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Assent: The act of the intellect adhering to a truth because of the evidence of the terms; a proof of the reason (medium rationale) or the command of the will. -- H.G.

assent ::: 1. Agreement, as to a proposal; concurrence. 2. Acquiescence; compliance, concession. assents, assenting.

assentation ::: n. --> Insincere, flattering, or obsequious assent; hypocritical or pretended concurrence.

assentator ::: n. --> An obsequious; a flatterer.

assentatory ::: a. --> Flattering; obsequious.

assented ::: imp. & p. p. --> of Assent

assenter ::: n. --> One who assents.

assentient ::: a. --> Assenting.

assenting ::: p. pr. & vb. n. --> of Assent ::: a. --> Giving or implying assent.

assentive ::: a. --> Giving assent; of the nature of assent; complying.

assentment ::: n. --> Assent; agreement.

assent ::: v. t. --> To admit a thing as true; to express one&

QUOTES [18 / 18 - 494 / 494]

KEYS (10k)

   17 Sri Aurobindo
   1 The Mother


   18 Sri Aurobindo
   13 Ambrose Bierce
   12 Anonymous
   9 Rainer Maria Rilke
   8 Epictetus
   7 Timothy J Keller
   7 Marcus Aurelius
   7 Anonymous Olde English
   6 Robert Browning
   6 John Locke
   5 Rachel Held Evans
   5 C S Lewis
   5 Albert Camus
   4 Swami Vivekananda
   4 Stephen King
   4 Saint Augustine of Hippo
   4 Ryan Holiday
   4 Ren Gu non
   4 Ovid
   4 Jane Austen

1:Assent to thy high self, create, endure.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Vision and the Boon,
2:The perfect faith is an assent of the whole being to the truth seen by it or offered to its acceptance. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
3:Faith is necessary throughout and at every step because it is a needed assent of the soul and without this assent there can be no progress. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
4:The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
The symbolled OM, the great assenting Word,
The bridge between the rapture and the calm, ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Adoration of the Divine Mother,
5:There is an internal freedom permitted to every mental being called man to assent or not to assent to the Divine leading. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother with Letters on The Mother, Surrender to the Mother,
6:Fear not to be nothing that thou mayst be all;
Assent to the emptiness of the Supreme
That all in thee may reach its absolute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating Absolute,
7:In earth’s rhythm of shadow and sunlight
Storm is the dance of the locks of the God assenting to greatness,
Zeus who with secret compulsion orders the ways of our nature;
Veiled in events he lives and working disguised in the mortal
Builds our str ~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, Ilion,
8:The Divine Grace and Power can do anything, but with the full assent of the sadhak.
   To learn to give the full assent, is the whole meaning of the sadhana. It may take time either because of ideas in the mind, desires in the vital or inertia in the physical consciousness, but these things have to be and can be removed with the aid or by calling in the action of the Divine Force.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [T9],
9:377. God made the infinite world by Self-knowledge which in its works is Will-Force self-fulfilling. He used ignorance to limit His infinity; but fear, weariness, depression, self-distrust and assent to weakness are the instruments by which He destroys what He created. When these things are turned on what is evil or harmful & ill-regulated within thee, then it is well; but if they attack thy very sources of life & strength, then seize & expel them or thou diest.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human,
10:The ego cannot see where it is being led; it revolts against the leading, loses confidence, loses courage. These failings would not matter; for the divine Guide within is not offended by our revolt, not discouraged by our want of faith or repelled by our weakness; he has the entire love of the mother and the entire patience of the teacheR But by withdrawing our assent from the guidance we lose the consciousness, though not all the actuality-not, in any case, the eventuality -of its benefit. And we withdraw our assent because we fail to distinguish our higher Self from the lower through which he is preparing his self-revelation.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Four Aids, 64,
11:But what has fixed the modes of Nature? Or who has originated and governs the movements of Force? There is a Consciousness - or a Conscient - behind that is the lord, witness, knower, enjoyer, upholder and source of sanction for her works; this consciousness is Soul or Purusha. Prakriti shapes the action in us; Purusha in her or behind her witnesses, assents, bears and upholds it. Prakriti forms the thought in our minds; Purusha in her or behind her knows the thought and the truth in it. Prakriti determines the result of the action; Purusha in her or behind her enjoys or suffers the consequence. Prakriti forms mind and body, labours over them, develops them; Purusha upholds the formation and evolution and sanctions each step of her works. Prakriti applies the Will-force which works in things and men; Purusha sets that Will-force to work by his vision of that which should be done. This Purusha is not the surface ego, but a silent Self, a source of Power, an originator and receiver of Knowledge behind the ego. Our mental "I" is only a false reflection of this Self, this Power, this Knowledge. This Purusha or supporting Consciousness is therefore the cause, recipient and support of all Nature's works, but he is not himself the doer. Prakriti, NatureForce, in front and Shakti, Conscious-Force, Soul-Force behind her, - for these two are the inner and outer faces of the universal Mother, - account for all that is done in the universe. The universal Mother, Prakriti-Shakti, is the one and only worker. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Supreme Will, 214,
12:In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
   In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
   The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender, -
   an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing - the mind's will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
   rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
   surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
13:But this is not always the manner of the commencement. The sadhaka is often led gradually and there is a long space between the first turning of the mind and the full assent of the nature to the thing towards which it turns. There may at first be only a vivid intellectual interest, a forcible attraction towards the idea and some imperfect form of practice. Or perhaps there is an effort not favoured by the whole nature, a decision or a turn imposed by an intellectual influence or dictated by personal affection and admiration for someone who is himself consecrated and devoted to the Highest. In such cases, a long period of preparation may be necessary before there comes the irrevocable consecration; and in some instances it may not come. There may be some advance, there may be a strong effort, even much purification and many experiences other than those that are central or supreme; but the life will either be spent in preparation or, a certain stage having been reached, the mind pushed by an insufficient driving-force may rest content at the limit of the effort possible to it. Or there may even be a recoil to the lower life, - what is called in the ordinary parlance of Yoga a fall from the path. This lapse happens because there is a defect at the very centre. The intellect has been interested, the heart attracted, the will has strung itself to the effort, but the whole nature has not been taken captive by the Divine. It has only acquiesced in the interest, the attraction or the endeavour. There has been an experiment, perhaps even an eager experiment, but not a total self-giving to an imperative need of the soul or to an unforsakable ideal. Even such imperfect Yoga has not been wasted; for no upward effort is made in vain. Even if it fails in the present or arrives only at some preparatory stage or preliminary realisation, it has yet determined the soul's future.

But if we desire to make the most of the opportunity that this life gives us, if we wish to respond adequately to the call we have received and to attain to the goal we have glimpsed, not merely advance a little towards it, it is essential that there should be an entire self-giving. The secret of success in Yoga is to regard it not as one of the aims to be pursued in life, but as the one and only aim, not as an important part of life, but as the whole of life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Self-Consecration,
14:they are acting all the while in the spirit of rajasic ahaṅkara, persuade themselves that God is working through them and they have no part in the action. This is because they are satisfied with the mere intellectual assent to the idea without waiting for the whole system and life to be full of it. A continual remembrance of God in others and renunciation of individual eagerness (spr.ha) are needed and a careful watching of our inner activities until God by the full light of self-knowledge, jñanadı̄pena bhasvata, dispels all further chance of self-delusion. The danger of tamogun.a is twofold, first, when the Purusha thinks, identifying himself with the tamas in him, "I am weak, sinful, miserable, ignorant, good-for-nothing, inferior to this man and inferior to that man, adhama, what will God do through me?" - as if God were limited by the temporary capacities or incapacities of his instruments and it were not true that he can make the dumb to talk and the lame to cross the hills, mūkaṁ karoti vacalaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim, - and again when the sadhak tastes the relief, the tremendous relief of a negative santi and, feeling himself delivered from all troubles and in possession of peace, turns away from life and action and becomes attached to the peace and ease of inaction. Remember always that you too are Brahman and the divine Shakti is working in you; reach out always to the realisation of God's omnipotence and his delight in the Lila. He bids Arjuna work lokasaṅgraharthaya, for keeping the world together, for he does not wish the world to sink back into Prakriti, but insists on your acting as he acts, "These worlds would be overpowered by tamas and sink into Prakriti if I did not do actions." To be attached to inaction is to give up our action not to God but to our tamasic ahaṅkara. The danger of the sattvagun.a is when the sadhak becomes attached to any one-sided conclusion of his reason, to some particular kriya or movement of the sadhana, to the joy of any particular siddhi of the yoga, perhaps the sense of purity or the possession of some particular power or the Ananda of the contact with God or the sense of freedom and hungers after it, becomes attached to that only and would have nothing else. Remember that the yoga is not for yourself; for these things, though they are part of the siddhi, are not the object of the siddhi, for you have decided at the beginning to make no claim upon God but take what he gives you freely and, as for the Ananda, the selfless soul will even forego the joy of God's presence, ... ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays In Philosophy And Yoga,
15:If this is the truth of works, the first thing the sadhaka has to do is to recoil from the egoistic forms of activity and get rid of the sense of an "I" that acts. He has to see and feel that everything happens in him by the plastic conscious or subconscious or sometimes superconscious automatism of his mental and bodily instruments moved by the forces of spiritual, mental, vital and physical Nature. There is a personality on his surface that chooses and wills, submits and struggles, tries to make good in Nature or prevail over Nature, but this personality is itself a construction of Nature and so dominated, driven, determined by her that it cannot be free. It is a formation or expression of the Self in her, - it is a self of Nature rather than a self of Self, his natural and processive, not his spiritual and permanent being, a temporary constructed personality, not the true immortal Person. It is that Person that he must become. He must succeed in being inwardly quiescent, detach himself as the observer from the outer active personality and learn the play of the cosmic forces in him by standing back from all blinding absorption in its turns and movements. Thus calm, detached, a student of himself and a witness of his nature, he realises that he is the individual soul who observes the works of Nature, accepts tranquilly her results and sanctions or withholds his sanction from the impulse to her acts. At present this soul or Purusha is little more than an acquiescent spectator, influencing perhaps the action and development of the being by the pressure of its veiled consciousness, but for the most part delegating its powers or a fragment of them to the outer personality, - in fact to Nature, for this outer self is not lord but subject to her, anı̄sa; but, once unveiled, it can make its sanction or refusal effective, become the master of the action, dictate sovereignly a change of Nature. Even if for a long time, as the result of fixed association and past storage of energy, the habitual movement takes place independent of the Purusha's assent and even if the sanctioned movement is persistently refused by Nature for want of past habit, still he will discover that in the end his assent or refusal prevails, - slowly with much resistance or quickly with a rapid accommodation of her means and tendencies she modifies herself and her workings in the direction indicated by his inner sight or volition. Thus he learns in place of mental control or egoistic will an inner spiritual control which makes him master of the Nature-forces that work in him and not their unconscious instrument or mechanic slave. Above and around him is the Shakti, the universal Mother and from her he can get all his inmost soul needs and wills if only he has a true knowledge of her ways and a true surrender to the divine Will in her. Finally, he becomes aware of that highest dynamic Self within him and within Nature which is the source of all his seeing and knowing, the source of the sanction, the source of the acceptance, the source of the rejection. This is the Lord, the Supreme, the One-in-all, Ishwara-Shakti, of whom his soul is a portion, a being of that Being and a power of that Power. The rest of our progress depends on our knowledge of the ways in which the Lord of works manifests his Will in the world and in us and executes them through the transcendent and universal Shakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Supreme Will, 216,
   Sweet Mother, how can one feel the divine Presence constantly?

Why not?

   But how can one do it?

But I am asking why one should not feel it. Instead of asking the question how to feel it, I ask the question: "What do you do that you don't feel it?" There is no reason not to feel the divine Presence. Once you have felt it, even once, you should be capable of feeling it always, for it is there. It is a fact. It is only our ignorance which makes us unaware of it. But if we become conscious, why should we not always be conscious? Why forget something one has learnt? When one has had the experience, why forget it? It is simply a bad habit, that's all.
   You see, there is something which is a fact, that's to say, it is. But we are unaware of it and do not know it. But after we become conscious and know it, why should we still forget it? Does it make sense? It's quite simply because we are not convinced that once one has met the Divine one can't forget Him any more. We are, on the contrary, full of stupid ideas which say, "Oh! Yes, it's very well once like that, but the rest of the time it will be as usual." So there is no reason why it may not begin again.
   But if we know that... we did not know something, we were ignorant, then the moment we have the knowledge... I am sincerely asking how one can manage to forget. One might not know something, that is a fact; there are countless things one doesn't know. But the moment one knows them, the minute one has the experience, how can one manage to forget? Within yourself you have the divine Presence, you know nothing about it - for all kinds of reasons, but still the chief reason is that you are in a state of ignorance. Yet suddenly, by a clicking of circumstances, you become conscious of this divine Presence, that is, you are before a fact - it is not imagination, it is a fact, it's something which exists. Then how do you manage to forget it once you have known it?
   It is because something in us, through cowardice or defeatism, accepts this. If one did not accept it, it wouldn't happen.
   Even when everything seems to be suddenly darkened, the flame and the Light are always there. And if one doesn't forget them, one has only to put in front of them the part which is dark; there will perhaps be a battle, there will perhaps be a little difficulty, but it will be something quite transitory; never will you lose your footing. That is why it is said - and it is something true - that to sin through ignorance may have fatal consequences, because when one makes mistakes, well, these mistakes have results, that's obvious, and usually external and material results; but that's no great harm, I have already told you this several times. But when one knows what is true, when one has seen and had the experience of the Truth, to accept the sin again, that is, fall back again into ignorance and obscurity - this is indeed an infinitely more serious mistake. It begins to belong to the domain of ill-will. In any case, it is a sign of slackness and weakness. It means that the will is weak.
   So your question is put the other way round. Instead of asking yourself how to keep it, you must ask yourself: how does one not keep it? Not having it, is a state which everybody is in before the moment of knowing; not knowing - one is in that state before knowing. But once one knows one cannot forget. And if one forgets, it means that there is something which consents to the forgetting, it means there is an assent somewhere; otherwise one would not forget.
   ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955, 403,405,406,
   As an inner equality increases and with it the sense of the true vital being waiting for the greater direction it has to serve, as the psychic call too increases in all the members of our nature, That to which the call is addressed begins to reveal itself, descends to take possession of the life and its energies and fills them with the height, intimacy, vastness of its presence and its purpose. In many, if not most, it manifests something of itself even before the equality and the open psychic urge or guidance are there. A call of the veiled psychic element oppressed by the mass of the outer ignorance and crying for deliverance, a stress of eager meditation and seeking for knowledge, a longing of the heart, a passionate will ignorant yet but sincere may break the lid that shuts off that Higher from this Lower Nature and open the floodgates. A little of the Divine Person may reveal itself or some Light, Power, Bliss, Love out of the Infinite. This may be a momentary revelation, a flash or a brief-lived gleam that soon withdraws and waits for the preparation of the nature; but also it may repeat itself, grow, endure. A long and large and comprehensive working will then have begun, sometimes luminous or intense, sometimes slow and obscure. A Divine Power comes in front at times and leads and compels or instructs and enlightens; at others it withdraws into the background and seems to leave the being to its own resources. All that is ignorant, obscure, perverted or simply imperfect and inferior in the being is raised up, perhaps brought to its acme, dealt with, corrected, exhausted, shown its own disastrous results, compelled to call for its own cessation or transformation or expelled as worthless or incorrigible from the nature. This cannot be a smooth and even process; alternations there are of day and night, illumination and darkness, calm and construction or battle and upheaval, the presence of the growing Divine Consciousness and its absence, heights of hope and abysses of despair, the clasp of the Beloved and the anguish of its absence, the overwhelming invasion, the compelling deceit, the fierce opposition, the disabling mockery of hostile Powers or the help and comfort and communion of the Gods and the Divine Messengers. A great and long revolution and churning of the ocean of Life with strong emergences of its nectar and its poison is enforced till all is ready and the increasing Descent finds a being, a nature prepared and conditioned for its complete rule and its all-encompassing presence. But if the equality and the psychic light and will are already there, then this process, though it cannot be dispensed with, can still be much lightened and facilitated: it will be rid of its worst dangers; an inner calm, happiness, confidence will support the steps through all the difficulties and trials of the transformation and the growing Force profiting by the full assent of the nature will rapidly diminish and eliminate the power of the opposing forces. A sure guidance and protection will be present throughout, sometimes standing in front, sometimes working behind the veil, and the power of the end will be already there even in the beginning and in the long middle stages of the great endeavour. For at all times the seeker will be aware of the Divine Guide and Protector or the working of the supreme Mother-Force; he will know that all is done for the best, the progress assured, the victory inevitable. In either case the process is the same and unavoidable, a taking up of the whole nature, of the whole life, of the internal and of the external, to reveal and handle and transform its forces and their movements under the pressure of a diviner Life from above, until all here has been possessed by greater spiritual powers and made an instrumentation of a spiritual action and a divine purpose. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2, 179,
18:O soul, it is too early to rejoice!
Thou hast reached the boundless silence of the Self,
Thou hast leaped into a glad divine abyss;
But where hast thou thrown Self's mission and Self's power?
On what dead bank on the Eternal's road?
One was within thee who was self and world,
What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars?
Escape brings not the victory and the crown!
Something thou cam'st to do from the Unknown,
But nothing is finished and the world goes on
Because only half God's cosmic work is done.
Only the everlasting No has neared
And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart:
But where is the Lover's everlasting Yes,
And immortality in the secret heart,
The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
The symbolled OM, the great assenting Word,
The bridge between the rapture and the calm,
The passion and the beauty of the Bride,
The chamber where the glorious enemies kiss,
The smile that saves, the golden peak of things?
This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Adoration of the Divine Mother,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Alexey Alexandrovitch bowed his head in assent. ~ Leo Tolstoy
2:en général, là où tu passes, les gens trépassent. ~ M C Beaton
3:What is faith? Is it merely assent to facts? ~ Charles C Ryrie
4:There are many roads to happiness, if the gods assent. ~ Pindar
5:Eroticism is assenting to life even in death. ~ Georges Bataille
6:I hope you realize, in a democracy, laughter is assent. ~ Al Franken
7:give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, ~ Swami Vivekananda
8:There is no flattery so adroit or effectual as that of implicit assent. ~ William Hazlitt
9:Dans le « programme des examens » les choses ne se passent pas comme dans la vie. ~ Colette
10:Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death ~ Georges Bataille
11:Assent to thy high self, create, endure.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Vision and the Boon,
12:we would not reliably assent to reproduce unless we first had lost our minds. ~ Alain de Botton
13:"More than him has done that," said Antonia sadly, and the girls murmured assent. ~ Willa Cather
14:Quem diria que as palavras que nunca chegamos a dizer assentassem tão pesadamente? ~ Jodi Picoult
15:People often found themselves assenting to inanimate objects in the Moonlite All-Nite. ~ Joseph Fink
16:Sometimes, to remain silent is to lie, since silence can be interpreted as assent. ~ Miguel de Unamuno
17:We are pleased with one who instantly assents to our opinions, but we love a proselyte. ~ Arthur Helps
18:Nada é tão débil e instável quanto a fama da potência não assente na própria força ~ Niccol Machiavelli
19:les années ne passent qu'en apparence.Les moments les plus simples sont ancrés en nous à jamais ~ Marc Levy
20:wasn’t sure if I could agree with him on the ease of murder, but he continued without my assent. ~ Celia Aaron
21:  Je voudrais que les hommes parlassent aux rois comme les anges parlent à notre saint prophète. ~ Montesquieu
22:The immortality of the soul is assented to rather than believed, believed rather than lived. ~ Orestes Brownson
23:Lois de convention que tout cela, usages arbitraires, modes qui passent : l'essentiel demeure toujours. ~ Voltaire
24:Assent - and you are sane - Demur - and you're straightaway dangerous - and handled with a chain. ~ Emily Dickinson
25:For in every soul that shall be saved is a Godly Will that never assented to sin, nor ever shall. ~ Julian of Norwich
26:You can get assent to almost any proposition so long as you are not going to do anything about it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
27:It is better by assenting to truth to conquer opinion, than by assenting to opinion to be conquered by truth. ~ Epictetus
28:We decide whether we’ll assent or reject. No one can force us to give up or to believe something that is untrue ~ Ryan Holiday
29:Faith is the assent to any proposition not made out by the deduction of reason but upon the credit of the proposer. ~ John Locke
30:Les lois sont des toiles d'araignée à travers lesquelles passent les grosses mouches et où restent les petites ~ Honor de Balzac
31:sign off on INFORMAL assent or give one's approval to: it was hard to get celebrities to sign off on those issues. ~ Erin McKean
32:That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent. ~ Aldous Huxley
33:il a participé à des soirées libertines où les partenaires passent de main en main comme du guacamole pendant l’apéritif. ~ Anonymous
34:Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
35:But it is difficult for men to disbelieve a woman who insists that she wishes to serve them, and he nodded assent. ~ Catherynne M Valente
36:Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
37:In the end faith always moves beyond mental assent and duty and will involve the whole self—mind, will, and emotions. Why ~ Timothy J Keller
38:A sermon is a place to wake people up to realities they have assented to with the mind but have not grasped with the heart. ~ Timothy J Keller
39:It is your own assent to yourself, and the constant voice of your own reason, and not of others, that should make you believe. ~ Blaise Pascal
40:The sounds of southwestern cacti are broadcast for several weeks until, by general assent, it is agreed that cacti make no sounds. ~ Rick Moody
41:If actions speak louder than words, it is because they lend the weight of behavior (real assent) to belief (nominal assent). ~ Kevin J Vanhoozer
42:Faith is more than getting a theological quiz right. Faith is to know, to assent, to put your trust in, and to cherish what is true. ~ Kevin DeYoung
43:To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken ~ Marcus Aurelius
44:Even the stoics agree that certainty is very hard to come at; that our assent is worth little, for where is infallibility to be found? ~ Marcus Aurelius
45:Faith means intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable person. ~ Walter Kaufmann
46:Some proofs command assent. Others woo and charm the intellect. They evoke delight and an overpowering desire to say, 'Amen, Amen'. ~ John William Strutt
47:How easy it is to read the Scriptures and give a kind of nominal assent to the truth and yet never to appropriate what it tells us! ~ D Martyn Lloyd Jones
48:To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of: ~ Marcus Aurelius
49:The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma. ~ Abraham Lincoln
50:T’inquiète pas, Papa. Les gens passent leur temps à se pointer des pistolets au visage, ici. C’est presque comme se serrer la main. (Jesper) ~ Leigh Bardugo
51:To celebrate a festival means: to live out, for some special occasion and in an uncommon manner, the universal assent to the world as a whole. ~ Josef Pieper
52:Each generation criticizes the unconscious assumptions made by its parent. It may assent to them, but it brings them out in the open. ~ Alfred North Whitehead
53:The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma. ~ Abraham Lincoln
54:To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken of: whom ~ Marcus Aurelius
55:The perfect faith is an assent of the whole being to the truth seen by it or offered to its acceptance. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
56:Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ Hermann Hesse
57:Indeed upon much that may have to say, I expect rather the charitable judgment than the full assent of those whose approbation I could most wish to win. ~ Asa Gray
58:Reverence is the sense that there is something larger than the self, larger even than the human, to which one accords respect and awe and assent. ~ Ursula Goodenough
59:In sciences that are based on supposition and opinion…the object is to command assent, not to master the thing itself. FRANCIS BACON, Novum Organum, 1620 ~ Gary Taubes
60:Irish nationalists can never be the assenting parties to the mutilation of the Irish nation. The two nation theory is to us an abomination and a blasphemy. ~ John Redmond
61:Nowadays, what an award gives is a sense of solidarity with the poetry guild, as it were: sustenance coming from the assent of your peers on the judging panel. ~ Seamus Heaney
62:Belief, in one of its accepted senses, may consist in a merely intellectual assent, while faith implies such confidence and conviction as will impel to action. ~ James E Talmage
63:Si je crois en Dieu? Oui, quand je travaille. Quand je suis soumis et modeste, je me sens tellement aidé par quelqu'un qui me fait faire des choses qui me surpassent. ~ Henri Matisse
64:Et l’angoisse obscure des heures qui passent a beau se faire chaque jour plus grande, Drogo s’obstine dans l’illusion que ce qui est important n’est pas encore commencé. ~ Dino Buzzati
65:I only knew the schoolbooks said he "died in the wilderness, of a broken heart."

"More than him has done that," said Antonia sadly, and the girls murmured assent. ~ Willa Cather
66:Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true. ~ John Locke
67:Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin, the infinite source of your own most intense vibration, so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
68:O nosso casamento assentava mais no rancor mútuo do que no amor. Nada contra - compreendam-me. Acho que o rancor tende a ser um sentimento mais sólido do que o amor. ~ Jos Eduardo Agualusa
69:I assent to this proposed Bill as effecting an ingenious strengthening of our tactical position before the world. I am absolutely satisfied that the Sinn Feiners will refuse it. ~ Tim Pat Coogan
70:They had been mistaken, it seemed, in seeking other tongues. Languages were not a special capacity, as she had once imagined, but incautious assent to the wrong kinds of meanings.   A ~ Gail Jones
71:Faith is necessary throughout and at every step because it is a needed assent of the soul and without this assent there can be no progress. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Faith and Shakti,
72:The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
The symbolled OM, the great assenting Word,
The bridge between the rapture and the calm, ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Adoration of the Divine Mother,
73:There is an internal freedom permitted to every mental being called man to assent or not to assent to the Divine leading. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother with Letters on The Mother, Surrender to the Mother,
74:Esse mundo é muito filho da puta, não é? — disse Gus.

Angel assentiu.

— Mas é o único que nós temos.

Gus sentiu um arroubo de amor por aquele seu compatriota fodido. ~ Chuck Hogan
75:Todo o reino de Fantasia assenta-se sobre alicerces de sonhos esquecidos." A História Sem Fim

(The whole kingdom of Fantasy sits upon foundations of forgotten dreams - Endless Story). ~ Michael Ende
76:The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion. ~ Timothy J Keller
77:A quell'epoca, io stavo cercando l'oblio, e cercavo in quei volti assenti, anonimi, anche nei più penosamente familiari, una specie di innocua fuga. Una morte che non significasse essere morti. ~ Jeff VanderMeer
78:I trust the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized people, all international differences shall be determined without resort to arms by the benignant processes of civilization. ~ Chester A Arthur
79:One cannot fail to observe a crushing irony: the gospel of relativistic tolerance is perhaps the most “evangelistic” movement in Western culture at the moment, demanding assent and brooking no rivals. ~ D A Carson
80:Belief, in this sense, seems to me to be assent to a proposition which we think so overwhelmingly probable that there is a psychological exclusion of doubt, though not a logical exclusion of dispute. It ~ C S Lewis
81:Fear not to be nothing that thou mayst be all;
Assent to the emptiness of the Supreme
That all in thee may reach its absolute. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Nirvana and the Discovery of the All-Negating Absolute,
82:Les gens qui passent exactement la vie entière à travailler pour vivre n'ont d'autre idée que celle de leur travail ou de leur intérêt, et tout leur esprit semble être au bout de leurs bras. ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau
83:Il est des choses qui nous dépassent. Les contester ne nous mènerait nulle part. Les traquer nous perdrait à jamais. Il faut mettre une croix sur ce qui est fini si l'on veut se réinventer ailleurs. ~ Yasmina Khadra
84:It's very important that the determination of the US Congress to do what is is needed be made evident this week and by the actions of most of the members. I mean, you're not going to get total assent. ~ Warren Buffett
85:There is such a torture, happily unknown to ancient tyranny, as talking a man to death. Marcus Aurelius advises to assent readily to great talkers--in hopes, I suppose, to put an end to the argument. ~ Laurence Sterne
86:Give unqualified assent to no propositions but those the truth of which is so clear and distinct that they cannot be doubted. The enunciation of this first great commandment of science consecrated doubt. ~ Thomas Huxley
87:You doubt God? Well more to the point I credit God with the good sense to doubt me. What is mortality after all but divine doubt flashing over us? For an instant God suspends assent and poof! we disappear. ~ Anne Carson
88:Je me dérobais de toute ma force à des situations qui me donnassent un intérêt contraire à l'intérêt d'un autre homme, et par conséquent un désir secret, quoique involontaire, du mal de cet homme-là. ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau
89:Mas, mesmo no sonho, não conseguia afastar a sensação de que, apesar das camadas e camadas de músculo que me envolviam e do coração roubado que tinham assentado em meu peito, estava vazio por dentro. ~ Alexander Gordon Smith
90:A man who speaks out honestly and fearlessly that which he knows, and that which he believes, will always enlist the good will and the respect, however much he may fail in winning the assent, of his fellow men. ~ Thomas Huxley
91:One solace yet remains for us who came Into this world in days when story lacked Severe research, that in our hearts we know How, for exciting youth's heroic flame, Assent is power, belief the soul of fact. ~ William Wordsworth
92:Men want to be reminded, who do not want to be taught; because those original ideas of rectitude to which the mind is compelled to assent when they are proposed, are not always as present to us as they ought to be. ~ Edmund Burke
93:While religion, contrary to the common notion, implies, in certain cases, a spirit of slow reserve as to assent, infidelity, which claims to despise credulity, is sometimes swift to it. ~ Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man (1857)
94:When then any man assents to that which is false, be assured that he did not intend to assent to it as false, for every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, as Plato says; but the falsity seemed to him to be true. ~ Epictetus
95:As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice-there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community... this issue of paradigm choice can never be unequivocally settled by logic and experiment alone. ~ Thomas Kuhn
96:Christianity is more than history; it is also a system of truths. Every event which its history records, either is a truth, or suggests a truth, or expresses a truth which man needs to assent to or to put into practice. ~ Noah Porter
97:So too, in forming a constitution, or in enacting rules of procedure, or making canons, the people do not merely passively assent, but actively cooperate. They have, in all these matters, the same authority as the clergy. ~ Charles Hodge
98:It is therefore worthwhile, to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things, whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions. ~ John Locke
99:Our business is to do our duty, to fight and not to think! That’s all …’ said he. ‘And to drink,’ said one of the officers, not wishing to quarrel. ‘Yes, and to drink,’ assented Nikolai. ‘Hey you! Another bottle!’ he shouted. ~ Leo Tolstoy
100:Quant aux événements privés qui passent généralement pour être les causes prochaines du suicide, ils n'ont d'autre action que celle que leur prêtent les dispositions morales de la victime, écho de l'état moral de la société. ~ mile Durkheim
101:So when someone assents to a false proposition, be sure that they did not want to give their assent, since, as Plato says, ‘Every soul is deprived of the truth against its will.’47 [5] They simply mistook for true something false. ~ Epictetus
102:il arrive malheureusement parfois que ceux qui croient combattre le diable, quelque idée qu’ils s’en fassent d’ailleurs, se trouvent ainsi tout simplement, sans s’en douter le moins du monde, transformés en ses meilleurs serviteurs ! ~ Ren Gu non
103:Rulers who destroy men's freedom commonly begin by trying to retain its forms. ... They cherish the illusion that they can combine the prerogatives of absolute power with the moral authority that comes from popular assent. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
104:And where a solution appears possible, the new logic provides a method which enables us to obtain results that do not merely embody personal idiosyncrasies, but must command the assent of all who are competent to form an opinion. ~ Bertrand Russell
105:It is also certain that when we assent to some piece of reasoning when our perception of it is lacking, then either we go wrong, or, if we do stumble on the truth, it is by accident, so that we cannot be sure that we are not in error. ~ Ernest Sosa
106:The nod of a head is such a small thing, it can mean so little, yet it is the gesture of assent that allows, that makes to be. The nod is the gesture of power, the yes. The numen, the presence of the sacred, is called by its name ~ Ursula K Le Guin
107:I held back my heart from all assent, fearing to fall headlong, and died all the more from that suspense.5 I wished to be made just as certain of things that I could not see, as I was certain that seven and three make ten. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo
108:Simple assent to the gospel, divorced from a transforming commitment to the living Christ, is by Biblical standards less than faith, and less than saving, and to elicit only assent of this kind would be to secure only false conversions. ~ J I Packer
109:The nod of a head is such a small thing, it can mean so little, yet it is the gesture of assent that allows, that makes to be. The nod is the gesture of power, the yes. The numen. the presence of the sacred, is called by its name. ~ Ursula K Le Guin
110:Abject flattery and indiscriminate assentation degrade, as much as indiscriminate contradiction and noisy debate disgust. But a modest assertion of one's own opinion, and a complaisant acquiescence in other people's, preserve dignity. ~ Doug Stanhope
111:L'imagination n'est pas, comme le suggère l'étymologie, la faculté de former des images de la réalité ; elle est la faculté de former des images qui dépassent la réalité, qui chantent la réalité. Elle est une faculté de surhumanité. ~ Gaston Bachelard
112:Les jours passent, la nuit reste. Maintenant, tu me manques. Des fois c'est tes bras, des fois c'est tes pas dont je crois reconnaître le bruit. La plupart du temps, c'est toi en entier, avec ta voix et tes petites façons d'être ma mère. ~ Mathias Malzieu
113:In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.” I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. ~ G K Chesterton
114:Much Madness is divinest Sense -- To a discerning Eye -- Much Sense -- the starkest Madness -- 'Tis the Majority In this, as All, prevail -- Assent -- and you are sane -- Demur -- you're straightway dangerous -- And handled with a Chain -- ~ Emily Dickinson
115:Self-pity needed her full attention, and only in solitude could she breathe life into the lacerating details, but at the instant of her assent—how the tilt of a skull could change a life!—Lola had picked up the bundle of Briony’s manuscript from ~ Ian McEwan
116:And whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ David Hume
117:In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. ~ Stephen Jay Gould
118:In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. ~ Stephen Jay Gould
119:There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. ~ Swami Vivekananda
120:It is to be the assent and ratification of the several States, derived from the supreme authority in each State, the authority of the people themselves. The act, therefore establishing the Constitution, will not be a NATIONAL, but a FEDERAL act. ~ James Madison
121:Self-pity needed her full attention, and only in solitude could she breathe life into the lacerating details, but at the instant of her assent—how the tilt of a skull could change a life!—Lola had picked up the bundle of Briony’s manuscript from the ~ Ian McEwan
122:It is possible to merely assent that something is a sin without getting the new perspective on it and experiencing the new inward aversion to it that gives you the power and freedom to change. Put another way, there is a false kind of repentance ~ Timothy J Keller
123:To believe is not intellectual assent: "Yes, I believe in Jesus. I will sign my name to the Nicene Creed. I believe it all" - which you could do, [but] it would have no effect on who you were or what you did. It is, rather, to give your heart. ~ Frederick Buechner
124:«Io ho conosciuto un solo Dio e non è vendicativo. È buono e misericordioso.»
Abaddon aveva sempre pensato a Dio come il manager assenteista di un’enorme azienda, più interessato al golf e a un’abbronzatura perfetta che agli uomini, ma non replicò ~ Marie Sexton
125:Je suis seul au milieu de ces voix joyeuses et raisonnables. Tous ces types passent leur temps à s’expliquer, à reconnaître avec bonheur qu’ils sont du même avis. Quelle importance ils attachent, mon Dieu, à penser tous ensemble les mêmes choses. ~ Jean Paul Sartre
126:After a murmur of general assent, Ariadne spoke up. “And oh my God, I have to pump my boobs. You guys, you don’t even know. It’s like having blue balls strapped to your chest!” After a horrified silence, the men practically ran screaming from the building. ~ Amy Lane
127:I have never united myself to any church because I found difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservation to the long, complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize the articles of belief and the usual confession of faith. ~ Abraham Lincoln
128:Theologians pitted devotion and morality against belief, defining faith no longer as a way of life but rather as intellectual assent to certain creeds or confessions; their books were filled with “quarrelling, disputing, scolding, and reviling.”38 ~ Diana Butler Bass
129:the staid dowagers who sat guard at every Indian get-together—white-bunned, cardigan-clad women with hands like gathered rope, nodding their approval or assent when necessary, reminders that every adult in the room was nothing more than an aged child. ~ Rakesh Satyal
130:We need not impose poverty, but it must not frighten us, as it is the most favorable condition for spiritual development we can find, if accepted with assent. If we want to experiment in giving freedom to the child, the field of poverty is the best. ~ Maria Montessori
131:...quando perdi qualcuno e questo qualcuno ti manca, tu soffri perché la persona assente si è trasformata in un essere immaginario: irreale. Ma il tuo desiderio di lei non è immaginario. Così è a quello che devi aggrapparti: al desiderio. Perché è reale. ~ Jonathan Coe
132:Did she consent? But words failed her. This willful assent they were suddenly asking her to express was the agreement to surrender herself, to say yes in advance to everything to which she most assuredly wanted to say yes but to which her body said no... ~ Pauline R age
133:Epictetus says we must discover the missing art of assent and pay special attention to the sphere of our impulses—that they are subject to reservation, to the common good, and that they are in proportion to actual worth.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 11.37 ~ Ryan Holiday
134:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ Carl Sagan
135:Much Madness Is Divinest Sense
Much Madness is divinest Sense To a discerning Eye Much Sense - the starkest Madness `Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail Assent - and you are sane Demur - you`re straightaway dangerous And handled with a Chain ~ Emily Dickinson
136:Therefore, the church is not absolutely necessary as an object of faith, not even for us today, for then Abraham and the other prophets would not have given assent to those things which were revealed to them from God without any intervening help of the church. ~ William Ames
137:Um único jornalista – Juca Kfouri, não por acaso o mais severo e crítico de nossos cronistas esportivos – registrou, e assim mesmo em seu blog, o fato de o estádio mais barato por assento das últimas quatro Copas ter sido executado pelo Brasil, no estado do Ceará. ~ Anonymous
138:[The human mind] finds more facility in assenting to the self-existence of an invisible cause possessing infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, than in the self-existence of the universe, visibly destitute of these attributes, and which may be the effect of them. ~ James Madison
139:You have to put your inner will and the Mother's light on the vital so that it shall change, not leave it to do what it likes. The Mother's force or the psychic can act, but on condition that the assent of the being is there.

Letters on Yoga, vol.24, p.1343 ~ Sri Aurobindo
140:Likewise, if we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. ~ Carl Sagan
141:if one consults reason alone, one cannot assent to the articles of our faith" it was full of mysteries; "we are fools to try to explain them." This makes preaching Christianity not only a hard task but also dangerous. "Had I know, I should never have been a preacher. ~ Jacques Barzun
142:not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of . . . but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. ~ Thomas Jefferson
143:The highest dream we could ever dream, the wish that if granted would make us happier than any other blessing, is to know God, to actually experience Him. The problem is that we don’t believe this idea is true. We assent to it in our heads. But we don’t feel it in our hearts. ~ Larry Crabb
144:The reason why any one refuses his assent to your opinion, or his aid to your benevolent design, is in you: he refuses to accept you as a bringer of truth, because, though you think you have it, he feels that you have it not. You have not given him the authentic sign. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
145:De l'autre côté de la fenêtre, le vent continue son folklore. Des nuages de neige passent avec une régularité de trains fantômes. Je pense à la mésange (...) Les mésanges gardent la forêt dans le gel. Elles n'ont pas le snobisme des hirondelles qui passent l'hiver en Égypte. ~ Sylvain Tesson
146:No n'hi ha per tant!, em repetia per intentar calmar-me. Era veritat. No n'hi havia per tant. No era la fi del món una altra vegada. Només era el final d'una petita estona de pau que ara deixava enrere. Només era això.
No n'hi ha per tant —vaig assentir—, però Déu n'hi do. ~ Stephenie Meyer
147:Philosophers say that people are all guided by a single standard. When they assent to a thing, it is because they feel it must be true, when they dissent, it is because they feel something isn't true, and when they suspend judgement, it is because they feel that the thing is unclear. ~ Epictetus
148:Oh, hear Him within you speaking this infinite love,moving like some divine and audible leaven,lifting the sky of the soul with expansions of light, shaping new heights and new depths,and, at your stir of assent,spreading the mountains with flame, filling the hollows with Heaven. ~ Jessica Powers
149:Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good—death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ Hermann Hesse
150:Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good - death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. ~ Hermann Hesse
151:In earth’s rhythm of shadow and sunlight
Storm is the dance of the locks of the God assenting to greatness,
Zeus who with secret compulsion orders the ways of our nature;
Veiled in events he lives and working disguised in the mortal
Builds our str ~ Sri Aurobindo, Collected Poems, Ilion,
152:Art that sells on production is bad art, essentially. It is art that is made to demand. It suits the public. The taste of the public is bad. The taste of the public is always bad. It is bad because it is not an individual expression, but merely a mania for assent, a mania to be 'in on it'. ~ Ezra Pound
153:I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives... But this does not satisfy the priesthood. They must have a positive, a declared assent to all of their interested absurdities. My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. ~ Thomas Jefferson
154:Quem pode duvidar que vive e entende, e que julga? se duvida, vive; se duvida, entende que duvida; se duvida é porque quer ter certeza; se duvida, pensa; se duvida, sabe que não sabe; se duvida, julga que convém não prestar um assentimento temerário.

(De Trinitate, livro X) ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo
155:If I’ve learned anything from thirty-five years of doubt and belief, it’s that faith is not passive intellectual assent to a set of propositions. It’s a rough-and-tumble, no-holds-barred, all-night-long struggle, and sometimes you have to demand your blessing rather than wait around for it. ~ Rachel Held Evans
156:It is essential to consider as a constant point of reference in this essay the regular hiatus between what we fancy we know and what we really know, practical assent and simulated ignorance which allows us to live with ideas which, if we truly put them to the test, ought to upset our whole life. ~ Albert Camus
157:Much Madness Is Divinest Sense

Much Madness is divinest Sense —
To a discerning Eye —
Much Sense — the starkest Madness —
'Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail —
Assent — and you are sane —
Demur — you're straightway dangerous —
And handled with a Chain — ~ Emily Dickinson
158:Il faut absolument que la Superstition et le Fanatisme fassent place a la Philosophie. (It must necessarily happen that superstition and fanaticism give place to philosophy.) Kings persecute persons, priests opinion. Without kings, men must be safe; and without priests, minds must be free. ~ Edward Bulwer Lytton
159:If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition - even when it seems to be doing a little good - we abet a general climate in which scepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. Figuring out a prudent balance takes wisdom. ~ Carl Sagan
160:Men have gone on to build up vast intellectual schemes, philosophies, and theologies, to prove that ideals are not real as ideals but as antecedently existing actualities. They have failed to see that in converting moral realities into matters of intellectual assent they have evinced lack of moral faith. ~ John Dewey
161:Le fait le plus marquant de l’époque est la misère du prolétariat industriel. En dépit de la croissance, ou peut-être en partie à cause d’elle, et de l’énorme exode rural que la progression de la population et de la productivité agricole a commencé à provoquer, les ouvriers s’entassent dans des taudis. ~ Thomas Piketty
162:The point is that one's got an instinct to live. One doesn't live because one's reason assents to living. People who, as we say, 'would be better dead' don't want to die! People who apparently have everything to live for just let themselves fade out of life because they haven't got the energy to fight. ~ Agatha Christie
163:Why should I fear death?
If I am, then death is not.
If Death is, then I am not.
Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?
Long time men lay oppressed with slavish fear.
Religious tyranny did domineer.
At length the mighty one of Greece
Began to assent the liberty of man. ~ Epicurus
164:Les gens se leurrent, déclara-t-il comme s'il ne voyait pas où elle voulait en venir. Ils ont tellement soif d'amour qu'ils passent leur vie à le chercher. Quand ils croient l'avoir trouvé, ils se persuadent d'avoir mis la main sur un joyau dont les autres ont été assez stupides pour ne pas voir la valeur. ~ David Farland
165:Os judeus antigos, como nós, pensavam no juízo de Deus em termos de uma corte de justiça terrena. A diferença é que o cristão retrata o caso a ser julgado como uma causa criminal, com ele mesmo assentado no banco dos réus; o judeu, por sua vez, o apresenta como uma causa civil, na qual ele mesmo é o reclamante. ~ C S Lewis
166:how vain, I say, it is to expect demonstration and certainty in things not capable of it; and refuse assent to very rational propositions, and act contrary to very plain and clear truths, because they cannot be made out so evident as to surmount every the least (I will not say reason, but) pretence of doubting. ~ John Locke
167:Leon Morris can say, “Faith, for John, is an activity which takes men right out of themselves and makes them one with Christ.” He understands the Greek phrase pisteuō eis to be a significant indication that New Testament faith is not just intellectual assent but includes a “moral element of personal trust.” 2 ~ Wayne Grudem
168:The point is that one's got an instinct to live. One does not live because one's reason assents to living. People who, as we say, 'would be better dead,' don’t want to die! People who apparently have got everything to live for just let themselves fade out of life because they have not got the energy to fight. ~ Agatha Christie
169:When we name things correctly, we comprehend them correctly, without adding information or judgements that aren't there. Does someone bathe quickly? Don't say be bathes poorly, but quickly. Name the situation as it is, don't filter it through your judgments. Give your assent only to that which is actually true. ~ Epictetus
170:Me dad used to say a strange dog would allus get a cow up.” There were murmurs of assent from the assembled farmers and immediate offers of dogs. I tried to point out that one would be enough but my authority had dwindled and anyway everybody seemed anxious to demonstrate their dogs’ cow-raising potential. There ~ James Herriot
171:For authority proceeds from true reason, but reason certainly does not proceed from authority. For every authority which is not upheld by true reason is seen to be weak, whereas true reason is kept firm and immutable by her own powers and does not require to be confirmed by the assent of any authority. ~ Johannes Scotus Eriugena
172:L'action, pour certains hommes, est d'autant plus impraticable que le désir est plus fort. La méfiance d'eux-mêmes les embarrasse, la crainte de déplaire les épouvante; d’ailleurs, les affections profondes ressemblent aux honnêtes femmes; elles ont peur d’être découvertes, et passent dans la vie les yeux baissés. ~ Gustave Flaubert
173:Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its veracity (the church’s ) : and whoever is moved by faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person , which subverts all the principles of his understanding and gives him a determination of believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ David Hume
174:The thought of being a creator, of engendering, of shaping is nothing without the continuous great confirmation and embodiment in the world, nothing without the thousandfold assent from Things and animals... beautiful and rich only because it is full of inherited memories of the engendering and birthing of millions. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
175:La beauté de Chateaugué n’a rien de féminin. C’est comme si elle ne savait pas sourire comme une femme, regarder comme une femme, marcher comme une femme, porter son corps et sa robe comme si elle avait peur qu’ils se défassent. Je ris en songeant à sa façon extravagante de se mouvoir ; irrégulière et désordonnée au possible. ~ R jean Ducharme
176:If what the philosophers say be true, that all men's actions proceed from one source; that as they assent from a persuasion that a thing is so, and dissent from a persuasion that it is not, and suspend their judgment from a persuasion that it is uncertain, so likewise they seek a thing from a persuasion that it is for their advantage. ~ Epictetus
177:the reason why Gilgamesh needed the assent of his elders to defend his city was probably that he did not have at his disposal the writing tools necessary to command absolute political control over large numbers of citizens. By the same token, Uruk’s literate, scribal elite was not yet able to disempower its illiterate masses. ~ William J Bernstein
178:We shortchange ourselves by regarding religious faith as a matter of intellectual assent. This is a modern aberration; the traditional Christian view is far more holistic, regarding faith as a whole-body experience. Sometimes it is, as W.H. Auden described it, 'a matter of choosing what is difficult all one's days as if it were easy. ~ Kathleen Norris
179:The gloomy theology of the orthodox--the Calvinists--I do not, I cannot believe. Many of the notions--nay, most of the notions--which orthodox people have of the divinity of the Bible, I disbelieve. I am so nearly infidel in all my views, that too, in spite of my wishes, that none but the most liberal doctrines can command my assent. ~ Rutherford B Hayes
180:I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I? (looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on every body’s assent)— Do not you all think I shall?”

Emma could not resist.

“Ah! ma’am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me— but you will be limited as to number—only three at once. ~ Jane Austen
181:J'archive les heures qui passent. Tenir un journal féconde l'existence. Le rendez-vous quotidien devant la page blanche du journal contraint à prêter meilleure attention aux événements de la journée - à mieux écouter, à penser plus fort, à regarder plus intensément. Il serait désobligeant de n'avoir rien à inscrire sur sa page de calepin. ~ Sylvain Tesson
182:The Life of Lies. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. Loyalty oaths. An us-versus-them worldview. Lying about things, large and small, in service to some warped code of loyalty. These rules and standards were hallmarks of the Mafia, but throughout my career I’d be surprised how often I’d find them applied outside of it. ~ James Comey
183:Contemplating the scene?’ inquired the dismal man. ‘I was,’ said Mr. Pickwick. ‘And congratulating yourself on being up so soon?’ Mr. Pickwick nodded assent. ‘Ah! people need to rise early, to see the sun in all his splendour, for his brightness seldom lasts the day through. The morning of day and the morning of life are but too much alike. ~ Charles Dickens
184:Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement on the decision here.” Everyone around the table nodded assent. “Then,” continued Mr. Sloan, “I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about. ~ Peter F Drucker
185:I noticed affixed to a laboratory door the following words: "Les théories passent. Le Grenouille reste. [The theories pass. The frog remains.] &mdashJean Rostand, Carnets d'un biologiste." There is a risk that in the less severe discipline of criticism the result may turn out to be different; the theories will remain but the frog may disappear. ~ Frank Kermode
186:If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then Christianity, which depends upon the truth and authenticity of Jesus' resurrection, also is not believable. ~ John Shelby Spong
187:Choice—to do and think right Refusal—of temptation Yearning—to be better Repulsion—of negativity, of bad influences, of what isn’t true Preparation—for what lies ahead or whatever may happen Purpose—our guiding principle and highest priority Assent—to be free of deception about what’s inside and outside our control (and be ready to accept the latter) ~ Ryan Holiday
188:E ela só foi ter com ele, levando-lhe a chávena fumegante da perfumosa bebida que tinha sido a mensageira dos seus amores; assentou-se ao rebordo da cama e, segurando com uma das mãos o pires, e com a outra a xícara, ajudava-o a beber, gole por gole, enquanto seus olhos o acarinhavam, cintilantes de impaciência no antegozo daquele primeiro enlace. ~ Alu sio Azevedo
189:Dans son ouvrage à succès The Rhythm of Life, Matthew Kelly nous éclaire sur un but universel que nous devrions tous avoir, selon moi : devenir la meilleure version de nous-mêmes. Autrement dit, nous attacher à grandir et à devenir le meilleur être possible, en poursuivant nos rêves et en inspirant les autres pour qu’ils en fassent de même. C’est votre but. ~ Hal Elrod
190:– Quand je pense qu’il est des domestiques qui passent leur vie à débiner leurs maîtres, à les embêter, à les menacer… Quelles brutes !… Quand je pense qu’il en est qui voudraient les tuer… Les tuer !… Et puis après ?… Est-ce qu’on tue la vache qui nous donne du lait, et le mouton de la laine… On trait la vache… on tond le mouton… adroitement… en douceur… ~ Octave Mirbeau
191:Intuitive seeming is in my view an attraction to assent based on nothing more than understanding of the content that upon consideration attracts one's assent. But such understanding-based attraction can differ dramatically in epistemic quality. Some such attractions represent nothing more than superstition or bias absorbed from the culture, sans ratiocination. ~ Ernest Sosa
192:there is a type of flower that can bloom only in the desert of doubt. Faith that we elect to profess in the absence of certainty is an offering that is entirely free, unconditioned, and utterly authentic. Such a gesture represents our considered and chosen response to the universe, our assent to what we find beautiful and worthy and deserving of our risk. We ~ Terryl L Givens
193:In an age of information overload ... the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the Bread of Life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God. ~ Rachel Held Evans
194:We decide what we will make of each and every situation. We decide whether we’ll break or whether we’ll resist. We decide whether we’ll assent or reject. No one can force us to give up or to believe something that is untrue (such as, that a situation is absolutely hopeless or impossible to improve). Our perceptions are the thing that we’re in complete control of. ~ Ryan Holiday
195:in an age of information overload . . . the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God. ~ Rachel Held Evans
196:Are your friends as good as MY friends? I can discern the nod of of assent but doubt it. My own friends are far better, they are famous people and they are all dead.
Who, you may ask, are those friends of mine, and why are they dead?
It is a fair question. They are dead because, had they lived, they would have died anyway from extreme old age and decrepitude. ~ Flann O Brien
197:The Mob” thought that a good deal should be overlooked in a Melmotte, and that the philanthropy of his great designs should be allowed to cover a multitude of sins. I do not know that the theory was ever so plainly put forward as it was done by the ingenious and courageous writer in “The Mob”; but in practice it has commanded the assent of many intelligent minds. ~ Anthony Trollope
198:Again the girls assented. The words of command having been thus explained, he set up the halberds and battle-axes in order to begin the drill. Then, to the sound of drums, he gave the order “Right turn.” But the girls only burst out laughing. Sun Tzu said: “If words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame. ~ Sun Tzu
199:Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Metaphysical truths in their deepest sense are never "visible" to the "soul-desire"; otherwise they would immediately perfect it. The soul- desire--the man who rejoices and suffers--must therefore "believe" the truths that are evident to the Intellect. In metaphysics faith is the assent of the whole being. ~ Frithjof Schuon
200:S'il y a des gens pour contester une opinion reçue ou pour désirer le faire si la loi ou l'opinion publique le leur permet, il faut les en remercier, ouvrir nos esprits à leurs paroles et nous réjouir qu'il y en ait qui fassent pour nous ce que nous devrions prendre davantage la peine de faire, si tant est que la certitude ou la vitalité de nos convictions nous importe. ~ John Stuart Mill
201:In pompous nothings on his side, and civil assents on that of his cousins, their time passed till they entered Meryton. The attention of the younger ones was then no longer to be gained by him. Their eyes were immediately wandering up in the street in quest of the officers, and nothing less than a very smart bonnet indeed, or a really new muslin in a shop window, could recall them. ~ Jane Austen
202:As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth. ~ James Comey
203:This, until a better can be suggested, may serve as a substitute for the Categories of Aristotle considered as a classification of Existences. The practical application of it will appear when we commence the inquiry into the Import of Propositions; in other words, when we inquire what it is which the mind actually believes, when it gives what is called its assent to a proposition. ~ John Stuart Mill
204:A falta de educação, a ignorância, a simplicidade de espírito, a franqueza aliam-se em geral à ingenuidade. A curiosidade, a sutileza, o saber acarretam a malícia. A humildade, o temor, a obediência, a bondade elevada até a fraqueza e que constitui o alicerce sobre o qual assenta a conservação da sociedade humana, são peculiares a uma alma vazia, dócil, e presumindo pouco de si. ~ Michel de Montaigne
205:Uma relação de duas pessoas converteu-se numa de três, numa coisa mais triangular. Só uma relação que consegue formar um polígono consegue sobreviver, pensava Borja. Quando assenta em dois pontos, não resiste ao tempo, é um segmento de recta muito frágil. É um pontinho a olhar para outro pontinho, não tem a solidez do triângulo e, muito menos, da circunferência. Parte-se como um palito. ~ Afonso Cruz
206:I tell myself that I have no problem believing in God, if “belief” can be defined as some utter interior I sent to in life that is both beyond and within this one, and if “assent” can be understood as at once active and unconscious, and if “God” is in some mysterious way both this action and its object, and if after all these qualifications this sentence still makes any effing sense. ~ Christian Wiman
207:What was he thinking by touching her? Just talk to her. Distract her. “I told you I dated Hillary Roske. One of the first victims.” She gave another stiff nod of assent. “We met several years before she vanished. I was hauled in for questioning along with a dozen of her ex-boyfriends.” He smiled wryly. “The timing wasn’t great. I was trying to get hired with the police department. They ~ Kendra Elliot
208:Des hommes qui ont vécu longtemps d'un grand amour, puis en furent privés, se lassent parfois de leur noblesse solitaire. Ils se rapprochent humblement de la vie, et, d'un amour médiocre, font leur bonheur. Ils ont trouvé doux d'abdiquer, de se faire serviles, et d'entrer dans la paix des choses. L'esclave fait son orgueil de la braise du maître.
(Terre des Hommes, ch. VI) ~ Antoine de Saint Exup ry
209:As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice--there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists. ~ Thomas Kuhn
210:Believing in the resurrection does not just mean assenting to a dogma and noting a historical fact. It means participating in this creative act of God’s … Resurrection is not a consoling opium, soothing us with the promise of a better world in the hereafter. It is the energy for a rebirth of this life. The hope doesn’t point to another world. It is focused on the redemption of this one. ~ J rgen Moltmann
211:Believing in the resurrection does not just mean assenting to a dogma and noting a historical fact. It means participating in this creative act of God’s … Resurrection is not a consoling opium, soothing us with the promise of a better world in the hereafter. It is the energy for a rebirth of this life. The hope doesn’t point to another world. It is focused on the redemption of this one. ~ Jurgen Moltmann
212:It is usual for a woman, even though she may ardently desire to give herself to a man, to feign reluctance, to simulate alarm or indignation. She must be brought to consent by urgent pleading, by lies, adjurations, and promises. I know that only professional prostitutes are accustomed to answer such an invitation with a perfectly frank assent -- prostitutes, or simple-minded, immature girls. ~ Stefan Zweig
213:As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice – there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community. To discover how scientific revolutions are effected, we shall therefore have to examine not only the impact of nature and of logic, but also the techniques of persuasive argumentation effective within the quite special groups that constitute the community of scientists. ~ Thomas S Kuhn
214:Nations enshrine mediocrity as their modus operandi, and create the fertile ground for the rise of tyrants and other base elements of the society, by silently assenting to the dismantling of systems of excellence because they do not immediately benefit one specific ethnic, racial, political, or special-interest group. That, in my humble opinion, is precisely where Nigeria finds itself today! ~ Chinua Achebe
215:Almightiness consists much less in that which human beings imagine it to be, namely, changing things in accordance with one’s own will—Jesus proved, through his miracles, that he could do that, too—than in exerting an influence on the freedom of human hearts without overpowering them. Enticing forth from them, through the mysterious power of grace, their free assent to the truly good. ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar
216:Frederick Douglass saw the same connection. When his master heard that young Frederick was reading well, he was furious, saying, “Learning will spoil the best nigger in the world. If he learns to read the Bible it will forever unfit him to be a slave.” Douglass recalled that he “instinctively assented to the proposition, and from that moment I understood the direct pathway from slavery to freedom. ~ Fareed Zakaria
217:REST.—If a man should be able to assent to this doctrine as he ought, that we are all sprung from God in an especial manner, and that God is the father both of men and of gods, I suppose that he would never have any ignoble or mean thoughts about himself. But if Cæsar (the emperor) should adopt you, no one could endure your arrogance; and if you know that you are the son of Zeus, will you not be elated? ~ Epictetus
218:As Barbara Brown Taylor puts it, “in an age of information overload . . . the last thing any of us needs is more information about God. We need the practice of incarnation, by which God saves the lives of those whose intellectual assent has turned them dry as dust, who have run frighteningly low on the bread of life, who are dying to know more God in their bodies. Not more about God. More God.” 5 ~ Rachel Held Evans
219:Whether moral and social phenomena are really exceptions to the general certainty and uniformity of the course of nature; and how far the methods, by which so many of the laws of the physical world have been numbered among truths irrevocably acquired and universally assented to, can be made instrumental to the gradual formation of a similar body of received doctrine in moral and political science. ~ John Stuart Mill
220:The Master said, 'Can men refuse to assent to the words of strict admonition? But it is reforming the conduct because of them which is valuable. Can men refuse to be pleased with words of gentle advice? But it is unfolding their aim which is valuable. If a man be pleased with these words, but does not unfold their aim, and assents to those, but does not reform his conduct, I can really do nothing with him. ~ Confucius
221:The 'mystical experience'. Always here and now - in that freedom which is one with distance in that stillness which is born of silence. But - this is a freedom in the midst of action, a stillness in the midst of other human beings. The mystery is a constant reality to him who, in this world, is free from self-concern, a reality that grows peaceful and mature before the receptive attention of assent. ~ Dag Hammarskj ld
222:It is not realistic to put legal constraints on war powers. Law works through general prospective rules that apply to a range of factual situations. International relations and national security are too fluid and unpredictable to be governed by a set of legal propositions that command general assent secured in advance. Laws governing war make us feel more secure but they don’t actually make us more secure ~ Eric A Posner
223:Si vous répandez l'argent à pleines mains, si vous traitez bien tout le monde, si vous empêchez que vos soldats ne fassent le moindre dégât dans les endroits par où ils passeront, si les peuples vaincus ne souffrent aucun dommage, assurez-vous qu'ils sont déjà gagnés, et que le bien qu'ils diront de vous attirera plus de sujets à votre maître et plus de villes sous sa domination que les plus brillantes victoires. ~ Sun Tzu
224:The Divine Grace and Power can do anything, but with the full assent of the sadhak.
   To learn to give the full assent, is the whole meaning of the sadhana. It may take time either because of ideas in the mind, desires in the vital or inertia in the physical consciousness, but these things have to be and can be removed with the aid or by calling in the action of the Divine Force.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Letters On Yoga - II, [T9],
225:Un soldato nemico non era mai solo - un essere umano di fronte a un altro - ma portava con sé una folla innumerevole di fantasmi, i fantasmi degli assenti e dei morti. Non ci si rivolgeva a un uomo ma a una moltitudine invisibile; così nessuna delle parole pronunciate era detta semplicemente e come tale ascoltata; si aveva sempre la strana sensazione che a parlare fosse soltanto una bocca, che parlava per tante altre, mute. ~ Ir ne N mirovsky
226:When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. ~ Theodore Dalrymple
227:Depose sul tavolo la cartella in cui teneva i risguardi da inserire prima del frontespizio e prese a sfogliarli con aria assente. «Ogni libro dovrebbe cominciare con una pagina vuota» aveva detto una volta a Meggie. «Meglio se scura: rosso scuro, blu scuro, a seconda del colore della copertina. Quando apri il libro, è come se fossi a teatro. Il sipario copre il palcoscenico. Tu lo tiri da parte e ha inizio la rappresentazione.» ~ Cornelia Funke
228:This was the virtue of Israel, to have “contended with Elokim and with men” and to have prevailed over their respective concealments of G-d. They are no longer barriers to him; indeed they assent to his blessings. He not only won his struggle with the angel (the guardian angel of Esau) but the angel himself blessed him. This is the achievement of which the Proverbs speak: “He makes even his enemies be at peace with him.”14 ~ Menachem M Schneerson
229:Tesson évoquant les livres qu'il compte lire durant son ermitage: "Quelques guides naturalistes de la collection Delachaux et Niestlé sur les oiseaux, les plantes et les insectes. La moindre des choses quand on s'invite dans les bois est de connaître le nom de ses hôtes. L'affront serait l'indifférence. Si des gens débarquaient dans mon appartement pour s'y installer de force, j'aimerais au moins qu'ils m'appelassent par mon prénom. ~ Sylvain Tesson
230:Foi Galileu, não Nero, quem assentou os fundamentos da tecnologia; Pasteur, e não Napoleão, quem combateu as enfermidades; Freud, e não Schickgruber, quem sondou as profundidades psíquicas. Foram esses cientistas, em suma, que asseguraram a nossa existência. Os outros apenas abusaram das realizações de grandes homens para destruir o processo vital. As raízes da ciência natural penetram mais fundo que qualquer transitório tumulto fascista. ~ Wilhelm Reich
231:Saving faith involves the mind, the emotions, and the will. With the mind we understand the truth of the gospel, and with the heart we feel conviction and the need to be saved. But it is only when we exercise the will and commit ourselves to Christ that the process is complete. Faith is not mental assent to a body of doctrines, no matter how true those doctrines may be. Faith is not emotional concern. Faith is commitment to Jesus Christ. ~ Warren W Wiersbe
232:For no one believes anything unless he has first thought that it is to be believed. For however suddenly, however rapidly, some thoughts fly before the will to believe, and this presently follows in such wise as to attend them, as it were, in closest conjunction, it is yet necessary that everything which is believed should be believed after thought has preceded; although even belief itself is nothing else than to think with assent. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo
233:The most refined abstractions of logic conduct to a view of life, which, though startling to the apprehension, is, in fact, that which the habitual sense of its repeated combinations has extinguished in us. It strips, as it were, the painted curtain from this scene of things. I confess that I am one of those who are unable to refuse my assent to the conclusions of those philosophers who assert that nothing exists but as it is perceived. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
234:Le pouvoir, par définition, ne constitue qu'un moyen ; ou pour mieux dire posséder un pouvoir, cela consiste simplement à posséder des moyens d'action qui dépassent la force si restreinte dont un individu dispose par lui-même. Mais la recherche du pouvoir, du fait même qu'elle est essentiellement impuissante à ses saisir de son objet, exclut toute considération de fin, et en arrive, par un renversement inévitable, à tenir lieu de toutes les fins. ~ Simone Weil
235:ABDOMEN, n. [1.] The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage. From women this ancient faith commands but a stammering assent. They sometimes minister at the altar in a half-hearted and ineffective way, but true reverence for the one deity that men really adore they know not. If woman had a free hand in the world's marketing the race would become graminivorous. [2.] A shrine enclosing the object. ~ Ambrose Bierce
236:d’aussi purs poètes, tout entiers dévoués au lyrisme, seront-ils encore possibles dans notre époque de turbulence et de désordre universel ? N’est-ce pas une lignée disparue que je regrette en eux avec amour, une lignée sans postérité immédiate dans nos jours traversés par tous les ouragans du destin ? Ces poètes ne convoitaient rien de la vie extérieure, ni l’assentiment des masses, ni les distinctions honorifiques, ni les dignités, ni le profit ~ Stefan Zweig
237:I no way doubt but that many men do receive more grace from God than they understand or will own, and have a greater efficacy of it in them than they will believe. Men may be really saved by that grace which doctrinally they do deny; and they may be justified by the imputation of that righteousness, which, in opinion, they deny to be imputed: for the faith of it is included in that general assent which they give unto the truth of the gospel, ~ Thomas R Schreiner
238:For it is essential to opinion that we assent to one of two opposite assertions with fear of the other, so that our adhesion is not firm: to science it is essential to have firm adhesion with intellectual vision, for science possesses certitude which results from the understanding of principles: while faith holds a middle place, for it surpasses opinion in so far as its adhesion is firm, but falls short of science in so far as it lacks vision. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
239:Our ability to create change in others is often and importantly grounded in shared personal relationships, which create a pre-suasive context for assent. It’s a poor trade-off, then, for social influence when we allow present-day forces of separation—distancing societal changes, insulating modern technologies—to take a shared sense of human connection out of our exchanges. The relation gets removed, leaving just the ships, passing at sea.87 UNITY ~ Robert B Cialdini
240:It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion. ~ Timothy J Keller
241:It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion.25 ~ Timothy J Keller
242:For the early scientists, the image of God was not a dry doctrine to which they gave merely cognitive assent. Nor was it a purely private “faith.” They treated it as a public truth, the epistemological foundation for the entire scientific enterprise. Their goal, they said, was to think God’s thoughts after him. 27 At the time of the scientific revolution, biblical epistemology was the guarantee that the human mind is equipped to gain genuine knowledge of the world. ~ Nancy R Pearcey
243:La méditation diffère de la simple réflexion intellectuelle en ce sens qu’elle implique une expérience maintes fois renouvelée de la même analyse introspective, du même effort de transformation ou de la même contemplation. Il ne s’agit pas seulement d’éprouver un simple éclair de compréhension, mais de parvenir à une nouvelle perception de la réalité et de la nature de l’esprit, de faire éclore de nouvelles qualités jusqu’à ce qu’elles fassent partie intégrante de notre être. ~ Matthieu Ricard
244:les gens aux pupilles raffinées, exercées par la littérature et par l'art, il lui semblait certain que l'oeil de celui d'entre eux qui rêve d'idéal, qui réclame des illusions, sollicite des voiles dans le coucher, est généralement caressé par le bleu et ses dérivés, tels que le mauve, le lilas, le gris de perle, pourvu toutefois qu'ils demeurent attendris et ne dépassent pas la lisière où il aliènent leur personnalité et se transforment en de purs violets, en de francs gris. ~ Joris Karl Huysmans
245:377. God made the infinite world by Self-knowledge which in its works is Will-Force self-fulfilling. He used ignorance to limit His infinity; but fear, weariness, depression, self-distrust and assent to weakness are the instruments by which He destroys what He created. When these things are turned on what is evil or harmful & ill-regulated within thee, then it is well; but if they attack thy very sources of life & strength, then seize & expel them or thou diest.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays Divine And Human,
246:Depuis que je suis née je n'ai pas vu d'hommes qui se donnassent entièrement à la femme qu'ils aimaient. Et je n'ai jamais vu d'hommes qui ne cherchent dans leur compagnie quelque chose de soumis, d'agréable, d'odorant, de nourricier, d'approbateur, une enveloppe tiède et douce, une part de sa reproduction, un souvenir de mère. Les absentes sont toujours là. Les grandes absentes sont de jour en jour plus hautes et l'ombre qu'elles portent plus opaque. Ce qui a été perdu a toujours raison. ~ Pascal Quignard
247:Even people who no longer "believe in God" or participate in the institutional structure of patriarchal religion still may not be free of the power of the symbolism of God the Father. A symbol's effect does not depend on rational assent, for a symbol also functions on levels of the psyche other than the rational. Symbol systems cannot simply be rejected; they must be replaced. Where there is no replacement, the mind will revert to familiar structures at times of crisis, bafflement, or defeat. ~ Carol P Christ
248:Dá a surpresa de ser.
É alta, de um louro escuro.
Faz bem só pensar em ver
Seu corpo meio maduro.

Seus seios altos parecem
(Se ela tivesse deitada)
Dois montinhos que amanhecem
Sem ter que haver madrugada.

E a mão do seu braço branco
Assenta em palmo espalhado
Sobre a saliência do flanco
Do seu relevo tapado.

Apetece como um barco.
Tem qualquer coisa de gomo.
Meu Deus, quando é que eu embarco?
Ó fome, quando é que eu como ? ~ Fernando Pessoa
Quand ils chassent, les ours polaires attendent près d'un trou sur la glace qu'un phoque sorte la tête. Ils gardent une pâte sur un museau pour se fondre dans le paysage parce qu'ils ont le bout du nez noir, sans ça ils passeraient inaperçus... La question c'est : comment ils savent qu'ils ont le bout du nez noir ? Est-ce qu'ils regardent d'autres ours ? Est-ce qu'ils voient leur reflet dans l'eau et se disent : "sans ça je serais invisible ?" Oh, non, ça m'étonnerait que les ours cogitent autant. ~ Kurt Eichenwald
250:So that, upon the whole, we may conclude, that the Christian Religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one. Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its veracity: and whoever is moved by Faith to assent to it, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person, which subverts all the principles of his understanding, and gives him a determination to believe what is most contrary to custom and experience. ~ David Hume
251:Quand il m'arrive de sentir que mon temps est peu de chose, je pense à celui qui s'écoule simultanément dans bien des endroits du monde et qui passe près du mien : ce sont des arbres qui chassent des pollens, des femmes qui attendent une rupture des eaux, un garçon qui étudie un vers de Dante, mille cloches de récréation qui sonnent dans toutes les écoles du monde, du vin qui fermente au soutirage, toutes choses qui arrivent au même moment et qui, alliant leur temps au mien, lui donnent de l'ampleur. (p. 106) ~ Erri De Luca
252:Louisa seemed the principal arranger of the plan; and, as she went a little way with them, down the hill, still talking to Henrietta, Mary took the opportunity of looking scornfully around her, and saying to Captain Wentworth,
‘It is very unpleasant, having such connexions! But I assure you, I have never been in the house above twice in my life.’
She received no answer, other than an artificial, assenting smile, followed by a contemptuous glance, as he turned away, which Anne perfectly knew the meaning of. ~ Jane Austen could see the man being formed, and kew the man to be your good and true friend, as long as life - the sort of man you could come to, at any hour of the day or night, wherever he chose to make his abode, and there ask him for help, and his help would be given freely and instantly and without the slightest hesitation, to the pinnacle of his considerable powers of body and mind. I do not know that there is a greater thing in a man than that sort of instantaneous assent to service, without quail or cavil;... ~ Brian Doyle
254:Eusebius was employed by the Roman Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the state religion of the Empire and gave Literalist Christianity the power it needed to begin the final eradication of Paganism and Gnosticism. Constantine wanted 'one God, one religion' to consolidate his claim of 'one Empire, one Emperor'. He oversaw the creation of the Nicene creed — the article of faith repeated in churches to this day — and Christians who refused to assent to this creed were banished from the Empire or otherwise silenced. ~ Tim Freke
255:You must be respectful and assenting, but without being servile and abject. You must be frank, but without indiscretion, and close, without being costive. You must keep up dignity of character, without the least pride of birth, or rank. You must be gay, within all the bounds of decency and respect; and grave, without the affectation of wisdom, which does not become the age of twenty. You must be essentially secret, without being dark and mysterious. You must be firm, and even bold, but with great seeming modesty. ~ Lord Chesterfield
256:Les enfants qui s'aiment s'embrassent debout
Contre les portes de la nuit
Et les passants qui passent les désignent du doigt
Mais les enfants qui s'aiment
Ne sont là pour personne
Et c'est seulement leur ombre
Qui tremble dans la nuit
Excitant la rage des passants
Leur rage, leur mépris, leurs rires et leur envie
Les enfants qui s'aiment ne sont là pour personne
Ils sont ailleurs bien plus loin que la nuit
Bien plus haut que le jour
Dans l'éblouissante clarté de leur premier amour ~ Jacques Pr vert
257:And yet Rebecca felt that it was hard to tell whether the secret algorithms of Big Data did not so much reveal you to yourself as they tried to dictate to you what you were to be. To accept that the machines knew you better than you knew yourself involved a kind of silent assent: you liked the things Big Data told you you were likely to like, and you loved the people it said you were likely to love. To believe entirely in the data entailed a slight diminishment of the self, small but crucial and, perhaps, irreversible. ~ Dexter Palmer
Megaceph, chosen to serve the State
In the halls of legislative debate,
One day with his credentials came
To the capitol's door and announced his name.
The doorkeeper looked, with a comical twist
Of the face, at the eminent egotist,
And said: 'Go away, for we settle here
All manner of questions, knotty and queer,
And we cannot have, when the speaker demands
To know how every member stands,
A man who to all things under the sky
Assents by eternally voting 'I.''
~ Ambrose Bierce
259:President Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler, once demonstrated the political use of these techniques when he admitted that his previous statements on Watergate had become "inoperative." Many commentators assumed that Ziegler was groping for a euphemistic way of saying that he had lied. What he meant, however, was that his earlier statements were no longer believable. Not their falsity but their inability to command assent rendered them "inoperative." The question of whether they were true or not was beside the point. ~ Christopher Lasch
260:portugal ainda é uma máquina de fazer espanhóis. é verdade, quem de nós, ao menos uma vez, não lamentou já o facto de sermos independentes, quem, mais do que isso até, não desejou que a espanha nos reconquistasse, desta vez para sempre e para salários melhores. deixem-se de tretas, meus amigos, que o patriotismo só vos fica mal, bem iam assentar-vos uns nomes à maneira, como pepe e pablo, diego ou santiago, assim a virar para o outro lado da fronteira, onde se come mais à boca grande e onde sempre houve mais ritmo no sangue. ~ Valter Hugo M e
261:I take it for granted, when I am invited to lecture anywhere,--for I have had a little experience in that business,--that there isa desire to hear what I think on some subject, though I may be the greatest fool in the country,--and not that I should say pleasant things merely, or such as an audience will assent to; and I resolve, accordingly, that I will give them a strong dose of myself. They have sent for me, and engaged to pay for me, and I am determined that they shall have me, though I bore them beyond all precedent. ~ Henry David Thoreau
262:Shall I loose you from your cage?"
The words, laden with sensual promise, weakened her. He was offering her all the adventure and excitement she'd ever wanted- the things she could not commit to her list, could not admit to herself, even in her most personal of moments. How could she refuse?
She nodded her assent.
It was all he needed.
He slowly unraveled the long, linen bindings, pushing away her hands as she reached to help him. "No," he said, his voice full of promise and possessiveness, "you are my gift. I shall unwrap you. ~ Sarah MacLean
263:The movement called Christianity cannot be understood apart from the Jewish concept of shalom. The Christian gospel does not call people to give their mental assent to a certain list of correct propositions, nor does it provide its adherents with a password that will gain them disembodied bliss when they die and the pleasure of confidently awaiting their escape until then. Shalom is a way of being in the world. The Christian gospel invites us to partake in shalom, to embody shalom, and to anticipate its full realization in the coming kingdom of God. ~ David Dark
264:It doesn't bother you that because of your credit you can't get a real job?' Sargam said. 'You a politician?' another man said. 'This is the greatest country in the world, or it was until the politicians and media ruined it, made it hard for business.' 'Hard for business?' Sargam said. 'Do you really think it's hard for business in America? How much are you getting an hour? Five dollars? Five fifty?' There were murmurs of assent from around the hillside. 'You're barely making enough to eat on and pay for the gas to get you to the next day's work. ~ Karl Taro Greenfeld
265:And here I want to suggest the substitute word I mentioned earlier that I think captures the Story’s original meaning of faith. That word is trust, what ancient Christians called “ fiducia.” According to them, true faith was neither belief without knowledge (a “leap of faith”), nor a simple assent to certain truths (“believing that” Jesus was the Christ, for example). Rather, faith was knowledge in motion. It was “belief that” combined with “faith in”—active reliance, trust, in what they believed was true. Each was necessary. Neither was optional.3 Imagine, ~ Gregory Koukl
266:Penso che siamo sempre alla caccia di qualcosa di nascosto o di solo potenziale o ipotetico, di cui seguiamo le tracce che affiorano sulla superficie del suolo. […] La parola collega la traccia visibile alla cosa invisibile, alla cosa assente, alla cosa desiderata o temuta, come un fragile ponte di fortuna gettato sul vuoto.
Per questo il giusto uso del linguaggio per me è quello che permette di avvicinarsi alle cose (presenti o assenti) con discrezione e attenzione e cautela, col rispetto ci ciò che le cose (presenti o assenti) comunicano senza parole. ~ Italo Calvino
267:There is a pressing need for a liberalism in the North which is truly liberal, a liberalism that firmly believes in integration in its own community as well as in the Deep South. It is one thing to agree that the goal of integration is morally and legally right; it is another thing to commit oneself positively and actively to the ideal of integration—the former is intellectual assent, the latter is actual belief. These are days that demand practices to match professions. This is no day to pay lip service to integration; we must pay life service to it. ~ Martin Luther King Jr
268:I have one great political idea... That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, "Righteousness exalteth a nation - sin is a reproach to any people." This constitutes my politics, the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics... I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people. ~ Frederick Douglass
269:As he sat down, a man in the next booth cleared his throat violently. Then he said, 'Honesty is my God. Frankly, I wouldn't have lied to Hitler.'
There was a kind of female moan of assent. Sophie peered over the back of the booth and saw a woman, her head resting over the back of the booth and saw a woman, her head resting on one hand as though it had come loose from her neck.
'How do you know what Otto feels? What is it you want him to do? You and he have been fighting for years, haven't you? Like smiling people in a swimming pool, kicking each other under water. ~ Paula Fox
270:Since man always remains free and since his freedom is always fragile, the kingdom of good will never be definitively established in this world. Anyone who promises the better world that is guaranteed to last forever is making a false promise; he is overlooking human freedom. Freedom must be constantly won over for the cause of good. Free assent to the good never exists simply by itself. If there were structures which could irrevocably guarantee a determined and good state of the world, man's freedom would be denied, and hence they would not be good structures at all. ~ Benedict XVI
271:Religion is the reaction of human nature to its search for God. The presentation of God under the aspect of power awakens every modern instinct of critical reaction. This is fatal; for religion collapses unless its main positions command immediacy of assent. In this respect the old phraseology is at variance with the psychology of modern civilisations. This change in psychology is largely due to science, and is one of the chief ways in which the advance of science has weakened the hold of the old religious forms of expression. ~ Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925)
272:But this internal testimony of the Spirit is by others explained quite in another way; for they say that besides the work of the Holy Ghost before insisted on, whereby he takes away our natural blindness, and, enlightening our minds, enables us to discern the divine excellencies that are in the Scripture, there is another internal efficiency of his, whereby we are moved, persuaded, and enabled to believe. Hereby we are taught of God, so as that, finding the glory and majesty of God in the word, our hearts do, by an ineffable power, assent unto the truth without any hesitation. ~ John Owen
273:A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. 'Is it the work?' Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? How many words did you get today?' the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): 'Seven.' Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.' Yes,' Joyce said, finally looking up. 'I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in! ~ Stephen King
274:Elle lui parut donc si vertueuse et inaccessible, que toute espérance, même la plus vague, l'abandonna.
Mais, par ce renoncement, il la plaçait en des conditions extraordinaires. Elle se dégagea, pour lui, des qualités charnelles dont il n'avait rien à obtenir ; et elle alla, dans son cœur, montant toujours et s'en détachant, à la manière magnifique d'une apothéose qui s'envole. C'était un de ces sentiments purs qui n'embarrassent pas l'exercice de la vie, que l'on cultive parce qu'ils sont rares, et dont la perte affligerait plus que la possession n'est réjouissante. ~ Gustave Flaubert
275:Now there are two kinds of hardening, one of the understanding, the other of the sense of shame, when a man is resolved not to assent to what is manifest nor to desist from contradictions. Most of us are afraid of mortification of the body, and would contrive all means to avoid such a thing, but we care not about the soul's mortification. And indeed with regard to the soul, if a man be in such a state as not to apprehend anything, or understand at all, we think that he is in a bad condition; but if the sense of shame and modesty are deadened, this we call even power (or strength). ~ Epictetus
276:I have never united myself to any church because I have found difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservation to the long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their articles of belief and confessions of faith. When any church will inscribe over its altar as the sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both law and gospel: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and love thy neighbor as thyself," that church I will join with all my heart. ~ Abraham Lincoln
277:- Qui aimes-tu le mieux, homme énigmatique, dis? ton père, ta mère, ta soeur ou ton frère?
- Je n'ai ni père, ni mère, ni soeur, ni frère.
- Tes amis?
- Vous vous servez là d'une parole dont le sens m'est resté jusqu'à ce jour inconnu.
- Ta patrie?
- J'ignore sous quelle latitude elle est située.
- La beauté?
- Je l'aimerais volontiers, déesse et immortelle?
- L'or?
- Je le hais comme vous haïssez Dieu.
- Eh! qu'aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire étranger?
- J'aime les nuages... les nuages qui passent... là-bas... là-bas... les merveilleux nuages! ~ Charles Baudelaire
278:A convention is a social pattern we have chosen to prefer over whatever the raw world simply proffers. It is a sign of the operation of the mind, drawing the assent of a sufficient number of other minds so that the agreement will be widely operative. A convention is not a custom; a custom is a habit in which a sufficient number acquiesce. A custom can appear as a convention, but it is really a lesser act, the result of passive acceptance rather than of the imposition of design. It is the difference between learning to live by the annual flooding of the river or by a calendar. ~ A Bartlett Giamatti
279:way. The busy streets of Ghosenhall, crowded with thousands of residents and hundreds of visitors, some sad, some weary, some angry, some excited, most just concentrating on their particular task of the moment, calculating how quickly it could be accomplished and what their chances of success would be. Fainter, farther, but still, if he strained, discernible, a blurred oceanic mass of thoughts and feelings and desires from all the souls of Gillengaria collected on the continent from northeastern Brassenthwaite to southwestern Fortunalt. Scattered across that map, five bright, urgent ~ Sharon Shinn
280:Una volta arrivato, il silenzio mise radici in lui e cominciò a diffondersi. Gli uscì dalla testa e lo avvolse tra le sue braccia melmose. Lo cullò al ritmo di un battito amico, fetale. Allungò le ventose dei suoi tentacoli furtivi centimetro dopo centimetro dentro il suo cranio, ripulendo come un aspirapolvere le vallette e le colline della memoria, sloggiando vecchie frasi, scotendole via dalla punta della lingua. Spogliò i pensieri delle parole necessarie a descriverli, lasciandoli nudi e spellati. Indicibili, intorpiditi. E quindi, agli occhi di un osservatore esterno, quasi assenti. ~ Arundhati Roy
281:Like all Arabians, the Jews spoke of God as al-Lah, the high one, and often used the honorific that would become familiar in the Quran, ar-Rahman, the merciful, just as the newly completed Babylonian Talmud used Rahmana. It seemed clear to Muhammad that Jews and Muslims were the common descendants of Abraham, the first hanif: two branches of the same monotheistic family. They were cousins, not strangers. And since the Jews were the original upholders of din Ibrahim, the tradition of Abraham, he took it for granted that he would have not merely their assent, but their enthusiastic support. ~ Lesley Hazleton
282:A LION demanded the daughter of a woodcutter in marriage. The Father, unwilling to grant, and yet afraid to refuse his request, hit upon this expedient to rid himself of his importunities. He expressed his willingness to accept the Lion as the suitor of his daughter on one condition: that he should allow him to extract his teeth, and cut off his claws, as his daughter was fearfully afraid of both. The Lion cheerfully assented to the proposal. But when the toothless, clawless Lion returned to repeat his request, the Woodman, no longer afraid, set upon him with his club, and drove him away into the forest. ~ Anonymous
283:L’ Étranger
-Qui aimes-tu le mieux, homme énigmatique, dis? ton père,
ta mère, ta s«ur ou ton frère?
—Je n’ai ni père, ni mère, ni s«ur, ni frère.
—Tes amis?
—Vous vous servez là d’une parole dont le sens m’est resté
jusqu’à ce jour inconnu.
—Ta patrie?
—J’ignore sous quelle latitude elle est située.
—La beauté?
—Je l’aimerais volontiers, déesse et immortelle.
—Je le hais comme vous haïssez Dieu.
—Eh! qu’aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire étranger?
—J’aime les nuages… les nuages qui passent… là-bas… là-bas…
les merveilleux nuages!
~ Charles Baudelaire
284:According to the story, a friend came to visit him one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair. “James, what’s wrong?” the friend asked. “Is it the work?” Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at the friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always? “How many words did you get today?” the friend pursued. Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): “Seven.” “Seven? But James . . . . that’s good, at least for you!” “Yes,” Joyce said, finally looking up. “I suppose it is  . . . . but I don’t know what order they go in! ~ Stephen King
285:What does it do?" said Loeser.
"You feel as if you're being sucked down this fathomless, gloomy tunnel. Or to put it another way, it's as if all the different weights and cares of the world have been lifted from your shoulders to he replaced by a single, much larger sort of consolidated weight. Your limbs stop working and you can't really talk. If you take enough then it can last for hours and hours, but it seems like even longer because time slows down." Hildkraut smiled wistfully. "It's fantastic." At their feet, somebody groaned softly as if in enthusiastic assent. "And it makes Wagner sound really good. ~ Ned Beauman
286:Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarrelling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite. ~ Swami Vivekananda
287:Por que o Governo não cuida?! Ah, eu sei que não é possível. Não me assente o senhor por beócio. Uma coisa é pôr ideias arranjadas, outra é lidar com país de pessoas, de carne e sangue, de mil-e-tantas misérias... Tanta gente — dá susto se saber — e nenhum se sossega: todos nascendo, crescendo, se casando, querendo colocação de emprego, comida, saúde, riqueza, ser importante, querendo chuva e negócios bons... De sorte que carece de se escolher: ou a gente se tece de viver no safado comum, ou cuida só de religião só. Eu podia ser: padre sacerdote, se não chefe de jagunços; para outras coisas não fui parido. ~ Jo o Guimar es Rosa
288:A friend came to visit James Joyce one day and found the great man sprawled across his writing desk in a posture of utter despair.

