in to her task. Alone
In the library, with its great north light,
Clotilde wrought at an exquisite
251
Wreath of flowers
For her Book of Hours.
She twined the little crocus blooms
With snowdrops and daffodils, the glooms
Of laurel leaves were interwoven
With Stars-of-Bethlehem, and cloven
Fritillaries,
Whose colour varies.
They framed the picture she had made,
Half-delighted and half-afraid.
In a courtyard with a lozenged floor
The Virgin watched, and through the arched door
The angel came
Like a springing flame.
His wings were dipped in violet fire,
His limbs were strung to holy desire.
He lowered his head and passed under the arch,
And the air seemed beating a solemn march.
The Virgin waited
With eyes dilated.
Her face was quiet and innocent,
And beautiful with her strange assent.
A silver thread about her head
Her halo was poised. But in the stead
Of her gown, there remained
The vellum, unstained.
Clotilde painted the flowers patiently,
Lingering over each tint and dye.
She could spend great pains, now she had seen
That curious, unimagined green.
A colour so strange
It had seemed to change.
She thought it had altered while she gazed.
At first it had been simple green; then glazed
All over with twisting flames, each spot
A molten colour, trembling and hot,
252
And every eye
Seemed to liquefy.
She had made a plan, and her spirits danced.
After all, she had only glanced
At that wonderful snake, and she must know
Just what hues made the creature throw
Those splashes and sprays
Of prismed rays.
When evening prayers were sung and said,
The nuns lit their tapers and went to bed.
And soon in the convent there was no light,
For the moon did not rise until late that night,
Only the shine
Of the lamp at the shrine.
Clotilde lay still in her trembling sheets.
Her heart shook her body with its beats.
She could not see till the moon should rise,
So she whispered prayers and kept her eyes
On the window-square
Till light should be there.
The faintest shadow of a branch
Fell on the floor. Clotilde, grown staunch
With solemn purpose, softly rose
And fluttered down between the rows
Of sleeping nuns.
She almost runs.
She must go out through the little side door
Lest the nuns who were always praying before
The Virgin's altar should hear her pass.
She pushed the bolts, and over the grass
The red moon's brim
Mounted its rim.
Her shadow crept up the convent wall
As she swiftly left it, over all
The garden lay the level glow
Of a moon coming up, very big and slow.
253
The gravel glistened.
She stopped and listened.
It was still, and the moonlight was getting clearer.
She laughed a little, but she felt queerer
Than ever before. The snowdrop bed
Was reached and she bent down her head.
On the striped ground
The snake was wound.
For a moment Clotilde paused in alarm,
Then she rolled up her sleeve and stretched out her arm.
She thought she heard steps, she must be quick.
She darted her hand out, and seized the thick
Wriggling slime,
Only just in time.
The old gardener came muttering down the path,
And his shadow fell like a broad, black swath,
And covered Clotilde and the angry snake.
He bit her, but what difference did that make!
The Virgin should dress
In his loveliness.
The gardener was covering his new-set plants
For the night was chilly, and nothing daunts
Your lover of growing things. He spied
Something to do and turned aside,
And the moonlight streamed
On Clotilde, and gleamed.
His business finished the gardener rose.
He shook and swore, for the moonlight shows
A girl with a fire-tongued serpent, she
Grasping him, laughing, while quietly
Her eyes are weeping.
Is he sleeping?
He thinks it is some holy vision,
Brushes that aside and with decision
Jumps -- and hits the snake with his stick,
Crushes his spine, and then with quick,
254
Urgent command
Takes her hand.
The gardener sucks the poison and spits,
Cursing and praying as befits
A poor old man half out of his wits.
'Whatever possessed you, Sister, it's
Hatched of a devil
And very evil.
It's one of them horrid basilisks
You read about. They say a man risks
His life to touch it, but I guess I've sucked it
Out by now. Lucky I chucked it
Away from you.
I guess you'll do.'
'Oh, no, Francois, this beautiful beast
Was sent to me, to me the least
Worthy in all our convent, so I
Could finish my picture of the Most High
And Holy Queen,
In her dress of green.
He is dead now, but his colours won't fade
At once, and by noon I shall have made
The Virgin's robe. Oh, Francois, see
How kindly the moon shines down on me!
I can't die yet,
For the task was set.'
'You won't die now, for I've sucked it away,'
Grumbled old Francois, 'so have your play.
If the Virgin is set on snake's colours so strong, --'
'Francois, don't say things like that, it is wrong.'
So Clotilde vented
Her creed. He repented.
'He can't do no more harm, Sister,' said he.
'Paint as much as you like.' And gingerly
He picked up the snake with his stick. Clotilde
Thanked him, and begged that he would shield
255
Her secret, though itching
To talk in the kitchen.
The gardener promised, not very pleased,
And Clotilde, with the strain of adventure eased,
Walked quickly home, while the half-high moon
Made her beautiful snake-skin sparkle, and soon
In her bed she lay
And waited for day.
At dawn's first saffron-spired warning
Clotilde was up. And all that morning,
Except when she went to the chapel to pray,
She painted, and when the April day
Was hot with sun,
Clotilde had done.
Done! She drooped, though her heart beat loud
At the beauty before her, and her spirit bowed
To the Virgin her finely-touched thought had made.
A lady, in excellence arrayed,
And wonder-souled.
Christ's Blessed Mould!
From long fasting Clotilde felt weary and faint,
But her eyes were starred like those of a saint
Enmeshed in Heaven's beatitude.
A sudden clamour hurled its rude
Force to break
Her vision awake.
The door nearly leapt from its hinges, pushed
By the multitude of nuns. They hushed
When they saw Clotilde, in perfect quiet,
Smiling, a little perplexed at the riot.
And all the hive
Buzzed 'She's alive!'
Old Francois had told. He had found the strain
Of silence too great, and preferred the pain
Of a conscience outraged. The news had spread,
And all were convinced Clotilde must be dead.
256
For Francois, to spite them,
Had not seen fit to right them.
The Abbess, unwontedly trembling and mild,
Put her arms round Clotilde and wept, 'My child,
Has the Holy Mother showed you this grace,
To spare you while you imaged her face?
How could we have guessed
Our convent so blessed!
A miracle! But Oh! My Lamb!
To have you die! And I, who am
A hollow, living shell, the grave
Is empty of me. Holy Mary, I crave
To be taken, Dear Mother,
Instead of this other.'
She dropped on her knees and silently prayed,
With anguished hands and tears delayed
To a painful slowness. The minutes drew
To fractions. Then the west wind blew
The sound of a bell,
On a gusty swell.
It came skipping over the slates of the roof,
And the bright bell-notes seemed a reproof
To grief, in the eye of so fair a day.
The Abbess, comforted, ceased to pray.
And the sun lit the flowers
In Clotilde's Book of Hours.
It glistened the green of the Virgin's dress
And made the red spots, in a flushed excess,
Pulse and start; and the violet wings
Of the angel were colour which shines and sings.
The book seemed a choir
Of rainbow fire.
The Abbess crossed herself, and each nun
Did the same, then one by one,
They filed to the chapel, that incensed prayers
Might plead for the life of this sister of theirs.
257
Clotilde, the Inspired!
She only felt tired.
*****
The old chronicles say she did not die
Until heavy with years. And that is why
There hangs in the convent church a basket
Of osiered silver, a holy casket,
And treasured therein
A dried snake-skin.
~ Amy Lowell,
299: II - BEFORE THE CITY-GATE

(Pedestrians of all kinds come forth.)

SEVERAL APPRENTICES

Why do you go that way?

OTHERS

We're for the Hunters' lodge, to-day.

THE FIRST

We'll saunter to the Mill, in yonder hollow.

AN APPRENTICE

Go to the River Tavern, I should say.

SECOND APPRENTICE

But then, it's not a pleasant way.

THE OTHERS

And what will you?

A THIRD
As goes the crowd, I follow.

A FOURTH

Come up to Burgdorf? There you'll find good cheer,
The finest lasses and the best of beer,
And jolly rows and squabbles, trust me!

A FIFTH

You swaggering fellow, is your hide
A third time itching to be tried?
I won't go there, your jolly rows disgust me!

SERVANT-GIRL

No,no! I'll turn and go to town again.

ANOTHER

We'll surely find him by those poplars yonder.

THE FIRST

That's no great luck for me, 'tis plain.
You'll have him, when and where you wander:
His partner in the dance you'll be,
But what is all your fun to me?

THE OTHER

He's surely not alone to-day:
He'll be with Curly-head, I heard him say.

A STUDENT

Deuce! how they step, the buxom wenches!
Come, Brother! we must see them to the benches.
A strong, old beer, a pipe that stings and bites,
A girl in Sunday clothes,these three are my delights.

CITIZEN'S DAUGHTER

Just see those handsome fellows, there!
It's really shameful, I declare;
To follow servant-girls, when they
Might have the most genteel society to-day!

SECOND STUDENT (to the First)

Not quite so fast! Two others come behind,
Those, dressed so prettily and neatly.
My neighbor's one of them, I find,
A girl that takes my heart, completely.
They go their way with looks demure,
But they'll accept us, after all, I'm sure.

THE FIRST

No, Brother! not for me their formal ways.
Quick! lest our game escape us in the press:
The hand that wields the broom on Saturdays
Will best, on Sundays, fondle and caress.

CITIZEN

He suits me not at all, our new-made Burgomaster!
Since he's installed, his arrogance grows faster.
How has he helped the town, I say?
Things worsen,what improvement names he?
Obedience, more than ever, claims he,
And more than ever we must pay!

BEGGAR (sings)
Good gentlemen and lovely ladies,
So red of cheek and fine of dress,
Behold, how needful here your aid is,
And see and lighten my distress!
Let me not vainly sing my ditty;
He's only glad who gives away:
A holiday, that shows your pity,
Shall be for me a harvest-day!

ANOTHER CITIZEN

On Sundays, holidays, there's naught I take delight in,
Like gossiping of war, and war's array,
When down in Turkey, far away,
The foreign people are a-fighting.
One at the window sits, with glass and friends,
And sees all sorts of ships go down the river gliding:
And blesses then, as home he wends
At night, our times of peace abiding.

THIRD CITIZEN

Yes, Neighbor! that's my notion, too:
Why, let them break their heads, let loose their passions,
And mix things madly through and through,
So, here, we keep our good old fashions!

OLD WOMAN (to the Citizen's Daughter)

Dear me, how fine! So handsome, and so young!
Who wouldn't lose his heart, that met you?
Don't be so proud! I'll hold my tongue,
And what you'd like I'll undertake to get you.

CITIZEN'S DAUGHTER

Come, Agatha! I shun the witch's sight
Before folks, lest there be misgiving:
'Tis true, she showed me, on Saint Andrew's Night,
My future sweetheart, just as he were living.

THE OTHER

She showed me mine, in crystal clear,
With several wild young blades, a soldier-lover:
I seek him everywhere, I pry and peer,
And yet, somehow, his face I can't discover.

SOLDIERS

Castles, with lofty
Ramparts and towers,
Maidens disdainful
In Beauty's array,
Both shall be ours!
Bold is the venture,
Splendid the pay!
Lads, let the trumpets
For us be suing,
Calling to pleasure,
Calling to ruin.
Stormy our life is;
Such is its boon!
Maidens and castles
Capitulate soon.
Bold is the venture,
Splendid the pay!
And the soldiers go marching,
Marching away!

FAUST AND WAGNER

FAUST

Released from ice are brook and river
By the quickening glance of the gracious Spring;
The colors of hope to the valley cling,
And weak old Winter himself must shiver,
Withdrawn to the mountains, a crownless king:
Whence, ever retreating, he sends again
Impotent showers of sleet that darkle
In belts across the green o' the plain.
But the sun will permit no white to sparkle;
Everywhere form in development moveth;
He will brighten the world with the tints he loveth,
And, lacking blossoms, blue, yellow, and red,
He takes these gaudy people instead.
Turn thee about, and from this height
Back on the town direct thy sight.
Out of the hollow, gloomy gate,
The motley throngs come forth elate:
Each will the joy of the sunshine hoard,
To honor the Day of the Risen Lord!
They feel, themselves, their resurrection:
From the low, dark rooms, scarce habitable;
From the bonds of Work, from Trade's restriction;
From the pressing weight of roof and gable;
From the narrow, crushing streets and alleys;
From the churches' solemn and reverend night,
All come forth to the cheerful light.
How lively, see! the multitude sallies,
Scattering through gardens and fields remote,
While over the river, that broadly dallies,
Dances so many a festive boat;
And overladen, nigh to sinking,
The last full wherry takes the stream.
Yonder afar, from the hill-paths blinking,
Their clothes are colors that softly gleam.
I hear the noise of the village, even;
Here is the People's proper Heaven;
Here high and low contented see!
Here I am Man,dare man to be!

WAGNER

To stroll with you, Sir Doctor, flatters;
'Tis honor, profit, unto me.
But I, alone, would shun these shallow matters,
Since all that's coarse provokes my enmity.
This fiddling, shouting, ten-pin rolling
I hate,these noises of the throng:
They rave, as Satan were their sports controlling.
And call it mirth, and call it song!
PEASANTS, UNDER THE LINDEN-TREE
(Dance and Song.)

All for the dance the shepherd dressed,
In ribbons, wreath, and gayest vest
Himself with care arraying:
Around the linden lass and lad
Already footed it like mad:
Hurrah! hurrah!
Hurrahtarara-la!
The fiddle-bow was playing.

He broke the ranks, no whit afraid,
And with his elbow punched a maid,
Who stood, the dance surveying:
The buxom wench, she turned and said:
"Now, you I call a stupid-head!"
Hurrah! hurrah!
Hurrahtarara-la!
"Be decent while you're staying!"

Then round the circle went their flight,
They danced to left, they danced to right:
Their kirtles all were playing.
They first grew red, and then grew warm,
And rested, panting, arm in arm,
Hurrah! hurrah!
Hurrahtarara-la!
And hips and elbows straying.

Now, don't be so familiar here!
How many a one has fooled his dear,
Waylaying and betraying!

And yet, he coaxed her soon aside,
And round the linden sounded wide.
Hurrah! hurrah!
Hurrahtarara-la!
And the fiddle-bow was playing.

OLD PEASANT

Sir Doctor, it is good of you,
That thus you condescend, to-day,
Among this crowd of merry folk,
A highly-learned man, to stray.
Then also take the finest can,
We fill with fresh wine, for your sake:
I offer it, and humbly wish
That not alone your thirst is slake,
That, as the drops below its brink,
So many days of life you drink!

FAUST

I take the cup you kindly reach,
With thanks and health to all and each.

(The People gather in a circle about him.)

OLD PEASANT

In truth, 'tis well and fitly timed,
That now our day of joy you share,
Who heretofore, in evil days,
Gave us so much of helping care.
Still many a man stands living here,
Saved by your father's skillful hand,
That snatched him from the fever's rage
And stayed the plague in all the land.
Then also you, though but a youth,
Went into every house of pain:
Many the corpses carried forth,
But you in health came out again.

FAUST

No test or trial you evaded:
A Helping God the helper aided.

ALL

Health to the man, so skilled and tried.
That for our help he long may abide!

FAUST

To Him above bow down, my friends,
Who teaches help, and succor sends!

(He goes on with WAGNER.)

WAGNER

With what a feeling, thou great man, must thou
Receive the people's honest veneration!
How lucky he, whose gifts his station
With such advantages endow!
Thou'rt shown to all the younger generation:
Each asks, and presses near to gaze;
The fiddle stops, the dance delays.
Thou goest, they stand in rows to see,
And all the caps are lifted high;
A little more, and they would bend the knee
As if the Holy Host came by.

FAUST

A few more steps ascend, as far as yonder stone!
Here from our wandering will we rest contented.
Here, lost in thought, I've lingered oft alone,
When foolish fasts and prayers my life tormented.
Here, rich in hope and firm in faith,
With tears, wrung hands and sighs, I've striven,
The end of that far-spreading death
Entreating from the Lord of Heaven!
Now like contempt the crowd's applauses seem:
Couldst thou but read, within mine inmost spirit,
How little now I deem,
That sire or son such praises merit!
My father's was a sombre, brooding brain,
Which through the holy spheres of Nature groped and wandered,
And honestly, in his own fashion, pondered
With labor whimsical, and pain:
Who, in his dusky work-shop bending,
With proved adepts in company,
Made, from his recipes unending,
Opposing substances agree.
There was a Lion red, a wooer daring,
Within the Lily's tepid bath espoused,
And both, tormented then by flame unsparing,
By turns in either bridal chamber housed.
If then appeared, with colors splendid,
The young Queen in her crystal shell,
This was the medicine the patients' woes soon ended,
And none demanded: who got well?
Thus we, our hellish boluses compounding,
Among these vales and hills surrounding,
Worse than the pestilence, have passed.
Thousands were done to death from poison of my giving;
And I must hear, by all the living,
The shameless murderers praised at last!

WAGNER

Why, therefore, yield to such depression?
A good man does his honest share
In exercising, with the strictest care,
The art bequea thed to his possession!
Dost thou thy father honor, as a youth?
Then may his teaching cheerfully impel thee:
Dost thou, as man, increase the stores of truth?
Then may thine own son afterwards excel thee.

FAUST

O happy he, who still renews
The hope, from Error's deeps to rise forever!
That which one does not know, one needs to use;
And what one knows, one uses never.
But let us not, by such despondence, so
The fortune of this hour embitter!
Mark how, beneath the evening sunlight's glow,
The green-embosomed houses glitter!
The glow retreats, done is the day of toil;
It yonder hastes, new fields of life exploring;
Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil,
Upon its track to follow, follow soaring!
Then would I see eternal Evening gild
The silent world beneath me glowing,
On fire each mountain-peak, with peace each valley filled,
The silver brook to golden rivers flowing.
The mountain-chain, with all its gorges deep,
Would then no more impede my godlike motion;
And now before mine eyes expands the ocean
With all its bays, in shining sleep!
Yet, finally, the weary god is sinking;
The new-born impulse fires my mind,
I hasten on, his beams eternal drinking,
The Day before me and the Night behind,
Above me heaven unfurled, the floor of waves beneath me,
A glorious dream! though now the glories fade.
Alas! the wings that lift the mind no aid
Of wings to lift the body can bequeath me.
Yet in each soul is born the pleasure
Of yearning onward, upward and away,
When o'er our heads, lost in the vaulted azure,
The lark sends down his flickering lay,
When over crags and piny highlands
The poising eagle slowly soars,
And over plains and lakes and islands
The crane sails by to other shores.

WAGNER

I've had, myself, at times, some odd caprices,
But never yet such impulse felt, as this is.
One soon fatigues, on woods and fields to look,
Nor would I beg the bird his wing to spare us:
How otherwise the mental raptures bear us
From page to page, from book to book!
Then winter nights take loveliness untold,
As warmer life in every limb had crowned you;
And when your hands unroll some parchment rare and old,
All Heaven descends, and opens bright around you!

FAUST

One impulse art thou conscious of, at best;
O, never seek to know the other!
Two souls, alas! reside within my breast,
And each withdraws from, and repels, its brother.
One with tenacious organs holds in love
And clinging lust the world in its embraces;
The other strongly sweeps, this dust above,
Into the high ancestral spaces.
If there be airy spirits near,
'Twixt Heaven and Earth on potent errands fleeing,
Let them drop down the golden atmosphere,
And bear me forth to new and varied being!
Yea, if a magic mantle once were mine,
To waft me o'er the world at pleasure,
I would not for the costliest stores of treasure
Not for a monarch's robe the gift resign.

WAGNER

Invoke not thus the well-known throng,
Which through the firmament diffused is faring,
And danger thousand-fold, our race to wrong.
In every quarter is preparing.
Swift from the North the spirit-fangs so sharp
Sweep down, and with their barbd points assail you;
Then from the East they come, to dry and warp
Your lungs, till breath and being fail you:
If from the Desert sendeth them the South,
With fire on fire your throbbing forehead crowning,
The West leads on a host, to cure the drouth
Only when meadow, field, and you are drowning.
They gladly hearken, prompt for injury,
Gladly obey, because they gladly cheat us;
From Heaven they represent themselves to be,
And lisp like angels, when with lies they meet us.
But, let us go! 'Tis gray and dusky all:
The air is cold, the vapors fall.
At night, one learns his house to prize:
Why stand you thus, with such astonished eyes?
What, in the twilight, can your mind so trouble?

FAUST

Seest thou the black dog coursing there, through corn and
stubble?

WAGNER

Long since: yet deemed him not important in the least.

FAUST

Inspect him close: for what tak'st thou the beast?

WAGNER

Why, for a poodle who has lost his master,
And scents about, his track to find.

FAUST

Seest thou the spiral circles, narrowing faster,
Which he, approaching, round us seems to wind?
A streaming trail of fire, if I see rightly,
Follows his path of mystery.

WAGNER

It may be that your eyes deceive you slightly;
Naught but a plain black poodle do I see.

FAUST

It seems to me that with enchanted cunning
He snares our feet, some future chain to bind.

WAGNER

I see him timidly, in doubt, around us running,
Since, in his master's stead, two strangers doth he find.

FAUST

The circle narrows: he is near!

WAGNER

A dog thou seest, and not a phantom, here!
Behold him stopupon his belly crawlHis
tail set wagging: canine habits, all!

FAUST

Come, follow us! Come here, at least!

WAGNER

'Tis the absurdest, drollest beast.
Stand still, and you will see him wait;
Address him, and he gambols straight;
If something's lost, he'll quickly bring it,
Your cane, if in the stream you fling it.

FAUST

No doubt you're right: no trace of mind, I own,
Is in the beast: I see but drill, alone.

WAGNER

The dog, when he's well educated,
Is by the wisest tolerated.
Yes, he deserves your favor thoroughly,
The clever scholar of the students, he!

(They pass in the city-gate.)
Faust

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, BEFORE THE CITY-GATE
,
300:No more wine? then we'll push back chairs and talk.
A final glass for me, though: cool, i' faith!
We ought to have our Abbey back, you see.
It's different, preaching in basilicas,
And doing duty in some masterpiece
Like this of brother Pugin's, bless his heart!
I doubt if they're half baked, those chalk rosettes,
Ciphers and stucco-twiddlings everywhere;
It's just like breathing in a lime-kiln: eh?
These hot long ceremonies of our church
Cost us a littleoh, they pay the price,
You take meamply pay it! Now, we'll talk.

So, you despise me, Mr. Gigadibs.
No deprecation,nay, I beg you, sir!
Beside 't is our engagement: don't you know,
I promised, if you'd watch a dinner out,
We'd see truth dawn together?truth that peeps
Over the glasses' edge when dinners done.                    
And body gets its sop and holds its noise
And leaves soul free a little. Now's the time:
'T is break of day! You do despise me then.
And if I say, "despise me,"never fear!
I know you do not in a certain sense
Not in my arm-chair, for example: here,
I well imagine you respect my place
( Status, entourage , worldly circumstance)
Quite to its valuevery much indeed:
Are up to the protesting eyes of you
In pride at being seated here for once
You'll turn it to such capital account!
When somebody, through years and years to come,
Hints of the bishop,names methat's enough:
"Blougram? I knew him"(into it you slide)
"Dined with him once, a Corpus Christi Day,
"All alone, we two; he's a clever man:
"And after dinner,why, the wine you know,
"Oh, there was wine, and good!what with the wine . .
"'Faith, we began upon all sorts of talk!
"He's no bad fellow, Blougram; he had seen
"Something of mine he relished, some review:
"He's quite above their humbug in his heart,
"Half-said as much, indeedthe thing's his trade.
"I warrant, Blougram's sceptical at times:
"How otherwise? I liked him, I confess!"
                    
Che che , my dear sir, as we say at Rome,
Don't you protest now! It's fair give and take;
You have had your turn and spoken your home-truths:
The hand's mine now, and here you follow suit.

Thus much conceded, still the first fact stays
You do despise me; your ideal of life
Is not the bishop's: you would not be I.
You would like better to be Goethe, now,
Or Buonaparte, or, bless me, lower still,
Count D'Orsay,so you did what you preferred,
Spoke as you thought, and, as you cannot help,
Believed or disbelieved, no matter what,
So long as on that point, whate'er it was,
You loosed your mind, were whole and sole yourself.
That, my ideal never can include,
Upon that element of truth and worth
Never be based! for say they make me Pope
(They can'tsuppose it for our argument!)
Why, there I'm at my tether's end, I've reached
My height, and not a height which pleases you:
An unbelieving Pope won't do, you say.
It's like those eerie stories nurses tell,
Of how some actor on a stage played Death,
With pasteboard crown, sham orb and tinselled dart,
And called himself the monarch of the world;                      

Then, going in the tire-room afterward,
Because the play was done, to shift himself,
Got touched upon the sleeve familiarly,
The moment he had shut the closet door,
By Death himself. Thus God might touch a Pope
At unawares, ask what his baubles mean,
And whose part he presumed to play just now?
Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true!

So, drawing comfortable breath again,
You weigh and find, whatever more or less
I boast of my ideal realized,
Is nothing in the balance when opposed
To your ideal, your grand simple life,
Of which you will not realize one jot.
I am much, you are nothing; you would be all,
I would be merely much: you beat me there.

No, friend, you do not beat me: hearken why!
The common problem, yours, mine, every one's,
Isnot to fancy what were fair in life
Provided it could be,but, finding first
What may be, then find how to make it fair
Up to our means: a very different thing!
No abstract intellectual plan of life
Quite irrespective of life's plainest laws,
                      
But one, a man, who is man and nothing more,
May lead within a world which (by your leave)
Is Rome or London, not Fool's-paradise.
Embellish Rome, idealize away,
Make paradise of London if you can,
You're welcome, nay, you're wise.

A simile!
We mortals cross the ocean of this world
Each in his average cabin of a life;
The best's not big, the worst yields elbow-room.
Now for our six months' voyagehow prepare?
You come on shipboard with a landsman's list
Of things he calls convenient: so they are!
An India screen is pretty furniture,
A piano-forte is a fine resource,
All Balzac's novels occupy one shelf,
The new edition fifty volumes long;
And little Greek books, with the funny type
They get up well at Leipsic, fill the next:
Go on! slabbed marble, what a bath it makes!
And Parma's pride, the Jerome, let us add!
'T were pleasant could Correggio's fleeting glow
Hang full in face of one where'er one roams,
Since he more than the others brings with him
Italy's self,the marvellous Modenese!
                      
Yet was not on your list before, perhaps.
Alas, friend, here's the agent . . . is't the name?
The captain, or whoever's master here
You see him screw his face up; what's his cry
Ere you set foot on shipboard? "Six feet square!"
If you won't understand what six feet mean,
Compute and purchase stores accordingly
And if, in pique because he overhauls
Your Jerome, piano, bath, you come on board
Barewhy, you cut a figure at the first
While sympathetic landsmen see you off;
Not afterward, when long ere half seas over,
You peep up from your utterly naked boards
Into some snug and well-appointed berth,
Like mine for instance (try the cooler jug
Put back the other, but don't jog the ice!)
And mortified you mutter "Well and good;
"He sits enjoying his sea-furniture;
"'T is stout and proper, and there's store of it:
"Though I've the better notion, all agree,
"Of fitting rooms up. Hang the carpenter,
"Neat ship-shape fixings and contrivances
"I would have brought my Jerome, frame and all!"
And meantime you bring nothing: never mind
You've proved your artist-nature: what you don't
You might bring, so despise me, as I say.                      

Now come, let's backward to the starting-place.
See my way: we're two college friends, suppose.
Prepare together for our voyage, then;
Each note and check the other in his work,
Here's mine, a bishop's outfit; criticize!
What's wrong? why won't you be a bishop too?

Why first, you don't believe, you don't and can't,
(Not statedly, that is, and fixedly
And absolutely and exclusively)
In any revelation called divine.
No dogmas nail your faith; and what remains
But say so, like the honest man you are?
First, therefore, overhaul theology!
Nay, I too, not a fool, you please to think,
Must find believing every whit as hard:
And if I do not frankly say as much,
The ugly consequence is clear enough.

Now wait, my friend: well, I do not believe
If you'll accept no faith that is not fixed,
Absolute and exclusive, as you say.
You're wrongI mean to prove it in due time.
Meanwhile, I know where difficulties lie
I could not, cannot solve, nor ever shall,
So give up hope accordingly to solve
                      
(To you, and over the wine). Our dogmas then
With both of us, though in unlike degree,
Missing full credenceoverboard with them!
I mean to meet you on your own premise:
Good, there go mine in company with yours!

And now what are we? unbelievers both,
Calm and complete, determinately fixed
To-day, to-morrow and for ever, pray?
You'll guarantee me that? Not so, I think!
In no wise! all we've gained is, that belief,
As unbelief before, shakes us by fits,
Confounds us like its predecessor. Where's
The gain? how can we guard our unbelief,
Make it bear fruit to us?the problem here.
Just when we are safest, there's a sunset-touch,
A fancy from a flower-bell, some one's death,
A chorus-ending from Euripides,
And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears
As old and new at once as nature's self,
To rap and knock and enter in our soul,
Take hands and dance there, a fantastic ring,
Round the ancient idol, on his base again,
The grand Perhaps! We look on helplessly.
There the old misgivings, crooked questions are
This good God,what he could do, if he would,                      
Would, if he couldthen must have done long since:
If so, when, where and how? some way must be,
Once feel about, and soon or late you hit
Some sense, in which it might be, after all.
Why not, "The Way, the Truth, the Life?"