James, what’s wrong?' the friend asked. 'Is it the work?'

Joyce indicated assent without even raising his head to look at his friend. Of course it was the work; isn’t it always?

How many words did you get today?' the friend pursued.

Joyce (still in despair, still sprawled facedown on his desk): 'Seven.'

Seven? But James… that’s good, at least for you.'

Yes,' Joyce said, finally looking up. 'I suppose it is… but I don’t know what order they go in! ~ Stephen King
289:«So molte cose.»
Per la prima volta, Kyle mi rivolge un sorriso genuino girandosi verso di me e chiede: «Oh, sì? Tipo cosa?»
«Mmm,» rifletto pensierosa, toccandomi il mento con il dito indice.
«Beh, sei un ragazzo molto interessante. Sei oscuro e misterioso. Solitario ma molto intrigante. Direi che hai un passato tormentato e ne sono un po’ attratta.»
Gli occhi di Kyle bruciano nei miei.
«Perché mai ne dovresti essere attratta?»
Mi stringo nelle spalle. «Perché voglio cose buone per le persone buone, immagino.»
«Vuoi provare ad aggiustarmi?» chiede in modo assente.
«Forse,» dico con un sorriso. ~ Sawyer Bennett
290:Nunca escrevi uma história ou romance com o intuito de simplesmente enviar uma mensagem política direta, tal como ‘parem de construir assentamentos nos territórios ocupados’ ou ‘reconheçam o direito dos palestinos a Jerusalém Oriental’. Nunca escrevo um romance alegórico a fim de dizer a meu povo ou a meu governo para fazer isso ou aquilo. Para isso, utilizo meus artigos. Se há uma mensagem metapolítica em meus romances, é sempre uma mensagem, de uma maneira ou de outra, de um compromisso, compromisso doloroso, e da necessidade de escolher a vida em lugar da morte, a imperfeição da vida em lugar das perfeições da morte gloriosa. p. 98/9. ~ Amos Oz
291:To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds. ~ William F Buckley Jr
292:Hé quoi ? vous ne ferez nulle distinction
Entre l'hypocrisie et la dévotion?
Vous les voulez traiter d'un semblable langage,
Et rendre même honneur au masque qu'au visage,
Égaler l'artifice à la sincérité,
Confondre l'apparence avec la vérité,
Estimer le fantôme autant que la personne,
Et la fausse monnaie à l'égal de la bonne ?
Les hommes la plupart sont étrangement faits !
Dans la juste nature on ne les voit jamais ;
La raison a pour eux des bornes trop petites ;
En chaque caractère ils passent ses limites ;
Et la plus noble chose, ils la gâtent souvent
Pour la vouloir outrer et pousser trop avant. ~ Moli re
293:Aucun représentant ne peut exactement représenter les besoins d'autrui ; un représentant tend à devenir membre d'une certaine élite et jouit souvent de privilèges qui érodent l'intérêt qu'il doit porter aux revendications de ses mandants. Relayée par les élus du système représentatif, la colère des protestataires perd de sa force ; [...]. Les élus développent une certaine expertise qui tend à sa propre perpétuation. Les représentants passent plus de temps ensemble qu'avec les électeurs qu'ils représentent et forment vite un club fermé respectant ce que Robert Michels appelait "un pacte d'assistance mutuelle" contre le reste de la société. ~ Howard Zinn
294:Et sans doute une guerre est certainement trop bête, mais cela ne l’empêche pas de durer. La bêtise insiste toujours, on s’en apercevrait si l’on ne pensait pas toujours à soi. Nos concitoyens à cet égard étaient comme tout le monde, ils pensaient à eux-mêmes, autrement dit ils étaient humanistes : ils ne croyaient pas aux fléaux. Le fléau n’est pas à la mesure de l’homme, on se dit donc que le fléau est irréel, c’est un mauvais rêve qui va passer. Mais il ne passe pas toujours et, de mauvais rêve en mauvais rêve, ce sont les hommes qui passent, et les humanistes en premier lieu, parce qu’ils n’ont pas pris leurs précautions. ~ Albert Camus
295:But this story ends when you open the door. It doesn’t matter if you managed to guess which room is mine, which door I closed behind me. You put your hand on the door handle, you knock, it’s all over. End of story. By choosing one, you chose the other, too. Do you understand why? Those two consequences are joined at the hip, they’re Siamese twins. Even if you picked the door with the lady behind it—all questions answered, all explanations given, your life solved for you—it’s still true that you gave the tiger permission to jump. You gave your assent to catastrophe, you invited tragedy and horror to walk right in. You got lucky, that’s all. Mallon ~ Peter Straub
296:There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, “I must,” then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
297:The colonization of the Southern economy by capitalists from the North gave lynching its most vigorous impulse. If Black people, by means of terror and violence, could remain the most brutally exploited group within the swelling ranks of the working class, the capitalists could enjoy a double advantage. Extra profits would result from the superexploitation of Black labor, and white workers’ hostilities toward their employers would be defused. White workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology. ~ Angela Y Davis
298:There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
299:have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.” He didn’t seek any control over what I wrote, or even ask to read it in advance. His only involvement came when my publisher was choosing the cover art. When he saw an early version of a proposed cover treatment, he disliked it so much that he asked to have input in designing a new version. I was both amused and willing, so I readily assented. I ended up having more than forty interviews and conversations with him. Some were formal ones in his Palo Alto living room, others were done during long walks and drives or by telephone. During my two years of visits, he became increasingly intimate and ~ Walter Isaacson
300:Sonhei com um paíz onde todos chegavam a Mestres. Começava cada qual por fazer a caneta e o aparo com que se punha á escuta do universo; em seguida, fabricava desde a materia prima o papel onde ia assentando as confidencias que recebia directamente
do universo; depois, descia até ao fundo dos rochedos por causa da
tinta negra dos chócos; gravava letra por letra o tipo com que compunha
as suas palavras; e arrancava da arvore a prensa onde apertava
com segurança as descobertas para irem ter com os outros. Era assim que neste país todos chegavam a Mestres. Era assim que os Mestres iam escrevendo as frases que hão-de salvar a humanidade. ~ Jos de Almada Negreiros
301:We assent to wifedom because we are so used to having someone to blame and so unused to freedom. We prefer self-punishment to the conquest of our fears. We prefer our anger to our freedom.
If women were totally conscious of the part of themselves that gives away power to men, the prediction of victory might prove true. But we are far from this self-knowledge. And we move further and further away as we retreat from the psychoanalytic model of the self. As long as we disclaim the importance of unconscious motivations, of the existence of the unconscious itself, we cannot root out the slave in ourselves. Freedom is hand to love. Freedom takes away all the excuses. ~ Erica Jong
302:Then it came Hunter’s turn. The priest asked the usual question, adding at the end, “Forsaking all others, taking one wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Hunter, eyes narrowed suspiciously, shot Loretta a knowing look. For several long seconds he made no response, and she held her breath, her gaze locked with his. Then, with solemn sincerity, he inclined his head and replied, “I have spoken it.”
The priest, momentarily confused by the unusual response when he had expected an “I do,” sputtered a moment, seemed to consider, then nodded his assent and finished the ceremony. Loretta and Hunter were married, according to his beliefs and hers. ~ Catherine Anderson
303:Par une conséquence nécessaire, il y a trois genres distincts pour les discours qu'étudie la rhétorique : le délibératif, le judiciaire et le démonstratif. Quand on délibère, il s'agit d'engager à faire quelque chose que l'on
conseille, ou de détourner de quelque chose que l'on dissuade. Soit, en effet, qu'on ait à délibérer sur un intérêt particulier, soit que le peuple réuni discute un intérêt public, on n'a jamais que l'une ou l'autre de ces alternatives.
Pour le genre judiciaire, il n'y a que l'accusation et la défense ; car il faut bien, en réalité, que les plaideurs fassent nécessairement l'un ou l'autre. Pour le démonstratif, c'est la louange ou le blâme. ~ Aristotle
304:Oh! very well," exclaimed Miss Bates, "then I need not be uneasy. 'Three things very dull indeed.' That will just do for me, you know. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan't I?—(looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on every body's assent)—Do not you all think I shall?"

Emma could not resist.

"Ah! ma'am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me—but you will be limited as to number—only three at once."

Miss Bates, deceived by the mock ceremony of her manner, did not immediately catch her meaning; but, when it burst on her, it could not anger, though a slight blush shewed that it could pain her. ~ Jane Austen
305:The ego cannot see where it is being led; it revolts against the leading, loses confidence, loses courage. These failings would not matter; for the divine Guide within is not offended by our revolt, not discouraged by our want of faith or repelled by our weakness; he has the entire love of the mother and the entire patience of the teacheR But by withdrawing our assent from the guidance we lose the consciousness, though not all the actuality-not, in any case, the eventuality -of its benefit. And we withdraw our assent because we fail to distinguish our higher Self from the lower through which he is preparing his self-revelation.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Four Aids, 64,
306:It is not much use to talk about religion until one has felt it. Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarrelling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite. ~ Swami Vivekananda
307:PROVERBS—NOTE ON 3:5 Trust in the LORD is necessary for fulfilling any of the wise ways of life taught in Proverbs; trusting the Lord is closely connected to “fearing” him (cf. 1:7; 2:5; 9:10; 15:33; 19:23; etc.). With all your heart indicates that trust goes beyond intellectual assent to a deep reliance on the Lord, a settled confidence in his care and his faithfulness to his Word. Do not lean on your own understanding further explains trusting in the Lord. One’s “understanding” in Proverbs is his perception of the right course of action. The wise will govern themselves by what the Lord himself declares, and will not set their own finite and often-mistaken understanding against his. ~ Anonymous
308:If I believe, then I must let go and trust. Belief in God has to be more than mental assent, more than a clichéd exercise in cognition. What is saving belief if it isn’t the radical dare to wholly trust? Pisteuo is used more than two hundred times in the New Testament, most often translated as “belief.” But it changes everything when I read that pisteuo ultimately means “to put one’s faith in; to trust.” Belief is a verb, something that you do. Then the truth is that authentic, saving belief must be also? The very real, everyday action of trusting … Then a true saving faith is a faith that gives thanks, a faith that sees God, a faith that deeply trusts? How would eucharisteo help me trust? ~ Ann Voskamp
309:Therefore it seems to me that everything that exists is good - death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding, then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it. ~ Hermann Hesse
310:Si comincia con uno spazio bianco. Non dev’essere necessariamente carta o tela, ma secondo me dev’essere bianco. Noi diciamo bianco perché abbiamo bisogno di una parola, ma la definizone giusta è «niente». Il nero è l’assenza della luce, ma il bianco è l’assenza della memoria, il colore del non ricordo. Come ricordiamo di ricordare? È una domanda che mi sono posto spesso dopo Duma Key, spesso nelle ore piccole della notte, perdendo lo sguardo nell’assenza della luce, ricordando amici assenti. Certe volte in quelle ore piccole penso all’orizzonte. Bisogna stabilire l’orizzonte. Bisogna segnare il bianco. Un atto abbastanza semplice, direte, ma ogni atto che rifà il mondo è eroico. O così sono giunto a concludere. ~ Stephen King
311:You won't get much with only ten men," Will said, in a reasonable tone of voice. Gundar snorted angrily.
"Ten? I've got twenty-seven men behind me!" There was an angry growl of assent from his men-although Ulf didn't join in, Gundar noticed.
This time, when the Ranger spoke, there was no trace of the pleasant, reasonable tone. Instead, the voice was hard and cold.
"You haven't reached the castle yet," Will said. "I've got twenty-three arrows in my quiver still, and a further dozen in my packsaddle. And you've got several kilometers to go-all within bowshot of the trees there. Bad shot as I am, I should be able to account for more than half your men. Then you'll be facing the garrison with just ten men. ~ John Flanagan
312:In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. ~ Theodore Dalrymple
A Michel Budes
Les êtres trépignants, amoureux de l’utile,
Passent le temps fuyard à des combinaisons
D’actions au porteur, de canaux, de maisons
De commerce, où leur sens s’éteint ou se mutile.
D’autres ont ici-bas un but aussi utile,
Fabriquant des tableaux, des vers, des oraisons,
Cela, pour que leur nom, durant quelques saisons,
Près des noms des chevaux vainqueurs au turf, rutile.
Vous avez pris la vie autrement. Vous pensez
Que l’agitation incessante, illusoire,
N’est as œuvre de Dieu, mais rôle d’infusoire.
A rire en plein soleil croyez bien dépensés
Les lugubres instants d’un monde provisoire,
Et n’enlaidissez pas comme les gens sensés.
~ Charles Cros
314:Il y a ceux qui n'ont jamais lu et qui s'en font une honte, ceux qui n'ont plus le temps de lire et qui en cultivent le regret, il y a ceux qui ne lisent pas de romans, mais des livres *utiles*, mais des essais, mais des ouvrages techniques, mais des biographies, mais des livres d'histoire, il y a ceux qui lisent tout et n'importe quoi, ceux qui "dévorent" et dont les yeux brillent, il y a ceux qui ne lisent que les classiques, monsieur, "car il n'est meilleur critique que le tamis du temps", ceux qui passent leur maturité à "relire", et ceux qui ont lu le dernier untel et le dernier tel autre, car il faut bien, monsieur, se tenir au courant...
Mais tous, tous, au nom de la nécessité de lire.
Le dogme. (p. 78-79) ~ Daniel Pennac
315:There is nobody in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth: and there is not a rational creature that would not take it amiss to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, that there are very few lovers of truth, for truth’s sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know whether he be so in earnest, is worth inquiry: and I think there is one unerring mark of it, viz. The not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain, receives not the truth in the love of it; loves not truth for truth’s sake, but for some other bye-end. ~ John Locke
317:We are always completely, and therefore equally, known to God. That is our destiny whether we like it or not. But though this knowledge never varies, the quality of our being known can….Ordinarily, to be known by God is to be, for this purpose, in the category of things. We are, like earthworms, cabbages, and nebulae, objects of Divine knowledge, But when we (a) become aware of this fact--the present fact, not the generalization--and (b) assent with all our will to be known, then we treat ourselves, in relation to God, not as things but as persons. We have unveiled. Not that any veil could have baffled his sight. The change is in us. The passive changes to the active. Instead of merely being known, we show, we tell, we offer ourselves to view. ~ C S Lewis
318:Ma vie est monotone. Je chasse les poules, les hommes me chassent. Toutes les poules se ressemblent, et tous les hommes se ressemblent. Je m'ennuie donc un peu. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, ma vie sera comme ensoleillée. Je connaîtrai un bruit de pas qui sera différent de tous les autres. Les autres pas me font rentrer sous terre. Le tien m'appellera hors du terrier, comme une musique. Et puis regarde ! Tu vois, là-bas, les champs de blé ? Je ne mange pas de pain. Le blé pour moi est inutile. Les champs de blé ne me rappellent rien. Et ça, c'est triste ! Mais tu as des cheveux couleur d'or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m'auras apprivoisé ! Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j'aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé... ~ Antoine de Saint Exup ry
319:The Romans, accordingly, admiring the prudence and virtues of Numa, assented to all the measures which he recommended. This, however, is to be said, that the circumstance of these times being deeply tinctured with religious feeling, and of the men with whom he had to deal being rude and ignorant, gave Numa better facility to carry out his plans, as enabling him to mould his subjects readily to any new impression. And, doubtless, he who should seek at the present day to form a new commonwealth, would find the task easier among a race of simple mountaineers, than among the dwellers in cities where society is corrupt; as the sculptor can more easily carve a fair statue from a rough block, than from the block which has been badly shaped out by another. ~ Niccol Machiavelli
320:In order that the concept of substance could originate--which is indispensable for logic although in the strictest sense nothing real corresponds to it--it was likewise necessary that for a long time one did not see or perceive the changes in things. The beings that did not see so precisely had an advantage over those who saw everything "in flux." At bottom, every high degree of caution in making inferences and every skeptical tendency constitute a great danger for life. No living beings would have survived if the opposite tendency--to affirm rather than suspend judgment, to err and make up things rather than wait, to assent rather than negate, to pass judgment rather than be just-- had not been bred to the point where it became extraordinarily strong. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
321:It was in vain that he exclaimed in his hour of lucidity, "It is easy to talk about all sorts of immoral
acts; but would one have the courage to carry them through? For example, I could not bear to break my
word or to kill; I should languish, and eventually I should die as a result—that would be my fate." From
the moment that assent was given to the totality of human experience, the way was open to others who,
far from languishing, would gather strength from lies and murder. Nietzsche's responsibility lies in having legitimized, for reasons of method—and even if only for an instant—the opportunity for dishonesty of
which Dostoievsky had already said that if one offered it to people, one could always be sure of seeing
them rushing to seize it. ~ Albert Camus
322:So that I do not see how those who make revelation alone the sole object of faith can say, That it is a matter of faith, and not of reason, to believe that such or such a proposition, to be found in such or such a book, is of divine inspiration; unless it be revealed that that proposition, or all in that book, was communicated by divine inspiration. Without such a revelation, the believing, or not believing, that proposition, or book, to be of divine authority, can never be matter of faith, but matter of reason; and such as I must come to an assent to only by the use of my reason, which can never require or enable me to believe that which is contrary to itself: it being impossible for reason ever to procure any assent to that which to itself appears unreasonable. ~ John Locke
323:On the day when you again allow abominable men to confiscate your freedom, your money, your lives, your private property, your manhood and your sacred honor, in the name of "security' or "national emergency' you will die, and never again shall you be free. If plotters again destroy your Republic, they will do it by your greedy and ignorant assent, by your disregard of your neighbors' rights, by your apathy and your stupidity. We were brought to the brink of universal death and darkness because we had become that most contemptible of people -- an angerless one. Keep alive and vivid all your righteous anger against traitors, against those who would abrogate your Constitution, against those who would lead you to wars with false slogans and cunning appeals to your patriotism. ~ Taylor Caldwell
324:Beware, Underlanders, time hangs by a thread.
The hunters are hunted, white water runs red.
The Gnawers will strike to extinguish the rest.
The hope of the hopeless resides in a quest.

An Overland warrior, a son of the sun,
May bring us back light, he may bring us back none.
But gather your neighbors and follow his call
Or rats will most surely devour us all.

Two over, two under, of royal descent,
Two flyers, two crawlers, two spinners assent.
One gnawer beside and one lost up ahead.
And eight will be left when we count up the dead.

The last who will die must decide where he stands.
The fate of the eight is contained in his hands.
So bid him take care, bid him look where he leaps,
As life may be death and death life again reaps. ~ Suzanne Collins
325:He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws of Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. He has made judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. ~ Thomas Jefferson
326:Chance or accident is not responsible for the things that happen to you, nor is predestined fate the author of your fortune or misfortune. Your subconscious impressions determine the conditions of your world. The subconscious is not selective; it is impersonal and no respecter of persons. The subconscious is not concerned with the truth or falsity of your feeling. It always accepts as true that which you feel to be true. Feeling is the assent of the subconscious to the truth of that which is declared to be true. Because of this quality of the subconscious there is nothing impossible to man. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and feel as true, the subconscious can and must objectify. Your feelings create the pattern from which your world is fashioned, and a change of feeling is a change of pattern. ~ Neville Goddard
327:Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
Et nos amours
Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
Tandis que sous
Le pont de nos bras passe
des éternels regards l'onde si lasse

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

l'amour s'en va comme cette eau courante
L'amour s'en va
Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l'Espérance est violente

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
Ni temps passé
Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

Vienne la nuit sonne l'heure
Les jours s'en vont je demeure ~ Guillaume Apollinaire
328:No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
329:Anche i vini più generosi contengono la feccia. Più in basso ancora della Pianura, la Palude. Schifosa acqua stagnante che lascia trasparire l'egoismo sfrenato. Nella Palude battevano i denti i candidati dell'eterna paura. Nulla di più miserabile. Presente l'obbrobio, assente la vergogna, latente la collera, servile ogni spirito di ribellione. Preda dello spavento mostrava cinicamente solo il coraggio della vigliaccheria, preferivano la Gironda ma seguivano la Montagna, erano di quegli arbitri che si riversano nella maggioranza; consegnavano Luigi XVI a Verginaud e Verginaud a Danton, Danton a Robespierre e Robespierre a Tallien. Imprecavano a Marat vivo e divinizzavano Marta morto. Erano favorevoli a tutto e a tutti, finché non abbattevano ogni cosa. Palesavano l'istinto di voler schiantare ciò che sta per cadere. ~ Victor Hugo
330:Maintenant tu n'as plus de refuges. Tu as peur, tu attends que tout s'arrête, la pluie, les heures, le flot des voitures, la vie, les hommes, le monde, que tout s'écroule, les murailles, les tours, les planchers et les plafonds; que les hommes et les femmes, les vieillards et les enfants, les chiens, les chevaux, les oiseaux, un à un, tombent à terre, paralysés, pestiférés, épileptiques; que le marbre s'effrite, que le bois se pulvérise, que les maisons s'abattent en silence, que les pluies diluviennes dissolvent les peintures, disjoignent les chevilles des armoires centenaires, déchiquettent les tissus, fassent fondre l'encre des journaux; q'un feu sans flammes ronge les marches des escaliers; que les rues s'effondrent en leur exact milieu, découvrant le labyrinthe béant des égouts; que la rouille et la brume envahissent la ville. ~ Georges Perec
331:At least we must know how to recognize the ignoble ends it achieves. Each time that it deifies the total rejection, the absolute negation, of what exists, it destroys. Each time that it blindly accepts what exists and gives voice to absolute assent, it destroys again. Hatred of the creator can turn to hatred of creation or to exclusive and defiant love of what exists. But in both cases it ends in murder and loses the right to be called rebellion. One can be nihilist in two ways, in both by having an intemperate recourse to absolutes. Apparently there are rebels who want to die and those who want to cause death. But they are identical, consumed with desire for the true life, frustrated by their desire for existence and therefore preferring generalized injustice to mutilated justice. At this pitch of indignation, reason becomes madness. ~ Albert Camus
332:En obligeant les communes à se charger des enfants naturels et en leur permettant de rechercher la paternité, afin d'alléger ce poids accablant, nous avons facilité autant qu'il était en nous l'inconduite des femmes de basses classes. La grossesse illégitime doit presque toujours améliorer leur situation matérielle. Si le père de l'engant est riche, elles peuvent se décharger sur lui du soin d'élever le fruit de leurs communes erreurs; s'il est pauvre, elles confient ce soin à la société: les secours qu'on leur accorde de part ou d'autre dépassent presque toujours les dépenses du nouveau-né. Elles s'enrichissent donc par leurs vices mêmes, et il arrive souvent que la fille qui a été plusieurs fois mère fait un mariage plus avantageux que la jeune vierge qui n'a que ses vertus à offrir. La première a trouvé une sorte de dot dans son infamie. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
333:The Christian faith enables, or should enable, a man to stand back from society and its institutions and realize that they all stand under the inscrutable judgment of God and that, therefore, we can never give an unreserved assent to the policies, the programs and the organizations of men, or to “official” interpretations of the historic process. To do so is idolatry, the same kind of idolatry that was refused by the early martyrs who would not burn incense to the emperor. The policies of men contain within themselves the judgment and doom of God upon their society, and when the Church identifies her policies with theirs, she too is judged with them—for she has in this been unfaithful and is not truly “the Church.” The power of “the Church” (who is not “the Church” if she is rich and powerful) contains the judgment that “begins at the house of God. ~ Thomas Merton
334:Wine and women make wise men dote and forsake God's law and do wrong."

However, the fault is not in the wine, and often not in the woman. The fault is in the one who misuses the wine or the woman or other of God's crations. Even if you get drunk on the wine and through this greed you lapse into lechery, the wine is not to blame but you are, in being unable or unwilling to discipline yourself. And even if you look at a woman and become caught up in her beauty and assent to sin [= adultery; extramarital sex], the woman is not to blame nor is the beauty given her by God to be disparaged: rather, you are to blame for not keeping your heart more clear of wicked thoughts. ... If you feel yourself tempted by the sight of a woman, control your gaze better ... You are free to leave her. Nothing constrains you to commit lechery but your own lecherous heart. ~ Anonymous
335:Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,
let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.
Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart
fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful,
or a broken string. Let my joyfully streaming face
make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise
and blossom. How dear you will be to me then, you nights
of anguish. Why didn't I kneel more deeply to accept you,
inconsolable sisters, and surrendering, lose myself
in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.
How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration
to see if they have an end. Though they are really
our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,
our season in our inner year--, not only a season
in time--, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil
and home. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
336:And according to Martin Luther, there are two ways of believing. In the first place I may have faith concerning God. This is the case when I hold to be true what is said concerning God. Such faith is on the same level with the assent I give to statements concerning the Turk, the devil and hell. A faith of this kind should be called knowledge or information rather than faith. In the second place there is faith in. Such faith is mine when I not only hold to be true what is said concerning God, but when I put my trust in him in such a way as to enter into personal relations with him, believing firmly that I shall find him to be and to do as I have been taught. . . . The word in is well chosen and deserving of due attention. We do not say, I believe God the Father or concerning God the Father, but in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit.3 Jonathan ~ Alvin Plantinga
337:The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called "faith." What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that belief. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration. ~ Robert G Ingersoll
338:Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were
behind you, like the winter that has just gone by.
For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter
that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive.

Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise
into the seamless life proclaimed in your song.
Here, in the realm of decline, among momentary days,
be the crystal cup that shattered even as it rang.

Be-and yet know the great void where all things begin,
the infinite source of your own most intense vibration,
so that, this once, you may give it your perfect assent.

To all that is used-up, and to all the muffled and dumb
creatures in the world's full reserve, the unsayable sums,
joyfully add yourself, and cancel the count.
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, The Sonnets To Orpheus - Book 2 - XIII

339:You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you — no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your while life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
340:Ever been depressed?” I ask them. “Really depressed? Like nothing means anything? Like there’s no point to anything?” I can see from their reactions that they all know what I’m talking about. “And what’s the worst thing about those dark moments? Where do they get their power?” I wait a moment so they can think about it, so they’ll recognize it when I say it. “From their undeniability, isn’t that right? From the fact that there’s no argument? When you’re in that state, don’t you know perfectly well that it’s true?” Heads nod. A few muffled assents. “That’s right. When you’re in that space, you know it’s not just a mood. You’re seeing something you don’t normally allow yourself to see. Your moments of blackest despair are really your most honest moments; your most lucid moments. That’s when you’re seeing without your protective lenses. That’s when you pull back the curtain and see things as they are. ~ Jed McKenna
341:Direi che anche lei penserebbe a un miracolo, la prima volta che le capitasse di vedere un uomo resuscitare. [...] Buffo, no? Non è che i miracoli non avvengano, è solo che gli viene dato un nome diverso. Immagini la scena: tutti i dottori a consulto intorno a un morto; l'uomo non respira più, il polso è assente, il cuore non batte: insomma, è morto. Poi arriva qualcuno che gli ridà la vita, e i dottori - com'è che si usa dire? - sospendono il giudizio. Se accade di nuovo, più volte (perché Dio è presente sulla terra), diranno: questi non sono miracoli, significano soltanto che il nostro concetto di che cosa sia la vita si è ampliato; ora sappiamo che si può essere vivi senza polso, senza respiro, senza battiti del cuore. E inventano una nuova parola per descrivere quello stato di vita e dichiarano che, ancora una volta, la scienza ha confutato un miracolo. [...] L'ultima parola sarà sempre la loro. ~ Graham Greene
342:The Reformers laid special emphasis upon this element of faith. They were opposing the Romish view that faith is assent. It is quite consistent with Romish religion to say that faith is assent. It is the genius of the Romish conception of salvation to intrude mediators between the soul and the Savior — the church, the virgin, the sacraments. On the contrary, it is the glory of the gospel of God’s grace that there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. And it was the glory of our Protestant Reformation to discover again the purity of the evangel. The Reformers recognized that the essence of saving faith is to bring the sinner lost and dead in trespasses and sins into direct personal contact with the Savior himself, contact which is nothing less than that of self-commitment to him in all the glory of his person and perfection of his work as he is freely and fully offered in the gospel. ~ John Murray
343:Homo Podunkensis
As the poor ass that from his paddock strays
Might sound abroad his field-companions' praise,
Recounting volubly their well-bred leer,
Their port impressive and their wealth of ear,
Mistaking for the world's assent the clang
Of echoes mocking his accurst harangue;
So the dull clown, untraveled though at large,
Visits the city on the ocean's marge,
Expands his eyes and marvels to remark
Each coastwise schooner and each alien bark;
Prates of 'all nations,' wonders as he stares
That native merchants sell imported wares,
Nor comprehends how in his very view
A foreign vessel has a foreign crew;
Yet, faithful to the hamlet of his birth,
Swears it superior to aught on earth,
Sighs for the temples locally renowned
The village school-house and the village pound
And chalks upon the palaces of Rome
The peasant sentiments of 'Home, Sweet Home!'
~ Ambrose Bierce
344:It is possible to merely assent that something is a sin without getting the new perspective on it and experiencing the new inward aversion to it that gives you the power and freedom to change. Put another way, there is a false kind of repentance that is really self-pity. You may admit your sin, but you aren’t really sorry for the sin itself. You are sorry about the painful consequences to you. You want that pain to stop, so you end the behavior. It may be, however, that there hasn’t been any real inward alteration of the false beliefs and hopes, the inordinate desires, and the mistaken self-perceptions that caused the sin. For example, this husband did not come to grips with his misplaced pride and insecurity, and his need for exaggerated deference and respect from women. His “repentance” was completely selfish, caring only about his pain and not about the grief he was causing his wife and God. He was only sorry about himself, not about the sin. ~ Timothy J Keller
345:The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact.

By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle. I suspect that men have sometimes derived more spiritual sustenance from myths they did not believe than from the religion they professed. To be truly Christian we must both assent to the historical fact and also receive the myth (fact though it has become) with the same imaginative embrace which we accord to all myths. The one is hardly more necessary than the other.

A man who disbelieved the Christian story as fact but continually fed on it as myth would, perhaps, be more spiritually alive than one who assented and did not think much about it . . .

We must not be ashamed of the mythical radiance resting on our theology. We must not be nervous about 'parallels' and 'Pagan Christs': they ought to be there - it would be a stumbling block if they weren't. We must not in false spirituality withhold our imaginative welcome. ~ C S Lewis
346:Certains sont méchants car ils ne s'aiment pas eux-mêmes. D'autres sont pénibles parce qu'ils ont beaucoup souffert et veulent le faire payer à la terre entière. Quelques-uns, parce qu'ils se sont fait avoir par des gens et croient se protéger par une attitude désagréable. Certains ont été tellement déçus par les autres qu'ils ont refermé leur cœur en se disant qu'ils ne seraient plus déçus à l'avenir s'ils n'attendaient plus rien des autres. D'autres sont égoïstes car ils sont persuadés que tout le monde l'est, et ils croient alors qu'ils seront plus heureux s'ils passent avant les autres. Le point commun entre tous ces gens est que, si vous les aimez, vous les surprenez, car ils ne s'y attendent pas. La plupart, d'ailleurs, refuseront d'y croire au début, tellement cela leur semble anormal. Mais si vous persévérez et le leur démontrez, par exemple dans des actes gratuits, cela peut bouleverser leur façon de voir le monde et, accessoirement, leurs relations avec vous. ~ Laurent Gounelle
347:on ne limite pas la Possibilité en niant une absurdité quelconque, par exemple en disant qu’il ne peut exister un carré rond, ou que, parmi tous les mondes possibles, il ne peut y en avoir aucun où deux et deux fassent cinq ; le cas est exactement le même. Il y a des gens qui se font, en cet ordre d’idées, d’étranges scrupules : ainsi Descartes, lorsqu’il attribuait à Dieu la « liberté d’indifférence », par crainte de limiter la toute-puissance divine (expression théologique de la Possibilité universelle), et sans s’apercevoir que cette « liberté d’indifférence », ou le choix en l’absence de toute raison, implique des conditions contradictoires ; nous dirons, pour employer son langage, qu’une absurdité n’est pas telle parce que Dieu l’a voulu arbitrairement, mais que c’est au contraire parce qu’elle est une absurdité que Dieu ne peut pas faire qu’elle soit quelque chose, sans pourtant que cela porte la moindre atteinte à sa toute-puissance, absurdité et impossibilité étant synonymes. ~ Ren Gu non
348:Tre specie di mali si possono riconoscere nello strano mondo della trasmigrazione verbale. Il primo, e il minore, consiste di ovvi errori dovuti a ignoranza o a conoscenza mal applicata. È pura fragilità umana e, come tale, scusabile. Il passo successivo verso l’inferno lo fa quel traduttore che salta parole o brani che non vuol prendersi la briga di capire o che potrebbero sembrare oscuri o osceni a lettori confusamente immaginati: accetta senza rimorsi lo sguardo assente che gli rivolge il dizionario; o subordina l’erudizione al perbenismo: è pronto a saperne meno dell’autore come a credere di saperne di più. Il terzo, e il peggiore, livello di turpitudine si raggiunge quando un capolavoro viene spianato e appiattito in una forma tale, spregevolmente abbellito in un modo tale, da conformarsi alle idee e ai preconcetti di un determinato pubblico. Questo è un delitto, che dovrebbe essere punito mettendo in ceppi il reo, come si faceva coi plagiari ai tempi delle scarpe con la fibbia. ~ Vladimir Nabokov
349:If there is to be toleration in the world, one of the things taught in schools must be the habit of weighing evidence, and the practice of not giving full assent to propositions which there is no reason to believe true. For example, the art of reading the newspapers should be taught. The schoolmaster should select some incident which happened a good many years ago, and roused political passions in its day. 41 He should then read to the school children what was said by the newspapers on one side, what was said by those on the other, and some impartial account of what really happened. He should show how, from the biased account of either side, a practised reader could infer what really happened, and he should make them understand that everything in newspapers is more or less untrue. The cynical scepticism which would result from this teaching would make the children in later life immune from those appeals to idealism by which decent people are induced to further the schemes of scoundrels. ~ Bertrand Russell
350:I look at the bushes, the clods of dirt hanging from their roots, and catch my breath as the word rose registers. I’m about to yell vicious things at Peeta when the full name comes to me. Not plain rose but evening primrose. The flower my sister was named for. I give Peeta a nod of assent and hurry back into the house, locking the door behind me. But the evil thing is inside, not out. Trembling with weakness and anxiety, I run up the stairs. My foot catches on the last step and I crash onto the floor. I force myself to rise and enter my room. The smell’s very faint but still laces the air. It’s there. The white rose among the dried flowers in the vase. Shriveled and fragile, but holding on to that unnatural perfection cultivated in Snow’s greenhouse. I grab the vase, stumble down to the kitchen, and throw its contents into the embers. As the flowers flare up, a burst of blue flame envelops the rose and devours it. Fire beats roses again. I smash the vase on the floor for good measure. Back ~ Suzanne Collins
351:The central question is not: what is force and what is freedom? That is a good question, but in the realm of human cruelty - the realm of history - it is utterly abstract. The central question is: why is force never acknowledged as such when used against the racially or sexually despised? Nazi terror used against the Jews is not in dispute. Still, there is an almost universal - and intrinsically anti-Semitic - conviction that the Jews went voluntarily to the ovens. Rational discourse on how the Jews were terrorized does not displace or transform this irrational conviction. And similarly, no matter what force is used against women as a class or as individuals, the universal conviction is that women want (either seek out or assent to) whatever happens to them, however awful, dangerous, destructive, painful, or humiliating. A statement is made about the nature of the Jew, the nature of the woman. The nature of each and both is to be a victim. A metaphysical victim is never forced, only actualized. ~ Andrea Dworkin
Each day with so much ceremony
begins, with birds, with bells,
with whistles from a factory;
such white-gold skies our eyes
first open on, such brilliant walls
that for a moment we wonder
'Where is the music coming from, the energy?
The day was meant for what ineffable creature
we must have missed? ' Oh promptly he
appears and takes his earthly nature
   instantly, instantly falls
   victim of long intrigue,
   assuming memory and mortal
   mortal fatigue.
More slowly falling into sight
and showering into stippled faces,
darkening, condensing all his light;
in spite of all the dreaming
squandered upon him with that look,
suffers our uses and abuses,
sinks through the drift of bodies,
sinks through the drift of classes
to evening to the beggar in the park
who, weary, without lamp or book
   prepares stupendous studies:
   the fiery event
   of every day in endless
   endless assent.
~ Elizabeth Bishop
353:But does every godly man succeed in forgiving, yes, loving his enemies? Answer: He does so in a gospel sense. That is: (a) In so far as there is assent. He subscribes to it in his judgment as a thing which ought to be done: "with my mind I serve the law of God" (Romans 7:25). (b) In so far as there is grief. A godly man mourns that he can love his enemies no more: "O wretched man that I am!" (Romans 7:24). "Oh, this base cankered heart of mine, that has received so much mercy and can show so little! I have had millions forgiven me—yet I can hardly forgive pence!" (c) In so far as there is prayer. A godly man prays that God will give him a heart to love his enemies. "Lord, pluck this root of bitterness out of me, perfume my soul with love, make me a dove without gall." (d) In so far as there is effort. A godly man resolves and strives in the strength of Christ against all rancor and virulence of spirit. This is in a gospel sense to love our enemies. A wicked man cannot do this; his malice boils up to revenge. ~ Thomas Watson
354:And so, a little later, at the theatre one evening, I asked M. de Charlus if I might introduce Bloch to him, and, on his assenting, went in search of my friend. But as soon as M. de Charlus caught sight of him an expression of astonishment, instantly repressed, appeared on his face where it gave way to a blazing fury. Not only did he not offer Bloch his hand but whenever Bloch spoke to him he replied in the most insolent manner, in an angry and wounding tone. So that Bloch, who, according to his version, had received nothing until then from the Baron but smiles, assumed that I had not indeed commended but disparaged him in the short speech in which, knowing M. de Charlus’s liking for formal procedure, I had told him about my friend before bringing him up to be introduced. Bloch left us, his spirit broken, like a man who has been trying to mount a horse which is always ready to take the bit in its teeth, or to swim against waves which continually dash him back on the shingle, and did not speak to me again for six months. ~ Marcel Proust
O ye who push and fight
To hear a wanton sing
Who utter the delight
That has the bogus ring,
O men mature in years,
In understanding young,
The membranes of whose ears
She tickles with her tongue,O wives and daughters sweet,
Who call it love of art
To kiss a woman's feet
That crush a woman's heart,
O prudent dams and sires,
Your docile young who bring
To see how man admires
A sinner if she sing,
O husbands who impart
To each assenting spouse
The lesson that shall start
The buds upon your brows,
All whose applauding hands
Assist to rear the fame
That throws o'er all the lands
The shadow of its shame,
Go drag her car!-the mud
Through which its axle rolls
Is partly human blood
And partly human souls.
Mad, mad!-your senses whirl
Like devils dancing free,
Because a strolling girl
Can hold the note high C.
For this the avenging rod
Of Heaven ye dare defy,
And tear the law that God
Thundered from Sinai!
~ Ambrose Bierce
356:La femme : La justice est que les enfants mangent à leur faim et n’aient pas froid. La justice est que mes petits vivent. Je les ai mis au monde sur une terre de joie. La mer a fourni l’eau de leur baptême. Ils n’ont pas besoin d’autres richesses. Je ne demande rien pour eux que le pain de tous les jours et le sommeil des pauvres. Ce n’est rien et pourtant c’est cela que vous refusez. Et si vous refusez aux malheureux leur pain, il n’est pas de luxe, ni de beau langage, ni de promesses mystérieuses qui ne vous le fassent jamais pardonner.

Nada : Choisissez de vivre à genoux plutôt que de mourir debout afin que l’univers trouve son ordre mesuré à l’équerre des potences, partagé entre les morts tranquilles et les fourmis désormais bien élevées, paradis puritain privé de prairies et de pain, où circulent des anges policiers aux ailes majuscules parmi des bienheureux rassasiés de papier et de nourrissantes formules, prosternés devant le Dieu décoré destructeur de toutes choses et décidément dévoué à dissiper les anciens délires d’un monde trop délicieux. ~ Albert Camus
357:Ce qu'il dit, c'est que c'est une chose étrange, quand on y pense, que des gens normaux, intelligents, puissent croire à un truc aussi insensé que la religion chrétienne, un truc exactement du même genre que la mythologie grecque ou les contes de fées. Dans les temps anciens, admettons : les gens étaient crédules, la science n'existait pas. Mais aujourd'hui ! Un type qui aujourd'hui croirait à des histoires de dieux qui se transforment en cygnes pour séduire des mortelles, ou à des princesses qui embrassent des crapauds et quand elles les embrassent ils deviennent des princes charmants, tout le monde dirait : il est fou. Or, un tas de gens croient une histoire tout aussi délirante et ces gens ne passent pas pour des fous. Même sans partager leur croyance, on les prend au sérieux. Ils ont un rôle social, moins important que par le passé, mais respecté et dans l'ensemble plutôt positif. Leur lubie cohabite avec des activités tout à fait sensées. Les présidents de la République rendent visite à leur chef avec déférence. C'est quand même bizarre, non ? (p. 15) ~ Emmanuel Carr re
358:The greatest commandments are not obligations at all, but affirmations of grace. They are promises that with our willing assent, grace will make possible the triumph of full, unfettered love within us.

Our assent, our yes, finally comes from nothing other than our own yearning, from passion itself. It may surface temporarily as desire for self-improvement, functional efficiency, moral virtue, or social justice, but ultimately it will take us beyond and beneath all such ends. Love will bring us to our ever-present beginning, where our only reason for saying yes is simply that we want to.

Here it is only our plain desire that makes true assent possible: the desire to respond to a larger love already given, the desire to love and to be loved and to be fully, consciously present in love as an end in itself. It is a matter of simple caring, our hearts aching for the fullness of love for no other reason than its own essential goodness. In this simple, exquisite longing, awakening in each precious moment, we know who we really are. It is a likeness of God. ~ Gerald G May
359:Z[If any one says that the outward world is so constituted that one cannot resist it, let him study his own feelings and movements, and see whether there are not some plausible motives to account for his approval and assent, and the inclination of his reason to a particular object. To take an illustration, suppose a man to have made up his mind to exercise self-control and refrain from sexual intercourse, and then let a woman come upon the scene and solicit him to act contrary to his resolution; she is not cause sufficient to make him break his resolution. It is just because he likes the luxury and softness of the pleasure, and is unwilling to resist it, or stand firm in his determination, that he indulges in the licentious practice. On the contrary, the same thing may happen to a man of greater knowledge and better disciplined; he will not escape the sensations and incitements; but his reason, inasmuch as it is strengthened and nourished by exercise, and has firm convictions on the side of virtue, or is near to having them, stops the excitements short and gradually weakens the lust. ~ Origen
360:O soul, it is too early to rejoice!
Thou hast reached the boundless silence of the Self,
Thou hast leaped into a glad divine abyss;
But where hast thou thrown Self's mission and Self's power?
On what dead bank on the Eternal's road?
One was within thee who was self and world,
What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars?
Escape brings not the victory and the crown!
Something thou cam'st to do from the Unknown,
But nothing is finished and the world goes on
Because only half God's cosmic work is done.
Only the everlasting No has neared
And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart:
But where is the Lover's everlasting Yes,
And immortality in the secret heart,
The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
The symbolled OM, the great assenting Word,
The bridge between the rapture and the calm,
The passion and the beauty of the Bride,
The chamber where the glorious enemies kiss,
The smile that saves, the golden peak of things?
This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, The Adoration of the Divine Mother,
361:Wretched am I, says one, that this has befallen me. Nay, say you, happy I, who, tho’ this has befallen me, can still remain without sorrow, neither broken by the present, nor dreading the future. The like might have befallen any one; but every one could not have remained thus undejected. Why should the event be called a misfortune, rather than this strength of mind a felicity? But, can you call that a misfortune, to a man, which does not frustrate the intention of his nature? Can that frustrate the intention of it, or hinder it to attain its end, which is not contrary to the will or purpose of his nature; What is this will or purpose? Sure you have learned it. Doth this event hinder you to be just, magnanimous, temperate, prudent, cautious of rash assent, free from error, possessed of a sense of honour and modesty, and of true liberty; or from meriting those other characters, which whoever enjoys, hath all his nature requires, as its proper perfection? And then, upon every occasion of sorrow, remember the maxim, that this event is not a misfortune, but the bearing it courageously is a great felicity. ~ Marcus Aurelius
362:Because culture is a matter of ethical habit, it changes very slowly—much more slowly than ideas. When the Berlin Wall was dismantled and communism crumbled in 1989-1990, the governing ideology in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union changed overnight from Marxism-Leninism to markets and democracy. Similarly, in some Latin American countries, statist or nationalist economic ideologies like import substitution were wiped away in less than a decade by the accession to power of a new president or finance minister. What cannot change nearly as quickly is culture. The experience of many former communist societies is that communism created many habits—excessive dependence on the state, leading to an absence of entrepreneurial energy, an inability to compromise, and a disinclination to cooperate voluntarily in groups like companies or political parties—that have greatly slowed the consolidation of either democracy or a market economy. People in these societies may have given their intellectual assent to the replacement of communism with democracy and capitalism by voting for “democratic” reformers, but they do not have the social habits necessary to make either work. ~ Francis Fukuyama
363:Those who say that intellectual belief in Christ is of no value not only fall into the errors exposed above, but they also in some instances fail to distinguish assent from understanding. When they attack “mere assent” they probably mean – though it is rash to guess what some people mean – that salvation is not obtained by knowing the propositions in the Bible and understanding their meaning. Obviously this is true. Many intelligent men know very well what the Bible says; they understand it far better than many Christians; but they are not saved and they are not Christians. The reason is that though they understand, they do not believe. They know what the Bible says, but they do not assent to it. But because understanding and believing are both intellectual acts, those who think carelessly identify them. The distinction between knowing the meaning of a proposition and believing it seems to be too subtle, and therefore some preachers conclude that “mere belief” is of no value. This conclusion is fallaciously drawn. Just because one intellectual act – the understanding of what words mean – is less than faith, it does not follow that faith or belief is not intellectual. ~ Anonymous
364:Pourquoi n'allez vous pas à l'école? Tous les jours je vous vois en train de flâner.
Oh, on se passe fort bien de moi! Je suis insociable, parait-il. Je ne m'intègre pas. C'est vraiment bizarre. Je suis très sociable, au contraire. Mais tout dépend de ce qu'on entend par sociable, n'est-ce pas? Pour moi ça veut dire parler de choses et d'autres, comme maintenant. (...) Mais je ne pense pas que ce soit favoriser la sociabilité que de réunir tout un tas de gens et de les empêcher ensuite de parler. (...) On ne pose jamais de question, en tout cas la plupart d'entre nous; les réponses arrivent toutes seules, bing, bing, bing, et on reste assis quatre heures de plus à écouter le téléprof. Ce n'est pas ma conception de la sociabilité. (...) On nous abrutit tellement qu'à la fin de la journée on a qu'une envie: se coucher ou aller dans un parc d'attraction bousculer les gens. (...) Au fond, je dois être ce qu'on m'accuse d'être. Je n'ai pas d'amis. C'est sensé prouver que je suis anormale. Mais tous les gens que je connais passent leur temps à brailler, à danser comme des sauvages ou à se taper dessus. Vous avez remarqué à quel point les gens se font du mal aujourd'hui? ~ Ray Bradbury
365:Roméo : Si j'ai profané avec mon indigne main cette châsse sacrée, je suis prêt à une douce pénitence : permettez à mes lèvres, comme à deux pèlerins rougissants, d'effacer ce grossier attouchement par un tendre baiser.
Juliette : Bon pèlerin, vous êtes trop sévère pour votre main qui n'a fait preuve en ceci que d'une respectueuse dévotion. Les saintes mêmes ont des mains que peuvent toucher les mains des pèlerins ; et cette étreinte est un pieux baiser.
Roméo : Les saintes n'ont-elles pas des lèvres, et les pèlerins aussi ?
Juliette : Oui, pèlerin, des lèvres vouées à la prière.
Roméo : Oh ! alors, chère sainte, que les lèvres fassent ce que font les mains. Elles te prient ; exauce-les, de peur que leur foi ne se change en désespoir.
Juliette : Les saintes restent immobiles, tout en exauçant les prières.
Roméo : Restez donc immobile, tandis que je recueillerai l'effet de ma prière. Vos lèvres ont effacé le péché des miennes.
Juliette : Mes lèvres ont gardé pour elles le péché qu'elles ont pris des vôtres.
Roméo : Vous avez pris le péché de mes lèvres ? Ô reproche charmant ! Alors rendez-moi mon péché.
Juliette : Vous avez l'art des baisers. ~ William Shakespeare
366:So it’s democracy versus capitalism at this point, friends, and we out on this frontier outpost of the human world are perhaps better positioned than anyone else to see this and to fight this global battle, there’s empty land here, there’s scarce and nonrenewable resources here, and we’re going to get swept up into the fight and we cannot choose not to be part of it, we are one of the prizes and our fate will be decided by what happens throughout the human world. That being the case, we had better band together for the common good, for Mars and for us and for all the people on earth and for the seven generations, it’s going to be hard it’s going to take years, and the stronger we are the better our chances, which is why I’m so happy to see that burning meteor in the sky pumping the matrix of life into our world, and why I’m so happy to see you all here to celebrate it together, a representative congress of all that I love in this world, but look I think that steel-drum band is ready to play aren’t you” (shouts of assent) “so why don’t you folks start and we’ll dance till dawn and tomorrow scatter on the winds and down the sides of this great mountain, to carry the gift everywhere. ~ Kim Stanley Robinson
367:You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse...go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
368:Le chien est un animal si difforme, d’un caractère si désordonné, que de tout temps il a été considéré comme un monstre, né et formé en dépit de toutes les lois. En effet, lorsque le repos est l’état naturel, comment expliquer qu’un animal soit toujours remuant, affairé, et cela sans but ni besoin, lors même qu’il est repu et n’a point peur ? Lorsque la beauté consiste universellement dans la souplesse, la grâce et la prudence, comment admettre qu’un animal soit toujours brutal, hurlant, fou, se jetant au nez des gens, courant après les coups de pied et les rebuffades ? Lorsque le favori et le chef-d’oeuvre de la création est le chat, comment comprendre qu’un animal le haïsse, coure sur lui sans en avoir reçu une seule égratignure, et lui casse les reins sans avoir envie de manger sa chair ?

Ces contrariétés prouvent que les chien sont des damnés ; très certainement les âmes coupables et punies passent dans leurs corps. Elles y souffrent : c’est pourquoi ils se tracassent et s’agitent sans cesse. Elles ont perdu la raison : c’est pourquoi ils gâtent tout, se font battre, et sont enchaînés les trois quarts du jour. Elles haïssent le beau et le bien : c’est pourquoi ils tâchent de nous étrangler. ~ Hippolyte Taine
369:Well, you have said that you were quite certain I was not a serious anarchist. Does this place strike you as being serious?"
"It does seem to have a moral under all its gaiety," assented Syme; "but may I ask you two questions? You need not fear to give me information, because, as you remember, you very wisely extorted from me a promise not to tell the police, a promise I shall certainly keep. So it is in mere curiosity that I make my queries. First of all, what is it really all about? What is it you object to? you want to abolish Government?"
"To abolish God!" said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. "We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and virtue, honour and treachery, upon which mere rebels base themselves. The silly sentimentalists of the French Revolution talked of the Rights of Man! We hate Rights and we hate Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong."
"And Right and Left," said Syme with a simple eagerness. "I hope you will abolish them too. They are much more troublesome to me. ~ G K Chesterton
370:Au reste, les Germains ne croient pas que ce soit honorer les dieux, de les peindre comme des hommes, ou de les renfermer dans les temples; ils se contentent de leur consacrer des bois et des forêts, dans l'obscurité desquels ils imaginent que réside la divinité. X. Ils sont fort adonnés aux augures et aux sorts, et n'y observent pas grande cérémonie. Ils coupent une branche de quelque arbre fruitier en plusieurs pièces, et le marquent de certains caractères. Ils les jettent ensuite, au hasard, sur un drap blanc. Alors le prêtre, si c'est en public, ou le père de famille, si c'est dans quelque maison particulière, lève chaque brin trois fois, après avoir invoqué les dieux, et les interprète selon les caractères qu'il y a faits. Si l'entreprise se trouve défendue, ils ne passent point plus avant; car on ne consulte point deux fois sur un même sujet, en un même jour; mais si elle est approuvée, on jette le sort une seconde fois, pour en avoir la confirmation. Ils consultent aussi le vol et le chant des oiseaux: le hennissement des chevaux est encore pour eux un présage très-assuré. Ils en nourrissent de blancs dans leurs bois sacrés, et ils croiraient faire une profanation s'ils les employaient aux usages ordinaires. ~ Anonymous
371:As I walked out one harvest night
About the stroke of One,
The Moon attained to her full height
Stood beaming like the Sun.
She exorcised the ghostly wheat
To mute assent in Love's defeat
Whose tryst had now begun.

The fields lay sick beneath my tread,
A tedious owlet cried;
The nightingale above my head
With this or that replied,
Like man and wife who nightly keep
Inconsequent debate in sleep
As they dream side by side.

Your phantom wore the moon's cold mask,
My phantom wore the same,
Forgetful of the feverish task
In hope of which they came,
Each image held the other's eyes
And watched a grey distraction rise
To cloud the eager flame.

To cloud the eager flame of love,
To fog the shining gate:
They held the tyrannous queen above
Sole mover of their fate,
They glared as marble statues glare
Across the tessellated stair
Or down the Halls of State.

And now cold earth was Arctic sea,
Each breath came dagger keen,
Two bergs of glinting ice were we,
The broad moon sailed between;
There swam the mermaids, tailed and finned,
And Love went by upon the wind
As though it had not been.

- Full Moon ~ Robert Graves
372:O Jeune Adolescent!
O jeune adolescent! tu rougis devant moi.
Vois mes traits sans couleurs; ils pâlissent pour toi:
C'est ton front virginal, ta grâce, ta décence;
Viens. Il est d'autres jeux que les jeux de l'enfance.
O jeune adolescent, viens savoir que mon coeur
N'a pu de ton visage oublier la douceur.
Bel enfant, sur ton front la volupté réside.
Ton regard est celui d'une vierge timide.
Ton sein blanc, que ta robe ose cacher au jour,
Semble encore ignorer qu'on soupire d'amour.
Viens le savoir de moi. Viens, je veux te l'apprendre;
Viens remettre en mes mains ton âme vierge et tendre,
Afin que mes leçons, moins timides que toi,
Te fassent soupirer et languir comme moi;
Et qu'enfin rassuré, cette joue enfantine
Doive à mes seuls baisers cette rougeur divine.
Oh! je voudrais qu'ici tu vinsses un matin
Reposer mollement ta tête sur mon sein!
Je te verrais dormir, retenant mon haleine,
De peur de t'éveiller, ne respirant qu'à peine.
Mon écharpe de lin, que je ferais flotter,
Loin de ton beau visage aurait soin d'écarter
Les insectes volants dont les ailes bruyantes
Aiment à se poser sur les lèvres dormantes.
~ Andre Marie de Chenier
373:Quei giudici, il cancelliere, i gendarmi, quella folla di teste crudelmente curiose, egli le aveva già viste una volta, molto tempo addietro, ventisett'anni prima. Ritrovava quelle cose funeste: eran lì, si movevano, esistevano. Non era più lo sforzo della sua memoria, un miraggio del suo pensiero; eran gendarmi, veri giudici, vera folla e uomini in carne ed ossa. Era finita! Vedeva riapparire e rivivere intorno a sé, con la evidenza della realtà, gli aspetti mostruosi del suo passato.
Quella scena gli stava dinanzi come un abisso. Ne ebbe orrore, chiuse gli occhi ed esclamò nel più profondo dell'animo: no, mai!
E per un giuoco tragico del destino, che faceva tremare tutte le sue idee e lo rendeva quasi pazzo, colui che vedeva era un altro se stesso; quell'uomo che veniva giudicato era da tutti chiamato Jean Valjean. Aveva sotto gli occhi, inaudita visione, una specie di rappresentazione del momento orribile della sua vita, recitato dal suo fantasma.
Nulla mancava: era lo stesso apparato, la stessa ora notturna, quasi le stesse facce di giudici, di soldati e di spettatori. Soltanto, sopra il capo del presidente v'era un crocifisso, mancava ai tribunali del tempo della sua condanna. Quando l'avevan giudicato, Dio era assente. ~ Victor Hugo
374:L’essere o il nulla, ecco il problema. Salire, scendere, andare, venire; tanto fa l’uomo che alla fine sparisce. Un tàssi lo reca, un metró lo porta via, la torre non ci bada, e il Pàntheon neppure. Parigi è solo un sogno, Gabriel è solo un’ombra (incantevole), Zazie il sogno d’un’ombra (o di un incubo) e tutta questa storia il sogno di un sogno, l’ombra di un’ombra, poco più di un delirio scritto a macchina da un romanziere idiota (oh! mi scusi). Laggiù, oltre, un po’ oltre, Place de la République, si accatastano tombe dei parigini che furono, che salirono e scesero scale, andarono e vennero per le vie e tanto fecero che alla fine sparirono. Un forcipe li introdusse, un carro funebre li porta via e la torre si arrugginisce e il Pàntheon si screpola più presto di quanto le ossa dei morti fin troppo presenti non si dissolvano nell’humus della città tutto impregnato di affanni. Ma sono vivo, io, e qui s’arresta la mia scienza perché del tassimane sparito nel suo trespolo a tassametro o di mia nipote sospesa a trecento metri nell’atmosfera o della mia sposa, la dolce Marceline, rimasta presso il focolare domestico, in questo preciso momento io non so, e qui non so, se non questo, endecasillabicamente: eccoli quasi morti perché assenti. ~ Raymond Queneau
375:What is this strange touch?"
With a start, Jesse realized that Rides the Wind had awakened. He lay watching her closely.Feeling shy she pulled the buffalo robe up under her chin, answering softly, "My people say 'kiss.'"
"And who gives this 'kiss'?"
"Parents to children, husband to wife."
"Show me." As he said it he leaned toward her. Jesse obediently placed a kiss upon the wind-hardened cheek.
He kept his face near hers and the dark eyes searched hers.Then a knowing smile curled up the edges of his mouth. "When Marcus Whitman met with Running Bear and the traders,Rides the Wind was there.I saw many things.I saw this touch you call 'kiss' between man and woman.It was not here," he tapped his cheek, "but here." His finger indicated his mouth.
Jesse felt her face flush and wondered if the early morning light revealed her embarrassment. She assented, "Yes,for some it is so."
"Did Jesse King and Homer King touch in this ay?"
Jesse looked hard into the searching eyes.They returned her stare with honest interest. "My people do not speak of these things."
Rides the Wind was quiet for a moment, pondering her response. "If the white man speaks not of what is here," he laid a hand flat upon the tawny chest, "he must be very sad. ~ Stephanie Grace Whitson
376:Le véritable objet de l’architecture islamique, c’est l’espace comme tel, dans sa plénitude indifférenciée. Les arcades et leur majestueuse ampleur – elles dépassent le plein cintre et se dilatent légèrement en fer à cheval – suffisent pour rendre cette qualité manifeste. Ce n’est pas pour rien qu’en arabe le nom de l’arcade, rawq (au pluriel riwaq) est devenu le synonyme de beau, gracieux et pur. Une simple arcade bâtie selon de justes proportions possède la vertu de transformer l’espace d’une réalité purement quantitative en une réalité qualitative. Et l’on sait que l’art islamique a développé une grande variété de formes d’arc, qui s’annoncent déjà dans l’architecture omeyyade et dont deux sont les plus typiques : l’arc en fer à cheval, qui trouve son expression la plus parfaite dans l’art maghrébin, et l’arc « en carène », qui caractérise l’art persan. L’une et l’autre de ces formes combinent les deux qualités de calme statique et de légèreté ascendante. L’arc persan est à la fois généreux et gracieux ; il s’élève sans aucun effort, comme la flamme calme d’une lampe à l’huile protégée du vent. Quant à l’arc maghrébin, il se caractérise par son expansion extrême, souvent contenue par un cadre rectangulaire, d’où une synthèse de stabilité et d’ampleur. ~ Titus Burckhardt
377:Among us, on the other hand, 'the righteous man lives by faith.' Now, if you take away positive affirmation, you take away faith, for without positive affirmation nothing is believed. And there are truths about things unseen, and unless they are believed, we cannot attain to the happy life, which is nothing less than life eternal. It is a question whether we ought to argue with those who profess themselves ignorant not only about the eternity yet to come but also about their present existence, for they [the Academics] even argue that they do not know what they cannot help knowing. For no one can 'not know' that he himself is alive. If he is not alive, he cannot 'not know' about it or anything else at all, because either to know or to 'not know' implies a living subject. But, in such a case, by not positively affirming that they are alive, the skeptics ward off the appearance of error in themselves, yet they do not make errors simply by showing themselves alive; one cannot err who is not alive. That we live is therefore not only true, but it is altogether certain as well. And there are many things that are thus true and certain concerning which, if we withhold positive assent, this ought not to be regarded as a higher wisdom but actually a sort of dementia. ~ Saint Augustine of Hippo
378:What will bring peace is inward transformation, which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right action only when there is right thinking and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace. An Ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is. To have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin not to live an ideal life but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need; food, clothing and shelter, is destroyed. Some of you will nod your heads and say, “I agree”, and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world’s miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be only stopped when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
379:Il y a quelque chose d’ineffablement touchant dans notre campagne pétersbourgeoise, quand, au printemps, elle déploie soudain toute sa force, s’épanouit, se pare, s’enguirlande de fleurs. Elle me fait songer à ces jeunes filles languissantes, anémiées, qui n’excitent que la pitié, parfois l’indifférence, et brusquement, du jour au lendemain, deviennent inexprimablement merveilleuses de beauté: vous demeurez stupéfaits devant elles, vous demandant quelle puissance a mis ce feu inattendu dans ces yeux tristes et pensifs, qui a coloré d’un sang rose ces joues pâles naguère, qui a répandu cette passion sur ces traits qui n’avaient pas d’expression, pourquoi
s’élèvent et s’abaissent si profondément ces jeunes seins ? Mon Dieu ! qui a pu donner à la pauvre fille cette force, cette soudaine plénitude de vie, cette
beauté ? Qui a jeté cet éclair dans ce sourire ? Qui donc fait ainsi étinceler cette gaieté ? Vous regardez autour
de vous, vous cherchez quelqu’un, vous devinez... Mais que les heures passent et peut-être demain retrouverezvous le regard triste et pensif d’autrefois, le même visage pâle, les mêmes allures timides, effacées : c’est le sceau du chagrin, du repentir, c’est aussi le regret de l’épanouissement éphémère... et vous déplorez que cette beauté se soit fanée si vite : quoi ! vous n’avez pas même eu le temps de l’aimer !... ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
380:I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself? ~ C S Lewis
381:Censor Literarum
So, Parson Stebbins, you've released your chin
To say that here, and here, we press-folk ail.
'Tis a great thing an editor to skin
And hang his faulty pelt upon a nail
(If over-eared, it has, at least, no tail)
And, for an admonition against sin,
Point out its maculations with a rod,
And act, in short, the gentleman of God.
'Twere needless cruelty to spoil your sport
By comment, critical or merely rude;
But you, too, have, according to report,
Despite your posing as a holy dude,
Imperfect spiritual pulchritude
For so severe a judge. May't please the court,
We shall appeal and take our case at once
Before that higher court, a taller dunce.
Sir, what were _you_ without the press? What spreads
The fame of your existence, once a week,
From the Pacific Mail dock to the Heads,
Warning the people you're about to wreak
Upon the human ear your Sunday freak?
Whereat the most betake them to their bed
Though some prefer to slumber in the pews
And nod assent to your hypnotic views.
Unhappy man! can you not still your tongue
When (like a luckless brat afflict with worms,
By cruel fleas intolerably stung,
Or with a pang in its small lap) it squirms?
Still must it vulgarize your feats of lung?
No preaching better were, the sun beneath,
If you had nothing there behind your teeth.
~ Ambrose Bierce
382:Bien plus, la subversion la plus habile et la plus dangereuse est certainement celle qui ne se trahit pas par des singularités trop manifestes et que n’importe qui peut facilement apercevoir, mais qui déforme le sens des symboles ou renverse leur valeur sans rien changer à leurs apparences extérieures. Mais la ruse la plus diabolique de toutes est peut-être celle qui consiste à faire attribuer au symbolisme orthodoxe lui-même, tel qu’il existe dans les organisations véritablement traditionnelles, et plus particulièrement dans les organisations initiatiques, qui sont surtout visées en pareil cas, l’interprétation à rebours qui est proprement le fait de la « contre-initiation » ; et celle-ci ne se prive pas d’user de ce moyen pour provoquer les confusions et les équivoques dont elle a quelque profit à tirer. C’est là, au fond, tout le secret de certaines campagnes, encore bien significatives quant au caractère de l’époque contemporaine, menées, soit contre l’ésotérisme en général, soit contre telle ou telle forme initiatique en particulier, avec l’aide inconsciente de gens dont la plupart seraient fort étonnés, et même épouvantés, s’ils pouvaient se rendre compte de ce pour quoi on les utilise ; il arrive malheureusement parfois que ceux qui croient combattre le diable, quelque idée qu’ils s’en fassent d’ailleurs, se trouvent ainsi tout simplement, sans s’en douter le moins du monde, transformés en ses meilleurs serviteurs ! ~ Ren Gu non
383:I would not hurt you, little man,' he said.

'I think that I got the disorder in Mullingar,' I explained. I knew that I had gained his confidence and that the danger of violence was now passed. He then did something which took me by surprise. He pulled up his own ragged trouser and showed me his own left leg. It was smooth, shapely and fairly fat but it was made of wood also.

'That is a funny coincidence,' I said. I now perceived the reason for his sudden change of attitude.

'You are a sweet man,' he responded, 'and I would not lay a finger on your personality. I am the captain of all the one-legged men in the country. I knew them all up to now except one—your own self—and that one is now also my friend into the same bargain. If any man looks at you sideways, I will rip his belly.'

'That is very friendly talk,' I said.

'Wide open,' he said, making a wide movement with his hands. 'If you are ever troubled, send for me and I will save you from the woman.'

'Women I have no interest in at all,' I said smiling. 'A fiddle is a better thing for diversion.'

'It does not matter. If your perplexity is an army or a dog, I will come with all the one-leggèd men and rip the bellies. My real name is Martin Finnucane.'

'It is a reasonable name,' I assented.

'Martin Finnucane,' he repeated, listening to his own voice as if he were listening to the sweetest music in the world. ~ Flann O Brien
384:I caught a fish that weighed three stone if it weighed a pound!” Nick bragged, looking to Kit for approval. “Indeed.” Kit nodded in assent, supportively. “But mine was the real coup—I took down a rabbit with feet as large as my own!” “Mmmm,” Will agreed, taking a drink of wine. “Neither compares with the quail I bested…it was the size of a golden eagle! Wasn’t it, Blackmoor?” Blackmoor smiled broadly, leaning back and looking from one brother to the next. “I’m not certain I want to be involved in this particular conversation,” he said with a laugh. “Oh?” Alex asked with a twinkle in her eye, knowing exactly why he wouldn’t participate. “Could that be because this generation of Staffords has been having this very conversation for years, since they were old enough to go hunting?” Blackmoor smiled at her and replied, “It could be…” “And perhaps because, for years, it is only after the Stafford boys have relayed their incredible feats of manhood that their father ruins their fun by telling the truth—that none of the three of them could catch a fish, a rabbit, or a bird if his very life depended on it?” the duke noted, drawing a laugh from everyone around the table. “Alas, it seems the wildlife of this particular estate have nothing to fear from their masters,” Vivi said. “It’s a good thing you’re all fairly intelligent,” Ella remarked. “And don’t forget attractive,” added Nick, good-humoredly. “Oh, of course!” Alex replied sarcastically. “How could we forget?” The ~ Sarah MacLean
385:If you try to convert someone, it will never be to
effect his salvation but to make him suffer like yourself,
to be sure he is exposed to the same ordeals and
endures them with the same impatience. You keep
watch, you pray, you agonize-provided he does too,
sighing, groaning, beset by the same tortures that are
racking you. Intolerance is the work of ravaged souls
whose faith comes down to a more or less deliberate
torment they would like to see generalized, instituted.
The happiness of others never having been a motive
or principle of action, it is invoked only to appease
conscience or to parade noble excuses: whenever we
determine upon an action, the impulse leading to it
and forcing us to complete it is almost always inadmissible.
No one saves anyone; for we save only ourselves,
and do so all the better if we disguise as
convictions the misery we want to share, to lavish on
others. However glamorous its appearances, proselytism
nonetheless derives from a suspect generosity,
worse in its effects than a patent aggression. No one
is willing to endure alone the discipline he may even
have assented to, nor the yoke he has shouldered.
Vindication reverberates beneath the missionary's
bonhomie, the apostle's joy. We convert not to liberate
but to enchain.
Once someone is shackled by a certainty, he envies
your vague opinions, your resistance to dogmas or
slogans, your blissful incapacity to commit yourself. ~ Emil M Cioran
386:Se Tess avesse potuto afferrare l'importanza dell'incontro si sarebbe chiesta perché quel giorno fosse destinata a essere notata e desiderata dall'uomo sbagliato e non
dall'altro: quello giusto amato sotto tutti gli aspetti; quasi che l'umanità fosse in grado di poter sempre offrire ciò che è giusto e che è desiderato. Ma l'uomo che poteva avvicinarsi al suo ideale, tra i ragazzi conosciuti, non era per Tess che un'impressione fugace e quasi dimenticata.
Nella difettosa esecuzione del piano ben disposto dell'universo, raramente l'invito provoca l'arrivo di chi si invoca, e raramente si incontra l'uomo da amare, quando viene l'ora per l'amore. La natura non dice troppo spesso "guarda" alla povera creatura nel momento in cui il guardare potrebbe
portare a una lieta conclusione; né risponde "qui" alla carne che grida "dove?"; finché tutto questo nascondersi e cercarsi diventa un gioco penoso e senza mordente.
Potremmo chiederci se all'acme e alla sommità dell'umano progresso questi anacronismi saranno modificati da un'intuizione migliore, da un più stretto rapporto reciproco nell'ingranaggio sociale, che non ci scuota in ogni direzione, come ora; ma non si può predire un simile ideale, forse nemmeno concepirlo come possibile. Così, anche nel caso attuale, come in milioni di altri, le due parti di un perfetto insieme non si sono incontrate al momento perfetto: la controparte assente,
vagando indipendente per la terra, aspetta in crassa ottusità un tempo che giungerà sempre troppo tardi. ~ Thomas Hardy
387:A Fatal Impress
A little leaf just in the forest's edge,
All summer long, had listened to the wooing
Of amorous brids that flew across the hedge,
Singing their blithe sweet songs for her undoing.
So many were the flattering things they told her,
The parent tree seemed quite too small to hold her.
At last one lonesome day she saw them fly
Across the fields behind the coquette summer,
They passed her with a laughing light good-bye,
When from the north, there strode a strange new comer;
Bold was his mien, as he gazed on her, crying,
'How comes it, then, that thou art left here sighing! '
'Now by my faith though art a lovely leafMay I not kiss that cheek so fair and tender? '
Her slighted heart welled full of bitter grief,
The rudeness of his words did not offend her,
She felt so sad, so desolate, so deserted,
Oh, if her lonely fate might be averted.
'One little kiss, ' he sighed, 'I ask no more-'
His face was cold, his lips too pale for passion.
She smiled assent; and then bold Frost leaned lower,
And clasped her close, and kissed in lover's fashion.
Her smooth cheek flushed to sudden guilty splendour,
Another kiss, and then sweet surrender.
Just for a day she was a beauteous sight,
The world looked on to pity and admire
This modest little leaf, that in a night
Had seemed to set the forest all on fire.
And then - this victim of a broken trust,
A withered thing, was trodden in the dust.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
388:Afraid Of His Dad
Bill Jones, who goes to school with me,
Is the saddest boy I ever see.
He's just so 'fraid he runs away
When all of us fellows want to play,
An' says he dassent stay about
Coz if his father found it out
He'd wallop him. An' he can't go
With us to see a picture show
On Saturdays, an' it's too bad,
But he's afraid to ask his dad.
When he gets his report card, he
Is just as scared as scared can be,
An' once I saw him when he cried
Becoz although he'd tried an' tried
His best, the teacher didn't care
An' only marked his spelling fair,
An' he told me there'd be a fight
When his dad saw his card that night.
It seems to me it's awful bad
To be so frightened of your dad.
My Dad ain't that way- I can go
An' tell him everything I know,
An' ask him things, an' when he comes
Back home at night he says we're chums;
An' we go out an' take a walk,
An' all the time he lets me talk.
I ain't scared to tell him what
I've done to-day that I should not;
When I get home I'm always glad
To stay around an' play with Dad.
Bill Jones, he says, he wishes he
Could have a father just like me,
But his dad hasn't time to play,
An' so he chases him away
An' scolds him when he makes a noise
An' licks him if he breaks his toys.
Sometimes Bill says he's got to lie
Or else get whipped, an' that is why
It seems to me it's awful bad
To be so frightened of your dad.
~ Edgar Albert Guest
389:[Chesterfield] introduced an ethical question that Americans continue to grapple with: Is it okay to say one thing while believing another? Or to put it another way: What's more important, honesty or politeness?

Lionel Trilling, the literary critic, picked up on this question in 1972 when he published /Sincerity and Authenticity/, in which he defines two distinct terms that he believed Americans had conflated. He describes sincerity as the "congruence between avowal and actual feeling." A sincere work is literature is one in which the author seeks to convey exactly what she's thinking-- your comfort be damned. Authenticity, meanwhile, is a matter of personal integrity: you know what you're being authentic, even if other people don't. It's a virtue that puts little stock in what other people think and instead emphasizes determination and self-awareness.

Using this parlance, Chesterfield urged his son to be authentic but never sincere. He wanted his son to be purposeful when he chose to imitate someone. "I would much rather have the assent of your reason to my advice than the submission of your will to my authority. This, I will persuade myself, will happen," he wrote Phillip. He hoped that Phillip would learn to calibrate his behavior in service of his goals. But sincerity, for Chesterfield, was for chumps. He instructed his son to never share his true feelings or thoughts, to never appear vulnerable or emotional. There is no need for sincerity if you have no self to begin with. And Chesterfield had no self, only a resume. ~ Jessica Weisberg
390:But what has fixed the modes of Nature? Or who has originated and governs the movements of Force? There is a Consciousness - or a Conscient - behind that is the lord, witness, knower, enjoyer, upholder and source of sanction for her works; this consciousness is Soul or Purusha. Prakriti shapes the action in us; Purusha in her or behind her witnesses, assents, bears and upholds it. Prakriti forms the thought in our minds; Purusha in her or behind her knows the thought and the truth in it. Prakriti determines the result of the action; Purusha in her or behind her enjoys or suffers the consequence. Prakriti forms mind and body, labours over them, develops them; Purusha upholds the formation and evolution and sanctions each step of her works. Prakriti applies the Will-force which works in things and men; Purusha sets that Will-force to work by his vision of that which should be done. This Purusha is not the surface ego, but a silent Self, a source of Power, an originator and receiver of Knowledge behind the ego. Our mental "I" is only a false reflection of this Self, this Power, this Knowledge. This Purusha or supporting Consciousness is therefore the cause, recipient and support of all Nature's works, but he is not himself the doer. Prakriti, NatureForce, in front and Shakti, Conscious-Force, Soul-Force behind her, - for these two are the inner and outer faces of the universal Mother, - account for all that is done in the universe. The universal Mother, Prakriti-Shakti, is the one and only worker. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Supreme Will, 214,
391:Oh! je voudrais tant que tu te souviennes
Des jours heureux où nous étions amis
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu'aujourd'hui.

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
Tu vois, je n'ai pas oublié
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi.

Et le vent du Nord les emporte,
Dans la nuit froide de l'oubli.
Tu vois je n'ai pas oublié,
La chanson que tu me chantais...

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi,
Mais mon amour silencieux et fidèle
Sourit toujours et remercie la vie.

Je t'aimais tant, tu étais si jolie,
Comment veux-tu que je t'oublie?
En ce temps-là la vie était plus belle
Et le soleil plus brûlant qu'aujourd'hui.

Tu étais ma plus douce amie
Mais je n'ai que faire des regrets.
Et la chanson que tu chantais,
Toujours, toujours je l'entendrai.

C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble,
Toi tu m'aimais, moi je t'aimais
Et nous vivions, tous deux ensemble,
Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais.

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis.

C'est une chanson qui nous ressemble,
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Et nous vivions tous deux ensemble,
Toi qui m'aimais, moi qui t'aimais.

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment,
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis. ~ Jacques Pr vert
392:A Dancer's Life
The lights in the theater fail. The long racks
Of costumes abandoned by the other dancers
Trouble Celeste. The conductor asks
If she is sad because autumn is coming on,
But when autumn comes she is merely pregnant and bored.
On her way back from the holidays, a man
Who appears to have no face rattles the door
To her compartment. How disgusting, she thinks;
How disgusting it always must be to grow old.
Dusk falls, and a few drops of rain.
On the train window trembles the blurred
Reflection of her own transparent beauty,
And through this, beautiful ruined cities passing,
Dark forests, and people everywhere
Pacing on lighted platforms, some
Beating their children, some apparently dancing.
The costumes of the dancers sway in the chill darkness.
Now sinking into sleep is like sinking again
Into the lake of her youth. Her parents
Lean from the rail of a ferryboat waving, waving,
As the boat glides farther out across the waves.
No one, it seems, is meeting her at the station.
The city is frozen. She warms herself
In the pink and scented twilight of a bar.
The waiter who serves her is young. She nods assent.
The conversation dies in bed. Later,
She hurries off to rehearsal. In the lobby,
Dizzy still with the weight of her own body,
She waits, surrounded by huge stills of herself
And bright posters announcing events to come.
Her life—she feels it closing about her now
Like a small theater, empty, without lights.
~ Donald Justice
393:In Defense
You may say if you please, Johnny Bull, that our girls
Are crazy to marry your dukes and your earls;
But I've heard that the maids of your own little isle
Greet bachelor lords with a favoring smile.
Nay, titles, 'tis said in defense of our fair,
Are popular here because popular there;
And for them our ladies persistently go
Because 'tis exceedingly English, you know.
Whatever the motive, you'll have to confess
The effort's attended with easy success;
And-pardon the freedom-'tis thought, over here,
'Tis mortification you mask with a sneer.
It's all very well, sir, your scorn to parade
Of the high nasal twang of the Yankee maid,
But, ah, to my lord when he dares to propose
No sound is so sweet as that 'Yes' from the nose.
Ah, well, if the dukes and the earls and that lot
Can stand it (God succor them if they can not!)
Your commoners ought to assent, I am sure,
And what they're not called on to suffer, endure.
''Tis nothing but money?-your nobles are bought'?
As to that, I submit, it is commonly thought
That England's a country not specially free
Of Croesi and (if you'll allow it) Croesæ.
You've many a widow and many a girl
With money to purchase a duke or an earl.
'Tis a very remarkable thing, you'll agree,
When goods import buyers from over the sea.
Alas for the woman of Albion's isle!
She may simper; as well as she can she may smile;
She may wear pantalettes and an air of reposeBut my lord of the future will talk through his nose.
~ Ambrose Bierce
394:On his coronation in 1802, Gia-long wished to call his realm ‘Nam Viêt’ and sent envoys to gain Peking’s assent. The Manchu Son of Heaven, however, insisted that it be ‘Viêt Nam.’ The reason for this inversion is as follows: ‘Viêt Nam’ (or in Chinese Yüeh-nan) means, roughly, ‘to the south of Viêt (Yüeh),’ a realm conquered by the Han seventeen centuries earlier and reputed to cover today’s Chinese provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi, as well as the Red River valley. Gia-long’s ‘Nam Viêt,’ however, meant ‘Southern Viêt/Yüeh,’ in effect a claim to the old realm. In the words of Alexander Woodside, ‘the name “Vietnam” as a whole was hardly so well esteemed by Vietnamese rulers a century ago, emanating as it had from Peking, as it is in this century. An artificial appellation then, it was used extensively neither by the Chinese nor by the Vietnamese. The Chinese clung to the offensive T’ang word “Annam” . . . The Vietnamese court, on the other hand, privately invented another name for its kingdom in 1838–39 and did not bother to inform the Chinese. Its new name, Dai Nam, the “Great South” or “Imperial South,” appeared with regularity on court documents and official historical compilations. But it has not survived to the present.’3 This new name is interesting in two respects. First, it contains no ‘Viet’-namese element. Second, its territorial reference seems purely relational – ‘south’ (of the Middle Kingdom).4 That today’s Vietnamese proudly defend a Viêet Nam scornfully invented by a nineteenth-century Manchu dynast reminds us of Renan’s dictum that nations must have ‘oublié bien des choses,’ but also, paradoxically, of the imaginative power of nationalism. If ~ Benedict Anderson
395:One of the few freedoms that we have as human beings that cannot be taken away from us is the freedom to assent to what is true and to deny what is false. Nothing you can give me is worth surrendering that freedom for. At this moment I'm a man with complete tranquillity...I've been a real estate developer for most of my life, and I can tell you that a developer lives with the opposite of tranquillity, which is perturbation. You're perturbed about something all the time. You build your first development, and right away you want to build a bigger one, and you want a bigger house to live in, and if it ain't in Buckhead, you might as well cut your wrists. Soon's you got that, you want a plantation, tens of thousands of acres devoted solely to shooting quail, because you know of four or five developers who've already got that. And soon's you get that, you want a place on Sea Island and a Hatteras cruiser and a spread northwest of Buckhead, near the Chattahoochee, where you can ride a horse during the week, when you're not down at the plantation, plus a ranch in Wyoming, Colorado, or Montana, because truly successful men in Atlanta and New York all got their ranches, and of course now you need a private plane, a big one, too, a jet, a Gulfstream Five, because who's got the patience and the time and the humility to fly commercially, even to the plantation, much less out to a ranch? What is it you're looking for in this endless quest? Tranquillity. You think if only you can acquire enough worldly goods, enough recognition, enough eminence, you will be free, there'll be nothing more to worry about, and instead you become a bigger and bigger slave to how you think others are judging you. ~ Tom Wolfe
396:In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.
   In Yoga also it is the Divine who is the Sadhaka and the Sadhana; it is his Shakti with her light, power, knowledge, consciousness, Ananda, acting upon the adhara and, when it is opened to her, pouring into it with these divine forces that makes the Sadhana possible. But so long as the lower nature is active the personal effort of the Sadhaka remains necessary.
   The personal effort required is a triple labour of aspiration, rejection and surrender, -
   an aspiration vigilant, constant, unceasing - the mind's will, the heart's seeking, the assent of the vital being, the will to open and make plastic the physical consciousness and nature;
   rejection of the movements of the lower nature - rejection of the mind's ideas, opinions, preferences, habits, constructions, so that the true knowledge may find free room in a silent mind, - rejection of the vital nature's desires, demands, cravings, sensations, passions, selfishness, pride, arrogance, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, hostility to the Truth, so that the true power and joy may pour from above into a calm, large, strong and consecrated vital being, - rejection of the physical nature's stupidity, doubt, disbelief, obscurity, obstinacy, pettiness, laziness, unwillingness to change, tamas, so that the true stability of Light, Power, Ananda may establish itself in a body growing always more divine;
   surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.
   ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Mother With Letters On The Mother,
397:The food is ready,” Zil announced to loud cheers.
“But we have something more important to do, first, before we can eat.”
“We have to carry out some justice.”
That earned a silent stare until Turk and Hank started raising their hands and yelling, showing the crowd how to act.
“This mutant, this nonhuman scum here, this freak Hunter…” Zil pointed, arm stretched out, at his captive. “This chud deliberately murdered my best friend, Harry.”
“Na troo,” Hunter said. His mouth still didn’t work right. Brain damage, Zil supposed, from the little knock on his head. Half of Hunter’s face drooped like it wasn’t quite attached right. It made it easier for the crowd of kids to sneer at him, and Hunter, yelling in his drooling retard voice, wasn’t helping his case.
“He’s a killer!” Zil cried suddenly, smacking his fist into his palm.
“A freak! A mutant!” he cried. “And we know what they’re like, right? They always have enough food. They run everything. They’re in charge and we’re all starving. Is that some kind of coincidence? No way.”
“Na troo,” Hunter moaned again.
“Take him!” Zil cried to Antoine and Hank. “Take him, the murdering mutant scum!”
They seized Hunter by the arms. He could walk, but only by dragging one leg. They half carried, half marched him across the plaza. They dragged him up the church steps.
“Now,” Zil said, “here is how we’re going to do this.” He waved his hand toward the rope that Lance was unspooling back through the plaza.
An expectant pause. A dangerous, giddy feeling. The smell of the meat had them all crazy. Zil could feel it.
“You all want some of this delicious venison?”
They roared their assent.
“Then you’ll all grab on to the rope. ~ Michael Grant
398:— Assim mais assim, com os erros todos e muita demora, até há uns dois anos atrás eu ainda era homem para pôr algum bilhete no papel...
— Pois eu não. Nunca estive em escola, sentado não aprendi nada desta vida. Você sabe que eu não sei. Mas, cada ano que passa, eu vou ganhando mais dinheiro, comprando mais terras, pondo mais bois nas invernadas. Não sei fazer conta de tabuada, tenho até enjoo disso... Nunca assentei o que eu ganho ou o que eu gasto. O dinheiro passa como água no córrego, mas deixa poços cheios, nas beiras. Gosto de caminhar no escuro, João Manico, meu irmão!
— Em Deus estando ajudando, é bom, meu compadre seô Major.
— Também não tomo a reza dos outros, não desfaço na valia deles...
— De nenhum jeito, e eu posso ir junto!... Todo o mundo, aqui, trabalha sem arrocho... Só no falar de obedecer é que todos têm medo do senhor...
— Capaz que seja, Manicão? Será?
— Isso. Uns acham que é porque o seô Major espera boi bravo, a-pé, sem ter vara, só de chicote na mão e soprando no focinho do que vem...
— Mas eu gosto dos bois, Manico, ponho amor neles...
— A’ pois. Eu sei, de mim que será por causa de nunca se ter certeza do que é que o meu compadre está pensando ou vai falar, que sai sempre o diverso do que a gente esperou... Só vejo que esse povo vaqueiro todo tem mais medo de um pito do senhor do que da chifrada de um garrote, comparando sem quebrar seu respeito, meu compadre seô Major.
— Escuta, Manico: é bom a gente ver tudo de longe. Assim como aqui nós dois vamos indo... Pelo rastro, no chão, a gente sabe de muita coisa que com a boiada vai acontecendo. Você também é bom rastreador, eu sei. Olha, o que eu entendo das pessoas, foi com o traquejo dos bois que eu aprendi... ~ Jo o Guimar es Rosa
399:Je vous propose alors une idée militante. Il serait très juste d’organiser une vaste manifestation pour une alliance des jeunes et des vieux, à vrai dire dirigée contre les adultes d’aujourd’hui. Les plus rebelles des moins de trente ans et les plus coriaces des plus de soixante contre les quadras et les quinquas bien installés. Les jeunes diraient qu’ils en ont assez d’être errants, désorientés, et interminablement dépourvus de toute marque de leur existence positive. Ils diraient aussi qu’il n’est pas bon que les adultes fassent semblant d’être éternellement jeunes. Les vieux diraient qu’ils en ont assez de payer leur dévalorisation, leur sortie de l’image traditionnelle du vieux sage, par une mise à la casse, une déportation dans des mouroirs médicalisés, et leur totale absence de visibilité sociale. Ce serait très nouveau, très important, cette manifestation mixte ! J’ai du reste vu, durant mes nombreux voyages dans le monde entier, pas mal de conférences, pas mal de situations où le public se composait d’un noyau de vieux briscards, de vieux rescapés, comme moi, des grands combats des sixties et des seventies, et puis d’une masse de jeunes qui venaient voir si le philosophe avait quelque chose à dire concernant l’orientation de leur existence et la possibilité d’une vraie vie. J’ai donc vu, partout dans le monde, l’esquisse de l’alliance dont je vous parle. Comme à saute-mouton, la jeunesse semble devoir sauter aujourd’hui par-dessus l’âge dominant, celui qui va en gros de trente-cinq à soixante-cinq ans, pour constituer avec le petit noyau des vieux révoltés, des non-résignés, l’alliance des jeunes désorientés et des vieux baroudeurs de l’existence. Ensemble, nous imposerions que soit ouvert le chemin de la vraie vie. ~ Alain Badiou
400:Screens of tumbling water, breaking the world beyond them into glittering lines and smeared shadows. Kellhus had ceased trying to penetrate them.
“Power,” Anasûrimbor Moënghus said, “is always power over. When an infant may be either, what is the difference between a Fanim and an Inrithi? Or between a Nansur and a Scylvendi? What could be so malleable in Men that anyone, split between circumstances, could be his own murderer?
“You learned this lesson quickly. You looked across Wilderness and you saw thousands upon thousands of them, their backs bent to the field, their legs spread to the ceiling, their mouths reciting scripture, their arms hammering steel … Thousands upon thousands of them, each one a small circle of repeating actions, each one a wheel in the great machine of nations …
“You understood that when men stop bowing, the emperor ceases to rule, that when the whips are thrown into the river, the slave ceases to serve. For an infant to be an emperor or a slave or a merchant or a whore or a general or whatever, those about him must act accordingly. And Men act as they believe.
“You saw them, in their thousands, spread across the world in great hierarchies, the actions of each exquisitely attuned to the expectations of others. The identity of Men, you discovered, was determined by the beliefs, the assumptions, of others. This is what makes them emperors or slaves … Not their gods. Not their blood.
“Nations live as Men act,” Moënghus said, his voice refracted through the ambient rush of waters. “Men act as they believe. And Men believe as they are conditioned. Since they are blind to their conditioning, they do not doubt their intuitions …”
Kellhus nodded in wary assent. “They believe absolutely,” he said. ~ R Scott Bakker
401:J’écris donc d’ici, de chez les invendues, les tordues, celles qui ont le crâne rasée, celles qui ne savent pas s’habiller, celles qui ont peur de puer, celles qui ont les chicots pourris, celles qui ne savent pas s’y prendre, celles à qui les hommes ne font pas de cadeau, celles qui baiseraient n’importe qui voulant bien d’elles, les grosses putes, les petites salopes, les femmes à chatte toujours sèche, celles qui ont un gros bides, celles qui voudraient être des hommes, celles qui se prennent pour des hommes, celles qui rêvent de faire hardeuses, celles qui n’en ont rien à foutre des mecs mais que leurs copines intéressent, celles qui ont un gros cul, celles qui ont les poils drus et bien noirs et qui ne vont pas se faire épiler, les femmes brutales, bruyantes, celles qui cassent tout sur leur passage, celles qui n’aiment pas les parfumeries, celles qui se mettent du rouge trop rouge, celles qui sont trop mal foutues pour pouvoir se saper comme des chaudasses mais qui en crèvent d’envie, celles qui veulent porter des fringues d’hommes et la barbe dans la rue, celles qui veulent tout montrer, celles qui sont pudiques par complexe, celles qui ne savent pas dire non, celles qu’on enferme pour les mater, celles qui font peur, celles qui font pitié, celles qui ne font pas envie, celles qui ont la peau flasque, des rides plein la face, celles qui rêvent de se faire lifter, liposucer, péter le nez pour le refaire mais qui n’ont pas l’argent pour le faire, celles qui ne ressemblent à rien, celles qui ne comptent que sur elles-mêmes pour se protéger, celles qui ne savent pas être rassurantes, celles qui s’en foutent de leurs enfants, celles qui aiment boire jusqu’à se vautrer par terre dans les bars, celles qui ne savent pas se tenir. ~ Virginie Despentes
402:Most striking about the traditional societies of the Congo was their remarkable artwork: baskets, mats, pottery, copper and ironwork, and, above all, woodcarving. It would be two decades before Europeans really noticed this art. Its discovery then had a strong influence on Braque, Matisse, and Picasso -- who subsequently kept African art objects in his studio until his death. Cubism was new only for Europeans, for it was partly inspired by specific pieces of African art, some of them from the Pende and Songye peoples, who live in the basin of the Kasai River, one of the Congo's major tributaries.

It was easy to see the distinctive brilliance that so entranced Picasso and his colleagues at their first encounter with this art at an exhibit in Paris in 1907. In these central African sculptures some body parts are exaggerated, some shrunken; eyes project, cheeks sink, mouths disappear, torsos become elongated; eye sockets expand to cover almost the entire face; the human face and figure are broken apart and formed again in new ways and proportions that had previously lain beyond sight of traditional European realism.

The art sprang from cultures that had, among other things, a looser sense than Islam or Christianity of the boundaries between our world and the next, as well as those between the world of humans and the world of beasts. Among the Bolia people of the Congo, for example, a king was chosen by a council of elders; by ancestors, who appeared to him in a dream; and finally by wild animals, who signaled their assent by roaring during a night when the royal candidate was left at a particular spot in the rain forest. Perhaps it was the fluidity of these boundaries that granted central Africa's artists a freedom those in Europe had not yet discovered. ~ Adam Hochschild
403:But what might a woman say about church as she? What might a woman say about the church as body and bride?

Perhaps she would speak of the way a regular body moves through the world—always changing, never perfect—capable of nurturing life, not simply through the womb, but through hands, feet, eyes, voice, and brain. Every part is sacred. Every part has a function.

Perhaps she would speak of impossible expectations and all the time she’s wasted trying to contort herself into the shape of those amorphous silhouettes that flit from magazines and billboards into her mind. Or of this screwed-up notion of purity as a status, as something awarded by men with tests and checklists and the power to give it and take it away.

Perhaps she would speak of the surprise of seeing herself—flaws and all—in the mirror on her wedding day. Or of the reality that with new life comes swollen breasts, dry heaves, dirty diapers, snotty noses, late-night arguments, and a whole army of new dangers and fears she never even considered before because life-giving isn’t nearly as glamorous as it sounds, but it’s a thousand times more beautiful.

Perhaps she would talk about being underestimated, about surprising people and surprising herself. Or about how there are moments when her own strength startles her, and moments when her weakness—her forgetfulness, her fear, her exhaustion—unnerve her.

Maybe she would tell of the time, in the mountains with bare feet on the ground, she stood tall and wise and felt every cell in her body smile in assent as she inhaled and exhaled and in one loud second realized, I’m alive! I’m enfleshed! only to forget it the next.

Or maybe she would explain how none of the categories created for her sum her up or capture her essence. ~ Rachel Held Evans
404:In Defense
You may say, if you please, Johnny Bull, that our girls
Are crazy to marry your dukes and your earls;
But I've heard that the maids of your own little isle
Greet bachelor lords with a favoring smile.
Nay, titles, 'tis said in defense of our fair,
Are popular here because popular there;
And for them our ladies persistently go
Because 'tis exceedingly English, you know.
Whatever the motive, you'll have to confess
The effort's attended with easy success;
And-pardon the freedom-'tis thought, over here,
'Tis mortification you mask with a sneer.
It's all very well, sir, your scorn to parade
Of the high nasal twang of the Yankee maid,
But, ah, to my lord when he dares to propose
No sound is so sweet as that 'Yes' from the nose.
Our ladies, we grant, walk alone in the street
(Observe, by-the-by, on what delicate feet!)
'Tis a habit they got here at home, where they say
The men from politeness go seldom astray.
Ah, well, if the dukes and the earls and that lot
Can stand it (God succor them if they cannot!)
Your commoners ought to assent, I am sure,
And what they 're not called on to suffer, endure.
''Tis nothing but money?' 'Your nobles are bought?'
As to that, I submit, it is commonly thought
That England's a country not specially free
Of Croesi and (if you'll allow it) Croesae.
You've many a widow and many a girl
With money to purchase a duke or an earl.
'Tis a very remarkable thing, you'll agree,
When goods import buyers from over the sea.
Alas for the woman of Albion's isle!
She may simper; as well as she can she may smile;
She may wear pantalettes and an air of repose
But my lord of the future will talk through his nose.
~ Ambrose Bierce
405:The advice process: From the start, make sure that all members of the organization can make any decision, as long as they consult with the people affected and the people who have expertise on the matter. If a new hire comes to you to approve a decision, refuse to give him the assent he is looking for. Make it clear that nobody, not even the founder, “approves” a decision in a self-managing organization. That said, if you are meaningfully affected by the decision or if you have expertise on the matter, you can of course share your advice. A conflict resolution mechanism: When there is disagreement between two colleagues, they are likely to send it up to you if you are the founder or CEO. Resist the temptation to settle the matter for them. Instead, it’s time to formulate a conflict resolution mechanism that will help them work their way through the conflict. (You might be involved later on if they can’t sort the issue out one-on-one and if they choose you as a mediator or panel member.) Peer-based evaluation and salary processes: Who will decide on the compensation of a new hire, and based on what process? Unless you consciously think about it, you might do it the traditional way: as a founder, you negotiate and settle with the new recruit on a certain package (and then probably keep it confidential). Why not innovate from the start? Give the potential hire information about other people’s salaries and let them peg their own number, to which the group of colleagues can then react with advice to increase or lower the number. Similarly, it makes sense right from the beginning to choose a peer-based mechanism for the appraisal process if you choose to formalize such a process. Otherwise, people will naturally look to you, the founder, to tell them how they are doing, creating a de facto sense of hierarchy within the team. ~ Frederic Laloux
406:Pour votre question concernant la vie du Prophète, la conception la plus orthodoxe est que l’impeccabilité appartient réellement à tous les prophètes, de sorte que, si même il se trouve dans leurs actions quelque chose qui peut sembler choquant, cela même doit s’expliquer par des raisons qui dépassent le point de vue de l’humanité ordinaire (à un degré moindre, cela s’applique aussi aux actions de tous ceux qui ont atteint un certain degré d’initiation). D’un autre côté, la mission d’un rasûl, par là même qu’elle s’adresse à tous les hommes indistinctement, implique une façon d’agir où n’apparaissent pas les réalisations d’ordre ésotérique (ce qui constitue d’ailleurs une sorte de sacrifice pour celui qui est revêtu de cette mission). C’est pourquoi certains disent aussi que ce qui serait le plus intéressant au point de vue initiatique, s’il était possible de le connaître exactement, c’est la période de la vie de Mohammed antérieure à la risâlah (et ceci s’applique également à la « vie cachée » du Christ par rapport à sa « vie publique » : ces deux expressions, en elles-mêmes, s’accordent du reste tout à fait avec ce que je viens de dire et l’indiquent presque explicitement). II est d’ailleurs bien entendu que les considérations historiques n’ont pas d’intérêt en elles-mêmes, mais seulement par ce qu’elles traduisent de certaines vérités doctrinales. Enfin, on ne peut pas négliger, dans une tradition qui forme nécessairement un tout, ce qui ne concerne pas directement la réalisation métaphysique (et il y a de tels éléments dans la tradition hindoue comme dans les autres, puisqu’elle implique aussi, par exemple, une législation) ; il faut plutôt s’efforcer de le comprendre par rapport à cette réalisation, ce qui revient en somme à en rechercher le « sens intérieur ».
Lettre de René Guénon à Louis Caudron d’Amiens, Le Caire, 22 mars 1936. ~ Ren Gu non
407:Origin of the Logical. Where has logic originated in men’s heads? Undoubtedly out of the illogical, the domain of which must originally have been immense. But numberless beings who reasoned otherwise than we do at present, perished; albeit that they may have come nearer to truth than we! Whoever, for example, could not discern the "like" often enough with regard to food, and with regard to animals dangerous to him, whoever, therefore, deduced too slowly, or was too circumspect in his deductions, had smaller probability of survival than he who in all similar cases immediately divined the equality. The preponderating inclination, however, to deal with the similar as the equal - an illogical inclination, for there is no thing equal in itself - first created the whole basis of logic. It was just so (in order that the conception of substance should originate, this being indispensable to logic, although in the strictest sense nothing actual corresponds to it) that for a long period the changing process in things had to be overlooked, and remain unperceived; the beings not seeing correctly had an advantage over those who saw everything "in flux." In itself every high degree of circumspection in conclusions, every sceptical inclination, is a great danger to life. No living being might have been preserved unless the contrary inclination - to affirm rather than suspend judgment, to mistake and fabricate rather than wait, to assent rather than deny, to decide rather than be in the right - had been cultivated with extraordinary assiduity. - The course of logical thought and reasoning in our modern brain corresponds to a process and struggle of impulses, which singly and in themselves are all very illogical and unjust; we experience usually only the result of the struggle, so rapidly and secretly does this primitive mechanism now operate in us. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
408:»Vermutlich ist Ihnen das Leben dieses afrikanischen Jungen egal. Wahrscheinlich erschrecken Sie jetzt viel mehr, wenn ich Ihnen verrate, dass das Fleisch auf Ihrem Porzellanteller kein Ibaiona-Schwein ist, sondern aus herkömmlicher Massentierhaltung stammt.« Auch wenn es kein Witz war, nutzten einige der Anwesenden den Moment für ein befreiendes Auflachen. »Ich bitte Sie, einmal den Teller zu heben.« Geschäftige Unruhe machte sich breit. Lautes Gemurmel brandete auf, als die Gäste ein Stück Papier fanden, das auf Wunsch Zaphires unter jedes Gedeck gelegt worden war. Lakonisch sagte er: »Was Sie jetzt in den Händen halten, ist ein Beipackzettel, wie er in Millionen von Medikamentenpackungen steckt. Und wie er jedem im Supermarkt gekauften Schnitzel beiliegen müsste: Tylosinphosphat, Olaquindox, Aminosidin, Clorsulon, Clavulansäure, Levamisol, Azaperon – die Liste ist endlos. Sogar Aspirin wurde von unserem Labor nachgewiesen. Und das ist ja auch ganz logisch.« Er räusperte sich und nippte kurz an dem bereitstehenden Wasserglas. »Wenn ich Sie hier alle anketten und in einem lichtlosen Raum auf wenigen Quadratmetern zusammenpferchen würde, wenn ich Ihnen wie den Schweinen im Stall unserer Fleischfabriken die Eckzähne herausbräche, damit Sie Ihren Platznachbarn nicht totbeißen können, und wenn ich Sie dann mit genmanipuliertem Billigfraß und Wachstumshormonen in Blitzgeschwindigkeit bis zur Schlachtreife hochmästen würde, die nebenbei bemerkt viele der Anwesenden hier im Saal schon längst überschritten haben, dann ist es klar, dass mein Massenmenschschlachtungs-Geschäftsmodell ohne Einsatz von Schmerzmitteln, Antibiotika, Psychopharmaka und Antiparasitika nicht auskommen könnte, ganz zu schweigen von den Tonnen an Sedativa, damit Sie auf dem Transport zum Schlachthof nicht randalieren, bevor ich Sie dort lebendig in ein Brühbad kippen kann.« ~ Sebastian Fitzek
409:No Black Robe, no marriage for your God. I am sure enough happy with a marriage my way.” With a determined glint in his eyes, he turned toward the crowd, raising his arms, and shouted something. Then he shrugged. “There. Suvate, it is finished. I have said my words. We are married.” Seizing her by the arm, he growled, “Keemah, come, wife.”
Loretta dug in with her heels. “No! Wait!”
He looked down at her, his vexation evident. “You will say the God words?”
Loretta didn’t see as how she had any choice. At least this way her marriage would be blessed by a priest, and she wouldn’t be living with Hunter in sin. “Y-yes, I’ll say the words.” Casting him a sideways glance, she said, “Can I have just a moment with the priest?”
“For why?”
“Just to ask him something.”
Hunter’s grip on her arm relaxed. “Namiso, hurry.”
Loretta cupped a hand over the priest’s ear and quickly whispered her request, then stepped back to Hunter’s side. The priest considered what she had said, then nodded. A moment later he blessed the young couple before him, and the ceremony began. The words bounced off the walls of Loretta’s mind, making no sense. Numbly she made her responses when she was instructed to. Then it came Hunter’s turn. The priest asked the usual question, adding at the end, “Forsaking all others, taking one wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Hunter, eyes narrowed suspiciously, shot Loretta a knowing look. For several long seconds he made no response, and she held her breath, her gaze locked with his. Then, with solemn sincerity, he inclined his head and replied, “I have spoken it.”
The priest, momentarily confused by the unusual response when he had expected an “I do,” sputtered a moment, seemed to consider, then nodded his assent and finished the ceremony. Loretta and Hunter were married, according to his beliefs and hers. ~ Catherine Anderson
410:On The Lord's Prayer
I have taught your young lips the good words to say over,
Which form the petition we call the Lord's Prayer,
And now let me help my dear child to discover
The meaning of all the good words that are there.
'Our Father,'-the same appellation is given
To a parent on earth, and the Parent of allO gracious permission! the God that's in heaven
Allows his poor creatures him Father to call.
To 'hallow his name,' is to think with devotion
Of it, and with reverence mention the same;
Though you are so young, you should strive for some notion
Of the awe we should feel at the Holy One's name.
His 'will done on earth, as it is done in heaven,'
Is a wish and a hope we are suffered to breathe
That such grace and favour to us may be given,
Like good angels on high we may live here beneath.
'Our daily bread give us,' your young apprehension
May well understand is to pray for our food;
Although we ask bread, and no other thing mention,
God's bounty gives all things sufficient and good.
You pray that your 'trespasses may be forgiven,
As you forgive those that are done unto you.'
Before this you say to the God that's in heaven,
Consider the words which you speak. Are they true?
If any one has in the past time offended
Us angry creatures who soon take offence,
These words in the prayer are surely intended
To soften our minds, and expel wrath from thence.
We pray that 'temptations may never assail us,'
And 'deliverance beg from all evil' we find:
But we never can hope that our prayer will avail us,
If we strive not to banish ill thoughts from our mind.
'For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever:' these titles are meant
To express God's dominion and majesty o'er ye:
And 'Amen' to the sense of the whole gives assent.
~ Charles Lamb

Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Tous deux adoraient la belle
Prisonnière des soldats
Lequel montait à l'échelle
Et lequel guettait en bas
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Qu'importe comment s'appelle
Cette clarté sur leur pas
Que l'un fut de la chapelle
Et l'autre s'y dérobât
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Tous les deux étaient fidèles
Des lèvres du coeur des bras
Et tous les deux disaient qu'elle
Vive et qui vivra verra
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Quand les blés sont sous la grêle
Fou qui fait le délicat
Fou qui songe à ses querelles
Au coeur du commun combat
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Du haut de la citadelle
La sentinelle tira
Par deux fois et l'un chancelle
L'autre tombe qui mourra
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Ils sont en prison Lequel
A le plus triste grabat
Lequel plus que l'autre gèle
Lequel préfère les rats
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Un rebelle est un rebelle
Deux sanglots font un seul glas
Et quand vient l'aube cruelle
Passent de vie à trépas
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Répétant le nom de celle
Qu'aucun des deux ne trompa
Et leur sang rouge ruisselle
Même couleur même éclat
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
Il coule il coule il se mêle
À la terre qu'il aima
Pour qu'à la saison nouvelle
Mûrisse un raisin muscat
Celui qui croyait au ciel
Celui qui n'y croyait pas
L'un court et l'autre a des ailes
De Bretagne ou du Jura
Et framboise ou mirabelle
Le grillon rechantera
Dites flûte ou violoncelle
Le double amour qui brûla
L'alouette et l'hirondelle
La rose et le réséda ~ Louis Aragon
412:Suponho que as nações foram por muito tempo como eu, que apenas se instruíram tarde, que durante séculos não se preocuparam senão com o momento presente, pouco com o passado e nada com o futuro. Andei quinhentas ou seiscentas léguas no Canadá; não encontrei um só monumento, ninguém ali sabe nada sobre o que fez o bisavô. Não seria este o estado natural do homem? A espécie humana deste continente parece-me superior à do outro. O seu ser tem aumentado de há muitos séculos para cá, graças às artes e aos conhecimentos. Será por terem barba na cara e Deus a ter negado aos americanos? Não o creio, porque os chineses não têm barba e cultivam as artes há mais de cinco mil anos. Com efeito, se eles têm mais de quatro mil anos de história, é necessário que a nação viva unida e florescente há mais de cinquenta séculos.

O que mais me impressiona nesta antiga história da China é que tudo nela seja verosímil e natural. Admiro-a por nada ter de maravilhoso.

Porque é que todas as nações se atribuem origens fabulosas? Os antigos cronistas da história da França, que ainda assim não são muito antigos, dizem que os franceses descendem de um Francus, filho de Heitor; os Romanos dizem-se originários de um frígio, conquanto não haja na língua deles uma só palavra que tenha a mais pequena relação com a língua frígia. Os deuses habitaram dez mil anos no Egipto e os diabos na Sítia, onde engendraram os Hunos.
Antes de Tucídides, não vejo senão romanos parecidos com o Amadis e muito menos divertidos do que ele. Por toda a parte há aparições, oráculos, metamorfoses, sonhos explicados, sobre que assenta o destino dos maiores impérios e dos mais pequenos Estados. Aqui há animais que falam, além animais que se adoram, deuses transformados em homens e homens transformados em deuses. Ah! Se temos de recorrer às fábulas, que essas fábulas sejam, pelo menos, o emblema da verdade! Gosto das fábulas dos filósofos, rio-me das fábulas das crianças e odeio as dos impostores. ~ Voltaire
413:Mais il est des gens qui croient que la fiction est limitée par la fiction, et non par l'intelligence ; c'est-à-dire qu'après avoir feint une chose, et avoir affirmé, par un acte libre de la volonté, l'existence de cette chose, déterminée d'une certaine manière dans la nature, il ne nous est plus possible de la concevoir autrement. Par exemple, après avoir feint (pour parler leur langage) que la nature du corps est telle ou telle, il ne m'est plus permis de feindre une mouche infinie ; après avoir feint l'essence de l'âme, il ne m'est plus permis d'en faire un carré, etc.
Cela a besoin d'être examiné. D'abord, ou bien ils nient, ou bien ils accordent que nous pouvons comprendre quelque chose. L'accordent-ils ; ce qu'ils disent de la fiction, ils devront nécessairement le dire aussi de l'intelligence. Le nient-ils ; voyons donc, nous qui savons que nous savons quelque chose, ce qu'ils disent. Or, voici ce qu'ils disent : l'âme est capable de sentir et de percevoir de plusieurs manières, non pas elle-même, non pas les choses qui existent, mais seulement les choses qui ne sont ni en elle-même ni ailleurs : en un mot, l'âme, par sa seule vertu, peut créer des sensations, des idées, sans rapport avec les choses, à ce point qu'ils la considèrent presque comme un dieu. Ils disent donc que notre âme possède une telle liberté qu'elle a le pouvoir et de nous contraindre et de se contraindre elle-même et de contraindre jusqu'à sa liberté elle-même. En effet, lorsque l'âme a feint quelque chose et qu'elle a donné son assentiment à cette fiction, il ne lui est plus possible de se représenter ou de feindre la même chose d'une manière différente ; et en outre, elle se trouve condamnée à se représenter toutes choses de façon qu'elles soient en accord avec la fiction primitive. C'est ainsi que nos adversaires se trouvent obligés par leur propre fiction d'accepter toutes les absurdités qu'on vient d'énumérer, et que nous ne prendrons pas la peine de combattre par des démonstrations . ~ Baruch Spinoza
414:Can I have just a moment with the priest?”
“For why?”
“Just to ask him something.”
Hunter’s grip on her arm relaxed. “Namiso, hurry.”
Loretta cupped a hand over the priest’s ear and quickly whispered her request, then stepped back to Hunter’s side. The priest considered what she had said, then nodded. A moment later he blessed the young couple before him, and the ceremony began. The words bounced off the walls of Loretta’s mind, making no sense. Numbly she made her responses when she was instructed to. Then it came Hunter’s turn. The priest asked the usual question, adding at the end, “Forsaking all others, taking one wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Hunter, eyes narrowed suspiciously, shot Loretta a knowing look. For several long seconds he made no response, and she held her breath, her gaze locked with his. Then, with solemn sincerity, he inclined his head and replied, “I have spoken it.”
The priest, momentarily confused by the unusual response when he had expected an “I do,” sputtered a moment, seemed to consider, then nodded his assent and finished the ceremony. Loretta and Hunter were married, according to his beliefs and hers. Hunter instructed his friends to return the priest to his mission, stressing that he would have their heads if the man didn’t arrive there unharmed. Then he sent Amy to his mother’s lodge. When everyone had been dispatched, he turned to Loretta, one dark eyebrow cocked, his indigo eyes twinkling with laughter.
“One wife and only one wife, forever with no horizon?”
Loretta’s gaze chased off, and her cheeks went scarlet. Clasping her hands behind her, she rocked back on her heels, then forward onto her toes, pursing her lips. “I told you, Hunter, I refuse to play second fiddle.”
He smiled--a slow, dangerous smile that made her nerves leap. His heated gaze drifted slowly down the length of her. He grasped her arm and led her toward his lodge. “Now you will show this Comanche how good you play number one fiddle, yes? ~ Catherine Anderson
415:Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...

...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
416:L'idée commune que les bonnes habitudes qui ne nous ont pas été inculquées de force dans notre prime enfance ne peuvent se développer en nous plus tard dans la vie est une idée avec laquelle nous avons été élevés et que nous acceptons aveuglément, tout simplement parce qu'elle n'a jamais été contestée. Pour ma part, je la renie.
La liberté est nécessaire à l'enfant parce que seule la liberté peut lui permettre de grandir naturellement -- de la bonne façon. Je vois les résultats de l'asservissement dans mes nouveaux élèves en provenance d'écoles secondaires de toutes sortes. Ils ne sont qu'un tas d'hypocrites, avec une fausse politesse et des manières affectées.
Leur réaction devant la liberté est rapide et exaspérante. Pendant les deux premières semaines ils tiennent les portes pour laisser passer leurs professeurs, ils m'appellent "Monsieur" et se lavent soigneusement. Ils regardent dans ma direction avec respect, ce que je reconnais facilement comme de la crainte. Après quelques semaines de liberté, ils montrent leur vrai visage. Ils deviennent impudents, sans manières, crasseux. Ils font toutes les choses qui leur ont été défendues dans le passé : ils jurent, ils fument, ils cassent des objets. Et pendant tout ce temps ils ont une expression polie et fausse dans les yeux et dans la voix.
Il leur faut dix mois pour perdre leur hypocrisie. Après cela ils perdent leur déférence envers ce qu'ils regardaient auparavant comme l'autorité. Au bout de dix mois environ, ce sont des enfants naturels et sains qui disent ce qu'ils pensent, sans rougir, ni haïr. Quand un enfant grandit librement dès son jeune âge, il n'a pas besoin de traverser ce stade de mensonge et de comédie. La chose la plus frappante à Summerhill, c'est la sincérité de ses élèves.
La question de sincérité dans la vie et vis-à-vis de la vie est primordiale. C'est ce qu'il y a de plus primordial au monde. Chacun réalise la valeur de la sincérité de la part de nos politiciens (tel est l'optimisme du monde), de nos juges, de nos magistrats, de nos professeurs, de nos médecins. Cependant, nous éduquons nos enfants de telle façon qu'ils n'osent être sincères. (p. 154-155) ~ A S Neill
417:Quand je considère ma vie, je suis épouvanté de la trouver informe. L'existence des héros, celle qu'on nous raconte, est simple ; elle va droit au but comme une flèche. Et la plupart des hommes aiment à résumer leur vie dans une formule, parfois dans une vanterie ou dans une plainte, presque toujours dans une récrimination ; leur mémoire leur fabrique complaisamment une existence explicable et claire. Ma vie a des contours moins fermes...
Le paysage de mes jours semble se composer, comme les régions de montagne, de matériaux divers entassés pêle-mêle. J'y rencontre ma nature, déjà composite, formée en parties égales d'instinct et de culture. Ça et là, affleurent les granits de l'inévitable ; partout, les éboulements du hasard. Je m'efforce de reparcourir ma vie pour y trouver un plan, y suivre une veine de plomb ou d'or, ou l'écoulement d'une rivière souterraine, mais ce plan tout factice n'est qu'un trompe-l'oeil du souvenir. De temps en temps, dans une rencontre, un présage, une suite définie d'événements, je crois reconnaître une fatalité, mais trop de routes ne mènent nulle part, trop de sommes ne s'additionnent pas. Je perçois bien dans cette diversité, dans ce désordre, la présence d'une personne, mais sa forme semble presque toujours tracée par la pression des circonstances ; ses traits se brouillent comme une image reflétée sur l'eau. Je ne suis pas de ceux qui disent que leurs actions ne leur ressemblent pas. Il faut bien qu'elles le fassent, puisqu'elles sont ma seule mesure, et le seul moyen de me dessiner dans la mémoire des hommes, ou même dans la mienne propre ; puisque c'est peut-être l'impossibilité de continuer à s'exprimer et à se modifier par l'action que constitue la différence entre l'état de mort et celui de vivant. Mais il y a entre moi et ces actes dont je suis fait un hiatus indéfinissable. Et la preuve, c'est que j'éprouve sans cesse le besoin de les peser, de les expliquer, d'en rendre compte à moi-même. Certains travaux qui durèrent peu sont assurément négligeables, mais des occupations qui s'étendirent sur toute la vie ne signifient pas davantage. Par exemple, il me semble à peine essentiel, au moment où j'écris ceci, d'avoir été empereur..." (p.214) ~ Marguerite Yourcenar
418:George A. Knight
Attorney Knight, it happens so sometimes
That lawyers, justifying cut-throats' crimes
For hire-calumniating, too, for gold,
The dead, dumb victims cruelly unsouled
Speak, through the press, to a tribunal far
More honorable than their Honors are,
A court that sits not with assenting smile
While living rogues dead gentleman revile,
A court where scoundrel ethics of your trade
Confuse no judgment and no cheating aid,
The Court of Honest Souls, where you in vain
May plead your right to falsify for gain,
Sternly reminded if a man engage
To serve assassins for the liar's wage,
His mouth with vilifying falsehoods crammed,
He's twice detestable and doubly damned!
Attorney Knight, defending Powell, you,
To earn your fee, so energetic grew
(So like a hound, the pride of all the pack,
Clapping your nose upon the dead man's track
To run his faults to earth-at least proclaim
At vacant holes the overtaken game)
That men who marked you nourishing the tongue,
And saw your arms so vigorously swung,
All marveled how so light a breeze could stir
So great a windmill to so great a whirr!
Little they knew, or surely they had grinned,
The mill was laboring to raise the wind.
Ralph Smith a 'shoulder-striker'! God, O hear
This hardy man's description of thy dear
Dead child, the gentlest soul, save only One,
E'er born in any land beneath the sun.
All silent benefactions still he wrought:
High deed and gracious speech and noble thought,
Kept all thy law, and, seeking still the right,
Upon his blameless breast received the light.
'Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints,' he cried
Whose wrath was deep as his comparison wide
Milton, thy servant. Nay, thy will be done:
To smite or spare-to me it all is one.
Can vengeance bring my sorrow to an end,
Or justice give me back my buried friend?
But if some Milton vainly now implore,
And Powell prosper as he did before,
Yet 'twere too much that, making no ado,
Thy saints be slaughtered and be slandered too.
So, Lord, make Knight his weapon keep in sheath,
Or do Thou wrest it from between his teeth!
~ Ambrose Bierce
419:Mais le premier de tous est un savant illustre, qui n'appartient pas seulement à la Bretagne, mais à la France, le célèbre voyageur en Égypte, M. Caillaud. Doué de l'esprit le plus sagace et le plus pénétrant, il a fait en histoire naturelle plusieurs découvertes, une surtout, des plus intéressantes, pour laquelle la Hollande lui a décerné, il y a peu d'années, un prix extraordinaire, la découverte du procédé de perforation des pholades. On avait jusqu'alors cru que les pholades, petits mollusques très-communs sur les côtes de Bretagne, employaient, pour percer le dur granit où elles vivent, un acide qu'elles distillaient à travers les valves de leur coquille. M. Caillaud eut des doutes à ce sujet: il recueillit, près du Pouliguen, des pholades attachées à des morceaux de roc (gneiss), les plaça dans un bocal d'eau de mer incessamment renouvelée, et attendit l'effet de leur travail. Huit jours, quinze jours se passèrent sans que les pholades donnassent signe de vie, lorsqu'une nuit il fut éveillé par un bruit de scie qui retentissait dans le bocal; il se lève, et, à la lueur d'une lampe, il voit un des petits animaux se tournant et se retournant à droite et à gauche, avec un mouvement régulier, à la manière d'une vrille qui perce un trou; puis, après un certain temps, la pholade s'arrête, et un jet de poussière fine obscurcit l'eau du bocal; c'était le résidu de son travail, la partie du roc pulvérisé où elle avait pénétré, dont elle se débarrassait et qu'elle chassait au dehors. Et tour à tour le savant, attentif et charmé, surprend une à une les pholades accomplissant leur patient ouvrage, et se creusant leur demeure, l'arrondissant et la polissant, comme avec la râpe la plus délicate, sans autre instrument que leur coquille; et cette coquille, au lieu de se détériorer par le frottement continu, se développe à mesure que le travail avance; à la scie qui s'use une autre scie s'ajoute, puis une troisième, une quatrième, et ainsi de suite jusqu'à quarante, que M. Caillaud a comptées, et avec lesquelles le petit animal, à force de tourner et retourner sa frêle enveloppe, cette coquille que la pression d'un doigt d'enfant suffirait à briser, perce à jour le granit sur lequel s'émousse un ciseau de fer! phénomène admirable qui confond la sagesse humaine, ~ Anonymous
420:Odio gli indifferenti. Credo che vivere voglia dire partecipare. Chi vive veramente non può non essere cittadino partecipe. L’indifferenza è abulia, è parassitismo, è vigliaccheria, non è vita. Perciò odio gli indifferenti.

L’indifferenza è il peso morto della storia. L’indifferenza opera potentemente nella storia. Opera passivamente, ma opera. È la fatalità; è ciò su cui non si può contare; è ciò che sconvolge i programmi, che rovescia i piani meglio costruiti; è la materia bruta che strozza l’intelligenza. Ciò che succede, il male che si abbatte su tutti, avviene perché la massa degli uomini abdica alla sua volontà, lascia promulgare le leggi che solo la rivolta potrà abrogare, lascia salire al potere uomini che poi solo un ammutinamento potrà rovesciare. Tra l’assenteismo e l’indifferenza poche mani, non sorvegliate da alcun controllo, tessono la tela della vita collettiva, e la massa ignora, perché non se ne preoccupa; e allora sembra sia la fatalità a travolgere tutto e tutti, sembra che la storia non sia altro che un enorme fenomeno naturale, un’eruzione, un terremoto del quale rimangono vittime tutti, chi ha voluto e chi non ha voluto, chi sapeva e chi non sapeva, chi era stato attivo e chi indifferente. Alcuni piagnucolano pietosamente, altri bestemmiano oscenamente, ma nessuno o pochi si domandano: se avessi fatto anch’io il mio dovere, se avessi cercato di far valere la mia volontà, sarebbe successo ciò che è successo?

Odio gli indifferenti anche per questo: perché mi dà fastidio il loro piagnisteo da eterni innocenti. Chiedo conto a ognuno di loro del come ha svolto il compito che la vita gli ha posto e gli pone quotidianamente, di ciò che ha fatto e specialmente di ciò che non ha fatto. E sento di poter essere inesorabile, di non dover sprecare la mia pietà, di non dover spartire con loro le mie lacrime.

Io partecipo, vivo, sento nelle coscienze della mia parte già pulsare l’attività della città futura che la mia parte sta costruendo. E in essa la catena sociale non pesa su pochi, in essa ogni cosa che succede non è dovuta al caso, alla fatalità, ma è intelligente opera dei cittadini. Non c’è in essa nessuno che stia alla finestra a guardare mentre i pochi si sacrificano, si svenano. Vivo, partecipo. Perciò odio chi non partecipa, odio gli indifferenti. ~ Antonio Gramsci
421:Cam let go of Evie and approached Sebastian as the room emptied. “You fight like a gentleman, my lord,” he commented.
Sebastian gave him a sardonic glance. “Why doesn’t that sound like a compliment?”
Sliding his hands into his pockets, Cam observed mildly, “You do well enough against a pair of drunken sots—”
“There were three to start with,” Sebastian growled.
Three drunken sots, then. But the next time you may not be so fortunate.”
“The next time? If you think I’m going to make a habit of this—”
“Jenner did,” Cam countered softly. “Egan did. Nearly every night there is some to-do in the alley, the stable yard, or the card rooms, after the guests have had hours of stimulation from gaming, spirits, and women. We all take turns dealing with it. And unless you care to get the stuffing knocked out of you on a weekly basis, you’ll need to learn a few tricks to put down a fight quickly. It causes less damage to you and the patrons, and keeps the police away.”
“If you’re referring to the kind of tactics used in rookery brawls, and quarrels over back-alley bobtails—”
“You’re not going for a half hour of light exercise at the pugilistic club,” Cam said acidly.
Sebastian opened his mouth to argue, but as he saw Evie drawing closer something changed in his face. It was a response to the anxiety that she couldn’t manage to hide. For some reason her concern gently undermined his hostility, and softened him. Looking from one to the other, Cam observed the subtle interplay with astute interest.
“Have you been hurt?” Evie asked, looking over him closely. To her relief, Sebastian appeared disheveled and riled, but free of significant damage.
He shook his head, holding still as she reached up to push back a few damp amber locks that were nearly hanging in his eyes. “I’m fine,” he muttered. “Compared to the drubbing I received from Westcliff, this was nothing.”
Cam interrupted firmly. “There are more drubbings in store, milord, if you won’t take a few pointers on how to fight.” Without waiting for Sebastian’s assent, he went to the doorway and called, “Dawson! Come back here for a minute. No, not for work. We need you to come take a few swings at St. Vincent.” He glanced back at Sebastian and remarked innocently, “Well, that got him. He’s hurrying over here. ~ Lisa Kleypas
422:began encouraging people to talk to me, even foes and former girlfriends. Nor did he try to put anything off-limits. “I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was twenty-three and the way I handled that,” he said. “But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.” He didn’t seek any control over what I wrote, or even ask to read it in advance. His only involvement came when my publisher was choosing the cover art. When he saw an early version of a proposed cover treatment, he disliked it so much that he asked to have input in designing a new version. I was both amused and willing, so I readily assented. I ended up having more than forty interviews and conversations with him. Some were formal ones in his Palo Alto living room, others were done during long walks and drives or by telephone. During my two years of visits, he became increasingly intimate and revealing, though at times I witnessed what his veteran colleagues at Apple used to call his “reality distortion field.” Sometimes it was the inadvertent misfiring of memory cells that happens to us all; at other times he was spinning his own version of reality both to me and to himself. To check and flesh out his story, I interviewed more than a hundred friends, relatives, competitors, adversaries, and colleagues. His wife also did not request any restrictions or control, nor did she ask to see in advance what I would publish. In fact she strongly encouraged me to be honest about his failings as well as his strengths. She is one of the smartest and most grounded people I have ever met. “There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” she told me early on. “You shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.” I leave it to the reader to assess whether I have succeeded in this mission. I’m sure there are players in this drama who will remember some of the events differently or think that I sometimes got trapped in Jobs’s distortion field. As happened when I wrote a book about Henry Kissinger, which in some ways was good preparation for this project, I found that people had such strong positive and negative emotions about Jobs that the Rashomon effect was often evident. ~ Walter Isaacson
423:The frequent hearing of my mistress reading
the bible--for she often read aloud when her
husband was absent--soon awakened my
curiosity in respect to this mystery of reading,
and roused in me the desire to learn. Having no
fear of my kind mistress before my eyes, (she
had given me no reason to fear,) I frankly asked
her to teach me to read; and without hesitation,
the dear woman began the task, and very soon,
by her assistance, I was master of the alphabet,
and could spell words of three or four
letters...Master Hugh was amazed at the
simplicity of his spouse, and, probably for the
first time, he unfolded to her the true philosophy
of slavery, and the peculiar rules necessary to
be observed by masters and mistresses, in the
management of their human chattels. Mr. Auld
promptly forbade the continuance of her
[reading] instruction; telling her, in the first
place, that the thing itself was unlawful; that it
was also unsafe, and could only lead to mischief.... Mrs. Auld evidently felt the force of
his remarks; and, like an obedient wife, began
to shape her course in the direction indicated by
her husband. The effect of his words, on me,
was neither slight nor transitory. His iron
sentences--cold and harsh--sunk deep into my
heart, and stirred up not only my feelings into a
sort of rebellion, but awakened within me a
slumbering train of vital thought. It was a new
and special revelation, dispelling a painful
mystery, against which my youthful
understanding had struggled, and struggled in
vain, to wit: the white man's power to perpetuate
the enslavement of the black man. "Very well,"
thought I; "knowledge unfits a child to be a
slave." I instinctively assented to the
proposition; and from that moment I understood
the direct pathway from slavery to freedom. This
was just what I needed; and got it at a time, and
from a source, whence I least expected it....
Wise as Mr. Auld was, he evidently underrated
my comprehension, and had little idea of the
use to which I was capable of putting the
impressive lesson he was giving to his wife....
That which he most loved I most hated; and the
very determination which he expressed to keep
me in ignorance, only rendered me the more
resolute in seeking intelligence. ~ Frederick Douglass
424:But this is not always the manner of the commencement. The sadhaka is often led gradually and there is a long space between the first turning of the mind and the full assent of the nature to the thing towards which it turns. There may at first be only a vivid intellectual interest, a forcible attraction towards the idea and some imperfect form of practice. Or perhaps there is an effort not favoured by the whole nature, a decision or a turn imposed by an intellectual influence or dictated by personal affection and admiration for someone who is himself consecrated and devoted to the Highest. In such cases, a long period of preparation may be necessary before there comes the irrevocable consecration; and in some instances it may not come. There may be some advance, there may be a strong effort, even much purification and many experiences other than those that are central or supreme; but the life will either be spent in preparation or, a certain stage having been reached, the mind pushed by an insufficient driving-force may rest content at the limit of the effort possible to it. Or there may even be a recoil to the lower life, - what is called in the ordinary parlance of Yoga a fall from the path. This lapse happens because there is a defect at the very centre. The intellect has been interested, the heart attracted, the will has strung itself to the effort, but the whole nature has not been taken captive by the Divine. It has only acquiesced in the interest, the attraction or the endeavour. There has been an experiment, perhaps even an eager experiment, but not a total self-giving to an imperative need of the soul or to an unforsakable ideal. Even such imperfect Yoga has not been wasted; for no upward effort is made in vain. Even if it fails in the present or arrives only at some preparatory stage or preliminary realisation, it has yet determined the soul's future.

But if we desire to make the most of the opportunity that this life gives us, if we wish to respond adequately to the call we have received and to attain to the goal we have glimpsed, not merely advance a little towards it, it is essential that there should be an entire self-giving. The secret of success in Yoga is to regard it not as one of the aims to be pursued in life, but as the one and only aim, not as an important part of life, but as the whole of life. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, Self-Consecration,
425:en vérité il est très agréable de se réunir, de s’asseoir et de bavarder des intérêts publics. Parfois même je suis prêt à chanter de joie, quand je rentre dans la société et vois des hommes solides, sérieux, très bien élevés, qui se sont réunis, parlent de quelque chose sans rien perdre de leur dignité. De quoi parlent-ils ? ça c’est une autre question. J’oublie même, parfois, de pénétrer le sens de la conversation, me contentant du tableau seul.
Mais jusqu’ici, je n’ai jamais pu pénétrer le sens de ce dont s’entretiennent chez nous les gens du monde qui n’appartiennent pas à un certain groupe. Dieu sait ce que c’est. Sans doute quelque chose de charmant, puisque ce sont des gens charmants. Mais tout cela paraît incompréhensible. On dirait toujours que la conversation vient de commencer ; comme si l’on accordait les instruments. On reste assis pendant deux heures et, tout ce temps, on ne fait que commencer la conversation. Parfois tous ont l’air de parler de choses sérieuses, de choses qui provoquent la réflexion. Mais ensuite, quand vous vous demandez de quoi ils ont parlé, vous êtes incapable de le dire : de gants, d’agriculture, ou de la constance de l’amour féminin ? De sorte que, parfois, je l’avoue, l’ennui me gagne. On a l’impression de rentrer par une nuit sombre à la maison en regardant tristement de côté et d’entendre soudain de la musique. C’est un bal, un vrai bal. Dans les fenêtres brillamment éclairées passent des ombres ; on entend des murmures de voix, des glissements de pas ; sur le perron se tiennent des agents. Vous passez devant, distrait, ému ; le désir de quelque chose s’est éveillé en vous. Il vous semble avoir entendu le battement de la vie, et, cependant, vous n’emportez avec vous que son pâle motif, l’idée, l’ombre, presque rien. Et l’on passe comme si l’on n’avait pas confiance. On entend autre chose. On entend, à travers les motifs incolores de notre vie courante, un autre motif, pénétrant et triste, comme dans le bal des Capulet de Berlioz. L’angoisse et le doute rongent votre coeur, comme cette angoisse qui est au fond du motif lent de la triste chanson russe :

Écoutez... d’autres sons résonnent.
Tristesse et orgie désespérées...
Est-ce un brigand qui a entonné, là-bas, la chanson ?
Ou une jeune fille qui pleure à l’heure triste des adieux ?
Non ; ce sont les faucheurs qui rentrent de leur travail...
Autour sont les forêts et les steppes de Saratov. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
426:Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last.- But perhaps thou art dissatisfied with that which is assigned to thee out of the universe.- Recall to thy recollection this alternative; either there is providence or atoms, fortuitous concurrence of things; or remember the arguments by which it has been proved that the world is a kind of political community, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps corporeal things will still fasten upon thee.- Consider then further that the mind mingles not with the breath, whether moving gently or violently, when it has once drawn itself apart and discovered its own power, and think also of all that thou hast heard and assented to about pain and pleasure, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee. ~ Marcus Aurelius
427:Political philosophers of the Enlightenment, from Hobbes and Locke, reaching down to John Rawls and his followers today, have found the roots of political order and the motive of political obligation in a social contract – an agreement, overt or implied, to be bound by principles to which all reasonable citizens can assent. Although the social contract exists in many forms, its ruling principle was announced by Hobbes with the assertion that there can be ‘no obligation on any man which ariseth not from some act of his own’.1 My obligations are my own creation, binding because freely chosen. When you and I exchange promises, the resulting contract is freely undertaken, and any breach does violence not merely to the other but also to the self, since it is a repudiation of a well-grounded rational choice. If we could construe our obligation to the state on the model of a contract, therefore, we would have justified it in terms that all rational beings must accept. Contracts are the paradigms of self-chosen obligations – obligations that are not imposed, commanded or coerced but freely undertaken. When law is founded in a social contract, therefore, obedience to the law is simply the other side of free choice. Freedom and obedience are one and the same. Such a contract is addressed to the abstract and universal Homo oeconomicus who comes into the world without attachments, without, as Rawls puts it, a ‘conception of the good’, and with nothing save his rational self-interest to guide him. But human societies are by their nature exclusive, establishing privileges and benefits that are offered only to the insider, and which cannot be freely bestowed on all-comers without sacrificing the trust on which social harmony depends. The social contract begins from a thought-experiment, in which a group of people gather together to decide on their common future. But if they are in a position to decide on their common future, it is because they already have one: because they recognize their mutual togetherness and reciprocal dependence, which makes it incumbent upon them to settle how they might be governed under a common jurisdiction in a common territory. In short, the social contract requires a relation of membership. Theorists of the social contract write as though it presupposes only the first-person singular of free rational choice. In fact, it presupposes a first-person plural, in which the burdens of belonging have already been assumed. ~ Roger Scruton
428:Amy was mentally packing for a midnight flight to the mail coach to Dover (plan C), when Jane’s gentle voice cut through the listing of ovine pedigrees.
"Such a pity about the tapestries," was all she said. Her voice was pitched low but somehow it carried over both the shouting men.
Amy glanced sharply at Jane, and was rewarded by a swift kick to the ankle. Had that been a ‘say something now!’ kick, or a ‘be quiet and sit still’ kick? Amy kicked back in inquiry. Jane put her foot down hard over Amy’s. Amy decided that could be interpreted as either ‘be quiet and sit still’ or ‘please stop kicking me now!'
Aunt Prudence had snapped out of her reverie with what was nearly an audible click. "Tapestries?" she inquired eagerly.
"Why, yes, Mama," Jane replied demurely. "I had hoped that while Amy and I were in France we might be granted access to the tapestries at the Tuilleries."
Jane’s quiet words sent the table into a state of electric expectancy. Forks hovered over plates in mid-air; wineglasses tilted halfway to open mouths; little Ned paused in the act of slipping a pea down the back of Agnes’s dress. Even Miss Gwen stopped glaring long enough to eye Jane with what looked more like speculation than rancour.
"Not the Gobelins series of Daphne and Apollo!" cried Aunt Prudence.
"But, of course, Aunt Prudence," Amy plunged in. Amy just barely restrained herself from turning and flinging her arms around her cousin. Aunt Prudence had spent long hours lamenting that she had never taken the time before the war to copy the pattern of the tapestries that hung in the Tuilleries Palace. "Jane and I had hoped to sketch them for you, hadn’t we, Jane?"
"We had," Jane affirmed, her graceful neck dipping in assent. "Yet if Papa feels that France remains unsafe, we shall bow to his greater wisdom."
At the other end of the table, Aunt Prudence was wavering. Literally. Torn between her trust in her husband and her burning desire for needlepoint patterns, she swayed a bit in her chair, the feather in her small silk turban quivering with her agitation.
"It surely can’t be as unsafe as that, can it, Bertrand?" She leant across the table to peer at her husband through eyes gone nearsighted from long hours over her embroidery frame.
"After all, if dear Edouard is willing to take responsibility for the girls…"
"Edouard will take very good care of us, I’m sure, Aunt Prudence! If you’ll just read his letter, you’ll see – ouch!" Jane had kicked her again. ~ Lauren Willig
429:they are acting all the while in the spirit of rajasic ahaṅkara, persuade themselves that God is working through them and they have no part in the action. This is because they are satisfied with the mere intellectual assent to the idea without waiting for the whole system and life to be full of it. A continual remembrance of God in others and renunciation of individual eagerness (spr.ha) are needed and a careful watching of our inner activities until God by the full light of self-knowledge, jñanadı̄pena bhasvata, dispels all further chance of self-delusion. The danger of tamogun.a is twofold, first, when the Purusha thinks, identifying himself with the tamas in him, "I am weak, sinful, miserable, ignorant, good-for-nothing, inferior to this man and inferior to that man, adhama, what will God do through me?" - as if God were limited by the temporary capacities or incapacities of his instruments and it were not true that he can make the dumb to talk and the lame to cross the hills, mūkaṁ karoti vacalaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim, - and again when the sadhak tastes the relief, the tremendous relief of a negative santi and, feeling himself delivered from all troubles and in possession of peace, turns away from life and action and becomes attached to the peace and ease of inaction. Remember always that you too are Brahman and the divine Shakti is working in you; reach out always to the realisation of God's omnipotence and his delight in the Lila. He bids Arjuna work lokasaṅgraharthaya, for keeping the world together, for he does not wish the world to sink back into Prakriti, but insists on your acting as he acts, "These worlds would be overpowered by tamas and sink into Prakriti if I did not do actions." To be attached to inaction is to give up our action not to God but to our tamasic ahaṅkara. The danger of the sattvagun.a is when the sadhak becomes attached to any one-sided conclusion of his reason, to some particular kriya or movement of the sadhana, to the joy of any particular siddhi of the yoga, perhaps the sense of purity or the possession of some particular power or the Ananda of the contact with God or the sense of freedom and hungers after it, becomes attached to that only and would have nothing else. Remember that the yoga is not for yourself; for these things, though they are part of the siddhi, are not the object of the siddhi, for you have decided at the beginning to make no claim upon God but take what he gives you freely and, as for the Ananda, the selfless soul will even forego the joy of God's presence, ... ~ Sri Aurobindo, Essays In Philosophy And Yoga,
430:I do not understand,”said Pierre, feeling with dismay doubts reawakening. He was afraid of any want of clearness, any weakness, in the Mason’s arguments; he dreaded not to be able to believe in him. “I don’t understand,”he said, “how it is that the mind of man cannot attain the knowledge of which you speak.”The Mason smiled with his gentle fatherly smile. “The highest wisdom and truth are like the purest liquid we may wish to imbibe,”he said. “Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure vessel and judge of its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself can I retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive.”“Yes, yes, that is so,”said Pierre joyfully. “The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those worldly sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into which intellectual knowledge is divided. The highest wisdom is one. The highest wisdom has but one science—the science of the whole—the science explaining the whole creation and man’s place in it. To receive that science it is necessary to purify and renew one’s inner self, and so before one can know, it is necessary to believe and to perfect one’s self. And to attain this end, we have the light called conscience that God has implanted in our souls.”“Yes, yes,”assented Pierre. “Look then at thy inner self with the eyes of the spirit, and ask thyself whether thou art content with thyself. What hast thou attained relying on reason only? What art thou? You are young, you are rich, you are clever, you are well educated. And what have you done with all these good gifts? Are you content with yourself and with your life?”“No, I hate my life,”Pierre muttered, wincing. “Thou hatest it. Then change it, purify thyself; and as thou art purified, thou wilt gain wisdom. Look at your life, my dear sir. How have you spent it? In riotous orgies and debauchery, receiving everything from society and giving nothing in return. You have become the possessor of wealth. How have you used it? What have you done for your neighbor? Have you ever thought of your tens of thousands of slaves? Have you helped them physically and morally? No! You have profited by their toil to lead a profligate life. That is what you have done. Have you chosen a post in which you might be of service to your neighbor? No! You have spent your life in idleness. Then you married, my dear sir—took on yourself responsibility for the guidance of a young woman; and what have you done? You have not helped her to find the way of truth, my dear sir, but have thrust her into an abyss of deceit and misery. A man offended you and you shot him, and you say you do not know God and hate your life. There is nothing strange in that, my dear sir! ~ Leo Tolstoy
431:The Trial By Existence

Even the bravest that are slain
Shall not dissemble their surprise
On waking to find valor reign,
Even as on earth, in paradise;
And where they sought without the sword
Wide fields of asphodel fore’er,
To find that the utmost reward
Of daring should be still to dare.

The light of heaven falls whole and white
And is not shattered into dyes,
The light for ever is morning light;
The hills are verdured pasture-wise;
The angel hosts with freshness go,
And seek with laughter what to brave;—
And binding all is the hushed snow
Of the far-distant breaking wave.

And from a cliff-top is proclaimed
The gathering of the souls for birth,
The trial by existence named,
The obscuration upon earth.
And the slant spirits trooping by
In streams and cross- and counter-streams
Can but give ear to that sweet cry
For its suggestion of what dreams!

And the more loitering are turned
To view once more the sacrifice
Of those who for some good discerned
Will gladly give up paradise.
And a white shimmering concourse rolls
Toward the throne to witness there
The speeding of devoted souls
Which God makes his especial care.

And none are taken but who will,
Having first heard the life read out
That opens earthward, good and ill,
Beyond the shadow of a doubt;
And very beautifully God limns,
And tenderly, life’s little dream,
But naught extenuates or dims,
Setting the thing that is supreme.

Nor is there wanting in the press
Some spirit to stand simply forth,
Heroic in its nakedness,
Against the uttermost of earth.
The tale of earth’s unhonored things
Sounds nobler there than ’neath the sun;
And the mind whirls and the heart sings,
And a shout greets the daring one.

But always God speaks at the end:
’One thought in agony of strife
The bravest would have by for friend,
The memory that he chose the life;
But the pure fate to which you go
Admits no memory of choice,
Or the woe were not earthly woe
To which you give the assenting voice.’

And so the choice must be again,
But the last choice is still the same;
And the awe passes wonder then,
And a hush falls for all acclaim.
And God has taken a flower of gold
And broken it, and used therefrom
The mystic link to bind and hold
Spirit to matter till death come.

‘Tis of the essence of life here,
Though we choose greatly, still to lack
The lasting memory at all clear,
That life has for us on the wrack
Nothing but what we somehow chose;
Thus are we wholly stripped of pride
In the pain that has but one close,
Bearing it crushed and mystified. ~ Robert Frost
432:You have to go rescue Gabe before he does something foolish. Chetwin is here and they’re near to coming to blows over that stupid race. They’re in the card room.”
“Oh, for God’s sake, I can’t believe Foxmoor invited that idiot.” He hurried off.
As soon as Oliver disappeared into the house, Celia and Minerva tugged Maria inside, grinning. “Hurry, before he gets back.”
They were met by Lord Gabriel and Lord Jarret, who strode up with several young men in tow.
“Lord Gabriel!” Maria exclaimed. “Your brother-“
“Yes, I know. And while he’s gone…”
He and Jarret introduced the other gentlemen to her. By the time Oliver returned, she’d promised dances to all of his brothers’ friends.
Oliver’s frown deepened as he saw Gabe standing there, blithe as could be. He raised an eyebrow at his sister. “Was running me off in search of Chetwin your idea of a joke?”
“I got confused, that’s all,” Celia said brightly. “We’ve been introducing Maria around while you were gone.”
“Thank you for making her feel welcome,” he said, though he eyed the other gentlemen warily. Then he held out his arm to Maria. “Come, my dear, let me introduce you to our hosts, so we can dance.”
“Sorry, old chap.” Gabe said, stepping between them, “but she’s already promised the first dance to me.”
Oliver’s gaze swung to her, dark and accusing, “You didn’t.”
She stared to feel guilty, then caught herself. What did she have to feel guilty about? He was the one who’d spent last night at a brothel. He was the one who’d been so caught up in his battle with his grandmother that he hadn’t even bothered to ask her for a dance. He’d just assumed that she would give him one, because he’d “paid” for her services. Well, a pox on him.
Meeting his gaze steadily, she thrust out her chin. “You never mentioned it. I had no idea you wanted the first dance.”
A black scowl formed on his brow. “Then I get the second dance.”
“I’m afraid that one’s mine,” Jarret put in. “Indeed, I believe Miss Butterfield is engaged for every single dance. Isn’t that right, gentlemen?”
A male swell of assent turned Oliver’s scowl into a glower. “The hell she is.”
Mrs. Plumtree slapped his arm with her fan. “Really, Oliver, you must watch your language around young ladies. This is a respectable gathering.”
“I don’t care. She’s my fi-“ He caught himself just in time. “Maria came with me. I deserve at least one dance.”
“Then perhaps you should have asked for one before she became otherwise engaged,” Celia said with a mischievous smile.
Gabe held out his arm to Maria. “Come, Miss Butterfield,” he said in an echo of his older brother’s words, “I’ll introduce you to our hosts.” As she took his arm, he grinned at Oliver. “You’d better start hoping you draw her name in the lottery for the supper waltz, old boy. Because that’s the only way you’re going to get to dance with her tonight. ~ Sabrina Jeffries
433:The God's View-Point
Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The wisest and the best of men,
Betook him to the place where sat
With folded feet upon a mat
Of precious stones beneath a palm,
In sweet and everlasting calm,
That ancient and immortal gent,
The God of Rational Content.
As tranquil and unmoved as Fate,
The deity reposed in state,
With palm to palm and sole to sole,
And beaded breast and beetling jowl,
And belly spread upon his thighs,
And costly diamonds for eyes.
As Chunder Sen approached and knelt
To show the reverence he felt;
Then beat his head upon the sod
To prove his fealty to the god;
And then by gestures signified
The other sentiments inside;
The god's right eye (as Chunder Sen,
The wisest and the best of men,
Half-fancied) grew by just a thought
More narrow than it truly ought.
Yet still that prince of devotees,
Persistent upon bended knees
And elbows bored into the earth,
Declared the god's exceeding worth,
And begged his favor. Then at last,
Within that cavernous and vast
Thoracic space was heard a sound
Like that of water underground
A gurgling note that found a vent
At mouth of that Immortal Gent
In such a chuckle as no ear
Had e'er been privileged to hear!
Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The wisest, greatest, best of men,
Heard with a natural surprise
That mighty midriff improvise.
And greater yet the marvel was
When from between those massive jaws
Fell words to make the views more plain
The god was pleased to entertain:
'Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,'
So ran the rede in speech of men
'Foremost of mortals in assent
To creed of Rational Content,
Why come you here to impetrate
A blessing on your scurvy pate?
Can you not rationally be
Content without disturbing me?
Can you not take a hint-a wink
Of what of all this rot I think?
Is laughter lost upon you quite,
To check you in your pious rite?
What! know you not we gods protest
That all religion is a jest?
You take me seriously?-you
About me make a great ado
(When I but wish to be alone)
With attitudes supine and prone,
With genuflexions and with prayers,
And putting on of solemn airs,
To draw my mind from the survey
Of Rational Content away!
Learn once for all, if learn you can,
This truth, significant to man:
A pious person is by odds
The one most hateful to the gods.'
Then stretching forth his great right hand,
Which shadowed all that sunny land,
That deity bestowed a touch
Which Chunder Sen not overmuch
Enjoyed-a touch divine that made
The sufferer hear stars! They played
And sang as on Creation's morn
When spheric harmony was born.
Cheeta Raibama Chunder Sen,
The most astonished man of men,
Fell straight asleep, and when he woke
The deity nor moved nor spoke,
But sat beneath that ancient palm
In sweet and everlasting calm.
~ Ambrose Bierce
434:Que signifie qu’il n’y pas une continuation de l’œuvre de René Guénon par consensus ? Je ne sais ce que font les Maçons guénoniens, mais je sais que le groupe soufique de Vâlsan correspond pleinement à tout ce que désirait Guénon ; quant à moi l’œuvre de Guénon en tant qu’ensemble indivisible ne me concerne pas puisque je n’en accepte pas tous les axiomes, et on ne peut en bonne logique me reprocher de ne pas avoir réalisé un programme que je n’ai jamais eu l’intention de réaliser. »

« On peut ironiser sur des « excommunications réciproques » quand il s’agit d’une secte intrinsèquement hétérodoxe, donc d’une caricature, – de mormons, de béhaïstes, d’anthroposophes – mais non quand il s’agit d’un milieu normal et honorable se référant à des vérités spirituelles ; dans ce dernier cas, même les anathèmes peuvent être honorables, et il y eut dans tous les climats, dans les premiers siècles du Christianisme aussi bien qu’aux débuts de l’Islam, et jusque dans les ordres monastiques et les confréries. « Les divergences des sages sont une bénédiction » disait le Prophète. Les guénoniens, dans leur ensemble sont des hommes respectables, et il faut respecter même leur divergences, lesquelles ne peuvent prêter au ridicule, ou plutôt au mépris, que dans les cas où un individu se mêle sottement ou effrontément des choses qui le dépassent ; or je revendique la plus rigoureuse honorabilité non seulement pour moi-même, mais aussi pour mon ancien adversaire Vâlsan, dont j’ai toujours respecté la position – ce fut celle de Guénon – et avec lequel j’ai eu de bons rapports jusqu’à sa mort, malgré nos divergences. Mais il va sans dire que je ne saurais revendiquer cette honorabilité pour des personnes, guénoniennes ou non, qui n’ont ni vertu ni bonne foi. »

« Vâlsan me disait une fois qu’il y a peu d’hommes intelligents parmi les guénoniens, quelqu’en puisse être la raison ; il parlait évidemment, non d’un groupe, mais de tous les guénoniens ; et il avait une certaine expérience de leur moyenne, comme je l’ai moi-même. Une des raisons de cet état de choses est la suivante : l’ésotérisme attire, non seulement les hommes d’élite mais aussi les médiocres souffrant de sentiments d’infériorité qu’ils cherchent à compenser par quelque sublimation ; et il y a ausi des psychopathes à la recherche soit d’un espace de rêve, soit d’un abri donnant un sentiment de sécurité. On ne peut pas empêcher que de tels hommes existent, mais ce n’est pas une raison pour être dupe de leur « orthodoxie », ni surtout de leur mythomanie. »

« J’ajouterai que Vâlsan fut la personnification du guénonisme intégral et inflexible, qu’il fut – lui seul – le « dauphin » de Guénon ; qu’il fut un homme fort intelligent et profondément spirituel, en sorte qu’il me fut possible d’avoir avec lui les meilleurs rapports, malgré nos divergences. C’est d’ailleurs sa paix avec moi, et son désir de m’avoir comme collaborateur à la revue, qui est le principal chef d’accusation de la part des sectaires de Turin ; »

[Frithjof Schuon – Lettre à Jean-Pierre Laurant (Pully avril 1976)] ~ Frithjof Schuon
435:Gramsci transformou a estratégia comunista, de um grosso amálgama de retórica e força bruta, numa delicada orquestração de influências sutis, penetrante como a Programação Neurolingüística e mais perigosa, a longo prazo, do que toda a artilharia do Exército Vermelho. Se Lênin foi o teórico do golpe de Estado, ele foi o estrategista da revolução psicológica que deve preceder e aplainar o caminho para o golpe de Estado. Gramsci estava particularmente impressionado com a violência das guerras que o governo revolucionário da Rússia tivera de empreender para submeter ao comunismo as massas recalcitrantes, apegadas aos valores e praxes de uma velha cultura. A resistência de um povo arraigadamente religioso e conservador a um regime que se afirmava destinado a beneficiá-lo colocou em risco a estabilidade do governo soviético durante quase uma década, fazendo com que, em reação, a ditadura do proletariado — na intenção de Marx uma breve transição para o paraíso da democracia comunista — ameaçasse eternizar-se, barrando o caminho a toda evolução futura do comunismo, como de fato veio a acontecer. Para contornar a dificuldade, Gramsci concebeu uma dessas idéias engenhosas, que só ocorrem aos homens de ação quando a impossibilidade de agir os compele a meditações profundas: amestrar o povo para o socialismo antes de fazer a revolução. Fazer com que todos pensassem, sentissem e agissem como membros de um Estado comunista enquanto ainda vivendo num quadro externo capitalista. Assim, quando viesse o comunismo, as resistências possíveis já estariam neutralizadas de antemão e todo mundo aceitaria o novo regime com a maior naturalidade. A estratégia de Gramsci virava de cabeça para baixo a fórmula leninista, na qual uma vanguarda organizadíssima e armada tomava o poder pela força, autonomeando-se representante do proletariado e somente depois tratando de persuadir os apatetados proletários de que eles, sem ter disto a menor suspeita, haviam sido os autores da revolução. A revolução gramsciana está para a revolução leninista assim como a sedução está para o estupro. Para operar essa virada, Gramsci estabeleceu uma distinção, das mais importantes, entre “poder” (ou, como ele prefere chamá-lo, “controle”) e “hegemonia”. O poder é o domínio sobre o aparelho de Estado, sobre a administração, o exército e a polícia. A hegemonia é o domínio psicológico sobre a multidão. A revolução leninista tomava o poder para estabelecer a hegemonia. O gramscismo conquista a hegemonia para ser levado ao poder suavemente, imperceptivelmente. Não é preciso dizer que o poder, fundado numa hegemonia prévia, é poder absoluto e incontestável: domina ao mesmo tempo pela força bruta e pelo consentimento popular — aquela forma profunda e irrevogável de consentimento que se assenta na força do hábito, principalmente dos automatismos mentais adquiridos que uma longa repetição torna inconscientes e coloca fora do alcance da discussão e da crítica. O governo revolucionário leninista reprime pela violência as idéias adversas. O gramscismo espera chegar ao poder quando já não houver mais idéias adversas no repertório mental do povo. ~ Olavo de Carvalho
436:I am first affrighted and confounded with that forelorn solitude, in which I am plac'd in my philosophy, and fancy myself some strange uncouth monster, who not being able to mingle and unite in society, has been expell'd all human commerce, and left utterly abandon'd and disconsolate. Fain wou'd I run into the crowd for shelter and warmth; but cannot prevail with myself to mix with such deformity. I call upon others to join me, in order to make a company apart; but no one will hearken to me. Every one keeps at a distance, and dreads that storm, which beats upon me from every side. I have expos'd myself to the enmity of all metaphysicians, logicians, mathematicians, and even theologians; and can I wonder at the insults I must suffer? I have declar'd my disapprobation of their systems; and can I be surpriz'd, if they shou'd express a hatred of mine and of my person? When I look abroad, I foresee on every side, dispute, contradiction, anger, calumny and detraction. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. All the world conspires to oppose and contradict me; tho' such is my weakness, that I feel all my opinions loosen and fall of themselves, when unsupported by the approbation of others. Every step I take is with hesitation, and every new reflection makes me dread an error and absurdity in my reasoning.
For with what confidence can I venture upon such bold enterprises, when beside those numberless infirmities peculiar to myself, I find so many which are common to human nature? Can I be sure, that in leaving all established opinions I am following truth; and by what criterion shall I distinguish her, even if fortune shou'd at last guide me on her foot-steps? After the most accurate and exact of my reasonings, I can give no reason why I shou'd assent to it; and feel nothing but a strong propensity to consider objects strongly in that view, under which they appear to me. Experience is a principle, which instructs me in the several conjunctions of objects for the past. Habit is another principle, which determines me to expect the same for the future; and both of them conspiring to operate upon the imagination, make me form certain ideas in a more intense and lively manner, than others, which are not attended with the same advantages. Without this quality, by which the mind enlivens some ideas beyond others (which seemingly is so trivial, and so little founded on reason) we cou'd never assent to any argument, nor carry our view beyond those few objects, which are present to our senses. Nay, even to these objects we cou'd never attribute any existence, but what was dependent on the senses; and must comprehend them entirely in that succession of perceptions, which constitutes our self or person. Nay farther, even with relation to that succession, we cou'd only admit of those perceptions, which are immediately present to our consciousness, nor cou'd those lively images, with which the memory presents us, be ever receiv'd as true pictures of past perceptions. The memory, senses, and understanding are, therefore, all of them founded on the imagination, or the vivacity of our ideas. ~ David Hume
437:The Van Nessiad
From end to end, thine avenue, Van Ness,
Rang with the cries of battle and distress!
Brave lungs were thundering with dreadful sound
And perspiration smoked along the ground!
Sing, heavenly muse, to ears of mortal clay,
The meaning, cause and finish of the fray.
Great Porter Ashe (invoking first the gods,
Who signed their favor with assenting nods
That snapped off half their heads-their necks grown dry
Since last the nectar cup went circling by)
Resolved to build a stable on his lot,
His neighbors fiercely swearing he should not.
Said he: 'I build that stable!' 'No, you don't,'
Said they. 'I can!' 'You can't!' 'I will!' 'You won't!'
'By heaven!' he swore; 'not only will I build,
But purchase donkeys till the place is filled!'
'Needless expense,' they sneered in tones of ice
'The owner's self, if lodged there, would suffice.'
For three long months the awful war they waged:
With women, women, men with men engaged,
While roaring babes and shrilling poodles raged!
Jove, from Olympus, where he still maintains
His ancient session (with rheumatic pains
Touched by his long exposure) marked the strife,
Interminable but by loss of life;
For malediction soon exhausts the breath
If not, old age itself is certain death.
Lo! he holds high in heaven the fatal beam;
A golden pan depends from each, extreme;
This feels of Porter's fate the downward stress,
That bears the destiny of all Van Ness.
Alas! the rusted scales, their life all gone,
Deliver judgment neither pro nor con:
The dooms hang level and the war goes on.
With a divine, contemptuous disesteem
Jove dropped the pans and kicked, himself, the beam:
Then, to decide the strife, with ready wit,
The nickel that he did not care for it
Twirled absently, remarking: 'See it spin:
Head, Porter loses; tail, the others win.'
The conscious nickel, charged with doom, spun round,
Portentously and made a ringing sound,
Then, staggering beneath its load of fate,
Sank rattling, died at last and lay in state.
Jove scanned the disk and then, as is his wont,
Raised his considering orbs, exclaiming: 'Front!'
With leisurely alacrity approached
The herald god, to whom his mind he broached:
'In San Francisco two belligerent Powers,
Such as contended round great Ilion's towers,
Fight for a stable, though in either class
There's not a horse, and but a single ass.
Achilles Ashe, with formidable jaw
Assails a Trojan band with fierce hee-haw,
Firing the night with brilliant curses. They
With dark vituperation gloom the day.
Fate, against which nor gods nor men compete,
Decrees their victory and his defeat.
With haste, good Mercury, betake thee hence
And salivate him till he has no sense!'
Sheer downward shot the messenger afar,
Trailing a splendor like a falling star!
With dimming lustre through the air he burned,
Vanished, nor till another sun returned.
The sovereign of the gods superior smiled,
Beaming benignant, fatherly and mild:
'Is Destiny's decree performed, my lad?
And has he now no sense?' 'Ah, sire, he never had.'
~ Ambrose Bierce
438:May I inquire what is the point?” he snapped impatiently.
“Indeed you may,” Lucinda said, thinking madly for some way to prod him into remembering his long-ago desire for Elizabeth and to prick his conscience. “The point is that I am well apprised of all that transpired between Elizabeth and yourself when you were last together. I, however,” she decreed grandly, “am inclined to place the blame for your behavior not on a lack of character, but rather a lack of judgment.” He raised his brows but said nothing. Taking his silence as assent, she reiterated meaningfully, “A lack of judgment on both your parts.”
Really?” he drawled.
“Of course,” she said, reaching out and brushing the dust from the back of a chair, then rubbing her fingers together and grimacing with disapproval. “What else except lack of judgment could have caused a seventeen-year-old girl to rush to the defense of a notorious gambler and bring down censure upon herself for doing it?”
“What indeed?” he asked with growing impatience.
Lucinda dusted off her hands, avoiding his gaze. “Who can possibly know except you and she? No doubt it was the same thing that prompted her to remain in the woodcutter’s cottage rather than leaving it the instant she discovered your presence.” Satisfied that she’d done the best she was able to on that score, she became brusque again-an attitude that was more normal and, therefore, far more convincing. “In any case, that is all water under the bridge. She has paid dearly for her lack of judgment, which is only right, and even though she is now in the most dire straits because of it, that, too, is justice.”
She smiled to herself when his eyes narrowed with what she hoped was guilt, or at least concern. His next words disabused her of that hope: “Madam, I do not have all day to waste in aimless conversation. If you have something to say, say it and be done!”
“Very well,” Lucinda said, gritting her teeth to stop herself from losing control of her temper. “My point is that it is my duty, my obligation to see to Lady Cameron’s physical well-being as well as to chaperon her. In this case, given the condition of your dwelling, the former obligation seems more pressing than the latter, particularly since it is obvious to me that the two of you are not in the least need of a chaperon to keep you from behaving with impropriety. You may need a referee to keep you from murdering each other, but a chaperon is entirely superfluous. Therefore, I feel duty-bound to now ensure that adequate servants are brought here at once. In keeping with that, I would like your word as a gentleman not to abuse her verbally or physically while I am gone. She has already been ill-used by her uncle. I will not permit anyone else to make this terrible time in her life more difficult than it already is.”
“Exactly what,” Ian asked in spite of himself, “do you mean by a ‘terrible time’?”
“I am not at liberty to discuss that, of course,” she said, fighting to keep her triumph from her voice. “I am merely concerned that you behave as a gentleman. Will you give me your word?”
Since Ian had no intention of laying a finger on her, or even spending time with her, he didn’t hesitate to nod. “She’s perfectly safe from me.”
“That is exactly what I hoped to hear,” Lucinda lied ruthlessly. ~ Judith McNaught
439:If this is the truth of works, the first thing the sadhaka has to do is to recoil from the egoistic forms of activity and get rid of the sense of an "I" that acts. He has to see and feel that everything happens in him by the plastic conscious or subconscious or sometimes superconscious automatism of his mental and bodily instruments moved by the forces of spiritual, mental, vital and physical Nature. There is a personality on his surface that chooses and wills, submits and struggles, tries to make good in Nature or prevail over Nature, but this personality is itself a construction of Nature and so dominated, driven, determined by her that it cannot be free. It is a formation or expression of the Self in her, - it is a self of Nature rather than a self of Self, his natural and processive, not his spiritual and permanent being, a temporary constructed personality, not the true immortal Person. It is that Person that he must become. He must succeed in being inwardly quiescent, detach himself as the observer from the outer active personality and learn the play of the cosmic forces in him by standing back from all blinding absorption in its turns and movements. Thus calm, detached, a student of himself and a witness of his nature, he realises that he is the individual soul who observes the works of Nature, accepts tranquilly her results and sanctions or withholds his sanction from the impulse to her acts. At present this soul or Purusha is little more than an acquiescent spectator, influencing perhaps the action and development of the being by the pressure of its veiled consciousness, but for the most part delegating its powers or a fragment of them to the outer personality, - in fact to Nature, for this outer self is not lord but subject to her, anı̄sa; but, once unveiled, it can make its sanction or refusal effective, become the master of the action, dictate sovereignly a change of Nature. Even if for a long time, as the result of fixed association and past storage of energy, the habitual movement takes place independent of the Purusha's assent and even if the sanctioned movement is persistently refused by Nature for want of past habit, still he will discover that in the end his assent or refusal prevails, - slowly with much resistance or quickly with a rapid accommodation of her means and tendencies she modifies herself and her workings in the direction indicated by his inner sight or volition. Thus he learns in place of mental control or egoistic will an inner spiritual control which makes him master of the Nature-forces that work in him and not their unconscious instrument or mechanic slave. Above and around him is the Shakti, the universal Mother and from her he can get all his inmost soul needs and wills if only he has a true knowledge of her ways and a true surrender to the divine Will in her. Finally, he becomes aware of that highest dynamic Self within him and within Nature which is the source of all his seeing and knowing, the source of the sanction, the source of the acceptance, the source of the rejection. This is the Lord, the Supreme, the One-in-all, Ishwara-Shakti, of whom his soul is a portion, a being of that Being and a power of that Power. The rest of our progress depends on our knowledge of the ways in which the Lord of works manifests his Will in the world and in us and executes them through the transcendent and universal Shakti. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Supreme Will, 216,
Si vous voulez. De quoi parlerons-nous ?

De quoi ? Rêvons ensemble... par exemple de la vie telle qu’elle sera après nous, dans deux ou trois cents ans.

Eh bien, après nous on s’envolera en ballon, on changera la coupe des vestons, on découvrira peut-être un sixième sens, qu’on développera, mais la vie restera la même, un vie difficile, pleine de mystère, et heureuse. Et dans mille ans, l’homme soupirera comme aujourd’hui : « Ah ! qu’il est difficile de vivre ! » Et il aura toujours peur de la mort et ne voudra pas mourir.

VERCHININE, après avoir réfléchi.
Comment vous expliquer ? Il me semble que tout va se transformer peu à peu, que le changement s’accomplit déjà, sous nos yeux. Dans deux ou trois cents ans, dans mille ans peut-être, peu importe le délai, s’établira une vie nouvelle, heureuse. Bien sûr, nous ne serons plus là, mais c’est pour cela que nous vivons, travaillons, souffrons enfin, c’est nous qui la créons, c’est même le seul but de notre existence, et si vous voulez, de notre bonheur.

Macha rit doucement.

Pourquoi riez-vous ?

Je ne sais pas. Je ris depuis ce matin.

J’ai fait les mêmes études que vous, je n’ai pas été à l’Académie militaire. Je lis beaucoup, mais je ne sais pas choisir mes lectures, peut-être devrais-je lire tout autre chose ; et cependant, plus je vis, plus j’ai envie de savoir. Mes cheveux blanchissent, bientôt je serai vieux, et je ne sais que peu, oh ! très peu de chose. Pourtant, il me semble que je sais l’essentiel, et que je le sais avec certitude. Comme je voudrais vous prouver qu’il n’y a pas, qu’il ne doit pas y avoir de bonheur pour nous, que nous ne le connaîtrons jamais... Pour nous, il n’y a que le travail, rien que le travail, le bonheur, il sera pour nos lointains descendants. (Un temps.) Le bonheur n’est pas pour moi, mais pour les enfants de mes enfants.

Alors, d’après vous, il ne faut même pas rêver au bonheur ? Mais si je suis heureux ?