That way
Over the mountain, which who stands upon
Is apt to doubt if it be meant for a road;
While, if he views it from the waste itself,
Up goes the line there, plain from base to brow,
Not vague, mistakeable! what's a break or two
Seen from the unbroken desert either side?
And then (to bring in fresh philosophy)
What if the breaks themselves should prove at last
The most consummate of contrivances
To train a man's eye, teach him what is faith?
And so we stumble at truth's very test!
All we have gained then by our unbelief
Is a life of doubt diversified by faith,
For one of faith diversified by doubt:
We called the chess-board white,we call it black.

"Well," you rejoin, "the end's no worse, at least;
"We've reason for both colours on the board:
"Why not confess then, where I drop the faith
"And you the doubt, that I'm as right as you?"                      

Because, friend, in the next place, this being so,
And both things even,faith and unbelief
Left to a man's choice,we'll proceed a step,
Returning to our image, which I like.

A man's choice, yesbut a cabin-passenger's
The man made for the special life o' the world
Do you forget him? I remember though!
Consult our ship's conditions and you find
One and but one choice suitable to all;
The choice, that you unluckily prefer,
Turning things topsy-turvythey or it
Going to the ground. Belief or unbelief
Bears upon life, determines its whole course,
Begins at its beginning. See the world
Such as it is,you made it not, nor I;
I mean to take it as it is,and you,
Not so you'll take it,though you get nought else.
I know the special kind of life I like,
What suits the most my idiosyncrasy,
Brings out the best of me and bears me fruit
In power, peace, pleasantness and length of days.
I find that positive belief does this
For me, and unbelief, no whit of this.
For you, it does, however?that, we'll try!
'T is clear, I cannot lead my life, at least,

                      
Induce the world to let me peaceably,
Without declaring at the outset, "Friends,
"I absolutely and peremptorily
"Believe!"I say, faith is my waking life:
One sleeps, indeed, and dreams at intervals,
We know, but waking's the main point with us
And my provision's for life's waking part.
Accordingly, I use heart, head and hand
All day, I build, scheme, study, and make friends;
And when night overtakes me, down I lie,
Sleep, dream a little, and get done with it,
The sooner the better, to begin afresh.
What's midnight doubt before the dayspring's faith?
You, the philosopher, that disbelieve,
That recognize the night, give dreams their weight
To be consistent you should keep your bed,
Abstain from healthy acts that prove you man,
For fear you drowse perhaps at unawares!
And certainly at night you'll sleep and dream,
Live through the day and bustle as you please.
And so you live to sleep as I to wake,
To unbelieve as I to still believe?
Well, and the common sense o' the world calls you
Bed-ridden,and its good things come to me.
Its estimation, which is half the fight,
That's the first-cabin comfort I secure:                      
The next . . . but you perceive with half an eye!
Come, come, it's best believing, if we may;
You can't but own that!

Next, concede again,
If once we choose belief, on all accounts
We can't be too decisive in our faith,
Conclusive and exclusive in its terms,
To suit the world which gives us the good things.
In every man's career are certain points
Whereon he dares not be indifferent;
The world detects him clearly, if he dare,
As baffled at the game, and losing life.
He may care little or he may care much
For riches, honour, pleasure, work, repose,
Since various theories of life and life's
Success are extant which might easily
Comport with either estimate of these;
And whoso chooses wealth or poverty,
Labour or quiet, is not judged a fool
Because his fellow would choose otherwise:
We let him choose upon his own account
So long as he's consistent with his choice.
But certain points, left wholly to himself,
When once a man has arbitrated on,
We say he must succeed there or go hang.
                    
Thus, he should wed the woman he loves most
Or needs most, whatsoe'er the love or need
For he can't wed twice. Then, he must avouch,
Or follow, at the least, sufficiently,
The form of faith his conscience holds the best,
Whate'er the process of conviction was:
For nothing can compensate his mistake
On such a point, the man himself being judge:
He cannot wed twice, nor twice lose his soul.

Well now, there's one great form of Christian faith
I happened to be born inwhich to teach
Was given me as I grew up, on all hands,
As best and readiest means of living by;
The same on examination being proved
The most pronounced moreover, fixed, precise
And absolute form of faith in the whole world
Accordingly, most potent of all forms
For working on the world. Observe, my friend!
Such as you know me, I am free to say,
In these hard latter days which hamper one,
Myselfby no immoderate exercise
Of intellect and learning, but the tact
To let external forces work for me,
Bid the street's stones be bread and they are bread;
                    
Bid Peter's creed, or rather, Hildebrand's,
Exalt me o'er my fellows in the world
And make my life an ease and joy and pride;
It does so,which for me's a great point gained,
Who have a soul and body that exact
A comfortable care in many ways.
There's power in me and will to dominate
Which I must exercise, they hurt me else:
In many ways I need mankind's respect,
Obedience, and the love that's born of fear:
While at the same time, there's a taste I have,
A toy of soul, a titillating thing,
Refuses to digest these dainties crude.
The naked life is gross till clothed upon:
I must take what men offer, with a grace
As though I would not, could I help it, take!
An uniform I wear though over-rich
Something imposed on me, no choice of mine;
No fancy-dress worn for pure fancy's sake
And despicable therefore! now folk kneel
And kiss my handof course the Church's hand.
Thus I am made, thus life is best for me,
And thus that it should be I have procured;
And thus it could not be another way,
I venture to imagine.                      

You'll reply,
So far my choice, no doubt, is a success;
But were I made of better elements,
With nobler instincts, purer tastes, like you,
I hardly would account the thing success
Though it did all for me I say.

But, friend,
We speak of what is; not of what might be,
And how't were better if't were otherwise.
I am the man you see here plain enough:
Grant I'm a beast, why, beasts must lead beasts' lives!
Suppose I own at once to tail and claws;
The tailless man exceeds me: but being tailed
I'll lash out lion fashion, and leave apes
To dock their stump and dress their haunches up.
My business is not to remake myself,
But make the absolute best of what God made.
Orour first similethough you prove me doomed
To a viler berth still, to the steerage-hole,
The sheep-pen or the pig-stye, I should strive
To make what use of each were possible;
And as this cabin gets upholstery,
That hutch should rustle with sufficient straw.

But, friend, I don't acknowledge quite so fast
I fail of all your manhood's lofty tastes
                    
Enumerated so complacently,
On the mere ground that you forsooth can find
In this particular life I choose to lead
No fit provision for them. Can you not?
Say you, my fault is I address myself
To grosser estimators than should judge?
And that's no way of holding up the soul,
Which, nobler, needs men's praise perhaps, yet knows
One wise man's verdict outweighs all the fools'
Would like the two, but, forced to choose, takes that.
I pine among my million imbeciles
(You think) aware some dozen men of sense
Eye me and know me, whether I believe
In the last winking Virgin, as I vow,
And am a fool, or disbelieve in her
And am a knave,approve in neither case,
Withhold their voices though I look their way:
Like Verdi when, at his worst opera's end
(The thing they gave at Florence,what's its name?)
While the mad houseful's plaudits near out-bang
His orchestra of salt-box, tongs and bones,
He looks through all the roaring and the wreaths
Where sits Rossini patient in his stall.

Nay, friend, I meet you with an answer here
That even your prime men who appraise their kind
                    
Are men still, catch a wheel within a wheel,
See more in a truth than the truth's simple self,
Confuse themselves. You see lads walk the street
Sixty the minute; what's to note in that?
You see one lad o'erstride a chimney-stack;
Him you must watchhe's sure to fall, yet stands!
Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things.
The honest thief, the tender murderer,
The superstitious atheist, demirep
That loves and saves her soul in new French books
We watch while these in equilibrium keep
The giddy line midway: one step aside,
They're classed and done with. I, then, keep the line
Before your sages,just the men to shrink
From the gross weights, coarse scales and labels broad
You offer their refinement. Fool or knave?
Why needs a bishop be a fool or knave
When there's a thousand diamond weights between?
So, I enlist them. Your picked twelve, you'll find,
Profess themselves indignant, scandalized
At thus being held unable to explain
How a superior man who disbelieves
May not believe as well: that's Schelling's way!
It's through my coming in the tail of time,
Nicking the minute with a happy tact.
Had I been born three hundred years ago
                    
They'd say, "What's strange? Blougram of course believes;"
And, seventy years since, "disbelieves of course."
But now, "He may believe; and yet, and yet
"How can he?" All eyes turn with interest.
Whereas, step off the line on either side
You, for example, clever to a fault,
The rough and ready man who write apace,
Read somewhat seldomer, think perhaps even less
You disbelieve! Who wonders and who cares?
Lord So-and-sohis coat bedropped with wax,
All Peter's chains about his waist, his back
Brave with the needlework of Noodledom
Believes! Again, who wonders and who cares?
But I, the man of sense and learning too,
The able to think yet act, the this, the that,
I, to believe at this late time of day!
Enough; you see, I need not fear contempt.

Except it's yours! Admire me as these may,
You don't. But whom at least do you admire?
Present your own perfection, your ideal,
Your pattern man for a minuteoh, make haste
Is it Napoleon you would have us grow?
Concede the means; allow his head and hand,
(A large concession, clever as you are)
                      
Good! In our common primal element
Of unbelief (we can't believe, you know
We're still at that admission, recollect!)
Where do you findapart from, towering o'er
The secondary temporary aims
Which satisfy the gross taste you despise
Where do you find his star?his crazy trust
God knows through what or in what? it's alive
And shines and leads him, and that's all we want.
Have we aught in our sober night shall point
Such ends as his were, and direct the means
Of working out our purpose straight as his,
Nor bring a moment's trouble on success
With after-care to justify the same?
Be a Napoleon, and yet disbelieve
Why, the man's mad, friend, take his light away!
What's the vague good o' the world, for which you dare
With comfort to yourself blow millions up?
We neither of us see it! we do see
The blown-up millionsspatter of their brains
And writhing of their bowels and so forth,
In that bewildering entanglement
Of horrible eventualities
Past calculation to the end of time!
Can I mistake for some clear word of God
(Which were my ample warrant for it all)
                      
His puff of hazy instinct, idle talk,
"The State, that's I," quack-nonsense about crowns,
And (when one beats the man to his last hold)
A vague idea of setting things to rights,
Policing people efficaciously,
More to their profit, most of all to his own;
The whole to end that dismallest of ends
By an Austrian marriage, cant to us the Church,
And resurrection of the old rgime ?
Would I, who hope to live a dozen years,
Fight Austerlitz for reasons such and such?
No: for, concede me but the merest chance
Doubt may be wrongthere's judgment, life to come!
With just that chance, I dare not. Doubt proves right?
This present life is all?you offer me
Its dozen noisy years, without a chance
That wedding an archduchess, wearing lace,
And getting called by divers new-coined names,
Will drive off ugly thoughts and let me dine,
Sleep, read and chat in quiet as I like!
Therefore I will not.

Take another case;
Fit up the cabin yet another way.
What say you to the poets? shall we write
Hamlet, Othellomake the world our own,
                      
Without a risk to run of either sort?
I can'tto put the strongest reason first.
"But try," you urge, "the trying shall suffice;
"The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life:
"Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate!"
Spare my self-knowledgethere's no fooling me!
If I prefer remaining my poor self,
I say so not in self-dispraise but praise.
If I'm a Shakespeare, let the well alone;
Why should I try to be what now I am?
If I'm no Shakespeare, as too probable,
His power and consciousness and self-delight
And all we want in common, shall I find
Trying for ever? while on points of taste
Wherewith, to speak it humbly, he and I
Are dowered alikeI'll ask you, I or he,
Which in our two lives realizes most?
Much, he imaginedsomewhat, I possess.
He had the imagination; stick to that!
Let him say, "In the face of my soul's works
"Your world is worthless and I touch it not
"Lest I should wrong them"I'll withdraw my plea.
But does he say so? look upon his life!
Himself, who only can, gives judgment there.
He leaves his towers and gorgeous palaces
To build the trimmest house in Stratford town;
                      
Saves money, spends it, owns the worth of things,
Giulio Romano's pictures, Dowland's lute;
Enjoys a show, respects the puppets, too,
And none more, had he seen its entry once,
Than "Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal."
Why then should I who play that personage,
The very Pandulph Shakespeare's fancy made,
Be told that had the poet chanced to start
From where I stand now (some degree like mine
Being just the goal he ran his race to reach)
He would have run the whole race back, forsooth,
And left being Pandulph, to begin write plays?
Ah, the earth's best can be but the earth's best!
Did Shakespeare live, he could but sit at home
And get himself in dreams the Vatican,
Greek busts, Venetian paintings, Roman walls,
And English books, none equal to his own,
Which I read, bound in gold (he never did).
Terni's fall, Naples' bay and Gothard's top
Eh, friend? I could not fancy one of these;
But, as I pour this claret, there they are:
I've gained themcrossed St. Gothard last July
With ten mules to the carriage and a bed
Slung inside; is my hap the worse for that?
We want the same things, Shakespeare and myself,
And what I want, I have: he, gifted more,
                      
Could fancy he too had them when he liked,
But not so thoroughly that, if fate allowed,
He would not have them also in my sense.
We play one game; I send the ball aloft
No less adroitly that of fifty strokes
Scarce five go o'er the wall so wide and high
Which sends them back to me: I wish and get
He struck balls higher and with better skill,
But at a poor fence level with his head,
And hithis Stratford house, a coat of arms,
Successful dealings in his grain and wool,
While I receive heaven's incense in my nose
And style myself the cousin of Queen Bess.
Ask him, if this life's all, who wins the game?

Believeand our whole argument breaks up.
Enthusiasm's the best thing, I repeat;
Only, we can't command it; fire and life
Are all, dead matter's nothing, we agree:
And be it a mad dream or God's very breath,
The fact's the same,belief's fire, once in us,
Makes of all else mere stuff to show itself:
We penetrate our life with such a glow
As fire lends wood and ironthis turns steel,
That burns to ashall's one, fire proves its power
For good or ill, since men call flare success.
                      
But paint a fire, it will not therefore burn.
Light one in me, I'll find it food enough!
Why, to be Lutherthat's a life to lead,
Incomparably better than my own.
He comes, reclaims God's earth for God, he says,
Sets up God's rule again by simple means,
Re-opens a shut book, and all is done.
He flared out in the flaring of mankind;
Such Luther's luck was: how shall such be mine?
If he succeeded, nothing's left to do:
And if he did not altogetherwell,
Strauss is the next advance. All Strauss should be
I might be also. But to what result?
He looks upon no future: Luther did.
What can I gain on the denying side?
Ice makes no conflagration. State the facts,
Read the text right, emancipate the world
The emancipated world enjoys itself
With scarce a thank-you: Blougram told it first
It could not owe a farthing,not to him
More than Saint Paul! 't would press its pay, you think?
Then add there's still that plaguy hundredth chance
Strauss may be wrong. And so a risk is run
For what gain? not for Luther's, who secured
A real heaven in his heart throughout his life,
Supposing death a little altered things.                      

"Ay, but since really you lack faith," you cry,
"You run the same risk really on all sides,
"In cool indifference as bold unbelief.
"As well be Strauss as swing 'twixt Paul and him.
"It's not worth having, such imperfect faith,
"No more available to do faith's work
"Than unbelief like mine. Whole faith, or none!"

Softly, my friend! I must dispute that point
Once own the use of faith, I'll find you faith.
We're back on Christian ground. You call for faith:
I show you doubt, to prove that faith exists.
The more of doubt, the stronger faith, I say,
If faith o'ercomes doubt. How I know it does?
By life and man's free will, God gave for that!
To mould life as we choose it, shows our choice:
That's our one act, the previous work's his own.
You criticize the soul? it reared this tree
This broad life and whatever fruit it bears!
What matter though I doubt at every pore,
Head-doubts, heart-doubts, doubts at my fingers' ends,
Doubts in the trivial work of every day,
Doubts at the very bases of my soul
In the grand moments when she probes herself
If finally I have a life to show,
The thing I did, brought out in evidence
                      
Against the thing done to me underground
By hell and all its brood, for aught I know?
I say, whence sprang this? shows it faith or doubt?
All's doubt in me; where's break of faith in this?
It is the idea, the feeling and the love,
God means mankind should strive for and show forth
Whatever be the process to that end,
And not historic knowledge, logic sound,
And metaphysical acumen, sure!
"What think ye of Christ," friend? when all's done and said,
Like you this Christianity or not?
It may be false, but will you wish it true?
Has it your vote to be so if it can?
Trust you an instinct silenced long ago
That will break silence and enjoin you love
What mortified philosophy is hoarse,
And all in vain, with bidding you despise?
If you desire faiththen you've faith enough:
What else seeks Godnay, what else seek ourselves?
You form a notion of me, we'll suppose,
On hearsay; it's a favourable one:
"But still" (you add), "there was no such good man,
"Because of contradiction in the facts.
"One proves, for instance, he was born in Rome,
"This Blougram; yet throughout the tales of him
                    
"I see he figures as an Englishman."
Well, the two things are reconcileable.
But would I rather you discovered that,
Subjoining"Still, what matter though they be?
"Blougram concerns me nought, born here or there."

Pure faith indeedyou know not what you ask!
Naked belief in God the Omnipotent,
Omniscient, Omnipresent, sears too much
The sense of conscious creatures to be borne.
It were the seeing him, no flesh shall dare
Some think, Creation's meant to show him forth:
I say it's meant to hide him all it can,
And that's what all the blessed evil's for.
Its use in Time is to environ us,
Our breath, our drop of dew, with shield enough
Against that sight till we can bear its stress.
Under a vertical sun, the exposed brain
And lidless eye and disemprisoned heart
Less certainly would wither up at once
Than mind, confronted with the truth of him.
But time and earth case-harden us to live;
The feeblest sense is trusted most; the child
Feels God a moment, ichors o'er the place,
Plays on and grows to be a man like us.
                    
With me, faith means perpetual unbelief
Kept quiet like the snake 'neath Michael's foot
Who stands calm just because he feels it writhe.
Or, if that's too ambitious,here's my box
I need the excitation of a pinch
Threatening the torpor of the inside-nose
Nigh on the imminent sneeze that never comes.
"Leave it in peace" advise the simple folk:
Make it aware of peace by itching-fits,
Say Ilet doubt occasion still more faith!

You'll say, once all believed, man, woman, child,
In that dear middle-age these noodles praise.
How you'd exult if I could put you back
Six hundred years, blot out cosmogony,
Geology, ethnology, what not
(Greek endings, each the little passing-bell
That signifies some faith's about to die),
And set you square with Genesis again,
When such a traveller told you his last news,
He saw the ark a-top of Ararat
But did not climb there since 't was getting dusk
And robber-bands infest the mountain's foot!
How should you feel, I ask, in such an age,
How act? As other people felt and did;
With soul more blank than this decanter's knob,                
Believeand yet lie, kill, rob, fornicate
Full in belief's face, like the beast you'd be!

No, when the fight begins within himself,
A man's worth something. God stoops o'er his head,
Satan looks up between his feetboth tug
He's left, himself, i' the middle: the soul wakes
And grows. Prolong that battle through his life!
Never leave growing till the life to come!
Here, we've got callous to the Virgin's winks
That used to puzzle people wholesomely:
Men have outgrown the shame of being fools.
What are the laws of nature, not to bend
If the Church bid them?brother Newman asks.
Up with the Immaculate Conception, then
On to the rack with faith!is my advice.
Will not that hurry us upon our knees,
Knocking our breasts, "It can't beyet it shall!
"Who am I, the worm, to argue with my Pope?
"Low things confound the high things!" and so forth.
That's better than acquitting God with grace
As some folk do. He's triedno case is proved,
Philosophy is lenienthe may go!

You'll say, the old system's not so obsolete
But men believe still: ay, but who and where?
                    
King Bomba's lazzaroni foster yet
The sacred flame, so Antonelli writes;
But even of these, what ragamuffin-saint
Believes God watches him continually,
As he believes in fire that it will burn,
Or rain that it will drench him? Break fire's law,
Sin against rain, although the penalty
Be just a singe or soaking? "No," he smiles;
"Those laws are laws that can enforce themselves."

The sum of all isyes, my doubt is great,
My faith's still greater, then my faith's enough.
I have read much, thought much, experienced much,
Yet would die rather than avow my fear
The Naples' liquefaction may be false,
When set to happen by the palace-clock
According to the clouds or dinner-time.
I hear you recommend, I might at least
Eliminate, decrassify my faith
Since I adopt it; keeping what I must
And leaving what I cansuch points as this.
I won'tthat is, I can't throw one away.
Supposing there's no truth in what I hold
About the need of trial to man's faith,
Still, when you bid me purify the same,
To such a process I discern no end.
                
Clearing off one excrescence to see two,
There's ever a next in size, now grown as big,
That meets the knife: I cut and cut again!
First cut the Liquefaction, what comes last
But Fichte's clever cut at God himself?
Experimentalize on sacred things!
I trust nor hand nor eye nor heart nor brain
To stop betimes: they all get drunk alike.
The first step, I am master not to take.

You'd find the cutting-process to your taste
As much as leaving growths of lies unpruned,
Nor see more danger in it,you retort.
Your taste's worth mine; but my taste proves more wise
When we consider that the steadfast hold
On the extreme end of the chain of faith
Gives all the advantage, makes the difference
With the rough purblind mass we seek to rule:
We are their lords, or they are free of us,
Just as we tighten or relax our hold.
So, others matters equal, we'll revert
To the first problemwhich, if solved my way
And thrown into the balance, turns the scale
How we may lead a comfortable life,
How suit our luggage to the cabin's size.                    

Of course you are remarking all this time
How narrowly and grossly I view life,
Respect the creature-comforts, care to rule
The masses, and regard complacently
"The cabin," in our old phrase. Well, I do.
I act for, talk for, live for this world now,
As this world prizes action, life and talk:
No prejudice to what next world may prove,
Whose new laws and requirements, my best pledge
To observe then, is that I observe these now,
Shall do hereafter what I do meanwhile.
Let us concede (gratuitously though)
Next life relieves the soul of body, yields
Pure spiritual enjoyment: well, my friend,
Why lose this life i' the meantime, since its use
May be to make the next life more intense?

Do you know, I have often had a dream
(Work it up in your next month's article)
Of man's poor spirit in its progress, still
Losing true life for ever and a day
Through ever trying to be and ever being
In the evolution of successive spheres
Before its actual sphere and place of life,
Halfway into the next, which having reached,
It shoots with corresponding foolery
                    
Halfway into the next still, on and off!
As when a traveller, bound from North to South,
Scouts fur in Russia: what's its use in France?
In France spurns flannel: where's its need in Spain?
In Spain drops cloth, too cumbrous for Algiers!
Linen goes next, and last the skin itself,
A superfluity at Timbuctoo.
When, through his journey, was the fool at ease?
I'm at ease now, friend; worldly in this world,
I take and like its way of life; I think
My brothers, who administer the means,
Live better for my comfortthat's good too;
And God, if he pronounce upon such life,
Approves my service, which is better still.
If he keep silence,why, for you or me
Or that brute beast pulled-up in to-day's "Times,"
What odds is't, save to ourselves, what life we lead?

You meet me at this issue: you declare,
All special-pleading done withtruth is truth,
And justifies itself by undreamed ways.
You don't fear but it's better, if we doubt,
To say so, act up to our truth perceived
However feebly. Do then,act away!
'T is there I'm on the watch for you. How one acts
Is, both of us agree, our chief concern:
                    
And how you'll act is what I fain would see
If, like the candid person you appear,
You dare to make the most of your life's scheme
As I of mine, live up to its full law
Since there's no higher law that counterchecks.
Put natural religion to the test
You've just demolished the revealed withquick,
Down to the root of all that checks your will,
All prohibition to lie, kill and thieve,
Or even to be an atheistic priest!
Suppose a pricking to incontinence
Philosophers deduce you chastity
Or shame, from just the fact that at the first
Whoso embraced a woman in the field,
Threw club down and forewent his brains beside,
So, stood a ready victim in the reach
Of any brother savage, club in hand;
Hence saw the use of going out of sight
In wood or cave to prosecute his loves:
I read this in a French book t' other day.
Does law so analysed coerce you much?
Oh, men spin clouds of fuzz where matters end,
But you who reach where the first thread begins,
You'll soon cut that!which means you can, but won't,
Through certain instincts, blind, unreasoned-out,
                    
You dare not set aside, you can't tell why,
But there they are, and so you let them rule.
Then, friend, you seem as much a slave as I,
A liar, conscious coward and hypocrite,
Without the good the slave expects to get,
In case he has a master after all!
You own your instincts? why, what else do I,
Who want, am made for, and must have a God
Ere I can be aught, do aught?no mere name
Want, but the true thing with what proves its truth,
To wit, a relation from that thing to me,
Touching from head to footwhich touch I feel,
And with it take the rest, this life of ours!
I live my life here; yours you dare not live.

Not as I state it, who (you please subjoin)
Disfigure such a life and call it names,
While, to your mind, remains another way
For simple men: knowledge and power have rights,
But ignorance and weakness have rights too.
There needs no crucial effort to find truth
If here or there or anywhere about:
We ought to turn each side, try hard and see,
And if we can't, be glad we've earned at least
The right, by one laborious proof the more,
To graze in peace earth's pleasant pasturage.
                    
Men are not angels, neither are they brutes:
Something we may see, all we cannot see.
What need of lying? I say, I see all,
And swear to each detail the most minute
In what I think a Pan's faceyou, mere cloud:
I swear I hear him speak and see him wink,
For fear, if once I drop the emphasis,
Mankind may doubt there's any cloud at all.
You take the simple lifeready to see,
Willing to see (for no cloud's worth a face)
And leaving quiet what no strength can move,
And which, who bids you move? who has the right?
I bid you; but you are God's sheep, not mine:
" Pastor est tui Dominus ." You find
In this the pleasant pasture of our life
Much you may eat without the least offence,
Much you don't eat because your maw objects,
Much you would eat but that your fellow-flock
Open great eyes at you and even butt,
And thereupon you like your mates so well
You cannot please yourself, offending them;
Though when they seem exorbitantly sheep,
You weigh your pleasure with their butts and bleats
And strike the balance. Sometimes certain fears
Restrain you, real checks since you find them so;
Sometimes you please yourself and nothing checks:
                      
And thus you graze through life with not one lie,
And like it best.

But do you, in truth's name?
If so, you beatwhich means you are not I
Who needs must make earth mine and feed my fill
Not simply unbutted at, unbickered with,
But motioned to the velvet of the sward
By those obsequious wethers' very selves.
Look at me, sir; my age is double yours:
At yours, I knew beforehand, so enjoyed,
What now I should beas, permit the word,
I pretty well imagine your whole range
And stretch of tether twenty years to come.
We both have minds and bodies much alike:
In truth's name, don't you want my bishopric,
My daily bread, my influence and my state?
You're young. I'm old; you must be old one day;
Will you find then, as I do hour by hour,
Women their lovers kneel to, who cut curls
From your fat lap-dog's ear to grace a brooch
Dukes, who petition just to kiss your ring
With much beside you know or may conceive?
Suppose we die to-night: well, here am I,
Such were my gains, life bore this fruit to me,
While writing all the same my articles
                    
On music, poetry, the fictile vase
Found at Albano, chess, Anacreon's Greek.
But youthe highest honour in your life,
The thing you'll crown yourself with, all your days,
Isdining here and drinking this last glass
I pour you out in sign of amity
Before we part for ever. Of your power
And social influence, worldly worth in short,
Judge what's my estimation by the fact,
I do not condescend to enjoin, beseech,
Hint secrecy on one of all these words!
You're shrewd and know that should you publish one
The world would brand the liemy enemies first,
Who'd sneer"the bishop's an arch-hypocrite
"And knave perhaps, but not so frank a fool."
Whereas I should not dare for both my ears
Breathe one such syllable, smile one such smile,
Before the chaplain who reflects myself
My shade's so much more potent than your flesh.
What's your reward, self-abnegating friend?
Stood you confessed of those exceptional
And privileged great natures that dwarf mine
A zealot with a mad ideal in reach,
A poet just about to print his ode,
A statesman with a scheme to stop this war,
An artist whose religion is his art
    