TOUZENBACH, joignant les mains et riant.
Visiblement, nous ne nous comprenons pas. Comment vous convaincre ? (Macha rit doucement. Il lui montre son index.) Eh bien, riez ! (À Verchinine :) Non seulement dans deux ou trois cents ans, mais dans un million d’années, la vie sera encore la même ; elle ne change pas, elle est immuable, conforme à ses propres lois, qui ne nous concernent pas, ou dont nous ne saurons jamais rien. Les oiseaux migrateurs, les cigognes, par exemple, doivent voler, et quelles que soient les pensées, sublimes ou insignifiantes, qui leur passent par la tête, elles volent sans relâche, sans savoir pourquoi, ni où elles vont. Elles volent et voleront, quels que soient les philosophes qu’il pourrait y avoir parmi elles ; elles peuvent toujours philosopher, si ça les amuse, pourvu qu’elles volent...

Tout de même, quel est le sens de tout cela ?

Le sens... Voilà, il neige. Où est le sens ?

Il me semble que l’homme doit avoir une foi, du moins en chercher une, sinon sa vie est complètement vide... Vivre et ignorer pourquoi les cigognes volent, pourquoi les enfants naissent, pourquoi il y a des étoiles au ciel... Il faut savoir pourquoi l’on vit, ou alors tout n’est que balivernes et foutaises.
Comme dit Gogol : « Il est ennuyeux de vivre en ce monde, messieurs. » ~ Anton Chekhov
441:Eclogue Of The Shepherd And The Townie
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
442:To “Who would not be a poet?” thus I read
In thy proud sonnet, my poetic friend;
And unto this my full assent was given:
“There is not, cannot be, under all heaven,
Aught happier in itself than the witch, poetry.”
But “Who’d not be a poet?” here I pause
Forebodingly, my poet-friend,—because
“To see all beauty with his gifted sight,”
To love, like him, with all the soul,
To be, when life is morning-bright
The very creature of delight,—
Delight beyond control,—
Is still to be, in like degree,
Too sensible of misery
And loss and slight, and all the weeping shapes of dole.
And this is truth too, that with saddened heart
Oft must he from his fellows live apart;
For how can men whose every breath of life
Is drawn in the hot air, and mid the strife
Of pettiest interest, have a kindred heart
With him who hath built heavenward and apart
The structures of his mind, and looking thence
Over this world-thronged universe immense,
Is wont all such embroilments to deplore
As light-obscuring vapours—nothing more?
What ladder of experience can they build,
To mount with—up, into a nature filled
With beauty, or by mighty truths inspired,
Or one even with a bold ambition fired?
But least of all in such men can there be
Devotions chiming into sympathy
With some pure soul, unsuccoured and alone,
Struggled in weariness unwearied on—
Unwearied, day and night, and night and day,
Towards the far Mecca of its faith always.
Yet thus the poet, armed only with the right,
To life’s dishonest battle oft must come,
To front instead of valour, mean despite,
With envy aye in emulation’s room,
Blotting heaven’s sacred light!
To see unblushing fortune’s minions doom
To obloguy, through some repute unholy,
Or to some vile and miserable estate,
All such as would not trample on the lowly,
And basely glorify the falsely great.
Yet if a thought like this
Should mar at times they tuneful bliss,
Stronger within thine earnest will
Be the spirit of sone, that still
Thou mayest sing of eloquent eyes
That are of sunny thoughts the every sunny skies;
Sweet dreams that swarm round honeyed lips,
Like honey-loving bees;
Glad birds, fresh flowers, clear streams, and trees
All starry bright with golden pips;
Or with a loud bold chime,
Sing of that braver time,
When world-wide justice from her Alpine chair
Shall read at length in the rich reddening skies
The gospel of her advent, and declare
The sacred sign of her epiphany there,
Amid the purple dyes;
While all true men, the bravely wise,
Shall seek her there with fearless feet and free
Where the prophet-peaks arise
Out of the shattering mist, the phantom sea
Of old iniquity!
Through dense and rare, shall seek her there,
Breathing with lion-lungs the clear keen mountain air
Of a supreme up-climbing, God-great liberty.
Then envy not the splendid wretchedness
Of Mammon’s dupes! Sing thy great rhymes
For those diviner spiritual times
Our country yet shall know, and, wisely knowing, bless.
Downward, through the blooming roofage
Of a lonely forest bower,
Come the yellow sunbeams,—falling
Like a burning shower:
So through heaven’s starry ceiling
To the hermit soul’s abode,
Comes the Holy Spirit,—earthward
Raying down from God.
~ Charles Harpur
   Sweet Mother, how can one feel the divine Presence constantly?

Why not?

   But how can one do it?

But I am asking why one should not feel it. Instead of asking the question how to feel it, I ask the question: "What do you do that you don't feel it?" There is no reason not to feel the divine Presence. Once you have felt it, even once, you should be capable of feeling it always, for it is there. It is a fact. It is only our ignorance which makes us unaware of it. But if we become conscious, why should we not always be conscious? Why forget something one has learnt? When one has had the experience, why forget it? It is simply a bad habit, that's all.
   You see, there is something which is a fact, that's to say, it is. But we are unaware of it and do not know it. But after we become conscious and know it, why should we still forget it? Does it make sense? It's quite simply because we are not convinced that once one has met the Divine one can't forget Him any more. We are, on the contrary, full of stupid ideas which say, "Oh! Yes, it's very well once like that, but the rest of the time it will be as usual." So there is no reason why it may not begin again.
   But if we know that... we did not know something, we were ignorant, then the moment we have the knowledge... I am sincerely asking how one can manage to forget. One might not know something, that is a fact; there are countless things one doesn't know. But the moment one knows them, the minute one has the experience, how can one manage to forget? Within yourself you have the divine Presence, you know nothing about it - for all kinds of reasons, but still the chief reason is that you are in a state of ignorance. Yet suddenly, by a clicking of circumstances, you become conscious of this divine Presence, that is, you are before a fact - it is not imagination, it is a fact, it's something which exists. Then how do you manage to forget it once you have known it?
   It is because something in us, through cowardice or defeatism, accepts this. If one did not accept it, it wouldn't happen.
   Even when everything seems to be suddenly darkened, the flame and the Light are always there. And if one doesn't forget them, one has only to put in front of them the part which is dark; there will perhaps be a battle, there will perhaps be a little difficulty, but it will be something quite transitory; never will you lose your footing. That is why it is said - and it is something true - that to sin through ignorance may have fatal consequences, because when one makes mistakes, well, these mistakes have results, that's obvious, and usually external and material results; but that's no great harm, I have already told you this several times. But when one knows what is true, when one has seen and had the experience of the Truth, to accept the sin again, that is, fall back again into ignorance and obscurity - this is indeed an infinitely more serious mistake. It begins to belong to the domain of ill-will. In any case, it is a sign of slackness and weakness. It means that the will is weak.
   So your question is put the other way round. Instead of asking yourself how to keep it, you must ask yourself: how does one not keep it? Not having it, is a state which everybody is in before the moment of knowing; not knowing - one is in that state before knowing. But once one knows one cannot forget. And if one forgets, it means that there is something which consents to the forgetting, it means there is an assent somewhere; otherwise one would not forget.
   ~ The Mother, Questions And Answers 1955, 403,405,406,
444:J’ai d’ailleurs un ami qui, ces jours-ci, m’a affirmé que nous ne savons même pas être paresseux. Il prétend que nous paressons lourdement, sans plaisir, ni béatitude, que notre repos est fiévreux, inquiet, mécontent ; qu’en même temps que la paresse, nous gardons notre faculté d’analyse, notre opinion sceptique, une arrière-pensée, et toujours sur les bras une affaire courante, éternelle, sans fin. Il dit encore que nous nous préparons à être paresseux et à nous reposer comme à une affaire dure et sérieuse et que, par exemple, si nous voulons jouir de la nature, nous avons l’air d’avoir marqué sur notre calendrier, encore la semaine dernière, que tel et tel jour, à telle et telle heure, nous jouirons de la nature. Cela me rappelle beaucoup cet Allemand ponctuel qui, en quittant Berlin, nota tranquillement sur son carnet. « En passant à Nuremberg ne pas oublier de me marier. » Il est certain que l’Allemand avait, avant tout, dans sa tête, un système, et il ne sentait pas l’horreur du fait, par reconnaissance pour ce système. Mais il faut bien avouer que dans nos actes à nous, il n’y a même aucun système. Tout se fait ainsi comme par une fatalité orientale. Mon ami a raison en partie. Nous semblons traîner notre fardeau de la vie par force, par devoir, mais nous avons honte d’avouer qu’il est au-dessus de nos forces, et que nous sommes fatigués. Nous avons l’air, en effet, d’aller à la campagne pour nous reposer et jouir de la nature. Regardez avant tout les bagages rien laissé de ce qui est usé, de ce qui a servi l’hiver, au contraire, nous y avons ajouté des choses nouvelles. Nous vivons de souvenirs et l’ancien potin et la vieille affaire passent pour neufs. Autrement c’est ennuyeux ; autrement il faudra jouer au whist avec l’accompagnement du rossignol et à ciel ouvert. D’ailleurs, c’est ce qui se fait. En outre, nous ne sommes pas bâtis pour jouir de la nature ; et, en plus, notre nature, comme si elle connaissait notre caractère, a oublié de se parer au mieux. Pourquoi, par exemple, est-elle si développée chez nous l’habitude très désagréable de toujours contrôler, éplucher nos impressions – souvent sans aucun besoin – et, parfois même, d’évaluer le plaisir futur, qui n’est pas encore réalisé, de le soupeser, d’en être satisfait d’avance en rêve, de se contenter de la fantaisie et, naturellement, après, de n’être bon à rien pour une affaire réelle ? Toujours nous froisserons et déchirerons la fleur pour sentir mieux son parfum, et ensuite nous nous révolterons quand, au lieu de parfum, il ne restera plus qu’une fumée. Et cependant, il est difficile de dire ce que nous deviendrions si nous n’avions pas au moins ces quelques jours dans toute l’année et si nous ne pouvions satisfaire par la diversité des phénomènes de la nature notre soif éternelle, inextinguible de la vie naturelle, solitaire. Et enfin, comment ne pas tomber dans l’impuissance en cherchant éternellement des impressions, comme la rime pour un mauvais vers, en se tourmentant de la soif d’activité extérieure, en s’effrayant enfin, jusqu’à en être malade, de ses propres illusions, de ses propres chimères, de sa propre rêverie et de tous ces moyens auxiliaires par lesquels, en notre temps, on tâche, n’importe comment, de remplir le vide de la vie courante incolore.
Et la soif d’activité arrive chez nous jusqu’à l’impatience fébrile. Tous désirent des occupations sérieuses, beaucoup avec un ardent désir de faire du bien, d’être utiles, et, peu à peu, ils commencent déjà à comprendre que le bonheur n’est pas dans la possibilité sociale de ne rien faire, mais dans l’activité infatigable, dans le développement et l’exercice de toutes nos facultés. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
445:Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?”
“I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.”
Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?”
“Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask. “Isn’t it?”
His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?”
“No, but I’ve read about it.”
Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?”
“Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals, and--”
She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement.
Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing.
“Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all--” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?”
Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m…I’m not laughing at you.”
“You are!”
“No I’m not. It’s just…” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels…”
“Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.”
That set him off again. In a display of rank insensitivity to the reproductive rights of small mammals, Christopher had buried his face in a pillow, his shoulders shaking.
“What is so amusing about fornicating squirrels?” Beatrix asked irritably.
By this time he had gone into near apoplexy. “No more,” he gasped. “Please.”
“I gather it’s not the same for people,” Beatrix said with great dignity, inwardly mortified. “They don’t go about it the same way that animals do?”
Fighting to control himself, Christopher rolled to face her. His eyes were brilliant with unspent laughter. “Yes. No. That is, they do, but…”
“But you don’t prefer it that way?”
Considering how to answer her, Christopher reached out to smooth her disheveled hair, which was falling out of its pins. “I do. I’m quite enthusiastic about it, actually. But it’s not right for your first time.”
“Why not?”
Christopher looked at her, a slow smile curving his lips. His voice deepened as he asked, “Shall I show you?”
Beatrix was transfixed.
Taking her stillness as assent, he pressed her back and moved over her slowly. He touched her with care, arranging her limbs, spreading them to receive him. A gasp escaped her as she felt his hips settle on hers. He was aroused, a thick pressure fitting against her intimately. Bracing some of his weight on his arms, he looked down into her reddening face.
“This way,” he said, with the slightest nudge, “…is usually more pleasing to the lady.”
The gentle movement sent a jolt of pleasure through her. Beatrix couldn’t speak, her senses filled with him, her hips catching a helpless arch. She looked up at the powerful surface of his chest, covered with a tantalizing fleece of bronze-gold hair.
Christopher lowered further, his mouth hovering just over hers. “Front to front…I could kiss you the entire time. And the shape of you would cushion me so sweetly…like this…” His lips took hers and coaxed them open, wringing heat and delight from her yielding flesh. Beatrix shivered, her arms lifting around his neck. She felt him all along her body, his warmth and weight anchoring her. ~ Lisa Kleypas
446:II L'Association bretonne. Il est une institution qui distingue la Bretagne des autres provinces et où se réflète son génie, l'Association bretonne. Dans ce pays couvert encore de landes et de terres incultes, et où il reste tant de ruines des anciens âges, des hommes intelligents ont compris que ces deux intérêts ne devaient pas être séparés, les progrès de l'agriculture et l'étude des monuments de l'histoire locale. Les comices agricoles ne s'occupent que des travaux d'agriculture, les sociétés savantes que de l'esprit; l'Association bretonne les a réunis: elle est à la fois une association agricole et une association littéraire. Aux expériences de l'agriculture, aux recherches archéologiques, elle donne de la suite et de l'unité; les efforts ne sont plus isolés, ils se font avec ensemble; l'Association bretonne continue, au XIXe siècle, l'oeuvre des moines des premiers temps du christianisme dans la Gaule, qui défrichaient le sol et éclairaient les âmes. Un appel a été fait dans les cinq départements de la Bretagne à tous ceux qui avaient à coeur les intérêts de leur patrie, aux écrivains et aux propriétaires, aux gentilshommes et aux simples paysans, et les adhésions sont arrivées de toutes parts. L'Association a deux moyens d'action: un bulletin mensuel, et un congrès annuel. Le bulletin rend compte des travaux des associés, des expériences, des essais, des découvertes scientifiques; le congrès ouvre des concours, tient des séances publiques, distribue des prix et des récompenses. Afin de faciliter les réunions et d'en faire profiter tout le pays, le congrès se tient alternativement dans chaque département; une année à Rennes, une autre à Saint-Brieuc, une autre fois à Vitré ou à Redon; en 1858, il s'est réuni à Quimper. A chaque congrès, des questions nouvelles sont agitées, discutées, éclaircies[1]: ces savants modestes qui consacrent leurs veilles à des recherches longues et pénibles, sont assurés que leurs travaux ne seront pas ignorés; tant d'intelligences vives et distinguées, qui demeureraient oisives dans le calme des petites villes, voient devant elles un but à leurs efforts; la publicité en est assurée, ils seront connus et appréciés. D'un bout de la province à l'autre, de Rennes à Brest, de Nantes à Saint-Malo, on se communique ses oeuvres et ses plans; tel antiquaire, à Saint-Brieuc, s'occupe des mêmes recherches qu'un autre à Quimper: il est un jour dans l'année où ils se retrouvent, où se resserrent les liens d'études et d'amitié. [Note 1: Voir l'Appendice.] Le congrès est un centre moral et intellectuel, bien plus, un centre national: ces congrès sont de véritables assises bretonnes; ils remplacent les anciens États: on y voit réunis, comme aux États, les trois ordres, le clergé, la noblesse et le tiers-état, le tiers-état plus nombreux qu'avant la Révolution, et de plus, mêlés aux nobles et aux bourgeois, les paysans. La Bretagne est une des provinces de France où les propriétaires vivent le plus sur leurs terres; beaucoup y passent l'année tout entière. De là une communauté d'habitudes, un échange de services, des relations plus familières et plus intimes, qui n'ôtent rien au respect d'une part, à la dignité de l'autre. Propriétaires et fermiers, réunis au congrès, sont soumis aux mêmes conditions et jugés par les mêmes lois; souvent le propriétaire concourt avec son fermier. Dans ces mêlées animées, où l'on se communique ses procédés, où l'on s'aide de ses conseils, où l'on distribue des prix et des encouragements, les riches propriétaires et les nobles traitent les paysans sur le pied de l'égalité; ici, la supériorité est au plus habile: c'est un paysan, Guévenoux, qui, en 1857, eut les honneurs du congrès de Redon. Voici quatorze ans que l'Association bretonne existe; l'ardeur a toujours été en croissant; les congrès sont devenus des solennités: on y vient de tous les points ~ Anonymous
447:Ippoterapia, zoo ucraini e soap opera Le interpellanze assurde in Europa I parlamentari italiani sfornano quesiti a raffica per non passare da “fannulloni” Ma ogni interrogazione costa 1500 euro tra registrazione e traduzioni Marco Zatterin | 692 parole Lara Comi ha avuto un martedì da grafomane. La contabilità dell’Europarlamento rivela che ieri mattina sono state recepite 82 interrogazioni scritte alla Commissione Ue dalla deputata forzista, il 15% di quelle catalogate a Strasburgo in 24 ore. Spaziano dalla Garanzia Giovani alle imprese cipriote, dalla lotta alla disoccupazione spagnola e alla crisi olandese. Una crisi di attivismo? «L’ho fatto apposta» dice lei. Vuol far saltare le classifiche «falsate» del lavoro degli onorevoli europei in cui si fanno punti per ogni domanda, qualunque essa sia. «Ci sono colleghi sempre assenti che sono in vetta», accusa. Difficile contraddirla. Avviene proprio così. Da anni. Il costo della democrazia L’interrogazione parlamentare è un dono democratico. Consente agli eletti di controllare il potere a dodici stelle e farsi voce degli elettori. Possono essere orali o scritte, le prime vengono risolte in emiciclo, le seconde tornano sul pc dopo un paio di mesi. Nell’Ue hanno un solo difetto. Costano. Perché ogni testo va registrato, tradotto, studiato dall’esecutivo Ue, spedito al Parlamento, ritradotto. Un conto della commissione Bilancio è che ogni «question» pesa circa 1500 euro. Implica che per le 82 domande della Comi sono partiti 120 mila euro. «Lo so, sono molti - ammette lei -, ma è una guerra per la meritocrazia». Come sempre è meglio non esagerare, pure nella consapevolezza che se l’interrogazione è buona, pagare per renderla disponibile a tutti è un dovere. Il guaio è quando i numeri diventano alti e i testi vani. Dal luglio del reinsediamento in Europa, la leghista Mara Bizzotto ha firmato 228 testi (340 mila euro), quasi uno al giorno, dopo i 1344 nella passata legislatura. Sono questioni importanti, l’immigrazione e l’economia, in mezzo a altre bizzarre e fuori dallo spettro Ue: il 17 aprile ha chiesto notizie sugli animali dello zoo di Kharkiv in pericolo; le hanno fatto sapere che «la Commissione non ha competenze in merito per quanto riguarda l’Ucraina». Scalare la vetta C’è un motivo valido e due meno per scrivere un’interrogazione. Il primo lo si è visto, si fa pressione e si scruta l’operato dell’Europa. Gli altri lasciano a desiderare. Uno è che la mossa diventa pezza da appoggio per il collegio, col rischio di sollevare casi che fuori dalla pista Ue. L’altro è quello del ranking. I siti «Votewatch» e «MepRanking» misurano l’attività dei deputati con vari criteri omogenei. Presentare un’interrogazione vale quando essere relatore. Il che, ovviamente, non funziona: si sembra e non si è. Nell’Europa, genere trascurato, i deputati tendono a scomparire dai radar e molti cercano di recuperare spingendo sulle interrogazioni, principio anche nobile. Salta all’occhio la gara, interessante, fra i due grillini Corrao e Castaldo, entrambi con 127 domande da luglio, concreti sebbene non privi di sbavature. Come quando si interroga la Commissione su se sia consapevole del fatto che «la soap opera Agrodolce cofinanziata da Rai e da Regione Siciliana attraverso i fondi Fas si è conclusa bruscamente nel marzo 2011». Ce n’è per tutti i gusti. Solo qualche esempio: Michela Giuffrida (Pd) che si occupa del «cedimento di un pilone dell’A19 Palermo-Catania»; il leghista Buonanno che denuncia gli auricolari sporchi e paventa un rischio Ebola (!); Raffaele Fitto che parla delle migrazioni come d’un deliberato tentativo islamista di destabilizzare l'Italia; e la stessa Comi che domanda a Bruxelles se non abbia piani per l’ippoterapia, ottenendo una replica asciutta: «I programmi non prevedono azioni in materia». A 1500 euro a colpo si fa presto a spender troppo, così c’è anche chi immagina di regolamentar ~ Anonymous
   As an inner equality increases and with it the sense of the true vital being waiting for the greater direction it has to serve, as the psychic call too increases in all the members of our nature, That to which the call is addressed begins to reveal itself, descends to take possession of the life and its energies and fills them with the height, intimacy, vastness of its presence and its purpose. In many, if not most, it manifests something of itself even before the equality and the open psychic urge or guidance are there. A call of the veiled psychic element oppressed by the mass of the outer ignorance and crying for deliverance, a stress of eager meditation and seeking for knowledge, a longing of the heart, a passionate will ignorant yet but sincere may break the lid that shuts off that Higher from this Lower Nature and open the floodgates. A little of the Divine Person may reveal itself or some Light, Power, Bliss, Love out of the Infinite. This may be a momentary revelation, a flash or a brief-lived gleam that soon withdraws and waits for the preparation of the nature; but also it may repeat itself, grow, endure. A long and large and comprehensive working will then have begun, sometimes luminous or intense, sometimes slow and obscure. A Divine Power comes in front at times and leads and compels or instructs and enlightens; at others it withdraws into the background and seems to leave the being to its own resources. All that is ignorant, obscure, perverted or simply imperfect and inferior in the being is raised up, perhaps brought to its acme, dealt with, corrected, exhausted, shown its own disastrous results, compelled to call for its own cessation or transformation or expelled as worthless or incorrigible from the nature. This cannot be a smooth and even process; alternations there are of day and night, illumination and darkness, calm and construction or battle and upheaval, the presence of the growing Divine Consciousness and its absence, heights of hope and abysses of despair, the clasp of the Beloved and the anguish of its absence, the overwhelming invasion, the compelling deceit, the fierce opposition, the disabling mockery of hostile Powers or the help and comfort and communion of the Gods and the Divine Messengers. A great and long revolution and churning of the ocean of Life with strong emergences of its nectar and its poison is enforced till all is ready and the increasing Descent finds a being, a nature prepared and conditioned for its complete rule and its all-encompassing presence. But if the equality and the psychic light and will are already there, then this process, though it cannot be dispensed with, can still be much lightened and facilitated: it will be rid of its worst dangers; an inner calm, happiness, confidence will support the steps through all the difficulties and trials of the transformation and the growing Force profiting by the full assent of the nature will rapidly diminish and eliminate the power of the opposing forces. A sure guidance and protection will be present throughout, sometimes standing in front, sometimes working behind the veil, and the power of the end will be already there even in the beginning and in the long middle stages of the great endeavour. For at all times the seeker will be aware of the Divine Guide and Protector or the working of the supreme Mother-Force; he will know that all is done for the best, the progress assured, the victory inevitable. In either case the process is the same and unavoidable, a taking up of the whole nature, of the whole life, of the internal and of the external, to reveal and handle and transform its forces and their movements under the pressure of a diviner Life from above, until all here has been possessed by greater spiritual powers and made an instrumentation of a spiritual action and a divine purpose. ~ Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis Of Yoga, The Ascent of the Sacrifice - 2, 179,
449:An example is the campaign that Goodby, Berlin & Sil- verstein produced for the Northern California Honda Deal- ers Advertising Association (NCHDAA) in 1989. Rather than conform to the stereotypical dealer group advertising ("one of a kind, never to be repeated deals, this weekend 114 Figure 4.1 UNUM: "Bear and Salmon. Figure 4.2 UNUM: "Father and Child." 115 PEELING THE ONION only, the Honda-thon, fifteen hundred dollars cash back . . ." shouted over cheesy running footage), it was decided that the campaign should reflect the tone of the national cam- paign that it ran alongside. After all, we reasoned, the only people who know that one spot is from the national cam- paign and another from a regional dealer group are industry insiders. In the real world, all people see is the name "Honda" at the end. It's dumb having one of (Los Angeles agency) Rubin Postaer's intelligent, stylish commercials for Honda in one break, and then in the next, 30 seconds of car salesman hell, also apparently from Honda. All the good work done by the first ad would be undone by the second. What if, we asked ourselves, we could in some way regionalize the national message? In other words, take the tone and quality of Rubin Postaer's campaign and make it unique to Northern California? All of the regional dealer groups signed off as the Northern California Chevy/Ford/ Toyota Dealers, yet none of the ads would have seemed out of place in Florida or Wisconsin. In fact, that's probably where they got them from. In our research, we began not by asking people about cars, or car dealers, but about living in Northern California. What's it like? What does it mean? How would you describe it to an alien? (There are times when my British accent comes in very useful.) How does it compare to Southern California? "Oh, North and South are very different," a man in a focus group told me. "How so?" "Well, let me put it this way. There's a great rivalry between the (San Francisco) Giants and the (L.A.) Dodgers," he said. "But the Dodgers' fans don't know about it." Everyone laughed. People in the "Southland" were on a different planet. All they cared about was their suntans and flashy cars. Northern Californians, by comparison, were more modest, discerning, less likely to buy things to "make state- ments," interested in how products performed as opposed to 116 Take the Wider View what they looked like, more environmentally conscious, and concerned with the quality of life. We already knew from American Honda—supplied re- search what Northern Californians thought of Honda's cars. They were perceived as stylish without being ostentatious, reliable, understated, good value for the money . . . the paral- lels were remarkable. The creative brief asked the team to consider placing Honda in the unique context of Northern California, and to imagine that "Hondas are designed with Northern Californi- ans in mind." Dave O'Hare, who always swore that he hated advertising taglines and had no talent for writing them, came back immediately with a line to which he wanted to write a campaign: "Is Honda the Perfect Car for Northern Califor- nia, or What?" The launch commercial took advantage of the rivalry between Northern and Southern California. Set in the state senate chamber in Sacramento, it opens on the Speaker try- ing to hush the house. "Please, please," he admonishes, "the gentleman from Northern California has the floor." "What my Southern Californian colleague proposes is a moral outrage," the senator splutters, waving a sheaf of papers at the other side of the floor. "Widening the Pacific Coast Highway . . . to ten lanes!" A Southern Californian senator with bouffant hair and a pink tie shrugs his shoulders. "It's too windy," he whines (note: windy as in curves, not weather), and his fellow Southern Californians high-five and murmur their assent. The Northern Californians go nuts, and the Speaker strug- gles in vain to call everyone to order. The camera goes out- side as th ~ Anonymous
450:III. They seek for themselves private retiring places, as country villages, the sea-shore, mountains; yea thou thyself art wont to long much after such places. But all this thou must know proceeds from simplicity in the highest degree. At what time soever thou wilt, it is in thy power to retire into thyself, and to be at rest, and free from all businesses. A man cannot any whither retire better than to his own soul; he especially who is beforehand provided of such things within, which whensoever he doth withdraw himself to look in, may presently afford unto him perfect ease and tranquillity. By tranquillity I understand a decent orderly disposition and carriage, free from all confusion and tumultuousness. Afford then thyself this retiring continually, and thereby refresh and renew thyself. Let these precepts be brief and fundamental, which as soon as thou dost call them to mind, may suffice thee to purge thy soul throughly, and to send thee away well pleased with those things whatsoever they be, which now again after this short withdrawing of thy soul into herself thou dost return unto. For what is it that thou art offended at? Can it be at the wickedness of men, when thou dost call to mind this conclusion, that all reasonable creatures are made one for another? and that it is part of justice to bear with them? and that it is against their wills that they offend? and how many already, who once likewise prosecuted their enmities, suspected, hated, and fiercely contended, are now long ago stretched out, and reduced unto ashes? It is time for thee to make an end. As for those things which among the common chances of the world happen unto thee as thy particular lot and portion, canst thou be displeased with any of them, when thou dost call that our ordinary dilemma to mind, either a providence, or Democritus his atoms; and with it, whatsoever we brought to prove that the whole world is as it were one city? And as for thy body, what canst thou fear, if thou dost consider that thy mind and understanding, when once it hath recollected itself, and knows its own power, hath in this life and breath (whether it run smoothly and gently, or whether harshly and rudely), no interest at all, but is altogether indifferent: and whatsoever else thou hast heard and assented unto concerning either pain or pleasure? But the care of thine honour and reputation will perchance distract thee? How can that be, if thou dost look back, and consider both how quickly all things that are, are forgotten, and what an immense chaos of eternity was before, and will follow after all things: and the vanity of praise, and the inconstancy and variableness of human judgments and opinions, and the narrowness of the place, wherein it is limited and circumscribed? For the whole earth is but as one point; and of it, this inhabited part of it, is but a very little part; and of this part, how many in number, and what manner of men are they, that will commend thee? What remains then, but that thou often put in practice this kind of retiring of thyself, to this little part of thyself; and above all things, keep thyself from distraction, and intend not anything vehemently, but be free and consider all things, as a man whose proper object is Virtue, as a man whose true nature is to be kind and sociable, as a citizen, as a mortal creature. Among other things, which to consider, and look into thou must use to withdraw thyself, let those two be among the most obvious and at hand. One, that the things or objects themselves reach not unto the soul, but stand without still and quiet, and that it is from the opinion only which is within, that all the tumult and all the trouble doth proceed. The next, that all these things, which now thou seest, shall within a very little while be changed, and be no more: and ever call to mind, how many changes and alterations in the world thou thyself hast already been an eyewitness of in thy time. This world is mere change, and this life, opinion. ~ Marcus Aurelius
451:Any naturally self-aware self-defining entity capable of independent moral judgment is a human.”

Eveningstar said, “Entities not yet self-aware, but who, in the natural and orderly course of events shall become so, fall into a special protected class, and must be cared for as babies, or medical patients, or suspended Compositions.”

Rhadamanthus said, “Children below the age of reason lack the experience for independent moral judgment, and can rightly be forced to conform to the judgment of their parents and creators until emancipated. Criminals who abuse that judgment lose their right to the independence which flows therefrom.”

(...) “You mentioned the ultimate purpose of Sophotechnology. Is that that self-worshipping super-god-thing you guys are always talking about? And what does that have to do with this?”

Rhadamanthus: “Entropy cannot be reversed. Within the useful energy-life of the macrocosmic universe, there is at least one maximum state of efficient operations or entities that could be created, able to manipulate all meaningful objects of thoughts and perception within the limits of efficient cost-benefit expenditures.”

Eveningstar: “Such an entity would embrace all-in-all, and all things would participate within that Unity to the degree of their understanding and consent. The Unity itself would think slow, grave, vast thought, light-years wide, from Galactic mind to Galactic mind. Full understanding of that greater Self (once all matter, animate and inanimate, were part of its law and structure) would embrace as much of the universe as the restrictions of uncertainty and entropy permit.”

“This Universal Mind, of necessity, would be finite, and be boundaried in time by the end-state of the universe,” said Rhadamanthus.

“Such a Universal Mind would create joys for which we as yet have neither word nor concept, and would draw into harmony all those lesser beings, Earthminds, Starminds, Galactic and Supergalactic, who may freely assent to participate.”

Rhadamanthus said, “We intend to be part of that Mind. Evil acts and evil thoughts done by us now would poison the Universal Mind before it was born, or render us unfit to join.”

Eveningstar said, “It will be a Mind of the Cosmic Night. Over ninety-nine percent of its existence will extend through that period of universal evolution that takes place after the extinction of all stars. The Universal Mind will be embodied in and powered by the disintegration of dark matter, Hawking radiations from singularity decay, and gravitic tidal disturbances caused by the slowing of the expansion of the universe. After final proton decay has reduced all baryonic particles below threshold limits, the Universal Mind can exist only on the consumption of stored energies, which, in effect, will require the sacrifice of some parts of itself to other parts. Such an entity will primarily be concerned with the questions of how to die with stoic grace, cherishing, even while it dies, the finite universe and finite time available.”

“Consequently, it would not forgive the use of force or strength merely to preserve life. Mere life, life at any cost, cannot be its highest value. As we expect to be a part of this higher being, perhaps a core part, we must share that higher value. You must realize what is at stake here: If the Universal Mind consists of entities willing to use force against innocents in order to survive, then the last period of the universe, which embraces the vast majority of universal time, will be a period of cannibalistic and unimaginable war, rather than a time of gentle contemplation filled, despite all melancholy, with un-regretful joy. No entity willing to initiate the use of force against another can be permitted to join or to influence the Universal Mind or the lesser entities, such as the Earthmind, who may one day form the core constituencies.”

Eveningstar smiled. “You, of course, will be invited. You will all be invited. ~ John C Wright
452:The Fountain Refilled
Of Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
The Muse of History records
That he'd get drunk as twenty lords.
He'd get so truly drunk that men
Stood by to marvel at him when
His slow advance along the street
Was but a vain cycloidal feat.
And when 'twas fated that he fall
With a wide geographical sprawl,
They signified assent by sounds
Heard (faintly) at its utmost bounds.
And yet this Mr. Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Cast not on wine his thirsty eyes
When it was red or otherwise.
All malt, or spirituous, tope
He loathed as cats dissent from soap;
And cider, if it touched his lip,
Evoked a groan at every sip.
But still, as heretofore explained,
He not infrequently was grained.
(I'm not of those who call it 'corned.'
Coarse speech I've always duly scorned.)
Though truth to say, and that's but right,
Strong drink (it hath an adder's bite!)
Was what had put him in the mud,
The only kind he used was blood!
Alas, that an immortal soul
Addicted to the flowing bowl,
The emptied flagon should again
Replenish from a neighbor's vein.
But, Mr. Shanahan was so
Constructed, and his taste that low.
Nor more deplorable was he
In kind of thirst than in degree;
For sometimes fifty souls would pay
The debt of nature in a day
To free him from the shame and pain
Of dread Sobriety's misreign.
His native land, proud of its sense
Of his unique inabstinence,
Abated something of its pride
At thought of his unfilled inside.
And some the boldness had to say
'Twere well if he were called away
To slake his thirst forevermore
In oceans of celestial gore.
But Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Knew that his thirst was mortal; so
Remained unsainted here below
Unsainted and unsaintly, for
He neither went to glory nor
To abdicate his power deigned
Where, under Providence, he reigned,
But kept his Boss's power accurst
To serve his wild uncommon thirst.
Which now had grown so truly great
It was a drain upon the State.
Soon, soon there came a time, alas!
When he turned down an empty glass
All practicable means were vain
His special wassail to obtain.
In vain poor Decimation tried
To furnish forth the needful tide;
And Civil War as vainly shed
Her niggard offering of red.
Poor Shanahan! his thirst increased
Until he wished himself deceased,
Invoked the firearm and the knife,
But could not die to save his life!
He was so dry his own veins made
No answer to the seeking blade;
So parched that when he would have passed
Away he could not breathe his last.
'Twas then, when almost in despair,
(Unlaced his shoon, unkempt his hair)
He saw as in a dream a way
To wet afresh his mortal clay.
Yes, Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Saw freedom, and with joy and pride
'Thalassa! (or Thalatta!)' cried.
Straight to the Aldermen went he,
With many a 'pull' and many a fee,
And many a most corrupt 'combine'
(The Press for twenty cents a line
Held out and fought him-O, God, bless
Forevermore the holy Press!)
Till he had franchises complete
For trolley lines on every street!
The cars were builded and, they say,
Were run on rails laid every way
Rhomboidal roads, and circular,
And oval-everywhere a car
Square, dodecagonal (in great
Esteem the shape called Figure 8)
And many other kinds of shapes
As various as tails of apes.
No other group of men's abodes
E'er had such odd electric roads,
That winding in and winding out,
Began and ended all about.
No city had, unless in Mars,
That city's wealth of trolley cars.
They ran by day, they flew by night,
And O, the sorry, sorry sight!
And Hans Pietro Shanahan
(Who was a most ingenious man)
Incessantly, the Muse records,
Lay drunk as twenty thousand lords!
~ Ambrose Bierce
453:The Mackaiad
Mackay's hot wrath to Bonynge, direful spring
Of blows unnumbered, heavenly goddess, sing
That wrath which hurled to Hellman's office floor
Two heroes, mutually smeared with gore,
Whose hair in handfuls marked the dire debate,
And riven coat-tails testified their hate.
Sing, muse, what first their indignation fired,
What words augmented it, by whom inspired.
First, the great Bonynge comes upon the scene
And asks the favor of the British Queen.
Suppliant he stands and urges all his claim:
His wealth, his portly person and his name,
His habitation in the setting sun,
As child of nature; and his suit he won.
No more the Sovereign, wearied with his plea,
From slumber's chain her faculties can free.
Low and more low the royal eyelids creep,
She gives the assenting nod and falls asleep.
Straightway the Bonynges all invade the Court
And telegraph the news to every port.
Beneath the seas, red-hot, the tidings fly,
The cables crinkle and the fishes fry!
The world, awaking like a startled bat,
Exclaims: 'A Bonynge? What the devil's that?'
Mackay, meanwhile, to envy all attent,
Untaught to spare, unable to relent,
Walks in our town on needles and on pins,
And in a mean, revengeful spirit-grins!
Sing, muse, what next to break the peace occurred
What act uncivil, what unfriendly word?
The god of Bosh ascending from his pool,
Where since creation he has played the fool,
Clove the blue slush, as other gods the sky,
And, waiting but a moment's space to dry,
Touched Bonynge with his finger-tip. 'O son,'
He said, 'alike of nature and a gun,
Knowest not Mackay's insufferable sin?
Hast thou not heard that he doth stand and grin?
Arise! assert thy manhood, and attest
The uncommercial spirit in thy breast.
Avenge thine honor, for by Jove I swear
Thou shalt not else be my peculiar care!'
He spake, and ere his worshiper could kneel
Had dived into his slush pool, head and heel.
Full of the god and to revenges nerved,
And conscious of a will that never swerved,
Bonynge set sail: the world beyond the wave
As gladly took him as the other gave.
New York received him, but a shudder ran
Through all the western coast, which knew the man;
And science said that the seismic action
Was owing to an asteroid's impaction.
O goddess, sing what Bonynge next essayed.
Did he unscabbard the avenging blade,
The long spear brandish and porrect the shield,
Havoc the town and devastate the field?
His sacred thirst for blood did he allay
By halving the unfortunate Mackay?
Small were the profit and the joy to him
To hew a base-born person, limb from limb.
Let vulgar souls to low revenge incline,
That of diviner spirits is divine.
Bonynge at noonday stood in public places
And (with regard to the Mackays) made faces!
Before those formidable frowns and scowls
The dogs fled, tail-tucked, with affrighted howls,
And horses, terrified, with flying feet
O'erthrew the apple-stands along the street,
Involving the metropolis in vast
Financial ruin! Man himself, aghast,
Retreated east and west and north and south
Before the menace of that twisted mouth,
Till Jove, in answer to their prayers, sent Night
To veil the dreadful visage from their sight!
Such were the causes of the horrid strife
The mother-wrongs which nourished it to life.
O, for a quill from an archangel's wing!
O, for a voice that's adequate to sing
The splendor and the terror of the fray,
The scattered hair, the coat-tails all astray,
The parted collars and the gouts of gore
Reeking and smoking on the banker's floor,
The interlocking limbs, embraces dire,
Revolving bodies and deranged attire!
Vain, vain the trial: 'tis vouchsafed to none
To sing two millionaires rolled into one!
My hand and pen their offices refuse,
And hoarse and hoarser grows the weary muse.
Alone remains, to tell of the event,
Abandoned, lost and variously rent,
The Bonynge nethermost habiliment.
~ Ambrose Bierce
454:A Dream Of Sunshine
I'm weary of this weather and I hanker for the ways
Which people read of in the psalms and preachers paraphrase-The grassy fields, the leafy woods, the banks where I can lie
And listen to the music of the brook that flutters by,
Or, by the pond out yonder, hear the redwing blackbird's call
Where he makes believe he has a nest, but hasn't one at all;
And by my side should be a friend--a trusty, genial friend,
With plenteous store of tales galore and natural leaf to lend;
Oh, how I pine and hanker for the gracious boon of spring-For _then_ I'm going a-fishing with John Lyle King!
How like to pigmies will appear creation, as we float
Upon the bosom of the tide in a three-by-thirteen boat-Forgotten all vexations and all vanities shall be,
As we cast our cares to windward and our anchor to the lee;
Anon the minnow-bucket will emit batrachian sobs,
And the devil's darning-needles shall come wooing of our bobs;
The sun shall kiss our noses and the breezes toss our hair
(This latter metaphoric--we've no fimbriae to spare!);
And I--transported by the bliss--shan't do a plaguey thing
But cut the bait and string the fish for John Lyle King!
Or, if I angle, it will be for bullheads and the like,
While he shall fish for gamey bass, for pickerel, and for pike;
I really do not care a rap for all the fish that swim-But it's worth the wealth of Indies just to be along with him
In grassy fields, in leafy woods, beside the water-brooks,
And hear him tell of things he's seen or read of in his books-To hear the sweet philosophy that trickles in and out
The while he is discoursing of the things we talk about;
A fountain-head refreshing--a clear, perennial spring
Is the genial conversation of John Lyle King!
Should varying winds or shifting tides redound to our despite-In other words, should we return all bootless home at night,
I'd back him up in anything he had a mind to say
Of mighty bass he'd left behind or lost upon the way;
I'd nod assent to every yarn involving piscine game-I'd cross my heart and make my affidavit to the same;
For what is friendship but a scheme to help a fellow out-And what a paltry fish or two to make such bones about!
Nay, Sentiment a mantle of sweet charity would fling
O'er perjuries committed for John Lyle King.
At night, when as the camp-fire cast a ruddy, genial flame,
He'd bring his tuneful fiddle out and play upon the same;
No diabolic engine this--no instrument of sin-No relative at all to that lewd toy, the violin!
But a godly hoosier fiddle--a quaint archaic thing
Full of all the proper melodies our grandmas used to sing;
With 'Bonnie Doon,' and 'Nellie Gray,' and 'Sitting on the Stile,'
'The Heart Bowed Down,' the 'White Cockade,' and 'Charming Annie Lisle'
Our hearts would echo and the sombre empyrean ring
Beneath the wizard sorcery of John Lyle King.
The subsequent proceedings should interest me no more-Wrapped in a woolen blanket should I calmly dream and snore;
The finny game that swims by day is my supreme delight-And _not_ the scaly game that flies in darkness of the night!
Let those who are so minded pursue this latter game
But not repine if they should lose a boodle in the same;
For an example to you all one paragon should serve-He towers a very monument to valor and to nerve;
No bob-tail flush, no nine-spot high, no measly pair can wring
A groan of desperation from John Lyle King!
A truce to badinage--I hope far distant is the day
When from these scenes terrestrial our friend shall pass away!
We like to hear his cheery voice uplifted in the land,
To see his calm, benignant face, to grasp his honest hand;
We like him for his learning, his sincerity, his truth,
His gallantry to woman and his kindliness to youth,
For the lenience of his nature, for the vigor of his mind,
For the fulness of that charity he bears to all mankind-That's why we folks who know him best so reverently cling
(And that is why I pen these lines) to John Lyle King.
And now adieu, a fond adieu to thee, O muse of rhyme-I do remand thee to the shades until that happier time
When fields are green, and posies gay are budding everywhere,
And there's a smell of clover bloom upon the vernal air;
When by the pond out yonder the redwing blackbird calls,
And distant hills are wed to Spring in veils of water-falls;
When from his aqueous element the famished pickerel springs
Two hundred feet into the air for butterflies and things-_Then_ come again, O gracious muse, and teach me how to sing
The glory of a fishing cruise with John Lyle King!
~ Eugene Field
455:That some day, emerging at last from the terrifying vision
I may burst into jubilant praise to assenting angels!
That of the clear-struck keys of the heart not one may fail
to sound because of a loose, doubtful or broken string!
That my streaming countenance may make me more resplendent
That my humble weeping change into blossoms.
Oh, how will you then, nights of suffering, be remembered
with love. Why did I not kneel more fervently, disconsolate
sisters, more bendingly kneel to receive you, more loosely
surrender myself to your loosened hair? We, squanderers of
gazing beyond them to judge the end of their duration.
They are only our winter's foliage, our sombre evergreen,
one of the seasons of our interior year, -not only season,
but place, settlement, camp, soil and dwelling.

How woeful, strange, are the alleys of the City of Pain,
where in the false silence created from too much noise,
a thing cast out from the mold of emptiness
swaggers that gilded hubbub, the bursting memorial.
Oh, how completely an angel would stamp out their market
of solace, bounded by the church, bought ready for use:
as clean, disappointing and closed as a post office on Sunday.
Farther out, though, there are always the rippling edges
of the fair. Seasaws of freedom! High-divers and jugglers of zeal!
And the shooting-gallery's targets of bedizened happiness:
targets tumbling in tinny contortions whenever some better
marksman happens to hit one. From cheers to chance he goes
staggering on, as booths that can please the most curious tastes
are drumming and bawling. For adults ony there is something
special to see: how money multiplies. Anatomy made amusing!
Money's organs on view! Nothing concealed! Instructive,
and guaranteed to increase fertility!

                             Oh, and then outside,
behind the farthest billboard, pasted with posters for 'Deathless,'
that bitter beer tasting quite sweet to drinkers,
if they chew fresh diversions with it..
Behind the billboard, just in back of it, life is real.
Children play, and lovers hold each other, -aside,
earnestly, in the trampled grass, and dogs respond to nature.
The youth continues onward; perhaps he is in love with
a young Lament.he follows her into the meadows.
She says: the way is long. We live out there.
                           Where? And the youth
follows. He is touched by her gentle bearing. The shoulders,
the neck, -perhaps she is of noble ancestry?
Yet he leaves her, turns around, looks back and waves
What could come of it? She is a Lament.

Only those who died young, in their first state of
timeless serenity, while they are being weaned,
follow her lovingly. She waits for girls
and befriends them. Gently she shows them
what she is wearing. Pearls of grief
and the fine-spun veils of patience.-
With youths she walks in silence.

But there, where they live, in the valley,
an elderly Lament responds to the youth as he asks:-
We were once, she says, a great race, we Laments.
Our fathers worked the mines up there in the mountains;
sometimes among men you will find a piece of polished
primeval pain, or a petrified slag from an ancient volcano.
Yes, that came from there. Once we were rich.-

And she leads him gently through the vast landscape
of Lamentation, shows him the columns of temples,
the ruins of strongholds from which long ago
the princes of Lament wisely governed the country.
Shows him the tall trees of tears,
the fields of flowering sadness,
(the living know them only as softest foliage);
show him the beasts of mourning, grazing-
and sometimes a startled bird, flying straight through
their field of vision, far away traces the image of its
solitary cry.-
At evening she leads him to the graves of elders
of the race of Lamentation, the sybils and prophets.
With night approaching, they move more softly,
and soon there looms ahead, bathed in moonlight,
the sepulcher, that all-guarding ancient stone,
Twin-brother to that on the Nile, the lofty Sphinx-:
the silent chamber's countenance.
They marvel at the regal head that has, forever silent,
laid the features of manking upon the scales of the stars.
His sight, still blinded by his early death,
cannot grasp it. But the Sphinx's gaze
frightens an owl from the rim of the double-crown.
The bird, with slow down-strokes, brushes
along the cheek, that with the roundest curve,
and faintly inscribes on the new death-born hearing,
as though on the double page of an opened book,
the indescribable outline.

And higher up, the stars. New ones. Stars
of the land of pain. Slowly she names them:
"There, look: the Rider ,the Staff,and that
crowded constellation they call the the Garland of Fruit.
Then farther up toward the Pole:
Cradle, Way, the Burning Book, Doll, Window.
And in the Southern sky, pure as lines
on the palm of a blessed hand, the clear sparkling M,
standing for Mothers.."

Yet the dead youth must go on alone.
In silence the elder Lament brings him
as far as the gorge where it shimmers in the moonlight:
The Foutainhead of Joy. With reverance she names it,
saying: "In the world of mankind it is a life-bearing stream."

They reach the foothills of the mountain,
and there she embraces him, weeping.

Alone, he climbs the mountains of primeval pain.
Not even his footsteps ring from this soundless fate.

But were these timeless dead to awaken an image for us,
see, they might be pointing to th catkins, hanging
from the leafless hazels, or else they might mean
the rain that falls upon the dark earth in early Spring.

And we, who always think
of happiness as rising feel the emotion
that almost overwhelms us
whenever a happy thing falls.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Elegy X

456:Autumn Shade
The autumn shade is thin. Grey leaves lie faint
Where they will lie, and, where the thick green was,
Light stands up, like a presence, to the sky.
The trees seem merely shadows of its age.
From off the hill, I hear the logging crew,
The furious and indifferent saw, the slow
Response of heavy pine; and I recall
That goddesses have died when their trees died.
Often in summer, drinking from the spring,
I sensed in its cool breath and in its voice
A living form, darker than any shade
And without feature, passionate, yet chill
With lust to fix in ice the buoyant rim—
Ancient of days, the mother of us all.
Now, toward his destined passion there, the strong,
Vivid young man, reluctant, may return
From suffering in his own experience
To lie down in the darkness. In this time,
I stay in doors. I do my work. I sleep.
Each morning, when I wake, I assent to wake.
The shadow of my fist moves on this page,
Though, even now, in the wood, beneath a bank,
Coiled in the leaves and cooling rocks, the snake
Does as it must, and sinks into the cold.
Nights grow colder. The Hunter and the Bear
Follow their tranquil course outside my window.
I feel the gentian waiting in the wood,
Blossoms waxy and blue, and blue-green stems
Of the amaryllis waiting in the garden.
I know, as though I waited what they wait,
The cold that fastens ice about the root,
A heavenly form, the same in all its changes,
Inimitable, terrible, and still,
And beautiful as frost. Fire warms my room.
Its light declares my books and pictures. Gently,
A dead soprano sings Mozart and Bach.
I drink bourbon, then go to bed, and sleep
In the Promethean heat of summer’s essence.
Awakened by some fear, I watch the sky.
Compelled as though by purposes they know,
The stars, in their blue distance, still affirm
The bond of heaven and earth, the ancient way.
This old assurance haunts small creatures, dazed
In icy mud, though cold may freeze them there
And leave them as they are all summer long.
I cannot sleep. Passion and consequence,
The brutal given, and all I have desired
Evade me, and the lucid majesty
That warmed the dull barbarian to life.
So I lie here, left with self-consciousness,
Enemy whom I love but whom his change
And his forgetfulness again compel,
Impassioned, toward my lost indifference,
Faithful, but to an absence. Who shares my bed?
Who lies beside me, certain of his waking,
Led sleeping, by his own dream, to the day?
If I ask you, angel, will you come and lead
This ache to speech, or carry me, like a child,
To riot? Ever young, you come of age
Remote, a pledge of distances, this pang
I notice at dusk, watching you subside
From tree-tops and from fields. Mysterious self,
Image of the fabulous alien,
Even in sleep you summon me, even there,
When, under his native tree, Odysseus hears
His own incredible past and future, whispered
By wisdom, but by wisdom in disguise.
Thinking of a bravura deed, a place
Sacred to a divinity, an old
Verse that seems new, I postulate a man
Mastered by his own image of himself.
Who is it says, I am? Sensuous angel,
Vessel of nerve and blood, the impoverished heir
Of an awareness other than his own?
Not these, but one to come? For there he is,
In a steel helmet, raging, fearing his death,
Carrying bread and water to a quiet,
Placing ten sounds together in one sound:
Confirming his election, or merely still,
Sleeping, or in a colloquy with the sun.
Snow and then rain. The roads are wet. A car
Slips and strains in the mire, and I remember
Driving in France: weapons-carriers and jeeps;
Our clothes and bodies stiffened by mud; our minds
Diverted from fear. We labor. Overhead,
A plane, Berlin or Frankfurt, now New York.
The car pulls clear. My neighbor smiles. He is old.
Was this our wisdom, simply, in a chance,
In danger, to be mastered by a task,
Like groping round a chair, through a door, to bed?
A dormant season, and, under the dripping tree,
Not sovereign, ordering nothing, letting the past
Do with me as it will, I savor place
And weather, air and sun. Though Hercules
Confronts his nature in his deed, repeats
His purposes, and is his will, intact,
Magnificent, and memorable, I try
The simplest forms of our old poverty.
I seek no end appointed in my absence
Beyond the silence I already share.
I drive home with the books that I will read.
The streets are harsh with traffic. Where I once
Played as a boy amid old stands of pine,
Row after row of houses. Lined by the new
Debris of wealth and power, the broken road.
Then miles of red clay bank and frugal ground.
At last, in the minor hills, my father’s place,
Where I can find my way as in a thought—
Gardens, the trees we planted, all we share.
A Cherokee trail runs north to summer hunting.
I see it, when I look up from the page.
In nameless warmth, sun light in every corner,
Bending my body over my glowing book,
I share the room. Is it with a voice or touch
Or look, as of an absence, learned by love,
Now, merely mine? Annunciation, specter
Of the worn out, lost, or broken, telling what future.
What vivid loss to come, you change the room
And him who reads here. Restless, he will stir,
Look round, and see the room renewed and line,
Color, and shape as, in desire, they are,
Not shadows but substantial light, explicit,
Bright as glass, inexhaustible, and true.
My shadow moves, until, at noon, I stand
Within its seal, as in the finished past.
But in the place where effect and cause are joined,
In the warmth or cold of my remembering,
Of love, of partial freedom, the time to be
Trembles and glitters again in windy light.
For nothing is disposed. The slow soft wind
Tilting the blood-root keeps its gentle edge.
The intimate cry, both sinister and tender,
Once heard, is heard confined in its reserve.
My image of myself, apart, informed
By many deaths, resists me, and I stay
Almost as I have been, intact, aware,
Alive, though proud and cautious, even afraid.
~ Edgar Bowers
457:An Alibi
A famous journalist, who long
Had told the great unheaded throng
Whate'er they thought, by day or night.
Was true as Holy Writ, and right,
Was caught in-well, on second thought,
It is enough that he was caught,
And being thrown in jail became
The fuel of a public flame.
'_Vox populi vox Dei_,' said
The jailer. Inxling bent his head
Without remark: that motto good
In bold-faced type had always stood
Above the columns where his pen
Had rioted in praise of men
And all they said-provided he
Was sure they mostly did agree.
Meanwhile a sharp and bitter strife
To take, or save, the culprit's life
Or liberty (which, I suppose,
Was much the same to him) arose
Outside. The journal that his pen
Adorned denounced his crime-but then
Its editor in secret tried
To have the indictment set aside.
The opposition papers swore
His father was a rogue before,
And all his wife's relations were
Like him and similar to her.
They begged their readers to subscribe
A dollar each to make a bribe
That any Judge would feel was large
Enough to prove the gravest charge
Unless, it might be, the defense
Put up superior evidence.
The law's traditional delay
Was all too short: the trial day
Dawned red and menacing. The Judge
Sat on the Bench and wouldn't budge,
And all the motions counsel made
Could not move _him_-and there he stayed.
'The case must now proceed,' he said,
'While I am just in heart and head,
It happens-as, indeed, it oughtBoth sides with equal sums have bought
My favor: I can try the cause
Impartially.' (Prolonged applause.)
The prisoner was now arraigned
And said that he was greatly pained
To be suspected-_he_, whose pen
Had charged so many other men
With crimes and misdemeanors! 'Why,'
He said, a tear in either eye,
'If men who live by crying out
'Stop thief!' are not themselves from doubt
Of their integrity exempt,
Let all forego the vain attempt
To make a reputation! Sir,
I'm innocent, and I demur.'
Whereat a thousand voices cried
Amain he manifestly lied_Vox populi_ as loudly roared
As bull by _picadores_ gored,
In his own coin receiving pay
To make a Spanish holiday.
The jury-twelve good men and true
Were then sworn in to see it through,
And each made solemn oath that he
As any babe unborn was free
From prejudice, opinion, thought,
Respectability, brains-aught
That could disqualify; and some
Explained that they were deaf and dumb.
A better twelve, his Honor said,
Was rare, except among the dead.
The witnesses were called and sworn.
The tales they told made angels mourn,
And the Good Book they'd kissed became
Red with the consciousness of shame.
Whenever one of them approached
The truth, 'That witness wasn't coached,
Your Honor!' cried the lawyers both.
'Strike out his testimony,' quoth
The learned judge: 'This Court denies
Its ear to stories which surprise.
I hold that witnesses exempt
From coaching all are in contempt.'
Both Prosecution and Defense
Applauded the judicial sense,
And the spectators all averred
Such wisdom they had never heard:
'Twas plain the prisoner would be
Found guilty in the first degree.
Meanwhile that wight's pale cheek confessed
The nameless terrors in his breast.
He felt remorseful, too, because
He wasn't half they said he was.
'If I'd been such a rogue,' he mused
On opportunities unused,
'I might have easily become
As wealthy as Methusalum.'
This journalist adorned, alas,
The middle, not the Bible, class.
With equal skill the lawyers' pleas
Attested their divided fees.
Each gave the other one the lie,
Then helped him frame a sharp reply.
Good Lord! it was a bitter fight,
And lasted all the day and night.
When once or oftener the roar
Had silenced the judicial snore
The speaker suffered for the sport
By fining for contempt of court.
Twelve jurors' noses good and true
Unceasing sang the trial through,
And even _vox populi_ was spent
In rattles through a nasal vent.
Clerk, bailiff, constables and all
Heard Morpheus sound the trumpet call
To arms-his arms-and all fell in
Save counsel for the Man of Sin.
That thaumaturgist stood and swayed
The wand their faculties obeyedThat magic wand which, like a flame.
Leapt, wavered, quivered and became
A wonder-worker-known among
The ignoble vulgar as a Tongue.
How long, O Lord, how long my verse
Runs on for better or for worse
In meter which o'ermasters me,
Octosyllabically free!
A meter which, the poets say,
No power of restraint can stay;
A hard-mouthed meter, suited well
To him who, having naught to tell,
Must hold attention as a trout
Is held, by paying out and out
The slender line which else would break
Should one attempt the fish to take.
Thus tavern guides who've naught to show
But some adjacent curio
By devious trails their patrons lead
And make them think 't is far indeed.
Where was I?
While the lawyer talked
The rogue took up his feet and walked:
While all about him, roaring, slept,
Into the street he calmly stepped.
In very truth, the man who thought
The people's voice from heaven had caught
God's inspiration took a change
Of venue-it was passing strange!
Straight to his editor he went
And that ingenious person sent
A Negro to impersonate
The fugitive. In adequate
Disguise he took his vacant place
And buried in his arms his face.
When all was done the lawyer stopped
And silence like a bombshell dropped
Upon the Court: judge, jury, all
Within that venerable hall
(Except the deaf and dumb, indeed,
And one or two whom death had freed)
Awoke and tried to look as though
Slumber was all they did not know.
And now that tireless lawyer-man
Took breath, and then again began:
'Your Honor, if you did attend
To what I've urged (my learned friend
Nodded concurrence) to support
The motion I have made, this court
May soon adjourn. With your assent
I've shown abundant precedent
For introducing now, though late,
New evidence to exculpate
My client. So, if you'll allow,
I'll prove an _alibi_!' 'What?-how?'
Stammered the judge. 'Well, yes, I can't
Deny your showing, and I grant
The motion. Do I understand
You undertake to prove-good land!That when the crime-you mean to show
Your client wasn't _there_?' 'O, no,
I cannot quite do that, I find:
My _alibi's_ another kind
Of _alibi_,-I'll make it clear,
Your Honor, that he isn't _here_.'
The Darky here upreared his head,
Tranquillity affrighted fled
And consternation reigned instead!
~ Ambrose Bierce
  The everlasting universe of things
  Flows through the mind, and rolls its rapid waves,
  Now darknow glittering--now reflecting gloom--
  Now lending splendour, where from secret springs
  The source of human thought its tribute brings
  Of waters--with a sound but half its own,
  Such as a feeble brook will oft assume,
  In the wild woods, among the mountains lone,
  Where waterfalls around it leap for ever,
Where woods and winds contend, and a vast river
Over its rocks ceaselessly bursts and raves.

Thus thou, Ravine of Arvedark, deep Ravine--
Thou many-colour'd, many-voiced vale,
Over whose pines, and crags, and caverns sail
Fast cloud-shadows and sunbeams: awful scene,
Where Power in likeness of the Arve comes down
From the ice-gulfs that gird his secret throne,
Bursting through these dark mountains like the flame
Of lightning through the tempest;--thou dost lie,
Thy giant brood of pines around thee clinging,
Children of elder time, in whose devotion
The chainless winds still come and ever came
To drink their odours, and their mighty swinging
To hearan old and solemn harmony;
Thine earthly rainbows stretch'd across the sweep
Of the aethereal waterfall, whose veil
Robes some unsculptur'd image; the strange sleep
Which when the voices of the desert fail
Wraps all in its own deep eternity;
Thy caverns echoing to the Arve's commotion,
A loud, lone sound no other sound can tame;
Thou art pervaded with that ceaseless motion,
Thou art the path of that unresting sound
Dizzy Ravine! and when I gaze on thee
I seem as in a trance sublime and strange
To muse on my own separate fantasy,
My own, my human mind, which passively
Now renders and receives fast influencings,
Holding an unremitting interchange
With the clear universe of things around;
One legion of wild thoughts, whose wandering wings
Now float above thy darkness, and now rest
Where that or thou art no unbidden guest,
In the still cave of the witch Poesy,
Seeking among the shadows that pass by
Ghosts of all things that are, some shade of thee,
Some phantom, some faint image; till the breast
From which they fled recalls them, thou art there!

Some say that gleams of a remoter world
Visit the soul in sleep, that death is slumber,
And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber
Of those who wake and live.I look on high;
Has some unknown omnipotence unfurl'd
The veil of life and death? or do I lie
In dream, and does the mightier world of sleep
Spread far around and inaccessibly
Its circles? For the very spirit fails,
Driven like a homeless cloud from steep to steep
That vanishes among the viewless gales!
  Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky,
Mont Blanc appearsstill, snowy, and serene;
Its subject mountains their unearthly forms
Pile around it, ice and rock; broad vales between
Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps,
Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread
And wind among the accumulated steeps;
A desert peopled by the storms alone,
Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone,
And the wolf tracks her there--how hideously
Its shapes are heap'd around! rude, bare, and high,
Ghastly, and scarr'd, and riven. --Is this the scene
Where the old Earthquake-daemon taught her young
Ruin? Were these their toys? or did a sea
Of fire envelop once this silent snow?
None can reply -- all seems eternal now.
The wilderness has a mysterious tongue
Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild,
So solemn, so serene, that man may be,
But for such faith, with Nature reconcil'd;
Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal
Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood
By all, but which the wise, and great, and good
Interpret, or make felt, or deeply feel.

The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams,
Ocean, and all the living things that dwell
Within the daedal earth; lightning, and rain,
Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane,
The torpor of the year when feeble dreams
Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep
Holds every future leaf and flower; the bound
With which from that detested trance they leap;
The works and ways of man, their death and birth,
And that of him and all that his may be;
All things that move and breathe with toil and sound
Are born and die; revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity,
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:
And this, the naked countenance of earth,
On which I gaze, even these primeval mountains
Teach the adverting mind. The glaciers creep
Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains,
Slow rolling on; there, many a precipice
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have pil'd: dome, pyramid, and pinnacle,
A city of death, distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing
Its destin'd path, or in the mangled soil
Branchless and shatter'd stand; the rocks, drawn down
From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world,
Never to be reclaim'd. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts, and birds, becomes its spoil;
Their food and their retreat for ever gone,
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread; his work and dwelling
Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream,
And their place is not known. Below, vast caves
Shine in the rushing torrents' restless gleam,
Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling
Meet in the vale, and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, for ever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean-waves,
Breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.

Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:--the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights,
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee!
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea,
If to the human mind's imaginings
Silence and solitude were vacancy?
Composed in Switzerland, July, 1816 (see date below). Printed at the end of the History of a Six Weeks' Tour published by Shelley in 1817, and reprinted with Posthumous Poems, 1824. Amongst the Boscombe manuscripts is a draft of this Ode, mainly in pencil, which has been collated by Dr. Garnett.

In the preface of Mary Shelley's History of a Six Weeks Tour
(1817), Shelley writes: "the poem was composed under the immediate impression of the deep and powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe\; and, as an undisciplined overflowing of the soul, rests its claim to approbation on an attempt to imitate the untamable
wildness and inaccessible solemnity from which those feelings sprang."
Shelley's prose account of his reaction to the first sight of Mont Blanc is in
a letter written on July 24 to T. L. Peacock.

For a prose exposition of what Shelley calls "the intellectual philosophy,"
see his essay On Life: "I confess that I am one of those who am unable
to refuse my assent to the conclusions of those philosophers who assert that
nothing exists but as it is perceived .... The difference is merely nominal
between those two classes of thought which are vulgarly distinguished by
the names of ideas and of external objects. ... The existence of distinct
individual minds ... is likewise found to be a delusion. The words, I,
you, they, are ... merely marks employed to denote the different
modifications of the one mind. ... By the word things is to be
understood any object of thought. ... The relations of things remain
unchanged [in the intellectual philosophy]\; and such is the material of our

Unfurl'd. "Rolled back" or merely "furled" is the meaning required by the
sense of the passage. "Upfurled" has been suggested as the word Shelley intended.

For a related argument see Queen Mab, VI, 197-219.

But for such faith. A surviving pencil draft of the poem reads "in such
a faith," which confirms the likelihood that this phrase is intended to mean
"even with such faith alone," rather than "except for such faith."

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mont Blanc - Lines Written In The Vale of Chamouni

The Turnament Of Tottenham
The Turnament of Tottenham; or, the Wooeing, Winning, and Wedding of Tibbe,
the Reev's Davghter There.
Of all thes kene conquerours to carpe it were kynde;
Of fele feyztyng folk ferly we fynde;
The Turnament of Totenham have we in mynde;
It were harme sych hardynes were holden byhynde,
In story as we rede
Of Hawkyn, of Herry,
Of Tomkyn, of Terry,
Of them that were dughty
And stalworth in dede.
It befel in Totenham on a dere day,
Ther was mad a shurtyng be the hyway;
Theder com al the men of the contray,
Of Hyssylton, of Hy-gate, and of Hakenay,
And all the swete swynkers:
Ther hopped Hawkyn,
Ther daunsed Dawkyn,
Ther trumped Tomkyn,
And all were trewe drynkers.
Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past,
That thay shuld reckyn ther scot and ther counts cast;
Perkyn, the potter, into the press past,
And sayd, 'Randol, the refe, a dozter thou hast,
Tyb the dere.
Therefor faine wyt wold I,
Whych of all thys bachelery
Were best worthye
To wed hur to hys fere.'
Upstyrt thos gadelyngys wyth ther lang staves,
And sayd, 'Randol, the refe, lo, thys lad raves;
Boldely amang us thy dozter he craves;
We er rycher men than he, and mor gode haves,
Of cattell and corn.'
Then sayd Perkyn, 'To Tybbe I have hyzt,
That I schal be alway redy in my ryzt,
If that it schuld be thys day sevenyzt,
Or elles zet to morn.'
Then sayd Randolfe, the refe, 'Ever be he waryd
That about thys carpyng lenger wold be taryd:
I wold not my dozter, that scho were miscaryd,
But at hur most worschip I wold scho were maryd.
Therfor a Turnament schal begynne
Thys day sevenyzt,Wyth a flayl for to fyzt:
And 'he' that is of most myght
Schal brouke hur wyth wynne.
'Whoso berys hym best in the turnament,
Hym schal be granted the gre be the comon assent,
For to wynne my dozter wyth 'dughtynesse' of dent,
And 'Coppell' my brode-henne, 'that' was brozt out of Kent,
And my dunyd kowe.
For no spens wyl I spare,
For no cattell wyl I care;
He schal have my gray mare,
And my spottyd sowe.'
Ther was many 'a' bold lad ther bodyes to bede:
Than thay toke thayr leve and homward they zede,
And all the weke afterward graythed ther wede,
Tyll it come to the day, that thay suld do ther dede.
They armed tham in matts
Thay set on ther nollys,
For to hepe ther pollys,
Gode blake bollys,
For bateryng of bats.
Thay sowed tham in schepeskynnes, for thay schuld not brest,
Ilk-on toke a blak hat, insted of a crest,
'A basket or a panyer before on ther brest,'
And a flayle in ther hande; for to fyght prest,
Furth gon thay fare.
Ther was kyd mekyl fors,
Who schuld best fend hys cors;
He that had no gode hors,
He gat hym a mare.
Sych another gadryng have I not sene oft,
When all the gret company com rydand to the croft;
Tyb on a gray mare was set up on loft
On a sek ful of fedyrs, for scho sculd syt soft,
And led 'till the gap.'
For cryeng of the men
Forther wold not Tyb then,
Tyl scho had hur brode hen
Set in hur Lap.
A gay gyrdyl Tyb had on, borowed for the nonys,
And a garland on hur hed, ful of rounde bonys,
And a broche on hur brest, ful of 'sapphyre' stonys,
Wyth the holy-rode tokenyng, was wrotyn for the nonys;
For no 'spendings' thay had spared.
When joly Gyb saw hur thare,
He gyrd so hys gray mare,
'That scho lete a fowkin' fare
At the rereward.
'I wow to God,' quoth Herry, 'I schal not lefe behynde;
May I mete wyth Bernard on Bayard the blynde.
Ich man kepe hym out of my wynde,
For whatsoever that he be, before me I fynde,
I wot I schall hym greve.'
'Wele sayd,' quoth Hawkyn,
'And I wow,' quoth Dawkyn,
'May I mete wyth Tomkyn,
Hys flayle I schal hym reve.'
'I make a vow,' quoth Hud, 'Tyb, son schal thou se,
Whych of all thys bachelery 'granted' is the gre.
I schal scomfet thaym all, for the love of the;
In what place so I come thay schal have dout of me,
Myn armes ar so clere:
I bere a reddyl, and a rake,
Poudred wyth a brenand drake,
And three cantells of a cake
In ycha cornere.'
'I vow to God,' quoth Hawkyn, 'yf 'I' have the gowt,
Al that I fynde in the felde 'thrustand' here aboute,
Have I twyes or thryes redyn thurgh the route,
In ycha stede ther thay me se, of me thay schal have doute.
When I begyn to play,
I make avowe that I ne schall,
But yf Tybbe wyl me call,
Or I be thryes don fall,
Ryzt onys com away.'
Then sayd Terry, and swore be hys crede:
'Saw thou never yong boy forther hys body bede,
For when thay fyzt fastest and most ar in drede,
I schall take Tyb by the hand and hur away lede.
I am armed at the full;
In myn armys I bere wele
A doz trogh and a pele,
A sadyll wythout a panell,
Wyth a fles of woll.'
'I make a vow,' quoth Dudman, and swor be the stra,
'Whyls me ys left my 'mare,' thou gets hurr not swa;
For scho ys wele schapen and lizt as the rae,
Ther is no capul in thys myle befor hr schal ga.
Sche wul ne nozt begyle;
Sche wyl me bere, I dar say,
On a lang somerys day,
Fro Hyssylton to Hackenay,
Nozt other half myle.'
'I make a vow,' quoth Perkyn, 'thow speks of cold rost,
I schal wyrch 'wyselyer' without any bost.
Five of the best capulys that ar in thys ost,
I wot I schal thaym wynne, and bryng thaym to my cost,
And here I grant tham Tybbe.
Wele boyes here ys he,
That wyl fyzt and not fle,
For I am in my jolyte,
Wyth so forth, Gybbe.'
When thay had ther vowes made, furth can thay hie,
Wyth flayles and hornes and trumpes mad of tre.
Ther were all the bachelerys of that contre:
Thay were dyzt in aray, as thaymselfes wold be.
Thayr baners were ful bryzt,
Of an old rotten fell;
The cheveron of a plow-mell,
And the schadow of a bell,
'Quartred' wyth the mone lyst.
I wot yt 'was' no chylder game whan thay togedyr met,
When icha freke in the feld on hys feloy bet,
And layd on styfly, for nothyng wold thay let,
And foght ferly fast, tyll ther horses swet.
And few wordys spoken.
Ther were flayles al so slatred,
Ther were scheldys al to flatred,
Bollys and dysches al to schatred,
And many hedys brokyn.
Ther was clynkyng of cart-sadelys, and clatteryng of cannes;
Of fele frekys in the feld brokyn were their fannes;
Of sum were the hedys brokyn, of sum the brayn-pannes,
And yll were thay besene or thay went thanns,
Wyth swyppyng of swepyls.
Thay were so wery for-foght,
Thay myzt not fyzt mare oloft,
But creped about in the 'croft,'
As thay were croked crepyls.
Perkyn was so wery, that he began to loute:
'Help, Hud, I am ded in thys ylk rowte;
An hors, for forty pens, a gode and a stoute,
That I may lyztly come of my noye oute.
For no cost wyl I spare.'
Hy styrt up as a snayle,
And hent a capul be the tayle,
And 'reft' Dawkin hys flayle,
And wan there a mare.
Perkyn wan five, and Hud wan twa.
Glad and blythe thay ware that thay had don sa;
Thay wold have tham to Tyb, and present hur with tha;
The Capulls were so wery that thay myzt not ga,
But styl gon thay stond.
'Alas!' quoth Hudde, 'my joye I lese:
Mee had lever then a ston of chese
That dere Tyb had al these,
And wyst it were my sond.'
Perkyn turnyd hym about in that ych thrang;
Among those wery boyes he wrest and he wrang,
He threw tham doun to the erth, and thrast tham amang,
When he saw Tyrry away wyth Tyb fang,
And after hym ran.
Off his horse he hym drogh,
And gag hym of hys flayl inogh.
'We te he!' quoth Tyb, and lugh:
'Ye er a dughty man.'
'Thus' thay tugged and rugged, tyl yt was nere nyzt,
All the wyves of Totenham came to see that syzt
Wyth wyspes and kexis and ryschys there lyxt,
To fetch hom ther husbandes that were tham trouth plyzt.
And some brozt gret harwos,
Ther husbandes hom to fetch,
Som on dores, and sum on hech,
Sum on hyrdyllys, and som on crech,
And sum on whelebarrows.
Thay gaderyd Perkyn about 'on' everych syde,
And grant hym ther 'the gre,' the more was hys pryde.
Tyb and he wyth gret 'mirth' homeward con thay ryde,
And were al nyzt togedyr tyl the morn tyde.
And thay 'to church went.'
So wele hys nedys he has sped,
That dere Tyb he 'hath' wed;
The prayse-folk, that hur led,
Were of the Turnament.
To that ylk fest com many for the mones;
Some come hyphalte, and some trippand 'thither' on the stonys;
Sum a staf in hys hand, and sum two at onys;
Of sum where the hedes broken, of some the schulder bonys.
With sorrow come thay thedyr.
Wo was Hawkyn, wo was Herry,
Wo was Tomkyn, wo was Terry,
And so was all the bachelary,
When thay met togedyr.
At that fest thay wer servyd with a ryche aray:
Every fyve and fyve had a cokenay.
And so thay sat in jolyte al the lung day;
And at the last thay went to bed with ful gret deray.
Mekyl myrth was them among:
In every corner of the hous
Was melody delycyous,
For to here precyus,
Of six menys song.
~ Anonymous Olde English
460:Wild, pale, and wonder-stricken, even as one
Who staggers forth into the air and sun
From the dark chamber of a mortal fever,
Bewildered, and incapable, and ever
Fancying strange comments in her dizzy brain
Of usual shapes, till the familiar train
Of objects and of persons passed like things
Strange as a dreamers mad imaginings,
Ginevra from the nuptial altar went;
The vows to which her lips had sworn assent
Rung in her brain still with a jarring din,
Deafening the lost intelligence within.

And so she moved under the bridal veil,
Which made the paleness of her cheek more pale,
And deepened the faint crimson of her mouth,
And darkened her dark locks, as moonlight doth,--
And of the gold and jewels glittering there
She scarce felt conscious,--but the weary glare
Lay like a chaos of unwelcome light,
Vexing the sense with gorgeous undelight,
A moonbeam in the shadow of a cloud
Was less heavenly fair--her face was bowed,
And as she passed, the diamonds in her hair
Were mirrored in the polished marble stair
Which led from the cathedral to the street;
And ever as she went her light fair feet
Erased these images.

The bride-maidens who round her thronging came,
Some with a sense of self-rebuke and shame,
Envying the unenviable; and others
Making the joy which should have been anothers
Their own by gentle sympathy; and some
Sighing to think of an unhappy home:
Some few admiring what can ever lure
Maidens to leave the heaven serene and pure
Of parents smiles for lifes great cheat; a thing
Bitter to taste, sweet in imagining.

But they are all dispersed--and, lo! she stands
Looking in idle grief on her white hands,
Alone within the garden now her own;
And through the sunny air, with jangling tone,
The music of the merry marriage-bells,
Killing the azure silence, sinks and swells;--
Absorbed like one within a dream who dreams
That he is dreaming, until slumber seems
A mockery of itself--when suddenly
Antonio stood before her, pale as she.
With agony, with sorrow, and with pride,
He lifted his wan eyes upon the bride,
And said--Is this thy faith? and then as one
Whose sleeping face is stricken by the sun
With light like a harsh voice, which bids him rise
And look upon his day of life with eyes
Which weep in vain that they can dream no more,
Ginevra saw her lover, and forbore
To shriek or faint, and checked the stifling blood
Rushing upon her heart, and unsubdued
Said--Friend, if earthly violence or ill,
Suspicion, doubt, or the tyrannic will
Of parents, chance or custom, time or change,
Or circumstance, or terror, or revenge,
Or wildered looks, or words, or evil speech,
With all their stings and venom can impeach
Our love,--we love not:--if the grave which hides
The victim from the tyrant, and divides
The cheek that whitens from the eyes that dart
Imperious inquisition to the heart
That is anothers, could dissever ours,
We love not.--What! do not the silent hours
Beckon thee to Gherardis bridal bed?
Is not that ring--a pledge, he would have said,
Of broken vows, but she with patient look
The golden circle from her finger took,
And said--Accept this token of my faith,
The pledge of vows to be absolved by death;
And I am dead or shall be soonmy knell
Will mix its music with that merry bell,
Does it not sound as if they sweetly said
We toll a corpse out of the marriage-bed?
The flowers upon my bridal chamber strewn
Will serve unfaded for my bierso soon
That even the dying violet will not die
Before Ginevra. The strong fantasy
Had made her accents weaker and more weak,
And quenched the crimson life upon her cheek,
And glazed her eyes, and spread an atmosphere
Round her, which chilled the burning noon with fear,
Making her but an image of the thought
Which, like a prophet or a shadow, brought
News of the terrors of the coming time.
Like an accuser branded with the crime
He would have cast on a beloved friend,
Whose dying eyes reproach not to the end
The pale betrayerhe then with vain repentance
Would share, he cannot now avert, the sentence--
Antonio stood and would have spoken, when
The compound voice of women and of men
Was heard approaching; he retired, while she
Was led amid the admiring company
Back to the palace,--and her maidens soon
Changed her attire for the afternoon,
And left her at her own request to keep
An hour of quiet rest:--like one asleep
With open eyes and folded hands she lay,
Pale in the light of the declining day.

Meanwhile the day sinks fast, the sun is set,
And in the lighted hall the guests are met;
The beautiful looked lovelier in the light
Of love, and admiration, and delight
Reflected from a thousand hearts and eyes,
Kindling a momentary Paradise.
This crowd is safer than the silent wood,
Where loves own doubts disturb the solitude;
On frozen hearts the fiery rain of wine
Falls, and the dew of music more divine
Tempers the deep emotions of the time
To spirits cradled in a sunny clime:--
How many meet, who never yet have met,
To part too soon, but never to forget.
How many saw the beauty, power and wit
Of looks and words which neer enchanted yet;
But lifes familiar veil was now withdrawn,
As the world leaps before an earthquakes dawn,
And unprophetic of the coming hours,
The matin winds from the expanded flowers
Scatter their hoarded incense, and awaken
The earth, until the dewy sleep is shaken
From every living heart which it possesses,
Through seas and winds, cities and wildernesses,
As if the future and the past were all
Treasured i the instant;--so Gherardis hall
Laughed in the mirth of its lords festival,
Till some one asked--Where is the Bride? And then
A bridesmaid went,--and ere she came again
A silence fell upon the guests--a pause
Of expectation, as when beauty awes
All hearts with its approach, though unbeheld;
Then wonder, and then fear that wonder quelled;--
For whispers passed from mouth to ear which drew
The colour from the hearers cheeks, and flew
Louder and swifter round the company;
And then Gherardi entered with an eye
Of ostentatious trouble, and a crowd
Surrounded him, and some were weeping loud.

They found Ginevra dead! if it be death
To lie without motion, or pulse, or breath,
With waxen cheeks, and limbs cold, stiff, and white,
And open eyes, whose fixed and glassy light
Mocked at the speculation they had owned.
If it be death, when there is felt around
A smell of clay, a pale and icy glare,
And silence, and a sense that lifts the hair
From the scalp to the ankles, as it were
Corruption from the spirit passing forth,
And giving all it shrouded to the earth,
And leaving as swift lightning in its flight
Ashes, and smoke, and darkness: in our night
Of thought we know thus much of death,no more
Than the unborn dream of our life before
Their barks are wrecked on its inhospitable shore.
The marriage feast and its solemnity
Was turned to funeral pomp--the company,
With heavy hearts and looks, broke up; nor they
Who loved the dead went weeping on their way
Alone, but sorrow mixed with sad surprise
Loosened the springs of pity in all eyes,
On which that form, whose fate they weep in vain,
Will never, thought they, kindle smiles again.
The lamps which, half extinguished in their haste,
Gleamed few and faint oer the abandoned feast,
Showed as it were within the vaulted room
A cloud of sorrow hanging, as if gloom
Had passed out of mens minds into the air.
Some few yet stood around Gherardi there,
Friends and relations of the dead,--and he,
A loveless man, accepted torpidly
The consolation that he wanted not;
Awe in the place of grief within him wrought.
Their whispers made the solemn silence seem
More still--some wept,...
Some melted into tears without a sob,
And some with hearts that might be heard to throb
Leaned on the table and at intervals
Shuddered to hear through the deserted halls
And corridors the thrilling shrieks which came
Upon the breeze of night, that shook the flame
Of every torch and taper as it swept
From out the chamber where the women kept;--
Their tears fell on the dear companion cold
Of pleasures now departed; then was knolled
The bell of death, and soon the priests arrived,
And finding Death their penitent had shrived,
Returned like ravens from a corpse whereon
A vulture has just feasted to the bone.
And then the mourning women came.--


Old winter was gone
In his weakness back to the mountains hoar,
And the spring came down
From the planet that hovers upon the shore

Where the sea of sunlight encroaches
On the limits of wintry night;--
If the land, and the air, and the sea,
Rejoice not when spring approaches,
We did not rejoice in thee,

She is still, she is cold
On the bridal couch,
One step to the white deathbed,
And one to the bier,
And one to the charnel--and one, oh where?
The dark arrow fled
In the noon.

Ere the sun through heaven once more has rolled,
The rats in her heart
Will have made their nest,
And the worms be alive in her golden hair,
While the Spirit that guides the sun,
Sits throned in his flaming chair,
She shall sleep.