~ Robert Browning, Bishop Blougram's Apology
,
301:The Unknown Eros. Book I.
Saint Valentine’s Day
Well dost thou, Love, thy solemn Feast to hold
In vestal February;
Not rather choosing out some rosy day
From the rich coronet of the coming May,
When all things meet to marry!
O, quick, prævernal Power
That signall'st punctual through the sleepy mould
The Snowdrop's time to flower,
Fair as the rash oath of virginity
Which is first-love's first cry;
O, Baby Spring,
That flutter'st sudden 'neath the breast of Earth
A month before the birth;
Whence is the peaceful poignancy,
The joy contrite,
Sadder than sorrow, sweeter than delight,
That burthens now the breath of everything,
Though each one sighs as if to each alone
The cherish'd pang were known?
At dusk of dawn, on his dark spray apart,
With it the Blackbird breaks the young Day's heart;
In evening's hush
About it talks the heavenly-minded Thrush;
The hill with like remorse
Smiles to the Sun's smile in his westering course;
The fisher's drooping skiff
In yonder sheltering bay;
The choughs that call about the shining cliff;
The children, noisy in the setting ray;
Own the sweet season, each thing as it may;
Thoughts of strange kindness and forgotten peace
In me increase;
And tears arise
Within my happy, happy Mistress' eyes,
And, lo, her lips, averted from my kiss,
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Ask from Love's bounty, ah, much more than bliss!
Is't the sequester'd and exceeding sweet
Of dear Desire electing his defeat?
Is't the waked Earth now to yon purpling cope
Uttering first-love's first cry,
Vainly renouncing, with a Seraph's sigh,
Love's natural hope?
Fair-meaning Earth, foredoom'd to perjury!
Behold, all amorous May,
With roses heap'd upon her laughing brows,
Avoids thee of thy vows!
Were it for thee, with her warm bosom near,
To abide the sharpness of the Seraph's sphere?
Forget thy foolish words;
Go to her summons gay,
Thy heart with dead, wing'd Innocencies fill'd,
Ev'n as a nest with birds
After the old ones by the hawk are kill'd.
Well dost thou, Love, to celebrate
The noon of thy soft ecstasy,
Or e'er it be too late,
Or e'er the Snowdrop die!
II
Wind And Wave
The wedded light and heat,
Winnowing the witless space,
Without a let,
What are they till they beat
Against the sleepy sod, and there beget
Perchance the violet!
Is the One found,
Amongst a wilderness of as happy grace,
To make Heaven's bound;
So that in Her
All which it hath of sensitively good
Is sought and understood
After the narrow mode the mighty Heavens prefer?
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She, as a little breeze
Following still Night,
Ripples the spirit's cold, deep seas
Into delight;
But, in a while,
The immeasurable smile
Is broke by fresher airs to flashes blent
With darkling discontent;
And all the subtle zephyr hurries gay,
And all the heaving ocean heaves one way,
T'ward the void sky-line and an unguess'd weal;
Until the vanward billows feel
The agitating shallows, and divine the goal,
And to foam roll,
And spread and stray
And traverse wildly, like delighted hands,
The fair and fleckless sands;
And so the whole
Unfathomable and immense
Triumphing tide comes at the last to reach
And burst in wind-kiss'd splendours on the deaf'ning beach,
Where forms of children in first innocence
Laugh and fling pebbles on the rainbow'd crest
Of its untired unrest.
III
Winter
I, singularly moved
To love the lovely that are not beloved,
Of all the Seasons, most
Love Winter, and to trace
The sense of the Trophonian pallor on her face.
It is not death, but plenitude of peace;
And the dim cloud that does the world enfold
Hath less the characters of dark and cold
Than warmth and light asleep,
And correspondent breathing seems to keep
With the infant harvest, breathing soft below
Its eider coverlet of snow.
Nor is in field or garden anything
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But, duly look'd into, contains serene
The substance of things hoped for, in the Spring,
And evidence of Summer not yet seen.
On every chance-mild day
That visits the moist shaw,
The honeysuckle, 'sdaining to be crost
In urgence of sweet life by sleet or frost,
'Voids the time's law
With still increase
Of leaflet new, and little, wandering spray;
Often, in sheltering brakes,
As one from rest disturb'd in the first hour,
Primrose or violet bewilder'd wakes,
And deems 'tis time to flower;
Though not a whisper of her voice he hear,
The buried bulb does know
The signals of the year,
And hails far Summer with his lifted spear.
The gorse-field dark, by sudden, gold caprice,
Turns, here and there, into a Jason's fleece;
Lilies, that soon in Autumn slipp'd their gowns of green,
And vanish'd into earth,
And came again, ere Autumn died, to birth,
Stand full-array'd, amidst the wavering shower,
And perfect for the Summer, less the flower;
In nook of pale or crevice of crude bark,
Thou canst not miss,
If close thou spy, to mark
The ghostly chrysalis,
That, if thou touch it, stirs in its dream dark;
And the flush'd Robin, in the evenings hoar,
Does of Love's Day, as if he saw it, sing;
But sweeter yet than dream or song of Summer or Spring
Are Winter's sometime smiles, that seem to well
From infancy ineffable;
Her wandering, languorous gaze,
So unfamiliar, so without amaze,
On the elemental, chill adversity,
The uncomprehended rudeness; and her sigh
And solemn, gathering tear,
And look of exile from some great repose, the sphere
Of ether, moved by ether only, or
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By something still more tranquil.
IV
Beta
Of infinite Heaven the rays,
Piercing some eyelet in our cavern black,
Ended their viewless track
On thee to smite
Solely, as on a diamond stalactite,
And in mid-darkness lit a rainbow's blaze,
Wherein the absolute Reason, Power, and Love,
That erst could move
Mainly in me but toil and weariness,
Renounced their deadening might,
Renounced their undistinguishable stress
Of withering white,
And did with gladdest hues my spirit caress,
Nothing of Heaven in thee showing infinite,
Save the delight.
The Day After To-Morrow
Perchance she droops within the hollow gulf
Which the great wave of coming pleasure draws,
Not guessing the glad cause!
Ye Clouds that on your endless journey go,
Ye Winds that westward flow,
Thou heaving Sea
That heav'st 'twixt her and me,
Tell her I come;
Then only sigh your pleasure, and be dumb;
For the sweet secret of our either self
We know.
Tell her I come,
And let her heart be still'd.
One day's controlled hope, and then one more,
And on the third our lives shall be fulfill'd!
Yet all has been before:
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Palm placed in palm, twin smiles, and words astray.
What other should we say?
But shall I not, with ne'er a sign, perceive,
Whilst her sweet hands I hold,
The myriad threads and meshes manifold
Which Love shall round her weave:
The pulse in that vein making alien pause
And varying beats from this;
Down each long finger felt, a differing strand
Of silvery welcome bland;
And in her breezy palm
And silken wrist,
Beneath the touch of my like numerous bliss
Complexly kiss'd,
A diverse and distinguishable calm?
What should we say!
It all has been before;
And yet our lives shall now be first fulfill'd,
And into their summ'd sweetness fall distill'd
One sweet drop more;
One sweet drop more, in absolute increase
Of unrelapsing peace.
O, heaving Sea,
That heav'st as if for bliss of her and me,
And separatest not dear heart from heart,
Though each 'gainst other beats too far apart,
For yet awhile
Let it not seem that I behold her smile.
O, weary Love, O, folded to her breast,
Love in each moment years and years of rest,
Be calm, as being not.
Ye oceans of intolerable delight,
The blazing photosphere of central Night,
Be ye forgot.
Terror, thou swarthy Groom of Bride-bliss coy,
Let me not see thee toy.
O, Death, too tardy with thy hope intense
Of kisses close beyond conceit of sense;
O, Life, too liberal, while to take her hand
Is more of hope than heart can understand;
Perturb my golden patience not with joy,
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Nor, through a wish, profane
The peace that should pertain
To him who does by her attraction move.
Has all not been before?
One day's controlled hope, and one again,
And then the third, and ye shall have the rein,
O Life, Death, Terror, Love!
But soon let your unrestful rapture cease,
Ye flaming Ethers thin,
Condensing till the abiding sweetness win
One sweet drop more;
One sweet drop more in the measureless increase
Of honied peace.
VI
Tristitia
Darling, with hearts conjoin'd in such a peace
That Hope, so not to cease,
Must still gaze back,
And count, along our love's most happy track,
The landmarks of like inconceiv'd increase,
Promise me this:
If thou alone should'st win
God's perfect bliss,
And I, beguiled by gracious-seeming sin,
Say, loving too much thee,
Love's last goal miss,
And any vows may then have memory,
Never, by grief for what I bear or lack,
To mar thy joyance of heav'n's jubilee.
Promise me this;
For else I should be hurl'd,
Beyond just doom
And by thy deed, to Death's interior gloom,
From the mild borders of the banish'd world
Wherein they dwell
Who builded not unalterable fate
On pride, fraud, envy, cruel lust, or hate;
Yet loved too laxly sweetness and heart's ease,
And strove the creature more than God to please.
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For such as these
Loss without measure, sadness without end!
Yet not for this do thou disheaven'd be
With thinking upon me.
Though black, when scann'd from heaven's surpassing bright,
This might mean light,
Foil'd with the dim days of mortality.
For God is everywhere.
Go down to deepest Hell, and He is there,
And, as a true but quite estranged Friend,
He works, 'gainst gnashing teeth of devilish ire,
With love deep hidden lest it be blasphemed,
If possible, to blend
Ease with the pangs of its inveterate fire;
Yea, in the worst
And from His Face most wilfully accurst
Of souls in vain redeem'd,
He does with potions of oblivion kill
Remorse of the lost Love that helps them still.
Apart from these,
Near the sky-borders of that banish'd world,
Wander pale spirits among willow'd leas,
Lost beyond measure, sadden'd without end,
But since, while erring most, retaining yet
Some ineffectual fervour of regret,
Retaining still such weal
As spurned Lovers feel,
Preferring far to all the world's delight
Their loss so infinite,
Or Poets, when they mark
In the clouds dun
A loitering flush of the long sunken sun,
And turn away with tears into the dark.
Know, Dear, these are not mine
But Wisdom's words, confirmed by divine
Doctors and Saints, though fitly seldom heard
Save in their own prepense-occulted word,
Lest fools be fool'd the further by false hope,
And wrest sweet knowledge to their own decline;
217
And (to approve I speak within my scope)
The Mistress of that dateless exile gray
Is named in surpliced Schools Tristitia.
But, O, my Darling, look in thy heart and see
How unto me,
Secured of my prime care, thy happy state,
In the most unclean cell
Of sordid Hell,
And worried by the most ingenious hate,
It never could be anything but well,
Nor from my soul, full of thy sanctity,
Such pleasure die
As the poor harlot's, in whose body stirs
The innocent life that is and is not hers:
Unless, alas, this fount of my relief
By thy unheavenly grief
Were closed.
So, with a consecrating kiss
And hearts made one in past all previous peace,
And on one hope reposed,
Promise me this!
VII
The Azalea
There, where the sun shines first
Against our room,
She train'd the gold Azalea, whose perfume
She, Spring-like, from her breathing grace dispersed.
Last night the delicate crests of saffron bloom,
For this their dainty likeness watch'd and nurst,
Were just at point to burst.
At dawn I dream'd, O God, that she was dead,
And groan'd aloud upon my wretched bed,
And waked, ah, God, and did not waken her,
But lay, with eyes still closed,
Perfectly bless'd in the delicious sphere
By which I knew so well that she was near,
My heart to speechless thankfulness composed.
Till 'gan to stir
218
A dizzy somewhat in my troubled head—
It was the azalea's breath, and she was dead!
The warm night had the lingering buds disclosed,
And I had fall'n asleep with to my breast
A chance-found letter press'd
In which she said,
‘So, till to-morrow eve, my Own, adieu!
Parting's well-paid with soon again to meet,
Soon in your arms to feel so small and sweet,
Sweet to myself that am so sweet to you!’
VIII
Departure
It was not like your great and gracious ways!
Do you, that have nought other to lament,
Never, my Love, repent
Of how, that July afternoon,
You went,
With sudden, unintelligible phrase,
And frighten'd eye,
Upon your journey of so many days,
Without a single kiss, or a good-bye?
I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon;
And so we sate, within the low sun's rays,
You whispering to me, for your voice was weak,
Your harrowing praise.
Well, it was well,
To hear you such things speak,
And I could tell
What made your eyes a growing gloom of love,
As a warm South-wind sombres a March grove.
And it was like your great and gracious ways
To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear,
Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash
To let the laughter flash,
Whilst I drew near,
Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear.
But all at once to leave me at the last,
More at the wonder than the loss aghast,
With huddled, unintelligible phrase,
219
And frighten'd eye,
And go your journey of all days
With not one kiss, or a good-bye,
And the only loveless look the look with which you pass'd:
'Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways.
IX
Eurydice
Is this the portent of the day nigh past,
And of a restless grave
O'er which the eternal sadness gathers fast;
Or but the heaped wave
Of some chance, wandering tide,
Such as that world of awe
Whose circuit, listening to a foreign law,
Conjunctures ours at unguess'd dates and wide,
Does in the Spirit's tremulous ocean draw,
To pass unfateful on, and so subside?
Thee, whom ev'n more than Heaven loved I have,
And yet have not been true
Even to thee,
I, dreaming, night by night, seek now to see,
And, in a mortal sorrow, still pursue
Thro' sordid streets and lanes
And houses brown and bare
And many a haggard stair
Ochrous with ancient stains,
And infamous doors, opening on hapless rooms,
In whose unhaunted glooms
Dead pauper generations, witless of the sun,
Their course have run;
And ofttimes my pursuit
Is check'd of its dear fruit
By things brimful of hate, my kith and kin,
Furious that I should keep
Their forfeit power to weep,
And mock, with living fear, their mournful malice thin.
But ever, at the last, my way I win
To where, with perfectly sad patience, nurst
By sorry comfort of assured worst,
220
Ingrain'd in fretted cheek and lips that pine,
On pallet poor
Thou lyest, stricken sick,
Beyond love's cure,
By all the world's neglect, but chiefly mine.
Then sweetness, sweeter than my tongue can tell,
Does in my bosom well,
And tears come free and quick
And more and more abound
For piteous passion keen at having found,
After exceeding ill, a little good;
A little good
Which, for the while,
Fleets with the current sorrow of the blood,
Though no good here has heart enough to smile.
The Toys
My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
I struck him, and dismiss'd
With hard words and unkiss'd,
His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet
From his late sobbing wet.
And I, with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on a table drawn beside his head,
He had put, within his reach,
A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone,
A piece of glass abraded by the beach
And six or seven shells,
A bottle with bluebells
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,
To comfort his sad heart.
So when that night I pray'd
221
To God, I wept, and said:
Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath,
Not vexing Thee in death,
And Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys,
How weakly understood,
Thy great commanded good,
Then, fatherly not less
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say,
‘I will be sorry for their childishness.’
XI
Tired Memory
The stony rock of death's insensibility
Well'd yet awhile with honey of thy love
And then was dry;
Nor could thy picture, nor thine empty glove,
Nor all thy kind, long letters, nor the band
Which really spann'd
Thy body chaste and warm,
Thenceforward move
Upon the stony rock their wearied charm.
At last, then, thou wast dead.
Yet would I not despair,
But wrought my daily task, and daily said
Many and many a fond, unfeeling prayer,
To keep my vows of faith to thee from harm.
In vain.
‘For 'tis,’ I said, ‘all one,
The wilful faith, which has no joy or pain,
As if 'twere none.’
Then look'd I miserably round
If aught of duteous love were left undone,
And nothing found.
But, kneeling in a Church, one Easter-Day,
It came to me to say:
‘Though there is no intelligible rest,
In Earth or Heaven,
For me, but on her breast,
222
I yield her up, again to have her given,
Or not, as, Lord, Thou wilt, and that for aye.’
And the same night, in slumber lying,
I, who had dream'd of thee as sad and sick and dying,
And only so, nightly for all one year,
Did thee, my own most Dear,
Possess,
In gay, celestial beauty nothing coy,
And felt thy soft caress
With heretofore unknown reality of joy.
But, in our mortal air,
None thrives for long upon the happiest dream,
And fresh despair
Bade me seek round afresh for some extreme
Of unconceiv'd, interior sacrifice
Whereof the smoke might rise
To God, and 'mind Him that one pray'd below.
And so,
In agony, I cried:
‘My Lord, if Thy strange will be this,
That I should crucify my heart,
Because my love has also been my pride,
I do submit, if I saw how, to bliss
Wherein She has no part.’
And I was heard,
And taken at my own remorseless word.
O, my most Dear,
Was't treason, as I fear?
'Twere that, and worse, to plead thy veiled mind,
Kissing thy babes, and murmuring in mine ear,
‘Thou canst not be
Faithful to God, and faithless unto me!’
Ah, prophet kind!
I heard, all dumb and blind
With tears of protest; and I cannot see
But faith was broken. Yet, as I have said,
My heart was dead,
Dead of devotion and tired memory,
When a strange grace of thee
In a fair stranger, as I take it, bred
To her some tender heed,
Most innocent
223
Of purpose therewith blent,
And pure of faith, I think, to thee; yet such
That the pale reflex of an alien love,
So vaguely, sadly shown,
Did her heart touch
Above
All that, till then, had woo'd her for its own.
And so the fear, which is love's chilly dawn,
Flush'd faintly upon lids that droop'd like thine,
And made me weak,
By thy delusive likeness doubly drawn,
And Nature's long suspended breath of flame
Persuading soft, and whispering Duty's name,
Awhile to smile and speak
With this thy Sister sweet, and therefore mine;
Thy Sister sweet,
Who bade the wheels to stir
Of sensitive delight in the poor brain,
Dead of devotion and tired memory,
So that I lived again,
And, strange to aver,
With no relapse into the void inane,
For thee;
But (treason was't?) for thee and also her.
XII
Magna Est Veritas
Here, in this little Bay,
Full of tumultuous life and great repose,
Where, twice a day,
The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes,
Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town,
I sit me down.
For want of me the world's course will not fail:
When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
The truth is great, and shall prevail,
When none cares whether it prevail or not.
XIII
224
1867
In the year of the great crime,
When the false English Nobles and their Jew,
By God demented, slew
The Trust they stood twice pledged to keep from wrong,
One said, Take up thy Song,
That breathes the mild and almost mythic time
Of England's prime!
But I, Ah, me,
The freedom of the few
That, in our free Land, were indeed the free,
Can song renew?
Ill singing 'tis with blotting prison-bars,
How high soe'er, betwixt us and the stars;
Ill singing 'tis when there are none to hear;
And days are near
When England shall forget
The fading glow which, for a little while,
Illumes her yet,
The lovely smile
That grows so faint and wan,
Her people shouting in her dying ear,
Are not two daws worth two of any swan!
Ye outlaw'd Best, who yet are bright
With the sunken light,
Whose common style
Is Virtue at her gracious ease,
The flower of olden sanctities,
Ye haply trust, by love's benignant guile,
To lure the dark and selfish brood
To their own hated good;
Ye haply dream
Your lives shall still their charmful sway sustain,
Unstifled by the fever'd steam
That rises from the plain.
Know, 'twas the force of function high,
In corporate exercise, and public awe
Of Nature's, Heaven's, and England's Law
That Best, though mix'd with Bad, should reign,
Which kept you in your sky!
225
But, when the sordid Trader caught
The loose-held sceptre from your hands distraught,
And soon, to the Mechanic vain,
Sold the proud toy for nought,
Your charm was broke, your task was sped,
Your beauty, with your honour, dead,
And though you still are dreaming sweet
Of being even now not less
Than Gods and Goddesses, ye shall not long so cheat
Your hearts of their due heaviness.
Go, get you for your evil watching shriven!
Leave to your lawful Master's itching hands
Your unking'd lands,
But keep, at least, the dignity
Of deigning not, for his smooth use, to be,
Voteless, the voted delegates
Of his strange interests, loves and hates.
In sackcloth, or in private strife
With private ill, ye may please Heaven,
And soothe the coming pangs of sinking life;
And prayer perchance may win
A term to God's indignant mood
And the orgies of the multitude,
Which now begin;
But do not hope to wave the silken rag
Of your unsanction'd flag,
And so to guide
The great ship, helmless on the swelling tide
Of that presumptuous Sea,
Unlit by sun or moon, yet inly bright
With lights innumerable that give no light,
Flames of corrupted will and scorn of right,
Rejoicing to be free.
And, now, because the dark comes on apace
When none can work for fear,
And Liberty in every Land lies slain,
And the two Tyrannies unchallenged reign,
And heavy prophecies, suspended long
At supplication of the righteous few,
And so discredited, to fulfilment throng,
Restrain'd no more by faithful prayer or tear,
226
And the dread baptism of blood seems near
That brings to the humbled Earth the Time of Grace,
Breathless be song,
And let Christ's own look through
The darkness, suddenly increased,
To the gray secret lingering in the East.
XIV
‘If I Were Dead’
‘If I were dead, you'd sometimes say, Poor Child!’
The dear lips quiver'd as they spake,
And the tears brake
From eyes which, not to grieve me, brightly smiled.
Poor Child, poor Child!
I seem to hear your laugh, your talk, your song.
It is not true that Love will do no wrong.
Poor Child!
And did you think, when you so cried and smiled,
How I, in lonely nights, should lie awake,
And of those words your full avengers make?
Poor Child, poor Child!
And now, unless it be
That sweet amends thrice told are come to thee,
O God, have Thou no mercy upon me!
Poor Child!
XV
Peace
O England, how hast thou forgot,
In dullard care for undisturb'd increase
Of gold, which profits not,
The gain which once thou knew'st was for thy peace!
Honour is peace, the peace which does accord
Alone with God's glad word:
‘My peace I send you, and I send a sword.’
O England, how hast thou forgot,
How fear'st the things which make for joy, not fear,
Confronted near.
227
Hard days? 'Tis what the pamper'd seek to buy
With their most willing gold in weary lands.
Loss and pain risk'd? What sport but understands
These for incitements! Suddenly to die,
With conscience a blurr'd scroll?
The sunshine dreaming upon Salmon's height
Is not so sweet and white
As the most heretofore sin-spotted soul
That darts to its delight
Straight from the absolution of a faithful fight.
Myriads of homes unloosen'd of home's bond,
And fill'd with helpless babes and harmless women fond?
Let those whose pleasant chance
Took them, like me, among the German towns,
After the war that pluck'd the fangs from France,
With me pronounce
Whether the frequent black, which then array'd
Child, wife, and maid,
Did most to magnify the sombreness of grief,
Or add the beauty of a staid relief
And freshening foil
To cheerful-hearted Honour's ready smile!
Beneath the heroic sun
Is there then none
Whose sinewy wings by choice do fly
In the fine mountain-air of public obloquy,
To tell the sleepy mongers of false ease
That war's the ordained way of all alive,
And therein with goodwill to dare and thrive
Is profit and heart's peace?
But in his heart the fool now saith:
‘The thoughts of Heaven were past all finding out,
Indeed, if it should rain
Intolerable woes upon our Land again,
After so long a drought!’
‘Will a kind Providence our vessel whelm,
With such a pious Pilot at the helm?’
‘Or let the throats be cut of pretty sheep
228
That care for nought but pasture rich and deep?’
‘Were 't Evangelical of God to deal so foul a blow
At people who hate Turks and Papists so?’
‘What, make or keep
A tax for ship and gun,
When 'tis full three to one
Yon bully but intends
To beat our friends?’
‘Let's put aside
Our costly pride.
Our appetite's not gone
Because we've learn'd to doff
Our caps, where we were used to keep them on.’
‘If times get worse,
We've money in our purse,
And Patriots that know how, let who will scoff,
To buy our perils off.
Yea, blessed in our midst
Art thou who lately didst,
So cheap,
The old bargain of the Saxon with the Dane.’
Thus in his heart the fool now saith;
And, lo, our trusted leaders trust fool's luck,
Which, like the whale's 'mazed chine,
When they thereon were mulling of their wine,
Will some day duck.
Remnant of Honour, brooding in the dark
Over your bitter cark,
Staring, as Rispah stared, astonied seven days,
Upon the corpses of so many sons,
Who loved her once,
Dead in the dim and lion-haunted ways,
Who could have dreamt
That times should come like these!
Prophets, indeed, taught lies when we were young,
And people loved to have it so;
For they teach well who teach their scholars' tongue!
229
But that the foolish both should gaze,
With feeble, fascinated face,
Upon the wan crest of the coming woe,
The billow of earthquake underneath the seas,
And sit at ease,
Or stand agape,
Without so much as stepping back to 'scape,
Mumbling, ‘Perchance we perish if we stay:
'Tis certain wear of shoes to stir away!’
Who could have dreamt
That times should come like these!
Remnant of Honour, tongue-tied with contempt,
Consider; you are strong yet, if you please.
A hundred just men up, and arm'd but with a frown,
May hoot a hundred thousand false loons down,
Or drive them any way like geese.
But to sit silent now is to suborn
The common villainy you scorn.
In the dark hour
When phrases are in power,
And nought's to choose between
The thing which is not and which is not seen,
One fool, with lusty lungs,
Does what a hundred wise, who hate and hold their tongues,
Shall ne'er undo.
In such an hour,
When eager hands are fetter'd and too few,
And hearts alone have leave to bleed,
Speak; for a good word then is a good deed.
XVI
A Farewell
With all my will, but much against my heart,
We two now part.
My Very Dear,
Our solace is, the sad road lies so clear.
It needs no art,
With faint, averted feet
And many a tear,
In our opposed paths to persevere.
230
Go thou to East, I West.
We will not say
There's any hope, it is so far away.
But, O, my Best,
When the one darling of our widowhead,
The nursling Grief,
Is dead,
And no dews blur our eyes
To see the peach-bloom come in evening skies,
Perchance we may,
Where now this night is day,
And even through faith of still averted feet,
Making full circle of our banishment,
Amazed meet;
The bitter journey to the bourne so sweet
Seasoning the termless feast of our content
With tears of recognition never dry.
XVII
1880-85
Stand by,
Ye Wise, by whom Heav'n rules!
Your kingly hands suit not the hangman's tools.
When God has doom'd a glorious Past to die,
Are there no knaves and fools?
For ages yet to come your kind shall count for nought.
Smoke of the strife of other Powers
Than ours,
And tongues inscrutable with fury fraught
'Wilder the sky,
Till the far good which none can guess be wrought.
Stand by!
Since tears are vain, here let us rest and laugh,
But not too loudly; for the brave time's come,
When Best may not blaspheme the Bigger Half,
And freedom for our sort means freedom to be dumb.
Lo, how the dross and draff
Jeer up at us, and shout,
‘The Day is ours, the Night is theirs!’
231
And urge their rout
Where the wild dawn of rising Tartarus flares.
Yon strives their Leader, lusting to be seen.
His leprosy's so perfect that men call him clean!
Listen the long, sincere, and liberal bray
Of the earnest Puller at another's hay
'Gainst aught that dares to tug the other way,
Quite void of fears
With all that noise of ruin round his ears!
Yonder the people cast their caps o'erhead,
And swear the threaten'd doom is ne'er to dread
That's come, though not yet past.
All front the horror and are none aghast;
Brag of their full-blown rights and liberties,
Nor once surmise
When each man gets his due the Nation dies;
Nay, still shout ‘Progress!’ as if seven plagues
Should take the laggard who would stretch his legs.
Forward! glad rush of Gergesenian swine;
You've gain'd the hill-top, but there's yet the brine.
Forward! to meet the welcome of the waves
That mount to 'whelm the freedom which enslaves.
Forward! bad corpses turn into good dung,
To feed strange futures beautiful and young.
Forward! God speed ye down the damn'd decline,
And grant ye the Fool's true good, in abject ruin's gulf
As the Wise see him so to see himself!
Ah, Land once mine,
That seem'd to me too sweetly wise,
Too sternly fair for aught that dies,
Past is thy proud and pleasant state,
That recent date
When, strong and single, in thy sovereign heart,
The thrones of thinking, hearing, sight,
The cunning hand, the knotted thew
Of lesser powers that heave and hew,
And each the smallest beneficial part,
And merest pore of breathing, beat,
Full and complete,
The great pulse of thy generous might,
Equal in inequality,
232
That soul of joy in low and high;
When not a churl but felt the Giant's heat,
Albeit he simply call'd it his,
Flush in his common labour with delight,
And not a village-Maiden's kiss
But was for this
More sweet,
And not a sorrow but did lightlier sigh,
And for its private self less greet,
The whilst that other so majestic self stood by!
Integrity so vast could well afford
To wear in working many a stain,
To pillory the cobbler vain
And license madness in a lord.
On that were all men well agreed;
And, if they did a thing,
Their strength was with them in their deed,
And from amongst them came the shout of a king!
But, once let traitor coward meet,
Not Heaven itself can keep its feet.
Come knave who said to dastard, ‘Lo,
‘The Deluge!’ which but needed ‘No!’
For all the Atlantic's threatening roar,
If men would bravely understand,
Is softly check'd for evermore
By a firm bar of sand.
But, dastard listening knave, who said,
‘'Twere juster were the Giant dead,
That so yon bawlers may not miss
To vote their own pot-belly'd bliss,’
All that is past!
We saw the slaying, and were not aghast.
But ne'er a sun, on village Groom and Bride,
Albeit they guess not how it is,
At Easter or at Whitsuntide,
But shines less gay for this!
XVIII
The Two Deserts
233
Not greatly moved with awe am I
To learn that we may spy
Five thousand firmaments beyond our own.
The best that's known
Of the heavenly bodies does them credit small.
View'd close, the Moon's fair ball
Is of ill objects worst,
A corpse in Night's highway, naked, fire-scarr'd, accurst;
And now they tell
That the Sun is plainly seen to boil and burst
Too horribly for hell.
So, judging from these two,
As we must do,
The Universe, outside our living Earth,
Was all conceiv'd in the Creator's mirth,
Forecasting at the time Man's spirit deep,
To make dirt cheap.
Put by the Telescope!
Better without it man may see,
Stretch'd awful in the hush'd midnight,
The ghost of his eternity.
Give me the nobler glass that swells to the eye
The things which near us lie,
Till Science rapturously hails,
In the minutest water-drop,
A torment of innumerable tails.
These at the least do live.
But rather give
A mind not much to pry
Beyond our royal-fair estate
Betwixt these deserts blank of small and great.
Wonder and beauty our own courtiers are,
Pressing to catch our gaze,
And out of obvious ways
Ne'er wandering far.
XIX
Crest And Gulf
Much woe that man befalls
234
Who does not run when sent, nor come when Heaven calls;
But whether he serve God, or his own whim,
Not matters, in the end, to any one but him;
And he as soon
Shall map the other side of the Moon,
As trace what his own deed,
In the next chop of the chance gale, shall breed.
This he may know:
His good or evil seed
Is like to grow,
For its first harvest, quite to contraries:
The father wise
Has still the hare-brain'd brood;
'Gainst evil, ill example better works than good;
The poet, fanning his mild flight
At a most keen and arduous height,
Unveils the tender heavens to horny human eyes
Amidst ingenious blasphemies.
Wouldst raise the poor, in Capuan luxury sunk?
The Nation lives but whilst its Lords are drunk!
Or spread Heav'n's partial gifts o'er all, like dew?
The Many's weedy growth withers the gracious Few!
Strange opposites, from those, again, shall rise.
Join, then, if thee it please, the bitter jest
Of mankind's progress; all its spectral race
Mere impotence of rest,
The heaving vain of life which cannot cease from self,
Crest altering still to gulf
And gulf to crest
In endless chace,
That leaves the tossing water anchor'd in its place!
Ah, well does he who does but stand aside,
Sans hope or fear,
And marks the crest and gulf in station sink and rear,
And prophesies 'gainst trust in such a tide:
For he sometimes is prophet, heavenly taught,
Whose message is that he sees only nought.
Nathless, discern'd may be,
By listeners at the doors of destiny,
The fly-wheel swift and still
Of God's incessant will,
235
Mighty to keep in bound, tho' powerless to quell,
The amorous and vehement drift of man's herd to hell.
XX
‘Let Be!’
Ah, yes; we tell the good and evil trees
By fruits: But how tell these?
Who does not know
That good and ill
Are done in secret still,
And that which shews is verily but show!
How high of heart is one, and one how sweet of mood:
But not all height is holiness,
Nor every sweetness good;
And grace will sometimes lurk where who could guess?
The Critic of his kind,
Dealing to each his share,
With easy humour, hard to bear,
May not impossibly have in him shrined,
As in a gossamer globe or thickly padded pod,
Some small seed dear to God.
Haply yon wretch, so famous for his falls,
Got them beneath the Devil-defended walls
Of some high Virtue he had vow'd to win;
And that which you and I
Call his besetting sin
Is but the fume of his peculiar fire
Of inmost contrary desire,
And means wild willingness for her to die,
Dash'd with despondence of her favour sweet;
He fiercer fighting, in his worst defeat,
Than I or you,
That only courteous greet
Where he does hotly woo,
Did ever fight, in our best victory.
Another is mistook
Through his deceitful likeness to his look!
Let be, let be:
Why should I clear myself, why answer thou for me?
That shaft of slander shot
236
Miss'd only the right blot.
I see the shame
They cannot see:
'Tis very just they blame
The thing that's not.
XXI
‘Faint Yet Pursuing’
Heroic Good, target for which the young
Dream in their dreams that every bow is strung,
And, missing, sigh
Unfruitful, or as disbelievers die,
Thee having miss'd, I will not so revolt,
But lowlier shoot my bolt,
And lowlier still, if still I may not reach,
And my proud stomach teach
That less than highest is good, and may be high.
An even walk in life's uneven way,
Though to have dreamt of flight and not to fly
Be strange and sad,
Is not a boon that's given to all who pray.
If this I had
I'd envy none!
Nay, trod I straight for one
Year, month or week,
Should Heaven withdraw, and Satan me amerce
Of power and joy, still would I seek
Another victory with a like reverse;
Because the good of victory does not die,
As dies the failure's curse,
And what we have to gain
Is, not one battle, but a weary life's campaign.
Yet meaner lot being sent
Should more than me content;
Yea, if I lie
Among vile shards, though born for silver wings,
In the strong flight and feathers gold
Of whatsoever heavenward mounts and sings
I must by admiration so comply
That there I should my own delight behold.
237
Yea, though I sin each day times seven,
And dare not lift the fearfullest eyes to Heaven,
Thanks must I give
Because that seven times are not eight or nine,
And that my darkness is all mine,
And that I live
Within this oak-shade one more minute even,
Hearing the winds their Maker magnify.
XXII
Victory In Defeat
Ah, God, alas,
How soon it came to pass
The sweetness melted from thy barbed hook
Which I so simply took;
And I lay bleeding on the bitter land,
Afraid to stir against thy least command,
But losing all my pleasant life-blood, whence
Force should have been heart's frailty to withstand.
Life is not life at all without delight,
Nor has it any might;
And better than the insentient heart and brain
Is sharpest pain;
And better for the moment seems it to rebel,
If the great Master, from his lifted seat,
Ne'er whispers to the wearied servant ‘Well!’
Yet what returns of love did I endure,
When to be pardon'd seem'd almost more sweet
Than aye to have been pure!
But day still faded to disastrous night,
And thicker darkness changed to feebler light,
Until forgiveness, without stint renew'd,
Was now no more with loving tears imbued,
Vowing no more offence.
Not less to thine Unfaithful didst thou cry,
‘Come back, poor Child; be all as 'twas before.
But I,
‘No, no; I will not promise any more!
Yet, when I feel my hour is come to die,
And so I am secured of continence,
238
Then may I say, though haply then in vain,
'My only, only Love, O, take me back again!'’
Thereafter didst thou smite
So hard that, for a space,
Uplifted seem'd Heav'n's everlasting door,
And I indeed the darling of thy grace.
But, in some dozen changes of the moon,
A bitter mockery seem'd thy bitter boon.
The broken pinion was no longer sore.
Again, indeed, I woke
Under so dread a stroke
That all the strength it left within my heart
Was just to ache and turn, and then to turn and ache,
And some weak sign of war unceasingly to make.
And here I lie,
With no one near to mark,
Thrusting Hell's phantoms feebly in the dark,
And still at point more utterly to die.
O God, how long!
Put forth indeed thy powerful right hand,
While time is yet,
Or never shall I see the blissful land!
Thus I: then God, in pleasant speech and strong,
(Which soon I shall forget):
‘The man who, though his fights be all defeats,
Still fights,
Enters at last
The heavenly Jerusalem's rejoicing streets
With glory more, and more triumphant rites
Than always-conquering Joshua's, when his blast
The frighted walls of Jericho down cast;
And, lo, the glad surprise
Of peace beyond surmise,
More than in common Saints, for ever in his eyes.
XXIII
Remembered Grace
Since succour to the feeblest of the wise
239
Is charge of nobler weight
Than the security
Of many and many a foolish soul's estate,
This I affirm,
Though fools will fools more confidently be:
Whom God does once with heart to heart befriend,
He does so till the end:
And having planted life's miraculous germ,
One sweet pulsation of responsive love,
He sets him sheer above,
Not sin and bitter shame
And wreck of fame,
But Hell's insidious and more black attempt,
The envy, malice, and pride,
Which men who share so easily condone
That few ev'n list such ills as these to hide.
From these unalterably exempt,
Through the remember'd grace
Of that divine embrace,
Of his sad errors none,
Though gross to blame,
Shall cast him lower than the cleansing flame,
Nor make him quite depart
From the small flock named ‘after God's own heart,’
And to themselves unknown.
Nor can he quail
In faith, nor flush nor pale
When all the other idiot people spell
How this or that new Prophet's word belies
Their last high oracle;
But constantly his soul
Points to its pole
Ev'n as the needle points, and knows not why;
And, under the ever-changing clouds of doubt,
When others cry,
‘The stars, if stars there were,
Are quench'd and out!’
To him, uplooking t'ward the hills for aid,
Appear, at need display'd,
Gaps in the low-hung gloom, and, bright in air,
Orion or the Bear.
240
XXIV
Vesica Piscis
In strenuous hope I wrought,
And hope seem'd still betray'd;
Lastly I said,
‘I have labour'd through the Night, nor yet
Have taken aught;
But at Thy word I will again cast forth the net!’
And, lo, I caught
(Oh, quite unlike and quite beyond my thought,)
Not the quick, shining harvest of the Sea,
For food, my wish,
But Thee!
Then, hiding even in me,
As hid was Simon's coin within the fish,
Thou sigh'd'st, with joy, ‘Be dumb,
Or speak but of forgotten things to far-off times to come.’
~ Coventry Patmore,
302:Scene. Basil; a chamber in the house of Paracelsus. 1526.
Paracelsus, Festus.
Paracelsus.
Heap logs and let the blaze laugh out!
Festus.
                     True, true!
'T is very fit all, time and chance and change
Have wrought since last we sat thus, face to face
And soul to soulall cares, far-looking fears,
Vague apprehensions, all vain fancies bred
By your long absence, should be cast away,
Forgotten in this glad unhoped renewal
Of our affections.
Paracelsus.
         Oh, omit not aught
Which witnesses your own and Michal's own
Affection: spare not that! Only forget
The honours and the glories and what not,
It pleases you to tell profusely out.
Festus.
Nay, even your honours, in a sense, I waive:
The wondrous Paracelsus, life's dispenser,
Fate's commissary, idol of the schools
And courts, shall be no more than Aureole still,
Still Aureole and my friend as when we parted
Some twenty years ago, and I restrained
As best I could the promptings of my spirit
Which secretly advanced you, from the first,
To the pre-eminent rank which, since, your own
Adventurous ardour, nobly triumphing,
Has won for you.
Paracelsus.
         Yes, yes. And Michal's face
Still wears that quiet and peculiar light
Like the dim circlet floating round a pearl?
Festus.
Just so.
Paracelsus.
    And yet her calm sweet countenance,
Though saintly, was not sad; for she would sing
Alone. Does she still sing alone, bird-like,
Not dreaming you are near? Her carols dropt
In flakes through that old leafy bower built under
The sunny wall at Wrzburg, from her lattice
Among the trees above, while I, unseen,
Sat conning some rare scroll from Tritheim's shelves
Much wondering notes so simple could divert
My mind from study. Those were happy days.
Respect all such as sing when all alone!
Festus.
Scarcely alone: her children, you may guess,
Are wild beside her.
Paracelsus.
           Ah, those children quite
Unsettle the pure picture in my mind:
A girl, she was so perfect, so distinct:
No change, no change! Not but this added grace
May blend and harmonize with its compeers,
And Michal may become her motherhood;
But't is a change, and I detest all change,
And most a change in aught I loved long since.
So, Michalyou have said she thinks of me?
Festus.
O very proud will Michal be of you!
Imagine how we sat, long winter-nights,
Scheming and wondering, shaping your presumed
Adventure, or devising its reward;
Shutting out fear with all the strength of hope.
For it was strange how, even when most secure
In our domestic peace, a certain dim
And flitting shade could sadden all; it seemed
A restlessness of heart, a silent yearning,
A sense of something wanting, incomplete
Not to be put in words, perhaps avoided
By mute consentbut, said or unsaid, felt
To point to one so loved and so long lost.
And then the hopes rose and shut out the fears
How you would laugh should I recount them now
I still predicted your return at last
With gifts beyond the greatest of them all,
All Tritheim's wondrous troop; did one of which
Attain renown by any chance, I smiled,
As well aware of who would prove his peer
Michal was sure some woman, long ere this,
As beautiful as you were sage, had loved . . .
Paracelsus.
Far-seeing, truly, to discern so much
In the fantastic projects and day-dreams
Of a raw restless boy!
Festus.
           Oh, no: the sunrise
Well warranted our faith in this full noon!
Can I forget the anxious voice which said
"Festus, have thoughts like these ere shaped themselves
"In other brains than mine? have their possessors
"Existed in like circumstance? were they weak
"As I, or ever constant from the first,
"Despising youth's allurements and rejecting
"As spider-films the shackles I endure?
"Is there hope for me?"and I answered gravely
As an acknowledged elder, calmer, wiser,
More gifted mortal. O you must remember,
For all your glorious . . .
Paracelsus.
               Glorious? ay, this hair,
These handsnay, touch them, they are mine! Recall
With all the said recallings, times when thus
To lay them by your own ne'er turned you pale
As now. Most glorious, are they not?
Festus.
                   Whywhy
Something must be subtracted from success
So wide, no doubt. He would be scrupulous, truly,
Who should object such drawbacks. Still, still, Aureole,
You are changed, very changed! 'T were losing nothing
To look well to it: you must not be stolen
From the enjoyment of your well-won meed.
Paracelsus.
My friend! you seek my pleasure, past a doubt:
You will best gain your point, by talking, not
Of me, but of yourself.
Festus.
            Have I not said
All touching Michal and my children? Sure
You know, by this, full well how Aennchen looks
Gravely, while one disparts her thick brown hair;
And Aureole's glee when some stray gannet builds
Amid the birch-trees by the lake. Small hope
Have I that he will honour (the wild imp)
His namesake. Sigh not! 't is too much to ask
That all we love should reach the same proud fate.
But you are very kind to humour me
By showing interest in my quiet life;
You, who of old could never tame yourself
To tranquil pleasures, must at heart despise . . .
Paracelsus.
Festus, strange secrets are let out by death
Who blabs so oft the follies of this world:
And I am death's familiar, as you know.
I helped a man to die, some few weeks since,
Warped even from his go-cart to one end
The living on princes' smiles, reflected from
A mighty herd of favourites. No mean trick
He left untried, and truly well-nigh wormed
All traces of God's finger out of him:
Then died, grown old. And just an hour before,
Having lain long with blank and soulless eyes,
He sat up suddenly, and with natural voice
Said that in spite of thick air and closed doors
God told him it was June; and he knew well,
Without such telling, harebells grew in June;
And all that kings could ever give or take
Would not be precious as those blooms to him.
Just so, allowing I am passing sage,
It seems to me much worthier argument
Why pansies,[1] eyes that laugh, bear beauty's prize
From violets, eyes that dream(your Michal's choice)
Than all fools find to wonder at in me
Or in my fortunes. And be very sure
I say this from no prurient restlessness,
No self-complacency, itching to turn,
Vary and view its pleasure from all points,
And, in this instance, willing other men
May be at pains, demonstrate to itself
The realness of the very joy it tastes.
What should delight me like the news of friends
Whose memories were a solace to me oft,
As mountain-baths to wild fowls in their flight?
Ofter than you had wasted thought on me
Had you been wise, and rightly valued bliss.
But there's no taming nor repressing hearts:
God knows I need such!So, you heard me speak?
Festus.
Speak? when?
Paracelsus.
      When but this morning at my class?
There was noise and crowd enough. I saw you not.
Surely you know I am engaged to fill
The chair here?that't is part of my proud fate
To lecture to as many thick-skulled youths
As please, each day, to throng the theatre,
To my great reputation, and no small
Danger of Basil's benches long unused
To crack beneath such honour?
Festus.
               I was there;
I mingled with the throng: shall I avow
Small care was mine to listen?too intent
On gathering from the murmurs of the crowd
A full corroboration of my hopes!
What can I learn about your powers? but they
Know, care for nought beyond your actual state,
Your actual value; yet they worship you,
Those various natures whom you sway as one!
But ere I go, be sure I shall attend . . .
Paracelsus.
Stop, o' God's name: the thing's by no means yet
Past remedy! Shall I read this morning's labour
At least in substance? Nought so worth the gaining
As an apt scholar! Thus then, with all due
Precision and emphasisyou, beside, are clearly
Guiltless of understanding more, a whit,
The subject than your stoolallowed to be
A notable advantage.
Festus.
           Surely, Aureole,
You laugh at me!
Paracelsus.
         I laugh? Ha, ha! thank heaven,
I charge you, if't be so! for I forget
Much, and what laughter should be like. No less,
However, I forego that luxury
Since it alarms the friend who brings it back.
True, laughter like my own must echo strangely
To thinking men; a smile were better far;
So, make me smile! If the exulting look
You wore but now be smiling, 't is so long
Since I have smiled! Alas, such smiles are born
Alone of hearts like yours, or herdsmen's souls
Of ancient time, whose eyes, calm as their flocks,
Saw in the stars mere garnishry of heaven,
And in the earth a stage for altars only.
Never change, Festus: I say, never change!
Festus.
My God, if he be wretched after all
Paracelsus.
When last we parted, Festus, you declared,
Or Michal, yes, her soft lips whispered words
I have preserved. She told me she believed
I should succeed (meaning, that in the search
I then engaged in, I should meet success)
And yet be wretched: now, she augured false.
Festus.
Thank heaven! but you spoke strangely: could I venture
To think bare apprehension lest your friend,
Dazzled by your resplendent course, might find
Henceforth less sweetness in his own, could move
Such earnest mood in you? Fear not, dear friend,
That I shall leave you, inwardly repining
Your lot was not my own!
Paracelsus.
             And this for ever!
For ever! gull who may, they will be gulled!
They will not look nor think;'t is nothing new
In them: but surely he is not of them!
My Festus, do you know, I reckoned, you
Though all beside were sand-blindyou, my friend,
Would look at me, once close, with piercing eye
Untroubled by the false glare that confounds
A weaker vision: would remain serene,
Though singular amid a gaping throng.
I feared you, or I had come, sure, long ere this,
To Einsiedeln. Well, error has no end,
And Rhasis is a sage, and Basil boasts
A tribe of wits, and I am wise and blest
Past all dispute! 'T is vain to fret at it.
I have vowed long ago my worshippers
Shall owe to their own deep sagacity
All further information, good or bad.
Small risk indeed my reputation runs,
Unless perchance the glance now searching me
Be fixed much longer; for it seems to spell
Dimly the characters a simpler man
Might read distinct enough. Old Eastern books
Say, the fallen prince of morning some short space
Remained unchanged in semblance; nay, his brow
Was hued with triumph: every spirit then
Praising, his heart on flame the while:a tale!
Well, Festus, what discover you, I pray?
Festus.
Some foul deed sullies then a life which else
Were raised supreme?
Paracelsus.
           Good: I do well, most well
Why strive to make men hear, feel, fret themselves
With what is past their power to comprehend?
I should not strive now: only, having nursed
The faint surmise that one yet walked the earth,
One, at least, not the utter fool of show,
Not absolutely formed to be the dupe
Of shallow plausibilities alone:
One who, in youth, found wise enough to choose
The happiness his riper years approve,
Was yet so anxious for another's sake,
That, ere his friend could rush upon a mad
And ruinous course, the converse of his own,
His gentle spirit essayed, prejudged for him
The perilous path, foresaw its destiny,
And warned the weak one in such tender words,
Such accentshis whole heart in every tone
That oft their memory comforted that friend
When it by right should have increased despair:
Having believed, I say, that this one man
Could never lose the light thus from the first
His portionhow should I refuse to grieve
At even my gain if it disturb our old
Relation, if it make me out more wise?
Therefore, once more reminding him how well
He prophesied, I note the single flaw
That spoils his prophet's title. In plain words,
You were deceived, and thus were you deceived
I have not been successful, and yet am
Most miserable; 't is said at last; nor you
Give credit, lest you force me to concede
That common sense yet lives upon the world!
Festus.
You surely do not mean to banter me?
Paracelsus.
You know, orif you have been wise enough
To cleanse your memory of such mattersknew,
As far as words of mine could make it clear,
That't was my purpose to find joy or grief
Solely in the fulfilment of my plan
Or plot or whatsoe'er it was; rejoicing
Alone as it proceeded prosperously,
Sorrowing then only when mischance retarded
Its progress. That was in those Wrzburg days!
Not to prolong a theme I thoroughly hate,
I have pursued this plan with all my strength;
And having failed therein most signally,
Cannot object to ruin utter and drear
As all-excelling would have been the prize
Had fortune favoured me. I scarce have right
To vex your frank good spirit late so glad
In my supposed prosperity, I know,
And, were I lucky in a glut of friends,
Would well agree to let your error live,
Nay, strengthen it with fables of success.
But mine is no condition to refuse
The transient solace of so rare a godsend,
My solitary luxury, my one friend:
Accordingly I venture to put off
The wearisome vest of falsehood galling me,
Secure when he is by. I lay me bare
Prone at his mercybut he is my friend!
Not that he needs retain his aspect grave;
That answers not my purpose; for't is like,
Some sunny morningBasil being drained
Of its wise population, every corner
Of the amphitheatre crammed with learned clerks,
Here OEcolampadius, looking worlds of wit,
Here Castellanus, as profound as he,
Munsterus here, Frobenius there, all squeezed
And staring,that the zany of the show,
Even Paracelsus, shall put off before them
His trappings with a grace but seldom judged
Expedient in such cases:the grim smile
That will go round! Is it not therefore best
To venture a rehearsal like the present
In a small way? Where are the signs I seek,
The first-fruits and fair sample of the scorn
Due to all quacks? Why, this will never do!
Festus.
These are foul vapours, Aureole; nought beside!
The effect of watching, study, weariness.
Were there a spark of truth in the confusion
Of these wild words, you would not outrage thus
Your youth's companion. I shall ne'er regard
These wanderings, bred of faintness and much study.
'T is not thus you would trust a trouble to me,
To Michal's friend.
Paracelsus.
          I have said it, dearest Festus!
For the manner, 't is ungracious probably;
You may have it told in broken sobs, one day,
And scalding tears, ere long: but I thought best
To keep that off as long as possible.
Do you wonder still?
Festus.
           No; it must oft fall out
That one whose labour perfects any work,
Shall rise from it with eye so worn that he
Of all men least can measure the extent
Of what he has accomplished. He alone
Who, nothing tasked, is nothing weary too,
May clearly scan the little he effects:
But we, the bystanders, untouched by toil,
Estimate each aright.
Paracelsus.
           This worthy Festus
Is one of them, at last! 'T is so with all!
First, they set down all progress as a dream;
And next, when he whose quick discomfiture
Was counted on, accomplishes some few
And doubtful steps in his career,behold,
They look for every inch of ground to vanish
Beneath his tread, so sure they spy success!
Festus.
Few doubtful steps? when death retires before
Your presencewhen the noblest of mankind,
Broken in body or subdued in soul,
May through your skill renew their vigour, raise
The shattered frame to pristine stateliness?
When men in racking pain may purchase dreams
Of what delights them most, swooning at once
Into a sea of bliss or rapt along
As in a flying sphere of turbulent light?
When we may look to you as one ordained
To free the flesh from fell disease, as frees
Our Luther's burning tongue the fettered soul?
When . . .
Paracelsus.
     When and where, the devil, did you get
This notable news?
Festus.
         Even from the common voice;
From those whose envy, daring not dispute
The wonders it decries, attributes them
To magic and such folly.
Paracelsus.
             Folly? Why not
To magic, pray? You find a comfort doubtless
In holding, God ne'er troubles him about
Us or our doings: once we were judged worth
The devil's tempting . . . I offend: forgive me,
And rest content. Your prophecy on the whole
Was fair enough as prophesyings go;
At fault a little in detail, but quite
Precise enough in the main; and hereupon
I pay due homage: you guessed long ago
(The prophet!) I should failand I have failed.
Festus.
You mean to tell me, then, the hopes which fed
Your youth have not been realized as yet?
Some obstacle has barred them hitherto?
Or that their innate . . .
Paracelsus.
              As I said but now,
You have a very decent prophet's fame,
So you but shun details here. Little matter
Whether those hopes were mad,the aims they sought,
Safe and secure from all ambitious fools;
Or whether my weak wits are overcome
By what a better spirit would scorn: I fail.
And now methinks't were best to change a theme
I am a sad fool to have stumbled on.
I say confusedly what comes uppermost;
But there are times when patience proves at fault,
As now: this morning's strange encounteryou
Beside me once again! you, whom I guessed
Alive, since hitherto (with Luther's leave)
No friend have I among the saints at peace,
To judge by any good their prayers effect.
I knew you would have helped mewhy not he,
My strange competitor in enterprise,
Bound for the same end by another path,
Arrived, or ill or well, before the time,
At our disastrous journey's doubtful close?
How goes it with Aprile? Ah, they miss
Your lone sad sunny idleness of heaven,
Our martyrs for the world's sake; heaven shuts fast:
The poor mad poet is howling by this time!
Since you are my sole friend then, here or there,
I could not quite repress the varied feelings
This meeting wakens; they have had their vent,
And now forget them. Do the rear-mice still
Hang like a fretwork on the gate (or what
In my time was a gate) fronting the road
From Einsiedeln to Lachen?
Festus.
              Trifle not:
Answer me, for my sake alone! You smiled
Just now, when I supposed some deed, unworthy
Yourself, might blot the else so bright result;
Yet if your motives have continued pure,
Your will unfaltering, and in spite of this,
You have experienced a defeat, why then
I say not you would cheerfully withdraw
From contestmortal hearts are not so fashioned
But surely you would ne'ertheless withdraw.
You sought not fame nor gain nor even love,
No end distinct from knowledge,I repeat
Your very words: once satisfied that knowledge
Is a mere dream, you would announce as much,
Yourself the first. But how is the event?
You are defeatedand I find you here!
Paracelsus.
As though "here" did not signify defeat!
I spoke not of my little labours here,
But of the break-down of my general aims:
For you, aware of their extent and scope,
To look on these sage lecturings, approved
By beardless boys, and bearded dotards worse,
As a fit consummation of such aims,
Is worthy notice. A professorship
At Basil! Since you see so much in it,
And think my life was reasonably drained
Of life's delights to render me a match
For duties arduous as such post demands,
Be it far from me to deny my power
To fill the petty circle lotted out
Of infinite space, or justify the host
Of honours thence accruing. So, take notice,
This jewel dangling from my neck preserves
The features of a prince, my skill restored
To plague his people some few years to come:
And all through a pure whim. He had eased the earth
For me, but that the droll despair which seized
The vermin of his household, tickled me.
I came to see. Here, drivelled the physician,
Whose most infallible nostrum was at fault;
There quaked the astrologer, whose horoscope
Had promised him interminable years;
Here a monk fumbled at the sick man's mouth
With some undoubted relica sudary
Of the Virgin; while another piebald knave
Of the same brotherhood (he loved them ever)
Was actively preparing 'neath his nose
Such a suffumigation as, once fired,
Had stunk the patient dead ere he could groan.
I cursed the doctor and upset the brother,
Brushed past the conjurer, vowed that the first gust
Of stench from the ingredients just alight
Would raise a cross-grained devil in my sword,
Not easily laid: and ere an hour the prince
Slept as he never slept since prince he was.
A dayand I was posting for my life,
Placarded through the town as one whose spite
Had near availed to stop the blessed effects
Of the doctor's nostrum which, well seconded
By the sudary, and most by the costly smoke
Not leaving out the strenuous prayers sent up
Hard by in the abbeyraised the prince to life:
To the great reputation of the seer
Who, confident, expected all along
The glad eventthe doctor's recompense
Much largess from his highness to the monks
And the vast solace of his loving people,
Whose general satisfaction to increase,
The prince was pleased no longer to defer
The burning of some dozen heretics
Remanded till God's mercy should be shown
Touching his sickness: last of all were joined
Ample directions to all loyal folk
To swell the complement by seizing me
Whodoubtless some rank sorcererendeavoured
To thwart these pious offices, obstruct
The prince's cure, and frustrate heaven by help
Of certain devils dwelling in his sword.
By luck, the prince in his first fit of thanks
Had forced this bauble on me as an earnest
Of further favours. This one case may serve
To give sufficient taste of many such,
So, let them pass. Those shelves support a pile
Of patents, licences, diplomas, titles
From Germany, France, Spain, and Italy;
They authorize some honour; ne'ertheless,
I set more store by this Erasmus sent;
He trusts me; our Frobenius is his friend,
And him "I raised" (nay, read it) "from the dead."
I weary you, I see. I merely sought
To show, there's no great wonder after all
That, while I fill the class-room and attract
A crowd to Basil, I get leave to stay,
And therefore need not scruple to accept
The utmost they can offer, if I please:
For't is but right the world should be prepared
To treat with favour e'en fantastic wants
Of one like me, used up in serving her.
Just as the mortal, whom the gods in part
Devoured, received in place of his lost limb
Some virtue or othercured disease, I think;
You mind the fables we have read together.
Festus.
You do not think I comprehend a word.
The time was, Aureole, you were apt enough
To clothe the airiest thoughts in specious breath;
But surely you must feel how vague and strange
These speeches sound.
Paracelsus.
           Well, then: you know my hopes;
I am assured, at length, those hopes were vain;
That truth is just as far from me as ever;
That I have thrown my life away; that sorrow
On that account is idle, and further effort
To mend and patch what's marred beyond repairing,
As useless: and all this was taught your friend
By the convincing good old-fashioned method
Of forceby sheer compulsion. Is that plain?
Festus.
Dear Aureole, can it be my fears were just?
God wills not . . .
Paracelsus.
          Now, 't is this I most admire
The constant talk men of your stamp keep up
Of God's will, as they style it; one would swear
Man had but merely to uplift his eye,
And see the will in question charactered
On the heaven's vault. 'T is hardly wise to moot
Such topics: doubts are many and faith is weak.
I know as much of any will of God
As knows some dumb and tortured brute what Man,
His stern lord, wills from the perplexing blows
That plague him every way; but there, of course,
Where least he suffers, longest he remains
My case; and for such reasons I plod on,
Subdued but not convinced. I know as little
Why I deserve to fail, as why I hoped
Better things in my youth. I simply know
I am no master here, but trained and beaten
Into the path I tread; and here I stay,
Until some further intimation reach me,
Like an obedient drudge. Though I prefer
To view the whole thing as a task imposed
Which, whether dull or pleasant, must be done
Yet, I deny not, there is made provision
Of joys which tastes less jaded might affect;
Nay, some which please me too, for all my pride
Pleasures that once were pains: the iron ring
Festering about a slave's neck grows at length
Into the flesh it eats. I hate no longer
A host of petty vile delights, undreamed of
Or spurned before; such now supply the place
Of my dead aims: as in the autumn woods
Where tall trees used to flourish, from their roots
Springs up a fungous brood sickly and pale,
Chill mushrooms coloured like a corpse's cheek.
Festus.
If I interpret well your words, I own
It troubles me but little that your aims,
Vast in their dawning and most likely grown
Extravagantly since, have baffled you.
Perchance I am glad; you merit greater praise;
Because they are too glorious to be gained,
You do not blindly cling to them and die;
You fell, but have not sullenly refused
To rise, because an angel worsted you
In wrestling, though the world holds not your peer;
And though too harsh and sudden is the change
To yield content as yet, still you pursue
The ungracious path as though't were rosv-strewn.
'T is well: and your reward, or soon or late,
Will come from him whom no man serves in vain.
Paracelsus.
Ah, very fine! For my part, I conceive
The very pausing from all further toil,
Which you find heinous, would become a seal
To the sincerity of all my deeds.
To be consistent I should die at once;
I calculated on no after-life;
Yet (how crept in, how fostered, I know not)
Here am I with as passionate regret
For youth and health and love so vainly lavished,
As if their preservation had been first
And foremost in my thoughts; and this strange fact
Humbled me wondrously, and had due force
In rendering me the less averse to follow
A certain counsel, a mysterious warning
You will not understandbut't was a man
With aims not mine and yet pursued like mine,
With the same fervour and no more success,
Perishing in my sight; who summoned me
As I would shun the ghastly fate I saw,
To serve my race at once; to wait no longer
That God should interfere in my behalf,
But to distrust myself, put pride away,
And give my gains, imperfect as they were,
To men. I have not leisure to explain
How, since, a singular series of events
Has raised me to the station you behold,
Wherein I seem to turn to most account
The mere wreck of the past,perhaps receive
Some feeble glimmering token that God views
And may approve my penance: therefore here
You find me, doing most good or least harm.
And if folks wonder much and profit little
'T is not my fault; only, I shall rejoice
When my part in the farce is shuffled through,
And the curtain falls: I must hold out till then.
Festus.
Till when, dear Aureole?
Paracelsus.
             Till I'm fairly thrust
From my proud eminence. Fortune is fickle
And even professors fall: should that arrive,
I see no sin in ceding to my bent.
You little fancy what rude shocks apprise us
We sin; God's intimations rather fail
In clearness than in energy: 't were well
Did they but indicate the course to take
Like that to be forsaken. I would fain
Be spared a further sample. Here I stand,
And here I stay, be sure, till forced to flit.
Festus.
Be you but firm on that head! long ere then
All I expect will come to pass, I trust:
The cloud that wraps you will have disappeared.
Meantime, I see small chance of such event:
They praise you here as one whose lore, already
Divulged, eclipses all the past can show,
But whose achievements, marvellous as they be,
Are faint anticipations of a glory
About to be revealed. When Basil's crowds
Dismiss their teacher, I shall be content
That he depart.
Paracelsus.
        This favour at their hands
I look for earlier than your view of things
Would warrant. Of the crowd you saw to-day,
Remove the full half sheer amazement draws,
Mere novelty, nought else; and next, the tribe
Whose innate blockish dulness just perceives
That unless miracles (as seem my works)
Be wrought in their behalf, their chance is slight
To puzzle the devil; next, the numerous set
Who bitterly hate established schools, and help
The teacher that oppugns them, till he once
Have planted his own doctrine, when the teacher
May reckon on their rancour in his turn;
Take, too, the sprinkling of sagacious knaves
Whose cunning runs not counter to the vogue
But seeks, by flattery and crafty nursing,
To force my system to a premature
Short-lived development. Why swell the list?
Each has his end to serve, and his best way
Of serving it: remove all these, remains
A scantling, a poor dozen at the best,
Worthy to look for sympathy and service,
And likely to draw profit from my pains.
Festus.
'T is no encouraging picture: still these few
Redeem their fellows. Once the germ implanted,
Its growth, if slow, is sure.
Paracelsus.
               God grant it so!
I would make some amends: but if I fail,
The luckless rogues have this excuse to urge,
That much is in my method and my manner,
My uncouth habits, my impatient spirit,
Which hinders of reception and result
My doctrine: much to say, small skill to speak!
These old aims suffered not a looking-off
Though for an instant; therefore, only when
I thus renounced them and resolved to reap
Some present fruitto teach mankind some truth
So dearly purchasedonly then I found
Such teaching was an art requiring cares
And qualities peculiar to itself:
That to possess was one thingto display
Another. With renown first in my thoughts,
Or popular praise, I had soon discovered it:
One grows but little apt to learn these things.
Festus.
If it be so, which nowise I believe,
There needs no waiting fuller dispensation
To leave a labour of so little use.
Why not throw up the irksome charge at once?
Paracelsus.
A task, a task!
        But wherefore hide the whole
Extent of degradation, once engaged
In the confessing vein? Despite of all
My fine talk of obedience and repugnance,
Docility and what not, 't is yet to learn
If when the task shall really be performed,
My inclination free to choose once more,
I shall do aught but slightly modify
The nature of the hated task I quit.
In plain words, I am spoiled; my life still tends
As first it tended; I am broken and trained
To my old habits: they are part of me.
I know, and none so well, my darling ends
Are proved impossible: no less, no less,
Even now what humours me, fond fool, as when
Their faint ghosts sit with me and flatter me
And send me back content to my dull round?
How can I change this soul?this apparatus
Constructed solely for their purposes,
So well adapted to their every want,
To search out and discover, prove and perfect;
This intricate machine whose most minute
And meanest motions have their charm to me
Though to none elsean aptitude I seize,
An object I perceive, a use, a meaning,
A property, a fitness, I explain
And I alone:how can I change my soul?
And this wronged body, worthless save when tasked
Under that soul's dominionused to care
For its bright master's cares and quite subdue
Its proper cravingsnot to ail nor pine
So he but prosperwhither drag this poor
Tried patient body? God! how I essayed
To live like that mad poet, for a while,
To love alone; and how I felt too warped
And twisted and deformed! What should I do,
Even tho'released from drudgery, but return
Faint, as you see, and halting, blind and sore,
To my old life and die as I began?
I cannot feed on beauty for the sake
Of beauty only, nor can drink in balm
From lovely objects for their loveliness;
My nature cannot lose her first imprint;
I still must hoard and heap and class all truths
With one ulterior purpose: I must know!
Would God translate me to his throne, believe
That I should only listen to his word
To further my own aim! For other men,
Beauty is prodigally strewn around,
And I were happy could I quench as they
This mad and thriveless longing, and content me
With beauty for itself alone: alas,
I have addressed a frock of heavy mail
Yet may not join the troop of sacred knights;
And now the forest-creatures fly from me,
The grass-banks cool, the sunbeams warm no more.
Best follow, dreaming that ere night arrive,
I shall o'ertake the company and ride
Glittering as they!
Festus.
          I think I apprehend
What you would say: if you, in truth, design
To enter once more on the life thus left,
Seek not to hide that all this consciousness
Of failure is assumed!
Paracelsus.
           My friend, my friend,
I toil, you listen; I explain, perhaps
You understand: there our communion ends.
Have you learnt nothing from to-day's discourse?
When we would thoroughly know the sick man's state
We feel awhile the fluttering pulse, press soft
The hot brow, look upon the languid eye,
And thence divine the rest. Must I lay bare
My heart, hideous and beating, or tear up
My vitals for your gaze, ere you will deem
Enough made known? You! who are you, forsooth?
That is the crowning operation claimed
By the arch-demonstratorheaven the hall,
And earth the audience. Let Aprile and you
Secure good places: 't will be worth the while.
Festus.
Are you mad, Aureole? What can I have said
To call for this? I judged from your own words.
Paracelsus.
Oh, doubtless! A sick wretch describes the ape
That mocks him from the bed-foot, and all gravely
You thither turn at once: or he recounts
The perilous journey he has late performed,
And you are puzzled much how that could be!
You find me here, half stupid and half mad;
It makes no part of my delight to search
Into these matters, much less undergo
Another's scrutiny; but so it chances
That I am led to trust my state to you:
And the event is, you combine, contrast
And ponder on my foolish words as though
They thoroughly conveyed all hidden here
Here, loathsome with despair and hate and rage!
Is there no fear, no shrinking and no shame?
Will you guess nothing? will you spare me nothing?
Must I go deeper? Ay or no?
Festus.
               Dear friend . . .
               Paracelsus.
True: I am brutal't is a part of it;
The plague's signyou are not a lazar-haunter,
How should you know? Well then, you think it strange
I should profess to have failed utterly,
And yet propose an ultimate return
To courses void of hope: and this, because
You know not what temptation is, nor how
'T is like to ply men in the sickliest part.
You are to understand that we who make
Sport for the gods, are hunted to the end:
There is not one sharp volley shot at us,
Which 'scaped with life, though hurt, we slacken pace
And gather by the wayside herbs and roots
To staunch our wounds, secure from further harm:
We are assailed to life's extremest verge.
It will be well indeed if I return,
A harmless busy fool, to my old ways!
I would forget hints of another fate,
Significant enough, which silent hours
Have lately scared me with.
Festus.
               Another! and what?
               Paracelsus.
After all, Festus, you say well: I am
A man yet: I need never humble me.
I would have beensomething, I know not what;
But though I cannot soar, I do not crawl.
There are worse portions than this one of mine.
You say well!
Festus.
       Ah!
       Paracelsus.
         And deeper degradation!
If the mean stimulants of vulgar praise,
If vanity should become the chosen food
Of a sunk mind, should stifle even the wish
To find its early aspirations true,
Should teach it to breathe falsehood like life-breath
An atmosphere of craft and trick and lies;
Should make it proud to emulate, surpass
Base natures in the practices which woke
Its most indignant loathing once . . . No, no!
Utter damnation is reserved for hell!
I had immortal feelings; such shall never
Be wholly quenched: no, no!
               My friend, you wear
A melancholy face, and certain't is
There's little cheer in all this dismal work.
But was it my desire to set abroach
Such memories and forebodings? I foresaw
Where they would drive. 'T were better we discuss
News from Lucerne or Zurich; ask and tell
Of Egypt's flaring sky or Spain's cork-groves.
Festus.
I have thought: trust me, this mood will pass away!
I know you and the lofty spirit you bear,
And easily ravel out a clue to all.
These are the trials meet for such as you,
Nor must you hope exemption: to be mortal
Is to be plied with trials manifold.
Look round! The obstacles which kept the rest
From your ambition, have been spurned by you;
Their fears, their doubts, the chains that bind themall,
Were flax before your resolute soul, which nought
Avails to awe save these delusions bred
From its own strength, its selfsame strength disguised,
Mocking itself. Be brave, dear Aureole! Since
The rabbit has his shade to frighten him,
The fawn a rustling bough, mortals their cares,
And higher natures yet would slight and laugh
At these entangling fantasies, as you
At trammels of a weaker intellect,
Measure your mind's height by the shade it casts!
I know you.
Paracelsus.
     And I know you, dearest Festus!
And how you love unworthily; and how
All admiration renders blind.
Festus.
               You hold
That admiration blinds?
Paracelsus.
            Ay and alas!
            Festus.
Nought blinds you less than admiration, friend!
Whether it be that all love renders wise
In its degree; from love which blends with love
Heart answering heartto love which spends itself
In silent mad idolatry of some
Pre-eminent mortal, some great soul of souls,
Which ne'er will know how well it is adored.
I say, such love is never blind; but rather
Alive to every the minutest spot
Which mars its object, and which hate (supposed
So vigilant and searching) dreams not of.
Love broods on such: what then? When first perceived
Is there no sweet strife to forget, to change,
To overflush those blemishes with all
The glow of general goodness they disturb?
To make those very defects an endless source
Of new affection grown from hopes and fears?
And, when all fails, is there no gallant stand
Made even for much proved weak? no shrinking-back
Lest, since all love assimilates the soul
To what it loves, it should at length become
Almost a rival of its idol? Trust me,
If there be fiends who seek to work our hurt,
To ruin and drag down earth's mightiest spirits
Even at God's foot, 't will be from such as love,
Their zeal will gather most to serve their cause;
And least from those who hate, who most essay
By contumely and scorn to blot the light
Which forces entrance even to their hearts:
For thence will our defender tear the veil
And show within each heart, as in a shrine,
The giant image of perfection, grown
In hate's despite, whose calumnies were spawned
In the untroubled presence of its eyes.
True admiration blinds not; nor am I
So blind. I call your sin exceptional;
It springs from one whose life has passed the bounds
Prescribed to life. Compound that fault with God!
I speak of men; to common men like me
The weakness you reveal endears you more,
Like the far traces of decay in suns.
I bid you have good cheer!
Paracelsus.
              Proeclare! Optime!
Think of a quiet mountain-cloistered priest
Instructing Paracelsus! yet't is so.
Come, I will show you where my merit lies.
'T is in the advance of individual minds
That the slow crowd should ground their expectation
Eventually to follow; as the sea
Waits ages in its bed till some one wave
Out of the multitudinous mass, extends
The empire of the whole, some feet perhaps,
Over the strip of sand which could confine
Its fellows so long time: thenceforth the rest,
Even to the meanest, hurry in at once,
And so much is clear gained. I shall be glad
If all my labours, failing of aught else,
Suffice to make such inroad and procure
A wider range for thought: nay, they do this;
For, whatsoe'er my notions of true knowledge
And a legitimate success, may be,
I am not blind to my undoubted rank
When classed with others: I precede my age:
And whoso wills is very free to mount
These labours as a platform whence his own
May have a prosperous outset. But, alas!
My followersthey are noisy as you heard;
But, for intelligence, the best of them
So clumsily wield the weapons I supply
And they extol, that I begin to doubt
Whether their own rude clubs and pebble-stones
Would not do better service than my arms
Thus vilely swayedif error will not fall
Sooner before the old awkward batterings
Than my more subtle warfare, not half learned.
Festus.
I would supply that art, then, or withhold
New arms until you teach their mystery.
Paracelsus.
Content you, 't is my wish; I have recourse
To the simplest training. Day by day I seek
To wake the mood, the spirit which alone
Can make those arms of any use to men.
Of course they are for swaggering forth at once
Graced with Ulysses' bow, Achilles' shield
Flash on us, all in armour, thou Achilles!
Make our hearts dance to thy resounding step!
A proper sight to scare the crows away!
Festus.
Pity you choose not then some other method
Of coming at your point. The marvellous art
At length established in the world bids fair
To remedy all hindrances like these:
Trust to Frobenius' press the precious lore
Obscured by uncouth manner, or unfit
For raw beginners; let his types secure
A deathless monument to after-time;
Meanwhile wait confidently and enjoy
The ultimate effect: sooner or later
You shall be all-revealed.
Paracelsus.
              The old dull question
In a new form; no more. Thus: I possess
Two sorts of knowledge; one,vast, shadowy,
Hints of the unbounded aim I once pursued:
The other consists of many secrets, caught
While bent on nobler prize,perhaps a few
Prime principles which may conduct to much:
These last I offer to my followers here.
Now, bid me chronicle the first of these,
My ancient study, and in effect you bid
Revert to the wild courses just abjured:
I must go find them scattered through the world.
Then, for the principles, they are so simple
(Being chiefly of the overturning sort),
That one time is as proper to propound them
As any otherto-morrow at my class,
Or half a century hence embalmed in print.
For if mankind intend to learn at all,
They must begin by giving faith to them
And acting on them: and I do not see
But that my lectures serve indifferent well:
No doubt these dogmas fall not to the earth,
For all their novelty and rugged setting.
I think my class will not forget the day
I let them know the gods of Israel,
Atius, Oribasius, Galen, Rhasis,
Serapion, Avicenna, Averres,
Were blocks!
Festus.
      And that reminds me, I heard something
About your waywardness: you burned their books,
It seems, instead of answering those sages.
Paracelsus.
And who said that?
Festus.
         Some I met yesternight
With OEcolampadius. As you know, the purpose
Of this short stay at Basil was to learn
His pleasure touching certain missives sent
For our Zuinglius and himself. 'T was he
Apprised me that the famous teacher here
Was my old friend.
Paracelsus.
         Ah, I forgot: you went . . .
         Festus.
From Zurich with advices for the ear
Of Luther, now at Wittenberg(you know,
I make no doubt, the differences of late
With Carolostadius)and returning sought
Basil and . . .
Paracelsus.
        I remember. Here's a case, now,
Will teach you why I answer not, but burn
The books you mention. Pray, does Luther dream
His arguments convince by their own force
The crowds that own his doctrine? No, indeed!
His plain denial of established points
Ages had sanctified and men supposed
Could never be oppugned while earth was under
And heaven above thempoints which chance or time
Affected notdid more than the array
Of argument which followed. Boldly deny!
There is much breath-stopping, hair-stiffening
Awhile; then, amazed glances, mute awaiting
The thunderbolt which does not come: and next,
Reproachful wonder and inquiry: those
Who else had never stirred, are able now
To find the rest out for themselves, perhaps
To outstrip him who set the whole at work,
As never will my wise class its instructor.
And you saw Luther?
Festus.
          'T is a wondrous soul!
          Paracelsus.
True: the so-heavy chain which galled mankind
Is shattered, and the noblest of us all
Must bow to the deliverernay, the worker
Of our own projectwe who long before
Had burst our trammels, but forgot the crowd,
We should have taught, still groaned beneath the load:
This he has done and nobly. Speed that may!
Whatever be my chance or my mischance,
What benefits mankind must glad me too;
And men seem made, though not as I believed,
For something better than the times produce.
Witness these gangs of peasants your new lights
From Suabia have possessed, whom Mnzer leads,
And whom the duke, the landgrave and the elector
Will calm in blood! Well, well; 't is not my world!
Festus.
Hark!
Paracelsus.
   'T is the melancholy wind astir
Within the trees; the embers too are grey:
Morn must be near.
Festus.
         Best ope the casement: see,
The night, late strewn with clouds and flying stars,
Is blank and motionless: how peaceful sleep
The tree-tops altogether! Like an asp,
The wind slips whispering from bough to bough.
Paracelsus.
Ay; you would gaze on a wind-shaken tree
By the hour, nor count time lost.
Festus.
                 So you shall gaze:
Those happy times will come again.
Paracelsus.
                  Gone, gone,
Those pleasant times! Does not the moaning wind
Seem to bewail that we have gained such gains
And bartered sleep for them?
Festus.
               It is our trust
That there is yet another world to mend
All error and mischance.
Paracelsus.
             Another world!
And why this world, this common world, to be
A make-shift, a mere foil, how fair soever,
To some fine life to come? Man must be fed
With angels' food, forsooth; and some few traces
Of a diviner nature which look out
Through his corporeal baseness, warrant him
In a supreme contempt of all provision
For his inferior tastessome straggling marks
Which constitute his essence, just as truly
As here and there a gem would constitute
The rock, their barren bed, one diamond.
But were it sowere man all mindhe gains
A station little enviable. From God
Down to the lowest spirit ministrant,
Intelligence exists which casts our mind
Into immeasurable shade. No, no:
Love, hope, fear, faiththese make humanity;
These are its sign and note and character,
And these I have lost!gone, shut from me for ever,
Like a dead friend safe from unkindness more!
See, morn at length. The heavy darkness seems
Diluted, grey and clear without the stars;
The shrubs bestir and rouse themselves as if
Some snake, that weighed them down all night, let go
His hold; and from the East, fuller and fuller
Day, like a mighty river, flowing in;
But clouded, wintry, desolate and cold.
Yet see how that broad prickly star-shaped plant,
Half-down in the crevice, spreads its woolly leaves
All thick and glistering with diamond dew.
And you depart for Einsiedeln this day,
And we have spent all night in talk like this!
If you would have me better for your love,
Revert no more to these sad themes.
Festus.
                   One favour,
And I have done. I leave you, deeply moved;
Unwilling to have fared so well, the while
My friend has changed so sorely. If this mood
Shall pass away, if light once more arise
Where all is darkness now, if you see fit
To hope and trust again, and strive again,
You will remembernot our love alone
But that my faith in God's desire that man
Should trust on his support, (as I must think
You trusted) is obscured and dim through you:
For you are thus, and this is no reward.
Will you not call me to your side, dear Aureole?


~ Robert Browning, Paracelsus - Part III - Paracelsus
,
303:The Ghost - Book Iv
Coxcombs, who vainly make pretence
To something of exalted sense
'Bove other men, and, gravely wise,
Affect those pleasures to despise,
Which, merely to the eye confined,
Bring no improvement to the mind,
Rail at all pomp; they would not go
For millions to a puppet-show,
Nor can forgive the mighty crime
Of countenancing pantomime;
No, not at Covent Garden, where,
Without a head for play or player,
Or, could a head be found most fit,
Without one player to second it,
They must, obeying Folly's call,
Thrive by mere show, or not at all
With these grave fops, who, (bless their brains!)
Most cruel to themselves, take pains
For wretchedness, and would be thought
Much wiser than a wise man ought,
For his own happiness, to be;
Who what they hear, and what they see,
And what they smell, and taste, and feel,
Distrust, till Reason sets her seal,
And, by long trains of consequences
Insured, gives sanction to the senses;
Who would not (Heaven forbid it!) waste
One hour in what the world calls Taste,
Nor fondly deign to laugh or cry,
Unless they know some reason why;
With these grave fops, whose system seems
To give up certainty for dreams,
The eye of man is understood
As for no other purpose good
Than as a door, through which, of course,
Their passage crowding, objects force,
A downright usher, to admit
New-comers to the court of Wit:
(Good Gravity! forbear thy spleen;
190
When I say Wit, I Wisdom mean)
Where (such the practice of the court,
Which legal precedents support)
Not one idea is allow'd
To pass unquestion'd in the crowd,
But ere it can obtain the grace
Of holding in the brain a place,
Before the chief in congregation
Must stand a strict examination.
Not such as those, who physic twirl,
Full fraught with death, from every curl;
Who prove, with all becoming state,
Their voice to be the voice of Fate;
Prepared with essence, drop, and pill,
To be another Ward or Hill,
Before they can obtain their ends,
To sign death-warrants for their friends,
And talents vast as theirs employ,
_Secundum artem_ to destroy,
Must pass (or laws their rage restrain)
Before the chiefs of Warwick Lane:
Thrice happy Lane! where, uncontroll'd,
In power and lethargy grown old,
Most fit to take, in this bless'd land,
The reins--which fell from Wyndham's hand,
Her lawful throne great Dulness rears,
Still more herself, as more in years;
Where she, (and who shall dare deny
Her right, when Reeves and Chauncy's by?)
Calling to mind, in ancient time,
One Garth, who err'd in wit and rhyme,
Ordains, from henceforth, to admit
None of the rebel sons of Wit,
And makes it her peculiar care
That Schomberg never shall be there.
Not such as those, whom Polly trains
To letters, though unbless'd with brains,
Who, destitute of power and will
To learn, are kept to learning still;
Whose heads, when other methods fail,
Receive instruction from the tail,
Because their sires,--a common case
191
Which brings the children to disgrace,-Imagine it a certain rule
They never could beget a fool,
Must pass, or must compound for, ere
The chaplain, full of beef and prayer,
Will give his reverend permit,
Announcing them for orders fit;
So that the prelate (what's a name?
All prelates now are much the same)
May, with a conscience safe and quiet,
With holy hands lay on that fiat
Which doth all faculties dispense,
All sanctity, all faith, all sense;
Makes Madan quite a saint appear,
And makes an oracle of Cheere.
Not such as in that solemn seat,
Where the Nine Ladies hold retreat,-The Ladies Nine, who, as we're told,
Scorning those haunts they loved of old,
The banks of Isis now prefer,
Nor will one hour from Oxford stir,-Are held for form, which Balaam's ass
As well as Balaam's self might pass,
And with his master take degrees,
Could he contrive to pay the fees.
Men of sound parts, who, deeply read,
O'erload the storehouse of the head
With furniture they ne'er can use,
Cannot forgive our rambling Muse
This wild excursion; cannot see
Why Physic and Divinity,
To the surprise of all beholders,
Are lugg'd in by the head and shoulders;
Or how, in any point of view,
Oxford hath any thing to do.
But men of nice and subtle learning,
Remarkable for quick discerning,
Through spectacles of critic mould,
Without instruction, will behold
That we a method here have got
To show what is, by what is not;
And that our drift (parenthesis
192
For once apart) is briefly this:
Within the brain's most secret cells
A certain Lord Chief-Justice dwells,
Of sovereign power, whom, one and all,
With common voice, we Reason call;
Though, for the purposes of satire,
A name, in truth, is no great matter;
Jefferies or Mansfield, which you will-It means a Lord Chief-Justice still.
Here, so our great projectors say,
The Senses all must homage pay;
Hither they all must tribute bring,
And prostrate fall before their king;
Whatever unto them is brought,
Is carried on the wings of Thought
Before his throne, where, in full state,
He on their merits holds debate,
Examines, cross-examines, weighs
Their right to censure or to praise:
Nor doth his equal voice depend
On narrow views of foe and friend,
Nor can, or flattery, or force
Divert him from his steady course;
The channel of Inquiry's clear,
No sham examination's here.
He, upright justicer, no doubt,
_Ad libitum_ puts in and out,
Adjusts and settles in a trice
What virtue is, and what is vice;
What is perfection, what defect;
What we must choose, and what reject;
He takes upon him to explain
What pleasure is, and what is pain;
Whilst we, obedient to the whim,
And resting all our faith on him,
True members of the Stoic Weal,
Must learn to think, and cease to feel.
This glorious system, form'd for man
To practise when and how he can,
If the five Senses, in alliance,
To Reason hurl a proud defiance,
And, though oft conquer'd, yet unbroke,
193
Endeavour to throw off that yoke,
Which they a greater slavery hold
Than Jewish bondage was of old;
Or if they, something touch'd with shame,
Allow him to retain the name
Of Royalty, and, as in sport,
To hold a mimic formal court;
Permitted--no uncommon thing-To be a kind of puppet king,
And suffer'd, by the way of toy,
To hold a globe, but not employ;
Our system-mongers, struck with fear,
Prognosticate destruction near;
All things to anarchy must run;
The little world of man's undone.
Nay, should the Eye, that nicest sense,
Neglect to send intelligence
Unto the Brain, distinct and clear,
Of all that passes in her sphere;
Should she, presumptuous, joy receive
Without the Understanding's leave,
They deem it rank and daring treason
Against the monarchy of Reason,
Not thinking, though they're wondrous wise,
That few have reason, most have eyes;
So that the pleasures of the mind
To a small circle are confined,
Whilst those which to the senses fall
Become the property of all.
Besides, (and this is sure a case
Not much at present out of place)
Where Nature reason doth deny,
No art can that defect supply;
But if (for it is our intent
Fairly to state the argument)
A man should want an eye or two,
The remedy is sure, though new:
The cure's at hand--no need of fear-For proof--behold the Chevalier!-As well prepared, beyond all doubt,
To put eyes in, as put them out.
But, argument apart, which tends
194
To embitter foes and separate friends,
(Nor, turn'd apostate from the Nine,
Would I, though bred up a divine,
And foe, of course, to Reason's Weal,
Widen that breach I cannot heal)
By his own sense and feelings taught,
In speech as liberal as in thought,
Let every man enjoy his whim;
What's he to me, or I to him?
Might I, though never robed in ermine,
A matter of this weight determine,
No penalties should settled be
To force men to hypocrisy,
To make them ape an awkward zeal,
And, feeling not, pretend to feel.
I would not have, might sentence rest
Finally fix'd within my breast,
E'en Annet censured and confined,
Because we're of a different mind.
Nature, who, in her act most free,
Herself delights in liberty,
Profuse in love, and without bound,
Pours joy on every creature round;
Whom yet, was every bounty shed
In double portions on our head,
We could not truly bounteous call,
If Freedom did not crown them all.
By Providence forbid to stray,
Brutes never can mistake their way;
Determined still, they plod along
By instinct, neither right nor wrong;
But man, had he the heart to use
His freedom, hath a right to choose;
Whether he acts, or well, or ill,
Depends entirely on his will.
To her last work, her favourite Man,
Is given, on Nature's better plan,
A privilege in power to err.
Nor let this phrase resentment stir
Amongst the grave ones, since indeed
The little merit man can plead
In doing well, dependeth still
195
Upon his power of doing ill.
Opinions should be free as air;
No man, whate'er his rank, whate'er
His qualities, a claim can found
That my opinion must be bound,
And square with his; such slavish chains
From foes the liberal soul disdains;
Nor can, though true to friendship, bend
To wear them even from a friend.
Let those, who rigid judgment own,
Submissive bow at Judgment's throne,
And if they of no value hold
Pleasure, till pleasure is grown cold,
Pall'd and insipid, forced to wait
For Judgment's regular debate
To give it warrant, let them find
Dull subjects suited to their mind.
Theirs be slow wisdom; be my plan,
To live as merry as I can,
Regardless, as the fashions go,
Whether there's reason for't or no:
Be my employment here on earth
To give a liberal scope to mirth,
Life's barren vale with flowers to adorn,
And pluck a rose from every thorn.
But if, by Error led astray,
I chance to wander from my way,
Let no blind guide observe, in spite,
I'm wrong, who cannot set me right.
That doctor could I ne'er endure
Who found disease, and not a cure;
Nor can I hold that man a friend
Whose zeal a helping hand shall lend
To open happy Folly's eyes,
And, making wretched, make me wise:
For next (a truth which can't admit
Reproof from Wisdom or from Wit)
To being happy here below,
Is to believe that we are so.
Some few in knowledge find relief;
I place my comfort in belief.
Some for reality may call;
196
Fancy to me is all in all.
Imagination, through the trick
Of doctors, often makes us sick;
And why, let any sophist tell,
May it not likewise make us well?
This I am sure, whate'er our view,
Whatever shadows we pursue,
For our pursuits, be what they will,
Are little more than shadows still;
Too swift they fly, too swift and strong,
For man to catch or hold them long;
But joys which in the fancy live,
Each moment to each man may give:
True to himself, and true to ease,
He softens Fate's severe decrees,
And (can a mortal wish for more?)
Creates, and makes himself new o'er,
Mocks boasted vain reality,
And is, whate'er he wants to be.
Hail, Fancy!--to thy power I owe
Deliverance from the gripe of Woe;
To thee I owe a mighty debt,
Which Gratitude shall ne'er forget,
Whilst Memory can her force employ,
A large increase of every joy.
When at my doors, too strongly barr'd,
Authority had placed a guard,
A knavish guard, ordain'd by law
To keep poor Honesty in awe;
Authority, severe and stern,
To intercept my wish'd return;
When foes grew proud, and friends grew cool,
And laughter seized each sober fool;
When Candour started in amaze,
And, meaning censure, hinted praise;
When Prudence, lifting up her eyes
And hands, thank'd Heaven that she was wise;
When all around me, with an air
Of hopeless sorrow, look'd despair;
When they, or said, or seem'd to say,
There is but one, one only way
Better, and be advised by us,
197
Not be at all, than to be thus;
When Virtue shunn'd the shock, and Pride,
Disabled, lay by Virtue's side,
Too weak my ruffled soul to cheer,
Which could not hope, yet would not fear;
Health in her motion, the wild grace
Of pleasure speaking in her face,
Dull regularity thrown by,
And comfort beaming from her eye,
Fancy, in richest robes array'd,
Came smiling forth, and brought me aid;
Came smiling o'er that dreadful time,
And, more to bless me, came in rhyme.
Nor is her power to me confined;
It spreads, it comprehends mankind.
When (to the spirit-stirring sound
Of trumpets breathing courage round,
And fifes well-mingled, to restrain
And bring that courage down again;
Or to the melancholy knell
Of the dull, deep, and doleful bell,
Such as of late the good Saint Bride
Muffled, to mortify the pride
Of those who, England quite forgot,
Paid their vile homage to the Scot;
Where Asgill held the foremost place,
Whilst my lord figured at a race)
Processions ('tis not worth debate
Whether they are of stage or state)
Move on, so very, very slow,
Tis doubtful if they move, or no;
When the performers all the while
Mechanically frown or smile,
Or, with a dull and stupid stare,
A vacancy of sense declare,
Or, with down-bending eye, seem wrought
Into a labyrinth of thought,
Where Reason wanders still in doubt,
And, once got in, cannot get out;
What cause sufficient can we find,
To satisfy a thinking mind,
Why, duped by such vain farces, man
198
Descends to act on such a plan?
Why they, who hold themselves divine,
Can in such wretched follies join,
Strutting like peacocks, or like crows,
Themselves and Nature to expose?
What cause, but that (you'll understand
We have our remedy at hand,
That if perchance we start a doubt,
Ere it is fix'd, we wipe it out;
As surgeons, when they lop a limb,
Whether for profit, fame, or whim,
Or mere experiment to try,
Must always have a styptic by)
Fancy steps in, and stamps that real,
Which, _ipso facto_, is ideal.
Can none remember?--yes, I know,
All must remember that rare show
When to the country Sense went down,
And fools came flocking up to town;
When knights (a work which all admit
To be for knighthood much unfit)
Built booths for hire; when parsons play'd,
In robes canonical array'd,
And, fiddling, join'd the Smithfield dance,
The price of tickets to advance:
Or, unto tapsters turn'd, dealt out,
Running from booth to booth about,
To every scoundrel, by retail,
True pennyworths of beef and ale,
Then first prepared, by bringing beer in,
For present grand electioneering;
When heralds, running all about
To bring in Order, turn'd it out;
When, by the prudent Marshal's care,
Lest the rude populace should stare,
And with unhallow'd eyes profane
Gay puppets of Patrician strain,
The whole procession, as in spite,
Unheard, unseen, stole off by night;
When our loved monarch, nothing both,
Solemnly took that sacred oath,
Whence mutual firm agreements spring
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Betwixt the subject and the king,
By which, in usual manner crown'd,
His head, his heart, his hands, he bound,
Against himself, should passion stir
The least propensity to err,
Against all slaves, who might prepare,
Or open force, or hidden snare,
That glorious Charter to maintain,
By which we serve, and he must reign;
Then Fancy, with unbounded sway,
Revell'd sole mistress of the day,
And wrought such wonders, as might make
Egyptian sorcerers forsake
Their baffled mockeries, and own
The palm of magic hers alone.
A knight, (who, in the silken lap
Of lazy Peace, had lived on pap;
Who never yet had dared to roam
'Bove ten or twenty miles from home,
Nor even that, unless a guide
Was placed to amble by his side,
And troops of slaves were spread around
To keep his Honour safe and sound;
Who could not suffer, for his life,
A point to sword, or edge to knife;
And always fainted at the sight
Of blood, though 'twas not shed in fight;
Who disinherited one son
For firing off an alder gun,
And whipt another, six years old,
Because the boy, presumptuous, bold
To madness, likely to become
A very Swiss, had beat a drum,
Though it appear'd an instrument
Most peaceable and innocent,
Having, from first, been in the hands
And service of the City bands)
Graced with those ensigns, which were meant
To further Honour's dread intent,
The minds of warriors to inflame,
And spur them on to deeds of fame;
With little sword, large spurs, high feather,
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Fearless of every thing but weather,
(And all must own, who pay regard
To charity, it had been hard
That in his very first campaign
His honours should be soil'd with rain)
A hero all at once became,
And (seeing others much the same
In point of valour as himself,
Who leave their courage on a shelf
From year to year, till some such rout
In proper season calls it out)
Strutted, look'd big, and swagger'd more
Than ever hero did before;
Look'd up, look'd down, look'd all around,
Like Mavors, grimly smiled and frown'd;
Seem'd Heaven, and Earth, and Hell to call
To fight, that he might rout them all,
And personated Valour's style
So long, spectators to beguile,
That, passing strange, and wondrous true,
Himself at last believed it too;
Nor for a time could he discern,
Till Truth and Darkness took their turn,
So well did Fancy play her part,
That coward still was at the heart.
Whiffle (who knows not Whiffle's name,
By the impartial voice of Fame
Recorded first through all this land
In Vanity's illustrious band?)
Who, by all-bounteous Nature meant
For offices of hardiment,
A modern Hercules at least,
To rid the world of each wild beast,
Of each wild beast which came in view,
Whether on four legs or on two,
Degenerate, delights to prove
His force on the parade of Love,
Disclaims the joys which camps afford,
And for the distaff quits the sword;
Who fond of women would appear
To public eye and public ear,
But, when in private, lets them know
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How little they can trust to show;
Who sports a woman, as of course,
Just as a jockey shows a horse,
And then returns her to the stable,
Or vainly plants her at his table,
Where he would rather Venus find
(So pall'd, and so depraved his mind)
Than, by some great occasion led,
To seize her panting in her bed,
Burning with more than mortal fires,
And melting in her own desires;
Who, ripe in years, is yet a child,
Through fashion, not through feeling, wild;
Whate'er in others, who proceed
As Sense and Nature have decreed,
From real passion flows, in him
Is mere effect of mode and whim;
Who laughs, a very common way,
Because he nothing has to say,
As your choice spirits oaths dispense
To fill up vacancies of sense;
Who, having some small sense, defies it,
Or, using, always misapplies it;
Who now and then brings something forth
Which seems indeed of sterling worth;
Something, by sudden start and fit,
Which at a distance looks like wit,
But, on examination near,
To his confusion will appear,
By Truth's fair glass, to be at best
A threadbare jester's threadbare jest;
Who frisks and dances through the street,
Sings without voice, rides without seat,
Plays o'er his tricks, like Aesop's ass,
A gratis fool to all who pass;
Who riots, though he loves not waste,
Whores without lust, drinks without taste,
Acts without sense, talks without thought,
Does every thing but what he ought;
Who, led by forms, without the power
Of vice, is vicious; who one hour,
Proud without pride, the next will be
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Humble without humility:
Whose vanity we all discern,
The spring on which his actions turn;
Whose aim in erring, is to err,
So that he may be singular,
And all his utmost wishes mean
Is, though he's laugh'd at, to be seen:
Such, (for when Flattery's soothing strain
Had robb'd the Muse of her disdain,
And found a method to persuade
Her art to soften every shade,
Justice, enraged, the pencil snatch'd
From her degenerate hand, and scratch'd
Out every trace; then, quick as thought,
From life this striking likeness caught)
In mind, in manners, and in mien,
Such Whiffle came, and such was seen
In the world's eye; but (strange to tell!)
Misled by Fancy's magic spell,
Deceived, not dreaming of deceit,
Cheated, but happy in the cheat,
Was more than human in his own.
Oh, bow, bow all at Fancy's throne,
Whose power could make so vile an elf
With patience bear that thing, himself.
But, mistress of each art to please,
Creative Fancy, what are these,
These pageants of a trifler's pen,
To what thy power effected then?
Familiar with the human mind,
And swift and subtle as the wind,
Which we all feel, yet no one knows,
Or whence it comes, or where it goes,
Fancy at once in every part
Possess'd the eye, the head, the heart,
And in a thousand forms array'd,
A thousand various gambols play'd.
Here, in a face which well might ask
The privilege to wear a mask
In spite of law, and Justice teach
For public good to excuse the breach,
Within the furrow of a wrinkle
203
'Twixt eyes, which could not shine but twinkle,
Like sentinels i' th' starry way,
Who wait for the return of day,
Almost burnt out, and seem to keep
Their watch, like soldiers, in their sleep;
Or like those lamps, which, by the power
Of law, must burn from hour to hour,
(Else they, without redemption, fall
Under the terrors of that Hall,
Which, once notorious for a hop,
Is now become a justice shop)
Which are so managed, to go out
Just when the time comes round about,
Which yet, through emulation, strive
To keep their dying light alive,
And (not uncommon, as we find,
Amongst the children of mankind)
As they grow weaker, would seem stronger,
And burn a little, little longer:
Fancy, betwixt such eyes enshrined,
No brush to daub, no mill to grind,
Thrice waved her wand around, whose force
Changed in an instant Nature's course,
And, hardly credible in rhyme,
Not only stopp'd, but call'd back Time;
The face of every wrinkle clear'd,
Smooth as the floating stream appear'd,
Down the neck ringlets spread their flame,
The neck admiring whence they came;
On the arch'd brow the Graces play'd;
On the full bosom Cupid laid;
Suns, from their proper orbits sent,
Became for eyes a supplement;
Teeth, white as ever teeth were seen,
Deliver'd from the hand of Green,
Started, in regular array,
Like train-bands on a grand field day,
Into the gums, which would have fled,
But, wondering, turn'd from white to red;
Quite alter'd was the whole machine,
And Lady ---- ---- was fifteen.
Here she made lordly temples rise