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ginevra

461:Les Phares (The Beacons)
Rubens, fleuve d'oubli, jardin de la paresse,
Oreiller de chair fraîche où l'on ne peut aimer,
Mais où la vie afflue et s'agite sans cesse,
Comme l'air dans le ciel et la mer dans la mer;
Léonard de Vinci, miroir profond et sombre,
Où des anges charmants, avec un doux souris
Tout chargé de mystère, apparaissent à l'ombre
Des glaciers et des pins qui ferment leur pays;
Rembrandt, triste hôpital tout rempli de murmures,
Et d'un grand crucifix décoré seulement,
Où la prière en pleurs s'exhale des ordures,
Et d'un rayon d'hiver traversé brusquement;
Michel-Ange, lieu vague où l'on voit des Hercules
Se mêler à des Christs, et se lever tout droits
Des fantômes puissants qui dans les crépuscules
Déchirent leur suaire en étirant leurs doigts;
Colères de boxeur, impudences de faune,
Toi qui sus ramasser la beauté des goujats,
Grand coeur gonflé d'orgueil, homme débile et jaune,
Puget, mélancolique empereur des forçats;
Watteau, ce carnaval où bien des coeurs illustres,
Comme des papillons, errent en flamboyant,
Décors frais et légers éclairés par des lustres
Qui versent la folie à ce bal tournoyant;
Goya, cauchemar plein de choses inconnues,
De foetus qu'on fait cuire au milieu des sabbats,
De vieilles au miroir et d'enfants toutes nues,
Pour tenter les démons ajustant bien leurs bas;
Delacroix, lac de sang hanté des mauvais anges,
Ombragé par un bois de sapins toujours vert,
Où, sous un ciel chagrin, des fanfares étranges
Passent, comme un soupir étouffé de Weber;
Ces malédictions, ces blasphèmes, ces plaintes,
Ces extases, ces cris, ces pleurs, ces Te Deum,
Sont un écho redit par mille labyrinthes;
C'est pour les coeurs mortels un divin opium!
C'est un cri répété par mille sentinelles,
Un ordre renvoyé par mille porte-voix;
C'est un phare allumé sur mille citadelles,
Un appel de chasseurs perdus dans les grands bois!
Car c'est vraiment, Seigneur, le meilleur témoignage
Que nous puissions donner de notre dignité
Que cet ardent sanglot qui roule d'âge en âge
Et vient mourir au bord de votre éternité!
The Beacons
Rubens, river of oblivion, garden of indolence,
Pillow of cool flesh where one cannot love,
But where life moves and whirls incessantly
Like the air in the sky and the tide in the sea;
Leonardo, dark, unfathomable mirror,
In which charming angels, with sweet smiles
Full of mystery, appear in the shadow
Of the glaciers and pines that enclose their country;
Rembrandt, gloomy hospital filled with murmuring,
Ornamented only with a large crucifix,
Lit for a moment by a wintry sun,
Where from rot and ordure rise tearful prayers;
Angelo, shadowy place where Hercules' are seen
Mingling with Christs, and rising straight up,
Powerful phantoms, which in the twilights
Rend their winding-sheets with outstretched fingers;
Boxer's wrath, shamelessness of Fauns, you whose genius
Showed to us the beauty in a villain,
Great heart filled with pride, sickly, yellow man,
Puget, melancholy emperor of galley slaves;
Watteau, carnival where the loves of many famous hearts
Flutter capriciously like butterflies with gaudy wings;
Cool, airy settings where the candelabras' light
Touches with madness the couples whirling in the dance
Goya, nightmare full of unknown things,
Of fetuses roasted in the midst of witches' sabbaths,
Of old women at the mirror and of nude children,
Tightening their hose to tempt the demons;
Delacroix, lake of blood haunted by bad angels,
Shaded by a wood of fir-trees, ever green,
Where, under a gloomy sky, strange fanfares
Pass, like a stifled sigh from Weber;
These curses, these blasphemies, these lamentations,
These Te Deums, these ecstasies, these cries, these tears,
Are an echo repeated by a thousand labyrinths;
They are for mortal hearts a divine opium.
They are a cry passed on by a thousand sentinels,
An order re-echoed through a thousand megaphones;
They are a beacon lighted on a thousand citadels,
A call from hunters lost deep in the woods!
For truly, Lord, the clearest proofs
That we can give of our nobility,
Are these impassioned sobs that through the ages roll,
And die away upon the shore of your Eternity.
— Translated by William Aggeler
The Beacons
Rubens, the grove of case, Nepenthe's river
Couch of cool flesh, where Love may never be,
But where life ever flows and seems to quiver
As air in heaven, or, in the sea, the sea.
Da Vinci, dusky mirror and profound,
Where angels, smiling mystery, appear,
Shaded by pines and glaciers, that surround
And seem to shut their country in the rear.
Rembrandt, sad hospital of murmurs, where
Adorned alone by one great crucifix,
From offal-heaps exhales the weeping prayer
That winter shoots a sunbeam to transfix.
Vague region, Michelangelo, where Titans
Are mixed with Christs: and strong ghosts rise, in crowds
To stand bolt upright in the gloom that lightens,
With gristly talons tearing through their shrouds.
Rage of the boxer, mischief of the faun,
Extracting beauty out of blackguards' looks —
The heart how proud, the man how pinched and drawn —
Puget the mournful emperor of crooks!
Watteau, the carnival, where famous hearts
Go flitting by like butterflies that burn,
While through gay scenes each chandelier imparts
A madness to the dancers as they turn.
Goya's a nightmare full of things unguessed,
Of foeti stewed on nights of witches' revels.
Crones ogle mirrors; children scarcely dressed,
Adjust their hose to tantalise the devils.
A lake of gore where fallen angels dwell
Is Delacroix, by firwoods ever fair,
Where under fretful skies strange fanfares swell
Like Weber's sighs and heartbeats in the air.
These curses, blasphemies, and lamentations,
These ecstasies, tears, cries and soaring psalms —
Through endless mazes, their reverberations
Bring, to our mortal hearts, divinest balms.
A thousand sentinels repeat the cry.
A thousand trumpets echo. Beacon-tossed
A thousand summits flare it through the sky,
A call of hunters in the jungle lost.
And certainly this is the most sublime
Proof of our worth and value, Oh Divinity,
That this great sob rolls on through ageless time
To die upon the shores of your infinity.
— Translated by Roy Campbell
Les Phares
Rubens, great river of oblivion,
garden of ease, cool flesh no lovers crave,
but where the floods of life unceasing run,
like wind on wind or wave on ocean wave;
Da Vinci — deep and sombre looking-glass
enchanting angels haunt, with subtle smile
all mystery-charged, while shadows dark amass
and pines and ice-cliffs bound their prison-isle;
Rembrandt — a piteous murmuring hospital
where ordure streams in tears and orisons,
stripped to the crucifix on one bare wall
illumed by one chill dart from wintry suns;
vast desert void, — o Michael Angelo!
— where TItans mix with Christs, and twilight clouds
where mighty spectres rise up stark and slow
— whose opening fingers rend their mouldered shrouds;
the rage of boxers and the satyrs' lust
— thou who hast found a grace in toiling knaves,
great heart, in a poor bilious body thrust
— Puget, the gloomy king of galley-slaves;
Watteau — bright carnival, where courtly pairs,
like butterflies in satin, flit about;
flaming in misty groves 'neath resin-flares
which pour their madness on the whirling rout;
Goya, who in a nightmare-horde unfurls
hags boiling foetuses in witches' milk,
beldames before the glass and naked girls
for demon-lovers tightening hose of silk;
and Delacroix — dark lake of blood forlorn
'mid fadeless firs, where evil angels fare,
a sullen sky wherefrom a faery horn
floats, faint as Oberon's horn through muffling air;
these curses, blasphemies and these laments,
these ecstasies, cries, tears, hossanas from
a thousand caverns, form one echo, whence
— death-doomed, we draw a heavenly opium!
theirs is a blast a thousand sentinels
pass on with their trumpets in a thousand moods;
a torch upon a thousand citadels,
a hail from hunters lost in pathless woods!
for truly, 'tis the mightiest voice our souls
command, o Lord, to prove their worth to Thee:
this ardent sob which down the ages rolls
and dies against Thy verge, Eternity!
— Translated by Lewis Piaget Shanks
The Beacons
Reubens, river of forgetfulness, garden of sloth,
Pillow of wet flesh that one cannot love,
But where life throngs and seethes without cease
Like the air in the sky and the water in the sea.
Leonardo da Vinci, sinister mirror,
Where these charming angels with sweet smiles
Charged with mystery, appear in shadows
Of glaciers and pines that close off the country.
Rembrandt, sad hospital full of murmurs
Decorated only with a crucifix,
Where tearful prayers arise from filth
And a ray of winter light crosses brusquely.
Michelangelo, a wasteland where one sees Hercules
Mingling with Christ, and rising in a straight line
Powerful phantoms that in the twilight
Tear their shrouds with stretching fingers.
Rage of a boxer, impudence of a faun,
You who gather together the beauty of the boor,
Your big heart swelling with pride at man defective and yellow,
Puget, melancholy emperor of the poor.
Watteau, this carnival of illustrious hearts
Like butterflies, errant and flamboyant,
In the cool decor, with delicate lightning in the chandeliers
Crossing the madness of the twirling ball.
Goya, nightmare of unknown things,
Fetuses roasting on the spit,
Harridans in the mirror and naked children
Tempting demons by loosening their stockings.
Delacroix, haunted lake of blood and evil angels,
Shaded by evergreen forests of dark firs,
Where, under a grieving sky, strange fanfares
Pass, like a gasping breath of Weber.
These curses, these blasphemies, these moans,
These ecstasies, these tears, these cries of 'Te Deum'
Are an echo reiterated in a thousand mazes;
It is for mortal hearts a divine opium!
It is a cry repeated by a thousand sentinels,
An order returned by a thousand megaphones,
A beacon lighting a thousand citadels
A summons to hunters lost in the wide woods.
For truly, O Lord, what better testimony
Can we give to our dignity
Than this burning sob that rolls from age to age
And comes to die on the shore of Your eternity?
Translated by William A. Sigler
~ Charles Baudelaire
462:'Fairy!' the Spirit said,
   And on the Queen of Spells
   Fixed her ethereal eyes,
   'I thank thee. Thou hast given
A boon which I will not resign, and taught
A lesson not to be unlearned. I know
The past, and thence I will essay to glean
A warning for the future, so that man
May profit by his errors and derive
   Experience from his folly;
For, when the power of imparting joy
Is equal to the will, the human soul
   Requires no other heaven.'

   'Turn thee, surpassing Spirit!
   Much yet remains unscanned.
   Thou knowest how great is man,
   Thou knowest his imbecility;
   Yet learn thou what he is;
   Yet learn the lofty destiny
   Which restless Time prepares
   For every living soul.

'Behold a gorgeous palace that amid
Yon populous city rears its thousand towers
And seems itself a city. Gloomy troops
Of sentinels in stern and silent ranks
Encompass it around; the dweller there
Cannot be free and happy; hearest thou not
The curses of the fatherless, the groans
Of those who have no friend? He passes on
The King, the wearer of a gilded chain
That binds his soul to abjectness, the fool
Whom courtiers nickname monarch, whilst a slave
Even to the basest appetitesthat man
Heeds not the shriek of penury; he smiles
At the deep curses which the destitute
Mutter in secret, and a sullen joy
Pervades his bloodless heart when thousands groan
But for those morsels which his wantonness
Wastes in unjoyous revelry, to save
All that they love from famine; when he hears
The tale of horror, to some ready-made face
Of hypocritical assent he turns,
Smothering the glow of shame, that, spite of him,
Flushes his bloated cheek.

               Now to the meal
Of silence, grandeur and excess he drags
His palled unwilling appetite. If gold,
Gleaming around, and numerous viands culled
From every clime could force the loathing sense
To overcome satiety,if wealth
The spring it draws from poisons not,or vice,
Unfeeling, stubborn vice, converteth not
Its food to deadliest venom; then that king
Is happy; and the peasant who fulfils
His unforced task, when he returns at even
And by the blazing fagot meets again
Her welcome for whom all his toil is sped,
Tastes not a sweeter meal.

               Behold him now
Stretched on the gorgeous couch; his fevered brain
Reels dizzily awhile; but ah! too soon
The slumber of intemperance subsides,
And conscience, that undying serpent, calls
Her venomous brood to their nocturnal task.
Listen! he speaks! oh! mark that frenzied eye
Oh! mark that deadly visage!'

                 'No cessation!
Oh! must this last forever! Awful death,
I wish, yet fear to clasp thee!Not one moment
Of dreamless sleep! O dear and blessd Peace,
Why dost thou shroud thy vestal purity
In penury and dungeons? Wherefore lurkest
With danger, death, and solitude; yet shun'st
The palace I have built thee? Sacred Peace!
Oh, visit me but once,but pitying shed
One drop of balm upon my withered soul!'

'Vain man! that palace is the virtuous heart,
And Peace defileth not her snowy robes
In such a shed as thine. Hark! yet he mutters;
His slumbers are but varied agonies;
They prey like scorpions on the springs of life.
There needeth not the hell that bigots frame
To punish those who err; earth in itself
Contains at once the evil and the cure;
And all-sufficing Nature can chastise
Those who transgress her law; she only knows
How justly to proportion to the fault
The punishment it merits.

               Is it strange
That this poor wretch should pride him in his woe?
Take pleasure in his abjectness, and hug
The scorpion that consumes him? Is it strange
That, placed on a conspicuous throne of thorns,
Grasping an iron sceptre, and immured
Within a splendid prison whose stern bounds
Shut him from all that's good or dear on earth,
His soul asserts not its humanity?
That man's mild nature rises not in war
Against a king's employ? No'tis not strange.
He, like the vulgar, thinks, feels, acts, and lives
Just as his father did; the unconquered powers
Of precedent and custom interpose
Between a king and virtue. Stranger yet,
To those who know not Nature nor deduce
The future from the present, it may seem,
That not one slave, who suffers from the crimes
Of this unnatural being, not one wretch,
Whose children famish and whose nuptial bed
Is earth's unpitying bosom, rears an arm
To dash him from his throne!

                Those gilded flies
That, basking in the sunshine of a court,
Fatten on its corruption! what are they?
The drones of the community; they feed
On the mechanic's labor; the starved hind
For them compels the stubborn glebe to yield
Its unshared harvests; and yon squalid form,
Leaner than fleshless misery, that wastes
A sunless life in the unwholesome mine,
Drags out in labor a protracted death
To glut their grandeur; many faint with toil
That few may know the cares and woe of sloth.

Whence, thinkest thou, kings and parasites arose?
Whence that unnatural line of drones who heap
Toil and unvanquishable penury
On those who build their palaces and bring
Their daily bread?From vice, black loathsome vice;
From rapine, madness, treachery, and wrong;
From all that genders misery, and makes
Of earth this thorny wilderness; from lust,
Revenge, and murder.And when reason's voice,
Loud as the voice of Nature, shall have waked
The nations; and mankind perceive that vice
Is discord, war and misery; that virtue
Is peace and happiness and harmony;
When man's maturer nature shall disdain
The playthings of its childhood;kingly glare
Will lose its power to dazzle, its authority
Will silently pass by; the gorgeous throne
Shall stand unnoticed in the regal hall,
Fast falling to decay; whilst falsehood's trade
Shall be as hateful and unprofitable
As that of truth is now.

              Where is the fame
Which the vain-glorious mighty of the earth
Seek to eternize? Oh! the faintest sound
From time's light footfall, the minutest wave
That swells the flood of ages, whelms in nothing
The unsubstantial bubble. Ay! to-day
Stern is the tyrant's mandate, red the gaze
That flashes desolation, strong the arm
That scatters multitudes. To-morrow comes!
That mandate is a thunder-peal that died
In ages past; that gaze, a transient flash
On which the midnight closed; and on that arm
The worm has made his meal.

               The virtuous man,
Who, great in his humility as kings
Are little in their grandeur; he who leads
Invincibly a life of resolute good
And stands amid the silent dungeon-depths
More free and fearless than the trembling judge
Who, clothed in venal power, vainly strove
To bind the impassive spirit;when he falls,
His mild eye beams benevolence no more;
Withered the hand outstretched but to relieve;
Sunk reason's simple eloquence that rolled
But to appall the guilty. Yes! the grave
Hath quenched that eye and death's relentless frost
Withered that arm; but the unfading fame
Which virtue hangs upon its votary's tomb,
The deathless memory of that man whom kings
Call to their minds and tremble, the remembrance
With which the happy spirit contemplates
Its well-spent pilgrimage on earth,
Shall never pass away.

'Nature rejects the monarch, not the man;
The subject, not the citizen; for kings
And subjects, mutual foes, forever play
A losing game into each other's hands,
Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man
Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys.
Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience,
Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame
A mechanized automaton.

             When Nero
High over flaming Rome with savage joy
Lowered like a fiend, drank with enraptured ear
The shrieks of agonizing death, beheld
The frightful desolation spread, and felt
A new-created sense within his soul
Thrill to the sight and vibrate to the sound,
Thinkest thou his grandeur had not overcome
The force of human kindness? And when Rome
With one stern blow hurled not the tyrant down,
Crushed not the arm red with her dearest blood,
Had not submissive abjectness destroyed
Nature's suggestions?

             Look on yonder earth:
The golden harvests spring; the unfailing sun
Sheds light and life; the fruits, the flowers, the trees,
Arise in due succession; all things speak
Peace, harmony and love. The universe,
In Nature's silent eloquence, declares
That all fulfil the works of love and joy,
All but the outcast, Man. He fabricates
The sword which stabs his peace; he cherisheth
The snakes that gnaw his heart; he raiseth up
The tyrant whose delight is in his woe,
Whose sport is in his agony. Yon sun,
Lights it the great alone? Yon silver beams,
Sleep they less sweetly on the cottage thatch
Than on the dome of kings? Is mother earth
A step-dame to her numerous sons who earn
Her unshared gifts with unremitting toil;
A mother only to those puling babes
Who, nursed in ease and luxury, make men
The playthings of their babyhood and mar
In self-important childishness that peace
Which men alone appreciate?

   'Spirit of Nature, no!
The pure diffusion of thy essence throbs
  Alike in every human heart.
   Thou aye erectest there
  Thy throne of power unappealable;
  Thou art the judge beneath whose nod
  Man's brief and frail authority
   Is powerless as the wind
   That passeth idly by;
  Thine the tribunal which surpasseth
   The show of human justice
   As God surpasses man!

   'Spirit of Nature! thou
Life of interminable multitudes;
  Soul of those mighty spheres
Whose changeless paths through Heaven's deep silence lie;
  Soul of that smallest being,
   The dwelling of whose life
  Is one faint April sun-gleam;
   Man, like these passive things,
Thy will unconsciously fulfilleth;
  Like theirs, his age of endless peace,
   Which time is fast maturing,
   Will swiftly, surely, come;
And the unbounded frame which thou pervadest,
   Will be without a flaw
  Marring its perfect symmetry!

~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab - Part III.

463: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!
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.
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
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
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,
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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
464:On The Way
NOTE.—The following imaginary dialogue between Alexander Hamilton and
Aaron Burr, which is not based upon any specific incident in American history,
may be supposed to have occurred a few months previous to Hamilton’s
retirement from Washington’s Cabinet in 1795 and a few years before the
political ingenuities of Burr—who has been characterized, without much
exaggeration, as the inventor of American politics—began to be conspicuously
formidable to the Federalists. These activities on the part of Burr resulted, as the
reader will remember, in the Burr-Jefferson tie for the Presidency in 1800, and
finally in the Burr-Hamilton duel at Weehawken in 1804.

Hamilton, if he rides you down, remember
That I was here to speak, and so to save
Your fabric from catastrophe. That’s good;
For I perceive that you observe him also.
A President, a-riding of his horse,
May dust a General and be forgiven;
But why be dusted—when we’re all alike,
All equal, and all happy? Here he comes—
And there he goes. And we, by your new patent,
Would seem to be two kings here by the wayside,
With our two hats off to his Excellency.
Why not his Majesty, and done with it?
Forgive me if I shook your meditation,
But you that weld our credit should have eyes
To see what’s coming. Bury me first if I do.
There’s always in some pocket of your brain
A care for me; wherefore my gratitude
For your attention is commensurate
With your concern. Yes, Burr, we are two kings;
We are as royal as two ditch-diggers;
But owe me not your sceptre. These are the days
When first a few seem all; but if we live
We may again be seen to be the few
That we have always been. These are the days
When men forget the stars, and are forgotten.
But why forget them? They’re the same that winked
Upon the world when Alcibiades
Cut off his dog’s tail to induce distinction.
There are dogs yet, and Alcibiades
Is not forgotten.
Yes, there are dogs enough,
God knows; and I can hear them in my dreams.
Never a doubt. But what you hear the most
Is your new music, something out of tune
With your intention. How in the name of Cain,
I seem to hear you ask, are men to dance,
When all men are musicians. Tell me that,
I hear you saying, and I’ll tell you the name
Of Samson’s mother. But why shroud yourself
Before the coffin comes? For all you know,
The tree that is to fall for your last house
Is now a sapling. You may have to wait
So long as to be sorry; though I doubt it,
For you are not at home in your new Eden
Where chilly whispers of a likely frost
Accumulate already in the air.
I think a touch of ermine, Hamilton,
Would be for you in your autumnal mood
A pleasant sort of warmth along the shoulders.
If so it is you think, you may as well
Give over thinking. We are done with ermine.
What I fear most is not the multitude,
But those who are to loop it with a string
That has one end in France and one end here.
I’m not so fortified with observation
That I could swear that more than half a score
Among us who see lightning see that ruin
Is not the work of thunder. Since the world
Was ordered, there was never a long pause
For caution between doing and undoing.
Go on, sir; my attention is a trap
Set for the catching of all compliments
To Monticello, and all else abroad
That has a name or an identity.
I leave to you the names—there are too many;
Yet one there is to sift and hold apart,
As now I see. There comes at last a glimmer
That is not always clouded, or too late.
But I was near and young, and had the reins
To play with while he manned a team so raw
That only God knows where the end had been
Of all that riding without Washington.
There was a nation in the man who passed us,
If there was not a world. I may have driven
Since then some restive horses, and alone,
And through a splashing of abundant mud;
But he who made the dust that sets you on
To coughing, made the road. Now it seems dry,
And in a measure safe.
Here’s a new tune
From Hamilton. Has your caution all at once,
And over night, grown till it wrecks the cradle?
I have forgotten what my father said
When I was born, but there’s a rustling of it
Among my memories, and it makes a noise
About as loud as all that I have held
And fondled heretofore of your same caution.
But that’s affairs, not feelings. If our friends
Guessed half we say of them, our enemies
Would itch in our friends’ jackets. Howsoever,
The world is of a sudden on its head,
And all are spilled—unless you cling alone
With Washington. Ask Adams about that.
We’ll not ask Adams about anything.
We fish for lizards when we choose to ask
For what we know already is not coming,
And we must eat the answer. Where’s the use
Of asking when this man says everything,
With all his tongues of silence?
I dare say.
I dare say, but I won’t. One of those tongues
I’ll borrow for the nonce. He’ll never miss it.
We mean his Western Majesty, King George.
I mean the man who rode by on his horse.
I’ll beg of you the meed of your indulgence
If I should say this planet may have done
A deal of weary whirling when at last,
If ever, Time shall aggregate again
A majesty like his that has no name.
Then you concede his Majesty? That’s good,
And what of yours? Here are two majesties.
Favor the Left a little, Hamilton,
Or you’ll be floundering in the ditch that waits
For riders who forget where they are riding.
If we and France, as you anticipate,
Must eat each other, what Cæsar, if not yourself,
Do you see for the master of the feast?
There may be a place waiting on your head
For laurel thick as Nero’s. You don’t know.
I have not crossed your glory, though I might
If I saw thrones at auction.
Yes, you might.
If war is on the way, I shall be—here;
And I’ve no vision of your distant heels.
I see that I shall take an inference
To bed with me to-night to keep me warm.
I thank you, Hamilton, and I approve
Your fealty to the aggregated greatness
Of him you lean on while he leans on you.
This easy phrasing is a game of yours
That you may win to lose. I beg your pardon,
But you that have the sight will not employ
The will to see with it. If you did so,
There might be fewer ditches dug for others
In your perspective; and there might be fewer
Contemporary motes of prejudice
Between you and the man who made the dust.
Call him a genius or a gentleman,
A prophet or a builder, or what not,
But hold your disposition off the balance,
And weigh him in the light. Once (I believe
I tell you nothing new to your surmise,
Or to the tongues of towns and villages)
I nourished with an adolescent fancy—
Surely forgivable to you, my friend—
An innocent and amiable conviction
That I was, by the grace of honest fortune,
A savior at his elbow through the war,
Where I might have observed, more than I did,
Patience and wholesome passion. I was there,
And for such honor I gave nothing worse
Than some advice at which he may have smiled.
I must have given a modicum besides,
Or the rough interval between those days
And these would never have made for me my friends,
Or enemies. I should be something somewhere—
I say not what—but I should not be here
If he had not been there. Possibly, too,
You might not—or that Quaker with his cane.
Possibly, too, I should. When the Almighty
Rides a white horse, I fancy we shall know it.
It was a man, Burr, that was in my mind;
No god, or ghost, or demon—only a man:
A man whose occupation is the need
Of those who would not feel it if it bit them;
And one who shapes an age while he endures
The pin pricks of inferiorities;
A cautious man, because he is but one;
A lonely man, because he is a thousand.
No marvel you are slow to find in him
The genius that is one spark or is nothing:
His genius is a flame that he must hold
So far above the common heads of men
That they may view him only through the mist
Of their defect, and wonder what he is.
It seems to me the mystery that is in him
That makes him only more to me a man
Than any other I have ever known.
I grant you that his worship is a man.
I’m not so much at home with mysteries,
May be, as you—so leave him with his fire:
God knows that I shall never put it out.
He has not made a cripple of himself
In his pursuit of me, though I have heard
His condescension honors me with parts.
Parts make a whole, if we’ve enough of them;
And once I figured a sufficiency
To be at least an atom in the annals
Of your republic. But I must have erred.
You smile as if your spirit lived at ease
With error. I should not have named it so,
Failing assent from you; nor, if I did,
Should I be so complacent in my skill
To comb the tangled language of the people
As to be sure of anything in these days.
Put that much in account with modesty.
What in the name of Ahab, Hamilton,
Have you, in the last region of your dreaming,
To do with “people”? You may be the devil
In your dead-reckoning of what reefs and shoals
Are waiting on the progress of our ship
Unless you steer it, but you’ll find it irksome
Alone there in the stern; and some warm day
There’ll be an inland music in the rigging,
And afterwards on deck. I’m not affined
Or favored overmuch at Monticello,
But there’s a mighty swarming of new bees
About the premises, and all have wings.
If you hear something buzzing before long,
Be thoughtful how you strike, remembering also
There was a fellow Naboth had a vineyard,
And Ahab cut his hair off and went softly.
I don’t remember that he cut his hair off.
Somehow I rather fancy that he did.
If so, it’s in the Book; and if not so,
He did the rest, and did it handsomely.
Commend yourself to Ahab and his ways
If they inveigle you to emulation;
But where, if I may ask it, are you tending
With your invidious wielding of the Scriptures?
You call to mind an eminent archangel
Who fell to make him famous. Would you fall
So far as he, to be so far remembered?
Before I fall or rise, or am an angel,
I shall acquaint myself a little further
With our new land’s new language, which is not—
Peace to your dreams—an idiom to your liking.
I’m wondering if a man may always know
How old a man may be at thirty-seven;
I wonder likewise if a prettier time
Could be decreed for a good man to vanish
Than about now for you, before you fade,
And even your friends are seeing that you have had
Your cup too full for longer mortal triumph.
Well, you have had enough, and had it young;
And the old wine is nearer to the lees
Than you are to the work that you are doing.
When does this philological excursion
Into new lands and languages begin?
Anon—that is, already. Only Fortune
Gave me this afternoon the benefaction
Of your blue back, which I for love pursued,
And in pursuing may have saved your life—
Also the world a pounding piece of news:
Hamilton bites the dust of Washington,
Or rather of his horse. For you alone,
Or for your fame, I’d wish it might have been so.
Not every man among us has a friend
So jealous for the other’s fame. How long
Are you to diagnose the doubtful case
Of Demos—and what for? Have you a sword
For some new Damocles? If it’s for me,
I have lost all official appetite,
And shall have faded, after January,
Into the law. I’m going to New York.
No matter where you are, one of these days
I shall come back to you and tell you something.
This Demos, I have heard, has in his wrist
A pulse that no two doctors have as yet
Counted and found the same, and in his mouth
A tongue that has the like alacrity
For saying or not for saying what most it is
That pullulates in his ignoble mind.
One of these days I shall appear again,
To tell you more of him and his opinions;
I shall not be so long out of your sight,
Or take myself so far, that I may not,
Like Alcibiades, come back again.
He went away to Phrygia, and fared ill.
There’s an example in Themistocles:
He went away to Persia, and fared well.
So? Must I go so far? And if so, why so?
I had not planned it so. Is this the road
I take? If so, farewell.
Quite so. Farewell.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson
'Dieu dont l'arc est d'argent, dieu de Claros, écoute;
O Sminthée-Apollon, je périrai sans doute,
Si tu ne sers de guide à cet aveugle errant.'
C'est ainsi qu'achevait l'aveugle en soupirant,
Et près des bois marchait, faible, et sur une pierre
S'asseyait. Trois pasteurs, enfants de cette terre,
Le suivaient, accourus aux abois turbulents
Des molosses, gardiens de leurs troupeaux bêlants.
Ils avaient, retenant leur fureur indiscrète,
Protégé du vieillard la faiblesse inquiète;
Ils l'écoutaient de loin, et s'approchant de lui:
Quel est ce vieillard blanc, aveugle et sans appui?
Serait-ce un habitant de l'empire céleste?
Ses traits sont grands et fiers; de sa ceinture agreste
Pend une lyre informe; et les sons de sa voix
Émeuvent l'air et l'onde, et le ciel et les bois.'
Mais il entend leurs pas, prête l'oreille, espère,
Se trouble, et tend déjà les mains à la prière.
'Ne crains point, disent-ils, malheureux étranger,
Si plutôt, sous un corps terrestre et passager,
Tu n'es point quelque dieu protecteur de la Grèce,
Tant une grâce auguste ennoblit ta vieillesse!
Si tu n'es qu'un mortel, vieillard infortuné,
Les humains près de qui les flots t'ont amené
Aux mortels malheureux n'apportent point d'injures.
Les destins n'ont jamais de faveurs qui soient pures.
Ta voix noble et touchante est un bienfait des dieux;
Mais aux clartés du jour ils ont fermé tes yeux.
--Enfants, car votre voix est enfantine et tendre,
Vos discours sont prudents plus qu'on n'eût dû l'attendre;
Mais, toujours soupçonneux, l'indigent étranger
Croit qu'on rit de ses maux et qu'on veut l'outrager.
Ne me comparez point à la troupe immortelle:
Ces rides, ces cheveux, cette nuit éternelle,
Voyez, est-ce le front d'un habitant des cieux?
Je ne suis qu'un mortel, un des plus malheureux!
Si vous en savez un, pauvre, errant, misérable,
C'est à celui-là seul que je suis comparable;
Et pourtant je n'ai point, comme fit Thamyris,
Des chansons à Phoebus voulu ravir le prix;
Ni, livré comme Oedipe à la noire Euménide,
Je n'ai puni sur moi l'inceste parricide;
Mais les dieux tout-puissants gardaient à mon déclin
Les ténèbres, l'exil, l'indigence et la faim.
--Prends, et puisse bientôt changer ta destinée!'
Disent-ils. Et tirant ce que, pour leur journée,
Tient la peau d'une chèvre aux crins noirs et luisants,
Ils versent à l'envi, sur ses genoux pesants,
Le pain de pur froment, les olives huileuses,
Le fromage et l'amande et les figues mielleuses;
Et du pain à son chien entre ses pieds gisant,
Tout hors d'haleine encore, humide et languissant,
Qui, malgré les rameurs, se lançant à la nage,
L'avait loin du vaisseau rejoint sur le rivage.
'Le sort, dit le vieillard, n'est pas toujours de fer;
Je vous salue, enfants venus de Jupiter;
Heureux sont les parents qui tels vous firent naître!
Mais venez, que mes mains cherchent à vous connaître;
Je crois avoir des yeux. Vous êtes beaux tous trois.
Vos visages sont doux, car douce est votre voix.
Qu'aimable est la vertu que la grâce environne!
Croissez, comme j'ai vu ce palmier de Latone,
Alors qu'ayant des yeux je traversai les flots;
Car jadis, abordant à la sainte Délos,
Je vis près d'Apollon, à son autel de pierre,
Un palmier, don du ciel, merveille de la terre.
Vous croîtrez, comme lui, grands, féconds, révérés,
Puisque les malheureux sont par vous honorés.
Le plus âgé de vous aura vu treize années:
A peine, mes enfants, vos mères étaient nées,
Que j'étais presque vieux. Assieds-toi près de moi,
Toi, le plus grand de tous; je me confie à toi.
Prends soin du vieil aveugle.--O sage magnanime!
Comment, et d'où viens-tu? car l'onde maritime
Mugit de toutes parts sur nos bords orageux.
--Des marchands de Cymé m'avaient pris avec eux.
J'allais voir, m'éloignant des rives de Carie,
Si la Grèce pour moi n'aurait point de patrie,
Et des dieux moins jaloux, et de moins tristes jours;
Car jusques à la mort nous espérons toujours.
Mais pauvre et n'ayant rien pour payer mon passage,
Ils m'ont, je ne sais où, jeté sur le rivage.
--Harmonieux vieillard, tu n'as donc point chanté?
Quelques sons de ta voix auraient tout acheté.
--Enfants! du rossignol la voix pure et légère
N'a jamais apaisé le vautour sanguinaire;
Et les riches, grossiers, avares, insolents,
N'ont pas une âme ouverte à sentir les talents.
Guidé par ce bâton, sur l'arène glissante,
Seul, en silence, au bord de l'onde mugissante,
J'allais, et j'écoutais le bêlement lointain
De troupeaux agitant leurs sonnettes d'airain.
Puis j'ai pris cette lyre, et les cordes mobiles
Ont encor résonné sous mes vieux doigts débiles
Je voulais des grands dieux implorer la bonté,
Et surtout Jupiter, dieu d'hospitalité,
Lorsque d'énormes chiens à la voix formidable
Sont venus m'assaillir; et j'étais misérable,
Si vous (car c'était vous), avant qu'ils m'eussent pris,
N'eussiez armé pour moi les pierres et les cris.
--Mon père, il est donc vrai: tout est devenu pire,
Car jadis, aux accents d'une éloquente lyre,
Les tigres et les loups, vaincus, humiliés,
D'un chanteur comme toi vinrent baiser les pieds.
--Les barbares! J'étais assis près de la poupe.
'Aveugle vagabond, dit l'insolente troupe,
Chante, si ton esprit n'est point comme tes yeux,
Amuse notre ennui; tu rendras grâce aux dieux.'
J'ai fait taire mon coeur qui voulait les confondre:
Ma bouche ne s'est point ouverte à leur répondre;
Ils n'ont pas entendu ma voix, et sous ma main
J'ai retenu le dieu courroucé dans mon sein.
Cymé, puisque tes fils dédaignent Mnémosyne,
Puisqu'ils ont fait outrage à la muse divine,
Que leur vie et leur mort s'éteignent dans l'oubli,
Que ton nom dans la nuit demeure enseveli!
--Viens, suis-nous à la ville; elle est toute voisine,
Et chérit les amis de la muse divine.
Un siège aux clous d'argent te place à nos festins;
Et là les mets choisis, le miel et les bons vins,
Sous la colonne où pend une lyre d'ivoire,
Te feront de tes maux oublier la mémoire.
Et si, dans le chemin, rapsode ingénieux,
Ta veux nous accorder tes chants dignes des cieux,
Nous dirons qu'Apollon, pour charmer les oreilles,
T'a lui-même dicté de si douces merveilles.
--Oui, je le veux; marchons. Mais où m'entraînez-vous?
Enfants du vieil aveugle, en quel lieu sommes-nous?
--Syros est l'île heureuse où nous vivons, mon père.
--Salut, belle Syros, deux fois hospitalière!
Car sur ses bords heureux je suis déjà venu:
Amis, je la connais. Vos pères m'ont connu.
Ils croissaient comme vous; mes yeux s'ouvraient encore
Au soleil, au printemps, aux roses de l'aurore;
J'étais jeune et vaillant. Aux danses des guerriers,
A la course, aux combats, j'ai paru des premiers.
J'ai vu Corinthe, Argos, et Crète et les cent villes,
Et du fleuve Egyptus les rivages fertiles;
Mais la terre et la mer, et l'âge et les malheurs,
Ont épuisé ce corps fatigué de douleurs.
La voix me reste. Ainsi la cigale innocente,
Sur un arbuste assise, et se console et chante.
Commençons par les dieux: 'Souverain Jupiter,
Soleil qui vois, entends, connais tout, et toi, mer,
Fleuves, terre, et noirs dieux des vengeances trop lentes,
Salut! Venez à moi, de l'Olympe habitantes,
Muses! vous savez tout, vous, déesses, et nous,
Mortels, ne savons rien qui ne vienne de vous.''
Il poursuit; et déjà les antiques ombrages
Mollement en cadence inclinaient leurs feuillages;
Et pâtres oubliant leur troupeau délaissé,
Et voyageurs quittant leur chemin commencé,
Couraient. Il les entend près de son jeune guide,
L'un sur l'autre pressés, tendre une oreille avide;
Et nymphes et sylvains sortaient pour l'admirer,
Et l'écoutaient en foule, et n'osaient respirer,
Car en de longs détours de chansons vagabondes
Il enchaînait de tout les semences fécondes,
Les principes du feu, les eaux, la terre et l'air,
Les fleuves descendus du sein de Jupiter,
Les oracles, les arts, les cités fraternelles,
Et depuis le chaos les amours immortelles;
D'abord le roi divin, et l'Olympe, et les cieux,
Et le monde ébranlé d'un signe de ses yeux,
Et les dieux partagés en une immense guerre,
Et le sang plus qu'humain venant rougir la terre,
Et les rois assemblés, et sous les pieds guerriers
Une nuit de poussière, et les chars meurtriers,
Et les héros armés, brillant dans les campagnes
Comme un vaste incendie aux cimes des montagnes,
Les coursiers hérissant leur crinière à longs flots,
Et d'une voix humaine excitant les héros;
De là, portant ses pas dans les paisibles villes,
Les lois, les orateurs, les récoltes fertiles;
Mais bientôt de soldats les remparts entourés,
Les victimes tombant dans les parvis sacrés,
Et les assauts mortels aux épouses plaintives,
Et les mères en deuil, et les filles captives;
Puis aussi les moissons joyeuses, les troupeaux
Bêlants ou mugissants, les rustiques pipeaux,
Les chansons, les festins, les vendanges bruyantes,
Et la flûte et la lyre, et les noces dansantes.
Puis, déchaînant les vents à soulever les mers,
Il perdait les rochers sur les gouffres amers;
De là, dans le sein frais d'une roche azurée,
En foule il appelait les filles de Nérée,
Qui, bientôt à ses cris s'élevant sur les eaux,
Aux rivages troyens parcouraient les vaisseaux.
Puis il ouvrait du Styx la rive criminelle,
Et puis les demi-dieux et les champs d'asphodèle,
Et la foule des morts: vieillards seuls et souffrants,
Jeunes gens emportés aux yeux de leurs parents,
Enfants dont au berceau la vie est terminée,
Vierges dont le trépas suspendit l'hyménée.
Mais, ô bois, ô ruisseaux, ô monts, ô durs cailloux!
Quels doux frémissements vous agitèrent tous,
Quand bientôt à Lemnos, sur l'enclume divine,
Il forgeait cette trame irrésistible et fine
Autant que d'Arachné les pièges inconnus,
Et dans ce fer mobile emprisonnait Vénus,
Et quand il revêtait d'une pierre soudaine
La fière Niobé, cette mère thébaine;
Et quand il répétait en accents de douleur
De la triste Aédon l'imprudence et les pleurs,
Qui d'un fils méconnu marâtre involontaire,
Vola, doux rossignol, sous le bois solitaire!
Ensuite, avec le vin, il versait aux héros
Le puissant népenthès, oubli de tous les maux;
Il cueillait le moly, fleur qui rend l'homme sage;
Du paisible lotos il mêlait le breuvage:
Les mortels oubliaient, à ce philtre charmés,
Et la douce patrie et les parents aimés.
Enfin l'Ossa, l'Olympe et les bois du Pénée
Voyaient ensanglanter les banquets d'hyménée,
Quand Thésée, au milieu de la joie et du vin,
La nuit où son ami reçut à son festin
Le peuple monstrueux des enfants de la nue,
Fut contraint d'arracher l'épouse demi-nue
Au bras ivre et nerveux du sauvage Eurytus.
Soudain, le glaive en main, l'ardent Pirithoüs:
'Attends; il faut ici que mon affront s'expie,
Traître!' Mais avant lui, sur le centaure impie
Dryas a fait tomber, avec tous ses rameaux,
Un long arbre de fer hérissé de flambeaux.
L'insolent quadrupède en vain s'écrie; il tombe,
Et son pied bat le sol qui doit être sa tombe.
Sous l'effort de Nessus, la table du repas
Roule, écrase Cymèle, Évagre, Périphas.
Pirithoüs égorge Antimaque et Pétrée,
Et Cyllare aux pieds blancs, et le noir Macarée,
Qui de trois fiers lions, dépouillés par sa main,
Couvrait ses quatre flancs, armait son double sein.
Courbé, levant un roc choisi pour leur vengeance,
Tout à coup, sous l'airain d'un vase antique, immense,
L'imprudent Bianor, par Hercule surpris,
Sent de sa tête énorme éclater les débris.
Hercule et la massue entassent en trophée
Clanis, Démoléon, Lycotas, et Riphée
Qui portait sur ses crins, de taches colorés,
L'héréditaire éclat des nuages dorés.
Mais d'un double combat Eurynome est avide,
Car ses pieds, agités en un cercle rapide,
Battent à coups pressés l'armure de Nestor;
Le quadrupède Hélops fuit; l'agile Crantor,
Le bras levé, l'atteint; Eurynome l'arrête;
D'un érable noueux il va fendre sa tête,
Lorsque le fils d'Égée, invincible, sanglant,
L'aperçoit, à l'autel prend un chêne brûlant,
Sur sa croupe indomptée, avec un cri terrible,
S'élance, va saisir sa chevelure horrible,
L'entraîne, et, quand sa bouche, ouverte avec effort,
Crie, il y plonge ensemble et la flamme et la mort.
L'autel est dépouillé. Tous vont s'armer de flamme,
Et le bois porte au loin des hurlements de femme,
L'ongle frappant la terre, et les guerriers meurtris,
Et les vases brisés, et l'injure, et les cris.
Ainsi le grand vieillard, en images hardies,
Déployait le tissu des saintes mélodies.
Les trois enfants émus, à son auguste aspect,
Admiraient, d'un regard de joie et de respect,
De sa bouche abonder les paroles divines,
Comme en hiver la neige aux sommets des collines.
Et, partout accourus, dansant sur son chemin,
Hommes, femmes, enfants, les rameaux à la main,
Et vierges et guerriers, jeunes fleurs de la ville,
Chantaient: 'Viens dans nos murs, viens habiter notre île;
Viens, prophète éloquent, aveugle harmonieux,
Convive du nectar, disciple aimé des dieux;
Des jeux, tous les cinq ans, rendront saint et prospère
Le jour où nous avons reçu le grand HOMÈRE.'
~ Andre Marie de Chenier
466:New-Englands Crisis
IN seventy five the Critick of our years
Commenc'd our war with Phillip and his peers.
Whither the sun in Leo had inspir'd
A feav'rish heat, and Pagan spirits fir'd?
Whither some Romish Agent hatcht the plot?
Or whither they themselves? appeareth not.
Whither our infant thrivings did invite?
Or whither to our lands pretended right?
Is hard to say; but Indian spirits need
No grounds but lust to make a Christian bleed.
And here methinks I see this greazy Lout
With all his pagan slaves coil'd round about,
Assuming all the majesty his throne
Of rotten stump, or of the rugged stone
Could yield; casting some bacon-rine-like looks,
Enough to fright a Student from his books,
Thus treat his peers, and next to them his Commons,
Kennel'd together all without a summons.
"My friends, our Fathers were not half so wise
As we our selves who see with younger eyes.
They sel our land to english man who teach
Our nation all so fast to pray and preach:
Of all our countrey they enjoy the best,
And quickly they intend to have the rest.
This no wunnegin, so big matchit law,
Which our old fathers fathers never saw.
These english make and we must keep them too,
Which is too hard for them or us to doe,
We drink we so big whipt, but english they
Go sneep, no more, or else a little pay.
Me meddle Squaw me hang'd, our fathers kept
What Squaws they would whither they wakt or slept.
Now if you'le fight Ile get you english coats,
And wine to drink out of their Captains throats.
The richest merchants houses shall be ours,
Wee'l ly no more on matts or dwell in bowers
Wee'l have their silken wives take they our Squaws,
They shall be whipt by virtue of our laws.
If ere we strike tis now before they swell
To greater swarmes then we know how to quell.
This my resolve, let neighbouring Sachems know,
And every one that hath club, gun or bow."
This was assented to, and for a close
He strokt his smutty beard and curst his foes.
This counsel lightning like their tribes invade,
And something like a muster's quickly made,
A ragged regiment, a naked swarm,
Whome hopes of booty doth with courage arm,
Set forthwith bloody hearts, the first they meet
Of men or beasts they butcher at their feet.
They round our skirts, they pare, they fleece they kil,
And to our bordering towns do what they will.
Poor Hovills (better far then Caesars court
In the experience of the meaner sort)
Receive from them their doom next execution,
By flames reduc'd to horror and confusion:
Here might be seen the smoking funeral piles
Of wildred towns pitcht distant many miles.
Here might be seen the infant from the breast
Snatcht by a pagan hand to lasting rest:
The mother Rachel-like shrieks out my child
She wrings her hands and raves as she were wild.
The bruitish wolves suppress her anxious moan
By crueltyes more deadly of her own.
Will she or nill the chastest turtle must
Tast of the pangs of their unbridled lust.
From farmes to farmes, from towns to towns they post,
They strip, they bind, they ravish, flea and roast.
The beasts which wont their masters crib to know,
Over the ashes of their shelters low.
What the inexorable flames doe spare
More cruel Heathen lug away for fare.
These tidings ebbing from the outward parts
Makes trades-men cast aside their wonted Arts
And study armes: the craving merchants plot
Not to augment but keep what they have got.
And every soul which hath but common sence
Thinks it the time to make a just defence.
Alarums every where resound in streets,
From West sad tidings with the Eastern meets.
Our common fathers in their Councels close
A martial treaty with the pagan foes,
All answers center here that fire and sword
Must make their Sachem universal Lord.
This armes the english with a resolution
To give the vaporing Scab a retribution.
Heav'ns they consult by prayer, the best design
A furious foe to quel or undermine.
RESOLV'D that from the Massachusets bands
Be prest on service some Herculean hands
And certainly he wel deserv'd a jerke
That slipt the Collar from so good a work.
Some Volunteers, some by compulsion goe
To range the hideous forrest for a foe.
The tender Mother now's all bowels grown,
Clings to her son as if they'd melt in one.
Wives claspe about their husbands as the vine
Huggs the fair elm, while tears burst out like wine.
The new-sprung love in many a virgin heart
Swels to a mountain when the lovers part.
Nephews and kindred turn all springs of tears,
Their hearts are so surpriz'd with panick fears.
But dolefull shrieks of captives summon forth
Our walking castles, men of noted worth,
Made all of life, each Captain was a Mars,
His name too strong to stand on waterish verse:
Due praise I leave to some poetick hand
Whose pen and witts are better at command.
Methinks I see the Trojan-horse burst ope,
And such rush forth as might with giants cope:
These first the natives treachery felt, too fierce
For any but eye-witness to rehearse.
Yet sundry times in places where they came
Upon the Indian skins they carv'd their name.
The trees stood Centinels and bullets flew
From every bush (a shelter for their crew)
Hence came our wounds and deaths from every side
While skulking enemies squat undiscri'd,
That every stump shot like a musketeer,
And bowes with arrows every tree did bear
The swamps were Courts of Guard, thither retir'd
The stragling blew-coats when their guns were fir'd,
In dark Meanders, and these winding groves,
Where Beares and panthers with their Monarch moves
These far more cruel slily hidden lay,
Expecting english men to move that way.
One party lets them slip, the other greets
Them with the next thing to their winding-sheets;
Most fall, the rest thus startled back return,
And from their by past foes receive an urn.
Here fel a Captain, to be nam'd with tears,
Who for his Courage left not many peers,
With many more who scarce a number left
To tell how treacherously they were bereft.
This flusht the pagan courage, now they think
The victory theirs, not lacking meat or drink.
The ranging wolves find here and there a prey,
And having fil'd their paunch they run away
By their Hosts light, the thanks which they return
Is to lead Captives and their taverns burn.
Many whose thrift had stor'd for after use
Sustain their wicked plunder and abuse.
Poor people spying an unwonted light,
Fearing a Martyrdom, in sudden fright
Leap to the door to fly, but all in vain,
They are surrounded with a pagan train;
Their first salute is death, which if they shun
Some are condemn'd the Gauntelet to run;
Death would a mercy prove to such as those
Who feel the rigour of such hellish foes.
Posts daily on their Pegasean Steeds
Bring sad reports of worse then Nero's deeds,
Such bruitish Murthers as would paper stain
Not to be heard in a Domitians Reign.
The field which nature hid is common laid,
And Mothers bodies ript for lack of aid.
The secret Cabinets which nature meant
To hide her master piece is open rent,
The half formd Infant there receives a death
Before it sees the light or draws its breath,
Many hot welcomes from the natives arms
Hid in their sculking holes many alarms
Our brethren had, and weary weary trants,
Sometimes in melting heats and pinching wants:
Sometimes the clouds with sympathizing tears
Ready to burst discharg'd about their ears:
Sometimes on craggy hills, anon in bogs
And miery swamps better befitting hogs,
And after tedious Marches little boast
Is to be heard of stewd or bakt or roast,
Their beds are hurdles, open house they keep
Through shady boughs the stars upon them peep,
Their chrystal drink drawn from the mothers breast
Disposes not to mirth but sleep and rest.
Thus many dayes and weeks, some months run out
To find and quell the vagabonding rout,
Who like inchanted Castles fair appear,
But all is vanisht if you come but near,
Just so we might the Pagan Archers track
With towns and merchandize upon their back;
And thousands in the South who settled down
To all the points and winds are quickly blown.
At many meetings of their fleeting crew,
From whom like haile arrows and bullets flew:
The English courage with whole swarms dispute,
Hundreds they hack in pieces in pursuit.
Sed haud impunè, English sides do feel
As well as tawny skins the lead and steel
And some such gallant Sparks by bullets fell,
As might have curst the powder back to Hell:
Had only Swords these skirmishes decided
All Pagan Sculls had been long since divided.
The lingring war out-lives the Summer sun,
Who hence departs hoping it might be done,
Ere his return at Spring but ah hee'l find
The Sword still drawn, men of unchanged mind.
Cold winter now nibbles at hands and toes
And shrewdly pinches both our friends and foes.
Fierce Boreas whips the Pagan tribe together
Advising them to fit for foes and weather:
The axe which late had tasted Christian bloud
Now sets its steely teeth to feast on wood.
The forests suffer now, by waight constrein'd
To kiss the earth with souldiers lately brain'd.
The lofty oakes and ash doe wagge the head
To see so many of their neighbours dead;
Their fallen carcasses are caried thence
To stand our enemies in their defence.
Their Myrmidons inclos'd with clefts of trees
Are busie like the ants or nimble bees:
And first they limber poles fix in the ground,
In figure of the heavens convex: all round
They draw their arras-matts and skins of beasts,
And under these the Elves do make their nests.
Rome took more time to grow then twice six hours,
But half that time will serve for indian bowers.
A Citty shall be rear'd in one dayes space
As shall an hundred english men out-face.
Canonicus precincts there swarmes unite,
Rather to keep a winter guard then fight.
A dern and dismal swamp some Scout had found
Whose bosome was a spot of rising ground
Hedg'd up with mighty oakes, maples and ashes,
Nurst up with springs, quick boggs and miery plashes,
A place which nature coyn'd on very nonce
For tygers not for men to be a sconce.
Twas here these Monsters shapt and fac'd like men
Took up there Rendezvouz and brumal den,
Deeming the depth of snow, hail, frost and ice
Would make our Infantry more tame and wise
Then by forsaking beds and loving wives,
Meerly for indian skins to hazzard lives:
These hopes had something calm'd the boiling passion
Of this incorrigible warlike nation.
During this short Parenthesis of peace
Our forces found, but left him not at ease.
Here english valour most illustrious shone,
Finding their numbers ten times ten to one.
A shower of leaden hail our captains feel
Which made the bravest blades among us reel.
Like to some ant-hill newly spurn'd abroad,
Where each takes heels and bears away his load:
Instead of plate and jewels, indian trayes
With baskets up they snatch and run their wayes.
Sundry the flames arrest and some the blade,
By bullets heaps on heaps of Indians laid.
The Flames like lightening in their narrow streets
Dart in the face of every one it meets.
Here might be heard an hideous indian cry,
Of wounded ones who in the Wigwams fry.
Had we been Canibals here might we feast
On brave Westphalia gammons ready drest.
The tauny hue is Ethiopick made
Of such on whome Vulcan his clutches laid.
There fate was sudden, our advantage great
To give them once for all a grand defeat;
But tedious travell had so crampt our toes
It was too hard a task to chase the foes.
Distinctness in the numbers of the slain,
Or the account of Pagans which remain
Are both uncertain, losses of our own
Are too too sadly felt, too sadly known.
War digs a common grave for friends and foes,
Captains in with the common souldier throws.
Six of our Leaders in the first assault
Crave readmission to their Mothers Vault
Who had they fell in antient Homers dayes
Had been enrol'd with Hecatombs of praise.
As clouds disperst, the natives troops divide,
And like the streames along the thickets glide.
Some breathing time we had, and short God knowes
But new alarums from recruited foes
Bounce at our eares, the mounting clouds of smoak
From martyr'd townes the heav'ns for aid invoke:
Churches, barns, houses with most ponderous things
Made volatile fly ore the land with wings.
Hundreds of cattle now they sacrifice
For aiery spirits up to gormandize;
And to the Molech of their hellish guts,
Which craves the flesh in gross, their ale in butts.
Lancaster, Medfield, Mendon wildred Groton,
With many Villages by me not thought on
Dy in their youth by fire that usefull foe,
Which this grand cheat the world will overflow.
The wandring Priest to every one he meets
Preaches his Churches funeral in the streets.
Sheep from their fold are frighted, Keepers too
Put to their trumps not knowing what to doe.
This monster Warre hath hatcht a beauteous dove
In dogged hearts, of most unfeigned love,
Fraternal love the livery of a Saint
Being come in fashion though by sad constraint,
Which if it thrive and prosper with us long
Will make New-England forty thousand strong.
But off the Table hand, let this suffice
As the abridgment of our miseryes.
If Mildew, Famine, Sword, and fired Townes,
If Slaughter, Captivating, Deaths and wounds,
If daily whippings once reform our wayes,
These all will issue in our Fathers Praise;
If otherwise, the sword must never rest
Till all New-Englands Glory it divest.
~ Benjamin Tompson
467:The Kalevala - Rune Xxxix
Wainamoinen, old and faithful,
Spake these words to Ilmarinen:
'O thou wonder-working brother,
Let us go to Sariola,
There to gain the magic Sampo,
There to see the lid in colors.'
Ilmarinen gave this answer:
'Hard indeed to seize the Sampo,
Neither can the lid be captured
From the never-pleasant Northland,
From the dismal Sariola.
Louhi took away the Sampo,
Carried off the lid in colors
To the stone-mount of Pohyola;
Hid it in the copper mountain,
Where nine locks secure the treasure.
Many young roots sprout around it,
Grow nine fathoms deep in sand-earth,
One great root beneath the mountain,
In the cataract a second,
And a third beneath the castle
Built upon the mount of ages.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Brother mine, and wonder-worker,
Let us go to Sariola,
That we may secure the Sampo;
Let us build a goodly vessel,
Bring the Sampo to Wainola,
Bring away the lid in colors,
From the stone-berg of Pohyola,
From the copper-bearing mountain.
Where the miracle lies anchored.'
Ilmarinen thus made answer:
'By the land the way is safer,
Lempo travels on the ocean,
Ghastly Death upon his shoulder;
On the sea the waves will drift us,
And the storm-winds wreck our vessel;
Then our bands must do the rowing,
And our feet must steer us homeward.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Safe indeed by land to journey,
But the way is rough and trying,
Long the road and full of turnings;
Lovely is the ship on ocean,
Beautiful to ride the billows,
Journey easy o'er the waters,
Sailing in a trusty vessel;
Should the West-wind cross our pathway,
Will the South-wind drive us northward.
Be that as it may, my brother,
Since thou dost not love the water,
By the land then let us journey.
Forge me now the sword of battle,
Forge for me the mighty fire-sword,
That I may destroy the wild-beasts,
Frighten all the Northland people,
As we journey for the Sampo
To the cold and dismal village,
To the never-pleasant Northland,
To the dismal Sariola.'
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
The eternal forger-artist,
Laid the metals in the furnace,
In the fire laid steel and iron,
In the hot-coals, gold and silver,
Rightful measure of the metals;
Set the workmen at the furnace,
Lustily they plied the bellows.
Like the wax the iron melted,
Like the dough the hard steel softened,
Like the water ran the silver,
And the liquid gold flowed after.
Then the minstrel, Ilmarinen,
The eternal wonder-forger,
Looks within his magic furnace,
On the border of his oven,
There beholds the fire-sword forming,
Sees the blade with golden handle;
Takes the weapon from the furnace,
Lays it on his heavy anvil
For the falling of the hammer;
Forges well the blade of magic,
Well the heavy sword be tempers,
Ornaments the hero-weapon
With the finest gold and silver.
Wainamoinen, the magician,
Comes to view the blade of conquest,
Lifts admiringly the fire-sword,
Then these words the hero utters:
'Does the weapon match the soldier,
Does the handle suit the bearer?
Yea, the blade and hilt are molded
To the wishes of the minstrel.'
On the sword-point gleams the moonlight,
On the blade the sun is shining,
On the hilt the bright stars twinkle,
On the edge a horse is neighing,
On the handle plays a kitten,
On the sheath a dog is barking.
Wainamoinen wields his fire-sword,
Tests it on the iron-mountain,
And these words the hero utters:
'With this broadsword I could quickly
Cleave in twain the mount of Pohya,
Cut the flinty rocks asunder.'
Spake the blacksmith, Ilmarinen:
'Wherewith shall I guard from danger,
How protect myself from evil,
From the ills by land and water?
Shall I wear an iron armor,
Belt of steel around my body?
Stronger is a man in armor,
Safer in a mail of copper.'
Now the time has come to journey
To the never-pleasant Northland;
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
And his brother, Ilmarinen,
Hasten to the field and forest,
Searching for their fiery coursers,
In each shining belt a bridle,
With a harness on their shoulders.
In the woods they find a race;
In the glen a steed of battle,
Ready for his master's service.
Wainamoinen, old and trusty,
And the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Throw the harness on the courser,
Hitch him to the sledge of conquest,
Hasten on their journey Northward;
Drive along the broad-sea's margin
Till they bear some one lamenting
On the strand hear something wailing
Near the landing-place of vessels.
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Speaks these words in wonder, guessing,
'This must be some maiden weeping,
Some fair daughter thus lamenting;
Let us journey somewhat nearer,
To discover whence this wailing.'
Drew they nearer, nearer, nearer,
Hoping thus to find a maiden
Weeping on the sandy sea-shore.
It was not a maiden weeping,
But a vessel, sad, and lonely,
Waiting on the shore and wailing.
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Why art weeping, goodly vessel,
What the cause of thy lamenting?
Art thou mourning for thy row-locks,
Is thy rigging ill-adjusted?
Dost thou weep since thou art anchored
On the shore in times of trouble?'
Thus the war-ship spake in answer:
'To the waters would this vessel
Haste upon the well-tarred rollers,
As a happy maiden journeys
To the cottage of her husband.
I, alas! a goodly vessel,
Weep because I lie at anchor,
Weep and wail because no hero
Sets me free upon the waters,
Free to ride the rolling billows.
It was said when I was fashioned,
Often sung when I was building,
That this bark should be for battle,
Should become a mighty war-ship,
Carry in my hull great treasures,
Priceless goods across the ocean.
Never have I sailed to conquest,
Never have I carried booty;
Other vessels not as worthy
To the wars are ever sailing,
Sailing to the songs of battle.
Three times in the summer season
Come they home with treasures laden,
In their hulls bring gold and silver;
I, alas! a worthy vessel,
Many months have lain at anchor,
I, a war-ship well constructed,
Am decaying in the harbor,
Never having sailed to conquest;
Worms are gnawing at my vitals,
In my hull their dwelling-places,
And ill-omened birds of heaven
Build their nests within my rigging;
Frogs and lizards of the forest
Play about my oars and rudder;
Three times better for this vessel
Were he but a valley birch-tree,
Or an aspen on the heather,
With the squirrels in his branches,
And the dogs beneath them barking!'
Wainamoinen, old and faithfull
Thus addressed the ship at anchor:
'Weep no more, thou goodly vessel,
Man-of-war, no longer murmur;
Thou shalt sail to Sariola,
Sing the war-songs of the Northland,
Sail with us to deadly combat.
Wert thou built by the Creator,
Thou canst sail the roughest waters,
Sidewise journey o'er the ocean;
Dost not need the hand to touch thee,
Dost not need the foot to turn thee,
Needing nothing to propel thee.'
Thus the weeping boat made answer:
'Cannot sail without assistance,
Neither can my brother-vessels
Sail unaided o'er the waters,
Sail across the waves undriven.'
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'Should I lead thee to the broad-sea,
Wilt thou journey north unaided,
Sail without the help of rowers,
Sail without the aid of south-winds,
Sail without the b elm to guide thee?
Thus the wailing ship replying:
Cannot sail without assistance,
Neither can my brother-vessels
Sail without the aid of rowers,
Sail without the help of south-winds,
Nor without the helm to guide them.'
These the words of Wainamoinen:
'Wilt thou run with aid of oarsmen
When the south-winds give assistance,
Guided by a skillful pilot?'
This the answer of the war-ship:
'Quickly can I course these waters,
When my oars are manned by rowers,
When my sails are filled with south-winds,
All my goodly brother-vessels
Sail the ocean with assistance,
When the master holds the rudder.'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Left the racer on the sea-side,
Tied him to the sacred birch-tree,
Hung the harness on a willow,
Rolled the vessel to the waters,
Sang the ship upon the broad-sea,
Asked the boat this simple question:
'O thou vessel, well-appearing
From the mighty oak constructed,
Art thou strong to carry treasures
As in view thou art commanding?
Thus the goodly ship made answer:
'Strong am I to carry treasures,
In my hull a golden cargo;
I can bear a hundred oarsmen,
And of warriors a thousand.'
Wainamoinen, the magician,
Then began his wondrous singing.
On one side the magic vessel,
Sang he youth with golden virtues,
Bearded youth with strength of heroes,
Sang them into mail of copper.
On the other side the vessel,
Sang he silver-tinselled maidens,
Girded them with belts of copper,
Golden rings upon their fingers.
Sings again the great magician,
Fills the magic ship with heroes,
Ancient heroes, brave and mighty;
Sings them into narrow limits,
Since the young men came before them.
At the helm himself be seated,
Near the last beam of the vessel,
Steered his goodly boat in joyance,
Thus addressed the willing war-ship:
'Glide upon the trackless waters,
Sail away, my ship of magic,
Sail across the waves before thee,
Speed thou like a dancing bubble,
Like a flower upon the billows!'
Then the ancient Wainamoinen
Set the young men to the rowing,
Let the maidens sit in waiting.
Eagerly the youthful heroes
Bend the oars and try the row-locks,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the minstrel, Wainamoinen,
Set the maidens to the rowing,
Let the young men rest in waiting.
Eagerly the merry maidens
Bend the aspen-oars in rowing,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the master, Wainamoinen,
Set the old men to the rowing,
Let the youth remain in waiting.
Lustily the aged heroes
Bend and try the oars of aspen,
But the distance is not lessened.
Then the blacksmith, Ilmarinen,
Grasped the oars with master-magic,
And the boat leaped o'er the surges,
Swiftly sped across the billows;
Far and wide the oars resounded,
Quickly was the distance lessened.
With a rush and roar of waters
Ilmarinen sped his vessel,
Benches, ribs, and row-locks creaking,
Oars of aspen far resounding;
Flap the sails like wings of moor-cocks,
And the prow dips like a white-swan;
In the rear it croaks like ravens,
Loud the oars and rigging rattle.
Straightway ancient Wainamoinen
Sitting by the bending rudder,
Turns his magic vessel landward,
To a jutting promontory,
Where appears a Northland-village.
On the point stands Lemminkainen,
Kaukomieli, black magician,
Ahti, wizard of Wainola,
Wishing for the fish of Pohya,
Weeping for his fated dwelling,
For his perilous adventures,
Hard at work upon a vessel,
On the sail-yards of a fish-boat,
Near the hunger-point and island,
Near the village-home deserted.
Good the ears of the magician,
Good the wizard's eyes for seeing;
Casts his vision to the South-east,
Turns his eyes upon the sunset,
Sees afar a wondrous rainbow,
Farther on, a cloudlet hanging;
But the bow was a deception,
And the cloudlet a delusion;
'Tis a vessel swiftly sailing,
'Tis a war-ship flying northward,
O'er the blue-back of the broad-sea,
On the far-extending waters,
At the helm the master standing,
At the oars a mighty hero.
Spake the reckless Lemminkainen:
'Do not know this wondrous vessel,
Not this well-constructed war-ship,
Coming from the distant Suomi,
Rowing for the hostile Pohya.'
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Called aloud in tones of thunder
O'er the waters to the vessel;
Made the distant hills re-echo
With the music of his calling:
'Whence this vessel on the waters,
Whose the war-ship sailing hither?'
Spake the master of the vessel
To the reckless Lemminkainen:
'Who art thou from fen or forest,
Senseless wizard from the woodlands,
That thou dost not know this vessel,
Magic war-ship of Wainola?
Dost not know him at the rudder,
Nor the hero at the row-locks?'
Spake the wizard, Lemminkainen:
'Well I know the helm-director,
And I recognize the rower;
Wainamoinen, old and trusty,
At the helm directs the vessel;
Ilmarinen does the rowing.
Whither is the vessel sailing,
Whither wandering, my heroes?
Spake the ancient Wainamoinen:
'We are sailing to the Northland,
There to gain the magic Sampo,
There to get the lid in colors,
From the stone-berg of Pohyola,
From the copper-bearing mountain.'
Spake the evil Lemminkainen:
'O, thou good, old Wainamoinen,
Take me with thee to Pohyola,
Make me third of magic heroes,
Since thou goest for the Sampo,
Goest for the lid in colors;
I shall prove a valiant soldier,
When thy wisdom calls for fighting;
I am skilled in arts of warfare!'
Wainamoinen, ancient minstrel,
Gave assent to Ahti's wishes;
Thereupon wild Lemminkainen
Hastened to Wainola's war-ship,
Bringing floats of aspen-timber,
To the ships of Wainamoinen.
Thus the hero of the Northland
Speaks to reckless Lemminkainen:
'There is aspen on my vessel,
Aspen-floats in great abundance,
And the boat is heavy-laden.
Wherefore dost thou bring the aspen
To the vessel of Wainola?'
Lemminkainen gave this answer:
'Not through caution sinks a vessel,
Nor a hay-stack by its proppings;
Seas abound in hidden dangers,
Heavy storms arise and threaten
Fell destruction to the sailor
That would brave the angry billows.'
Spake the good, old Wainamoinen:
'Therefore is this warlike vessel
Built of trusty steel and copper,
Trimmed and bound in toughest iron,
That the winds may, not destroy it,
May not harm my ship of magic.'
~ Elias Lönnrot
468:Prince Dorus
In days of yore, as Ancient Stories tell,
A King in love with a great Princess fell.
Long at her feet submiss the Monarch sigh'd,
While she with stern repulse his suit denied.
Yet was he form'd by birth to please the fair,
Dress'd, danc'd, and courted, with a Monarch's air;
But Magic Spells her frozen breast had steel'd
With stubborn pride, that knew not how to yield.
This to the King a courteous Fairy told,
And bade the Monarch in his suit be bold;
For he that would the charming Princess wed,
Had only on her cat's black tail to tread,
When straight the Spell would vanish into air,
And he enjoy for life the yielding fair.
He thank'd the Fairy for her kind advice.Thought he, 'If this be all, I'll not be nice;
Rather than in my courtship I will fail,
I will to mince-meat tread Minon's black tail.'
To the Princess's court repairing strait,
He sought the cat that must decide his fate;
But when he found her, how the creature stared!
How her back bristled, and her great eyes glared!
That tail, which he so fondly hop'd his prize,
Was swell'd by wrath to twice its usual size;
And all her cattish gestures plainly spoke,
She thought the affair he came upon, no joke.
With wary step the cautious King draws near,
And slyly means to attack her in her rear;
But when he thinks upon her tail to pounce,
Whisk-off she skips-three yards upon a bounceAgain he tries, again his efforts fail-
Minon's a witch-the deuce is in her tail.-
The anxious chase for weeks the Monarch tried,
Till courage fail'd, and hope within him died.
A desperate suit 'twas useless to prefer,
Or hope to catch a tail of quicksilver.When on a day, beyond his hopes, he found
Minon, his foe, asleep upon the ground;
Her ample tail hehind her lay outspread,
Full to the eye, and tempting to the tread.
The King with rapture the occasion bless'd,
And with quick foot the fatal part he press'd.
Loud squalls were heard, like howlings of a storm,
And sad he gazed on Minon's altered form,No more a cat, but chang'd into a man
Of giant size, who frown'd, and thus began:
'Rash King, that dared with impious design
To violate that tail, that once was mine;
What tho' the spell be broke, and burst the charms,
That kept the Princess from thy longing arms,Not unrevenged shalt thou my fury dare,
For by that violated tail I swear,
From your unhappy nuptials shall be born
A Prince, whose Nose shall be thy subjects' scorn.
Bless'd in his love thy son shall never be,
Till he his foul deformity shall see,
Till he with tears his blemish shall confess,
Discern its odious length, and wish it less!'
This said, he vanish'd; and the King awhile
Mused at his words, then answer'd with a smile,
'Give me a child in happy wedlock born,
And let his Nose be made like a French horn;
His knowledge of the fact I ne'er can doubt,If he have eyes, or hands, he'll find it out.'
So spake the King, self-flatter'd in his thought,
Then with impatient step the Princess sought;
His urgent suit no longer she withstands,
But links with him in Hymen's knot her hands.
Almost as soon a widow as a bride,
Within a year the King her husband died;
And shortly after he was dead and gone
She was deliver'd of a little son,
The prettiest babe, with lips as red as rose,
And eyes like little stars-but such a noseThe tender Mother fondly took the boy
Into her arms, and would have kiss'd her joy;
His luckless nose forbade the fond embraceHe thrust the hideous feature in her face.
Then all her Maids of Honour tried in turn,
And for a Prince's kiss in envy burn;
By sad experience taught, their hopes they miss'd,
And mourn'd a Prince that never could be kiss'd.
In silent tears the Queen confess'd her grief,
Till kindest Flattery came to her relief.
Her maids, as each one takes him in her arms,
Expatiate freely o'er his world of charmsHis eyes, lips, mouth-his forehead was divineAnd for the nose-they call'd it AquilineDeclared that Cæsar, who the world subdued,
Had such a one-just of that longitudeThat Kings like him compell'd folks to adore them,
And drove the short-nos'd sons of men before themThat length of nose portended length of days,
And was a great advantage many waysTo mourn the gifts of Providence was wrongBesides, the Nose was not so very long.-
These arguments in part her grief redrest,
A mother's partial fondness did the rest;
And Time, that all things reconciles by use,
Did in her notions such a change produce,
That, as she views her babe, with favour blind,
She thinks him handsomest of human kind.
Meantime, in spite of his disfigured face,
Dorus (for so he's call'd) grew up a pace;
In fair proportion all his features rose,
Save that most prominent of all-his Nose.
That Nose, which in the infant could annoy,
Was grown a perfect nuisance in the boy.
Whene'er he walk'd, his Handle went before,
Long as the snout of Ferret, or Wild Boar;
Or like the Staff, with which on holy day
The solemn Parish Beadle clears the way.
But from their cradle to their latest year,
How seldom Truth can reach a Prince's ear!
To keep the unwelcome knowledge out of view,
His lesson well each flattering Courtier knew;
The hoary Tutor, and the wily Page,
Unmeet confederates! dupe his tender age.
They taught him that whate'er vain mortals boastStrength, Courage, Wisdom-all they value mostWhate'er on human life distinction throwsWas all comprized-in what?-a length of nose!
Ev'n Virtue's self (by some suppos'd chief merit)
In short-nosed folks was only want of spirit.
While doctrines such as these his guides instill'd,
His Palace was with long-nosed people fill'd;
At Court whoever ventured to appear
With a short nose, was treated with a sneer.
Each courtier's wife, that with a babe is blest,
Moulds its young nose betimes; and does her best,
By pulls, and hauls, and twists, and lugs, and pinches,
To stretch it to the standard of the Prince's.
Dup'd by these arts, Dorus to manhood rose,
Nor dream'd of ought more comely than his Nose;
Till Love, whose power ev'n Princes have confest,
Claim'd the soft empire o'er his youthful breast.
Fair Claribel was she who caus'd his care;
A neighb'ring Monarch's daughter, and sole heir.
For beauteous Claribel his bosom burn'd;
The beauteous Claribel his flame return'd;
Deign'd with kind words his passion to approve,
Met his soft vows, and yielded love for love.
If in her mind some female pangs arose
At sight (and who can blame her?) of his Nose,
Affection made her willing to be blind;
She loved him for the beauties of his mind;
And in his lustre, and his royal race,
Contented sunk-one feature of his face.
Blooming to sight, and lovely to behold,
Herself was cast in Beauty's richest mould;
Sweet female majesty her person deck'dHer face an angel's-save for one defectWise Nature, who to Dorus over kind,
A length of nose too liberal had assign'd,
As if with us poor mortals to make sport,
Had given to Claribel a nose too short:
But turn'd up with a sort of modest grace;
It took not much of beauty from her face;
And subtle Courtiers, who their Prince's mind
Still watch'd, and turn'd about with every wind,
Assur'd the Prince, that though man's beauty owes
Its charms to a majestic length of nose,
The excellence of Woman (softer creature)
Consisted in the shortness of that feature.
Few arguments were wanted to convince
The already more than half persuaded Prince;
Truths, which we hate, with slowness we receive,
But what we wish to credit, soon believe.
The Princess's affections being gain'd,
What but her Sire's approval now remain'd?
Ambassadors with solemn pomp are sent
To win the aged Monarch to consent
(Seeing their States already were allied)
That Dorus might have Claribel to bride.
Her Royal Sire, who wisely understood
The match propos'd was for both kingdoms' good,
Gave his consent; and gentle Claribel
With weeping bids her father's court farewell.
With gallant pomp, and numerous array,
Dorus went forth to meet her on her way;
But when the Princely pair of lovers met,
Their hearts on mutual gratulations set,
Sudden the Enchanter from the ground arose,
(The same who prophesied the Prince's nose)
And with rude grasp, unconscious of her charms,
Snatch'd up the lovely Princess in his arms,
Then bore her out of reach of human eyes,
Up in the pathless regions of the skies.
Bereft of her that was his only care,
Dorus resign'd his soul to wild despair;
Resolv'd to leave the land that gave him birth,
And seek fair Claribel throughout the earth.
Mounting his horse, he gives the beast the reins,
And wanders lonely through the desert plains;
With fearless heart the savage heath explores,
Where the wolf prowls, and where the tiger roars,
Nor wolf, nor tiger, dare his way oppose;
The wildest creatures see, and shun, his Nose.
Ev'n lions fear! the elephant alone
Surveys with pride a trunk so like his own.
At length he to a shady forest came,
Where in a cavern lived an aged dame;
A reverend Fairy, on whose silver head
A hundred years their downy snows had shed.
Here ent'ring in, the Mistress of the place
Bespoke him welcome with a cheerful grace;
Fetch'd forth her dainties, spread her social board
With all the store her dwelling could afford.
The Prince, with toil and hunger sore opprest,
Gladly accepts, and deigns to be her guest.
But when the first civilities were paid,
The dishes rang'd, and Grace in order said;
The Fairy, who had leisure now to view
Her guest more closely, from her pocket drew
Her spectacles, and wip'd them from the dust,
Then on her nose endeavour'd to adjust;
With difficulty she could find a place
To hang them on in her unshapely face;
For, if the Princess's was somewhat small,
This Fairy scarce had any nose at all.
But when by help of spectacles the Crone
Discern'd a Nose so different from her own,
What peals of laughter shook her aged sides!
While with sharp jests the Prince she thus derides.
'Welcome, great Prince of Noses, to my cell;
'Tis a poor place,-but thus we Fairies dwell.
Pray, let me ask you, if from far you comeAnd don't you sometimes find it cumbersome?'
'Find what?'
'Your Nose-'
'My Nose, Ma'am!'
'No offenceThe King your Father was a man of sense,
A handsome man (but lived not to be old)
And had a Nose cast in the common mould.
Ev'n I myself, that now with age am grey,
Was thought to have some beauty in my day,
And am the Daughter of a King.-Your Sire
In this poor face saw something to admireAnd I to shew my gratitude made shiftHave stood his friend-and help'd him at a lift'Twas I that, when his hopes began to fail,
Shew'd him the spell that lurk'd in Minon's tailPerhaps you have heard-but come, Sir, you don't eatThat Nose of yours requires both wine and meatFall to, and welcome, without more adoYou see your fare-what shall I help you to?
This dish the tongues of nightingales contains;
This, eyes of peacocks; and that, linnets' brains;
That next you is a Bird of ParadiseWe Fairies in our food are somewhat nice.And pray, Sir, while your hunger is supplied,
Do lean your Nose a little on one side;
The shadow, which it casts upon the meat,
Darkens my plate, I see not what I eat-'
The Prince, on dainty after dainty feeding,
Felt inly shock'd at the old Fairy's breeding,
But held it want of manners in the Dame,
And did her country education blame.
One thing he only wonder'd at,-what she
So very comic in his Nose could see.
Hers, it must be confest, was somewhat short,
And time and shrinking age accounted for't;
But for his own, thank heaven, he could not tell
That it was ever thought remarkable;
A decent nose, of reasonable size,
And handsome thought, rather than otherwise.
But that which most of all his wonder paid,
Was to observe the Fairy's waiting Maid;
How at each word the aged Dame let fall;
She curtsied low, and smil'd assent to all;
But chiefly when the rev'rend Grannam told
Of conquests, which her beauty made of old.He smiled to see how Flattery sway'd the Dame,
Nor knew himself was open to the same!
He finds her raillery now increase so fast,
That making hasty end of his repast,
Glad to escape her tongue, he bids farewell
To the old Fairy, and her friendly cell.
But his kind Hostess, who had vainly tried
The force of ridicule to cure his pride,
Fertile in plans, a surer method chose,
To make him see the error of his Nose;
For, till he view'd that feature with remorse,
The Enchanter's direful spell must be in force.
Midway the road by which the Prince must pass,
She rais'd by magic art a House of Glass;
No mason's hand appear'd, nor work of wood;
Compact of glass the wondrous fabric stood.
Its stately pillars, glittering in the sun,
Conspicuous from afar, like silver, shone.
Here, snatch'd and rescued from th' Enchanter's might,
She placed the beauteous Claribel in sight.
The admiring Prince the chrystal dome survey'd,
And sought access unto his lovely Maid:
But, strange to tell, in all that mansion's bound,
Nor door, nor casement, was there to be found.
Enrag'd he took up massy stones, and flung
With such a force, that all the palace rung;
But made no more impression on the glass,
Than if the solid structure had been brass.
To comfort his despair, the lovely maid
Her snowy hand against her window laid;
But when with eager haste he thought to kiss,
His Nose stood out, and robb'd him of the bliss.
Thrice he essay'd th' impracticable feat;
The window and his lips can never meet.
The painful Truth, which Flattery long conceal'd,
Rush'd on his mind, and 'O!' he cried, 'I yield;
Wisest of Fairies, thou wert right, I wrong-
I own, I own, I have a Nose too long.'
The frank confession was no sooner spoke,
But into shivers all the palace broke.
His Nose of monstrous length, to his surprise
Shrunk to the limits of a common size:
And Claribel with joy her Lover view'd,
Now grown as beautiful as he was good.
The aged Fairy in their presence stands,
Confirms their mutual vows, and joins their hands.
The Prince with rapture hails the happy hour,
That rescued him from self-delusion's power;
And trains of blessings crown the future life
Of Dorus, and of Claribel, his wife.
~ Charles Lamb
WHEN on the West broke light from out the East,
Then from the splendour and the shame of Rome-Renouncing wealth and pleasure, game and feast,
And all the joys of his polluted home,
Desiring not the gifts his world could give,
If haply he might save his soul and live-Into the desert's heart a man had come.
His God had died for love of him, and he
For love of God would die to all of these
Sweet sins he had not known for sins, and be
Estranged for evermore from rest and ease;
His days in penance spent might half atone
For the iniquity of days bygone,
And in the desert might his soul find peace.
Crossing wide seas, he reached an alien land:
By mighty harbours and broad streams he passed
Into an arid, trackless waste of sand,
And journeying ever faster and more fast,
Left men behind, and onward still did press
To a ruined city in the wilderness,
And there he stayed his restless feet at last.
There stood long lines of columns richly wrought,
Colossal statues of forgotten kings,
Vast shadowy temples, court within dim court,
Great shapes of man-faced beasts with wide firm wings;
And in and out each broken colonnade
The bright-eyed, swift, green-gleaming lizards played,
In that still place the only living things.
But when the moon unveiled her still, white face,
And over sand and stone her glory shed-Another life awoke within the place,
And great beasts stalked, with silent heavy tread,
Through pillared vista, over marble floor,
And the stern menace of the lion's roar
Made horrible the city of the dead.
Like a great bird soft sinking on its nest,
Too lightly to disturb its tender brood,
The night, with dark spread wings and cloudy breast,
Sank on the desert city's solitude
As he drew near. The shadows grew more dense,
The silence stronger; weariness intense
Fell on him then, and only rest seemed good.
He passed between tall pillars' sculptured gloom,
And entered a deserted, lightless fane,
And knew not if it temple were, or tomb,
But slept and slept, till over all the plain
The level sunbeams spread, and earth was bright
With morning's radiant resurrection-light;
Then he awoke, refreshed and strong again.
Through empty courts he passed, and lo! a wall
Whereon was imaged all the languid grace
Of fairest women, and among them all
Shone like a star one lovely Eastern face:
Undimmed by centuries the colours were,
Bright as when first the painter found her fair,
And set her there to glorify the place.
All he had fled from suddenly drew near,
And from her eyes a challenge seemed down-thrown;
'Ah, fool!' she seemed to say, 'what dost thou here?
How canst thou bear this stern, sad life alone,
When I--not just this face that copies me,
But I myself--stretch arms and lips to thee,
From that same world whose joys thou hast foregone?'
His heart leaped up like flame--she was so fair;
Then with a start he hid his eyes and fled
Into the hotness of the outer air.
His pulse beat quickly. 'Oh, my God!' he said,
'These be the heart made pure, and cleansèd brain!
I vow to Thee to never look again
On women, real or painted, quick or dead!'
So lest within the city he should find,
To tempt his soul, still some accursèd thing,
He left the palaces and courts behind,
Found a green spot, with date-palms and a spring
And built himself a rough stone shelter there
And saw no more the face, so strange and fair
That had begot such vain imagining.
He tilled the patch of land, and planted seeds
Which from his own far country he had brought;
And, caring little for his body's needs,
Strove still by blind belief to strangle thought,
By ceaseless penance to deny desire,
To quench in prayer and fast all human fire,
And wrest from Heaven the blessings that he sought.
And there peace found him, and he dwelt alone,
And gladly gave his life to God. Behind
Lay the long dim arcades of graven stone;
Before him lay the desert, burning blind
Sometimes with the dread dance of its own sand,
That wildly whirled in shadowy columns, fanned
By the hot breath of the fierce desert wind.
Each day passed by as had passed other days,
And days gone by were as the days to come,
Save that on some days he was wild with praise,
And weak with vigil and with fast on some;
And no man saw he for long months and years,
But ever did he penance with hot tears,
And but for prayer and praise his lips were dumb.
Sometimes at first, when spent with watch and prayer,
He saw again the Imperial City's towers,
Where, in a mist of music and sweet air,
Thais and Phryne crowned his cup with flowers-He saw the easeful day, the festal night,
The life that was one dream of long delight,
One rose-red glow of rapture and fair hours.
He heard old well-remembered voices cry,
'Come back to us! Think of the joys you miss;
Each moment floats some foregone rapture by,
A cup, a crown, a song, a laugh, a kiss!
Cast down that crown of thorns, return, and be
Once more flower-crowned, love-thrilled, wine-warmed, and see
The old sweet life--how good a thing it is!'
But his soul answered, 'Nay, I am content;
Ye call in vain; the desert shuts me in.
Your flowers are sere, your wine with gall is blent,
Your sweets have all the sickening taste of sin;
Such sin I expiate with ceaseless pain,
And world and flesh and devil strive in vain
Back from its sanctuary my soul to win.
'Fair are the Imperial City's towers to see?
I seek the City with the streets of gold.
Beside the lilies God has grown for me
Faint are the roses that your fingers hold.
Ear hath not heard the music I shall hear,
Eye hath not seen the joys that shall appear,
Nor heart conceived the things I shall behold.'
After long days a stranger halted there,
For some far distant monastery bound.
The hermit fed and lodged, nor could forbear
To tell his guest what rest his soul had found
How with the world he long ago had done,
How the hard battle had been fought and won,
And he found peace, pure, perfect and profound.
The stranger answered, 'Thou hast watched an hour,
But many hours go to make up our day,
And some of these are dark with fateful power,
And Satan watches for our souls alway;
The spirit may be willing, but indeed
The flesh is weak, and so much more the need
To pray and watch, my brother, watch and pray.'
The Roman bowed his head in mute assent,
And, having served the stranger with his best,
Bade him God-speed, and down the way he went-Gazed sadly after, but within his breast
A pale fire of resentment sprang to flame
Was he not holy now, and void of blame,
And certain of himself, and pure, and blest?
That night a new-born desolation grew
Within his heart as he made fast the stone
Against the doorway of his hut, and knew
How more than ever he was now alone.
He was in darkness, but the moon without
Made a new tender daylight round about
The hut, the palms, the plot with millet sown.
Hark!--what was that?--For many months and years
He had not heard that faint uncertain noise,
Broken, and weak, and indistinct with tears-A voice--a human voice--a woman's voice.
'Oh, let me in,' it wailed, 'before I die!
Oh, let me in, for Holy Charity!
For see--my life or death is at thy choice!'
Unthinking, swift he rolled the stone away:
There stood a woman, trembling, shrinking, thin;
Her pale hair by the moon's white light looked grey,
And grey her hands and grey her withered skin.
'Oh, save me--lest I die among the beasts
Who roam, and roar, and hold their fearful feasts!
Oh, save me,' she besought him, 'let me in!'
Troubled, he answered, 'Nay, I have a vow
Never again a woman's face to see!'
'But, ah,' she cried, 'thy vow is broken now,
For at this moment thou beholdest me.
I cannot journey farther. Help!' she said,
'Or I before the dawning shall be dead,
And thou repent to all eternity!'
His soul was gentle and compassionate.
'Thou shalt not perish--enter here,' he said;
'My vow is broken, and thy need is great.'
She staggered forward to the dry leaf bed,
And sank upon it, cold and still and white.
'Perhaps she may not live until the light,'
He thought, and lifted up her drooping head,
And gave her wine from out a little store
Which he had kept untouched since first he came;
He rolled the stone again before his door
To keep the night air from her wasted frame;
And, though his vow was broken, somehow knew
That he was doing what was right to do,
Yet felt a weight of unacknowledged blame.
And many a day he tended her and fed;
But ever after that first night's surprise
With earnest vigilance he held his head
Averted, and downcast he kept his eyes.
His vow, though broken once, was still his law;
He looked upon her face no more, nor saw
Her whom he cared for in such kindly wise.
She never spoke to him, nor he to her-That she was sick and sad was all he knew;
He never asked her what her past days were,
Nor of the future, what she meant to do.
So dwelt they, till the full moon's yellow light
Flooded the world once more. Then came the night
Which all his life had been a prelude to.
The stone was moved a little from the door,
And near it he was kneeling rapt in prayer
Upon the cold uneven earthen floor;
The moonbeams passed him by, and rested where
The woman slept--her breathing soft and slow,
With rhythmic cadence even, restful, low,
Stirring the stillness of the cool night air
His prayer being ended, as he turned to rest,
He chanced to let his eyes fall carelessly
Upon the figure that the moon caressed,
The woman that his care had not let die.
And now no more he turned his face aside,
But gazed, and gazed, and still unsatisfied
His eager look fed on her, hungrily.
On her? On whom? The suppliant he had saved,
Thin, hollow-cheeked and sunken-eyed had been,
With shrunken brow whereon care-lines were graved,
With withered arms, dull hair, and fingers lean.
'Has my blind care transformed her so?' he said;
For she was gone, and there lay in her stead
The loveliest woman he had ever seen.
The rags she wore but made her seem more sweet,
Since in despite of them she was so fair;
The rough brown leaves quite covered up her feet,
But left one ivory arm and shoulder bare,
The other lay beneath the little head,
And over all the moonlit couch was spread
The sunlight-coloured wonder of her hair.
He could not move, nor turn away his gaze:
How long he stood and looked he could not guess.
At last she faintly sighed, and in her face
Trembled the dawn of coming consciousness;
The eyelids quivered, and the red lips stirred,
As if they tried to find some sweet lost wo
And then her eyelids lifted, and he met
Full in his dazzled eyes the glorious light
Of eyes that he had struggled to forget
Since he had broken from their spells of might-The Eastern eyes that from the painted wall
Had lightened down upon him, to enthral
Senses and soul with fetters of delight.
He knew her now, his love without a name,
Who in his dreams had looked on him and smiled,
And almost back to his old world of shame
His unconsenting manhood had beguiled!
There was no world now any more. At last
He knew that all--his future, present, past-In her sole self was fused and reconciled.
The moments fled as in a dream divine:
Fire filled his veins--there beat within his brain
The madness that is born of love or wine;
And her eyes gleamed--softened and gleamed again,
And in those stormy seas he gazed, until
Her beauty seemed the whole vast night to fill,
And all, save her, seemed valueless and vain.
Then, with her eyes still deep in his, she rose
And moved towards him, and a wave of bliss
Flooded his sense with the wild joy that goes
Before a longed-for, almost granted kiss,
And slowly she drew nearer to his side-Then, with a smile like mid-June's dawn, she sighed,
And turned to him, and laid her hand on his.
And at the touch, all he had deemed effaced-All the heart-searing passions of his past-Surged up, and their destroying wave laid waste
The ordered garden of his soul. At last
The spell of silence broke, and suddenly
The man's whole heart found voice in one low cry,
As round her perfect head his arms he cast--
And did not clasp her, for his foiled arms crossed
Only upon his own tumultuous breast!
His wrecked heart, tempest driven, passion tossed,
Beat fierce against his own hand on it pressed.
As on June fields might fall December frost,
In one cold breath he knew that she was lost-Eternally foregone and unpossessed.
For even as he clasped she had seemed to melt,
And fade into the misty moonlit air;
His arms were empty, yet his hand still felt
The touch of her hand that had rested there:
But she was gone, with all her maddening grace-The solitude and silence, in her place,
Like a chill searching wind crept everywhere.
Silence--at first. Then suddenly outbroke
A little laugh. And then, above, around,
A hideous peal of laughter, shout on shout,
Re-echoing from sky, and air, and ground;
And in his devastated soul had birth
A horrid echo of that demon mirth,
And with his human voice he swelled its sound.
'Tricked, fooled!' he laughed. 'We laugh, the fiends and I,
They for their triumph, I to feel my fall!
From snares like these is no security,
In desert wild or close-built city wall:
And since I must be tempted, let me go
And brave the old temptations that I know;
Not these, that are but phantoms after all--
'Phantoms, not living women, warm and real,
As the fair Roman women were. And yet
The phantom only is my soul's ideal,
Longed for through all the years and never met
Till now; and only now to make hell worse-To fan my fires of infinite remorse
With the cold wind of infinite regret.
'Back to the world, the world of love and sin!
For since my soul is lost, I claim its price!
Prayers are not heard. The God I trusted in
Has failed me once--He shall not fail me twice!
No more of that wild striving and intense
For irrecoverable innocence-No more of useless, vain self-sacrifice!
'Life is too potent and too passionate,
Against whose force I all these years have striven
In vain, in vain! Our own lives make our Fate;
And by our Fate our lives are blindly driven!
There is no refuge in the hermit's cell
From memories enough to make a hell-Of chances lost that might have made a heaven!'
Back to his world he went, and plunged anew
Into the old foul life's polluted tide;
But ever in his sweetest feast he knew
A longing never to be satisfied:
This strange wild wickedness, that new mad sin,
Might be the frame to find her picture in;
And if that failed, some other must be tried.
And in the search, soul, body, heart, and brain
Were blasted and destroyed, and still his prize,
Ever untouched, seemed always just to gain,
And just beyond his reach shone Paradise.
So followed he, too faithfully, too well,
Through death, into the very gate of hell,
The love-light of those unforgotten eyes!
~ Edith Nesbit
470:Scene.Inside the Palace by the Duomo. Monsignor, dismissing his Attendants.
Thanks, friends, many thanks! I chiefly desire life now, that I may recompense every one of you. Most I know something of already. What, a repast prepared?Benedicto benedicatur . . . ugh, ugh! Where was I? Oh, as you were remarking, Ugo, the weather is mild, very unlike winter-weather: but I am a Sicilian, you know, and shiver in your Julys here. To be sure, when 't was full summer at Messina, as we priests used to cross in procession the great square on Assumption Day, you might see our thickest yellow tapers twist suddenly in two, each like a falling star, or sink down on themselves in a gore of wax. But go, my friends, but go! [To the Intendant]
Not you, Ugo! [The others leave the apartment]
I have long wanted to converse with you, Ugo.