204
Before the pious Dashwood's eyes,
Temples which, built aloft in air,
May serve for show, if not for prayer;
In solemn form herself, before,
Array'd like Faith, the Bible bore.
There over Melcombe's feather'd head-Who, quite a man of gingerbread,
Savour'd in talk, in dress, and phiz,
More of another world than this,
To a dwarf Muse a giant page,
The last grave fop of the last age-In a superb and feather'd hearse,
Bescutcheon'd and betagg'd with verse,
Which, to beholders from afar,
Appear'd like a triumphal car,
She rode, in a cast rainbow clad;
There, throwing off the hallow'd plaid,
Naked, as when (in those drear cells
Where, self-bless'd, self-cursed, Madness dwells)
Pleasure, on whom, in Laughter's shape,
Frenzy had perfected a rape,
First brought her forth, before her time,
Wild witness of her shame and crime,
Driving before an idol band
Of drivelling Stuarts, hand in hand;
Some who, to curse mankind, had wore
A crown they ne'er must think of more;
Others, whose baby brows were graced
With paper crowns, and toys of paste,
She jigg'd, and, playing on the flute,
Spread raptures o'er the soul of Bute.
Big with vast hopes, some mighty plan,
Which wrought the busy soul of man
To her full bent; the Civil Law,
Fit code to keep a world in awe,
Bound o'er his brows, fair to behold,
As Jewish frontlets were of old;
The famous Charter of our land
Defaced, and mangled in his hand;
As one whom deepest thoughts employ,
But deepest thoughts of truest joy,
Serious and slow he strode, he stalk'd;
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Before him troops of heroes walk'd,
Whom best he loved, of heroes crown'd,
By Tories guarded all around;
Dull solemn pleasure in his face,
He saw the honours of his race,
He saw their lineal glories rise,
And touch'd, or seem'd to touch, the skies:
Not the most distant mark of fear,
No sign of axe or scaffold near,
Not one cursed thought to cross his will
Of such a place as Tower Hill.
Curse on this Muse, a flippant jade,
A shrew, like every other maid
Who turns the corner of nineteen,
Devour'd with peevishness and spleen;
Her tongue (for as, when bound for life,
The husband suffers for the wife,
So if in any works of rhyme
Perchance there blunders out a crime,
Poor culprit bards must always rue it,
Although 'tis plain the Muses do it)
Sooner or later cannot fail
To send me headlong to a jail.
Whate'er my theme, (our themes we choose,
In modern days, without a Muse;
Just as a father will provide
To join a bridegroom and a bride,
As if, though they must be the players,
The game was wholly his, not theirs)
Whate'er my theme, the Muse, who still
Owns no direction but her will,
Plies off, and ere I could expect,
By ways oblique and indirect,
At once quite over head and ears
In fatal politics appears.
Time was, and, if I aught discern
Of fate, that time shall soon return,
When, decent and demure at least,
As grave and dull as any priest,
I could see Vice in robes array'd,
Could see the game of Folly play'd
Successfully in Fortune's school,
206
Without exclaiming rogue or fool.
Time was, when, nothing both or proud,
I lackey'd with the fawning crowd,
Scoundrels in office, and would bow
To cyphers great in place; but now
Upright I stand, as if wise Fate,
To compliment a shatter'd state,
Had me, like Atlas, hither sent
To shoulder up the firmament,
And if I stoop'd, with general crack,
The heavens would tumble from my back.
Time was, when rank and situation
Secured the great ones of the nation
From all control; satire and law
Kept only little knaves in awe;
But now, Decorum lost, I stand
Bemused, a pencil in my hand,
And, dead to every sense of shame,
Careless of safety and of fame,
The names of scoundrels minute down,
And libel more than half the town.
How can a statesman be secure
In all his villanies, if poor
And dirty authors thus shall dare
To lay his rotten bosom bare?
Muses should pass away their time
In dressing out the poet's rhyme
With bills, and ribands, and array
Each line in harmless taste, though gay;
When the hot burning fit is on,
They should regale their restless son
With something to allay his rage,
Some cool Castalian beverage,
Or some such draught (though they, 'tis plain,
Taking the Muse's name in vain,
Know nothing of their real court,
And only fable from report)
As makes a Whitehead's Ode go down,
Or slakes the Feverette of Brown:
But who would in his senses think,
Of Muses giving gall to drink,
Or that their folly should afford
207
To raving poets gun or sword?
Poets were ne'er designed by Fate
To meddle with affairs of state,
Nor should (if we may speak our thought
Truly as men of honour ought)
Sound policy their rage admit,
To launch the thunderbolts of Wit
About those heads, which, when they're shot,
Can't tell if 'twas by Wit or not.
These things well known, what devil, in spite,
Can have seduced me thus to write
Out of that road, which must have led
To riches, without heart or head,
Into that road, which, had I more
Than ever poet had before
Of wit and virtue, in disgrace
Would keep me still, and out of place;
Which, if some judge (you'll understand
One famous, famous through the land
For making law) should stand my friend,
At last may in a pillory end;
And all this, I myself admit,
Without one cause to lead to it?
For instance, now--this book--the Ghost-Methinks I hear some critic Post
Remark most gravely--'The first word
Which we about the Ghost have heard.'
Peace, my good sir!--not quite so fast-What is the first, may be the last,
Which is a point, all must agree,
Cannot depend on you or me.
Fanny, no ghost of common mould,
Is not by forms to be controll'd;
To keep her state, and show her skill,
She never comes but when she will.
I wrote and wrote, (perhaps you doubt,
And shrewdly, what I wrote about;
Believe me, much to my disgrace,
I, too, am in the self-same case
But still I wrote, till Fanny came
Impatient, nor could any shame
On me with equal justice fall
208
If she had never come at all.
An underling, I could not stir
Without the cue thrown out by her,
Nor from the subject aid receive
Until she came and gave me leave.
So that, (ye sons of Erudition
Mark, this is but a supposition,
Nor would I to so wise a nation
Suggest it as a revelation)
If henceforth, dully turning o'er
Page after page, ye read no more
Of Fanny, who, in sea or air,
May be departed God knows where,
Rail at jilt Fortune; but agree
No censure can be laid on me;
For sure (the cause let Mansfield try)
Fanny is in the fault, not I.
But, to return--and this I hold
A secret worth its weight in gold
To those who write, as I write now,
Not to mind where they go, or how,
Through ditch, through bog, o'er hedge and stile,
Make it but worth the reader's while,
And keep a passage fair and plain
Always to bring him back again.
Through dirt, who scruples to approach,
At Pleasure's call, to take a coach?
But we should think the man a clown,
Who in the dirt should set us down.
But to return--if Wit, who ne'er
The shackles of restraint could bear,
In wayward humour should refuse
Her timely succour to the Muse,
And, to no rules and orders tied,
Roughly deny to be her guide,
She must renounce Decorum's plan,
And get back when, and how she can;
As parsons, who, without pretext,
As soon as mention'd, quit their text,
And, to promote sleep's genial power,
Grope in the dark for half an hour,
Give no more reason (for we know
209
Reason is vulgar, mean, and low)
Why they come back (should it befall
That ever they come back at all)
Into the road, to end their rout,
Than they can give why they went out.
But to return--this book--the Ghost-A mere amusement at the most;
A trifle, fit to wear away
The horrors of a rainy day;
A slight shot-silk, for summer wear,
Just as our modern statesmen are,
If rigid honesty permit
That I for once purloin the wit
Of him, who, were we all to steal,
Is much too rich the theft to feel:
Yet in this book, where Base should join
With Mirth to sugar every line;
Where it should all be mere chit-chat,
Lively, good-humour'd, and all that;
Where honest Satire, in disgrace,
Should not so much as show her face,
The shrew, o'erleaping all due bounds,
Breaks into Laughter's sacred grounds,
And, in contempt, plays o'er her tricks
In science, trade, and politics.
By why should the distemper'd scold
Attempt to blacken men enroll'd
In Power's dread book, whose mighty skill
Can twist an empire to their will;
Whose voice is fate, and on their tongue
Law, liberty, and life are hung;
Whom, on inquiry, Truth shall find
With Stuarts link'd, time out of mind,
Superior to their country's laws,
Defenders of a tyrant's cause;
Men, who the same damn'd maxims hold
Darkly, which they avow'd of old;
Who, though by different means, pursue
The end which they had first in view,
And, force found vain, now play their part
With much less honour, much more art?
Why, at the corners of the streets,
210
To every patriot drudge she meets,
Known or unknown, with furious cry
Should she wild clamours vent? or why,
The minds of groundlings to inflame,
A Dashwood, Bute, and Wyndham name?
Why, having not, to our surprise,
The fear of death before her eyes,
Bearing, and that but now and then,
No other weapon but her pen,
Should she an argument afford
For blood to men who wear a sword?
Men, who can nicely trim and pare
A point of honour to a hair-(Honour!--a word of nice import,
A pretty trinket in a court,
Which my lord, quite in rapture, feels
Dangling and rattling with his seals-Honour!--a word which all the Nine
Would be much puzzled to define-Honour!--a word which torture mocks,
And might confound a thousand Lockes-Which--for I leave to wiser heads,
Who fields of death prefer to beds
Of down, to find out, if they can,
What honour is, on their wild plan-Is not, to take it in their way,
And this we sure may dare to say
Without incurring an offence,
Courage, law, honesty, or sense):
Men, who, all spirit, life, and soul
Neat butchers of a button-hole,
Having more skill, believe it true
That they must have more courage too:
Men who, without a place or name,
Their fortunes speechless as their fame,
Would by the sword new fortunes carve,
And rather die in fight than starve
At coronations, a vast field,
Which food of every kind might yield;
Of good sound food, at once most fit
For purposes of health and wit,
Could not ambitious Satire rest,
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Content with what she might digest?
Could she not feast on things of course,
A champion, or a champion's horse?
A champion's horse--no, better say,
Though better figured on that day,
A horse, which might appear to us,
Who deal in rhyme, a Pegasus;
A rider, who, when once got on,
Might pass for a Bellerophon,
Dropt on a sudden from the skies,
To catch and fix our wondering eyes,
To witch, with wand instead of whip,
The world with noble horsemanship,
To twist and twine, both horse and man,
On such a well-concerted plan,
That, Centaur-like, when all was done,
We scarce could think they were not one?
Could she not to our itching ears
Bring the new names of new-coin'd peers,
Who walk'd, nobility forgot,
With shoulders fitter for a knot
Than robes of honour; for whose sake
Heralds in form were forced to make,
To make, because they could not find,
Great predecessors to their mind?
Could she not (though 'tis doubtful since
Whether he plumber is, or prince)
Tell of a simple knight's advance
To be a doughty peer of France?
Tell how he did a dukedom gain,
And Robinson was Aquitain?
Tell how her city chiefs, disgraced,
Were at an empty table placed,-A gross neglect, which, whilst they live,
They can't forget, and won't forgive;
A gross neglect of all those rights
Which march with city appetites,
Of all those canons, which we find
By Gluttony, time out of mind,
Established, which they ever hold
Dearer than any thing but gold?
Thanks to my stars--I now see shore--
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Of courtiers, and of courts no more-Thus stumbling on my city friends,
Blind Chance my guide, my purpose bends
In line direct, and shall pursue
The point which I had first in view,
Nor more shall with the reader sport
Till I have seen him safe in port.
Hush'd be each fear--no more I bear
Through the wide regions of the air
The reader terrified, no more
Wild ocean's horrid paths explore.
Be the plain track from henceforth mine-Cross roads to Allen I resign;
Allen, the honor of this nation;
Allen, himself a corporation;
Allen, of late notorious grown
For writings, none, or all, his own;
Allen, the first of letter'd men,
Since the good Bishop holds his pen,
And at his elbow takes his stand,
To mend his head, and guide his hand.
But hold--once more, Digression hence-Let us return to Common Sense;
The car of Phoebus I discharge,
My carriage now a Lord Mayor's barge.
Suppose we now--we may suppose
In verse, what would be sin in prose-The sky with darkness overspread,
And every star retired to bed;
The gewgaw robes of Pomp and Pride
In some dark corner thrown aside;
Great lords and ladies giving way
To what they seem to scorn by day,
The real feelings of the heart,
And Nature taking place of Art;
Desire triumphant through the night,
And Beauty panting with delight;
Chastity, woman's fairest crown,
Till the return of morn laid down.
Then to be worn again as bright
As if not sullied in the night;
Dull Ceremony, business o'er,
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Dreaming in form at Cottrell's door;
Precaution trudging all about
To see the candles safely out,
Bearing a mighty master-key,
Habited like Economy,
Stamping each lock with triple seals;
Mean Avarice creeping at her heels.
Suppose we too, like sheep in pen,
The Mayor and Court of Aldermen
Within their barge, which through the deep,
The rowers more than half asleep,
Moved slow, as overcharged with state;
Thames groan'd beneath the mighty weight,
And felt that bauble heavier far
Than a whole fleet of men of war.
Sleep o'er each well-known faithful head
With liberal hand his poppies shed;
Each head, by Dulness render'd fit
Sleep and his empire to admit.
Through the whole passage not a word,
Not one faint, weak half-sound was heard;
Sleep had prevail'd to overwhelm
The steersman nodding o'er the helm;
The rowers, without force or skill,
Left the dull barge to drive at will;
The sluggish oars suspended hung,
And even Beardmore held his tongue.
Commerce, regardful of a freight
On which depended half her state,
Stepp'd to the helm; with ready hand
She safely clear'd that bank of sand,
Where, stranded, our west-country fleet
Delay and danger often meet,
Till Neptune, anxious for the trade,
Comes in full tides, and brings them aid.
Next (for the Muses can survey
Objects by night as well as day;
Nothing prevents their taking aim,
Darkness and light to them the same)
They pass'd that building which of old
Queen-mothers was design'd to hold;
At present a mere lodging-pen,
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A palace turn'd into a den;
To barracks turn'd, and soldiers tread
Where dowagers have laid their head.
Why should we mention Surrey Street,
Where every week grave judges meet
All fitted out with hum and ha,
In proper form to drawl out law,
To see all causes duly tried
'Twixt knaves who drive, and fools who ride?
Why at the Temple should we stay?
What of the Temple dare we say?
A dangerous ground we tread on there,
And words perhaps may actions bear;
Where, as the brethren of the seas
For fares, the lawyers ply for fees.
What of that Bridge, most wisely made
To serve the purposes of trade,
In the great mart of all this nation,
By stopping up the navigation,
And to that sand bank adding weight,
Which is already much too great?
What of that Bridge, which, void of sense
But well supplied with impudence,
Englishmen, knowing not the Guild,
Thought they might have a claim to build,
Till Paterson, as white as milk,
As smooth as oil, as soft as silk,
In solemn manner had decreed
That on the other side the Tweed
Art, born and bred, and fully grown,
Was with one Mylne, a man unknown,
But grace, preferment, and renown
Deserving, just arrived in town:
One Mylne, an artist perfect quite
Both in his own and country's right,
As fit to make a bridge as he,
With glorious Patavinity,
To build inscriptions worthy found
To lie for ever under ground.
Much more worth observation too,
Was this a season to pursue
The theme, our Muse might tell in rhyme:
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The will she hath, but not the time;
For, swift as shaft from Indian bow,
(And when a goddess comes, we know,
Surpassing Nature acts prevail.
And boats want neither oar nor sail)
The vessel pass'd, and reach'd the shore
So quick, that Thought was scarce before.
Suppose we now our City court
Safely delivered at the port.
And, of their state regardless quite,
Landed, like smuggled goods, by night,
The solemn magistrate laid down,
The dignity of robe and gown,
With every other ensign gone,
Suppose the woollen nightcap on;
The flesh-brush used, with decent state,
To make the spirits circulate,
(A form which, to the senses true,
The lickerish chaplain uses too,
Though, something to improve the plan,
He takes the maid instead of man)
Swathed, and with flannel cover'd o'er,
To show the vigour of threescore,
The vigour of threescore and ten,
Above the proof of younger men,
Suppose, the mighty Dulman led
Betwixt two slaves, and put to bed;
Suppose, the moment he lies down,
No miracle in this great town,
The drone as fast asleep as he
Must in the course of nature be,
Who, truth for our foundation take,
When up, is never half awake.
There let him sleep, whilst we survey
The preparations for the day;
That day on which was to be shown
Court pride by City pride outdone.
The jealous mother sends away,
As only fit for childish play,
That daughter who, to gall her pride,
Shoots up too forward by her side.
The wretch, of God and man accursed,
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Of all Hell's instruments the worst,
Draws forth his pawns, and for the day
Struts in some spendthrift's vain array;
Around his awkward doxy shine
The treasures of Golconda's mine;
Each neighbour, with a jealous glare,
Beholds her folly publish'd there.
Garments well saved, (an anecdote
Which we can prove, or would not quote)
Garments well saved, which first were made
When tailors, to promote their trade,
Against the Picts in arms arose,
And drove them out, or made them clothes;
Garments immortal, without end,
Like names and titles, which descend
Successively from sire to son;
Garments, unless some work is done
Of note, not suffer'd to appear
'Bove once at most in every year,
Were now, in solemn form, laid bare,
To take the benefit of air,
And, ere they came to be employ'd
On this solemnity, to void
That scent which Russia's leather gave,
From vile and impious moth to save.
Each head was busy, and each heart
In preparation bore a part;
Running together all about
The servants put each other out,
Till the grave master had decreed,
The more haste ever the worse speed.
Miss, with her little eyes half-closed,
Over a smuggled toilette dosed;
The waiting-maid, whom story notes
A very Scrub in petticoats,
Hired for one work, but doing all,
In slumbers lean'd against the wall.
Milliners, summon'd from afar,
Arrived in shoals at Temple Bar,
Strictly commanded to import
Cart loads of foppery from Court;
With labour'd visible design,
217
Art strove to be superbly fine;
Nature, more pleasing, though more wild,
Taught otherwise her darling child,
And cried, with spirited disdain,
Be Hunter elegant and plain!
Lo! from the chambers of the East,
A welcome prelude to the feast,
In saffron-colour'd robe array'd,
High in a car, by Vulcan made,
Who work'd for Jove himself, each steed,
High-mettled, of celestial breed,
Pawing and pacing all the way,
Aurora brought the wish'd-for day,
And held her empire, till out-run
By that brave jolly groom, the Sun.
The trumpet--hark! it speaks--it swells
The loud full harmony; it tells
The time at hand when Dulman, led
By Form, his citizens must head,
And march those troops, which at his call
Were now assembled, to Guildhall,
On matters of importance great,
To court and city, church and state.
From end to end the sound makes way,
All hear the signal and obey;
But Dulman, who, his charge forgot,
By Morpheus fetter'd, heard it not;
Nor could, so sound he slept and fast,
Hear any trumpet, but the last.
Crape, ever true and trusty known,
Stole from the maid's bed to his own,
Then in the spirituals of pride,
Planted himself at Dulman's side.
Thrice did the ever-faithful slave,
With voice which might have reach'd the grave,
And broke Death's adamantine chain,
On Dulman call, but call'd in vain.
Thrice with an arm, which might have made
The Theban boxer curse his trade,
The drone he shook, who rear'd the head,
And thrice fell backward on his bed.
What could be done? Where force hath fail'd,
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Policy often hath prevail'd;
And what--an inference most plain-Had been, Crape thought might be again.
Under his pillow (still in mind
The proverb kept, 'fast bind, fast find')
Each blessed night the keys were laid,
Which Crape to draw away assay'd.
What not the power of voice or arm
Could do, this did, and broke the charm;
Quick started he with stupid stare,
For all his little soul was there.
Behold him, taken up, rubb'd down,
In elbow-chair, and morning-gown;
Behold him, in his latter bloom,
Stripp'd, wash'd, and sprinkled with perfume;
Behold him bending with the weight
Of robes, and trumpery of state;
Behold him (for the maxim's true,
Whate'er we by another do,
We do ourselves; and chaplain paid,
Like slaves in every other trade,
Had mutter'd over God knows what,
Something which he by heart had got)
Having, as usual, said his prayers,
Go titter, totter to the stairs:
Behold him for descent prepare,
With one foot trembling in the air;
He starts, he pauses on the brink,
And, hard to credit, seems to think;
Through his whole train (the chaplain gave
The proper cue to every slave)
At once, as with infection caught,
Each started, paused, and aim'd at thought;
He turns, and they turn; big with care,
He waddles to his elbow-chair,
Squats down, and, silent for a season,
At last with Crape begins to reason:
But first of all he made a sign,
That every soul, but the divine,
Should quit the room; in him, he knows,
He may all confidence repose.
'Crape--though I'm yet not quite awake--
219
Before this awful step I take,
On which my future all depends,
I ought to know my foes and friends.
My foes and friends--observe me still-I mean not those who well or ill
Perhaps may wish me, but those who
Have't in their power to do it too.
Now if, attentive to the state,
In too much hurry to be great,
Or through much zeal,--a motive, Crape,
Deserving praise,--into a scrape
I, like a fool, am got, no doubt
I, like a wise man, should get out:
Note that remark without replies;
I say that to get out is wise,
Or, by the very self-same rule,
That to get in was like a fool.
The marrow of this argument
Must wholly rest on the event,
And therefore, which is really hard,
Against events too I must guard.
Should things continue as they stand,
And Bute prevail through all the land
Without a rival, by his aid
My fortunes in a trice are made;
Nay, honours on my zeal may smile,
And stamp me Earl of some great Isle:
But if, a matter of much doubt,
The present minister goes out,
Fain would I know on what pretext
I can stand fairly with the next?
For as my aim, at every hour,
Is to be well with those in power,
And my material point of view,
Whoever's in, to be in too,
I should not, like a blockhead, choose
To gain these, so as those to lose:
'Tis good in every case, you know,
To have two strings unto our bow.'
As one in wonder lost, Crape view'd
His lord, who thus his speech pursued:
'This, my good Crape, is my grand point;
220
And as the times are out of joint,
The greater caution is required
To bring about the point desired.
What I would wish to bring about
Cannot admit a moment's doubt;
The matter in dispute, you know,
Is what we call the _Quomodo_.
That be thy task.'--The reverend slave,
Becoming in a moment grave,
Fix'd to the ground and rooted stood,
Just like a man cut out out of wood,
Such as we see (without the least
Reflection glancing on the priest)
One or more, planted up and down,
Almost in every church in town;
He stood some minutes, then, like one
Who wish'd the matter might be done,
But could not do it, shook his head,
And thus the man of sorrow said:
'Hard is this task, too hard I swear,
By much too hard for me to bear;
Beyond expression hard my part,
Could mighty Dulman see my heart,
When he, alas! makes known a will
Which Crape's not able to fulfil.
Was ever my obedience barr'd
By any trifling nice regard
To sense and honour? Could I reach
Thy meaning without help of speech,
At the first motion of thy eye
Did not thy faithful creature fly?
Have I not said, not what I ought,
But what my earthly master taught?
Did I e'er weigh, through duty strong,
In thy great biddings, right and wrong?
Did ever Interest, to whom thou
Canst not with more devotion bow,
Warp my sound faith, or will of mine
In contradiction run to thine?
Have I not, at thy table placed,
When business call'd aloud for haste,
Torn myself thence, yet never heard
221
To utter one complaining word,
And had, till thy great work was done,
All appetites, as having none?
Hard is it, this great plan pursued
Of voluntary servitude;
Pursued without or shame, or fear,
Through the great circle of the year,
Now to receive, in this grand hour,
Commands which lie beyond my power,
Commands which baffle all my skill,
And leave me nothing but my will:
Be that accepted; let my lord
Indulgence to his slave afford:
This task, for my poor strength unfit,
Will yield to none but Dulman's wit.'
With such gross incense gratified,
And turning up the lip of pride,
'Poor Crape'--and shook his empty head-'Poor puzzled Crape!' wise Dulman said,
'Of judgment weak, of sense confined,
For things of lower note design'd;
For things within the vulgar reach,
To run of errands, and to preach;
Well hast thou judged, that heads like mine
Cannot want help from heads like thine;
Well hast thou judged thyself unmeet
Of such high argument to treat;
Twas but to try thee that I spoke,
And all I said was but a joke.
Nor think a joke, Crape, a disgrace,
Or to my person, or my place;
The wisest of the sons of men
Have deign'd to use them now and then.
The only caution, do you see,
Demanded by our dignity,
From common use and men exempt,
Is that they may not breed contempt.
Great use they have, when in the hands
Of one like me, who understands,
Who understands the time and place,
The person, manner, and the grace,
Which fools neglect; so that we find,
222
If all the requisites are join'd,
From whence a perfect joke must spring,
A joke's a very serious thing.
But to our business--my design,
Which gave so rough a shock to thine,
To my capacity is made
As ready as a fraud in trade;
Which, like broad-cloth, I can, with ease,
Cut out in any shape I please.
Some, in my circumstance, some few,
Aye, and those men of genius too,
Good men, who, without love or hate,
Whether they early rise or late,
With names uncrack'd, and credit sound,
Rise worth a hundred thousand pound,
By threadbare ways and means would try
To bear their point--so will not I.
New methods shall my wisdom find
To suit these matters to my mind;
So that the infidels at court,
Who make our city wits their sport,
Shall hail the honours of my reign,
And own that Dulman bears a brain.
Some, in my place, to gain their ends,
Would give relations up, and friends;
Would lend a wife, who, they might swear
Safely, was none the worse for wear;
Would see a daughter, yet a maid,
Into a statesman's arms betray'd;
Nay, should the girl prove coy, nor know
What daughters to a father owe,
Sooner than schemes so nobly plann'd
Should fail, themselves would lend a hand;
Would vote on one side, whilst a brother,
Properly taught, would vote on t'other;
Would every petty band forget;
To public eye be with one set,
In private with a second herd,
And be by proxy with a third;
Would, (like a queen, of whom I read,
The other day--her name is fled-In a book,--where, together bound,
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'Whittington and his Cat' I found-A tale most true, and free from art,
Which all Lord Mayors should have by heart;
A queen oh!--might those days begin
Afresh, when queens would learn to spin-Who wrought, and wrought, but for some plot,
The cause of which I've now forgot,
During the absence of the sun
Undid what she by day had done)
Whilst they a double visage wear,
What's sworn by day, by night unswear.
Such be their arts, and such, perchance,
May happily their ends advance;
Prom a new system mine shall spring,
A _locum tenens_ is the thing.
That's your true plan. To obligate
The present ministers of state,
My shadow shall our court approach,
And bear my power, and have my coach;
My fine state-coach, superb to view,
A fine state-coach, and paid for too.
To curry favour, and the grace
Obtain of those who're out of place;
In the mean time I--that's to say,
I proper, I myself--here stay.
But hold--perhaps unto the nation,
Who hate the Scot's administration,
To lend my coach may seem to be
Declaring for the ministry,
For where the city-coach is, there
Is the true essence of the Mayor:
Therefore (for wise men are intent
Evils at distance to prevent,
Whilst fools the evils first endure,
And then are plagued to seek a cure)
No coach--a horse--and free from fear,
To make our Deputy appear,
Fast on his back shall he be tied,
With two grooms marching by his side;
Then for a horse--through all the land,
To head our solemn city-band,
Can any one so fit be found
224
As he who in Artillery-ground,
Without a rider, (noble sight!)
Led on our bravest troops to fight?
But first, Crape, for my honour's sake-A tender point--inquiry make
About that horse, if the dispute
Is ended, or is still in suit:
For whilst a cause, (observe this plan
Of justice) whether horse or man
The parties be, remains in doubt,
Till 'tis determined out and out,
That power must tyranny appear
Which should, prejudging, interfere,
And weak, faint judges overawe,
To bias the free course of law.
You have my will--now quickly run,
And take care that my will be done.
In public, Crape, you must appear,
Whilst I in privacy sit here;
Here shall great Dulman sit alone,
Making this elbow-chair my throne,
And you, performing what I bid,
Do all, as if I nothing did.'
Crape heard, and speeded on his way;
With him to hear was to obey;
Not without trouble, be assured,
A proper proxy was procured
To serve such infamous intent,
And such a lord to represent;
Nor could one have been found at all
On t'other side of London Wall.
The trumpet sounds--solemn and slow
Behold the grand procession go,
All moving on, cat after kind,
As if for motion ne'er design'd.
Constables, whom the laws admit
To keep the peace by breaking it;
Beadles, who hold the second place
By virtue of a silver mace,
Which every Saturday is drawn,
For use of Sunday, out of pawn;
Treasurers, who with empty key
225
Secure an empty treasury;
Churchwardens, who their course pursue
In the same state, as to their pew
Churchwardens of St Margaret's go,
Since Peirson taught them pride and show,
Who in short transient pomp appear,
Like almanacs changed every year;
Behind whom, with unbroken locks,
Charity carries the poor's box,
Not knowing that with private keys
They ope and shut it when they please:
Overseers, who by frauds ensure
The heavy curses of the poor;
Unclean came flocking, bulls and bears,
Like beasts into the ark, by pairs.
Portentous, flaming in the van,
Stalk'd the professor, Sheridan,
A man of wire, a mere pantine,
A downright animal machine;
He knows alone, in proper mode,
How to take vengeance on an ode,
And how to butcher Ammon's son
And poor Jack Dryden both in one:
On all occasions next the chair
He stands, for service of the Mayor,
And to instruct him how to use
His A's and B's, and P's and Q's:
O'er letters, into tatters worn,
O'er syllables, defaced and torn,
O'er words disjointed, and o'er sense,
Left destitute of all defence,
He strides, and all the way he goes
Wades, deep in blood, o'er Criss-cross-rows:
Before him every consonant
In agonies is seen to pant;
Behind, in forms not to be known,
The ghosts of tortured vowels groan.
Next Hart and Duke, well worthy grace
And city favour, came in place;
No children can their toils engage,
Their toils are turn'd to reverend age;
When a court dame, to grace his brows
226
Resolved, is wed to city-spouse,
Their aid with madam's aid must join,
The awkward dotard to refine,
And teach, whence truest glory flows,
Grave sixty to turn out his toes.
Each bore in hand a kit; and each
To show how fit he was to teach
A cit, an alderman, a mayor,
Led in a string a dancing bear.
Since the revival of Fingal,
Custom, and custom's all in all,
Commands that we should have regard,
On all high seasons, to the bard.
Great acts like these, by vulgar tongue
Profaned, should not be said, but sung.
This place to fill, renown'd in fame,
The high and mighty Lockman came,
And, ne'er forgot in Dulman's reign,
With proper order to maintain
The uniformity of pride,
Brought Brother Whitehead by his side.
On horse, who proudly paw'd the ground,
And cast his fiery eyeballs round,
Snorting, and champing the rude bit,
As if, for warlike purpose fit,
His high and generous blood disdain'd,
To be for sports and pastimes rein'd,
Great Dymock, in his glorious station,
Paraded at the coronation.
Not so our city Dymock came,
Heavy, dispirited, and tame;
No mark of sense, his eyes half-closed,
He on a mighty dray-horse dozed:
Fate never could a horse provide
So fit for such a man to ride,
Nor find a man with strictest care,
So fit for such a horse to bear.
Hung round with instruments of death,
The sight of him would stop the breath
Of braggart Cowardice, and make
The very court Drawcansir quake;
With dirks, which, in the hands of Spite,
227
Do their damn'd business in the night,
From Scotland sent, but here display'd
Only to fill up the parade;
With swords, unflesh'd, of maiden hue,
Which rage or valour never drew;
With blunderbusses, taught to ride
Like pocket-pistols, by his side,
In girdle stuck, he seem'd to be
A little moving armoury.
One thing much wanting to complete
The sight, and make a perfect treat,
Was, that the horse, (a courtesy
In horses found of high degree)
Instead of going forward on,
All the way backward should have gone.
Horses, unless they breeding lack,
Some scruple make to turn their back,
Though riders, which plain truth declares,
No scruple make of turning theirs.
Far, far apart from all the rest,
Fit only for a standing jest,
The independent, (can you get
A better suited epithet?)
The independent Amyand came,
All burning with the sacred flame
Of Liberty, which well he knows
On the great stock of Slavery grows;
Like sparrow, who, deprived of mate,
Snatch'd by the cruel hand of Fate,
From spray to spray no more will hop,
But sits alone on the house-top;
Or like himself, when all alone
At Croydon he was heard to groan,
Lifting both hands in the defence
Of interest, and common sense;
Both hands, for as no other man
Adopted and pursued his plan,
The left hand had been lonesome quite,
If he had not held up the right;
Apart he came, and fix'd his eyes
With rapture on a distant prize,
On which, in letters worthy note,
228
There 'twenty thousand pounds' was wrote.
False trap, for credit sapp'd is found
By getting twenty thousand pound:
Nay, look not thus on me, and stare,
Doubting the certainty--to swear
In such a case I should be loth-But Perry Cust may take his oath.
In plain and decent garb array'd,
With the prim Quaker, Fraud, came Trade;
Connivance, to improve the plan,
Habited like a juryman,
Judging as interest prevails,
Came next, with measures, weights, and scales;
Extortion next, of hellish race
A cub most damn'd, to show his face
Forbid by fear, but not by shame,
Turn'd to a Jew, like Gideon came;
Corruption, Midas-like, behold
Turning whate'er she touch'd to gold;
Impotence, led by Lust, and Pride,
Strutting with Ponton by her side;
Hypocrisy, demure and sad,
In garments of the priesthood clad,
So well disguised, that you might swear,
Deceived, a very priest was there;
Bankruptcy, full of ease and health,
And wallowing in well-saved wealth,
Came sneering through a ruin'd band,
And bringing B---- in her hand;
Victory, hanging down her head,
Was by a Highland stallion led;
Peace, clothed in sables, with a face
Which witness'd sense of huge disgrace,
Which spake a deep and rooted shame
Both of herself and of her name,
Mourning creeps on, and, blushing, feels
War, grim War, treading on her heels;
Pale Credit, shaken by the arts
Of men with bad heads and worse hearts,
Taking no notice of a band
Which near her were ordain'd to stand,
Well-nigh destroyed by sickly fit,
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Look'd wistful all around for Pitt;
Freedom--at that most hallow'd name
My spirits mount into a flame,
Each pulse beats high, and each nerve strains,
Even to the cracking; through my veins
The tides of life more rapid run,
And tell me I am Freedom's son-Freedom came next, but scarce was seen,
When the sky, which appear'd serene
And gay before, was overcast;
Horror bestrode a foreign blast,
And from the prison of the North,
To Freedom deadly, storms burst forth.
A car like those, in which, we're told,
Our wild forefathers warr'd of old,
Loaded with death, six horses bear
Through the blank region of the air.
Too fierce for time or art to tame,
They pour'd forth mingled smoke and flame
From their wide nostrils; every steed
Was of that ancient savage breed
Which fell Geryon nursed; their food
The flesh of man, their drink his blood.
On the first horses, ill-match'd pair,
This fat and sleek, that lean and bare,
Came ill-match'd riders side by side,
And Poverty was yoked with Pride;
Union most strange it must appear,
Till other unions make it clear.
Next, in the gall of bitterness,
With rage which words can ill express,
With unforgiving rage, which springs
From a false zeal for holy things,
Wearing such robes as prophets wear,
False prophets placed in Peter's chair,
On which, in characters of fire,
Shapes antic, horrible, and dire
Inwoven flamed, where, to the view,
In groups appear'd a rabble crew
Of sainted devils; where, all round,
Vile relics of vile men were found,
Who, worse than devils, from the birth
230
Perform'd the work of hell on earth,
Jugglers, Inquisitors, and Popes,
Pointing at axes, wheels, and ropes,
And engines, framed on horrid plan,
Which none but the destroyer, Man,
Could, to promote his selfish views,
Have head to make or heart to use,
Bearing, to consecrate her tricks,
In her left hand a crucifix,
'Remembrance of our dying Lord,'
And in her right a two-edged sword,
Having her brows, in impious sport,
Adorn'd with words of high import,
'On earth peace, amongst men good will,
Love bearing and forbearing still,'
All wrote in the hearts' blood of those
Who rather death than falsehood chose:
On her breast, (where, in days of yore,
When God loved Jews, the High Priest wore
Those oracles which were decreed
To instruct and guide the chosen seed)
Having with glory clad and strength,
The Virgin pictured at full length,
Whilst at her feet, in small pourtray'd,
As scarce worth notice, Christ was laid,-Came Superstition, fierce and fell,
An imp detested, e'en in hell;
Her eye inflamed, her face all o'er
Foully besmear'd with human gore,
O'er heaps of mangled saints she rode;
Fast at her heels Death proudly strode,
And grimly smiled, well pleased to see
Such havoc of mortality;
Close by her side, on mischief bent,
And urging on each bad intent
To its full bearing, savage, wild,
The mother fit of such a child,
Striving the empire to advance
Of Sin and Death, came Ignorance.
With looks, where dread command was placed,
And sovereign power by pride disgraced,
Where, loudly witnessing a mind
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Of savage, more than human kind,
Not choosing to be loved, but fear'd,
Mocking at right, Misrule appear'd.
With eyeballs glaring fiery red,
Enough to strike beholders dead,
Gnashing his teeth, and in a flood
Pouring corruption forth and blood
From his chafed jaws; without remorse
Whipping and spurring on his horse,
Whose sides, in their own blood embay'd,
E'en to the bone were open laid,
Came Tyranny, disdaining awe,
And trampling over Sense and Law;
One thing, and only one, he knew,
One object only would pursue;
Though less (so low doth passion bring)
Than man, he would be more than king.
With every argument and art
Which might corrupt the head and heart,
Soothing the frenzy of his mind,
Companion meet, was Flattery join'd;
Winning his carriage, every look
Employed, whilst it conceal'd a hook;
When simple most, most to be fear'd;
Most crafty, when no craft appear'd;
His tales, no man like him could tell;
His words, which melted as they fell,
Might even a hypocrite deceive,
And make an infidel believe,
Wantonly cheating o'er and o'er
Those who had cheated been before:-Such Flattery came, in evil hour,
Poisoning the royal ear of Power,
And, grown by prostitution great,
Would be first minister of state.
Within the chariot, all alone,
High seated on a kind of throne,
With pebbles graced, a figure came,
Whom Justice would, but dare not name.
Hard times when Justice, without fear,
Dare not bring forth to public ear
The names of those who dare offend
232
'Gainst Justice, and pervert her end!
But, if the Muse afford me grace,
Description shall supply the place.
In foreign garments he was clad;
Sage ermine o'er the glossy plaid
Cast reverend honour; on his heart,
Wrought by the curious hand of Art,
In silver wrought, and brighter far
Than heavenly or than earthly star,
Shone a White Rose, the emblem dear
Of him he ever must revere;
Of that dread lord, who, with his host
Of faithful native rebels lost,
Like those black spirits doom'd to hell,
At once from power and virtue fell:
Around his clouded brows was placed
A bonnet, most superbly graced
With mighty thistles, nor forgot
The sacred motto--'Touch me not.'
In the right hand a sword he bore
Harder than adamant, and more
Fatal than winds, which from the mouth
Of the rough North invade the South;
The reeking blade to view presents
The blood of helpless innocents,
And on the hilt, as meek become
As lamb before the shearers dumb,
With downcast eye, and solemn show
Of deep, unutterable woe,
Mourning the time when Freedom reign'd,
Fast to a rock was Justice chain'd.
In his left hand, in wax impress'd,
With bells and gewgaws idly dress'd,
An image, cast in baby mould,
He held, and seem'd o'erjoy'd to hold
On this he fix'd his eyes; to this,
Bowing, he gave the loyal kiss,
And, for rebellion fully ripe,
Seem'd to desire the antitype.
What if to that Pretender's foes
His greatness, nay, his life, he owes;
Shall common obligations bind,
233
And shake his constancy of mind?
Scorning such weak and petty chains,
Faithful to James he still remains,
Though he the friend of George appear:
Dissimulation's virtue here.
Jealous and mean, he with a frown
Would awe, and keep all merit down,
Nor would to Truth and Justice bend,
Unless out-bullied by his friend:
Brave with the coward, with the brave
He is himself a coward slave:
Awed by his fears, he has no heart
To take a great and open part:
Mines in a subtle train he springs,
And, secret, saps the ears of kings;
But not e'en there continues firm
'Gainst the resistance of a worm:
Born in a country, where the will
Of one is law to all, he still
Retain'd the infection, with full aim
To spread it wheresoe'er he came;
Freedom he hated, Law defied,
The prostitute of Power and Pride;
Law he with ease explains away,
And leads bewilder'd Sense astray;
Much to the credit of his brain,
Puzzles the cause he can't maintain;
Proceeds on most familiar grounds,
And where he can't convince, confounds;
Talents of rarest stamp and size,
To Nature false, he misapplies,
And turns to poison what was sent
For purposes of nourishment.
Paleness, not such as on his wings
The messenger of Sickness brings,
But such as takes its coward rise
From conscious baseness, conscious vice,
O'erspread his cheeks; Disdain and Pride,
To upstart fortunes ever tied,
Scowl'd on his brow; within his eye,
Insidious, lurking like a spy,
To Caution principled by Fear,
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Not daring open to appear,
Lodged covert Mischief; Passion hung
On his lip quivering; on his tongue
Fraud dwelt at large; within his breast
All that makes villain found a nest;
All that, on Hell's completest plan,
E'er join'd to damn the heart of man.
Soon as the car reach'd land, he rose,
And, with a look which might have froze
The heart's best blood, which was enough
Had hearts been made of sterner stuff
In cities than elsewhere, to make
The very stoutest quail and quake,
He cast his baleful eyes around:
Fix'd without motion to the ground,
Fear waiting on Surprise, all stood,
And horror chill'd their curdled blood;
No more they thought of pomp, no more
(For they had seen his face before)
Of law they thought; the cause forgot,
Whether it was or ghost, or plot,
Which drew them there: they all stood more
Like statues than they were before.
What could be done? Could Art, could Force.
Or both, direct a proper course
To make this savage monster tame,
Or send him back the way he came?
What neither art, nor force, nor both,
Could do, a Lord of foreign growth,
A Lord to that base wretch allied
In country, not in vice and pride,
Effected; from the self-same land,
(Bad news for our blaspheming band
Of scribblers, but deserving note)
The poison came and antidote.
Abash'd, the monster hung his head,
And like an empty vision fled;
His train, like virgin snows, which run,
Kiss'd by the burning bawdy sun,
To love-sick streams, dissolved in air;
Joy, who from absence seem'd more fair,
Came smiling, freed from slavish Awe;
235
Loyalty, Liberty, and Law,
Impatient of the galling chain,
And yoke of Power, resumed their reign;
And, burning with the glorious flame
Of public virtue, Mansfield came.
~ Charles Churchill,