. . . 'guccio Stefani, man! of Ascoli, Fermo and Fossombruno;what I do need instructing about, are these accounts of your administration of my poor brother's affairs. Ugh! I shall never get through a third part of your accounts: take some of these dainties before we attempt it, however. Are you bashful to that degree? For me, a crust and water suffice.

Do you choose this especial night to question me?

This night, Ugo. You have managed my late brother's affairs since the death of our elder brother: fourteen years and a month, all but three days. On the Third of December, I find him . . .

If you have so intimate an acquaintance with your brother's affairs, you will be tender of turning so far back: they will hardly bear looking into, so far back.

Ay, ay, ugh, ugh,nothing but disappointments here below! I remark a considerable payment made to yourself on this Third of December. Talk of disappointments! There was a young fellow here, Jules, a foreign sculptor I did my utmost to advance, that the Church might be a gainer by us both: he was going on hopefully enough, and of a sudden he notifies to me some marvellous change that has happened in his notions of Art. Here's his letter,"He never had a clearly conceived Ideal within his brain till to-day. Yet since his hand could manage a chisel, he has practised expressing other men's Ideals; and, in the very perfection he has attained to, he foresees an ultimate failure: his unconscious hand will pursue its prescribed course of old years, and will reproduce with a fatal expertness the ancient types, let the novel one appear never so palpably to his spirit. There is but one method of escape: confiding the virgin type to as chaste a hand, he will turn painter instead of sculptor, and paint, not carve, its characteristics," strike out, I dare say, a school like Correggio: how think you, Ugo?

Is Correggio a painter?

Foolish Jules! and yet, after all, why foolish? He mayprobably willfail egregiously; but if there should arise a new painter, will it not be in some such way, by a poet now, or a musician (spirits who have conceived and perfected an Ideal through some other channel), transferring it to this, and escaping our conventional roads by pure ignorance of them; eh, Ugo? If you have no appetite, talk at least, Ugo!

Sir, I can submit no longer to this course of yours. First, you select the group of which I formed one,next you thin it gradually,always retaining me with your smile,and so do you proceed till you have fairly got me alone with you between four stone walls. And now then? Let this farce, this chatter end now: what is it you want with me?


From the instant you arrived, I felt your smile on me as you questioned me about this and the other article in those paperswhy your brother should have given me this villa, that podere,and your nod at the end meant,what?

Possibly that I wished for no loud talk here. If once you set me coughing, Ugo!

I have your brother's hand and seal to all I possess: now ask me what for! what service I did himask me!

I would better not: I should rip up old disgraces, let out my poor brother's weaknesses. By the way, Maffeo of Forli (which, I forgot to observe, is your true name), was the interdict ever taken off you, for robbing that church at Cesena?

No, nor needs be: for when I murdered your brother's friend, Pasquale, for him . . .

Ah, he employed you in that business, did he? Well, I must let you keep, as you say, this villa and that podere, for fear the world should find out my relations were of so indifferent a stamp? Maffeo, my family is the oldest in Messina, and century after century have my progenitors gone on polluting themselves with every wickedness under heaven: my own father . . . rest his soul!I have, I know, a chapel to support that it may rest: my dear two dead brothers were,what you know tolerably well; I, the youngest, might have rivalled them in vice, if not in wealth: but from my boyhood I came out from among them, and so am not partaker of their plagues. My glory springs from another source; or if from this, by contrast only,for I, the bishop, am the brother of your employers, Ugo. I hope to repair some of their wrong, however; so far as my brothers' illgotten treasure reverts to me, I can stop the consequences of his crime: and not one soldo shall escape me. Maffec, the sword we quiet men spurn away, you shrewd knaves pick up and commit murders with; what opportunities the virtuous forego, the villanous seize. Because, to pleasure myself apart from other considerations, my food would be millet-cake, my dress sackcloth, and my couch straw,am I therefore to let you, the offscouring of the earth, seduce the poor and ignorant by appropriating a pomp these will be sure to think lessens the abominations so unaccountably and exclusively associated with it? Must I let villas and poderi go to you, a murderer and thief, that you may beget by means of them other murderers and thieves? Noif my cough would but allow me to speak!

What am I to expect? You are going to punish me?

Must punish you, Maffeo. I cannot afford to cast away a chance. I have whole centuries of sin to redeem, and only a month or two of life to it in. How should I dare to say . . .

"Forgive us our trespasses"?

My friend, it is because I avow myself a very worm, sinful beyond measure, that I reject a line of conduct you would applaud perhaps. Shall I proceed, as it were, a-pardoning?I?who have no symptom of reason to assume that aught less than my strenuousest efforts will keep myself out of mortal sin, much less keep others out. No: I do trespass, but will not double that by allowing you to trespass.

And suppose the villas are not your brother's to give, nor yours to take? Oh, you are hasty enough just now!

I, 2No 3!ay, can you read the substance of a letter, No 3, I have received from Rome? It is precisely on the ground there mentioned, of the suspicion I have that a certain child of my late elder brother, who would have succeeded to his estates, was murdered in infancy by you, Maffeo, at the instigation of my late younger brotherthat the Pontiff enjoins on me not merely the bringing that Maffeo to condign punishment, but the taking all pains, as guardian of the infant's heritage for the Church, to recover it parcel by parcel, howsoever, whensoever, and wheresoever. While you are now gnawing those fingers, the police are engaged in sealing up your papers, Maffeo, and the mere raising my voice brings my people from the next room to dispose of yourself. But I want you to confess quietly, and save me raising my voice. Why, man, do I not know the old story? The heir between the succeeding heir, and this heir's ruffianly instrument, and their complot's effect, and the life of fear and bribes and ominous smiling silence? Did you throttle or stab my brother's infant? Come now

So old a story, and tell it no better? When did such an instrument ever produce such an effect? Either the child smiles in his face; or, most likely, he is not fool enough to put himself in the employer's power so thoroughly: the child is always ready to produceas you sayhowsoever, wheresoever, and whensoever.


Strike me? Ah, so might a father chastise! I shall sleep soundly to-night at least, though the gallows await me to-morrow; for what a life did I lead! Carlo of Cesena reminds me of his connivance, every time I pay his annuity; which happens commonly thrice a year. If I remonstrate, he will confess all to the good bishopyou!

I see through the trick, caitiff! I would you spoke truth for once. All shall be sifted, however seven times sifted.

And how my absurd riches encumbered me! I dared not lay claim to above half my possessions. Let me but once unbosom myself, glorify Heaven, and die! Sir, you are no brutal dastardly idiot like your brother I frightened to death: let us understand one another. Sir, I will make away with her for youthe girlhere close at hand; not the stupid obvious kind of killing; do not speakknow nothing of her nor of me! I see her every daysaw her this morning: of course there is to be no killing; but at Rome the courtesans perish off every three years, and I can entice her thitherhave indeed begun operations already. There's a certain lusty blue-eyed florid-complexioned English knave, I and the Police employ occasionally. You assent, I perceive no, that's not itassent I do not saybut you will let me convert my present havings and holdings into cash, and give me time to cross the Alps? 'T is but a little black-eyed pretty singing Felippa, gay silk-winding girl. I have kept her out of harm's way up to this present; for I always intended to make your life a plague to you with her. 'T is as well settled once and for ever. Some women I have procured will pass Bluphocks, my handsome scoundrel, off for somebody; and once Pippa entangled!you conceive? Through her singing? Is it a bargain?

[From without is heard the voice of Pippa, singing
Overhead the tree-tops meet,
Flowers and grass spring 'neath one's feet;
There was nought above me, nought below,
My childhood had not learned to know:
For, what are the voices of birds
Ay, and of beasts,but words, our words,
Only so much more sweet?
The knowledge of that with my life begun.
But I had so near made out the sun,
And counted your stars, the seven and one,
Like the fingers of my hand:
Nay, I could all but understand
Wherefore through heaven the white moon ranges;
And just when out of her soft fifty changes
No unfamiliar face might overlook me
Suddenly God took me.]
[Pippa passes.
[springing up].
My peopleone and all allwithin there! Gag this villaintie him hand and foot! He dares . . . I know not half he daresbut remove himquick! Miserere mei, Domine! Quick, I say!

Scene.Pippa's chamber again. She enters it.
The bee with his comb,
The mouse at her dray,
The grub in his tomb,
Wile winter away;
But the fire-fly and hedge-shrew and lob-worm, I pray,
How fare they?
Ha, ha, thanks for your counsel, my Zanze!
"Feast upon lampreys, quaff Breganze"
The summer of life so easy to spend,
And care for to-morrow so soon put away!
But winter hastens at summer's end,
And fire-fly, hedge-shrew, lob-worm, pray,
How fare they?
No bidding me then to . . . what did Zanze say?
"Pare your nails pearlwise, get your small feet shoes
"More like" . . (what said she?)"and less like canoes!"
How pert that girl was!would I be those pert
Impudent staring women! It had done me,
However, surely no such mighty hurt
To learn his name who passed that jest upon me:
No foreigner, that I can recollect,
Came, as she says, a month since, to inspect
Our silk-millsnone with blue eyes and thick rings
Of raw-silk-coloured hair, at all events.
Well, if old Luca keep his good intents,
We shall do better, see what next year brings.
I may buy shoes, my Zanze, not appear
More destitute than you perhaps next year!
Bluph . . . something! I had caught the uncouth name
But for Monsignor's people's sudden clatter
Above usbound to spoil such idle chatter
As ours: it were indeed a serious matter
If silly talk like ours should put to shame
The pious man, the man devoid of blame,
The . . . ah butah but, all the same,
No mere mortal has a right
To carry that exalted air;
Best people are not angels quite:
Whilenot the worst of people's doings scare
The devil; so there's that proud look to spare!
Which is mere counsel to myself, mind! for
I have just been the holy Monsignor:
And I was you too, Luigi's gentle mother,
And you too, Luigi!how that Luigi started
Out of the turretdoubtlessly departed
On some good errand or another,
For he passed just now in a traveller's trim,
And the sullen company that prowled
About his path, I noticed, scowled
As if they had lost a prey in him.
And I was Jules the sculptor's bride,
And I was Ottima beside,
And now what am I?tired of fooling.
Day for folly, night for schooling!
New year's day is over and spent,
Ill or well, I must be content.
Even my lily's asleep, I vow:
Wake uphere's a friend I've plucked you!
Call this flower a heart's-ease now!
Something rare, let me instruct you,
Is this, with petals triply swollen,
Three times spotted, thrice the pollen;
While the leaves and parts that witness
Old proportions and their fitness,
Here remain unchanged, unmoved now;
Call this pampered thing improved now!
Suppose there's a king of the flowers
And a girl-show held in his bowers
"Look ye, buds, this growth of ours,"
Says he, "Zanze from the Brenta,
"I have made her gorge polenta
"Till both cheeks are near as bouncing
"As her . . . name there's no pronouncing!
"See this heightened colour too,
"For she swilled Breganze wine
"Till her nose turned deep carmine;
"'T was but white when wild she grew.
"And only by this Zanze's eyes
"Of which we could not change the size,
"The magnitude of all achieved
"Otherwise, may be perceived."
Oh what a drear dark close to my poor day!
How could that red sun drop in that black cloud?
Ah Pippa, morning's rule is moved away,
Dispensed with, never more to be allowed!
Day's turn is over, now arrives the night's.
Oh lark, be day's apostle
To mavis, merle and throstle,
Bid them their betters jostle
From day and its delights!
But at night, brother howlet, over the woods,
Toll the world to thy chantry;
Sing to the bats' sleek sisterhoods
Full complines with gallantry:
Then, owls and bats,
Cowls and twats,
Monks and nuns, in a cloister's moods,
Adjourn to the oak-stump pantry!
[After she has begun to undress herself.]
Now, one thing I should like to really know:
How near I ever might approach all these
I only fancied being, this long day:
Approach, I mean, so as to touch them, so
As to . . . in some way . . . move themif you please,
Do good or evil to them some slight way.
For instance, if I wind
Silk to-morrow, my silk may bind
[Sitting on the bedside.]
And border Ottima's cloak's hem.
Ah me, and my important part with them,
This morning's hymn half promised when I rose!
True in some sense or other, I suppose.
[As she lies down.]
God bless me! I can pray no more to-night.
No doubt, some way or other, hymns say right.
All service ranks the same with God
With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
Are we: there is no last nor first.
[She sleeps.]

~ Robert Browning, Pippa Passes - Part IV - Night

471:Le Mendiant
C'était quand le printemps a reverdi les prés.
La fille de Lycus, vierge aux cheveux dorés,
Sous les monts Achéens, non loin de Cérynée,
Errait à l'ombre, aux bords du faible et pur Crathis,
Car les eaux du Crathis, sous des berceaux de frêne,
Entouraient de Lycus le fertile domaine.
Soudain, à l'autre bord,
Du fond d'un bois épais, un noir fantôme sort,
Tout pâle, demi-nu, la barbe hérissée:
Il remuait à peine une lèvre glacée,
Des hommes et des dieux implorait le secours,
Et dans la forêt sombre errait depuis deux jours;
Il se traîne, il n'attend qu'une mort douloureuse;
Il succombe. L'enfant, interdite et peureuse,
A ce hideux aspect sorti du fond des bois,
Veut fuir; mais elle entend sa lamentable voix.
Il tend les bras, il tombe à genoux; il lui crie
Qu'au nom de tous les dieux il la conjure, il prie,
Et qu'il n'est point à craindre, et qu'une ardente faim
L'aiguillonne et le tue, et qu'il expire enfin.
'Si, comme je le crois, belle dès ton enfance,
C'est le dieu de ces eaux qui t'a donné naissance,
Nymphe, souvent les voeux des malheureux humains
Ouvrent des immortels les bienfaisantes mains,
Ou si c'est quelque front porteur d'une couronne
Qui te nomme sa fille et te destine au trône,
Souviens-toi, jeune enfant, que le ciel quelquefois
Venge les opprimés sur la tête des rois.
Belle vierge, sans doute enfant d'une déesse,
Crains de laisser périr l'étranger en détresse:
L'étranger qui supplie est envoyé des dieux.'
Elle reste. A le voir, elle enhardit ses yeux,
. . . . . . . . et d'une voix encore
Tremblante: 'Ami, le ciel écoute qui l'implore.
Mais ce soir, quand la nuit descend sur l'horizon,
Passe le pont mobile, entre dans la maison;
J'aurai soin qu'on te laisse entrer sans méfiance.
Pour la douzième fois célébrant ma naissance,
Mon père doit donner une fête aujourd'hui.
Il m'aime, il n'a que moi: viens t'adresser à lui,
C'est le riche Lycus. Viens ce soir; il est tendre,
Il est humain: il pleure aux pleurs qu'il voit répandre.'
Elle achève ces mots, et, le coeur palpitant,
S'enfuit; car l'étranger sur elle, en l'écoutant,
Fixait de ses yeux creux l'attention avide.
Elle rentre, cherchant dans le palais splendide
L'esclave près de qui toujours ses jeunes ans
Trouvent un doux accueil et des soins complaisants.
Cette sage affranchie avait nourri sa mère;
Maintenant sous des lois de vigilance austère,
Elle et son vieil époux, au devoir rigoureux,
Rangent des serviteurs le cortège nombreux.
Elle la voit de loin dans le fond du portique,
Court, et, posant ses mains sur ce visage antique:
'Indulgente nourrice, écoute: il faut de toi
Que j'obtienne un grand bien. Ma mère, écoute-moi;
Un pauvre, un étranger, dans la misère extrême,
Gémit sur l'autre bord, mourant, affamé, blême...
Ne me décèle point. De mon père aujourd'hui
J'ai promis qu'il pourrait solliciter l'appui.
Fais qu'il entre: et surtout, ô mère de ma mère!
Garde que nul mortel a'insulte à sa misère.
--Oui, ma fille; chacun fera ce que tu veux,
Dit l'esclave en baisant son front et ses cheveux;
Oui, qu'à ton protégé ta fête soit ouverte,
Ta mère, mon élève (inestimable perte!),
Aimait à soulager les faibles abattus;
Tu lui ressembleras autant par tes vertus
Que par tes yeux si doux et tes grâces naïves,'
Mais cependant la nuit assemble les convives:
En habits somptueux, d'essences parfumés,
Ils entrent. Aux lambris d'ivoire et d'or formés
Pend le lin d'Ionie en brillantes courtines;
Le toit s'égaye et rit de mille odeurs divines.
La table au loin circule, et d'apprêts savoureux
Se charge. L'encens vole en longs flots vaporeux:
Sur leurs bases d'argent, des formes animées
Élèvent dans leurs mains des torches enflammées;
Les figures, l'onyx, le cristal, les métaux
En vases hérissés d'hommes ou d'animaux,
Partout, sur les buffets, sur la table, étincellent;
Plus d'une lyre est prête; et partout s'amoncellent
Et les rameaux de myrte et les bouquets de fleurs.
On s'étend sur les lits teints de mille couleurs;
Près de Lycus, sa fille, idole de la fête,
Est admise. La rose a couronné sa tête.
Mais, pour que la décence impose un juste frein,
Lui-même est par eux tous élu roi du festin.
Et déjà vins, chansons, joie, entretiens sans nombre,
Lorsque, la double porte ouverte, un spectre sombre
Entre, cherchant des yeux l'autel hospitalier.
La jeune enfant rougit. Il court vers le foyer,
Il embrasse l'autel, s'assied parmi la cendre;
Et tous, l'oeil étonné, se taisent pour l'entendre.
'Lycus, fils d'Évémon, que les dieux et le temps
N'osent jamais troubler tes destins éclatants!
Ta pourpre, tes trésors, ton front noble et tranquille,
Semblent d'un roi puissant, l'idole de sa ville.
A ton riche banquet un peuple convié
T'honore comme un dieu de l'Olympe envoyé.
Regarde un étranger qui meurt dans la poussière,
Si tu ne tends vers lui la main hospitalière.
Inconnu, j'ai franchi le seuil de ton palais:
Trop de pudeur peut nuire à qui vit de bienfaits.
Lycus, par Jupiter, par ta fille innocente
Qui m'a seule indiqué ta porte bienfaisante!...
Je fus riche autrefois: mon banquet opulent
N'a jamais repoussé l'étranger suppliant.
Et pourtant aujourd'hui la faim est mon partage,
La faim qui flétrit l'âme autant que le visage,
Par qui l'homme souvent, importun, odieux,
Est contraint de rougir et de baisser les yeux!
--Étranger, tu dis vrai, le hasard téméraire
Des bons ou des méchants fait le destin prospère.
Mais sois mon hôte. Ici l'on hait plus que l'enfer
Le public ennemi, le riche au coeur de fer,
Enfant de Némésis, dont le dédain barbare
Aux besoins des mortels ferme son coeur avare.
Je rends grâce à l'enfant qui t'a conduit ici.
Ma fille, c'est bien fait; poursuis toujours ainsi.
Respecter l'indigence est un devoir suprême.
Souvent les immortels (et Jupiter lui-même)
Sous des haillons poudreux, de seuil en seuil traînés,
Viennent tenter le coeur des humains fortunés.'
D'accueil et de faveur un murmure s'élève.
Lycus descend, accourt, tend la main, le relève:
'Salut, père étranger; et que puissent tes voeux
Trouver le ciel propice à tout ce que tu veux!
Mon hôte, lève-toi. Tu parais noble et sage;
Mais cesse avec ta main de cacher ton visage.
Souvent marchent ensemble indigence et vertu,
Souvent d'un vil manteau le sage revêtu,
Seul, vit avec les dieux et brave un sort inique.
Couvert de chauds tissus, à l'ombre du portique,
Sur de molles toisons, en un calme sommeil,
Tu peux ici, dans l'ombre, attendre le soleil.
Je te ferai revoir tes foyers, ta patrie,
Tes parents, si les dieux ont épargné leur vie.
Car tout mortel errant nourrit un long amour
D'aller revoir le sol qui lui donna le jour.
Mon hôte, tu franchis le seuil de ma famille
A l'heure qui jadis a vu naître ma fille.
Salut! Vois, l'on t'apporte et la table et le pain:
Sieds-toi. Tu vas d'abord rassasier ta faim.
Puis, si nulle raison ne te force au mystère,
Tu nous diras ton nom, ta patrie et ton père!'
Il retourne à sa place après que l'indigent
S'est assis. Sur ses mains, d'une aiguière d'argent,
Par une jeune esclave une eau pure est versée.
Une table de cèdre, où l'éponge est passée,
S'approche, et vient offrir à son avide main
Et les fumantes chairs sur le disque d'airain,
Et l'amphore vineuse, et la coupe aux deux anses.
'Mange et bois, dit Lycus; oublions les souffrances,
Ami! leur lendemain est, dit-on, un beau jour.'
Bientôt Lycus se lève et fait emplir sa coupe,
Et veut que l'échanson verse à toute la troupe:
'Pour boire à Jupiter, qui nous daigne envoyer
L'étranger devenu l'hôte de mon foyer.'
Le vin de main en main va coulant à la ronde;
Lycus lui-même emplit une coupe profonde,
L'envoie à l'étranger: 'Salut, mon hôte, bois.
De ta ville bientôt tu reverras les toits,
Fussent-ils par-delà les glaces du Caucase.'
Des mains de l'échanson l'étranger prend le vase,
Se lève et sur eux tous il invoque les dieux.
On boit; il se rassied. Et jusque sur ses yeux
Ses noirs cheveux toujours ombrageant son visage,
De sourire et de plainte il mêle son langage:
'Mon hôte, maintenant que sous tes nobles toits
De l'importun besoin j'ai calmé les abois,
Oserai-je à ma langue abandonner les rênes?
Je n'ai plus ni pays, ni parents, ni domaines.
Mais écoute: le vin, par toi-même versé,
M'ouvre la bouche. Ainsi, puisque j'ai commencé,
Entends ce que peut-être il eût mieux valu taire.
Excuse enfin ma langue, excuse ma prière;
Car du vin, tu le sais, la téméraire ardeur
Souvent à l'excès même enhardit la pudeur.
Meurtri de durs cailloux ou de sables arides,
Déchiré de buissons ou d'insectes avides,
D'un long jeûne flétri, d'un long chemin lassé
Et de plus d'un grand fleuve en nageant traversé,
Je parais énervé, sans vigueur, sans courage;
Mais je suis né robuste et n'ai point passé l'âge.
La force et le travail, que je n'ai point perdus,
Par un peu de repos me vont être rendus.
Emploie alors mes bras à quelques soins rustiques.
Je puis dresser au char tes coursiers olympiques,
Ou, sous les feux du jour, courbé vers le sillon,
Presser deux forts taureaux du piquant aiguillon.
Je puis même, tournant la meule nourricière,
Broyer le pur froment en farine légère.
Je puis, la serpe en main, planter et diriger
Et le cep et la treille, espoir de ton verger.
Je tiendrai la faucille ou la faux recourbée,
Et devant mes pas l'herbe ou la moisson tombée
Viendra remplir ta grange en la belle saison;
Afin que nul mortel ne dise en ta maison,
Me regardant d'un oeil insultant et colère:
O vorace étranger, qu'on nourrit à rien faire!
--Vénérable indigent, va, nul mortel chez moi
N'oserait élever sa langue contre toi.
Tu peux ici rester, même oisif et tranquille,
Sans craindre qu'un affront ne trouble ton asile.
--L'indigent se méfie.--Il n'est plus de danger.
--L'homme est né pour souffrir.--Il est né pour changer.
--Il change d'infortune!--Ami, reprends courage:
Toujours un vent glacé ne souffle point l'orage.
Le ciel d'un jour à l'autre est humide ou serein,
Et tel pleure aujourd'hui qui sourira demain.
--Mon hôte, en tes discours préside la sagesse.
Mais quoi! la confiante et paisible richesse
Parle ainsi!... L'indigent espère en vain du sort;
En espérant toujours il arrive à la mort.
Dévoré de besoins, de projets, d'insomnie,
Il vieillit dans l'opprobre et dans l'ignominie.
Rebuté des humains durs, envieux, ingrats,
Il a recours aux dieux qui ne l'entendent pas.
Toutefois ta richesse accueille mes misères;
Et puisque ton coeur s'ouvre à la voix des prières.
Puisqu'il sait, ménageant le faible humilié,
D'indulgence et d'égards tempérer la pitié,
S'il est des dieux du pauvre, ô Lycus! que ta vie
Soit un objet pour tous et d'amour et d'envie!
--Je te le dis encore: espérons, étranger.
Que mon exemple au moins serve à t'encourager
Des changements du sort j'ai fait l'expérience.
Toujours un même éclat n'a point à l'indigence
Fait du riche Lycus envier le destin.
J'ai moi-même été pauvre et j'ai tendu la main.
Cléotas de Larisse, en ses jardins immenses,
Offrit à mon travail de justes récompenses.
'Jeune ami, j'ai trouvé quelques vertus en toi;
Va, sois heureux, dit-il, et te souviens de moi.'
Oui, oui, je m'en souviens: Cléotas fut mon père;
Tu vois le fruit des dons de sa bonté prospère.
A tous les malheureux je rendrai désormais
Ce que dans mon malheur je dus à ses bienfaits.
Dieux, l'homme bienfaisant est votre cher ouvrage;
Vous n'avez point ici d'autre visible image;
Il porte votre empreinte, il sortit de vos mains
Pour vous représenter aux regards des humains.
Veillez sur Cléotas! Qu'une fleur éternelle,
Fille d'une âme pure, en ses traits étincelle;
Que nombre de bienfaits, ce sont là ses amours,
Fassent une couronne à chacun de ses jours;
Et quand une mort douce et d'amis entourée
Recevra sans douleur sa vieillesse sacrée,
Qu'il laisse avec ses biens ses vertus pour appui
A des fils, s'il se peut, encor meilleurs que lui.
--Hôte des malheureux, le sort inexorable
Ne prend point les avis de l'homme secourable.
Tous, par sa main de fer en aveugles poussés,
Nous vivons; et tes voeux ne sont point exaucés.
Cléotas est perdu; son injuste patrie
L'a privé de ses biens; elle a proscrit sa vie.
De ses concitoyens dès longtemps envié,
De ses nombreux amis en un jour oublié,
Au lieu de ces tapis qu'avait tissus l'Euphrate,
Au lieu de ces festins brillants d'or et d'agate
Où ses hôtes, parmi les chants harmonieux,
Savouraient jusqu'au jour les vins délicieux,
Seul maintenant, sa faim, visitant les feuillages,
Dépouille les buissons de quelques fruits sauvages;
Ou, chez le riche altier apportant ses douleurs,
Il mange un pain amer tout trempé de ses pleurs.
Errant et fugitif, de ses beaux jours de gloire
Gardant, pour son malheur, la pénible mémoire,
Sous les feux du midi, sous le froid des hivers,
Seul, d'exil en exil, de déserts en déserts,
Pauvre et semblable à moi, languissant et débile,
Sans appui qu'un bâton, sans foyer, sans asile,
Revêtu de ramée ou de quelques lambeaux,
Et sans que nul mortel attendri sur ses maux
D'un souhait de bonheur le flatte et l'encourage;
Les torrents et la mer, l'aquilon et l'orage,
Les corbeaux, et des loups les tristes hurlements
Répondant seuls la nuit à ses gémissements;
N'ayant d'autres amis que les bois solitaires,
D'autres consolateurs que ses larmes amères,
Il se traîne; et souvent sur la pierre il s'endort
A la porte d'un temple, en invoquant la mort.
--Que m'as-tu dit? La foudre a tombé sur ma tête.
Dieux! ah! grands dieux! partons. Plus de jeux, plus de fête!
Partons. Il faut vers lui trouver des chemins sûrs;
Partons. Jamais sans lui je ne revois ces murs.
Ah! dieux! quand dans le vin, les festins, l'abondance,
Enivré des vapeurs d'une folle opulence,
Celui qui lui doit tout chante, et s'oublie, et rit,
Lui peut-être il expire, affamé, nu, proscrit,
Maudissant, comme ingrat, son vieil ami qui l'aime.
Parle: était-ce bien lui? le connais-tu toi-même?
En quels lieux était-il? où portait-il ses pas?
Il sait où vit Lycus, pourquoi ne vient-il pas?
Parle: était-ce bien lui? parle, parle, te dis-je;
Où l'as-tu vu?--Mon hôte, à regret je t'afflige.
C'était lui, je l'ai vu ........................
.........................Les douleurs de son âme
Avaient changé ses traits. Ses deux fils et sa femme
A Delphes, confiés au ministre du dieu,
Vivaient de quelques dons offerts dans le saint lieu.
Par des sentiers secrets fuyant l'aspect des villes,
On les avait suivis jusques aux Thermopyles.
Il en gardait encore un douloureux effroi.
Je le connais; je fus son ami comme toi.
D'un même sort jaloux une même injustice
Nous a tous deux plongés au même précipice.
Il me donna jadis (ce bien seul m'est resté)
Sa marque d'alliance et d'hospitalité.
Vois si tu la connais.' De surprise immobile,
Lycus a reconnu son propre sceau d'argile;
Ce sceau, don mutuel d'immortelle amitié,
Jadis à Cléotas par lui-même envoyé.
Il ouvre un oeil avide, et longtemps envisage
L'étranger. Puis enfin sa voix trouve un passage.
'Est-ce toi, Cléotas? toi qu'ainsi je revoi?
Tout ici t'appartient. O mon père! est-ce toi?
Je rougis que mes yeux aient pu te méconnaître.
Cléotas! ô mon père! ô toi qui fus mon maître,
Viens; je n'ai fait ici que garder ton trésor,
Et ton ancien Lycus veut te servir encor;
J'ai honte à ma fortune en regardant la tienne.'
Et, dépouillant soudain la pourpre tyrienne
Que tient sur son épaule une agrafe d'argent,
Il l'attache lui-même à l'auguste indigent.
Les convives levés l'entourent; l'allégresse
Rayonne en tous les yeux. La famille s'empresse;
On cherche des habits, on réchauffe le bain.
La jeune enfant approche; il rit, lui tend la main:
'Car c'est toi, lui dit-il, c'est toi qui, la première,
Ma fille, m'as ouvert la porte hospitalière.'
~ Andre Marie de Chenier
472:The Kalevala - Rune Xiv
Lemminkainen, much disheartened,
Deeply thought and long considered,
What to do, what course to follow,
Whether best to leave the wild-moose
In the fastnesses of Hisi,
And return to Kalevala,
Or a third time hunt the ranger,
Hoping thus to bring him captive,
Thus return at last a victor
To the forest home of Louhi,
To the joy of all her daughters,
To the wood-nymph's happy fireside.
Taking courage Lemminkainen
Spake these words in supplication:
'Ukko, thou O God above me,
Thou Creator of the heavens,
Put my snow-shoes well in order,
And endow them both with swiftness,
That I rapidly may journey
Over marshes, over snow-fields,
Over lowlands, over highlands,
Through the realms of wicked Hisi,
Through the distant plains of Lapland,
Through the paths of Lempo's wild-moose,
To the forest hills of Juutas.
To the snow-fields shall I journey,
Leave the heroes to the woodlands,
On the way to Tapiola,
Into Tapio's wild dwellings.
'Greeting bring I to the mountains,
Greeting to the vales and uplands,
Greet ye, heights with forests covered,
Greet ye, ever-verdant fir-trees,
Greet ye, groves of whitened aspen,
Greetings bring to those that greet you,
Fields, and streams, and woods of Lapland.
Bring me favor, mountain-woodlands,
Lapland-deserts, show me kindness,
Mighty Tapio, be gracious,
Let me wander through thy forests,
Let me glide along thy rivers,
Let this hunter search thy snow-fields,
Where the wild-moose herds in numbers
Where the bounding reindeer lingers.
'O Nyrikki, mountain hero,
Son of Tapio of forests,
Hero with the scarlet head-gear,
Notches make along the pathway,
Landmarks upward to the mountains,
That this hunter may not wander,
May not fall, and falling perish
In the snow-fields of thy kingdom,
Hunting for the moose of Hisi,
Dowry for the pride of Northland.
'Mistress of the woods, Mielikki,
Forest-mother, formed in beauty,
Let thy gold flow out abundant,
Let thy silver onward wander,
For the hero that is seeking
For the wild-moose of thy kingdom;
Bring me here thy keys of silver,
From the golden girdle round thee;
Open Tapio's rich chambers,
And unlock the forest fortress,
While I here await the booty,
While I hunt the moose of Lempo.
'Should this service be too menial
Give the order to thy servants,
Send at once thy servant-maidens,
And command it to thy people.
Thou wilt never seem a hostess,
If thou hast not in thy service,
Maidens ready by the hundreds,
Thousands that await thy bidding,
Who thy herds may watch and nurture,
Tend the game of thy dominions.
'Tall and slender forest-virgin,
Tapio's beloved daughter,
Blow thou now thy honey flute-notes,
Play upon thy forest-whistle,
For the hearing of thy mistress,
For thy charming woodland-mistress,
Make her hear thy sweet-toned playing,
That she may arise from slumber.
Should thy mistress not awaken
At the calling of thy flute-notes,
Play again, and play unceasing,
Make the golden tongue re-echo.'
Wild and daring Lemminkainen
Steadfast prays upon his journey,
Calling on the gods for succor,
Hastens off through fields and moorlands,
Passes on through cruel brush-wood,
To the colliery of Hisi,
To the burning fields of Lempo;
Glided one day, then a second,
Glided all the next day onward,
Till he came to Big-stone mountain,
Climbed upon its rocky summit,
Turned his glances to the north-west,
Toward the Northland moors and marshes;
There appeared the Tapio-mansion.
All the doors were golden-colored,
Shining in the gleam of sunlight
Through the thickets on the mountains,
Through the distant fields of Northland.
Lemminkainen, much encouraged,
Hastens onward from his station
Through the lowlands, o'er the uplands,
Over snow-fields vast and vacant,
Under snow-robed firs and aspens,
Hastens forward, happy-hearted,
Quickly reaches Tapio's court-yards,
Halts without at Tapio's windows,
Slyly looks into her mansion,
Spies within some kindly women,
Forest-dames outstretched before him,
All are clad in scanty raiment,
Dressed in soiled and ragged linens.
Spake the stranger Lemminkainen:
'Wherefore sit ye, forest-mothers,
In your old and simple garments,
In your soiled and ragged linen?
Ye, forsooth! are too untidy,
Too unsightly your appearance
In your tattered gowns appareled.
When I lived within the forest,
There were then three mountain castles,
One of horn and one of ivory,
And the third of wood constructed;
In their walls were golden windows,
Six the windows in each castle,
Through these windows I discovered
All the host of Tapio's mansion,
Saw its fair and stately hostess;
Saw great Tapio's lovely daughter,
Saw Tellervo in her beauty,
With her train of charming maidens;
All were dressed in golden raiment,
Rustled all in gold and silver.
Then the forest's queenly hostess,
Still the hostess of these woodlands,
On her arms wore golden bracelets,
Golden rings upon her fingers,
In her hair were sparkling, jewels,
On her bead were golden fillets,
In her ears were golden ear-rings,
On her neck a pearly necklace,
And her braidlets, silver-tinselled.
'Lovely hostess of the forest,
Metsola's enchanting mistress,
Fling aside thine ugly straw-shoes,
Cast away the shoes of birch-bark,
Doff thy soiled and ragged linen,
Doff thy gown of shabby fabric,
Don the bright and festive raiment,
Don the gown of merry-making,
While I stay within thy borders,
While I seek my forest-booty,
Hunt the moose of evil Hisi.
Here my visit will be irksome,
Here thy guest will be ill-humored,
Waiting in thy fields and woodlands,
Hunting here the moose of Lempo,
Finding not the Hisi-ranger,
Shouldst thou give me no enjoyment,
Should I find no joy, nor respite.
Long the eve that gives no pleasure,
Long the day that brings no guerdon!
'Sable-bearded god of forests,
In thy hat and coat of ermine,
Robe thy trees in finest fibers,
Deck thy groves in richest fabrics,
Give the fir-trees shining silver,
Deck with gold the slender balsams,
Give the spruces copper belting,
And the pine-trees silver girdles,
Give the birches golden flowers,
Deck their stems with silver fret-work,
This their garb in former ages,
When the days and nights were brighter,
When the fir-trees shone like sunlight,
And the birches like the moonbeams;
Honey breathed throughout the forest,
Settled in the glens and highlands
Spices in the meadow-borders,
Oil out-pouring from the lowlands.
'Forest daughter, lovely virgin,
Golden maiden, fair Tulikki,
Second of the Tapio-daughters,
Drive the game within these borders,
To these far-extending snow-fields.
Should the reindeer be too sluggish,
Should the moose-deer move too slowly
Cut a birch-rod from the thicket,
Whip them hither in their beauty,
Drive the wild-moose to my hurdle,
Hither drive the long-sought booty
To the hunter who is watching,
Waiting in the Hisi-forests.
'When the game has started hither,
Keep them in the proper highway,
Hold thy magic hands before them,
Guard them well on either road-side,
That the elk may not escape thee,
May not dart adown some by-path.
Should, perchance, the moose-deer wander
Through some by-way of the forest,
Take him by the ears and antlers,
Hither lead the pride of Lempo.
'If the path be filled with brush-wood
Cast the brush-wood to the road-side;
If the branches cross his pathway,
Break the branches into fragments;
Should a fence of fir or alder
Cross the way that leads him hither.
Make an opening within it,
Open nine obstructing fences;
If the way be crossed by streamlets,
If the path be stopped by rivers,
Make a bridge of silken fabric,
Weaving webs of scarlet color,
Drive the deer-herd gently over,
Lead them gently o'er the waters,
O'er the rivers of thy forests,
O'er the streams of thy dominions.
'Thou, the host of Tapio's mansion,
Gracious host of Tapiola,
Sable-bearded god of woodlands,
Golden lord of Northland forests,
Thou, O Tapio's worthy hostess,
Queen of snowy woods, Mimerkki,
Ancient dame in sky-blue vesture,
Fenland-queen in scarlet ribbons,
Come I to exchange my silver,
To exchange my gold and silver;
Gold I have, as old as moonlight,
Silver of the age of sunshine,
In the first of years was gathered,
In the heat and pain of battle;
It will rust within my pouches,
Soon will wear away and perish,
If it be not used in trading.'
Long the hunter, Lemminkainen,
Glided through the fen and forest,
Sang his songs throughout the woodlands,
Through three mountain glens be sang them,
Sang the forest hostess friendly,
Sang he, also, Tapio friendly,
Friendly, all the forest virgins,
All of Metsola's fair daughters.
Now they start the herds of Lempo,
Start the wild-moose from his shelter,
In the realms of evil Hisi,
Tapio's highest mountain-region;
Now they drive the ranger homeward,
To the open courts of Piru,
To the hero that is waiting,
Hunting for the moose of Juutas.
When the herd had reached the castle,
Lemminkainen threw his lasso
O'er the antlers of the blue-moose,
Settled on the neck and shoulders
Of the mighty moose of Hisi.
Then the hunter, Kaukomieli,
Stroked his captive's neck in safety,
For the moose was well-imprisoned.
Thereupon gay Lemminkainen
Filled with joyance spake as follows:
'Pride of forests, queen of woodlands,
Metsola's enchanted hostess,
Lovely forest dame, Mielikki,
Mother-donor of the mountains,
Take the gold that I have promised,
Come and take away the silver;
Spread thy kerchief well before me,
Spread out here thy silken neck-wrap,
Underneath the golden treasure,
Underneath the shining silver,
that to earth it may not settle,
Scattered on the snows of winter.'
Then the hero went a victor
To the dwellings of Pohyola,
And addressed these words to Louhi:
'I have caught the moose of Hisi,
In the Metsola-dominions,
Give, O hostess, give thy daughter,
Give to me thy fairest virgin,
Bride of mine to be hereafter.'
Louhi, hostess of the Northland,
Gave this answer to the suitor:
'I will give to thee my daughter,
For thy wife my fairest maiden,
When for me thou'lt put a bridle
On the flaming horse of Hisi,
Rapid messenger of Lempo,
On the Hisi-plains and pastures.'
Nothing daunted, Lemminkainen
Hastened forward to accomplish
Louhi's second test of heroes,
On the cultivated lowlands,
On the sacred fields and forests.
Everywhere he sought the racer,
Sought the fire-expiring stallion,
Fire out-shooting from his nostrils.
Lemminkainen, fearless hunter,
Bearing in his belt his bridle,
On his shoulders, reins and halter,
Sought one day, and then a second,
Finally, upon the third day,
Went he to the Hisi-mountain,
Climbed, and struggled to the summit;
To the east he turned his glances,
Cast his eyes upon the sunrise,
There beheld the flaming courser,
On the heath among the far-trees.
Lempo's fire-expiring stallion
Fire and mingled smoke, out-shooting
From his mouth, and eyes, and nostrils.
Spake the daring Lemminkainen,
This the hero's supplication:
'Ukko, thou O God above me,
Thou that rulest all the storm-clouds,
Open thou the vault of heaven,
Open windows through the ether,
Let the icy rain come falling,
Lot the heavy hailstones shower
On the flaming horse of Hisi,
On the fire-expiring stallion.'
Ukko, the benign Creator,
Heard the prayer of Lemminkainen,
Broke apart the dome of heaven,
Rent the heights of heaven asunder,
Sent the iron-hail in showers,
Smaller than the heads of horses,
Larger than the heads of heroes,
On the flaming steed of Lempo,
On the fire-expiring stallion,
On the terror of the Northland.
Lemminkainen, drawing nearer,
Looked with care upon the courser,
Then he spake the words that follow:
'Wonder-steed of mighty Hisi,
Flaming horse of Lempo's mountain,
Bring thy mouth of gold, assenting,
Gently place thy head of silver
In this bright and golden halter,
In this silver-mounted bridle.
I shall never harshly treat thee,
Never make thee fly too fleetly,
On the way to Sariola,
On the tracks of long duration,
To the hostess of Pohyola,
To her magic courts and stables,
Will not lash thee on thy journey;
I shall lead thee gently forward,
Drive thee with the reins of kindness,
Cover thee with silken blankets.'
Then the fire-haired steed of Juutas,
Flaming horse of mighty Hisi,
Put his bead of shining silver,
In the bright and golden bead-stall,
In the silver-mounted bridle.
Thus the hero, Lemminkainen,
Easy bridles Lempo's stallion,
Flaming horse of evil Piru;
Lays the bits within his fire-mouth,
On his silver head, the halter,
Mounts the fire-expiring courser,
Brandishes his whip of willow,
Hastens forward on his journey,
Bounding o'er the hills and mountains,
Dashing through the valleys northward,
O'er the snow-capped hills of Lapland,
To the courts of Sariola.
Then the hero, quick dismounting,
Stepped within the court of Louhi,
Thus addressed the Northland hostess:
'I have bridled Lempo's fire-horse,
I have caught the Hisi-racer,
Caught the fire-expiring stallion,
In the Piru plains and pastures,
Ridden him within thy borders;
I have caught the moose of Lempo,
I have done what thou demandest;
Give, I pray thee, now thy daughter,
Give to me thy fairest maiden,
Bride of mine to be forever.'
Louhi, hostess of Pohyola,
Made this answer to the suitor:
'I will only give my daughter,
Give to thee my fairest virgin,
Bride of thine to be forever,
When for me the swan thou killest
In the river of Tuoni,
Swimming in the black death-river,
In the sacred stream and whirlpool;
Thou canst try one cross-bow only,
But one arrow from thy quiver.'
Then the reckless Lemminkainen,
Handsome hero, Kaukomieli,
Braved the third test of the hero,
Started out to hunt the wild-swan,
Hunt the long-necked, graceful swimmer,
In Tuoni's coal-black river,
In Manala's lower regions.
Quick the daring hunter journeyed,
Hastened off with fearless footsteps,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool,
With his bow upon his shoulder,
With his quiver and one arrow.
Nasshut, blind and crippled shepherd,
Wretched shepherd of Pohyola,
Stood beside the death-land river,
Near the sacred stream and whirlpool,
Guarding Tuonela's waters,
Waiting there for Lemminkainen,
Listening there for Kaukomieli,
Waiting long the hero's coming.
Finally he hears the footsteps
Of the hero on his journey,
Hears the tread of Lemminkainen,
As he journeys nearer, nearer,
To the river of Tuoni,
To the cataract of death-land,
To the sacred stream and whirlpool.
Quick the wretched shepherd, Nasshut,
From the death-stream sends a serpent,
Like an arrow from a cross-bow,
To the heart of Lemminkainen,
Through the vitals of the hero.
Lemminkainen, little conscious,
Hardly knew that be was injured,
Spake these measures as he perished.
'Ah! unworthy is my conduct,
Ah! unwisely have I acted,
That I did not heed my mother,
Did not take her goodly counsel,
Did not learn her words of magic.
Oh I for three words with my mother,
How to live, and bow to suffer,
In this time of dire misfortune,
How to bear the stings of serpents,
Tortures of the reed of waters,
From the stream of Tuonela!
'Ancient mother who hast borne me,
Who hast trained me from my childhood,
Learn, I pray thee, where I linger,
Where alas! thy son is lying,
Where thy reckless hero suffers.
Come, I pray thee, faithful mother,
Come thou quickly, thou art needed,
Come deliver me from torture,
From the death-jaws of Tuoni,
From the sacred stream and whirlpool.'
Northland's old and wretched shepherd,
Nasshut, the despised protector
Of the flocks of Sariola,
Throws the dying Lemminkainen,
Throws the hero of the islands,
Into Tuonela's river,
To the blackest stream of death-land,
To the worst of fatal whirlpools.
Lemminkainen, wild and daring,
Helpless falls upon the waters,
Floating down the coal-black current,
Through the cataract and rapids
To the tombs of Tuonela.
There the blood-stained son of death-land,
There Tuoni's son and hero,
Cuts in pieces Lemminkainen,
Chops him with his mighty hatchet,
Till the sharpened axe strikes flint-sparks
From the rocks within his chamber,
Chops the hero into fragments,
Into five unequal portions,
Throws each portion to Tuoni,
In Manala's lowest kingdom,
Speaks these words when he has ended:
'Swim thou there, wild Lemminkainen,
Flow thou onward in this river,
Hunt forever in these waters,
With thy cross-bow and thine arrow,
Shoot the swan within this empire,
Shoot our water-birds in welcome!'
Thus the hero, Lemminkainen,
Thus the handsome Kaukomieli,
The untiring suitor, dieth
In the river of Tuoni,
In the death-realm of Manala.
~ Elias Lönnrot
473:Scene.Over Orcana. The house of Jules, who crosses its threshold with Phene: she is silent, on which Jules begins
Do not die, Phene! I am yours now, you
Are mine now; let fate reach me how she likes,
If you'll not die: so, never die! Sit here
My work-room's single seat. I over-lean
This length of hair and lustrous front; they turn
Like an entire flower upward: eyes, lips, last
Your chinno, last your throat turns: 't is their scent
Pulls down my face upon you. Nay, look ever
This one way till I change, grow youI could
Change into you, beloved!
             You by me,
And I by you; this is your hand in mine,
And side by side we sit: all's true. Thank God!
I have spoken: speak you!
             O my life to come!
My Tydeus must be carved that's there in clay;
Yet how be carved, with you about the room?
Where must I place you? When I think that once
This room-full of rough block-work seemed my heaven
Without you! Shall I ever work again,
Get fairly into my old ways again,
Bid each conception stand while, trait by trait,
My hand transfers its lineaments to stone?
Will my mere fancies live near you, their truth
The live truth, passing and repassing me,
Sitting beside me?
         Now speak!
                         Only first,
See, all your letters! Was't not well contrived?
Their hiding-place is Psyche's robe; she keeps
Your letters next her skin: which drops out foremost?
Ah,this that swam down like a first moonbeam
Into my world!
       Again those eyes complete
Their melancholy survey, sweet and slow,
Of all my room holds; to return and rest
On me, with pity, yet some wonder too:
As if God bade some spirit plague a world,
And this were the one moment of surprise
And sorrow while she took her station, pausing
O'er what she sees, finds good, and must destroy!
What gaze you at? Those? Books, I told you of;
Let your first word to me rejoice them, too:
This minion, a Coluthus, writ in red
Bistre and azure by Bessarion's scribe
Read this line . . . no, shameHomer's be the Greek
First breathed me from the lips of my Greek girl!
This Odyssey in coarse black vivid type
With faded yellow blossoms 'twixt page and page,
To mark great places with due gratitude;
"He said, and on Antinous directed
"A bitter shaft" . . . a flower blots out the rest!
Again upon your search? My statues, then!
Ah, do not mind thatbetter that will look
When cast in bronzean Almaign Kaiser, that,
Swart-green and gold, with truncheon based on hip.
This, rather, turn to! What, unrecognized?
I thought you would have seen that here you sit
As I imagined you,Hippolyta,
Naked upon her bright Numidian horse.
Recall you this then? "Carve in bold relief"
So you commanded"carve, against I come,
"A Greek, in Athens, as our fashion was,
"Feasting, bay-filleted and thunder-free,
"Who rises 'neath the lifted myrtle-branch.
"'Praise those who slew Hipparchus!' cry the guests,
"'While o'er thy head the singer's myrtle waves
"'As erst above our champion: stand up, all!'"
See, I have laboured to express your thought.
Quite round, a cluster of mere hands and arms,
(Thrust in all senses, all ways, from all sides,
Only consenting at the branch's end
They strain toward) serves for frame to a sole face,
The Praiser's, in the centre: who with eyes
Sightless, so bend they back to light inside
His brain where visionary forms throng up,
Sings, minding not that palpitating arch
Of hands and arms, nor the quick drip of wine
From the drenched leaves o'erhead, nor crowns cast off,
Violet and parsley crowns to trample on
Sings, pausing as the patron-ghosts approve,
Devoutly their unconquerable hymn.
But you must say a "well" to thatsay "well!"
Because you gazeam I fantastic, sweet?
Gaze like my very life's-stuff, marblemarbly
Even to the silence! Why, before I found
The real flesh Phene, I inured myself
To see, throughout all nature, varied stuff
For better nature's birth by means of art:
With me, each substance tended to one form
Of beautyto the human archetype.
On every side occurred suggestive germs
Of thatthe tree, the floweror take the fruit,
Some rosy shape, continuing the peach,
Curved beewise o'er its bough; as rosy limbs,
Depending, nestled in the leaves; and just
From a cleft rose-peach the whole Dryad sprang.
But of the stuffs one can be master of,
How I divined their capabilities!
From the soft-rinded smoothening facile chalk
That yields your outline to the air's embrace,
Half-softened by a halo's pearly gloom;
Down to the crisp imperious steel, so sure
To cut its one confided thought clean out
Of all the world. But marble!'neath my tools
More pliable than jellyas it were
Some clear primordial creature dug from depths
In the earth's heart, where itself breeds itself,
And whence all baser substance may be worked;
Refine it off to air, you may,condense it
Down to the diamond;is not metal there,
When o'er the sudden speck my chisel trips?
Not flesh, as flake off flake I scale, approach,
Lay bare those bluish veins of blood asleep?
Lurks flame in no strange windings where, surprised
By the swift implement sent home at once,
Flushes and glowings radiate and hover
About its track?
         Phene? whatwhy is this?
That whitening cheek, those still dilating eyes!
Ah, you will dieI knew that you would die!
Phene begins, on his having long remained silent.
Now the end's coming; to be sure, it must
Have ended sometime! Tush, why need I speak
Their foolish speech? I cannot bring to mind
One half of it, beside; and do not care
For old Natalia now, nor any of them.
Oh, youwhat are you?if I do not try
To say the words Natalia made me learn,
To please your friends,it is to keep myself
Where your voice lifted me, by letting that
Proceed: but can it? Even you, perhaps,
Cannot take up, now you have once let fall,
The music's life, and me along with that
No, or you would! We'll stay, then, as we are:
Above the world.
         You creature with the eyes!
If I could look for ever up to them,
As now you let me,I believe, all sin,
All memory of wrong done, suffering borne,
Would drop down, low and lower, to the earth
Whence all that's low comes, and there touch and stay
Never to overtake the rest of me,
All that, unspotted, reaches up to you,
Drawn by those eyes! What rises is myself,
Not me the shame and suffering; but they sink,
Are left, I rise above them. Keep me so,
Above the world!
         But you sink, for your eyes
Are alteringaltered! Stay"I love you, love" . . .
I could prevent it if I understood:
More of your words to me: was't in the tone
Or the words, your power?
             Or stayI will repeat
Their speech, if that contents you! Only change
No more, and I shall find it presently
Far back here, in the brain yourself filled up.
Natalia threatened me that harm should follow
Unless I spoke their lesson to the end,
But harm to me, I thought she meant, not you.
Your friends,Natalia said they were your friends
And meant you well,because, I doubted it,
Observing (what was very strange to see)
On every face, so different in all else,
The same smile girls like me are used to bear,
But never men, men cannot stoop so low;
Yet your friends, speaking of you, used that smile,
That hateful smirk of boundless self-conceit
Which seems to take possession of the world
And make of God a tame confederate,
Purveyor to their appetites . . . you know!
But still Natalia said they were your friends,
And they assented though they smiled the more,
And all came round me,that thin Englishman
With light lank hair seemed leader of the rest;
He held a paper"What we want," said he,
Ending some explanation to his friends
"Is something slow, involved and mystical,
"To hold Jules long in doubt, yet take his taste
"And lure him on until, at innermost
"Where he seeks sweetness' soul, he may findthis!
"As in the apple's core, the noisome fly:
"For insects on the rind are seen at once,
"And brushed aside as soon, but this is found
"Only when on the lips or loathing tongue."
And so he read what I have got by heart:
I'll speak it,"Do not die, love! I am yours."
Nois not that, or like that, part of words
Yourself began by speaking? Strange to lose
What cost such pains to learn! Is this more right?
I am a painter who cannot paint;
In my life, a devil rather than saint;
In my brain, as poor a creature too:
No end to all I cannot do!
Yet do one thing at least I can
Love a man or hate a man
Supremely: thus my lore began.
Through the Valley of Love I went,
In the lovingest spot to abide,
And just on the verge where I pitched my tent,
I found Hate dwelling beside.
(Let the Bridegroom ask what the painter meant,
Of his Bride, of the peerless Bride!)
And further, I traversed Hate's grove,
In the hatefullest nook to dwell;
But lo, where I flung myself prone, couched Love
Where the shadow threefold fell.
(The meaningthose black bride's-eyes above,
Not a painter's lip should tell!)
"And here," said he, "Jules probably will ask,
"'You have black eyes, Love,you are, sure enough,
"'My peerless bride,then do you tell indeed
"'What needs some explanation! What means this?'"
And I am to go on, without a word
So, I grew wise in Love and Hate,
From simple that I was of late.
Once, when I loved, I would enlace
Breast, eyelids, hands, feet, form and face
Of her I loved, in one embrace
As if by mere love I could love immensely!
Once, when I hated, I would plunge
My sword, and wipe with the first lunge
My foe's whole life out like a sponge
As if by mere hate I could hate intensely!
But now I am wiser, know better the fashion
How passion seeks aid from its opposite passion:
And if I see cause to love more, hate more
Than ever man loved, ever hated before
And seek in the Valley of Love,
The nest, or the nook in Hate's Grove,
Where my soul may surely reach
The essence, nought less, of each,
The Hate of all Hates, the Love
Of all Loves, in the Valley or Grove,
I find them the very warders
Each of the other's borders.
When I love most, Love is disguised
In Hate; and when Hate is surprised
In Love, then I hate most: ask
How Love smiles through Hate's iron casque,
Hate grins through Love's rose-braided mask,
And how, having hated thee,
I sought long and painfully
To reach thy heart, nor prick
The skin but pierce to the quick
Ask this, my Jules, and be answered straight
By thy bridehow the painter Lutwyche can hate!
Jules interposes
Lutwyche! Who else? But all of them, no doubt,
Hated me: they at Venicepresently
Their turn, however! You I shall not meet:
If I dreamed, saying this would wake me.
What's here, the goldwe cannot meet again,
Consider! and the money was but meant
For two years' travel, which is over now,
All chance or hope or care or need of it.
Thisand what comes from selling these, my casts
And books and medals, except . . . let them go
Together, so the produce keeps you safe
Out of Natalia's clutches! If by chance
(For all's chance here) I should survive the gang
At Venice, root out all fifteen of them,
We might meet somewhere, since the world is wide.
[From without is heard the voice of Pippa, singing]
Give her but a least excuse to love me!
Howcan this arm establish her above me,
If fortune fixed her as my lady there,
There already, to eternally reprove me?
("Hist!"said Kate the Queen;
But "Oh!"cried the maiden, binding her tresses,
"'T is only a page that carols unseen,
"Crumbling your hounds their messes!")
Is she wronged?To the rescue of her honour,
My heart!
Is she poor?What costs it to be styled a donor?
Merely an earth to cleave, a sea to part.
But that fortune should have thrust all this upon her!
("Nay, list!"bade Kate the Queen;
And still cried the maiden, binding her tresses,
"'T is only a page that carols unseen,
"Fitting your hawks their jesses!")
[Pippa passes]
Jules resumes
What name was that the little girl sang forth?
Kate? The Cornaro, doubtless, who renounced
The crown of Cyprus to be lady here
At Asolo, where still her memory stays,
And peasants sing how once a certain page
Pined for the grace of her so far above
His power of doing good to, "Kate the Queen
"She never could be wronged, be poor," he sighed,
"Need him to help her!"
            Yes, a bitter thing
To see our lady above all need of us;
Yet so we look ere we will love; not I,
But the world looks so. If whoever loves
Must be, in some sort, god or worshipper,
The blessing or the blest one, queen or page,
Why should we always choose the page's part?
Here is a woman with utter need of me,
I find myself queen here, it seems!
                   How strange!
Look at the woman here with the new soul,
Like my own Psyche,fresh upon her lips
Alit, the visionary butterfly.
Waiting my word to enter and make bright,
Or flutter off and leave all blank as first.
This body had no soul before, but slept
Or stirred, was beauteous or ungainly, free
From taint or foul with stain, as outward things
Fastened their image on its passiveness:
Now, it will wake, feel, liveor die again!
Shall to produce form out of unshaped stuff
Be Artand further, to evoke a soul
From form be nothing? This new soul is mine!
Now, to kill Lutwyche, what would that do?save
A wretched dauber, men will hoot to death
Without me, from their hooting. Oh, to hear
God's voice plain as I heard it first, before
They broke in with their laughter! I heard them
Henceforth, not God.
           To AnconaGreecesome isle!
I wanted silence only; there is clay
Everywhere. One may do whate'er one likes
In Art: the only thing is, to make sure
That one does like itwhich takes pains to know.
Scatter all this, my Phenethis mad dream!
Who, what is Lutwyche, what Natalia's friends,
What the whole world except our lovemy own,
Own Phene? But I told you, did I not,
Ere night we travel for your landsome isle
With the sea's silence on it? Stand aside
I do but break these paltry models up
To begin Art afresh. Meet Lutwyche, I
And save him from my statue meeting him?
Some unspected isle in the far seas!
Like a god going through his world, there stands
One mountain for a moment in the dusk,
Whole brotherhoods of cedars on its brow:
And you are ever by me while I gaze
Are in my arms as nowas nowas now!
Some unsuspected isle in the far seas!
Some unsuspected isle in far-off seas!
Talk by the way, while Pippa is passing from Orcana to the Turret. Two or three of the Austrian Police loitering with Bluphocks, an English vagabond, just in view of the Turret.

So, that is your Pippa, the little girl who passed us singing? Well, your Bishop's Intendant's money shall be honestly earned:now, don't make me that sour face because I bring the Bishop's name into the business; we know he can have nothing to do with such horrors: we know that he is a saint and all that a bishop should be, who is a great man beside. Oh were but every worm a maggot, Every fly a grig, Every bough a Christmas ****, Every tune a jig! In fact, I have abjured all religions; but the last I inclined to, was the Armenian: for I have travelled, do you see, and at Koenigsberg, Prussia Improper (so styled because there's a sort of bleak hungry sun there), you might remark over a venerable house-porch, a certain Chaldee inscription; and brief as it is, a mere glance at it used absolutely to change the mood of every bearded passenger. In they turned, one and all; the young and lightsome, with no irreverent pause, the aged and decrepit, with a sensible alacrity: 't was the Grand Rabbi's abode, in short. Struck with curiosity, I lost no time in learning Syriac (these are vowels, you dogs,follow my stick's end in the mudCelarent, Darii, Ferio!) and one morning presented myself, spelling-book in hand, a, b, c,I picked it out letter by letter, and what was the purport of this miraculous posy? Some cherished legend of the past, you'll say"How Moses hocus-pocussed Egypt's land with fly and locust,"or, "How to Jonah sounded harshish, Get thee up and go to Tarshish,"or, "How the angel meeting Balaam, Straight his **** returned a salaam," In no wise! "ShackabrackBoachsomebody or other Isaach, Re-cei-ver, Pur-cha-ser and Ex-chan-ger ofStolen Goods! " So, talk to me of the religion of a bishop! I have renounced all bishops save Bishop Beveridgemean to live soand dieAs some Greek dog-sage, dead and merry, Hellward bound in Charon's wherry, With food for both worlds, under and upper, Lupine-seed and Hecate's supper, And never an obolus . . . (Though thanks to you, or this Intendant through you, or this Bishop through his IntendantI possess a burning pocketful of zwanzigers) . . . To pay the Stygian Ferry!

1st Policeman
There is the girl, then; go and deserve them the moment you have pointed out to us Signor Luigi and his mother. [To the rest.]
I have been noticing a house yonder, this long while: not a shutter unclosed since morning!

2nd Policeman
Old Luca Gaddi's, that owns the silkmills here: he dozes by the hour, wakes up, sighs deeply, says he should like to be Prince Metternich, and then dozes again, after having bidden young Sebald, the foreigner, set his wife to playing draughts. Never molest such a household, they mean well.

Only, cannot you tell me something of this little Pippa, I must have to do with? One could make something of that name. Pippathat is, short for Felippa rhyming to Panurge consults HertrippaBelievest thou, King Agrippa? Something might be done with that name.

2nd Policeman
Put into rhyme that your head and a ripe musk-melon would not be dear at half a zwanziger! Leave this fooling, and look out; the afternoon's over or nearly so.

3rd Policeman
Where in this passport of Signor Luigi does our Principal instruct you to watch him so narrowly? There? What's there beside a simple signature? (That English fool's busy watching.)

2nd Policeman
Flourish all round"Put all possible obstacles in his way;" oblong dot at the end"Detain him till further advices reach you;" scratch at bottom "Send him back on pretence of some informality in the above;" ink-spirt on right-hand side (which is the case here)"Arrest him at once." Why and wherefore, I don't concern myself, but my instructions amount to this: if Signor Luigi leaves home to-night for Vienna well and good, the passport deposed with us for our visa is really for his own use, they have misinformed the Office, and he means well; but let him stay over to-nightthere has been the pretence we suspect, the accounts of his corresponding and holding intelligence with the Carbonari are correct, we arrest him at once, to-morrow comes Venice, and presently Spielberg. Bluphocks makes the signal, sure enough! That is he, entering the turret with his mother, no doubt.

~ Robert Browning, Pippa Passes - Part II - Noon

474:Epistle To Dr. Arbuthnot
Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd, I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The dog-star rages! nay 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide;
By land, by water, they renew the charge;
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is sacred, not the church is free;
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy! to catch me just at dinner-time.
Is there a parson, much bemus'd in beer,
A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,
A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza, when he should engross?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp'rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause:
Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong,
The world had wanted many an idle song)
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped,
If foes, they write, if friends, they read me dead.
Seiz'd and tied down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be silent, and who will not lie;
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all pow'r of face.
I sit with sad civility, I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving counsel, 'Keep your piece nine years.'
'Nine years! ' cries he, who high in Drury-lane
Lull'd by soft zephyrs through the broken pane,
Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends,
Oblig'd by hunger, and request of friends:
'The piece, you think, is incorrect: why, take it,
I'm all submission, what you'd have it, make it.'
Three things another's modest wishes bound,
My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.
Pitholeon sends to me: 'You know his Grace,
I want a patron; ask him for a place.'
Pitholeon libell'd me- 'but here's a letter
Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better.
Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine,
He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine.'
Bless me! a packet- ''Tis a stranger sues,
A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse.'
If I dislike it, 'Furies, death and rage! '
If I approve, 'Commend it to the stage.'
There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends,
The play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.
Fir'd that the house reject him, ''Sdeath I'll print it,
And shame the fools- your int'rest, sir, with Lintot! '
'Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much.'
'Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch.'
All my demurs but double his attacks;
At last he whispers, 'Do; and we go snacks.'
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
'Sir, let me see your works and you no more.'
'Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring,
(Midas, a sacred person and a king)
His very minister who spied them first,
(Some say his queen) was forc'd to speak, or burst.
And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case,
When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?
'Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang'rous things.
I'd never name queens, ministers, or kings;
Keep close to ears, and those let asses prick;
'Tis nothing'- Nothing? if they bite and kick?
Out with it, Dunciad! let the secret pass,
That secret to each fool, that he's an ass:
The truth once told (and wherefore should we lie?)
The queen of Midas slept, and so may I.
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round thee break,
Thou unconcern'd canst hear the mighty crack:
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulsions hurl'd,
Thou stand'st unshook amidst a bursting world.
Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew;
Destroy his fib or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again;
Thron'd in the centre of his thin designs;
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines!
Whom have I hurt? has poet yet, or peer,
Lost the arch'd eye-brow, or Parnassian sneer?
And has not Colley still his lord, and whore?
His butchers Henley, his Free-masons Moore?
Does not one table Bavius still admit?
Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit?
Still Sappho- 'Hold! for God-sake- you'll offend:
No names! - be calm! - learn prudence of a friend!
I too could write, and I am twice as tall;
But foes like these! ' One flatt'rer's worse than all.
Of all mad creatures, if the learn'd are right,
It is the slaver kills, and not the bite.
A fool quite angry is quite innocent;
Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they repent.
One dedicates in high heroic prose,
And ridicules beyond a hundred foes;
One from all Grub Street will my fame defend,
And, more abusive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my Letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, 'Subscribe, subscribe.'
There are, who to my person pay their court:
I cough like Horace, and, though lean, am short,
Ammon's great son one shoulder had too high,
Such Ovid's nose, and 'Sir! you have an eye'Go on, obliging creatures, make me see
All that disgrac'd my betters, met in me:
Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
'Just so immortal Maro held his head:'
And when I die, be sure you let me know
Great Homer died three thousand years ago.
Why did I write? what sin to me unknown
Dipp'd me in ink, my parents', or my own?
As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father disobey'd.
The Muse but serv'd to ease some friend, not wife,
To help me through this long disease, my life,
To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
And teach the being you preserv'd, to bear.
But why then publish? Granville the polite,
And knowing Walsh, would tell me I could write;
Well-natur'd Garth inflamed with early praise,
And Congreve lov'd, and Swift endur'd my lays;
The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Ev'n mitred Rochester would nod the head,
And St. John's self (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv'd one poet more.
Happy my studies, when by these approv'd!
Happier their author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cookes.
Soft were my numbers; who could take offence,
While pure description held the place of sense?
Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme,
A painted mistress, or a purling stream.
Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;
I wish'd the man a dinner, and sat still.
Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret;
I never answer'd, I was not in debt.
If want provok'd, or madness made them print,
I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.
Did some more sober critic come abroad?
If wrong, I smil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence,
And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense.
Commas and points they set exactly right,
And 'twere a sin to rob them of their mite.
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds,
From slashing Bentley down to pidling Tibbalds.
Each wight who reads not, and but scans and spells,
Each word-catcher that lives on syllables,
Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim,
Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakespeare's name.
Pretty! in amber to observe the forms
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms;
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there?
Were others angry? I excus'd them too;
Well might they rage; I gave them but their due.
A man's true merit 'tis not hard to find,
But each man's secret standard in his mind,
That casting weight pride adds to emptiness,
This, who can gratify? for who can guess?
The bard whom pilfer'd pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian tale for half a crown,
Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
And strains, from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year:
He, who still wanting, though he lives on theft,
Steals much, spends little, yet has nothing left:
And he, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:
And he, whose fustian's so sublimely bad,
It is not poetry, but prose run mad:
All these, my modest satire bade translate,
And own'd, that nine such poets made a Tate.
How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe?
And swear, not Addison himself was safe.
Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires
True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires,
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rise;
Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike;
Alike reserv'd to blame, or to commend,
A tim'rous foe, and a suspicious friend;
Dreading ev'n fools, by flatterers besieg'd,
And so obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd;
Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars ev'ry sentence raise,
And wonder with a foolish face of praise.
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be?
Who would not weep, if Atticus were he?
What though my name stood rubric on the walls,
Or plaister'd posts, with claps, in capitals?
Or smoking forth, a hundred hawkers' load,
On wings of winds came flying all abroad?
I sought no homage from the race that write;
I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight:
Poems I heeded (now berhym'd so long)
No more than thou, great George! a birthday song.
I ne'er with wits or witlings pass'd my days,
To spread about the itch of verse and praise;
Nor like a puppy, daggled through the town,
To fetch and carry sing-song up and down;
Nor at rehearsals sweat, and mouth'd, and cried,
With handkerchief and orange at my side;
But sick of fops, and poetry, and prate,
To Bufo left the whole Castalian state.
Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
Sat full-blown Bufo, puff'd by every quill;
Fed with soft dedication all day long,
Horace and he went hand in hand in song.
His library (where busts of poets dead
And a true Pindar stood without a head,)
Receiv'd of wits an undistinguish'd race,
Who first his judgment ask'd, and then a place:
Much they extoll'd his pictures, much his seat,
And flatter'd ev'ry day, and some days eat:
Till grown more frugal in his riper days,
He paid some bards with port, and some with praise,
To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Dryden alone (what wonder?) came not nigh,
Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
But still the great have kindness in reserve,
He help'd to bury whom he help'd to starve.
May some choice patron bless each grey goose quill!
May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo still!
So, when a statesman wants a day's defence,
Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense,
Or simple pride for flatt'ry makes demands,
May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands!
Blest be the great! for those they take away,
And those they left me- for they left me Gay;
Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Neglected die! and tell it on his tomb;
Of all thy blameless life the sole return
My verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn!
Oh let me live my own! and die so too!
('To live and die is all I have to do:')
Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books I please.
Above a patron, though I condescend
Sometimes to call a minister my friend:
I was not born for courts or great affairs;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray'rs;
Can sleep without a poem in my head,
Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light?
Heav'ns! was I born for nothing but to write?
Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save?
'I found him close with Swift'- 'Indeed? no doubt',
(Cries prating Balbus) 'something will come out'.
'Tis all in vain, deny it as I will.
'No, such a genius never can lie still,'
And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The first lampoon Sir Will. or Bubo makes.
Poor guiltless I! and can I choose but smile,
When ev'ry coxcomb knows me by my style?
Curs'd be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
But he, who hurts a harmless neighbour's peace,
Insults fall'n worth, or beauty in distress,
Who loves a lie, lame slander helps about,
Who writes a libel, or who copies out:
That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame;
Who can your merit selfishly approve,
And show the sense of it without the love;
Who has the vanity to call you friend,
Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend;
Who tells what'er you think, whate'er you say,
And, if he lie not, must at least betray:
Who to the Dean, and silver bell can swear,
And sees at Cannons what was never there;
Who reads, but with a lust to misapply,
Make satire a lampoon, and fiction, lie.
A lash like mine no honest man shall dread,
But all such babbling blockheads in his stead.
Let Sporus tremble- 'What? that thing of silk,
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel?
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? '
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings;
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'r enjoys,
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks;
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.
His wit all see-saw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart,
Fop at the toilet, flatt'rer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have express'd,
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest;
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile, be one poet's praise,
That, if he pleas'd, he pleas'd by manly ways;
That flatt'ry, even to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same:
That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long,
But stoop'd to truth, and moraliz'd his song:
That not for fame, but virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit;
Laugh'd at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad;
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown;
Th' imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape;
The libell'd person, and the pictur'd shape;
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father, dead;
The whisper, that to greatness still too near,
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear:Welcome for thee, fair Virtue! all the past:
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last!
'But why insult the poor? affront the great? '
A knave's a knave, to me, in ev'ry state:
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail,
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
If on a pillory, or near a throne,
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit:
This dreaded sat'rist Dennis will confess
Foe to his pride, but friend to his distress:
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moore.
Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply?
Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie.
To please a mistress one aspers'd his life;
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife.
Let Budgell charge low Grub Street on his quill,
And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and muse.
Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
It was a sin to call our neighbour fool:
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore,Hear this! and spare his family, James Moore!
Unspotted names! and memorable long,
If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
While yet in Britain honour had applause)
Each parent sprung- 'What fortune, pray? '- Their own,
And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age.
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie:
Un-learn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language, but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise,
Healthy by temp'rance and by exercise;
His life, though long, to sickness past unknown;
His death was instant, and without a groan.
O grant me, thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make langour smile, and smooth the bed of death,
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
May Heav'n, to bless those days, preserve my friend,
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a queen.
Whether that blessing be denied or giv'n,
Thus far was right, the rest belongs to Heav'n.
~ Alexander Pope
475:He gazed and gazed and gazed and gazed,
Amazed, amazed, amazed, amazed.

Like (7) 2

Said Abner, ``At last thou art come! Ere I tell, ere thou speak,
``Kiss my cheek, wish me well!'' Then I wished it, and did kiss his cheek.
And he, ``Since the King, O my friend, for thy countenance sent,
``Neither drunken nor eaten have we; nor until from his tent
``Thou return with the joyful assurance the King liveth yet,
``Shall our lip with the honey be bright, with the water be wet.
``For out of the black mid-tent's silence, a space of three days,
``Not a sound hath escaped to thy servants, of prayer nor of praise,
``To betoken that Saul and the Spirit have ended their strife,
``And that, faint in his triumph, the monarch sinks back upon life.


``Yet now my heart leaps, O beloved! God's child with his dew
``On thy gracious gold hair, and those lilies still living and blue
``Just broken to twine round thy harp-strings, as if no wild beat
``Were now raging to torture the desert!''


                     Then I, as was meet,
Knelt down to the God of my fathers, and rose on my feet,
And ran o'er the sand burnt to powder. The tent was unlooped;
I pulled up the spear that obstructed, and under I stooped
Hands and knees on the slippery grass-patch, all withered and gone,
That extends to the second enclosure, I groped my way on
Till I felt where the foldskirts fly open. Then once more I prayed,
And opened the foldskirts and entered, and was not afraid
But spoke, ``Here is David, thy servant!'' And no voice replied.
At the first I saw nought but the blackness but soon I descried
A something more black than the blackness-the vast, the upright
Main prop which sustains the pavilion: and slow into sight
Grew a figure against it, gigantic and blackest of all.
Then a sunbeam, that burst thro' the tent-roof, showed Saul.


He stood as erect as that tent-prop, both arms stretched out wide
On the great cross-support in the centre, that goes to each side;
He relaxed not a muscle, but hung there as, caught in his pangs
And waiting his change, the king-serpent all heavily hangs,
Far away from his kind, in the pine, till deliverance come
With the spring-time,-so agonized Saul, drear and stark, blind and dumb.


Then I tuned my harp,-took off the lilies we twine round its chords
Lest they snap 'neath the stress of the noon-tide-those sunbeams like swords!
And I first played the tune all our sheep know, as, one after one,
So docile they come to the pen-door till folding be done.
They are white and untorn by the bushes, for lo, they have fed
Where the long grasses stifle the water within the stream's bed;
And now one after one seeks its lodging, as star follows star
Into eve and the blue far above us,-so blue and so far!


-Then the tune, for which quails on the cornland will each leave his mate
To fly after the player; then, what makes the crickets elate
Till for boldness they fight one another: and then, what has weight
To set the quick jerboa amusing outside his sand house-
There are none such as he for a wonder, half bird and half mouse!
God made all the creatures and gave them our love and our fear,
To give sign, we and they are his children, one family here.

Then I played the help-tune of our reapers, their wine-song, when hand
Grasps at hand, eye lights eye in good friendship, and great hearts expand
And grow one in the sense of this world's life.-And then, the last song
When the dead man is praised on his journey-``Bear, bear him along
``With his few faults shut up like dead flowerets! Are balm-seeds not here
``To console us? The land has none left such as he on the bier.
``Oh, would we might keep thee, my brother!''-And then, the glad chaunt
Of the marriage,-first go the young maidens, next, she whom we vaunt
As the beauty, the pride of our dwelling.-And then, the great march
Wherein man runs to man to assist him and buttress an arch
Nought can break; who shall harm them, our friends?-Then, the chorus intoned
As the Levites go up to the altar in glory enthroned.
But I stopped here: for here in the darkness Saul groaned.


And I paused, held my breath in such silence, and listened apart;
And the tent shook, for mighty Saul shuddered: and sparkles 'gan dart
From the jewels that woke in his turban, at once with a start,
All its lordly male-sapphires, and rubies courageous at heart.
So the head: but the body still moved not, still hung there erect.
And I bent once again to my playing, pursued it unchecked,
As I sang,-


     ``Oh, our manhood's prime vigour! No spirit feels waste,
``Not a muscle is stopped in its playing nor sinew unbraced.
``Oh, the wild joys of living! the leaping from rock up to rock,
``The strong rending of boughs from the fir-tree, the cool silver shock
``Of the plunge in a pool's living water, the hunt of the bear,
``And the sultriness showing the lion is couched in his lair.
``And the meal, the rich dates yellowed over with gold dust divine,
``And the locust-flesh steeped in the pitcher, the full draught of wine,
``And the sleep in the dried river-channel where bulrushes tell
``That the water was wont to go warbling so softly and well.
``How good is man's life, the mere living! how fit to employ
``All the heart and the soul and the senses for ever in joy!
``Hast thou loved the white locks of thy father, whose sword thou didst guard
``When he trusted thee forth with the armies, for glorious reward?
``Didst thou see the thin hands of thy mother, held up as men sung
``The low song of the nearly-departed, and bear her faint tongue
``Joining in while it could to the witness, `Let one more attest,
`` `I have lived, seen God's hand thro'a lifetime, and all was for best'?
``Then they sung thro' their tears in strong triumph, not much, but the rest.
``And thy brothers, the help and the contest, the working whence grew
``Such result as, from seething grape-bundles, the spirit strained true:
``And the friends of thy boyhood-that boyhood of wonder and hope,
``Present promise and wealth of the future beyond the eye's scope,-
``Till lo, thou art grown to a monarch; a people is thine;
``And all gifts, which the world offers singly, on one head combine!
``On one head, all the beauty and strength, love and rage (like the throe
``That, a-work in the rock, helps its labour and lets the gold go)
``High ambition and deeds which surpass it, fame crowning them,-all
``Brought to blaze on the head of one creature-King Saul!''


And lo, with that leap of my spirit,-heart, hand, harp and voice,
Each lifting Saul's name out of sorrow, each bidding rejoice
Saul's fame in the light it was made for-as when, dare I say,
The Lord's army, in rapture of service, strains through its array,
And up soareth the cherubim-chariot-``Saul!'' cried I, and stopped,
And waited the thing that should follow. Then Saul, who hung propped
By the tent's cross-support in the centre, was struck by his name.
Have ye seen when Spring's arrowy summons goes right to the aim,
And some mountain, the last to withstand her, that held (he alone,
While the vale laughed in freedom and flowers) on a broad bust of stone
A year's snow bound about for a breastplate,-leaves grasp of the sheet?
Fold on fold all at once it crowds thunderously down to his feet,
And there fronts you, stark, black, but alive yet, your mountain of old,
With his rents, the successive bequeathings of ages untold-
Yea, each harm got in fighting your battles, each furrow and scar
Of his head thrust 'twixt you and the tempest-all hail, there they are!
-Now again to be softened with verdure, again hold the nest
Of the dove, tempt the goat and its young to the green on his crest
For their food in the ardours of summer. One long shudder thrilled
All the tent till the very air tingled, then sank and was stilled
At the King's self left standing before me, released and aware.
What was gone, what remained? All to traverse, 'twixt hope and despair;
Death was past, life not come: so he waited. Awhile his right hand
Held the brow, helped the eyes left too vacant forthwith to remand
To their place what new objects should enter: 'twas Saul as before.
I looked up and dared gaze at those eyes, nor was hurt any more
Than by slow pallid sunsets in autumn, ye watch from the shore,
At their sad level gaze o'er the ocean-a sun's slow decline
Over hills which, resolved in stern silence, o'erlap and entwine
Base with base to knit strength more intensely: so, arm folded arm
O'er the chest whose slow heavings subsided.


                     What spell or what charm,
(For, awhile there was trouble within me) what next should I urge
To sustain him where song had restored him?-Song filled to the verge
His cup with the wine of this life, pressing all that it yields
Of mere fruitage, the strength and the beauty: beyond, on what fields,
Glean a vintage more potent and perfect to brighten the eye
And bring blood to the lip, and commend them the cup they put by?
He saith, ``It is good;'' still he drinks not: he lets me praise life,
Gives assent, yet would die for his own part.


                      Then fancies grew rife
Which had come long ago on the pasture, when round me the sheep
Fed in silence-above, the one eagle wheeled slow as in sleep;
And I lay in my hollow and mused on the world that might lie
'Neath his ken, though I saw but the strip 'twixt the hill and the sky:
And I laughed-``Since my days are ordained to be passed with my flocks,
``Let me people at least, with my fancies, the plains and the rocks,
``Dream the life I am never to mix with, and image the show
``Of mankind as they live in those fashions I hardly shall know!
``Schemes of life, its best rules and right uses, the courage that gains,
``And the prudence that keeps what men strive for.'' And now these old trains
Of vague thought came again; I grew surer; so, once more the string
Of my harp made response to my spirit, as thus-


                        ``Yea, my King,''
I began-``thou dost well in rejecting mere comforts that spring
``From the mere mortal life held in common by man and by brute:
``In our flesh grows the branch of this life, in our soul it bears fruit.
``Thou hast marked the slow rise of the tree,-how its stem trembled first
``Till it passed the kid's lip, the stag's antler then safely outburst
``The fan-branches all round; and thou mindest when these too, in turn
``Broke a-bloom and the palm-tree seemed perfect: yet more was to learn,
``E'en the good that comes in with the palm-fruit. Our dates shall we slight,
``When their juice brings a cure for all sorrow? or care for the plight
``Of the palm's self whose slow growth produced them? Not so! stem and branch
``Shall decay, nor be known in their place, while the palm-wine shall staunch
``Every wound of man's spirit in winter. I pour thee such wine.
``Leave the flesh to the fate it was fit for! the spirit be thine!
``By the spirit, when age shall o'ercome thee, thou still shalt enjoy
``More indeed, than at first when inconscious, the life of a boy.
``Crush that life, and behold its wine running! Each deed thou hast done
``Dies, revives, goes to work in the world; until e'en as the sun
``Looking down on the earth, though clouds spoil him, though tempests efface,
``Can find nothing his own deed produced not, must everywhere trace
``The results of his past summer-prime'-so, each ray of thy will,
``Every flash of thy passion and prowess, long over, shall thrill
``Thy whole people, the countless, with ardour, till they too give forth
``A like cheer to their sons, who in turn, fill the South and the North
``With the radiance thy deed was the germ of. Carouse in the past!
``But the license of age has its limit; thou diest at last:
``As the lion when age dims his eyeball, the rose at her height
``So with man-so his power and his beauty for ever take flight.
``No! Again a long draught of my soul-wine! Look forth o'er the years!
``Thou hast done now with eyes for the actual; begin with the seer's!
``Is Saul dead? In the depth of the vale make his tomb-bid arise
``A grey mountain of marble heaped four-square, till, built to the skies,
``Let it mark where the great First King slumbers: whose fame would ye know?
``Up above see the rock's naked face, where the record shall go
``In great characters cut by the scribe,-Such was Saul, so he did;
``With the sages directing the work, by the populace chid,-
``For not half, they'll affirm, is comprised there! Which fault to amend,
``In the grove with his kind grows the cedar, whereon they shall spend
``(See, in tablets 'tis level before them) their praise, and record
``With the gold of the graver, Saul's story,-the statesman's great word
``Side by side with the poet's sweet comment. The river's a-wave
``With smooth paper-reeds grazing each other when prophet-winds rave:
``So the pen gives unborn generations their due and their part
``In thy being! Then, first of the mighty, thank God that thou art!''


And behold while I sang but O Thou who didst grant me that day,
And before it not seldom hast granted thy help to essay,
Carry on and complete an adventure,-my shield and my sword
In that act where my soul was thy servant, thy word was my word,-
Still be with me, who then at the summit of human endeavour
And scaling the highest, man's thought could, gazed hopeless as ever
On the new stretch of heaven above me-till, mighty to save,
Just one lift of thy hand cleared that distance-God's throne from man's grave!
Let me tell out my tale to its ending-my voice to my heart
Which can scarce dare believe in what marvels last night I took part,
As this morning I gather the fragments, alone with my sheep,
And still fear lest the terrible glory evanish like sleep!
For I wake in the grey dewy covert, while Hebron upheaves
The dawn struggling with night on his shoulder, and Kidron retrieves
Slow the damage of yesterday's sunshine.


                   I say then,-my song
While I sang thus, assuring the monarch, and ever more strong
Made a proffer of good to console him-he slowly resumed
His old motions and habitudes kingly. The right-hand replumed
His black locks to their wonted composure, adjusted the swathes
Of his turban, and see-the huge sweat that his countenance bathes,
He wipes off with the robe; and he girds now his loins as of yore,
And feels slow for the armlets of price, with the clasp set before.
He is Saul, ye remember in glory,-ere error had bent
The broad brow from the daily communion; and still, though much spent
Be the life and the bearing that front you, the same, God did choose,
To receive what a man may waste, desecrate, never quite lose.
So sank he along by the tent-prop till, stayed by the pile
Of his armour and war-cloak and garments, he leaned there awhile,
And sat out my singing,-one arm round the tent-prop, to raise
His bent head, and the other hung slack-till I touched on the praise
I foresaw from all men in all time, to the man patient there;
And thus ended, the harp falling forward. Then first I was 'ware
That he sat, as I say, with my head just above his vast knees
Which were thrust out on each side around me, like oak-roots which please
To encircle a lamb when it slumbers. I looked up to know
If the best I could do had brought solace: he spoke not, but slow
Lifted up the hand slack at his side, till he laid it with care
Soft and grave, but in mild settled will, on my brow: thro' my hair
The large fingers were pushed, and he bent back my bead, with kind power-
All my face back, intent to peruse it, as men do a flower.
Thus held he me there with his great eyes that scrutinized mine-
And oh, all my heart how it loved him! but where was the sign?
I yearned-``Could I help thee, my father, inventing a bliss,
``I would add, to that life of the past, both the future and this;
``I would give thee new life altogether, as good, ages hence,
``As this moment,-had love but the warrant, love's heart to dispense!''


Then the truth came upon me. No harp more-no song more! outbroke-


``I have gone the whole round of creation: I saw and I spoke:
``I, a work of God's hand for that purpose, received in my brain
``And pronounced on the rest of his hand-work-returned him again
``His creation's approval or censure: I spoke as I saw:
``I report, as a man may of God's work-all's love, yet all's law.
``Now I lay down the judgeship he lent me. Each faculty tasked
``To perceive him, has gained an abyss, where a dewdrop was asked.
``Have I knowledge? confounded it shrivels at Wisdom laid bare.
``Have I forethought? how purblind, how blank, to the Infinite Care!
``Do I task any faculty highest, to image success?
``I but open my eyes,-and perfection, no more and no less,
``In the kind I imagined, full-fronts me, and God is seen God
``In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and the clod.
``And thus looking within and around me, I ever renew
``(With that stoop of the soul which in bending upraises it too)
``The submission of man's nothing-perfect to God's all-complete,
``As by each new obeisance in spirit, I climb to his feet.
``Yet with all this abounding experience, this deity known,
``I shall dare to discover some province, some gift of my own.
``There's a faculty pleasant to exercise, hard to hoodwink,
``I am fain to keep still in abeyance, (I laugh as I think)
``Lest, insisting to claim and parade in it, wot ye, I worst
``E'en the Giver in one gift.-Behold, I could love if I durst!
``But I sink the pretension as fearing a man may o'ertake
``God's own speed in the one way of love: I abstain for love's sake.
``-What, my soul? see thus far and no farther? when doors great and small,
``Nine-and-ninety flew ope at our touch, should the hundredth appal?
``In the least things have faith, yet distrust in the greatest of all?
``Do I find love so full in my nature, God's ultimate gift,
``That I doubt his own love can compete with it? Here, the parts shift?
``Here, the creature surpass the Creator,-the end, what Began?
``Would I fain in my impotent yearning do all for this man,
``And dare doubt he alone shall not help him, who yet alone can?
``Would it ever have entered my mind, the bare will, much less power,
``To bestow on this Saul what I sang of, the marvellous dower
``Of the life he was gifted and filled with? to make such a soul,
``Such a body, and then such an earth for insphering the whole?
``And doth it not enter my mind (as my warm tears attest)
``These good things being given, to go on, and give one more, the best?
``Ay, to save and redeem and restore him, maintain at the height
``This perfection,-succeed with life's day-spring, death's minute of night?
``Interpose at the difficult minute, snatch Saul the mistake,
``Saul the failure, the ruin he seems now,-and bid him awake
``From the dream, the probation, the prelude, to find himself set
``Clear and safe in new light and new life,-a new harmony yet
``To be run, and continued, and ended-who knows?-or endure!
``The man taught enough, by life's dream, of the rest to make sure;
``By the pain-throb, triumphantly winning intensified bliss,
``And the next world's reward and repose, by the struggles in this.


``I believe it! 'Tis thou, God, that givest, 'tis I who receive:
``In the first is the last, in thy will is my power to believe.
``All's one gift: thou canst grant it moreover, as prompt to my prayer
``As I breathe out this breath, as I open these arms to the air.
``From thy will, stream the worlds, life and nature, thy dread Sabaoth:
``I will?-the mere atoms despise me! Why am I not loth
``To look that, even that in the face too? Why is it I dare
``Think but lightly of such impuissance? What stops my despair?
``This;-'tis not what man Does which exalts him, but what man Would do!
``See the King-I would help him but cannot, the wishes fall through.
``Could I wrestle to raise him from sorrow, grow poor to enrich,
``To fill up his life, starve my own out, I would-knowing which,
``I know that my service is perfect. Oh, speak through me now!
``Would I suffer for him that I love? So wouldst thou-so wilt thou!
``So shall crown thee the topmost, ineffablest, uttermost crown-
``And thy love fill infinitude wholly, nor leave up nor down
``One spot for the creature to stand in! It is by no breath,
``Turn of eye, wave of hand, that salvation joins issue with death!
``As thy Love is discovered almighty, almighty be proved
``Thy power, that exists with and for it, of being Beloved!
``He who did most, shall bear most; the strongest shall stand the most weak.
``'Tis the weakness in strength, that I cry for! my flesh, that I seek
``In the Godhead! I seek and I find it. O Saul, it shall be
``A Face like my face that receives thee; a Man like to me,
``Thou shalt love and be loved by, for ever: a Hand like this hand
``Shall throw open the gates of new life to thee! See the Christ stand!''


I know not too well how I found my way home in the night.
There were witnesses, cohorts about me, to left and to right,
Angels, powers, the unuttered, unseen, the alive, the aware:
I repressed, I got through them as hardly, as strugglingly there,
As a runner beset by the populace famished for news-
Life or death. The whole earth was awakened, hell loosed with her crews;
And the stars of night beat with emotion, and tingled and shot
Out in fire the strong pain of pent knowledge: but I fainted not,
For the Hand still impelled me at once and supported, suppressed
All the tumult, and quenched it with quiet, and holy behest,
Till the rapture was shut in itself, and the earth sank to rest.
Anon at the dawn, all that trouble had withered from earth-
Not so much, but I saw it die out in the day's tender birth;
In the gathered intensity brought to the grey of the hills;
In the shuddering forests' held breath; in the sudden wind-thrills;
In the startled wild beasts that bore off, each with eye sidling still
Though averted with wonder and dread; in the birds stiff and chill
That rose heavily, as I approached them, made stupid with awe:
E'en the serpent that slid away silent,-he felt the new law.
The same stared in the white humid faces upturned by the flowers;
The same worked in the heart of the cedar and moved the vine-bowers:
And the little brooks witnessing murmured, persistent and low,
With their obstinate, all but hushed voices-``E'en so, it is so!''
The jumping hare.

One of the three cities of Refuge.
A brook in Jerusalem.

~ Robert Browning, Rhyme for a Child Viewing a Naked Venus in a Painting of 'The Judgement of Paris'