IN CHAPTERS [10/10]



   6 Occultism
   4 Psychology
   1 Integral Yoga


   3 Carl Jung
   2 Aleister Crowley


   2 The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
   2 Liber ABA


0 1966-08-27, #Agenda Vol 07, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   [Satprem reads an endless letter:] He asks, Should I sell my car for less than 35,000 rupees? Can I consult I Ching and go deeper into its study?
   Consult what?
   I Ching. I dont know, its a Chinese name.
   Ah, yes, theyre all hooked on that. Its a book in which you find an answer to any question. But naturally, you bend all the words you read to your thought.

1.03 - Concerning the Archetypes, with Special Reference to the Anima Concept, #The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  15 Cf. The I Ching or Book of Changes. [Also Needham, Science and Civilization
  in China, II, pp. 273f. Editors.]

1.05 - THE HOSTILE BROTHERS - ARCHETYPES OF RESPONSE TO THE UNKNOWN, #Maps of Meaning, #Jordan Peterson, #Psychology
  Wilhelm, R. (1967). The I Ching, or Book of Changes. (Translated by Cary F. Baynes). Princeton:
  Princeton University Press.
  Wilhelm, R. (1971). The I Ching (C. Baynes, Trans.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  Wilson, E.O. (1998). Consilience: The unity of knowledge. New York: Knopf.

3.18 - Of Clairvoyance and the Body of Light, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  1. [Refers to Crowleys preferred technique for I Ching divination.]
   155

4.04 - THE REGENERATION OF THE KING, #Mysterium Coniunctionis, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  [401] While peacock flesh135 was the queens diet, her drink was the blood of the green lion. Blood136 is one of the best-known synonyms for the aqua permanens, and its use in alchemy is often based on the blood symbolism and allegories of the Church.137 In the Cantilena the imbibitio (saturation)138 of the dead 139 arcane substance is performed not on the king, as in the Allegoria Merlini, but on the queen. The displacement and overlapping of images are as great in alchemy as in mythology and folklore. As these archetypal images are produced directly by the unconscious, it is not surprising that they exhibit its contamination of content 140 to a very high degree. This is what makes it so difficult for us to understand alchemy. Here the dominant factor is not logic but the play of archetypal motifs, and although this is illogical in the formal sense, it nevertheless obeys natural laws which we are far from having explained. In this respect the Chinese are much in advance of us, as a thorough study of the I Ching will show. Called by short-sighted Westerners a collection of ancient magic spells, an opinion echoed by the modernized Chinese themselves, the I Ching is a formidable psychological system that endeavours to organize the play of archetypes, the wondrous operations of nature, into a certain pattern, so that a reading becomes possible. It was ever a sign of stupidity to depreciate something one does not understand.
  [402] Displacement and overlapping of images would be quite impossible if there did not exist between them an essential similarity of substance, a homoousia. Father, mother, and son are of the same substance, and what is said of one is largely true of the other. This accounts for the variants of incestbetween mother and son, brother and sister, father and daughter, etc. The uroboros is one even though in the twilight of the unconscious its head and tail appear as separate figures and are regarded as such. The alchemists, however, were sufficiently aware of the homoousia of their basic substances not only to call the two protagonists of the coniunctio drama the one Mercurius, but to assert that the prima materia and the vessel were identical. Just as the aqua permanens, the moist soul-substance, comes from the body it is intended to dissolve, so the mother who dissolves her son in herself is none other than the feminine aspect of the father-son. This view current among the alchemists cannot be based on anything except the essential similarity of the substances, which were not chemical but psychic; and, as such, appurtenances not of consciousness, where they would be differentiated concepts, but of the unconscious, in whose increasing obscurity they merge together in larger and larger contaminations.

6.0 - Conscious, Unconscious, and Individuation, #The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, #Carl Jung, #Psychology
  . See also I Ching.
  Williams, Mentor L. (ed.). Schoolcraft's Indian Legends. East

APPENDIX I - Curriculum of A. A., #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
    Liber CCXVI. (216) [] - The I Ching ::: A new translation, with a commentary by the Master Therion. The Yi King is mathematical and philosophical in form. It's structure is cognate with that of the Qabalah. The I Ching reduced expertly to a series of six-line mnemonic keys, one for each hexagram.
    Liber CCXX. (220) [A] - The Book of the Law ::: (Liber AL vel Legis) which is the foundation of the whole work. Text in Equinox X, p. 9. Short commentary in Equinox VII, p. 378. Full commentary by the Master Therion through whom it was given to the world, will be published shortly. [note by shawn: Retitled 'AL vel Legis' after the discoveries of Frater Achad.]

Book of Imaginary Beings (text), #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  In the I Ching or Book of Changes, the Dragon signifies
  wisdom. For centuries it was the imperial emblem. The emperors throne was called the Dragon Throne, his face the

Liber, #Liber Null, #Peter J Carroll, #Occultism
  Liber CCXVI. (216) [] - The I Ching ::: A new translation, with a commentary by the Master Therion. The Yi King is mathematical and philosophical in form. It's structure is cognate with that of the Qabalah. The I Ching reduced expertly to a series of six-line mnemonic keys, one for each hexagram.
  Liber CCXX. (220) [A] - The Book of the Law ::: (Liber AL vel Legis) which is the foundation of the whole work. Text in Equinox X, p. 9. Short commentary in Equinox VII, p. 378. Full commentary by the Master Therion through whom it was given to the world, will be published shortly. [note by shawn: Retitled 'AL vel Legis' after the discoveries of Frater Achad.]

MoM References, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction
  Wilhelm, R. (1967). The I Ching, or Book of Changes. (Translated by Cary F. Baynes). Princeton:
  Princeton University Press.
  Wilhelm, R. (1971). The I Ching (C. Baynes, Trans.). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  Wilson, E.O. (1998). Consilience: The unity of knowledge. New York: Knopf.

WORDNET














IN WEBGEN [10000/507]

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13493193.Edward_Brooke_Hitching
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/42972.Henry_Hitchings
Goodreads author - Edward_Brooke_Hitching
https://familypedia.wikia.org/wiki/Forum:Switching_to_Advanced_Form
https://religion.wikia.org/wiki/I_Ching
http://malankazlev.com/kheper/ecognosis/reviews/I_Ching.html -- 0
Kheper - bigrams -- 32
Kheper - divination -- 24
Kheper - hexagrams -- 29
Kheper - history -- 24
Kheper - IChing_and_dna -- 35
Kheper - IChing_and_science -- 43
Kheper - IChing_and_Sefirot -- 32
Kheper - I_Ching_and_Vedas -- 19
Kheper - I_Ching -- 5
Kheper - I_Ching index -- 36
http://malankazlev.com/kheper/topics/I_Ching/index.html -- 0
Kheper - links -- 34
Kheper - trigrams -- 35
Kheper - Yi -- 19
Kheper - yin_and_yang -- 21
Integral World - The Quantum-Archetypal Technologies of Astrology, Tarot, and the I-Ching, Joe Corbett
dedroidify.blogspot - 2012-pole-shift-mayan-and-i-ching
dedroidify.blogspot - aaand-were-switching-to-p90
https://esotericotherworlds.blogspot.com/2013/06/francis-hitching.html
Dharmapedia - I_Ching
Psychology Wiki - I_Ching
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/LetsPlay/Pitchingace88
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FilchingFoodForFun
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FingerTwitchingRevival
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ImmuneToFlinching
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PennyPinchingCrab
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SwitchingPOV
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWitchingHour
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnflinchingFaithInTheBrakes
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnflinchingWalk
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Tropers/Kitchingham
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/I_Ching
https://allpoetry.com/Li-Ching-Chao
Tour of Duty (1987 - 1990) - This series offers an unflinching look at the vietnam war. It shows what happened to the soilders on both sides of the conflict. Its interesting to see the weapons and tatics used by both sides, and how each lived.
Trading Places(1983) - Louis Winthorpe III is a successful Philadelphia commodity broker with mansion, manservant and girlfriend to match. Billy Ray Valentine is a hustling beggar. Winthorpe's employers, the elderly Duke brothers, make a bet that by switching the lifestyle of the two Billy Ray will make good and their man...
The Witching of Ben Wagner(1987) -
Orlando(1992) - Independent filmmaker Sally Potter's gender-bending epic, which views four centuries of sexual politics through the eyes of a sex-switching main character, is based on the 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf. The androgynous title character is played with delicate quietude by Tilda Swinton. The story begin...
Switching Channels(1988) - Sully is the producer of a cable news network program. Christy is his ex-wife and best reporter. Her desire to quit the news business and marry Blaine, a sporting goods manufacturer comes as an innocent man is about to be executed. Sully's attempts to keep her in town and break up her upcoming marri...
The Witching of Ben Wagner (1995)(1995) - "The Film Advisory Board endorses this family Halloween feature about the magical power of believing in oneself.
Happy Birthday Bunnykins(1995) - In this family classic based from Royal Doulton, William Bunnykins fears that his birthday will be ruined by the Town of Little Twitching's 500th Birthday. After William received advice from a lady, William escorts the Queen and his family and friends bring a happy conclusion to his happiest birthda...
Air Buddies(2006) - Switching the focus to Bud's five puppies who share the same love for basketball. When Bud and Holly are dognapped, it's up to the Buddies to save the day for real.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies(2018) - Based on the mega popular TV series, the Teen Titans have to create a movie to prove their true Hollywood stardom, like any big superheroes. Pitching right to Warner Bros Studios they meet Jade, the director who is responsible for all of the world's past superhero movies, but they soon find that Jad...
https://myanimelist.net/anime/3391/Maicching_Machiko-sensei --
The Dirt (2019) ::: 7.0/10 -- TV-MA | 1h 47min | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 22 March 2019 (USA) -- Based on the bestselling autobiography from Mtley Cre, the film is an unflinching tale of success and excess as four misfits rise from the streets of Hollywood to the heights of international fame. Director: Jeff Tremaine Writers:
The Equalizer 2 (2018) ::: 6.7/10 -- R | 2h 1min | Action, Crime, Thriller | 20 July 2018 (USA) -- Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves? Director: Antoine Fuqua Writers: Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan (based on the television series created by)
Winter's Bone (2010) ::: 7.1/10 -- R | 1h 40min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery | 16 July 2010 (USA) -- An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Director: Debra Granik Writers:
https://animanga.fandom.com/wiki/Chingiri
https://animanga.fandom.com/wiki/Maicching!_Machiko-sensei
https://aspen-mlt.fandom.com/wiki/Ching
https://ayakashi-ghost-guild.fandom.com/wiki/"Witching_Hour_Wake_Up_Call"
https://characters.fandom.com/wiki/Character_Role_Switching
https://characters.fandom.com/wiki/Ching
https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/I-Ching
https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/I-Ching_(Prime_Earth)
https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Justice_League_Dark_and_Wonder_Woman:_The_Witching_Hour_Vol_1_1
https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/The_Witching_Hour
https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Wonder_Woman_and_Justice_League_Dark:_The_Witching_Hour_Vol_1_1
https://dcuniverseonline.fandom.com/wiki/The_Witching_Hour
https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/The_Witching_Hour
https://dnd4.fandom.com/wiki/Bewitching_charm
https://dnd4.fandom.com/wiki/Bewitching_gaze
https://dnd4.fandom.com/wiki/Bewitching_Glare
https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Stitching
https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Twitching_Draugr_Hand
https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Unflinching_Rage
https://eq2.fandom.com/wiki/Unflinching_Servant
https://fables.fandom.com/wiki/Witching_Well
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Aggressive Retsuko (ONA) 4th Season -- -- - -- ? eps -- Other -- Slice of Life Comedy -- Aggressive Retsuko (ONA) 4th Season Aggressive Retsuko (ONA) 4th Season -- Fourth season of Aggressive Retsuko. -- ONA - ??? ??, ???? -- 10,262 N/AJie Yao -- -- Seven Stone Entertainment -- 13 eps -- Light novel -- Slice of Life Comedy Shounen Ai -- Jie Yao Jie Yao -- Cheng Ke has lost everything. Coming from a privileged background, he now has to search through trash to find his missing possessions. When one of his frustrated outbursts results in him being punched in the face, Cheng Ke finds himself unfortunately acquainted with terrifying gang leader Jiang Yuduo. -- -- Circumstances lead to Cheng Ke becoming a tenant at a new apartment—which just so happens to be rented out by Jiang Yuduo. Cheng Ke's inability to complete even the most menial tasks forces him to overly depend on his landlord, and as a result, the two form an indescribable bond. -- -- However, there are darker forces at play in the lives of both Cheng Ke and Jiang Yuduo. The two men are haunted by the pasts they left behind, and meanwhile, danger lurks around every corner. With mysterious figures following their every move, gang wars raging in the streets they walk on, and enemies itching to bring them down, Cheng Ke and Jiang Yuduo must always have each other's back. -- -- ONA - Jan 9, 2020 -- 10,217 7.02
Black Clover Movie -- -- - -- 1 ep -- Manga -- Action Comedy Magic Fantasy Shounen -- Black Clover Movie Black Clover Movie -- (No synopsis yet.) -- Movie - ??? ??, ???? -- 43,935 N/A -- -- Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen -- -- Sunrise -- 25 eps -- Original -- Action Game Mystery Shounen -- Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen -- The puzzles get tougher and even more deadly as Kaito Daimon continues his battle against the power hungry Givers of the POG. And with one team member already switching sides, will Kaito have what it takes to keep solving the deadly puzzle traps put before him and reach the fabled Puzzle of God? More importantly, will he be able to solve the puzzles AND maintain his sanity? -- -- (Source: Sentai Filmworks) -- -- Licensor: -- Sentai Filmworks -- TV - Apr 8, 2012 -- 43,750 7.29
Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch - Nunnally in Wonderland -- -- Sunrise -- 1 ep -- Original -- Comedy Parody Fantasy -- Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch - Nunnally in Wonderland Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch - Nunnally in Wonderland -- On a bright, peaceful day, siblings Nunnally and Lelouch Lamperouge take a moment to relax under a tree. When Nunnally asks him to tell her a story, Lelouch, who is unflinchingly resolute in doing his utmost for his sister, makes unique use of his Geass ability, breaking barriers to tell the most entertaining story he can. -- -- Awakening alone under the tree, the previously blind Nunnally finds that she can see again and immediately spots a strange rabbit that resembles Anya Alstreim, the Knight of Six. The sight of this rabbit sends Nunnally falling down a hole, leading her to a colorful wonderland. Narrated by Lelouch himself, Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch - Nunnally in Wonderland follows the lost Nunnally as she searches for a way back home, meeting a slew of colorful, familiar characters along the way. -- -- OVA - Jul 27, 2012 -- 60,795 6.45
Cross Game -- -- SynergySP -- 50 eps -- Manga -- Comedy Drama Romance School Shounen Sports -- Cross Game Cross Game -- Kou Kitamura and Aoba Tsukishima are often at odds—even though their families happen to be close friends and business partners. Although the only child of a sports shop owner, Kou has never been interested in playing baseball. Despite this, he possesses an impressive batting ability honed by frequent visits to the local baseball batting center run by the Tsukushima family. On the other hand, Aoba loves to play baseball and is a star player with exceptional pitching form. -- -- However, these two seemingly complete opposites share something very important to them—Wakaba Tsukishima, Aoba's older sister and Kou's destined sweetheart. Admired by the quarrelsome duo, Wakaba often finds herself the catalyst to their never-ending rivalry. But whether or not they realize that they have more in common than either would care to admit, only time will tell. The game of baseball may just be what the pair needs to ultimately overcome their own personal struggles. -- -- TV - Apr 5, 2009 -- 103,023 8.42
Diamond no Ace -- -- Madhouse, Production I.G -- 75 eps -- Manga -- Comedy School Shounen Sports -- Diamond no Ace Diamond no Ace -- With a stray pitch that completely missed the batter, Eijun Sawamura loses his final middle school baseball game. Frustrated by this defeat, Eijun and his teammates vow to reach the national tournament once they are in high school. But everything changes when a scout unexpectedly invites him to Tokyo's prestigious Seidou High School after seeing the potential in his unusual pitching style. Encouraged by his teammates, Eijun accepts the offer, ready to improve his skills and play at a much more competitive level of baseball. -- -- However, now surrounded by a large number of skilled players, Eijun struggles to find his place on the team. He declares that he will one day become the team's ace, but that's only if fellow first year Satoru Furuya doesn't take the title first, with his breakneck fastballs that earn him a coveted spot on the starting roster. With the addition of these talented new players to an already powerful lineup, the Seidou baseball team aims to become the best in Japan, facing off against a number of formidable foes that stand in their way. -- -- 188,213 8.11
Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III OVA -- -- J.C.Staff -- 1 ep -- Light novel -- Adventure Comedy Romance Ecchi Fantasy -- Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III OVA Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka III OVA -- (No synopsis yet.) -- OVA - Apr 28, 2021 -- 31,040 N/A -- -- Nil Admirari no Tenbin -- -- Zero-G -- 12 eps -- Visual novel -- Harem Historical Romance Fantasy Josei -- Nil Admirari no Tenbin Nil Admirari no Tenbin -- The Taishou era didn't end in 15 years, but went on for another 25. In order to protect her waning family, a girl resolves to marry a man she doesn't even know the name of. However, just before the marriage was to take place, the girl's younger brother mysteriously committed suicide by self-immolation and was found holding an old book in his hands. Appearing before the bewildered young girl was the "Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau," more commonly referred to as "Fukurou." According to these men, there exists "Maremono," which are books that greatly affect their readers. On top of that, ever since the incident involving the girl's younger brother, she unwittingly gains the ability to see "Auras" (the sentiments of the Maremono which manifest as bright lights and are usually invisible to humans). It was as though fate were trying to drag the young girl in its flames. And then, even though apprehensive, the girl chooses to venture outside her bird cage. Jealousy, hatred, scorn, compassion, and love. What awaited the girl was the darkness of betrayal that had already begun to bewitchingly inlay the imperial capital. Toyed by and swayed within that darkness, will the young girl finally reach the truth after her struggles, or...? -- -- (Source: MAL News) -- 30,986 6.61
Gintama. -- -- Bandai Namco Pictures -- 12 eps -- Manga -- Action Comedy Historical Parody Samurai Sci-Fi Shounen -- Gintama. Gintama. -- After joining the resistance against the bakufu, Gintoki and the gang are in hiding, along with Katsura and his Joui rebels. The Yorozuya is soon approached by Nobume Imai and two members of the Kiheitai, who explain that the Harusame pirates have turned against 7th Division Captain Kamui and their former ally Takasugi. The Kiheitai present Gintoki with a job: find Takasugi, who has been missing since his ship was ambushed in a Harusame raid. Nobume also makes a stunning revelation regarding the Tendoushuu, a secret organization pulling the strings of numerous factions, and their leader Utsuro, the shadowy figure with an uncanny resemblance to Gintoki's former teacher. -- -- Hitching a ride on Sakamoto's space ship, the Yorozuya and Katsura set out for Rakuyou, Kagura's home planet, where the various factions have gathered and tensions are brewing. Long-held grudges, political infighting, and the Tendoushuu's sinister overarching plan finally culminate into a massive, decisive battle on Rakuyou. -- -- 213,495 8.98
Hinamatsuri (TV) -- -- feel. -- 12 eps -- Manga -- Sci-Fi Slice of Life Comedy Supernatural Seinen -- Hinamatsuri (TV) Hinamatsuri (TV) -- While reveling in the successful clinching of a prized vase for his collection, Yoshifumi Nitta, a yakuza member, is rudely interrupted when a large, peculiar capsule suddenly materializes and falls on his head. He opens the capsule to reveal a young, blue-haired girl, who doesn't divulge anything about herself but her name—Hina—and the fact that she possesses immense powers. As if things couldn't get any worse, she loses control and unleashes an explosion if her powers remain unused. Faced with no other choice, Nitta finds himself becoming her caregiver. -- -- To let her use her powers freely, Nitta asks Hina to help out with a construction deal, which goes smoothly. But while this is happening, a rival yakuza group covertly attacks his boss. To Nitta's shock, his colleagues later pin the blame on him! Tasked with attacking the rival group in retaliation, Nitta steels himself and arrives at their hideout. But suddenly, Hina unexpectedly steps in and helps him wipe out the entire group. As it turns out, Hina might just become a valuable asset to Nitta and his yakuza business, provided she does not use her powers on him first! And so the strange life of this unusual duo begins. -- -- -- Licensor: -- Funimation -- 362,188 8.20
Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna -- -- TMS Entertainment -- 13 eps -- Manga -- Action Adventure Comedy Ecchi Samurai Seinen -- Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna -- Many people are falling prey to a suspicious new religion. Lupin III infiltrates this group, hoping to steal the treasure their leader keeps hidden. There he lays eyes on the beautiful, bewitching woman who has the leader enthralled. This is the story of how fashionable female thief Fujiko Mine first met Lupin III, the greatest thief of his generation. -- -- (Source: ANN) -- -- Licensor: -- Discotek Media, Funimation -- 49,227 7.78
Major: World Series -- -- SynergySP -- 2 eps -- Manga -- Comedy Drama Shounen Sports -- Major: World Series Major: World Series -- Gorou Shigeno's journey with the Indiana Hornets continues as they seek to win the prestigious World Series. However, after an unexpected accident during the match with his fated rival, his quest in becoming the world's best becomes more challenging. Undaunted, Gorou continues to put the weight of his dreams into every pitch he makes, and forges a path towards his desired future through high-speed pitching. -- -- OVA - Dec 16, 2011 -- 30,421 8.34
Nanatsu-iro� -- Drops -- -- Diomedéa -- 12 eps -- Visual novel -- Magic Romance School -- Nanatsu-iro� -- Drops Nanatsu-iro� -- Drops -- Tsuwabuki is a normal student, though not very social. One day he meets a new transfer student, named Sumomo Akihime, and another girl, both the only members of the gardening club. Tsuwabuki is forced by a teacher to join this club. But then he bumps into a strange guy with dog ears, switching his drink with they guy's by mistake. Drinking it, he is turned in a stuffed animal. The teacher tells him that the only way to turn back to normal is to find the chosen girl and let her catch the seven stardrops. This girl is Sumomo, that accepts to help him, though she's not allowed to know the animal's true identity. -- -- (Source: ANN) -- TV - Jul 3, 2007 -- 20,408 7.02
Ookiku Furikabutte -- -- A-1 Pictures -- 25 eps -- Manga -- Comedy Seinen Sports -- Ookiku Furikabutte Ookiku Furikabutte -- Ren Mihashi was the ace of his middle school's baseball team, but due to his poor pitching, they could never win. Constant losses eventually lead to his teammates bullying him and reached the point where his teammates no longer tried to win, causing Mihashi to graduate with little self-esteem. As a result, Mihashi decides to go to a high school in a different prefecture where he has no intention of playing baseball. Unfortunately, upon his arrival at Nishiura High, he is dragged into joining their new team as the starting pitcher. -- -- Although unwilling at first, Mihashi realizes that this is a place where he will be accepted for who he is; with help from the catcher Takaya Abe, he starts to have more confidence in his own abilities. Abe, seeing the potential in Mihashi, makes it a goal to help him become a pitcher worthy of being called an ace. -- -- TV - Apr 13, 2007 -- 84,910 7.94
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen -- -- Sunrise -- 25 eps -- Original -- Action Game Mystery Shounen -- Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen -- The puzzles get tougher and even more deadly as Kaito Daimon continues his battle against the power hungry Givers of the POG. And with one team member already switching sides, will Kaito have what it takes to keep solving the deadly puzzle traps put before him and reach the fabled Puzzle of God? More importantly, will he be able to solve the puzzles AND maintain his sanity? -- -- (Source: Sentai Filmworks) -- -- Licensor: -- Sentai Filmworks -- TV - Apr 8, 2012 -- 43,750 7.29
Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen -- -- Sunrise -- 25 eps -- Original -- Action Game Mystery Shounen -- Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Orpheus Order-hen -- The puzzles get tougher and even more deadly as Kaito Daimon continues his battle against the power hungry Givers of the POG. And with one team member already switching sides, will Kaito have what it takes to keep solving the deadly puzzle traps put before him and reach the fabled Puzzle of God? More importantly, will he be able to solve the puzzles AND maintain his sanity? -- -- (Source: Sentai Filmworks) -- TV - Apr 8, 2012 -- 43,750 7.29
Strawberry Panic -- -- Imagin, Madhouse -- 26 eps -- Other -- Drama Romance School Shoujo Ai -- Strawberry Panic Strawberry Panic -- Nagisa Aoi begins her new school life as a transfer student at St. Miator’s Girls Academy, one of three prestigious all-girls institutions atop Astraea Hill. Getting lost on her first day, Nagisa encounters a mysterious student whose elegance and charm is so bewitching, she ends up in the infirmary. -- -- There to greet her when she awakens is Tamao Suzumi, her roommate, who enthusiastically introduces Nagisa to the daily life and social structure on campus. Most notably, Tamao informs her of the existence of an exceptional student representative among all three schools—the Etoile, or "star." Eager to meet this person, Nagisa learns that the ethereal beauty she met earlier, Shizuma Hanazono, is the one and only Etoile herself! Not only that, Shizuma seems openly interested in Nagisa! Her interactions with Shizuma naturally make her a hot topic on campus; yet despite being so captivated, Nagisa can’t help but wonder if something is off. -- -- Strawberry Panic! follows the everyday routines of Nagisa, Shizuma, and her friends at St. Miator’s, St. Spica, and St. Lulim as they navigate through the challenge of relationships while confronting hidden feelings, lingering regrets, and new possibilities. -- -- -- Licensor: -- Media Blasters -- 116,121 7.30
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia -- -- SILVER LINK. -- 12 eps -- Manga -- Horror Mystery Romance School Shounen Supernatural -- Tasogare Otome x Amnesia Tasogare Otome x Amnesia -- Seikyou Private Academy, built on the intrigue of traditional occult myths, bears a dark past—for 60 years, it has been haunted by a ghost known as Yuuko, a young woman who mysteriously died in the basement of the old school building. With no memory of her life or death, Yuuko discreetly finds and heads the Paranormal Investigations Club in search of answers. -- -- A chance meeting leads Yuuko to cling to diligent freshman Teiichi Niiya, who can see the quirky ghost, they quickly grow close, and he decides to help her. Along with Kirie Kanoe, Yuuko's relative, and the oblivious second year Momoe Okonogi, they delve deep into the infamous Seven Mysteries of the storied school. -- -- Tasogare Otome x Amnesia tells a unique tale of students who work together to shed light on their school's paranormal happenings, all the while inching closer to the truth behind Yuuko's death. -- -- -- Licensor: -- Sentai Filmworks -- TV - Apr 9, 2012 -- 324,107 7.85
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia -- -- SILVER LINK. -- 12 eps -- Manga -- Horror Mystery Romance School Shounen Supernatural -- Tasogare Otome x Amnesia Tasogare Otome x Amnesia -- Seikyou Private Academy, built on the intrigue of traditional occult myths, bears a dark past—for 60 years, it has been haunted by a ghost known as Yuuko, a young woman who mysteriously died in the basement of the old school building. With no memory of her life or death, Yuuko discreetly finds and heads the Paranormal Investigations Club in search of answers. -- -- A chance meeting leads Yuuko to cling to diligent freshman Teiichi Niiya, who can see the quirky ghost, they quickly grow close, and he decides to help her. Along with Kirie Kanoe, Yuuko's relative, and the oblivious second year Momoe Okonogi, they delve deep into the infamous Seven Mysteries of the storied school. -- -- Tasogare Otome x Amnesia tells a unique tale of students who work together to shed light on their school's paranormal happenings, all the while inching closer to the truth behind Yuuko's death. -- -- TV - Apr 9, 2012 -- 324,107 7.85
Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D's -- -- Gallop -- 154 eps -- Manga -- Action Game Shounen -- Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D's Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D's -- Yuusei Fudou is out to get back what was stolen from him. -- -- The world of dueling has evolved, with Riding Duels becoming the peak of entertainment for the residents of Neo Domino City. They are played on D-Wheels, a hybrid between Duel Disks and motorbikes. After the mechanically skilled Yuusei managed to build his own D-Wheel, his former friend Jack Atlas stole it alongside Yuusei's best card, Stardust Dragon; ditching their decrepit hometown of Satellite, he escaped to Neo Domino City. -- -- In the two years since then, Jack has risen to the top of the dueling world, while Yuusei has been making preparations thanks to the help of his friends. With his new D-Wheel finished, he now sets off to Neo Domino City, his only goal to find Jack. Unbeknownst to either of them, there are far bigger things at stake than they can imagine, with puppeteers pulling the strings behind the scenes. -- -- -- Licensor: -- 4Kids Entertainment -- 107,633 7.41
Yuru Camp△ -- -- C-Station -- 12 eps -- Manga -- Slice of Life Comedy -- Yuru Camp△ Yuru Camp△ -- While the perfect getaway for most girls her age might be a fancy vacation with their loved ones, Rin Shima's ideal way of spending her days off is camping alone at the base of Mount Fuji. From pitching her tent to gathering firewood, she has always done everything by herself, and has no plans of leaving her little solitary world. -- -- However, what starts off as one of Rin's usual camping sessions somehow ends up as a surprise get-together for two when the lost Nadeshiko Kagamihara is forced to take refuge at her campsite. Originally intending to see the picturesque view of Mount Fuji for herself, Nadeshiko's plans are disrupted when she ends up falling asleep partway to her destination. Alone and with no other choice, she seeks help from the only other person nearby. Despite their hasty introductions, the two girls nevertheless enjoy the chilly night together, eating ramen and conversing while the campfire keeps them warm. And even after Nadeshiko's sister finally picks her up later that night, both girls silently ponder the possibility of another camping trip together. -- -- 332,880 8.27
Zetsuen no Tempest -- -- Bones -- 24 eps -- Manga -- Action Mystery Psychological Drama Magic Fantasy Shounen -- Zetsuen no Tempest Zetsuen no Tempest -- Yoshino Takigawa, an ordinary teenager, is secretly dating his best friend Mahiro's younger sister. But when his girlfriend Aika mysteriously dies, Mahiro disappears, vowing to find the one responsible and make them pay for murdering his beloved sister. Yoshino continues his life as usual and has not heard from Mahiro in a month—until he is confronted by a strange girl who holds him at gunpoint, and his best friend arrives in the nick of time to save him. -- -- Yoshino learns that Mahiro has enlisted the help of a witch named Hakaze Kusaribe to find Aika's killer and of the existence of an entity known as the "Tree of Exodus." The witch's brother selfishly desires to make use of its power, in spite of the impending peril to the world. However, Hakaze is banished to a deserted island, and it is now up to Yoshino and Mahiro to help her save the world, while inching ever closer to the truth behind Aika's death. -- -- -- Licensor: -- Aniplex of America -- 494,569 7.98
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dark_mode_switching
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1939 Imperial Airways flying boat ditching
1995 Royal Air Force Nimrod R1 ditching
2009 Pel-Air Westwind ditching
5ESS Switching System
Alan Kitching (typographic artist)
Arthur Kitching (bishop)
A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits
AT&T Switching Center
Bank switching
BashkirRussian code-switching
Berlekamp switching game
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Bitching
Bitching Betty
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Collective switching
Comparison of photo stitching software
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Dahira kitchingi
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Edward Montagu, Viscount Hinchingbrooke
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I Ching
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James Kitching
J. Howard Kitching
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Joint multichannel trunking and switching system
Julie Montagu, Viscountess Hinchingbrooke
Kimberley Kitching
Kitchingnathus
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Lee Chi Ching
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Li Ching
Li Ching (actress)
Li Ching-Yuen
List of hexagrams of the I Ching
Lobe switching
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Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart
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Minchington Hall
Mobile switching centre server
Mobile Telephone Switching Office
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Network switching subsystem
No. 4 Electronic Switching System
Number Five Crossbar Switching System
Number One Crossbar Switching System
Number One Electronic Switching System
Optical burst switching
Optical IP Switching
Oskar Fischinger
Output signal switching device
Packet switching
Party switching
Phenotypic switching
Phil Kitching
Pitching machine
Pitching moment
Pitching pennies
Pitching position
Platform switching
Predictive control of switching power converters
Prey switching
Psilogramma kitchingi
Pui Ching Invitational Mathematics Competition
Q-switching
Rinchingiin Elbegdorj
Ringbolt hitching
Rio Valley Switching Company
Secrets of the I Ching
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Service switching point
Shannon switching game
Skitching
Stephen Birchington
St Faith's Church, Little Witchingham
Switching
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Switching control techniques
Switching (film)
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Talk:Skitching
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TatarRussian code-switching
Template switching polymerase chain reaction
The Bewitching Miss Bassey
Theodore Kitching
Thermal-assisted switching
The Witching Hour (1985 film)
The Witching Hour (DC Comics)
Thomas Brooke-Hitching
Time-driven switching
Triple witching hour
Tsai Ching-hsiang
Two for flinching
USS Dai Ching (1863)
Wai-Ching Angela Wong
Washer pitching
Wavelength selective switching
Wescom Switching Incorporated
Western Rail Switching
White Is for Witching
Wilchingen
William Wyatt Pinching
Winloss record (pitching)
Witching
Witching & Bitching
Witching Hour
Witching hour
Witching Hour (Ladytron album)
Witching Hour (song)
Witching Waves
Wolfgang Ischinger
Wormhole switching
Yau Wai-ching
Yueh Hai Ching Temple



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