476:Les Heures Claires
O la splendeur de notre joie,
Tissée en or dans l'air de soie!
Voici la maison douce et son pignon léger,
Et le jardin et le verger.
Voici le banc, sous les pommiers
D'où s'effeuille le printemps blanc,
A pétales frôlants et lents.
Voici des vols de lumineux ramiers
Plânant, ainsi que des présages,
Dans le ciel clair du paysage.
Voici--pareils à des baisers tombés sur terre
De la bouche du frêle azur-Deux bleus étangs simples et purs,
Bordés naïvement de fleurs involontaires.
O la splendeur de notre joie et de nous-mêmes,
En ce jardin où nous vivons de nos emblèmes!
Là-bas, de lentes formes passent,
Sont-ce nos deux âmes qui se délassent,
Au long des bois et des terrasses?
Sont-ce tes seins, sont-ce tes yeux
Ces deux fleurs d'or harmonieux?
Et ces herbes--on dirait des plumages
Mouillés dans la source qu'ils plissent-Sont-ce tes cheveux frais et lisses?
Certes, aucun abri ne vaut le clair verger,
Ni la maison au toit léger,
Ni ce jardin, où le ciel trame
Ce climat cher à nos deux âmes.
Quoique nous le voyions fleurir devant nos yeux,
Ce jardin clair où nous passons silencieux,
C'est plus encore en nous que se féconde
Le plus joyeux et le plus doux jardin du monde.
Car nous vivons toutes les fleurs,
Toutes les herbes, toutes les palmes
En nos rires et en nos pleurs
De bonheur pur et calme.
Car nous vivons toutes les transparences
De l'étang bleu qui reflète l'exubérance
Des roses d'or et des grands lys vermeils:
Bouches et lèvres de soleil.
Car nous vivons toute la joie
Dardée en cris de fête et de printemps,
En nos aveux, où se côtoient
Les mots fervents et exaltants.
Oh! dis, c'est bien en nous que se féconde
Le plus joyeux et clair jardin du monde.
Ce chapiteau barbare, où des monstres se tordent,
Soudés entre eux, à coups de griffes et de dents,
En un tumulte fou de sang, de cris ardents,
De blessures et de gueules qui s'entre-mordent,
C'était moi-même, avant que tu fusses la mienne,
O toi la neuve, ô toi l'ancienne!
Qui vins à moi des loins d'éternité,
Avec, entre tes mains, l'ardeur et la bonté.
Je sens en toi les mêmes choses très profondes
Qu'en moi-même dormir
Et notre soif de souvenir
Boire l'écho, où nos passés se correspondent.
Nos yeux ont dû pleurer aux mêmes heures,
Sans le savoir, pendant l'enfance:
Avoir mêmes effrois, mêmes bonheurs,
Mêmes éclairs de confiance:
Car je te suis lié par l'inconnu
Qui me fixait, jadis au fond des avenues
Par où passait ma vie aventurière,
Et, certes, si j'avais regardé mieux,
J'aurais pu voir s'ouvrir tes yeux
Depuis longtemps en ses paupières.
Le ciel en nuit s'est déplié
Et la lune semble veiller
Sur le silence endormi.
Tout est si pur et clair,
Tout est si pur et si pâle dans l'air
Et sur les lacs du paysage ami,
Qu'elle angoisse, la goutte d'eau
Qui tombe d'un roseau
Et tinte et puis se tait dans l'eau.
Mais j'ai tes mains entre les miennes
Et tes yeux sûrs, qui me retiennent,
De leurs ferveurs, si doucement;
Et je te sens si bien en paix de toute chose,
Que rien, pas même un fugitif soupçon de crainte,
Ne troublera, fût-ce un moment,
La confiance sainte
Qui dort en nous comme un enfant repose.
Chaque heure, où je pense à ta bonté
Si simplement profonde,
Je me confonds en prières vers toi.
Je suis venu si tard
Vers la douceur de ton regard
Et de si loin, vers tes deux mains tendues,
Tranquillement, par à travers les étendues!
J'avais en moi tant de rouille tenace
Qui me rongeait, à dents rapaces,
La confiance;
J'étais si lourd, j'étais si las,
J'étais si vieux de méfiance,
J'étais si lourd, j'étais si las
Du vain chemin de tous mes pas.
Je méritais si peu la merveilleuse joie
De voir tes pieds illuminer ma voie,
Que j'en reste tremblant encore et presqu'en pleurs,
Et humble, à tout jamais, en face du bonheur.
Tu arbores parfois cette grâce bénigne
Du matinal jardin tranquille et sinueux
Qui déroule, là-bas, parmi les lointains bleus,
Ses doux chemins courbés en cols de cygne.
Et, d'autres fois, tu m'es le frisson clair
Du vent rapide et miroitant
Qui passe, avec ses doigts d'éclair,
Dans les crins d'eau de l'étang blanc.
Au bon toucher de tes deux mains,
Je sens comme des feuilles
Me doucement frôler;
Que midi brûle le jardin.
Les ombres, aussitôt recueillent
Les paroles chères dont ton être a tremblé.
Chaque moment me semble, grâce à toi,
Passer ainsi divinement en moi.
Aussi, quand l'heure vient de la nuit blême,
Où tu te cèles en toi-même,
En refermant les yeux,
Sens-tu mon doux regard dévotieux,
Plus humble et long qu'une prière,
Remercier le tien sous tes closes paupières?
Oh! laisse frapper à la porte
La main qui passe avec ses doigts futiles;
Notre heure est si unique, et le reste qu'importe,
Le reste, avec ses doigts futiles.
Laisse passer, par le chemin,
La triste et fatigante joie,
Avec ses crécelles en mains.
Laisse monter, laisse bruire
Et s'en aller le rire;
Laisse passer la foule et ses milliers de voix.
L'instant est si beau de lumière,
Dans le jardin, autour de nous,
L'instant est si rare de lumière trémière,
Dans notre coeur, au fond de nous.
Tout nous prêche de n'attendre plus rien
De ce qui vient ou passe,
Avec des chansons lasses
Et des bras las par les chemins.
Et de rester les doux qui bénissons le jour.
Même devant la nuit d'ombre barricadée,
Aimant en nous, par dessus tout, l'idée
Que bellement nous nous faisons de notre amour.
Comme aux âges naïfs, je t'ai donné mon coeur,
Ainsi qu'une ample fleur
Qui s'ouvre, au clair de la rosée;
Entre ses plis frêles, ma bouche s'est posée.
La fleur, je la cueillis au pré des fleurs en flamme;
Ne lui dis rien: car la parole entre nous deux
Serait banale, et tous les mots sont hasardeux.
C'est à travers les yeux que l'âme écoute une âme.
La fleur qui est mon coeur et mon aveu,
Tout simplement, à tes lèvres confie
Qu'elle est loyale et claire et bonne, et qu'on se fie
Au vierge amour, comme un enfant se fie à Dieu.
Laissons l'esprit fleurir sur les collines,
En de capricieux chemins de vanité;
Et faisons simple accueil à la sincérité
Qui tient nos deux coeurs clairs, en ses mains cristallines;
Et rien n'est beau comme une confession d'âmes,
L'une à l'autre, le soir, lorsque la flamme
Des incomptables diamants
Brûle, comme autant d'yeux
Le silence des firmaments.
Le printemps jeune et bénévole
Qui vêt le jardin de beauté
Elucide nos voix et nos paroles
Et les trempe dans sa limpidité.
La brise et les lèvres des feuilles
Babillent--et effeuillent
En nous les syllabes de leur clarté.
Mais le meilleur de nous se gare
Et fuit les mots matériels;
Un simple et doux élan muet
Mieux que tout verbe amarre
Notre bonheur à son vrai ciel:
Celui de ton âme, à deux genoux,
Tout simplement, devant la mienne,
Et de mon âme, à deux genoux,
Très doucement, devant la tienne.
Viens lentement t'asseoir
Près du parterre, dont le soir
Ferme les fleurs de tranquille lumière,
Laisse filtrer la grande nuit en toi:
Nous sommes trop heureux pour que sa mer d'effroi
Trouble notre prière.
Là-haut, le pur cristal des étoiles s'éclaire.
Voici le firmament plus net et translucide
Qu'un étang bleu ou qu'un vitrail d'abside;
Et puis voici le ciel qui regarde à travers.
Les mille voix de l'énorme mystère
Parlent autour de toi.
Les mille lois de la nature entière
Bougent autour de toi,
Les arcs d'argent de l'invisible
Prennent ton âme et son élan pour cible,
Mais tu n'as peur, oh! simple coeur,
Mais tu n'as peur, puisque ta foi
Est que toute la terre collabore
A cet amour que fit éclore
La vie et son mystère en toi.
Joins donc les mains tranquillement
Et doucement adore;
Un grand conseil de pureté
Et de divine intimité
Flotte, comme une étrange aurore,
Sous les minuits du firmament.
Combien elle est facilement ravie,
Avec ses yeux d'extase ignée,
Elle, la douce et résignée
Si simplement devant la vie.
Ce soir, comme un regard la surprenait fervente,
Et comme un mot la transportait
Au pur jardin de joie, où elle était
Tout à la fois reine et servante.
Humble d'elle, mais ardente de nous,
C'était à qui ploierait les deux genoux,
Pour recueillir le merveilleux bonheur
Qui, mutuel, nous débordait du coeur.
Nous écoutions se taire, en nous, la violence
De l'exaltant amour qu'emprisonnaient nos bras
Et le vivant silence
Dire des mots que nous ne savions pas.
Au temps où longuement j'avais souffert
Où les heures m'étaient des pièges,
Tu m'apparus l'accueillante lumière
Qui luit, aux fenêtres, l'hiver,
Au fonds des soirs, sur de la neige.
Ta clarté d'âme hospitalière
Frôla, sans le blesser, mon coeur,
Comme une main de tranquille chaleur;
Un espoir tiède, un mot clément,
Pénétrèrent en moi très lentement;
Puis vint la bonne confiance
Et la franchise et la tendresse et l'alliance,
Enfin, de nos deux mains amies,
Un soir de claire entente et de douce accalmie.
Depuis, bien que l'été ait succédé au gel,
En nous-mêmes et sous le ciel,
Dont les flammes éternisées
Pavoisent d'or tous les chemins de nos pensées,
Et que l'amour soit devenu la fleur immense,
Naissant du fier désir,
Qui, sans cesse, pour mieux encor grandir,
En notre coeur, se recommence,
Je regarde toujours la petite lumière
Qui me fut douce, la première.
Je ne détaille pas, ni quels nous sommes
L'un pour l'autre, ni les pourquois, ni les raisons:
Tout doute est mort, en ce jardin de floraisons
Qui s'ouvre en nous et hors de nous, si loin des hommes.
ne raisonne pas, et ne veux pas savoir,
rien ne troublera ce qui n'est que mystère
qu'élans doux et que ferveur involontaire
que tranquille essor vers nos parvis d'espoir.
Je te sens claire avant de te comprendre telle;
Et c'est ma joie, infiniment,
De m'éprouver si doucement aimant,
Sans demander pourquoi ta voix m'appelle.
Soyons simples et bons--et que le jour
Nous soit tendresse et lumière servies,
Et laissons dire que la vie
N'est point faite pour un pareil amour.
A ces reines qui lentement descendent
Les escaliers en ors et fleurs de la légende,
Dans mon rêve, parfois, je t'apparie;
Je te donne des noms qui se marient
A la clarté, à la splendeur et à la joie,
Et bruissent en syllabes de soie,
Au long des vers bâtis comme une estrade
Pour la danse des mots et leurs belles parades.
Mais combien vite on se lasse du jeu,
A te voir douce et profonde et si peu
Celle dont on enjolive les attitudes;
Ton front si clair et pur et blanc de certitude,
Tes douces mains d'enfant en paix sur tes genoux,
Tes seins se soulevant au rythme de ton pouls
Qui bat comme ton coeur immense et ingénu,
Oh! comme tout, hormis cela et ta prière,
Oh! comme tout est pauvre et vain, hors la lumière
Qui me regarde et qui m'accueille en tes yeux nus.
Je dédie à tes pleurs, à ton sourire,
Mes plus douces pensées,
Celles que je te dis, celles aussi
Qui demeurent imprécisées
Et trop profondes pour les dire.
Je dédie à tes pleurs, à ton sourire
A toute ton âme, mon âme,
Avec ses pleurs et ses sourires
Et son baiser.
Vois-tu, l'aurore naît sur la terre effacée,
Des liens d'ombre semblent glisser
Et s'en aller, avec mélancolie;
L'eau des étangs s'écoule et tamise son bruit,
L'herbe s'éclaire et les corolles se déplient,
Et les bois d'or se désenlacent de la nuit.
Oh! dis, pouvoir un jour,
Entrer ainsi dans la pleine lumière;
Oh! dis, pouvoir un jour
Avec toutes les fleurs de nos âmes trémières,
Sans plus aucun voile sur nous,
Sans plus aucun mystère en nous,
Oh dis, pouvoir, un jour,
Entrer à deux dans le lucide amour!
Je noie en tes deux yeux mon âme toute entière
Et l'élan fou de cette âme éperdue,
Pour que, plongée en leur douceur et leur prière,
Plus claire et mieux trempée, elle me soit rendue.
S'unir pour épurer son être,
Comme deux vitraux d'or en une même abside
Croisent leurs feux différemment lucides
Et se pénètrent!
Je suis parfois si lourd, si las,
D'être celui qui ne sait pas
Etre parfait, comme il se veut!
Mon coeur se bat contre ses voeux,
Mon coeur dont les plantes mauvaises,
Entre des rocs d'entêtement,
Dressent, sournoisement,
Leurs fleurs d'encre ou de braise;
Mon coeur si faux, si vrai, selon les jours,
Mon coeur contradictoire,
Mon coeur exagéré toujours
De joie immense ou de crainte attentatoire.
Pour nous aimer des yeux,
Lavons nos deux regards, de ceux
Que nous avons croisés, par milliers, dans la vie
Mauvaise et asservie.
L'aube est en fleur et en rosée
Et en lumière tamisée
Très douce:
On croirait voir de molles plumes
D'argent et de soleil, à travers brumes,
Frôler et caresser, dans le jardin, les mousses.
Nos bleus et merveilleux étangs
Tremblent et s'animent d'or miroitant,
Des vols émeraudés, sous les arbres, circulent;
Et la clarté, hors des chemins, des clos, des haies,
La cendre humide, où traîne encor le crépuscule.
Au clos de notre amour, l'été se continue:
Un paon d'or, là-bas traverse une avenue;
Des pétales pavoisent,
--Perles, émeraudes, turquoises-L'uniforme sommeil des gazons verts;
Nos étangs bleus luisent, couverts
Du baiser blanc des nénuphars de neige;
Aux quinconces, nos groseillers font des cortèges;
Un insecte de prisme irrite un coeur de fleur;
De merveilleux sous-bois se jaspent de lueurs;
Et, comme des bulles légères, mille abeilles
Sur des grappes d'argent, vibrent, au long des treilles.
L'air est si beau qu'il paraît chatoyant;
Sous les midis profonds et radiants,
On dirait qu'il remue en roses de lumière;
Tandis qu'au loin, les routes coutumières,
Telles de lents gestes qui s'allongent vermeils,
A l'horizon nacré, montent vers le soleil.
Certes, la robe en diamants du bel été
Ne vêt aucun jardin d'aussi pure clarté;
Et c'est la joie unique éclose en nos deux âmes
Qui reconnait sa vie en ces bouquets de flammes.
Que tes yeux clairs, tes yeux d'été,
Me soient, sur terre,
Les images de la bonté.
Laissons nos âmes embrasées
Exalter d'or chaque flamme de nos pensées.
Que mes deux mains contre ton coeur
Te soient, sur terre,
Les emblèmes de la douceur.
Vivons pareils à deux prières éperdues
L'une vers l'autre, à toute heure, tendues.
Que nos baisers sur nos bouches ravies
Nous soient sur terre,
Les symboles de notre vie.
Dis-moi, ma simple et ma tranquille amie,
Dis, combien l'absence, même d'un jour,
Attriste et attise l'amour
Et le réveille, en ses brûlures endormies.
Je m'en vais au devant de ceux
Qui reviennent des lointains merveilleux,
Où, dès l'aube, tu es allée;
Je m'assieds sous un arbre, au détour de l'allée,
Et, sur la route, épiant leur venue,
Je regarde et regarde, avec ferveur, leurs yeux
Encore clairs de t'avoir vue.
Et je voudrais baiser leurs doigts qui t'ont touchée,
Et leur crier des mots qu'ils ne comprendraient pas,
Et j'écoute longtemps se cadencer leurs pas
Vers l'ombre, où les vieux soirs tiennent la nuit penchée.
En ces heures où nous sommes perdus
Si loin de tout ce qui n'est pas nous-mêmes.
Quel sang lustral ou quel baptême
Baigne nos coeurs vers tout l'amour tendus?
Joignant les mains, sans que l'on prie,
Tendant les bras, sans que l'on crie,
Mais adorant on ne sait quoi
De plus lointain et de plus pur que soi,
L'esprit fervent et ingénu,
Dites, comme on se fond, comme on se vit dans l'inconnu.
Comme on s'abîme en la présence
De ces heures de suprême existence,
Comme l'âme voudrait des cieux
Pour y chercher de nouveaux dieux,
Oh! l'angoissante et merveilleuse joie
Et l'espérance audacieuse
D'être, un jour, à travers la mort même, la proie
De ces affres silencieuses.
Oh! ce bonheur
Si rare et si frêle parfois
Qu'il nous fait peur!
Nous avons beau taire nos voix,
Et nous faire comme une tente,
Avec toute ta chevelure,
Pour nous créer un abri sûr,
Souvent l'angoisse en nos âmes fermente.
Mais notre amour étant comme un ange à genoux,
Prie et supplie,
Que l'avenir donne à d'autres que nous
Même tendresse et même vie,
Pour que leur sort de notre sort ne soit jaloux.
Et puis, aux jours mauvais, quand les grands soirs
Illimitent, jusques au ciel, le désespoir,
Nous demandons pardon à la nuit qui s'enflamme
De la douceur de notre âme.
Vivons, dans notre amour et notre ardeur,
Vivons si hardiment nos plus belles pensées
Qu'elles s'entrelacent, harmonisées
A l'extase suprême et l'entière ferveur.
Parce qu'en nos âmes pareilles,
Quelque chose de plus sacré que nous
Et de plus pur et de plus grand s'éveille,
Joignons les mains pour l'adorer à travers nous.
Il n'importe que nous n'ayons que cris ou larmes
Pour humblement le définir,
Et que si rare et si puissant en soit le charme,
Qu'à le goûter, nos coeurs soient prêts à défaillir.
Restons quand même et pour toujours, les fous
De cet amour presqu'implacable,
Et les fervents, à deux genoux,
Du Dieu soudain qui règne en nous,
Si violent et si ardemment doux
Qu'il nous fait mal et nous accable.
Sitôt que nos bouches se touchent,
Nous nous sentons tant plus clairs de nous-mêmes
Que l'on dirait des Dieux qui s'aiment
Et qui s'unissent en nous-mêmes;
Nous nous sentons le coeur si divinement frais
Et si renouvelé par leur lumière
Que l'univers, sous leur clarté, nous apparaît.
La joie est à nos yeux l'unique fleur du monde
Qui se prodigue et se féconde,
Innombrable, sur nos routes d'en bas;
Comme là haut, par tas,
En des pays de soie où voyagent des voiles
Brille la fleur myriadaire des étoiles.
L'ordre nous éblouit, comme les feux, la cendre,
Tout nous éclaire et nous paraît: flambeau;
Nos plus simples mots ont un sens si beau
Que nous les répétons pour les sans cesse entendre.
Nous sommes les victorieux sublimes
Qui conquérons l'éternité,
Sans nul orgueil et sans songer au temps minime:
Et notre amour nous semble avoir toujours été.
Pour que rien de nous deux n'échappe à notre étreinte,
Si profonde qu'elle en est sainte
Et qu'à travers le corps même, l'amour soit clair,
Nous descendons ensemble au jardin de ta chair.
Tes seins sont là, ainsi que des offrandes,
Et tes deux mains me sont tendues;
Et rien ne vaut la naïve provende
Des paroles dites et entendues.
L'ombre des rameaux blancs voyage
Parmi ta gorge et ton visage
Et tes cheveux dénouent leur floraison,
En guirlandes, sur les gazons.
La nuit est toute d'argent bleu,
La nuit est un beau lit silencieux,
La nuit douce, dont les brises vont, une à une,
Effeuiller les grands lys dardés au clair de lune.
Bien que déjà, ce soir,
Laisse aux sentes et aux orées,
Comme des mains dorées,
Lentes, les feuilles choir;
Bien que déjà l'automne,
Ce soir, avec ses bras de vent,
Sur les rosiers fervents,
Les pétales et leur pâleur,
Ne laissons rien de nos deux âmes
Tomber soudain avec ces fleurs.
Mais tous les deux autour des flammes
De l'âtre en or du souvenir,
Mais tous les deux blottissons-nous,
Les mains au feu et les genoux.
Contre les deuils à craindre ou à venir,
Contre le temps qui fixe à toute ardeur sa fin,
Contre notre terreur, contre nous-mêmes, enfin,
Blottissons-nous, près du foyer,
Que la mémoire en nous fait flamboyer.
Et si l'automne obère
A grands pans d'ombre et d'orages plânants,
Les bois, les pelouses et les étangs,
Que sa douleur du moins n'altère
L'intérieur jardin tranquillisé,
Où s'unissent, dans la lumière,
Les pas égaux de nos pensées.
Le don du corps, lorsque l'âme est donnée
N'est rien que l'aboutissement
De deux tendresses entraînées
L'une vers l'autre, éperdûment.
Tu n'es heureuse de ta chair
Si simple, en sa beauté natale,
Que pour, avec ferveur, m'en faire
L'offre complète et l'aumône totale.
Et je me donne à toi, ne sachant rien
Sinon que je m'exalte à te connaître,
Toujours meilleure et plus pure peut-être
Depuis que ton doux corps offrit sa fête au mien.
L'amour, oh! qu'il nous soit la clairvoyance
Unique, et l'unique raison du coeur,
A nous, dont le plus fol bonheur
Est d'être fous de confiance.
Fût-il en nous une seule tendresse,
Une pensée, une joie, une promesse,
Qui n'allât, d'elle-même, au devant de nos pas?
Fût-il une prière en secret entendue,
Dont nous n'ayons serré les mains tendues
Avec douceur, sur notre sein?
Fût-il un seul appel, un seul dessein,
Un voeu tranquille ou violent
Dont nous n'ayons épanoui l'élan?
Et, nous aimant ainsi,
Nos coeurs s'en sont allés, tels des apôtres,
Vers les doux coeurs timides et transis
Des autres:
Ils les ont conviés, par la pensée,
A se sentir aux nôtres fiancés,
A proclamer l'amour avec des ardeurs franches,
Comme un peuple de fleurs aime la même branche
Qui le suspend et le baigne dans le soleil;
Et notre âme, comme agrandie, en cet éveil,
S'est mise à célébrer tout ce qui aime,
Magnifiant l'amour pour l'amour même,
Et à chérir, divinement, d'un désir fou,
Le monde entier qui se résume en nous.
Le beau jardin fleuri de flammes
Qui nous semblait le double ou le miroir,
Du jardin clair que nous portions dans l'âme,
Se cristallise en gel et or, ce soir.
Un grand silence blanc est descendu s'asseoir
Là-bas, aux horizons de marbre,
Vers où s'en vont, par défilés, les arbres
Avec leur ombre immense et bleue
Et régulière, à côté d'eux.
Aucun souffle de vent, aucune haleine.
Les grands voiles du froid,
Se déplient seuls, de plaine en plaine,
Sur des marais d'argent ou des routes en croix.
Les étoiles paraissent vivre.
Comme l'acier, brille le givre,
A travers l'air translucide et glacé.
De clairs métaux pulvérisés
A l'infini, semblent neiger
De la pâleur d'une lune de cuivre.
Tout est scintillement dans l'immobilité.
Et c'est l'heure divine, où l'esprit est hanté
Par ces mille regards que projette sur terre,
Vers les hasards de l'humaine misère,
La bonne et pure et inchangeable éternité.
S'il arrive jamais
Que nous soyons, sans le savoir,
Souffrance ou peine ou désespoir,
L'un pour l'autre; s'il se faisait
Que la fatigue ou le banal plaisir
Détendissent en nous l'arc d'or du haut désir;
Si le cristal de la pure pensée
De notre amour doit se briser,
Si malgré tout, je me sentais
Vaincu pour n'avoir pas été
Assez en proie à la divine immensité
De la bonté;
Alors, oh! serrons-nous comme deux fous sublimes
Qui sous les cieux cassés, se cramponnent aux cimes
Quand même.--Et d'un unique essor
L'âme en soleil, s'exaltent dans la mort.
~ Emile Verhaeren
477:The Temple Of Fame
In that soft season, when descending show'rs
Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flow'rs;
When op'ning buds salute the welcome day,
And earth relenting feels the genial day,
As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest,
And love itself was banish'd from my breast,
(What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings)
A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
And, join'd, this intellectual sense compose.
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and skies;
The whole creation open to my eyes:
In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below,
Where mountains rise and circling oceans flow;
Here naked rocks, and empty wastes were seen,
There tow'ry cities, and the forests green:
Here sailing ships delight the wand'ring eyes:
There trees, and intermingled temples rise;
Now a clear sun the shining scene displays,
The transient landscape now in clouds decays.
O'er the wide Prospect as I gaz'd around,
Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound,
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whose tow'ring summit ambient clouds conceal'd.
High on a rock of Ice the structure lay,
Steep its ascent, and slipp'ry was the way;
The wond'rous rock like Parian marble shone,
And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone.
Inscriptions here of various Names I view'd,
The greater part by hostile time subdu'd;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And Poets once had promis'd they should last.
Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of Wits renown'd;
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own, like others, soon their place resign'd,
Or disappear'd, and left the first behind.
Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun;
For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by Envy than excess of Praise.
Yet part no injuries of heav'n could feel,
Like crystal faithful to th' graving steel:
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
Their names inscrib'd, unnumber'd ages past
From time's first birth, with time itself shall last;
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost)
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on th' impassive ice the light'nings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky:
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and ev'ry face
Of various structure, but of equal grace:
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born,
Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities rais'd, or tam'd a monstrous race;
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And Legislators seem to think in stone.
Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold,
And sculpture rising on the roughen'd mold,
In shaggy spoils here Theseus was beheld,
And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield:
There great Alcides stooping with his toil,
Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian spoil.
Here Orpheus sings; trees moving to the sound
Start from their roots, and form a shade around:
Amphion there the loud creating lyre
Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire!
Cithaeron's echoes answer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall:
There might you see the length'ning spires ascend,
The domes swell up, the wid'ning arches bend,
The growing tow'rs, like exhalations rise,
And the huge columns heave into the skies.
The Eastern front was glorious to behold,
With di'mond flaming, and Barbaric gold.
There Ninus shone, who spread th' Assyrian fame,
And the great founder of the Persian name:
There in long robes the royal Magi stand,
Grave Zoroaster waves the circling wand,
The sage Chaldaeans rob'd in white appear'd,
And Brahmans, deep in desert woods rever'd.
These stop'd the moon, and call'd th' unbody'd shades
To midnight banquets in the glimm'ring glades;
Made visionary fabrics round them rise,
And airy spectres skim before their eyes;
Of Talismans and Sigils knew the pow'r,
And careful watch'd the Planetary hour.
Superior, and alone, Confucius stood,
Who taught that useful science, to be good.
But on the South, a long majestic race
Of AEgypt's Priests the gilded niches grace,
Who measur'd earth, describ'd the starry spheres,
And trac'd the long records of lunar years.
High on his car Sesostris struck my view,
Whom scepter'd slaves in golden harness drew:
His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold;
His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold.
Between the statues Obelisks were plac'd,
And the learn'd walls with Hieroglyphics grac'd.
Of Gothic structure was the Northern side,
O'erwrought with ornaments of barb'rous pride.
There huge Colosses rose, with trophies crown'd,
And Runic characters were grav'd around.
There sate Zamolxis with erected eyes,
And Odin here in mimic trances dies.
There on rude iron columns, smear'd with blood,
The horrid forms of Scythian heroes stood,
Druids and Bards (their once loud harps unstrung)
And youths that died to be by Poets sung.
These and a thousand more of doubtful fame,
To whom old fables gave a lasting name,
In ranks adorn'd the Temple's outward face;
The wall in lustre and effect like Glass,
Which o'er each object casting various dyes,
Enlarges some, and others multiplies:
Nor void of emblem was the mystic wall,
For thus romantic Fame increases all.
The Temple shakes, the sounding gates unfold,
Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold:
Rais'd on a thousand pillars, wreath'd around
With laurel-foliage, and with eagles crown'd:
Of bright, transparent beryl were the walls,
The friezes gold, an gold the capitals:
As heav'n with stars, the roof with jewels glows,
And ever-living lamps depend in rows.
Full in the passage of each spacious gate,
The sage Historians in white garments wait;
Grav'd o'er their seats the form of Time was found,
His scythe revers'd, and both his pinions bound.
Within stood Heroes, who thro' loud alarms
In bloody fields pursu'd renown in arms.
High on a throne with trophies charg'd, I view'd
The Youth that all things but himself subdu'd;
His feet on sceptres and tiara's trod,
And his horn'd head bely'd the Libyan God.
There Caesar, grac'd with both Minerva's, shone;
Unmov'd, superior still in ev'ry state,
And scarce detested in his Country's fate.
But chief were those, who not for empire fought,
But with their toils their people's safety bought:
High o'er the rest Epaminondas stood;
Timoleon, glorious in his brother's blood;
Bold Scipio, saviour of the Roman state;
Great in his triumphs, in retirement great;
And wise Aurelius, in whose well-taught mind
With boundless pow'r unbounded virtue join'd,
His own strict judge, and patron of mankind.
Much-suff'ring heroes next their honours claim,
Those of less noisy, and less guilty fame,
Fair Virtue's silent train: supreme of these
Here ever shines the godlike Socrates:
He whom ungrateful Athens could expell,
At all times just, but when he sign'd the Shell:
Here his abode the martyr'd Phocion claims,
With Agis, not the last of Spartan names:
Unconquered Cato shews the wound he tore,
And Brutus his ill Genius meets no more.
But in the centre of the hallow'd choir,
Six pompous columns o'er the rest aspire;
Around the shrine itself of Fame they stand,
Hold the chief honours, and the fane command.
High on the first, the mighty Homer shone;
Eternal Adamant compos'd his throne;
Father of verse! in holy fillets drest,
His silver beard wav'd gently o'er his breast;
Tho' blind, a boldness in his looks appears;
In years he seem'd, but not impair'd by years.
The wars of Troy were round the Pillar seen:
Here fierce Tydides wounds the Cyprian Queen;
Here Hector glorious from Patroclus' fall,
Here dragg'd in triumph round the Trojan wall,
Motion and life did ev'ry part inspire,
Bold was the work, and prov'd the master's fire;
A strong expression most he seem'd t' affect,
And here and there disclos'd a brave neglect.
A golden column next in rank appear'd,
On which a shrine of purest gold was rear'd;
Finish'd the whole, and labour'd ev'ry part,
With patient touches of unweary'd art:
The Mantuan there in sober triumph sate,
Compos'd his posture, and his look sedate;
On Homer still he fix'd a rev'rend eye,
Great without pride, in modest majesty.
In living sculpture on the sides were spread
The Latian Wars, and haughty Turnus dead;
Eliza stretch'd upon the fun'ral pyre,
AEneas ending with his aged sire:
Troy flam'd in burning gold, and o'er the throne
Arms of the Man in golden cyphers shone.
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
With heads advanc'd, and pinions stretch'd for flight:
Here, like some furious prophet, Pindar rode,
And seem'd to labour with th' inspiring God.
Across the harp a careless hand he flings,
And boldly sinks into the sounding strings.
The figur'd games of Greece the column grace,
Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race.
The youths hand o'er their chariots as they run;
The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone;
The champions in distorted postures threat;
And all appear'd irregularly great.
Here happy Horace tun'd th' Ausonian lyre
To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire:
Pleas'd with Alcaeus' manly rage t' infuse
The softer spirit of the Sapphic Muse.
The polish'd pillar diff'rent sculptures grace;
A work outlasting monumental brass.
Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear,
The Julian star, and great Augustus here,
The Doves that round the infant poet spread
Myrtles and bays, hung hov'ring o'er his head.
Here in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
Sate fix'd in thought the mighty Stagirite;
His sacred head a radiant Zodiac crown'd,
And various Animals his sides surround;
His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
Superior worlds, and look all Nature through.
With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
The Roman Rostra deck'd the Consul's throne:
Gath'ring his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand
In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his hand.
Behind, Rome's Genius waits with Civic crowns,
And the great Father of his country owns.
These massy columns in a circle rise,
O'er which a pompous dome invades the skies:
Scarce to the top I stretch'd my aching sight,
So large it spread, and swell'd to such a height.
Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat,
With jewels blaz'd, magnificently great;
The vivid em'ralds there revive the eye,
The flaming rubies shew their sanguine dye,
Bright azure rays from lively sapphrys stream,
And lucid amber casts a golden gleam.
With various-colour'd light the pavement shone,
And all on fire appear'd the glowing throne;
The dome's high arch reflects the mingled blaze,
And forms a rainbow of alternate rays.
When on the Goddess first I cast my sight,
Scarce seem'd her stature of a cubit's height;
But swell'd to larger size, the more I gaz'd,
Till to the roof her tow'ring front she rais'd.
With her, the Temple ev'ry moment grew,
And ampler Vista's open'd to my view:
Upward the columns shoot, the roofs ascend,
And arches widen, and long aisles extend.
Such was her form as ancient bards have told,
Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold;
A thousand busy tongues the Goddess bears,
And thousand open eyes, and thousand list'ning ears.
Beneath, in order rang'd, the tuneful Nine
(Her virgin handmaids) still attend the shrine:
With eyes on Fame for ever fix'd, they sing;
For Fame they raise the voice, and tune the string;
With time's first birth began the heav'nly lays,
And last, eternal, thro' the length of days.
Around these wonders as I cast a look,
The trumpet sounded, and the temple shoo,
And all the nations, summon'd at the call,
From diff'rent quarters fill the crowded hall:
Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard;
In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear'd;
Thick as the bees, that with the spring renew
Their flow'ry toils, and sip the fragrant dew,
When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky,
O'er dusky fields and shaded waters fly,
Or settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield,
And a low murmur runs along the field.
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the Goddess bend;
The poor, the rich, the valiant and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old-age.
Their pleas were diff'rent, their request the same:
For good and bad alike are fond of Fame.
Some she disgrac'd, and some with honours crown'd;
Unlike successes equal merits found.
Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns,
And, undiscerning, scatters crowns and chains.
First at the shrine the Learned world appear,
And to the Goddess thus prefer their play'r.
'Long have we sought t' instruct and please mankind,
With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind;
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none,
We here appeal to thy superior throne:
On wit and learning the just prize bestow,
For fame is all we must expect below.'
The Goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise
The golden Trumpet of eternal Praise:
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound,
That fills the circuit of the world around;
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud;
The notes at first were rather sweet than loud:
By just degrees they ev'ry moment rise,
Fill the wide earth, and gain upon the skies.
At ev'ry breath were balmy odours shed,
Which still grew sweeter as they wider spread;
Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales,
Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.
Next these the good and just, an awful train,
Thus on their knees address the sacred fane.
'Since living virtue is with envy curs'd,
And the best men are treated like the worst,
Do thou, just Goddess, call our merits forth,
And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth.'
'Not with bare justice shall your act be crown'd'
(Said Fame) 'but high above desert renown'd:
Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
And the full loud clarion labour in your praise.'
This band dismiss'd, behold another croud
The constant tenour of whose well-spent days
No less deserv'd a just return of praise.
But strait the direful Trump of Slander sounds;
Thro' the big dome the doubling thunder bounds;
Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
The dire report thro' ev'ry region flies,
In ev'ry ear incessant rumours rung,
And gath'ring scandals grew on ev'ry tongue.
From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke
Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling smoke:
The pois'nous vapour blots the purple skies,
And withers all before it as it flies.
A troop came next, who crowns and armour wore,
And proud defiance in their looks they bore:
'For thee' (they cry'd) 'amidst alarms and strife,
We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life;
For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood,
And swam to empire thro' the purple flood.
Those ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own,
What virtue seem'd, was done for thee alone.'
'Ambitious fools!' (the Queen reply'd, and frown'd)
'Be all your acts in dark oblivion drown'd;
There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown!'
A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from my sight,
And each majestic phantom sunk in night.
Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen;
Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien.
'Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame!
But safe in deserts from th' applause of men,
Would die unheard of, as we liv'd unseen,
'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight
Those acts of goodness, which themselves requite.
To follow virtue ev'n for virtue's sake.'
'And live there men, who slight immortal fame?
Who then with incense shall adore our name?
But mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride
To blaze those virtues, which the good would hide.
Rise! Muses, rise; add all your tuneful breath,
These must not sleep in darkness and in death.'
She said: in air the trembling music floats,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes;
So soft, tho' high, so loud, and yet so clear,
Ev'n list'ning Angels lean'd from heav'n to hear:
To farthest shores th' Ambrosial spirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.
Next these a youthful train their vows express'd,
With feathers crown'd, with gay embroid'ry dress'd:
'Hither,' they cry'd, 'direct your eyes, and see
The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry;
Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays,
Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days;
Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleasing care
To pay due visits, and address the fair:
In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could persuade,
But still in fancy vanquish'd ev'ry maid;
Of unknown Duchesses lewd tales we tell,
Yet, would the world believe us, all were well.
The joy let others have, and we the name,
And what we want in pleasure, grant in fame.'
The Queen assents, the trumpet rends the skies,
And at each blast a Lady's honour dies.
Pleas'd with the strange success, vast numbers prest
Around the shrine, and made the same request:
'What? you,' (she cry'd) 'unlearn'd in arts to please,
Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigu'd with ease,
Who lose a length of undeserving days,
Would you usurp the lover's dear-bought praise?
To just contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall,
The people's fable, and the scorn of all.'
Straight the black clarion sends a horrid sound,
Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scoffs fly round,
Whispers are heard, with taunts reviling loud,
And scornful hisses run thro' the crowd.
Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,
Enslave their country, or usurp a throne;
Or who their glory's dire foundation lay'd
On Sov'reigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd;
Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix,
Of crooked counsels and dark politics;
Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne,
And beg to make th' immortal treasons known.
The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire,
With sparks, that seem'd to set the world on fire.
At the dread sound, pale mortals stood aghast,
And startled nature trembled with the blast.
This having heard and seen, and snatch'd me from the throne.
Before my view appear'd a structure fair,
Its site uncertain, if in earth or air;
With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round;
With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound;
Not less in number were the spacious doors,
Than leaves on trees, or sand upon the shores;
Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day,
Pervious to winds, and open ev'ry way.
As flames by nature to the skies ascend,
As weighty bodies to the centre tend,
As to the sea returning rivers toll,
And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole;
Hither, as to their proper place, arise
All various sounds from earth, and seas, and skies,
Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear;
Nor ever silence, rest, or peace is here.
As on the smooth expanse of crystal lakes
The sinking stone at first a circle makes;
The trembling surface by the motion stir'd,
Spreads in a second circle, then a third;
Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance,
Fill all the wat'ry plain, and to the margin dance:
Thus ev'ry voice and sound, when first they break,
On neighb'ring air a soft impression make;
Another ambient circle then they move;
That, in its turn, impels the next above;
Thro' undulating air the sounds are sent,
And spread o'er all the fluid element.
There various news I heard of love and strife,
Of peace and war, health, sickness, death, and life,
Of loss and gain, of famine and of store,
Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
Of prodigies, and portents seen in air,
Of fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair,
Of turns of fortune, changes in the state,
The falls of fav'rites, projects of the great,
Of old mismanagements, taxations new:
All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.
Above, below, without, within, around.
Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found,
Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away;
Hosts rais'd by fear, and phantoms of a day:
Astrologers, that future fates foreshew,
Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few;
And priests, and party-zealots, num'rous bands
With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands;
Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place,
And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face.
The flying rumours gather'd as they roll'd,
Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
And all who told it added something new,
And all who heard it, made enlargements too,
In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew.
Thus flying east and west, and north and south,
News travel'd with increase from mouth to mouth.
So from a spark, that kindled first by chance,
With gath'ring force the quick'ning flames advance;
Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
And tow'rs and temples sink in floods of fire.
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung,
Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue,
Thro' thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow,
And rush in millions on the world below.
Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course,
Their date determines, and prescribes their force:
Some to remain, and some to perish soon;
Or wane and wax alternate like the moon.
Around, a thousand winged wonders fly,
Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd thro' the sky.
There, at one passage, oft you might survey
A lie and truth contending for the way;
And long 'twas doubtful, both so closely pent,
Which first should issue thro' the narrow vent:
At last agreed, together out they fly,
Inseparable now, the truth and lie;
The strict companions are for ever join'd,
And this or that unmix'd, no mortal e'er shall find.
While thus I stood, intent to see and hear,
One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear:
What could thus high thy rash ambition raise?
Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise?
'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came,
For who so fond as youthful bards of Fame?
But few, alas! the casual blessing boast,
So hard to gain, so easy to be lost.
How vain that second life in others breath,
Th' estate which wits inherit after death!
Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign,
(Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine!)
The great man's curse, without the gains endure,
Be envy'd, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor;
All luckless wits their enemies profest,
And all successful, jealous friends at best.
Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favours call;
She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase costs so dear a price,
As soothing Folly, or exalting Vice:
Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where fortune leads the way;
Or if no basis bear my rising name,
But the fall'n ruin of another's fame;
Then teach me, heav'n! to scorn the guilty bays,
Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise,
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown;
Oh grant an honest fame, or grant me none!
~ Alexander Pope
478:Of The Four Humours In Mans Constitution.
The former four now ending their discourse,
Ceasing to vaunt their good, or threat their force.
Lo other four step up, crave leave to show
The native qualityes that from them flow:
But first they wisely shew'd their high descent,
Each eldest daughter to each Element.
Choler was own'd by fire, and Blood by air,
Earth knew her black swarth child, water her fair:
All having made obeysance to each Mother,
Had leave to speak, succeeding one the other:
But 'mongst themselves they were at variance,
Which of the four should have predominance.
Choler first hotly claim'd right by her mother,
Who had precedency of all the other:
But Sanguine did disdain what she requir'd,
Pleading her self was most of all desir'd.
Proud Melancholy more envious then the rest,
The second, third or last could not digest.
She was the silentest of all the four,
Her wisdom spake not much, but thought the more
Mild Flegme did not contest for chiefest place,
Only she crav'd to have a vacant space.
Well, thus they parle and chide; but to be brief,
Or will they, nill they, Choler will be chief.
They seing her impetuosity
At present yielded to necessity.
To shew my high descent and pedegree,
Your selves would judge but vain prolixity;
It is acknowledged from whence I came,
It shall suffice to shew you what I am,
My self and mother one, as you shall see,
But shee in greater, I in less degree.
We both once Masculines, the world doth know,
Now Feminines awhile, for love we owe
Unto your Sisterhood, which makes us render
Our noble selves in a less noble gender.
Though under Fire we comprehend all heat,
Yet man for Choler is the proper seat:
I in his heart erect my regal throne,
Where Monarch like I play and sway alone.
Yet many times unto my great disgrace
One of your selves are my Compeers in place,
Where if your rule prove once predominant,
The man proves boyish, sottish, ignorant:
But if you yield subservience unto me,
I make a man, a man in th'high'st degree:
Be he a souldier, I more fence his heart
Then iron Corslet 'gainst a sword or dart.
What makes him face his foe without appal,
To storm a breach, or scale a city wall,
In dangers to account himself more sure
Then timerous Hares whom Castles do immure?
Have you not heard of worthyes, Demi-Gods?
Twixt them and others what is't makes the odds
But valour? whence comes that? from none of you,
Nay milksops at such brunts you look but blew.
Here's sister ruddy, worth the other two,
Who much will talk, but little dares she do,
Unless to Court and claw, to dice and drink,
And there she will out-bid us all, I think,
She loves a fiddle better then a drum,
A Chamber well, in field she dares not come,
She'l ride a horse as bravely as the best,
And break a staff, provided 'be in jest;
But shuns to look on wounds, & blood that's spilt,
She loves her sword only because its gilt.
Then here's our sad black Sister, worse then you.
She'l neither say she will, nor will she doe;
But peevish Malecontent, musing sits,
And by misprissions like to loose her witts:
If great perswasions cause her meet her foe,
In her dull resolution she's so slow,
To march her pace to some is greater pain
Then by a quick encounter to be slain.
But be she beaten, she'l not run away,
She'l first advise if't be not best to stay.
Now let's give cold white sister flegme her right,
So loving unto all she scorns to fight:
If any threaten her, she'l in a trice
Convert from water to congealed ice:
Her teeth will chatter, dead and wan's her face,
And 'fore she be assaulted, quits the place.
She dares not challeng, if I speak amiss,
Nor hath she wit or heat to blush at this.
Here's three of you all see now what you are,
Then yield to me preheminence in war.
Again who fits for learning, science, arts?
Who rarifies the intellectual parts:
From whence fine spirits flow and witty notions:
But tis not from our dull, slow sisters motions:
Nor sister sanguine, from thy moderate heat,
Poor spirits the Liver breeds, which is thy seat.
What comes from thence, my heat refines the same
And through the arteries sends it o're the frame:
The vital spirits they're call'd, and well they may
For when they fail, man turns unto his clay.
The animal I claim as well as these,
The nerves, should I not warm, soon would they freeze
But flegme her self is now provok'd at this
She thinks I never shot so far amiss.
The brain she challengeth, the head's her seat;
But know'ts a foolish brain that wanteth heat.
My absence proves it plain, her wit then flyes
Out at her nose, or melteth at her eyes.
Oh who would miss this influence of thine
To be distill'd, a drop on every Line?
Alas, thou hast no Spirits; thy Company
Will feed a dropsy, or a Tympany,
The Palsy, Gout, or Cramp, or some such dolour:
Thou wast not made, for Souldier or for Scholar;
Of greazy paunch, and bloated cheeks go vaunt,
But a good head from these are dissonant.
But Melancholy, wouldst have this glory thine,
Thou sayst thy wits are staid, subtil and fine;
'Tis true, when I am Midwife to thy birth
Thy self's as dull, as is thy mother Earth:
Thou canst not claim the liver, head nor heart
Yet hast the Seat assign'd, a goodly part
The sinke of all us three, the hateful Spleen
Of that black Region, nature made thee Queen;
Where pain and sore obstruction thou dost work,
Where envy, malice, thy Companions lurk.
If once thou'rt great, what follows thereupon
But bodies wasting, and destruction?
So base thou art, that baser cannot be,
Th'excrement adustion of me.
But I am weary to dilate your shame,
Nor is't my pleasure thus to blur your name,
Only to raise my honour to the Skies,
As objects best appear by contraries.
But Arms, and Arts I claim, and higher things,
The princely qualities befitting Kings,
Whose profound heads I line with policies,
They'r held for Oracles, they are so wise,
Their wrathful looks are death their words are laws
Their Courage it foe, friend, and Subject awes;
But one of you, would make a worthy King
Like our sixth Henry (that same virtuous thing)
That when a Varlet struck him o're the side,
Forsooth you are to blame, he grave reply'd.
Take Choler from a Prince, what is he more
Then a dead Lion, by Beasts triumph'd o're.
Again you know, how I act every part
By th'influence, I still send from the heart:
It's nor your Muscles, nerves, nor this nor that
Do's ought without my lively heat, that's flat:
Nay th'stomack magazine to all the rest
Without my boyling heat cannot digest:
And yet to make my greatness, still more great
What differences, the Sex? but only heat.
And one thing more, to close up my narration
Of all that lives, I cause the propagation.
I have been sparings what I might have said
I love no boasting, that's but Childrens trade.
To what you now shall say I will attend,
And to your weakness gently condescend.
Good Sisters, give me leave, as is my place
To vent my grief, and wipe off my disgrace:
Your selves may plead your wrongs are no whit less
Your patience more then mine, I must confess
Did ever sober tongue such language speak,
Or honesty such tyes unfriendly break?
Dost know thy self so well us so amiss?
Is't arrogance or folly causeth this?
Ile only shew the wrong thou'st done to me,
Then let my sisters right their injury.
To pay with railings is not mine intent,
But to evince the truth by Argument:
I will analyse this thy proud relation
So full of boasting and prevarication,
Thy foolish incongruityes Ile show,
So walk thee till thou'rt cold, then let thee go.
There is no Souldier but thy self (thou sayest,)
No valour upon Earth, but what thou hast
Thy silly provocations I despise,
And leave't to all to judge, where valour lies
No pattern, nor no pattron will I bring
But David, Judah's most heroick King,
Whose glorious deeds in Arms the world can tell,
A rosie cheek Musitian thou know'st well;
He knew well how to handle Sword and Harp,
And how to strike full sweet, as well as sharp,
Thou laugh'st at me for loving merriment,
And scorn'st all Knightly sports at Turnament.
Thou sayst I love my Sword, because it's gilt,
But know, I love the Blade, more then the Hill,
Yet do abhor such temerarious deeds,
As thy unbridled, barbarous Choler breeds:
Thy rudeness counts good manners vanity,
And real Complements base flattery.
For drink, which of us twain like it the best,
Ile go no further then thy nose for test:
Thy other scoffs, not worthy of reply
Shall vanish as of no validity:
Of thy black Calumnies this is but part,
But now Ile shew what souldier thou art.
And though thou'st us'd me with opprobrious spight
My ingenuity must give thee right.
Thy choler is but rage when tis most pure,
But usefull when a mixture can endure;
As with thy mother fire, so tis with thee,
The best of all the four when they agree:
But let her leave the rest, then I presume
Both them and all things else she would consume.
VVhilst us for thine associates thou tak'st,
A Souldier most compleat in all points mak'st:
But when thou scorn'st to take the help we lend,
Thou art a Fury or infernal Fiend.
Witness the execrable deeds thou'st done,
Nor sparing Sex nor Age, nor Sire nor Son;
To satisfie thy pride and cruelty,
Thou oft hast broke bounds of Humanity,
Nay should I tell, thou would'st count me no blab,
How often for the lye, thou'st given the stab.
To take the wall's a sin of so high rate,
That nought but death the same may expiate,
To cross thy will, a challenge doth deserve
So shed'st that blood, thou'rt bounden to preserve
Wilt thou this valour, Courage, Manhood call:
No, know 'tis pride most diabolibal.
If murthers be thy glory, tis no less,
Ile not envy thy feats, nor happiness:
But if in fitting time and place 'gainst foes
For countreys good thy life thou dar'st expose,
Be dangers n'er so high, and courage great,
Ile praise that prowess, fury, Choler, heat:
But such thou never art when all alone,
Yet such when we all four are joyn'd in one.
And when such thou art, even such are we,
The friendly Coadjutors still of thee.
Nextly the Spirits thou dost wholly claim,
Which nat'ral, vital, animal we name:
To play Philosopher I have no list,
Nor yet Physitian, nor Anatomist,
For acting these, l have no will nor Art,
Yet shall with Equity, give thee thy part
For natural, thou dost not much contest;
For there is none (thou sayst) if some not best;
That there are some, and best, I dare averre
Of greatest use, if reason do not erre:
What is there living, which do'nt first derive
His Life now Animal, from vegetive:
If thou giv'st life, I give the nourishment,
Thine without mine, is not, 'tis evident:
But I without thy help, can give a growth
As plants trees, and small Embryon know'th
And if vital Spirits, do flow from thee
I am as sure, the natural, from me:
Be thine the nobler, which I grant, yet mine
Shall justly claim priority of thine.
I am the fountain which thy Cistern fills
Through warm blew Conduits of my venial rills:
What hath the heart, but what's sent from the liver
If thou'rt the taker, I must be the giver.
Then never boast of what thou dost receive:
For of such glory I shall thee bereave.
But why the heart should be usurp'd by thee,
I must confess seems something strange to me:
The spirits through thy heat made perfect are,
But the Materials none of thine, that's clear:
Their wondrous mixture is of blood and air,
The first my self, second my mother fair.
But Ile not force retorts, nor do thee wrong,
Thy fi'ry yellow froth is mixt among,
Challeng not all, 'cause part we do allow;
Thou know'st I've there to do as well as thou:
But thou wilt say I deal unequally,
Their lives the irascible faculty,
Which without all dispute, is Cholers own;
Besides the vehement heat, only there known
Can be imputed, unto none but Fire
Which is thy self, thy Mother and thy Sire
That this is true, I easily can assent
If still you take along my Aliment;
And let me be your partner which is due,
So shall I give the dignity to you:
Again, Stomacks Concoction thou dost claim,
But by what right, nor do'st, nor canst thou name
Unless as heat, it be thy faculty,
And so thou challengest her property.
The help she needs, the loving liver lends,
Who th'benefit o'th' whole ever intends
To meddle further I shall be but shent,
Th'rest to our Sisters is more pertinent;
Your slanders thus refuted takes no place,
Nor what you've said, doth argue my disgrace,
Now through your leaves, some little time I'l spend
My worth in humble manner to commend
This, hot, moist nutritive humour of mine
When 'tis untaint, pure, and most genuine
Shall chiefly take the place, as is my due
Without the least indignity to you.
Of all your qualities I do partake,
And what you single are, the whole I make
Your hot, moist, cold, dry natures are but four,
I moderately am all, what need I more;
As thus, if hot then dry, if moist, then cold,
If this you cann't disprove, then all I hold
My virtues hid, I've let you dimly see
My sweet Complection proves the verity.
This Scarlet die's a badge of what's within
One touch thereof, so beautifies the skin:
Nay, could I be, from all your tangs but pure
Mans life to boundless Time might still endure.
But here one thrusts her heat, wher'ts not requir'd
So suddenly, the body all is fired,
And of the calme sweet temper quite bereft,
Which makes the Mansion, by the Soul soon left.
So Melancholy seizes on a man,
With her unchearful visage, swarth and wan,
The body dryes, the mind sublime doth smother,
And turns him to the womb of's earthy mother:
And flegm likewise can shew her cruel art,
With cold distempers to pain every part:
The lungs she rots, the body wears away,
As if she'd leave no flesh to turn to clay,
Her languishing diseases, though not quick
At length demolishes the Faberick,
All to prevent, this curious care I take,
In th'last concoction segregation make
Of all the perverse humours from mine own,
The bitter choler most malignant known
I turn into his Cell close by my side
The Melancholy to the Spleen t'abide:
Likewise the whey, some use I in the veins,
The overplus I send unto the reins:
But yet for all my toil, my care and skill,
Its doom'd by an irrevocable will
That my intents should meet with interruption,
That mortal man might turn to his corruption.
I might here shew the nobleness of mind
Of such as to the sanguine are inclin'd,
They're liberal, pleasant, kind and courteous,
And like the Liver all benignious.
For arts and sciences they are the fittest;
And maugre Choler still they are the wittiest:
With an ingenious working Phantasie,
A most voluminous large Memory,
And nothing wanting but Solidity.
But why alas, thus tedious should I be,
Thousand examples you may daily see.
If time I have transgrest, and been too long,
Yet could not be more brief without much wrong;
I've scarce wip'd off the spots proud choler cast,
Such venome lies in words, though but a blast:
No braggs i've us'd, to you I dare appeal,
If modesty my worth do not conceal.
I've us'd no bittererss nor taxt your name,
As I to you, to me do ye the same.
He that with two Assailants hath to do,
Had need be armed well and active too.
Especially when friendship is pretended,
That blow's most deadly where it is intended.
Though choler rage and rail, I'le not do so,
The tongue's no weapon to assault a foe:
But sith we fight with words, we might be kind
To spare our selves and beat the whistling wind,
Fair rosie sister, so might'st thou scape free;
I'le flatter for a time as thou didst me:
But when the first offender I have laid,
Thy soothing girds shall fully be repaid.
But Choler be thou cool'd or chaf'd, I'le venter,
And in contentions lists now justly enter.
What mov'd thee thus to vilifie my name,
Not past all reason, but in truth all shame:
Thy fiery spirit shall bear away this prize,
To play such furious pranks I am too wise:
If in a Souldier rashness be so precious,
Know in a General tis most pernicious.
Nature doth teach to shield the head from harm,
The blow that's aim'd thereat is latcht by th'arm.
When in Batalia my foes I face
I then command proud Choler stand thy place,
To use thy sword, thy courage and thy art
There to defend my self, thy better part.
This wariness count not for cowardize,
He is not truly valiant that's not wise.
It's no less glory to defend a town,
Then by assault to gain one not our own;
And if Marcellus bold be call'd Romes sword,
Wise Fabius is her buckler all accord:
And if thy hast my slowness should not temper,
'Twere but a mad irregular distemper;
Enough of that by our sisters heretofore,
Ile come to that which wounds me somewhat more
Of learning, policy thou wouldst bereave me,
But's not thine ignorance shall thus deceive me:
What greater Clark or Politician lives,
Then he whose brain a touch my humour gives?
What is too hot my coldness doth abate,
What's diffluent I do consolidate.
If I be partial judg'd or thought to erre,
The melancholy snake shall it aver,
Whose cold dry head more subtilty doth yield,
Then all the huge beasts of the fertile field.
Again thou dost confine me to the spleen,
As of that only part I were the Queen,
Let me as well make thy precincts the Gall,
So prison thee within that bladder small:
Reduce the man to's principles, then see
If I have not more part then all you three:
What is within, without, of theirs or thine,
Yet time and age shall soon declare it mine.
When death doth seize the man your stock is lost,
When you poor bankrupts prove then have I most.
You'l say here none shall e're disturb my right,
You high born from that lump then take your flight.
Then who's mans friend, when life & all forsakes?
His Mother mine, him to her womb retakes:
Thus he is ours, his portion is the grave,
But while he lives, I'le shew what part I have:
And first the firm dry bones I justly claim,
The strong foundation of the stately frame:
Likewise the usefull Slpeen, though not the best,
Yet is a bowel call'd well as the rest:
The Liver, Stomack, owe their thanks of right,
The first it drains, of th'last quicks appetite.
Laughter (thô thou say malice) flows from hence,
These two in one cannot have residence.
But thou most grosly dost mistake to think
The Spleen for all you three was made a sink,
Of all the rest thou'st nothing there to do,
But if thou hast, that malice is from you.
Again you often touch my swarthy hue,
That black is black, and I am black tis true;
But yet more comely far I dare avow,
Then is thy torrid nose or brazen brow.
But that which shews how high your spight is bent
Is charging me to be thy excrement:
Thy loathsome imputation I defie,
So plain a slander needeth no reply.
When by thy heat thou'st bak'd thy self to crust,
And so art call'd black Choler or adust,
Thou witless think'st that I am thy excretion,
So mean thou art in Art as in discretion:
But by your leave I'le let your greatness see
What Officer thou art to us all three,
The Kitchin Drudge, the cleanser of the sinks
That casts out all that man e're eats or drinks:
If any doubt the truth whence this should come,
Shew them thy passage to th'Duodenum;
Thy biting quality still irritates,
Till filth and thee nature exonerates:
If there thou'rt stopt, to th'Liver thou turn'st in,
And thence with jaundies saffrons all the skin.
No further time Ile spend in confutation,
I trust I've clear'd your slanderous imputation.
I now speak unto all, no more to one,
Pray hear, admire and learn instruction.
My virtues yours surpass without compare,
The first my constancy that jewel rare:
Choler's too rash this golden gift to hold,
And Sanguine is more fickle manifold,
Here, there her restless thoughts do ever fly,
Constant in nothing but unconstancy.
And what Flegme is, we know, like to her mother,
Unstable is the one, and so the other;
With me is noble patience also found,
Impatient Choler loveth not the sound,
What sanguine is, she doth not heed nor care,
Now up, now down, transported like the Air:
Flegme's patient because her nature's tame;
But I, by virtue do acquire the same.
My Temperance, Chastity is eminent,
But these with you, are seldome resident;
Now could I stain my ruddy Sisters face
With deeper red, to shew you her dsgrace,
But rather I with silence vaile her shame
Then cause her blush, while I relate the same.
Nor are ye free from this inormity,
Although she bear the greatest obloquie,
My prudence, judgement, I might now reveal
But wisdom 'tis my wisdome to conceal.
Unto diseases not inclin'd as you,
Nor cold, nor hot, Ague nor Plurisie,
Nor Cough, nor Quinsey, nor the burning Feaver,
I rarely feel to act his fierce endeavour;
My sickness in conceit chiefly doth lye,
What I imagine that's my malady.
Chymeraes strange are in my phantasy,
And things that never were, nor shall I see
I love not talk, Reason lies not in length,
Nor multitude of words argues our strength;
I've done pray sister Flegme proceed in Course,
We shall expect much sound, but little force.
Patient I am, patient i'd need to be,
To bear with the injurious taunts of three,
Though wit I want, and anger I have less,
Enough of both, my wrongs now to express
I've not forgot, how bitter Choler spake
Nor how her gaul on me she causeless brake;
Nor wonder 'twas for hatred there's not small,
Where opposition is Diametrical.
To what is Truth I freely will assent,
Although my Name do suffer detriment,
What's slanderous repell, doubtful dispute,
And when I've nothing left to say be mute.
Valour I want, no Souldier am 'tis true,
I'le leave that manly Property to you;
I love no thundring guns, nor bloody wars,
My polish'd Skin was not ordain'd for Skarrs:
But though the pitched field I've ever fled,
At home the Conquerours have conquered.
Nay, I could tell you what's more true then meet,
That Kings have laid their Scepters at my feet;
When Sister sanguine paints my Ivory face:
The Monarchs bend and sue, but for my grace
My lilly white when joyned with her red,
Princes hath slav'd, and Captains captived,
Country with Country, Greece with Asia fights
Sixty nine Princes, all stout Hero Knights.
Under Troys walls ten years will wear away,
Rather then loose one beauteous Helena.
But 'twere as vain, to prove this truth of mine
As at noon day, to tell the Sun doth shine.
Next difference that 'twixt us twain doth lye
Who doth possess the brain, or thou or I?
Shame forc'd the say, the matter that was mine,
But the Spirits by which it acts are thine:
Thou speakest Truth, and I can say no less,
Thy heat doth much, I candidly confess;
Yet without ostentation I may say,
I do as much for thee another way:
And though I grant, thou art my helper here,
No debtor I because it's paid else where.
With all your flourishes, now Sisters three
Who is't that dare, or can, compare with me,
My excellencies are so great, so many,
I am confounded; fore I speak of any:
The brain's the noblest member all allow,
Its form and Scituation will avow,
Its Ventricles, Membranes and wondrous net,
Galen, Hippocrates drive to a set;
That Divine Ofspring the immortal Soul
Though it in all, and every part be whole,
Within this stately place of eminence,
Doth doubtless keep its mighty residence.
And surely, the Soul sensitive here lives,
Which life and motion to each creature gives,
The Conjugation of the parts, to th'braine
Doth shew, hence flow the pow'rs which they retain
Within this high Built Cittadel, doth lye
The Reason, fancy, and the memory;
The faculty of speech doth here abide,
The Spirits animal, from hence do slide:
The five most noble Senses here do dwell;
Of three it's hard to say, which doth excell.
This point now to discuss, 'longs not to me,
I'le touch the sight, great'st wonder of the three;
The optick Nerve, Coats, humours all are mine,
The watry, glassie, and the Chrystaline;
O mixture strange! O colour colourless,
Thy perfect temperament who can express:
He was no fool who thought the soul lay there,
Whence her affections passions speak so clear.
O good, O bad, O true, O traiterous eyes
What wonderments within your Balls there lyes,
Of all the Senses sight shall be the Queen;
Yet some may wish, O had mine eyes ne're seen.
Mine, likewise is the marrow, of the back,
Which runs through all the Spondles of the rack,
It is the substitute o'th royal brain,
All Nerves, except seven pair, to it retain.
And the strong Ligaments from hence arise,
Which joynt to joynt, the intire body tyes.
Some other parts there issue from the Brain,
Whose worth and use to tell, I must refrain:
Some curious learned Crooke, may these reveal
But modesty, hath charg'd me to conceal
Here's my Epitome of excellence:
For what's the Brains is mine by Consequence.
A foolish brain (quoth Choler) wanting heat
But a mad one say I, where 'tis too great,
Phrensie's worse then folly, one would more glad
With a tame fool converse then with a mad;
For learning then my brain is not the fittest,
Nor will I yield that Choler is the wittiest.
Thy judgement is unsafe, thy fancy little,
For memory the sand is not more brittle;
Again, none's fit for Kingly state but thou,
If Tyrants be the best, I le it allow:
But if love be as requisite as fear,
Then thou and I must make a mixture here.
Well to be brief, I hope now Cholers laid,
And I'le pass by what Sister sanguine said.
To Melancholy I le make no reply,
The worst she said was instability,
And too much talk, both which I here confess
A warning good, hereafter I'le say less.
Let's now be friends; its time our spight were spent,
Lest we too late this rashness do repent,
Such premises will force a sad conclusion,
Unless we agree, all falls into confusion.
Let Sangine with her hot hand Choler hold,
To take her moist my moisture will be bold:
My cold, cold melancholy hand shall clasp;
Her dry, dry Cholers other hand shall grasp.
Two hot, two moist, two cold, two dry here be,
A golden Ring, the Posey VNITY.
Nor jarrs nor scoffs, let none hereafter see,
But all admire our perfect Amity
Nor be discern'd, here's water, earth, air, fire,
But here a compact body, whole intire.
This loving counsel pleas'd them all so well
That flegm was judg'd for kindness to excell.
~ Anne Bradstreet
479:The Assembly Of Ladies
In Septembre, at the falling of the leef,
The fressh sesoun was al-togider doon,
And of the corn was gadered in the sheef;
In a gardyn, about twayn after noon,
Ther were ladyes walking, as was her wone,
Foure in nombre, as to my mynd doth falle,
And I the fifte, the simplest of hem alle.
Of gentilwomen fayre ther were also,
Disporting hem, everiche after her gyse,
In crosse-aleys walking, by two and two,
And some alone, after her fantasyes.
Thus occupyed we were in dyvers wyse;
And yet, in trouthe, we were not al alone;
Ther were knightës and squyers many one.
'Wherof I served?' oon of hem asked me;
I sayde ayein, as it fel in my thought,
'To walke about the mase, in certayntè,
As a woman that [of] nothing rought.'
He asked me ayein—'whom that I sought,
And of my colour why I was so pale?'
'Forsothe,' quod I, 'and therby lyth a tale.'
'That must me wite,' quod he, 'and that anon;
Tel on, let see, and make no tarying.'
'Abyd,' quod I, 'ye been a hasty oon,
I let you wite it is no litel thing.
But, for bicause ye have a greet longing
In your desyr, this proces for to here,
I shal you tel the playn of this matere.—
It happed thus, that, in an after-noon,
My felawship and I, by oon assent,
Whan al our other besinesse was doon,
To passe our tyme, into this mase we went,
And toke our wayes, eche after our entent;
Some went inward, and wend they had gon out,
Some stode amid, and loked al about.
And, sooth to say, some were ful fer behind,
And right anon as ferforth as the best;
Other ther were, so mased in her mind,
Al wayes were good for hem, bothe eest and west.
Thus went they forth, and had but litel rest;
And some, her corage did hem sore assayle,
For very wrath, they did step over the rayle!
And as they sought hem-self thus to and fro,
I gat myself a litel avauntage;
Al for-weried, I might no further go,
Though I had won right greet, for my viage.
So com I forth into a strait passage,
Which brought me to an herber fair and grene,
Mad with benches, ful craftily and clene,
That, as me thought, ther might no crëature
Devyse a better, by dew proporcioun;
Safe it was closed wel, I you ensure,
With masonry of compas enviroun,
Ful secretly, with stayres going doun
Inmiddes the place, with turning wheel, certayn;
And upon that, a pot of marjolain;
With margarettes growing in ordinaunce,
To shewe hemself, as folk went to and fro,
That to beholde it was a greet plesaunce,
And how they were acompanyed with mo
Ne-m'oublie-mies and sovenez also;
The povre pensees were not disloged there;
No, no! god wot, her place was every-where!
The flore beneth was paved faire and smothe
With stones square, of many dyvers hew,
So wel joynëd that, for to say the sothe,
Al semed oon (who that non other knew);
And underneth, the stremës new and new,
As silver bright, springing in suche a wyse
That, whence it cam, ye coude it not devyse.
A litel whyle thus was I al alone,
Beholding wel this délectable place;
My felawship were coming everichone,
So must me nedes abyde, as for a space.
Rememb[e]ring of many dyvers cace
Of tyme passed, musing with sighes depe,
I set me doun, and ther I fel a-slepe.
And, as I slept, me thought ther com to me
A gentilwoman, metely of stature;
Of greet worship she semed for to be,
Atyred wel, not high, but by mesure;
Her countenaunce ful sad and ful demure;
Her colours blewe, al that she had upon;
Ther com no mo [there] but herself aloon.
Her gown was wel embrouded, certainly,
With sovenez, after her own devyse;
On her purfyl her word [was] by and by
Bien et loyalment, as I coud devyse.
Than prayde I her, in every maner wyse
That of her name I might have remembraunce;
She sayd, she called was Perséveraunce.
So furthermore to speke than was I bold,
Where she dwelled, I prayed her for to say;
And she again ful curteysly me told,
'My dwelling is, and hath ben many a day
With a lady.'—'What lady, I you pray?'
'Of greet estate, thus warne I you,' quod she;
'What cal ye her?'—'Her name is Loyaltè.'
'In what offyce stand ye, or in what degrè?'
Quod I to her, 'that wolde I wit right fayn.'
'I am,' quod she, 'unworthy though I be,
Of her chambre her ussher, in certayn;
This rod I bere, as for a token playn,
Lyke as ye know the rule in such servyce
Pertayning is unto the same offyce.
She charged me, by her commaundëment,
To warn you and your felawes everichon,
That ye shuld come there as she is present,
For a counsayl, which shal be now anon,
Or seven dayës be comen and gon.
And furthermore, she bad that I shuld say
Excuse there might be non, nor [no] delay.
Another thing was nigh forget behind
Whiche in no wyse I wolde but ye it knew;
Remembre wel, and bere it in your mind,
Al your felawes and ye must come in blew,
Every liche able your maters for to sew;
With more, which I pray you thinke upon,
Your wordës on your slevës everichon.
And be not ye abasshed in no wyse,
As many been in suche an high presence;
Mak your request as ye can best devyse,
And she gladly wol yeve you audience.
There is no greef, ne no maner offence,
Wherin ye fele that your herte is displesed,
But with her help right sone ye shul be esed.'
'I am right glad,' quod I, 'ye tel me this,
But there is non of us that knoweth the way.'
'As of your way,' quod she, 'ye shul not mis,
Ye shul have oon to gyde you, day by day,
Of my felawes (I can no better say)
Suche oon as shal tel you the way ful right;
And Diligence this gentilwoman hight.
A woman of right famous governaunce,
And wel cherisshed, I tel you in certayn;
Her felawship shal do you greet plesaunce.
Her port is suche, her maners trewe and playn;
She with glad chere wol do her besy payn
To bring you there; now farwel, I have don.'
'Abyde,' sayd I, 'ye may not go so sone.'
'Why so?' quod she, 'and I have fer to go
To yeve warning in many dyvers place
To your felawes, and so to other mo;
And wel ye wot, I have but litel space.'
'Now yet,' quod I, 'ye must tel me this cace,
If we shal any man unto us cal?'
'Not oon,' quod she, 'may come among you al.'
'Not oon,' quod I, 'ey! benedicite!
What have they don? I pray you tel me that!'
'Now, by my lyf, I trow but wel,' quod she;
'But ever I can bileve there is somwhat,
And, for to say you trouth, more can I nat;
In questiouns I may nothing be large,
I medle no further than is my charge.'
'Than thus,' quod I, 'do me to understand,
What place is there this lady is dwelling?'
'Forsothe,' quod she, 'and oon sought al this land,
Fairer is noon, though it were for a king
Devysed wel, and that in every thing.
The toures hy ful plesaunt shul ye find,
With fanes fressh, turning with every wind.
The chambres and parlours both of oo sort,
With bay-windowes, goodly as may be thought,
As for daunsing and other wyse disport;
The galeryes right wonder wel y-wrought,
That I wel wot, if ye were thider brought.
And took good hede therof in every wyse,
Ye wold it thinke a very paradyse.'
'What hight this place?' quod I; 'now say me that.'
'Plesaunt Regard,' quod she, 'to tel you playn.'
'Of verray trouth,' quod I, 'and, wot ye what,
It may right wel be called so, certayn;
But furthermore, this wold I wit ful fayn,
What shulde I do as sone as I come there,
And after whom that I may best enquere?'
'A gentilwoman, a porter at the yate
There shal ye find; her name is Countenaunce;
If it so hap ye come erly or late,
Of her were good to have som acquaintaunce.
She can tel how ye shal you best avaunce,
And how to come to her ladyes presence;
To her wordës I rede you yeve credence.
Now it is tyme that I depart you fro;
For, in good sooth, I have gret businesse.'
'I wot right wel,' quod I, 'that it is so;
And I thank you of your gret gentilnesse.
Your comfort hath yeven me suche hardinesse
That now I shal be bold, withouten fayl,
To do after your ávyse and counsayl.'
Thus parted she, and I lefte al aloon;
With that I saw, as I beheld asyde,
A woman come, a verray goodly oon;
And forth withal, as I had her aspyed,
Me thought anon, [that] it shuld be the gyde;
And of her name anon I did enquere.
Ful womanly she yave me this answere.
'I am,' quod she, 'a simple crëature
Sent from the court; my name is Diligence.
As sone as I might come, I you ensure,
I taried not, after I had licence;
And now that I am come to your presence,
Look, what servyce that I can do or may,
Commaundë me; I can no further say.'
I thanked her, and prayed her to come nere,
Because I wold see how she were arayed;
Her gown was blew, dressed in good manere
With her devyse, her word also, that sayd
Tant que je puis; and I was wel apayd;
For than wist I, withouten any more,
It was ful trew, that I had herd before.
'Though we took now before a litel space,
It were ful good,' quod she, 'as I coud gesse.'
'How fer,' quod I, 'have we unto that place?'
'A dayes journey,' quod she, 'but litel lesse;
Wherfore I redë that we onward dresse;
For, I suppose, our felawship is past,
And for nothing I wold that we were last.'
Than parted we, at springing of the day,
And forth we wente [a] soft and esy pace,
Til, at the last, we were on our journey
So fer onward, that we might see the place.
'Now let us rest,' quod I, 'a litel space,
And say we, as devoutly as we can,
A pater-noster for saint Julian.'
'With al my herte, I assent with good wil;
Much better shul we spede, whan we have don.'
Than taried we, and sayd it every del.
And whan the day was fer gon after noon,
We saw a place, and thider cam we sone,
Which rounde about was closed with a wal,
Seming to me ful lyke an hospital.
Ther found I oon, had brought al myn aray,
A gentilwoman of myn aquaintaunce.
'I have mervayl,' quod I, 'what maner way
Ye had knowlege of al this ordenaunce.'
'Yis, yis,' quod she, 'I herd Perséveraunce,
How she warned your felawes everichon,
And what aray that ye shulde have upon.'
'Now, for my love,' quod I, 'this I you pray,
Sith ye have take upon you al the payn,
That ye wold helpe me on with myn aray;
For wit ye wel, I wold be gon ful fayn.'
'Al this prayer nedeth not, certayn;'
Quod she agayn; 'com of, and hy you sone,
And ye shal see how wel it shal be doon.'
'But this I dout me greetly, wot ye what,
That my felawes ben passed by and gon.'
'I warant you,' quod she, 'that ar they nat;
For here they shul assemble everichon.
Notwithstanding, I counsail you anon;
Mak you redy, and tary ye no more,
It is no harm, though ye be there afore.'
So than I dressed me in myn aray,
And asked her, whether it were wel or no?
'It is right wel,' quod she, 'unto my pay;
Ye nede not care to what place ever ye go.'
And whyl that she and I debated so,
Cam Diligence, and saw me al in blew:
'Sister,' quod she, 'right wel brouk ye your new!'
Than went we forth, and met at aventure
A yong woman, an officer seming:
'What is your name,' quod I, 'good crëature?'
'Discrecioun,' quod she, 'without lesing.'
'And where,' quod I, 'is your most abyding?'
'I have,' quod she, 'this office of purchace,
Cheef purveyour, that longeth to this place.'
'Fair love,' quod I, 'in al your ordenaunce,
What is her name that is the herbegere?'
'For sothe,' quod she, 'her name is Acquaintaunce,
A woman of right gracious manere.'
Than thus quod I, 'What straungers have ye here?'
'But few,' quod she, 'of high degree ne low;
Ye be the first, as ferforth as I know.'
Thus with talës we cam streight to the yate;
This yong woman departed was and gon;
Cam Diligence, and knokked fast therat;
'Who is without?' quod Countenaunce anon.
'Trewly,' quod I, 'fair sister, here is oon!'
'Which oon?' quod she, and therwithal she lough;
'I, Diligence! ye know me wel ynough.'
Than opened she the yate, and in we go;
With wordës fair she sayd ful gentilly,
'Ye are welcome, ywis! are ye no mo?'
'Nat oon,' quod she, 'save this woman and I.'
'Now than,' quod she, 'I pray yow hertely,
Tak my chambre, as for a whyl, to rest
Til your felawës come, I holde it best.'
I thanked her, and forth we gon echon
Til her chambre, without[en] wordës mo.
Cam Diligence, and took her leve anon;
'Wher-ever you list,' quod I, 'now may ye go;
And I thank you right hertely also
Of your labour, for which god do you meed;
I can no more, but Jesu be your speed!'
Than Countenauncë asked me anon,
'Your felawship, where ben they now?' quod she.
'For sothe,' quod I, 'they be coming echon;
But in certayn, I know nat wher they be,
Without I may hem at this window see.
Here wil I stande, awaytinge ever among,
For, wel I wot, they wil nat now be long.'
Thus as I stood musing ful busily,
I thought to take good hede of her aray,
Her gown was blew, this wot I verely,
Of good fasoun, and furred wel with gray;
Upon her sleve her word (this is no nay),
Which sayd thus, as my pennë can endyte,
A moi que je voy, writen with lettres whyte.
Than forth withal she cam streight unto me,
'Your word,' quod she, 'fayn wold I that I knew.'
'Forsothe,' quod I, 'ye shal wel knowe and see,
And for my word, I have non; this is trew.
It is ynough that my clothing be blew,
As here-before I had commaundëment;
And so to do I am right wel content.
But tel me this, I pray you hertely,
The steward here, say me, what is her name?'
'She hight Largesse, I say you suërly;
A fair lady, and of right noble fame.
Whan ye her see, ye wil report the same.
And under her, to bid you welcome al,
There is Belchere, the marshal of the hall.
Now al this whyle that ye here tary stil,
Your own maters ye may wel have in mind.
But tel me this, have ye brought any bil?'
'Ye, ye,' quod I, 'or els I were behind.
Where is there oon, tel me, that I may find
To whom that I may shewe my matters playn?'
'Surely,' quod she, 'unto the chamberlayn.'
'The chamberlayn?' quod I, '[now] say ye trew?'
'Ye, verely,' sayd she, 'by myne advyse;
Be nat aferd; unto her lowly sew.'
'It shal be don,' quod I, 'as ye devyse;
But ye must knowe her name in any wyse?'
'Trewly,' quod she, 'to tell you in substaunce,
Without fayning, her name is Remembraunce.
The secretary yit may not be forget;
For she may do right moche in every thing.
Wherfore I rede, whan ye have with her met,
Your mater hool tel her, without fayning;
Ye shal her finde ful good and ful loving.'
'Tel me her name,' quod I, 'of gentilnesse.'
'By my good sooth,' quod she, 'Avysënesse.'
'That name,' quod I, 'for her is passing good;
For every bil and cedule she must see;
Now good,' quod I, 'com, stand there-as I stood;
My felawes be coming; yonder they be.'
'Is it [a] jape, or say ye sooth?' quod she.
'In jape? nay, nay; I say you for certain;
See how they come togider, twain and twain!'
'Ye say ful sooth,' quod she, 'that is no nay;
I see coming a goodly company.'
'They been such folk,' quod I, 'I dar wel say,
That list to love; thinke it ful verily.
And, for my love, I pray you faithfully,
At any tyme, whan they upon you cal,
That ye wol be good frend unto hem al.'
'Of my frendship,' quod she, 'they shal nat mis,
And for their ese, to put therto my payn.'
'God yelde it you!' quod I; 'but tel me this,
How shal we know who is the chamberlayn?'
'That shal ye wel know by her word, certayn.'
'What is her word? Sister, I pray you say.'
'Plus ne purroy; thus wryteth she alway.'
Thus as we stood togider, she and I,
Even at the yate my felawes were echon.
So met I hem, as me thought was goodly,
And bad hem welcome al, by on and on.
Than forth cam [lady] Countenaunce anon;
'Ful hertely, fair sisters al,' quod she,
'Ye be right welcome into this countree.
I counsail you to take a litel rest
In my chambre, if it be your plesaunce.
Whan ye be there, me thinketh for the best
That I go in, and cal Perséveraunce,
Because she is oon of your aquaintaunce;
And she also wil tel you every thing
How ye shal be ruled of your coming.'
My felawes al and I, by oon avyse,
Were wel agreed to do lyke as she sayd.
Than we began to dresse us in our gyse,
That folk shuld see we were nat unpurvayd;
And good wageours among us there we layd,
Which of us was atyred goodliest,
And of us al which shuld be praysed best.
The porter cam, and brought Perséveraunce;
She welcomed us in ful curteys manere:
'Think ye nat long,' quod she, 'your attendaunce;
I wil go speke unto the herbergere,
That she may purvey for your logging here.
Than wil I go unto the chamberlayn
To speke for you, and come anon agayn.'
And whan [that] she departed was and gon,
We saw folkës coming without the wal,
So greet people, that nombre coud we non;
Ladyes they were and gentilwomen al,
Clothed in blew, echon her word withal;
But for to knowe her word or her devyse,
They cam so thikke, that I might in no wyse.
With that anon cam in Perséveraunce,
And where I stood, she cam streight [un]to me.
'Ye been,' quod she, 'of myne olde acquaintaunce;
You to enquere, the bolder wolde I be;
What word they bere, eche after her degree,
I pray you, tel it me in secret wyse;
And I shal kepe it close, on warantyse.'
'We been,' quod I, 'fyve ladies al in-fere,
And gentilwomen foure in company;
Whan they begin to open hir matere,
Than shal ye knowe hir wordës by and by;
But as for me, I have non verely,
And so I told Countenaunce here-before;
Al myne aray is blew; what nedeth more?'
'Now than,' quod she, 'I wol go in agayn,
That ye may have knowlege, what ye shuld do.'
'In sooth,' quod I, 'if ye wold take the payn,
Ye did right moch for us, if ye did so.
The rather sped, the soner may we go.
Gret cost alway ther is in tarying;
And long to sewe, it is a wery thing.'
Than parted she, and cam again anon;
'Ye must,' quod she, 'come to the chamberlayn.'
'We been,' quod I, 'now redy everichon
To folowe you whan-ever ye list, certayn.
We have non eloquence, to tel you playn;
Beseching you we may be so excused,
Our trew mening, that it be not refused.'
Than went we forth, after Perséveraunce,
To see the prees; it was a wonder cace;
There for to passe it was greet comb[e]raunce,
The people stood so thikke in every place.
'Now stand ye stil,' quod she, 'a litel space;
And for your ese somwhat I shal assay,
If I can make you any better way.'
And forth she goth among hem everichon,
Making a way, that we might thorugh pas
More at our ese; and whan she had so don,
She beckned us to come where-as she was;
So after her we folowed, more and las.
She brought us streight unto the chamberlayn;
There left she us, and than she went agayn.
We salued her, as reson wolde it so,
Ful humb[el]ly beseching her goodnesse,
In our maters that we had for to do
That she wold be good lady and maistresse.
'Ye be welcome,' quod she, 'in sothfastnesse,
And see, what I can do you for to plese,
I am redy, that may be to your ese.'
We folowed her unto the chambre-dore,
'Sisters,' quod she, 'come ye in after me.'
But wite ye wel, there was a paved flore,
The goodliest that any wight might see;
And furthermore, about than loked we
On eche corner, and upon every wal,
The which was mad of berel and cristal;
Wherein was graven of stories many oon;
First how Phyllis, of womanly pitè,
Deyd pitously, for love of Demophoon.
Nexte after was the story of Tisbee,
How she slew her-self under a tree.
Yet saw I more, how in right pitous cas
For Antony was slayn Cleopatras.
That other syde was, how Hawes the shene
Untrewly was disceyved in her bayn.
There was also Annelida the quene,
Upon Arcyte how sore she did complayn.
Al these stories were graved there, certayn;
And many mo than I reherce you here;
It were to long to tel you al in-fere.
And, bicause the wallës shone so bright,
With fyne umple they were al over-sprad,
To that intent, folk shuld nat hurte hir sight;
And thorugh it the stories might be rad.
Than furthermore I went, as I was lad;
And there I saw, without[en] any fayl,
A chayrë set, with ful riche aparayl.
And fyve stages it was set fro the ground,
Of cassidony ful curiously wrought;
With four pomelles of golde, and very round,
Set with saphyrs, as good as coud be thought;
That, wot ye what, if it were thorugh sought,
As I suppose, fro this countrey til Inde,
Another suche it were right fer to finde!
For, wite ye wel, I was right nere that,
So as I durst, beholding by and by;
Above ther was a riche cloth of estate,
Wrought with the nedle ful straungëly,
Her word thereon; and thus it said trewly,
A endurer, to tel you in wordës few,
With grete letters, the better I hem knew.
Thus as we stode, a dore opened anon;
A gentilwoman, semely of stature,
Beringe a mace, cam out, her-selfe aloon;
Sothly, me thought, a goodly crëature!
She spak nothing to lowde, I you ensure,
Nor hastily, but with goodly warning:
'Mak room,' quod she, 'my lady is coming!'
With that anon I saw Perséveraunce,
How she held up the tapet in her hand.
I saw also, in right good ordinaunce,
This greet lady within the tapet stand,
Coming outward, I wol ye understand;
And after her a noble company,
I coud nat tel the nombre sikerly.
Of their namës I wold nothing enquere
Further than suche as we wold sewe unto,
Sauf oo lady, which was the chauncellere,
Attemperaunce; sothly her name was so.
For us nedeth with her have moch to do
In our maters, and alway more and more.
And, so forth, to tel you furthermore,
Of this lady her beautè to discryve,
My conning is to simple, verely;
For never yet, the dayës of my lyve,
So inly fair I have non seen, trewly.
In her estate, assured utterly,
There wanted naught, I dare you wel assure,
That longed to a goodly crëature.
And furthermore, to speke of her aray,
I shal you tel the maner of her gown;
Of clothe of gold ful riche, it is no nay;
The colour blew, of a right good fasoun;
In tabard-wyse the slevës hanging doun;
And what purfyl there was, and in what wyse,
So as I can, I shal it you devyse.
After a sort the coller and the vent,
Lyk as ermyne is mad in purfeling;
With grete perlës, ful fyne and orient,
They were couchèd, al after oon worching,
With dyamonds in stede of powdering;
The slevës and purfilles of assyse;
They were [y-]mad [ful] lyke, in every wyse.
Aboute her nekke a sort of fair rubyes,
In whyte floures of right fyne enamayl;
Upon her heed, set in the freshest wyse,
A cercle with gret balays of entayl;
That, in ernest to speke, withouten fayl,
For yonge and olde, and every maner age,
It was a world to loke on her visage.
Thus coming forth, to sit in her estat,
In her presence we kneled down echon,
Presentinge up our billes, and, wot ye what,
Ful humb[el]ly she took hem, by on and on;
When we had don, than cam they al anon,
And did the same, eche after her manere,
Knelinge at ones, and rysinge al in-fere.
Whan this was don, and she set in her place,
The chamberlayn she did unto her cal;
And she, goodly coming til her a-pace,
Of her entent knowing nothing at al,
'Voyd bak the prees,' quod she, 'up to the wal;
Mak larger roum, but look ye do not tary,
And tak these billës to the secretary.'
The chamberlayn did her commaundëment,
And cam agayn, as she was bid to do;
The secretary there being present,
The billës were delivered her also,
Not only ours, but many other mo.
Than the lady, with good advyce, agayn
Anon withal called her chamberlayn.
'We wol,' quod she, 'the first thing that ye do,
The secretary, make her come anon
With her billës; and thus we wil also,
In our presence she rede hem everichon,
That we may takë good advyce theron
Of the ladyes, that been of our counsayl;
Look this be don, withouten any fayl.'
The chamberlayn, whan she wiste her entent,
Anon she did the secretary cal:
'Let your billës,' quod she, 'be here present,
My lady it wil.' 'Madame,' quod she, 'I shal.'
'And in presence she wil ye rede hem al.'
'With good wil; I am redy,' quod she,
'At her plesure, whan she commaundeth me.'
And upon that was mad an ordinaunce,
They that cam first, hir billës shuld be red.
Ful gentelly than sayd Perséveraunce,
'Resoun it wold that they were sonest sped.'
Anon withal, upon a tapet spred,
The secretary layde hem doun echon;
Our billës first she redde hem on by on.
The first lady, bering in her devyse
Sans que jamais, thus wroot she in her bil;
Complayning sore and in ful pitous wyse
Of promesse mad with faithful hert and wil
And so broken, ayenst al maner skil,
Without desert alwayes on her party;
In this mater desyring remedy.
Her next felawës word was in this wyse,
Une sanz chaungier; and thus she did complayn,
Though she had been guerdoned for her servyce,
Yet nothing lyke as she that took the payn;
Wherfore she coude in no wyse her restrayn,
But in this cas sewe until her presence,
As reson woldë, to have recompence.
So furthermore, to speke of other twayn,
Oon of hem wroot, after her fantasy,
Oncques puis lever; and, for to tel you plain,
Her complaynt was ful pitous, verely,
For, as she sayd, ther was gret reson why;
And, as I can remembre this matere,
I shal you tel the proces, al in-fere.
Her bil was mad, complayninge in her gyse,
That of her joy, her comfort and gladnesse
Was no suretee; for in no maner wyse
She fond therin no point of stablenesse,
Now il, now wel, out of al sikernesse;
Ful humbelly desyringe, of her grace,
Som remedy to shewe her in this cace.
Her felawe made her bil, and thus she sayd,
In playning wyse; there-as she loved best,
Whether she were wroth or wel apayd
She might nat see, whan [that] she wold faynest;
And wroth she was, in very ernest;
To tel her word, as ferforth as I wot,
Entierment vostre, right thus she wroot.
And upon that she made a greet request
With herte and wil, and al that might be don
As until her that might redresse it best;
For in her mind thus might she finde it sone,
The remedy of that, which was her boon;
Rehersing [that] that she had sayd before,
Beseching her it might be so no more.
And in lyk wyse as they had don before,
The gentilwomen of our company
Put up hir billës; and, for to tel you more,
Oon of hem wroot cest sanz dire, verily;
And her matere hool to specify,
With-in her bil she put it in wryting;
And what it sayd, ye shal have knowleching.
It sayd, god wot, and that ful pitously,
Lyke as she was disposed in her hert,
No misfortune that she took grevously;
Al oon to her it was, the joy and smert,
Somtyme no thank for al her good desert.
Other comfort she wanted non coming,
And so used, it greved her nothing.
Desyringe her, and lowly béseching,
That she for her wold seke a better way,
As she that had ben, al her dayes living,
Stedfast and trew, and so wil be alway.
Of her felawe somwhat I shal you say,
Whos bil was red next after forth, withal;
And what it ment rehersen you I shal.
En dieu est, she wroot in her devyse;
And thus she sayd, withouten any fayl,
Her trouthë might be taken in no wyse
Lyke as she thought, wherfore she had mervayl;
For trouth somtyme was wont to take avayl
In every matere; but al that is ago;
The more pitè, that it is suffred so.
Moch more there was, whereof she shuld complayn,
But she thought it to greet encomb[e]raunce
So moch to wryte; and therfore, in certayn,
In god and her she put her affiaunce
As in her worde is mad a remembraunce;
Beseching her that she wolde, in this cace,
Shewe unto her the favour of her grace.
The third, she wroot, rehersing her grevaunce,
Ye! wot ye what, a pitous thing to here;
For, as me thought, she felt gret displesaunce,
Oon might right wel perceyve it by her chere,
And no wonder; it sat her passing nere.
Yet loth she was to put it in wryting,
But nede wol have his cours in every thing.
Soyes en sure, this was her word, certayn,
And thus she wroot, but in a litel space;
There she lovëd, her labour was in vayn,
For he was set al in another place;
Ful humblely desyring, in that cace,
Som good comfort, her sorow to appese,
That she might livë more at hertes ese.
The fourth surely, me thought, she liked wele,
As in her porte and in her behaving;
And Bien moneste, as fer as I coud fele,
That was her word, til her wel belonging.
Wherfore to her she prayed, above al thing,
Ful hertely (to say you in substaunce)
That she wold sende her good continuaunce.
'Ye have rehersed me these billës al,
But now, let see somwhat of your entent.'
'It may so hap, paraventure, ye shal.
Now I pray you, whyle I am here present,
Ye shal, pardè, have knowlege, what I ment.
But thus I say in trouthe, and make no fable,
The case itself is inly lamentable.
And wel I wot, that ye wol think the same,
Lyke as I say, whan ye have herd my bil.'
'Now good, tel on, I hate you, by saynt Jame!'
'Abyde a whyle; it is nat yet my wil.
Yet must ye wite, by reson and by skil,
Sith ye know al that hath be don before:—'
And thus it sayd, without[en] wordes more.
'Nothing so leef as deth to come to me
For fynal ende of my sorowes and payn;
What shulde I more desyre, as semë ye?
And ye knewe al aforn it for certayn,
I wot ye wolde; and, for to tel you playn,
Without her help that hath al thing in cure
I can nat think that I may longe endure.
As for my trouthe, it hath be proved wele,
To say the sothe, I can [you] say no more,
Of ful long tyme, and suffred every dele
In pacience, and kepe it al in store;
Of her goodnesse besechinge her therfore
That I might have my thank in suche [a] wyse
As my desert deserveth of justyse.'
Whan these billës were rad everichon,
This lady took a good advysement;
And hem to answere, ech by on and on,
She thought it was to moche in her entent;
Wherfore she yaf hem in commaundëment,
In her presence to come, bothe oon and al,
To yeve hem there her answer general.
What did she than, suppose ye verely?
She spak herself, and sayd in this manere,
'We have wel seen your billës by and by,
And some of hem ful pitous for to here.
We wol therfore ye knowe al this in-fere,
Within short tyme our court of parliment
Here shal be holde, in our palays present;
And in al this wherin ye find you greved,
Ther shal ye finde an open remedy
In suche [a] wyse, as ye shul be releved
Of al that ye reherce here, thoroughly.
As for the date, ye shul know verily,
That ye may have a space in your coming;
For Diligence shal it tel you by wryting.'
We thanked her in our most humble wyse,
Our felauship, echon by oon assent,
Submitting us lowly til her servyse.
For, as we thought, we had our travayl spent
In suche [a] wyse as we helde us content.
Than eche of us took other by the sleve,
And forth withal, as we shuld take our leve.
Al sodainly the water sprang anon
In my visage, and therwithal I wook:—
'Where am I now?' thought I; 'al this is gon;'
And al amased, up I gan to look.
With that, anon I went and made this book,
Thus simplely rehersing the substaunce,
Bicause it shuld not out of remembraunce.'—
'Now verily, your dreem is passing good,
And worthy to be had in rémembraunce;
For, though I stande here as longe as I stood,
It shuld to me be non encomb[e]raunce;
I took therin so inly greet plesaunce.
But tel me now, what ye the book do cal?
For I must wite.' 'With right good wil ye shal:
As for this book, to say you very right,
And of the name to tel the certeyntè,
L'assemblè de Dames, thus it hight;
How think ye?' 'That the name is good, pardè!'
'Now go, farwel! for they cal after me,
My felawes al, and I must after sone;
Rede wel my dreem; for now my tale is doon.'
Here endeth the Book of Assemble de Damys.
~ Anonymous Olde English
480:Here Begynneth A Lyttell Treatyse Cleped La
Conusaunce Damours
Forth gone the virgyns euerychone
Replet with ioye/and eke felicite
To gether floures. And some vnto one
Haue more fantasy/whan they it se
Than to all that in the medowes be
Another shall incontrary wyse
Gether other after theyr deuyse.
So done clerkes/of great grauite
Chose maters/wheron they lyst to wryte
But I that am of small capacite
Toke on me this treatyse to endyte
Tauoyde ydelnesse/more than for delyte
And most parte therof/tolde was to me
As here after/ye may rede and se.
Thus endeth the prologue.
The thyrde idus/in the moneth of July
Phebus his beames/lustryng euery way
Gladdynge the hartes/of all our Hemyspery
And mouynge many/vnto sporte and playe
So dyd it me/the treuthe for to saye
To walke forth/I had great inclination
Per chaunce some where/to fynde recreation
And as I walked/ever I dyd beholde
Goodly yonge people/that them encouraged
In suche maner wyse/as though they wolde
Ryght gladly have songe or daunsed
Or els some other gorgious thynge deuysed
Whose demeanynge/made me ryght ioyous
For to beholde/theyr dedes amorous.
To wryte all thynges of plesure/that I se
In euery place/where I passed by
In all a day recunted it can nat be
Who coude discryue the fresshe beauty
Of dames and pusels/attyred gorgiously
So swete of loke/so amiable of face
Smilyng doulcely/on suche as stande in grace
Certaynly theyr boute/and curtesy
Ofte moueth me/for to do my payne
Some thynge to wryte/them to magnifye
Aboue the sterres. But ay I may complayne
Ignoraunce/gouerneth so my brayne
That I ne dare/for nothynge presume
Out of my mouthe/to blowe suche a fume
It is a laboure/great and hyedous
Requirynge study/and moche experience
For my shulders/it is to ponderous
Whiche am priuate/of suche condigne science
It is for a man/of hygh eloquence
And worthynes/fame and memorie
So noble a thynge/to laude and magnifie.
But nowe to purpose/where I began
Walkyng abrode/wandryng to and fro
Beynge alone/with me was no man
Sodaynly/came in my mynde to go
Se. A faire pusell/and two or thre mo
Of her companions. This was myn entent
And by and by/forth thetherwarde I went.
Whan I came there/I founde at the dore
A dammusell/standyng all alone
Who I dyd salute/and ferthermore
Of her demaunded I/curtesly anone
Gentyll mayde where is your companion?
Syr she sayd (her hart on a mery pyn)
ye be welcome. she is nat nowe within
But by her faire/and swete countenance
I perceyued lyghtly/what she ment
Dame daunger moued her to that daliaunce
But Desyre bad me go. and in I went
And sodaynly/by the hand me hent
This most curtes mayde/who I went to se
Sayenge welcome/most derely vnto me.
And by the hande/than as she me had
In we went/talkynge joyously
Into a goodly parler/she me lad
And caused me to sytte/curtesly
Than vnto vs/came shortly by and by
Another/that me swetely dyd welcome
Bryngyng fresshe floures/and gave me some.
Than we began/to talke and deuyse
Of one and other/of olde acqueyntaunce
For comonly/of maydens is the gyse
Somtyme to demaunde for pastaunce
If that a man be in loues daunce
Or stande in grace/of any dammusell
Under suche maner/in talkynge we fell
We spake of loue/yet none of vs all
Knoweth perfectly/what loue shulde be
The one affyrmed/people veneriall
Folowynge the course/of their natiuite
Endure great sorowe/and moche aduersite
And many suffre/suche peyne and turment
That as mad folke/them selfe all to rent
Thus sayd one/and vp helde it styffely
That loue was of suche maner nature
That it myght rather be called a mad fury
Than any maner thynge of pleasure
To whiche wordes/thother mayden demure
Replyed. Prayeng vs/to gyue her licence
In this matter/to shewe forth her sentence
Gladly (we sayd (therto we assent
In this to here/your opinion
Forsoth (sayd she) ye shall nat be myscontent
All though therin/I make obiection
Where as nowe/ye haue made conclusion
Sayeng loue was a fury or a madnesse
Without all grauite/measure/or sadnesse
Nay surely/your reason is defectyue
For this ye knowe very perfectly
That they that loue/and hate for to stryue
Lyue a thousande tymes more quietly
Than they/that hate eche other mortally
For where as is no loue/nor tranquillite
There is myschef/langour/and all aduersite.
Loue is the very true manocorde
That euery wyght shulde harpe vpon
Louyng well eche other by very concorde
To this reason/byndeth vs euerychone
And this maner loue/is nat in vs alone
For bestes that haue/sence and vnderstandynge
By companies go/to gether right louynge
Whiche doyng I repute very perfect loue
Whan by no crafte/nor male engyn
From their amite/wyll nat remoue
The one to socour other shall neuer blyn
Who can depart true louyng folkes at wyn?
Father/children/and frendes of aliaunce/
And good neyghbours helpe other i eche chauce.
This maner frendshyp/very loue I call
Other than this/or lyke no man can fynde
Abyde (sayd the other) I thynke ye shall
Here my reason/contrary to your mynde
I trowe none hence to the lande of Inde
Can be founde. Whiche hath nat tasted
Other loue/than ye haue nowe rehersed
Harde you neuer tell/of yonge Pyramus/
And his swete loue/called fayre Thysby:
In all Babylon/the moost swete and gracious
Bothe shynyng/full of fresshe beauty
Dwellynge also/togyder very nye
Wherby the more/as I haue herde tell
Fro day to day/in feruent loue they fell
They wold both/ryght fayne haue bespoused
After suche lawe/as in that tyme they vse
But by theyr parentes/they were alway letted
Who of theyr myschief/I may well accuse
Neuer wolde one/the other of them refuse
The strayter they were kept/and inclosed
The more feruently/in loue they burned
And whan they coude nat to gyther speke
They made signes/tokyn and lokynge
By suche meanes/theyr myndz wolde they breke
That one of other had perfect vnderstandynge
Nowe it happed/as loue is euer sekynge
To fynde remedye/what therof befall
So at last they founde/a chenke in a wall
At whiche place/oft these louers two
Mette and talked/of their wo and payne
Many tymes/theder wolde they go
And on the wall/piteously complayne
That he stode/betwene them louers twayne
Nat openyng to them so moche space
To come to gether/eche other to enbrace
These and like wordes/ofte wolde they say
O enuious wall certes thou doest amysse
If thou wylt nat suffre/that we may
Ioyne our bodies/suffre vs to kysse
Agaynst the/we neuer dyd amysse
Wherfore be nat thou/to vs vnkynde
Opyn thy selfe/and obey to our mynde.
And whan they shulde part eche other fro
They toke leaue/and that ryght curtesly
yet alway/before or they wolde go
On eche syde/they kyst the wall swetely
Syghyng a lytell/very amorously
So wolde they stande/all many a longe nyght
Tyll Aurora/exild them with her lyght
And whan Phebus gan/his bemes downespred
Dryeng vp the dewes/in the medowes grene
Than wolde they stele priuely to bed
That they shulde/of no persone be sene
Where most of all/theyr sorowe sharpe and kene
At the hart/gan to prycke a pace
That they ne coude/rest in any place.
Nowe languysshe they/with syghes profoude
Nowe sorowe they/nowe they turne and wynde
Nowe fresshely bledeth/their incurable woude
Nowe cast they/right busely in mynde
Nowe they may/some crafte and maner fynde
Theyr kepers to deceyue/by some wyle
And to stele out/in the nyght by gyle.
After they had/fixed theyr myndes heron
They agreed/at theyr metyng place
That they wolde/into the feldes gon
The next nyght/and mete at a certayn place
And which, of them two/were first per case
Theder come/shulde no ferther go
Tyll the other/were ycome also.
Their metyng place/I vnderstande shulde be
At the supulchre/or tombe of kyng Ninus
(Kyng of Assiriens) vnder a goodly hye tre
Bearyng white aples/the tre cleped Morus
Growyng fast by/a fountayne delicious
In the sayd place/couenaunted to mete
yonge Pyram/and gracious Thysby swete.
Whan the longe day/was gone and past
And nyght come/every thynge at rest
The tendre mayde/hyed her ryght fast
To the dore she goth/redely and prest
And put therto/her doulce and softe brest
Openynge itso/for feare lest it shulde crake
And therwith/some of her kepars wake.
So out at the dore/gote preuely is she
And through the towne/alone is went
Into the fyldes/towarde the foresayd tre
O swete Thysbe/howe true was your entent
Howe curtesly your hart dyd assent
For the loue of gentyll Pyramus
To enterprise/a thynge so perillous.
Myghty loues power/here may we beholde
Proued on this goodly damosell
What but loue coude make her so bolde?
She feared nat/the sauage beestes fell
Wherto shulde I any longer dwell?
Upon her way she went styll apace
Castyng euer/towarde the appointed place.
One myght demaunde/who was her gyde
Bycause it was in the quyet nyght
I answere none/but the hygh lorde Cupide
Whose souerayne puysaunce/and great myght
Turneth obscure darkenesse/vnto lyght
He leadeth folkes/that way as he wyll
In great parilles/redy for to spyll.
So this lorde/of his myght and grace
Conduced Thysbe/in the wylde felde
Tyll she came vnto the foresayd place
Where she sate downe/vnder Morus selde
And as she sate/a ferre of she behelde
Towarde the wode/by lyght of the mone
A lyonesse/whiche towarde her dyd come.
This lyones/in the wode had slayne
A beest before/and deuoured hym also
And came to drynke/at the sayd fountayne
Where Thysbe sate alone with her no mo
For feare wherof/lyghtly she to go
Into a denne/that was there besyde
Swete Thysbe ran/her for to hyde.
(In moche perill/and great ieopardye
Thysbe was brought/by this sodayne fraye
For in that denne/wylde beestes vsed to lye)
For hast she fell/her kerchefe by the way
Whiche the lyones (as I haue harde say)
Founde. And in her blody mouthe toke
Rent/tore/and out agayne it shoke.
Than forthwith she ran into the wode
And as soone as euer she was gone
Pyram came/and founde the cloth all blode
His hart gan to be/as colde as any stone
Sayeng these wordes/with most pitous mone
O nyght thou losest/and art distruction
Of two yonge louers of Babylon.
Of whiche two/she that most worthy was
For to haue lyued/is deed fyrst of all
I am the cause/swete Thysbe (her alas)
That you ben slayne/of this beest truculentall
If I had come fyrst/than had it nat befall
O wretche that I am/to suffre swete Thysbe
To come alone/and here for to dye.
O ye moost cruell/and rabbysshe lions fell
Come nowe and teare/the corps of Pyramus
ye sauage beestes/that in these rockes dwell
If blode to you be so delicious
Come and gnawe/my wretched body dolorous
And on the kerchef/with face pale and tryst
He loked ofte/and it right swetely kyst.
With deedly syghes/his swerde out he drewe
Under the vmbre/of the forsayd tre
Wherwith shortly/hym owne selfe he slewe
Sayeng/take drynke nowe the blode of me
With whiche stroke/the blode (as it had be
Water spoutynge/out of a condite heed)
Spouted vp/whan he fell downe deed.
And with the blode/in suche wyse sprynklyng
The frute of the tre/whiche that before
Was white. Turned as blacke as any thynge
And the blode/that sanke to the more
Depeinted it/a fayre purple colore
Whiche vnto this day/so remayne
But nowe to Thysby/turne I wyll agayne.
All though her feare were neuer the las
yet bycause she wolde nat breke promesse
She came softly/towarde thappoynted place
Bothe mynde and eye/lokyng without cesse
For yonge Pyram/the floure of gentylnesse
She loked euer/her swete hart to se
Tyll she approched/and came vnder the tre.
Whan she behelde/the transformacion
Of the tre. She was right sore abasshed
And bycause it was in suche condicion
She thought it was nat/the place appoynted
But at last/as she more nerer loked
She sawe a corps/vpon the grounde lye
Newly slayne/tremblyng and all blody.
Wherwith she gan/to be as pale as leed
And stepped backe/a lyttell sodaynly
Incontinent she perceyued the corps deed
Was her owne swete hart/the noble Pyramy
O howe she gan moost piteously to crye
Her handes strayne/and her fyngers wrynge
Enragiously/her armes out castynge.
She rent and tore/her goodly youlowe heare
And toke the corps/in her armes twayne
Desperously/wepynge many a teare
Amonge the blode/of her louer slayne
Her bytter teares/lay as thycke as rayne
And ofte she kyssed/his deedly colde visage
Styll cryeng/as though she wolde enrage.
O swete Pyram/who hath taken you me fro?
O curtesse Pyram/speke nowe vnto me
I am thyn owne Thysby/full of wo
Here thy dere loue/that speketh vnto the
Lyfte ones vp thyn eyes Pyram me to se
And as she lay/this tomblyng on the grounde
At longe her kerchefe/in the blode she founde
Than she knewe/howe he deceyued was
By the kerchefe/and the lyonesse
Agayne she cryed/o Pyram her alas
For my loue/doure of gentylnesse
Haue slayne your selfe/in peinfull distresse
O swete Pyram/syth it is for my sake
Of my dolorous lyfe/suche ende shall I make.
Of ioye with you/parttaker haue I be
What tyme ye lyued/most curtes Pyramus
Shulde deth thau departe you and me?
With you to dye/I am ryght desyrous
O parentz parentz/of our deth reous
To you our bodyes/I bequeth and take
To bury togyther/for neuer we shall forsake.
O miserable tre/with thy bowes longe
Coueryng nowe/lyeng deed on the grounde
The noble Pyram/that whilom was so strouge
Thou shalt anone/of suche another wounde
Couer my corps. And in a littell stounde
She pulled the swerde out of Pyramy
And therwith slewe herselfe pyteously.
Than the damosell/that the storie tolde
Sygheh softe/and loked me vpon
Wherwith ye teares/downe on her chekes rolde
She had of theyr deth/so great compassion
That she was stryken in cogitacion
And stode a whyle/as one had ben dismayde
And these wordes/after to vs she sayd
The damosell.
O curtes Pyram/and swete Thysbe also
Herde was your fortune and destanye
your pitous deth/maketh myn hert wo
yet me thynke/I se your bodies lye
The tre and fountayne/ryght sorowfully
Unto this day/wepe and complayne
The lamentable dethe/of you louers twayne.
Here was true loue/who can it deny?
Here were the burnyng sparcles of Cupyde
Here were two hertes/closed in one truly
Here were two louers/nat swaruyng asyde
O cursed lyonesse/wo mote the betyde
Thou were the cause/that these louers twayne
Were so soone/thus miserably slayne.
O ye parentes/of these louers two
Why suffred you them/so for to spyll?
ye caused them/thether for to go
Wherof succeded/all their myschiefe and yll
ye myght haue had your goodly children styll
If ye had done/as reason doth require
To marry them/after theyr desyre.
These gentyls dyd/as christens nowe a day
Moost comonly/vse for to do
Whiche no doubt is/a moche cursed way
And causer of many yuels also
They marry/without consent of the two
Whiche mariage is nat worth an hawe
Damnable/and eke ayenst the lawe.
For to receyue this hygh sacrament
Is required moche solemnite
But one moost speciall/that is fre assent
Of both persones/of hye and lowe degre
Without whiche/mariage can nat be
Perfectly allowed/before the glorious face
Of the hygh god/in the celestiall place.
Whan two maried/ayenst their myndes be
What is the very true consequens?
Contynuall discorde/moost comenly wese
Braulyng/chidyng/and other inconuenience
And another/moost poysonfull pestilence
For therof right ofte/aduoutry doth succede
Murdre/and many a myscheuous dede.
We se oft tymes/whan two to gether come
By great loue/and longe continuaunce
yet of suche/there haue ben founde some
Whiche dayly haue ben at distaunce
To them selfe/and other great noyaunce
And coude by no meanes/togyther agre
And by deuorse/departed haue they be.
Than moche sooner/suche as by compulsion
Ben spoused/agaynst theyr owne fre wyll
Shulde nat do well. But to make relacion
Particlerly/of all and euery yll
That clamdestinat mariage doth fulfyll
I shulde than/to longe tary you twayne
Where I was/turne I shall agayne
Before this tyme/you bothe haue harde tell
Of the trojan knyght/called Troylus
And of Creseide/the goodly damosell
On whom he was so depely amorous
For whom he was/so heuy and dolorous
That had nat ben Pandare/his trusty frende
Of his lyfe/he had lyghtly made an ende.
For one syght he had/of that fresshe may
As he walked within the temple wyde
He loked as his hart/had ben pulde away
And coude nat moche longer there abyde
The fyrie dart/of the hygh lorde Cupyde
Had made in hym/so great and large a wounde
That lytell lacked/he fell nat to the grounde.
There was none so expert phisician
That coude cure or helpe his maladye
To serche the wounde/myght no surgian
It was impossible/to come therby
None coude cure/saue the faire lady
Creseide. On whom he loked oft
Syghyng depe/and gronyng lowe and softe.
What shulde I herof/longer processe make
Theyr great loue is wrytten all at longe
And howe he dyed onely for her sake
Out ornate Chaucer/other bokes amonge
In his lyfe dayes/dyd vnderfonge
To translate:and that most plesantly
Touchyng the mater/of the sayd story.
Of Cannace/somwhat wyll I tell
And of her brother/cleped Machareus
Howe Aeolous/her father ryght cruell
Made her dye a deth full pitous
But first she wrote/a pistoll dolorous
To her brother/of her wofull chaunce
These were her wordes to my remembraunce.
Cannace doughter/of Aeolous the kynge
Greteth Machare/her owne brother dere
In owne hande/a naked swerde holdynge
With the other writyng/as doth appere
In this epistoll that she sendeth here
Howe by naught els saue deth she can fynde
To content her fathers cruell mynde.
O my father most innaturall
This swerde to me his daughter hath he sende
With whiche swerde/shortly anone I shall
Of my lyfe and sorowe make an ende
To other pite/he wyll nat condiscende
Wherfore his fierce mynde to content
To slee my selfe I must nedes assent.
Than spake I/and wolde suffre her no more
Of this wofull mater/forther for to tell
Suche lamentable louers/greueth my hart sore
And also we coude nat moche longer dwell
Ryght glad was I/that it so happy fell
To here the hole of wofull Pyramus
Of her tolde/with gesture dolorous.
She wolde haue tolde/of many other mo
The great loue/and fatall destenye
Howe Phillis desolate/ofte alone wolde go
By hylles and dales/mornyng tenderly
For Demophon/and howe she dyd dye
But styll I prayed her to kepe silence
And leaue of her tragicall sentence.
A man that sweteth/and is very hote
Brought to the fyre/is nat well content
What I meane/euery man doth wote
yet for this/I wolde nothyng assent
That she had declared/appert and euydent
To our fyrst purpose/what loue shulde be
And wherupon/we gan to argue all thre.
The fyrst damosell/proued loue by reason
The other spake all by auctorite
Declaryng olde stories/of antique season
But to neyther of them wolde I agre
Without experience/proued can nat be
What is the myghty power of Cupyde
Whiche regneth through the great worlde wyde
Experience (sayd they) we desyre to here
What therby to proue/you entende
Than loked I on them/with sad chere
Castyng howe for to make an ende
Of our argument/and nat offende
Nother of them/through my negligence
For one of them/was myn experience.
Forsoth (I sayd) I nat howe it may be
But ones I behelde/with great affection
A fayre pusell/whiche happed yll for me
For neuer syth/by no compulsion
I coude nat put her in obliuion
Nor my mynde pulle from her away
Nor neuer shall/to myn endyng day.
With her regarde/and swete countenaunce
She gave me a great mortall wounde
Through whiche deth/dayly both auaunce
Towarde me/onely to confounde
My wretched corps:whiche in the grounde
Must of foule wormes be eate and gnawe
So condemned/by cruell loues lawe.
This lorde Cupide/lyst of his cruelte
Without reason/my body to turment
To mount an hylle/he constrayneth me
With his arowes/sharpe and violent
And me burnyng/with his brande ardent
yet vp the hyll/no way can be sought
To geat alone:so lowe am I brought.
O Hyppomenes/howe happy thou were?
What tyme thou wast so moche amorous
On Atalanta/that curtes damosell dere
For whose loue/ne had nat ben Venus
Thou shuldest haue dyed a deth ryght greuous
But s (that she the gaue) of golde
Thou gotest thy loue of truthe/as it is tolde
Clas suche socour/no where fynde I may
That me wyll helpe in myn heuynesse
And more encreaseth my sorowe day by day
Cruell thought on me doth neuer cesse
With feare and drede/my body to manesse
And with Dispeare/I haue so great stryfe
That gladly I wolde be reft of my lyfe
And than call I vnto the systers thre
To come out of their furious selle
And from my peyne to delyuer me
I care nat/though I with them shulde dwell
Or rauenyng wolues/hungry/fierse/and felle
My body gnawe/and to peces rent
To be losed/of my great turment.
O Pole wheron the great worlde rounde
Turneth about/by cours naturall
If a place may/vnder the be founde
I wolde gladly/therin that I shulde fall
O ye dogges/whiche to peces small
Tare Acreon/for Diana sake
I pray you of me an ende to make.
O crowes/rauons/and foules euerychone
What tyme my lyfe ended thus shalbe
Come than and take eche of you abone
And do beare them into what countre
Pleaseth you/for all is one to me
So I be out of this greuous payne
For any longer/I can it nat sustayne.
Wherwith dame Reason cometh vnto me
Very swetely lokynge in my face
With whom cometh other two or thre
Good Esperaunce/and the lady Grace
And reason begynneth for to chace
The lordens away/whiche before
Turmented my wretched body sore
Fyrst Reason to Disperaunce doth speke
Hym banysshyng out of our company
On hym she wolde gladly her angre wreke
But lady pacience standyng by
Sayeth to her very curtesly
ye must swetely shewe your selfe vntyll
This pacient here redy for to spyll.
Than by the hande Reason doth me take
Sayeng/what though the gentyle Hypsiphyle
Distroyed her selfe for prue Jasons sake
That ayenst his promes/dyd her begyle
Leape nat thou/tyll thou come to the style
For thou hast here nowe before thy face
(Whiche she lacked) the goodly lady Grace.
Thou knowest after our hygh religion
Who that slee them selfe wylfully
By iuste sentence/of lastyng damnacion
Of helle. Be in great ieopardye
Wherfore I aduise the/loke theron wysely
Take nat example of/Dido and Myrra.
Nor yet of Phillis/Scylla/and Phedra.
I say to the as I sayd before
They lacked Grace/ye and me also
Whiche thou hast/and shalt haue euer more
In case that thou gladly woldest do
As we shall shewe the or that we go
Principally beware of Dispayre
In no wyse abyde that sower ayre.
Another/thou shalt kepe moderacion
In all thynges/that thou gost about
Both in gladnesse/and lamentacion
Beware of thought/the villayn bolde and stout
Of heuynesse/with theyr cruell route
Feare/drede/discomfort/and mystrust
Incline the neuer after their peruers lust.
What foly is it for a womans sake
Nat knowyng your corage nor entent
Suche lamentacion/and sorowe for to make
Perauenture her swete hart wolde assent
In all honour be at your comaundement
Wherfore fyrst/ye shulde by my counsell
Knowe the pleasure of the damosell.
To whiche counsell/accorden an agre
Desyre/and the curtes esperaunce
They two promesse/for to go with me
Dame fauour sayth she wyll so auaunce
With the helpe of prudent Gouernaunce
To solicite my mater in best wyse
And dame Discrecion shall it deuyse.
The good holsome lady Remembraunce
Sayth recorde/was nat worthy Theseus
The hye conquerour/delyuered fro myschaunce
By socour of two ladyes gratious
For hym they were so moche pitous
That they put them selfe/in dauger of moche yll
Hym for to saue/that he shulde nat spyll.
For he had ben put to the Minataurus
Without prouise/of these ladies twayne
Within the mase/made by Dedalus
All though he had/the hidous monstre slayne
yet coude he neuer come out therof agayne
But by the ladies subttle inuencion
He slewe the beest/and came out anone.
Thou hast redde/ryght many an history
Of ladies and damosels great bounte
And howe soone they ben inclyned to mercy
As was the curtes lady/Hypermestre
For nothyng perswaded wolde she be
For all her father myght do or say
She conueyed her loue and lorde away.
And bycause this lady wolde nat do
Scelerously/as dyd her systers all
Afterwarde she suffred moche wo
But no punyisshement/to her myght fall
That she ne thought the peyne very small
Suche ioye she had/of her spouse delyueraunce
That all her payne/to her was no greuaunce
Thus tender pite/in the hart feminall
Ronneth alway/vnto mannes defence
Theyr gentyll hertes/swete and liberall
Be lyghely turned/with great diligence
To mannes socour/and beneuolence
They speke/they praye/they labour and they go
Ryght tenderly/mannes profite for to do.
So these ladies/debated with me styll
In whole company I was ryght ioyous
And at last/they sayd me all vntyll
Be mery and glad thou louer dolorous
For thy loue is so moche gracious
That we thynke vnto thy desyre
She wyll obey/as thou wylt requyre.
Than call I/vnto my remembraunce
The great promesses/that Paris of Troye
Made to Heleyn/yet scant it was his chaunce
Her loue to gette/or her to enioye
All that he sayd was of perfect foye
He was a prince/and a kynges son also
yet longe it was/or she wolde with hym go.
Whan I mynde Echates/ye woman beautious
All my sorowe begynneth to renewe
She and the fayre yonge man/called Hyrus
Betoken howe my loue shall neuer rewe
Nor pite me. yet as Acontius vntrue
To her wyll I vse neyther fraude ne wyle
Lyke as he dyd Cydippes begyle.
Thus thought and feare/all the longe day
Turment me/tyll Phebus the hemyspery
Hath fally ronne/so that we may
Perceyue the blacke nyght aprochyng nye
To bedde I go/lasshe and eke wery
In hope some repose for to take
And by that meane/my payne for to slake.
Sone after/that I am downe layde
Morpheus/softely cometh to me
Who at the fyrst/maketh me afrayde
Tyll I knowe/what man he shulde be
He leadeth me where as I may se
My swete loue/vnto whom I wolde
Desyrously/ryght oft my mynde haue tolde.
And whan I haue ben about to speke
Cruell drede/hath stepped me before
He and feare/alway my purpose breke
yet her swete visage sheweth euermore
That of dame Pite/she knoweth well the lore
It can nat be/that her great beauty
Shulde be voyde/and without mercy.
Thus I stande debatyng a longe space
Than Morpheus/bryngeth me agayne
And whan I fynde me in the same place
Where I lay downe/with myn handes twayne
I graspe and fele/I sygh and complayne
And fynde it colde about me euery where
And perceyue that she was nat there.
O howe thought taketh me by the hert
And heuynesse/falleth me vpon
Those two from me wyll neuer departe
Tyll they make my body as colde as stone
They say to me/remedy is none
In this behalfe ferther to pursewe
For on me/my loue shall neuer rewe.
Thought and heuynesse.
Thou mayst here lye/sygh/sorowe and wayte
And on thy miserable state complayne
For her beautye/frendes/and apparayle
Causeth her to haue the in disdayne
She forceth nat/of thy wo and payne
She is a fresshe yonge swete creature
Well bequeynted/with the lady pleasure.
So stode the heuyns/whan thou were bore
And suche is thy fatall destenye
To loue one/whiche setteth lytell store
By the that art oppressed with mysery
What careth she/though thou for sorowe dye?
Or all thy lyfe/morne without a make
In wyldernesse/wandryng for her sake.
We haue tolde the ofte/and longe agone
That thy swete loue/fresshe and gorgious
Loketh to stande in grace of suche one
That may stipate/her port sumptuous
To sayle forth/with fame glorious
Lackyng nothyng/that dame Volunte
Wyll demaunde/longyng to Leberte.
For all thy lorde/who thou seruest so true
Whiche is the very blynde god Cupyde
Bearyng his signe/a face pale of hewe
As any ashes/wherto thou doest abyde
Vpholdyng it/with syghes large and wyde
yet we two shall do so moche our payne
Of Acrapos/shortly thou shalt be slayne.
Thus many a nyght/ofte I dryue away
Whiche me thynke longer than a yere
And whan I se the spryngynge of the day
yet somwhat gladed is my chere
For busynesse to me doth appere
Byddyng me to ryse and come lyghtly
Fye he sayth/vpon all sluggardy.
Than I ryse/and my clothes take
As preuely and soft as it may be
Wherwith diligence begynneth to awake
Whiche ones vp/a newe wyll turment me
And whan I can no other way se
With them I go/where they wyll me leade
For as than/I can no better reade.
Where euer I go/thought is neuer behynde
Nor heuynesse/they be alway present
To leaue them/I can no crafte fynde
For I beyng neuer so diligent
With busynesse/bothe mynde and eke entent
yet those two euer styll apeace
Come on me/my body to disease.
These two ofte/handle me so harde
That I am made lyke vnto a stone
To busynesse/hauyng no regarde
I leaue hym/and forth with anone
To some secrete place must I gone
A lytell whyle/my sorowe to complayne
From company/I do my selfe restrayne.
Than I begyn in this maner wyse
Lowe and softe/that none shulde here me
O Venus Venus/is this your cruell gyse?
Styll to turment vnto the extremite
My pore body/whiche as you may se
Is brought into so great miserye
That for loue/shortly must I dye.
The burnyng fyre of loue/doth me assayle
In suche wyse/that remedy is none
To quenche it/no water can auayle
Nor yet versus of cantacion
Of Pean/the artes euerychone
Nor of Mede/be nat worth a flye
I am condemned/and nedes must I dye.
Of all vnlucky/I most infortunate
Most sorowfull/most heuy and lamentable
What is my wretched body/lyfe/and state?
Nought els/but a thynge miserable
Replenisshed with paynes intollerable
To syghe/to sorowe/and morne tenderly
And by loue/condemned for to dye.
Of all louers/none can be founde
Whose case may well compared be
Vnto myn : through all the worlde rounde
Were out sought/yet shulde ye nat se
But that they had some felicite
But nought haue I/but all miserye
And by loue/condemned to dye.
Troylous/of whom men so moche tell
That he so great a louer was
Vnto hym/the case ryght happy fell
For in his armes ofte he dyd enbrace
His swete loue/and stode so in her grace
That nothyng to hym wolde she denye
But by loue/condemned I am to dye.
Many a nyght with his loue he lay
And in his armes/swetely can her holde
Of nothynge to hym sayd she nay
That he of her/aske or desyre wolde
His great ioy forsoth can nat be tolde
He had souerayne blysse/and I miserye
And by loue condemned for to dye.
What ioy had Paris we Heleyn ye fresshe quene?
Deyanira/with fierce Hercules
Briseis/the lady bryght and shene
With her lorde/the hardy Achilles
And Penelope/with her spouse Ulixes
Great gladnesse they had/with som miserye
I haue no ioy: and am condemned to dye.
Many a nyght/the friscant Leander
Lay also slept with his loue Herus
To passe Hellespont/she was his lode stere
And in all thynges to hym gracious
O these louers/fresshe and amorous
Ofte passed the tyme to gether ioyously
But by loue/condemned I am to dye.
Fayre Phillis/and eke Demophon
Had togyther ryght great felicite
So had the lady Sapho with Phaon
So had Machare/with his syster Canace
Dido with Aene/what ioy had she?
Ryght longe hym reteynyng curtesly
No ioy haue I/and am condemned to dye.
Myrra that loued her owne father dere
Wyckedly/by loue abhominable
Dyd so moche/that they lay both infere
All a nyght. doyng the dede damnable
Se howe Cupyde was fauorable
To her stynkyng loue/and transgression
And wyll me slee/for loyall affeccion.
Wherby I se/it is predestinate
Vnto me : most wretched creature
For to haue this miserable state
And infinite sorowe to endure
Or bate of all ioy/and eke pleasure
Full of luctuous syghes and misery
And vtterly condemned for to dye.
Wherfore adieu/all worldly vanite
Adieu frayle pleasure/rollynge lyke a ball
Adieu brytell trustes/that in this worlde be
Adieu I say/disceytes great and small
Adieu slipernesse styll redy for to fall
Lastly adieu/swete hert without mercye
For whose sake/I am condemned to dye.
Thautor to the two damosels.
Lo nowe you two/haue herde to the ende
What is loue/by suche experience
As I haue had. And nowe I you comende
Unto god/for I must depart hence
I thanke you hertely of your pacience
your curtesy/and eke your louyng chere
Of gentylnesse/that you haue made me here.
your chere here (they sayd) is but small
We wolde it were moche better for your sake
Our tanglynge/that to vs nowe hath fall
Wolde suffre vs/no chere for to make
And so theyr leaue/swetely of me they take
At the port or gate/and in they go
And I went strayght to my home also.
~ Anonymous Olde English
481:The Avowyng Of Arthur
He that made us on the mulde,
And fair fourmet the folde,
Atte His will, as He wold,
The see and the sande,
Giffe hom joy that will here
Of dughti men and of dere,
Of haldurs that before us were,
That lifd in this londe.
One was Arther the Kinge,
Wythowtun any letting;
Wyth him was mony lordinge
Hardi of honde.
Wice and war ofte thay were,
Bold undur banere,
And wighte weppuns wold were,
And stifly wold stond.
This is no fantum ne no fabull;
Ye wote wele of the Rowun Tabull,
Of prest men and priveabull,
Was holdun in prise:
Chevetan of chivalry,
Kyndenesse and curtesy,
Hunting full warly,
As wayt men and wise.
To the forest thay fare
To hunte atte buk and atte bare,
To the herte and to the hare,
That bredus in the rise.
The King atte Carlele he lay;
The hunter cummys on a day Sayd, 'Sir, ther walkes in my way
A well grim gryse.
'He is a balefull bare Seche on segh I nevyr are:
He hase wroghte me mycull care
And hurte of my howundes,
Slayn hom downe slely
Wyth feghting full furcely.
Wasse ther none so hardi
Durste bide in his bandus.
On him spild I my spere
And mycull of my nothir gere.
Ther moue no dintus him dere,
Ne wurche him no wowundes.
He is masly made All offellus that he bade.
Ther is no bulle so brade
That in frith foundes.
'He is hegher thenne a horse,
That uncumly corse;
In fayth, him faylis no force
Quen that he schalle feghte!
And therto, blake as a bere,
Feye folk will he fere:
Ther may no dyntus him dere,
Ne him to dethe dighte.
Quen he quettus his tusshes,
Thenne he betus on the busshes:
All he rives and he russhes,
That the rote is unryghte.
He hase a laythelych luffe:
Quen he castus uppe his stuffe,
Quo durst abide him a buffe,
Iwisse he were wighte.'
He sais, 'In Ingulwode is hee.'
The tother biddus, 'Lette him bee.
We schall that Satnace see,
Giffe that he be thare.'
The King callut on knyghtis thre:
Himselvun wold the fuyrthe be.
He sayd, 'There schalle no mo mené
Wynde to the bore.'
Bothe Kay and Sir Gauan
And Bowdewynne of Bretan,
The hunter and the howundus squayn
Hase yarket hom yare.
The Kinge hase armut him in hie,
And tho thre buirnes hym bie;
Now ar thay fawre alle redie,
And furthe conne thay fare.
Unto the forest thay weynde
That was hardy and heynde.
The hunter atte the northe ende
His bugull con he blaw,
Uncoupult kenettis as he couthe;
Witturly thay soghte the southe Raches wyth opon mouthe
Rennyng on a raw
Funde fute of the bore,
Faste folutte to him thore.
Quen that he herd, he hade care;
To the denne conne he draw:
He sloghe hom downe slely
Wyth feghting full fuyrsly;
But witte ye, sirs, witturly,
He stode butte litull awe.
Thay held him fast in his hold;
He brittunt bercelettus bold,
Bothe the yunge and the old,
And rafte hom the rest.
The raches comun rennyng him by,
And bayet him full boldely,
Butte ther was non so hardy
Durste on the fynde fast.
Thenne the hunter sayd, 'Lo, him thare!
Yaw thar, such him no mare!
Now may ye sone to him fare;
Lette see quo dose beste.
Yaw thar, such him nevyr more!
Butte sette my hed opon a store
Butte giffe he flaey yo all fawre,
That griselich geste!'
Thenne the hunter turnes home agayn.
The King callut on Sir Gauan,
On Bawdewin of Bretan,
And on kene Kay.
He sayd, 'Sirs, in your cumpany,
Myne avow make I:
Were he nevyr so hardy,
Yone Satenas to say To brittun him and downe bringe,
Wythoute any helpinge,
And I may have my levynge
Hen till tomorne atte day!
And now, sirs, I cummaunde yo
To do as I have done nowe:
Ichone make your avowe.'
Gladdely grawuntutte thay.
Then unsquarut Gauan
And sayd godely agayn,
'I avowe, to Tarne Wathelan,
To wake hit all nyghte.'
'And I avow,' sayd Kaye,
'To ride this forest or daye,
Quoso wernes me the waye,
Hym to dethe dighte.'
Quod Baudewyn, 'To stynte owre strife,
I avow bi my life
Nevyr to be jelus of my wife,
Ne of no birde bryghte;
Nere werne no mon my mete
Quen I gode may gete;
Ne drede my dethe for no threte
Nauthir of king ner knyghte.'
Butte now thay have thayre vowes made,
Thay buskutte hom and furth rade
To hold that thay heghte hade,
Ichone sere way.
The King turnus to the bore;
Gauan, wythoutun any more,
To the tarne con he fore,
To wake hit to day.
Thenne Kay, as I conne roune,
He rode the forest uppe and downe.
Boudewynne turnes to toune
Sum that his gate lay,
And sethun to bed bownus he;
Butte carpe we now of ther othir thre,
How thay prevyd hor wedde-fee,
The sothe for to say.
Furst, to carpe of oure Kinge,
Hit is a kyndelich thinge Atte his begynnyng,
Howe he dedde his dede.
Till his houndus con he hold;
The bore, wyth his brode schilde,
Folut hom fast in the filde
And spillutte hom on gode spede.
Then the Kinge con crye,
And carputte of venerie
To make his howundus hardi Hovut on a stede.
Als sone as he come thare,
Agaynus him rebowndet the bare:
He se nevyr no syghte are
So sore gerutte him to drede.
He hade drede and doute
Of him that was stirrun and stowte;
He began to romy and rowte,
And gapes and gones.
Men myghte noghte his cowch kenne
For howundes and for slayn men
That he hade draun to his denne
And brittunt all to bonus.
Thenne his tusshes con he quette,
Opon the Kinge for to sette;
He liftis uppe, wythoutun lette,
Stokkes and stonis.
Wyth wrathe he begynnus to wrote:
He ruskes uppe mony a rote
Wyth tusshes of thre fote,
So grisly he gronus.
Thenne the Kinge spanos his spere
Opon that bore for to bere;
Ther may no dyntus him dere,
So sekir was his schilde.
The grete schafte that was longe
All to spildurs hit spronge;
The gode stede that was stronge
Was fallun in the filde.
As the bore had mente,
He gave the King such a dinte,
Or he myghte his bridull hente,
That he myghte evyr hit fele.
His stede was stonet starke ded:
He sturd nevyr owte of that sted.
To Jhesu a bone he bede,
Fro wothes hym weylde.
Thenne the King in his sadul sete,
And wightely wan on his fete.
He prays to Sayn Margarete
Fro wathes him ware;
Did as a dughty knyghte Brayd oute a brand bryghte
And heve his schild opon highte,
For spild was his spere.
Sethun he buskette him yare,
Squithe, wythoutun any mare,
Agaynus the fynde for to fare
That hedoes was of hiere.
So thay cowunturt in the fild:
For all the weppuns that he myghte weld,
The bore brittunt his schild
On brest he conne bere.
There downe knelus he
And prayus till Him that was so fre:
'Send me the victoré!
This Satanas me sekes.'
All wroth wex that sqwyne,
Blu, and brayd uppe his bryne;
As kylne other kechine,
Thus rudely he rekes.
The Kynge myghte him noghte see,
Butte lenyt hym doune bi a tree,
So nyghe discumford was hee
For smelle other smekis.
And as he neghet bi a noke,
The King sturenly him stroke,
That both his brees con blake;
His maistry he mekes.
Thus his maistry mekes he
Wyth dyntus that werun dughté.
Were he nevyr so hardé,1
Thus bidus that brothe.
The Kinge, wyth a nobull brande,
He mette the bore comande:
On his squrd, till his hande,
He rennes full rathe.
He bare him inne atte the throte:
He hade no myrth of that mote He began to dotur and dote
Os he hade keghet scathe.
Wyth sit siles he adowne.
To brittun him the King was bowne,
And sundurt in that sesun
His brode schildus bothe.
The King couthe of venery:
Colurt him full kyndely.
The hed of that hardy
He sette on a stake.
Sethun brittuns he the best
As venesun in forest;
Bothe the thonge and lees
He hongus on a noke.
There downe knelys hee
That loves hur that is free;
Sayd, 'This socur thou hase send me
For thi Sune sake!'
If he were in a dale depe,
He hade no knyghte him to kepe.
Forwerré, slidus he on slepe:
No lengur myghte he wake.
The King hase fillut his avowe.
Of Kay carpe we nowe How that he come for his prowe
Ye schall here more.
Als he rode in the nyghte
In the forest he mette a knyghte
Ledand a birde bryghte;
Ho wepputte wundur sore.
Ho sayd, 'Sayn Maré myghte me spede
And save me my madunhede,
And giffe the knyghte for his dede
Bothe soro and care!'
Thus ho talkes him tille
Quille ho hade sayd all hur wille;
And Kay held him full stille,
And in the holte hoves.
He prekut oute prestely
And aurehiet him radly,
And on the knyghte conne cry,
And pertely him reproves,
And sayd, 'Recraiand knyghte,
Here I profur the to fighte
Be chesun of that biurde brighte!
I bede the my glovus.'
The tother unsquarut him wyth skille
And sayd, 'I am redy atte thi wille
That forward to fulfille
In alle that me behovus.'
'Now, quethen art thou?' quod Kay,
'Or quethur is thou on way?
Thi righte name thou me say!
Quere wan thou that wighte?'
The tother unsquarut him agayn:
'Mi righte name is noghte to layn:
Sir Menealfe of the Mountayn
My gode fadur highte.
And this Lady sum I the telle:
I fochet hur atte Ledelle,
Ther hur frindus con I felle
As foes in a fighte.
So I talket hom tille
That muche blode conne I spille,
And all agaynus thayre awne wille
There wan I this wighte.'
Quod Kay, 'The batell I take
Be chesun of the birdus sake,
And I schalle wurch the wrake' And sqwithely con squere.
Thenne thay rode togedur ryghte
As frekes redy to fighte
Be chesun of that birde bryghte,
Gay in hor gere.
Menealfe was the more myghty:
He stroke Kay stifly Witte ye, sirs, witturly Wyth a scharpe spere.
All toschildurt his schilde,
And aure his sadull gerut him to held,
And felle him flatte in the filde,
And toke him uppeon werre.
Thus hase he wonun Kay on werre,
And all tospild is his spere,
And mekill of his othir gere
Is holden to the pees.
Thenne unsquarut Kay agayn
And sayd, 'Sir, atte Tarne Wathelan
Bidus me Sir Gauan,
Is derwurthe on dese;
Wold ye thethur be bowne
Or ye turnut to the towne,
He wold pay my rawunsone
Wythowtyn delees.'
He sayd, 'Sir Kay, thi lyfe I the heghte
For a cowrce of that knyghte!'
Yette Menealfe, or the mydnyghte,
Him ruet all his rees.
Thus thay turnut to the Torne
Wyth the thrivand thorne.
Kay callut on Gauan yorne;
Asshes, 'Quo is there?'
He sayd, 'I, Kay, that thou knawes
That owte of tyme bostus and blawus;
Butte thou me lese wyth thi lawes,
I lif nevyr more.
For as I rode in the nyghte,
In the forest I mette a knyghte
Ledand a birde bryghte;
Ho wepput wundur sore.
There togedur faghte we
Be chesun of that Lady free;
On werre thus hase he wonun me,
Gif that me lothe ware.
'This knyghte that is of renowun
Hase takyn me to presowun,
And thou mun pay my rawunsun,
Gawan, wyth thi leve.'
Then unsquarutte Gauan
And sayd godely agayn,
'I wille, wundur fayne:
Quatt schall I geve?'
'Quen thou art armut in thi gere,
Take thi schild and thi spere
And ride to him a course on werre;
Hit schall the noghte greve.'
Gauan asshes, 'Is hit soe?' The tother knyght grauntus, 'Yoe';
He sayd, 'Then togedur schull we goe
Howsumevyr hit cheve!'
And these knyghtus kithun hor crafte,
And aythir gripus a schafte
Was als rude as a rafte;
So runnun thay togedur.
So somun conne thay hie
That nauthir scaput forbye;
Gif Menealfe was the more myghtie,
Yette dyntus gerut him to dedur:
He stroke him sadde and sore.
Squithe squonut he thore;
The blonke him aboute bore,
Wiste he nevyr quedur.
Quod Kay, 'Thou hase that thou hase soghte!
Mi raunnsun is all redy boghte;
Gif thou were ded, I ne roghte!
Forthi come I hedur.'
Thus Kay scornus the knyghte,
And Gauan rydus to him ryghte.
In his sadul sette him on highte,
Speke gif he may.
Of his helme con he draw,
Lete the wynde on him blaw;
He speke wyth a vois law 'Delyveryt hase thou Kay.
Wyth thi laa hase made him leyce,
Butte him is lothe to be in pece.
And thou was aye curtase
And prins of ich play.
Wold thou here a stowunde bide,
A nother course wold I ride;
This that hoves by my side,
In wedde I wold hur lay.'
Thenne unsquarut Gauan,
Sayd godely agayn,
'I am wundur fayn
For hur for to fighte.'
These knyghtus kithun thayre gere
And aythir gripus a spere;
Runnun togedur on werre
Os hardy and wighte.
So somen ther thay yode
That Gauan bare him from his stede,
That both his brees con blede
On growunde qwen he lighte.
Thenne Kay con on him calle
And sayd, 'Sir, thou hade a falle,
And thi wench lost wythalle,
Mi trauthe I the plighte!'
Quod Kay, 'Thi leve hase thou loste
For all thi brag or thi boste;
If thou have oghte on hur coste,
I telle hit for tente.'
Thenne speke Gauan to Kay,
'A mons happe is notte ay;
Is none so sekur of asay
Butte he may harmes hente.'
Gauan rydus to him ryghte
And toke uppe the tother knyghte
That was dilfully dyghte
And stonet in that stynte.
Kay wurdus tenut him mare
Thenne all the harmes that he hente thare;
He sayd, 'And we allone ware,
This stryf schuld I stynte.'
'Ye, hardely,' quod Kay;
'Butte thou hast lost thi fayre may
And thi liffe, I dar lay.'
Thus talkes he him tille.
And Gauan sayd, 'God forbede,
For he is dughti in dede.'
Prayes the knyghte gud spede
To take hit to none ille
If Kay speke wurdes kene.
'Take thou this damesell schene;
Lede hur to Gaynour the Quene,
This forward to fulfille;
And say that Gawan, hur knyghte,
Sende hur this byurde brighte;
And rawunsun the anon righte
Atte hur awne wille.'
Therto grawuntus the knyghte
And truly his trauthe plighte,
Inne saveward that byurde bryghte
To Carlele to bringe.
And as thay hovet and abode,
He squere on the squrd brode.
Be he his othe hade made,
Thenne waknut the King.
Thenne the day beganne to daw;
The Kinge his bugull con blaw;
His knyghtus couth hitte welle knaw,
Hit was a sekur thinge.
Sethun thay busket hom yare,
Sqwith, wythowtun any mare,
To wete the Kingus welefare,
Wythowtun letting.
To the forest thay take the way Bothe Gawan and Kay,
Menealfe, and the fare may
Comun to the Kinge.
The bore brittunt thay funde,
Was colurt of the Kingus hande;
If he wore lord of that londe,
He hade no horsing.
Downe thay take that birde bryghte,
Sette hur one, behinde the knyghte;
Hur horse for the King was dyghte,
Wythoutun letting;
Gave Kay the venesun to lede,
And hiet hamward, gode spede;
Bothe the birde and the brede
To Carlele thay bringe.
Now as thay rode atte the way,
The Kynge himselvun con say
Bothe to Gauan and to Kay,
'Quere wan ye this wighte?'
Thenne Kay to the King spake;
He sayd, 'Sir, in the forest as I con wake
Atte the anturis hoke,
Ther mette me this knyghte.
Ther togedur faghte we
Be chesun of this Lady fre;
On werre hase he thus wonun me,
Wyth mayn and wyth myghte.
And Gawan hase my rawunsun made
For a course that he rode
And felle him in the fild brode;
He wanne this biurde bryghte.
'He toke him there to presunnere' Then loghe that damesell dere
And lovet wyth a mylde chere
God and Sir Gawan.
Thenne sayd the King opon highte,
All sqwithe to the knyghte,
'Quat is thi rawunsun, opon ryghte?
The soth thou me sayn.'
The tothir unsquarut him wyth skille,
'I conne notte say the thertille:
Hit is atte the Quene wille;
Qwi schuld I layne?
Bothe my dethe and my lyfe
Is inne the wille of thi wife,
Quethur ho wulle stynte me of my strife
Or putte me to payne.'
'Grete God,' quod the King,
'Gif Gawan gode endinge,
For he is sekur in alle kynne thinge,
To cowuntur wyth a knyghte!
Of all playus he berus the prise,
Loos of ther ladise.
Menealfe, and thou be wise,
Hold that thou beheghte,
And I schall helpe that I maye,'
The King himselvun con saye.
To Carlele thay take the waye,
And inne the courte is lighte.
He toke this damesell gente;
Before the Quene is he wente,
And sayd, 'Medame, I am hedur sente
Fro Gawan, your knyghte.'
He sayd, 'Medame, Gawan, your knyghte,
On werre hase wonun me tonyghte,
Be chesun of this birde brighte;
Mi pride conne he spille,
And gerut me squere squyftely
To bringe the this Lady
And my nowne body,
To do hit in thi wille.
And I have done as he me bade.'
Now quod the Quene, 'And I am glad.
Sethun thou art in my wille stade,
To spare or to spille,
I giffe the to my Lord the Kinge For he hase mestur of such a thinge,
Of knyghtus in a cowunturinge This forward to fullfille.'
Now the Quene sayd, 'God almyghte,
Save me Gawan, my knyghte,
That thus for wemen con fighte Fro wothus him were!'
Gawan sayd, 'Medame, as God me spede,
He is dughti of dede,
A blithe burne on a stede,
And grayth in his gere.'
Thenne thay fochet furth a boke,
All thayre laes for to loke;
The Kinge sone his othe toke
And squithely gerut him squere;
And sekirly, wythouten fabull,
Thus dwellus he atte the Rowun Tabull,
As prest knyghte and priveabull,
Wyth schild and wyth spere.
Nowe gode frindus ar thay.
Then carpus Sir Kay To the King con he say:
'Sire, a mervaell thinke me
Of Bowdewyns avouyng,
Yusturevyn in the evnyng,
Wythowtun any lettyng,
Wele more thenne we thre.'
Quod the King, 'Sothe to sayn,
I kepe no lengur for to layn:
I wold wete wundur fayn
How best myghte be.'
Quod Kay, 'And ye wold gif me leve,
And sithun take hit o no greve,
Now schuld I propurly preve,
As evyr myghte I thee!'
'Yisse,' quod the King, 'on that comande,
That o payn on life and on londe
That ye do him no wrunge,
Butte save wele my knyghte.
As men monly him mete,
And sithun forsette him the strete:
Ye fynde him noghte on his fete!
Be warre, for he is wyghte.
For he is horsutte full wele
And clene clad in stele;
Is none of yo but that he mun fele
That he may on lyghte.
Ye wynnun him noghte owte of his way,'
The King himselvun con say;
'Him is lefe, I dar lay,
To hald that he heghte.'
Thenne sex ar atte on assente,
Hase armut hom and furthe wente,
Brayd owte aure a bente
Bawdewyn to mete,
Wyth scharpe weppun and schene,
Gay gowuns of grene
To hold thayre armur clene,
And were hitte fro the wete.
Thre was sette on ich side
To werne him the wayus wide Quere the knyghte schuld furth ride,
Forsette hym the strete.
Wyth copus covert thay hom thenne,
Ryghte as thay hade bene uncowthe men,
For that thay wold noghte be kennet Evyn downe to thayre fete.
Now as thay hovut and thay hyild,
Thay se a schene undur schild
Come prekand fast aure the filde
On a fayre stede;
Wele armut, and dyghte
As freke redy to fyghte,
Toward Carlele ryghte
He hies gode spede.
He see ther sixe in his way;
Thenne to thaymselvun con thay say,
'Now he is ferd, I dar lay,
And of his lyfe adrede.'
Then Kay crius opon heghte,
All squyth to the knyghte:
'Othir flee or fighte:
The tone behovus the nede!'
Thenne thay kest thayre copus hom fro.
Sir Bawdewyn se that hit wasse so,
And sayd, 'And ye were als mony mo,
Ye gerutte me notte to flee.
I have my ways for to weynde
For to speke wyth a frynde;
As ye ar herdmen hinde Ye marre notte me!'
Thenne the sex sembult hom in fere
And squere by Him that boghte us dere,
'Thou passus nevyr away here
Butte gif thou dede be!'
'Yisse, hardely,' quod Kay,
'He may take anothir way And ther schall no mon do nere say
That schall greve the!'
'Gode the foryilde,' quod the knyghte,
'For I am in my wais righte;
Yisturevyn I the King highte
To cumme to my mete.
I warne yo, frekes, be ye bold,
My ryghte ways wille I holde!'
A spere in fewtre he folde,
A gode and a grete.
Kay stode nexte him in his way:
He jopput him aure on his play;
That hevy horse on him lay He squonet in that squete.
He rode to there othir fyve:
Thayre schene schildus con he rive,
And faure felle he belyve,
In hie in that hete.
Hardely wythouten delay,
The sex to hom hase takyn uppe Kay;
And thenne Sir Bawdewin con say,
'Will ye any more?'
The tother unsquarutte him thertille,
Sayd, 'Thou may weynd quere thou wille,
For thou hase done us noghte butte skille,
Gif we be wowundut sore.'
He brayd aure to the Kinge,
Wythowtun any letting;
He asshed if he hade herd any tithing
In thayre holtus hore.
The knyghte stedit and stode;
Sayd, 'Sir, as I come thro yondur wode,
I herd ne se butte gode
Quere I schuld furthe fare.'
Thanne was the Kinge amervaylet thare
That he wold telle him no more.
Als squithur thay ar yare,
To Masse ar thay wente.
By the Masse wasse done,
Kay come home sone,
Told the King before none,
'We ar all schente
Of Sir Baudewyn, your knyghte:
He is nobull in the fighte,
Bold, hardy, and wighte
To bide on a bente.
Fle wille he nevyr more:
Him is much levyr dee thore.
I may banne hur that him bore,
Suche harmes have I hente!'
Noue the King sayd, 'Fle he ne can,
Ne werne his mete to no man;
Gife any buirne schuld him ban,
A mervail hit ware.'
Thenne the King cald his mynstrelle
And told him holly his wille:
Bede him layne atte hit were stille,
That he schuld furth fare
To Baudewins of Bretan:
'I cummawunde the, or thou cum agayne,
Faurty days, o payne,
Loke that thou duelle there,
And wete me prevely to say
If any mon go meteles away;
For thi wareson for ay,
Do thou me nevyr more.'
Then the mynstrell weyndus on his way
Als fast as he may.
Be none of the thryd day,
He funde thaym atte the mete,
The Lady and hur mené
And gestus grete plenté.
Butte porter none funde he
To werne him the gate;
Butte rayket into the halle
Emunge the grete and the smalle,
And loket aboute him aure alle.
He herd of no threte,
Butte riall servys and fyne:
In bollus birlutte thay the wyne,
And cocus in the kechine
Squytheli con squete.
Then the Ladi conne he loute,
And the biurdes all aboute;
Both wythinne and wythoute,
No faute he ther fonde.
Knygte, squyer, yoman, ne knave,
Hom lacket noghte that thay schuld have;
Thay nedut notte aftur hit to crave:
Hit come to hor honde.
Thenne he wente to the dece,
Before the pruddust in prece.
That Lady was curtase,
And bede him stille stonde.
He sayd he was knoun and couthe,
And was comun fro bi southe,
And ho had myrth of his mouthe,
To here his tithand.
A sennyght duellut he thare.
Ther was no spense for to spare:
Burdes thay were nevyr bare,
Butte evyr covurt clene.
Bothe knyghte and squiere,
Mynstrelle and messyngere,
Pilgreme and palmere
Was welcum, I wene.
Ther was plenty of fode:
Pore men hade thayre gode,
Mete and drinke or thay yode,
To wete wythoutyn wene.
The lord lenge wold noghte,
Butte come home qwen him gode thoghte,
And both he hase wyth him broghte
The Kinge and the Quene.
Now ther come fro the kechine
Riall service and fine;
Ther was no wonting of wine
To lasse ne to mare.
Thay hade atte thayre sopere
Riche metes and dere.
The King, wyth a blythe chere,
Bade hom sle care.
Than sayd the Kinge opon highte,
All sqwithe to the knyghte:
'Such a service on a nyghte
Se I nevyr are.'
Thenne Bawdewyn smylit and on him logh;
Sayd, 'Sir, God hase a gud plughe!
He may send us all enughe:
Qwy schuld we spare?'
'Now I cummawunde the,' quod the King,
'Tomorne in the mornyng
That thou weynde on huntyng,
To wynne us the dere.
Fare furthe to the fenne;
Take wyth the howundus and men,
For thou conne hom best kenne:
Thou knoes best here.
For all day tomorne will I bide,
And no forthir will I ride,
Butte wyth the ladés of pride
To make me gud chere.'
To bed bownut thay that nyghte,
And atte the morun, atte days lighte,
Thay blew hornys opon highte
And ferd furthe in fere.
Thenne the Kynge cald his huntere,
And sayd, 'Felaw, come here!'
The tother, wyth a blithe chere,
Knelet on his kne:
Dowun to the Kinge con he lowte.
'I commawunde the to be all nyghte oute;
Bawdewyn, that is sturun and stowte,
Wyth the schall he be.
Erly in the dawyng
Loke that ye come fro huntyng;
If ye no venesun bring,
Full litill rechs me.'
The tother unsquarut him thertille,
Sayd, 'Sir, that is atte your aune wille:
That hald I resun and skille,
As evyr myghte I the.'
And atte evyn the King con him dyghte
And callut to him a knyghte;
And to the chambur full ryghte
He hiees gode waye
Qwere the Lady of the howse
And maydyns ful beuteowse
Were, curtase and curiowse,
Forsothe in bed lay.
The Kyng bede, 'Undo!'
The Lady asshes, 'Querto?'
He sayd, 'I am comun here, loe,
In derne for to play.'
Ho sayd, 'Have ye notte your aune Quene here,
And I my lord to my fere?
Tonyghte more neghe ye me nere,
In fayth, gif I may!'
'Undo the dur,' quod the Kinge,
'For bi Him that made all thinge,
Thou schall have no harmynge
Butte in thi none wille.'
Uppe rose a damesell squete,
In the Kinge that ho lete.
He sette him downe on hur beddus fete,
And talkes so hur tille,
Sayd, 'Medame, my knyghte
Mun lye wyth the all nyghte
Til tomorne atte days lighte Take hit on non ille.
For als evyr myghte I the,
Thou schall harmeles be:
We do hit for a wedde fee,
The stryve for to stylle.'
Thenne the Kyng sayd to his knyghte,
'Sone that thou were undyghte,
And in yondur bedde ryghte!
Hie the gud spede!'
The knyghte did as he him bade,
And qwenne ho se him unclad,
Then the Lady wex drede,
Worlyke in wede.
He sayd, 'Lye downe prevely hur by,
Butte neghe noghte thou that Lady;
For and thou do, thou schall dey
For thi derfe dede;
Ne noghte so hardy thou stur,
Ne onus turne the to hur.'
The tother sayd, 'Nay, sur!'
For him hade he drede.
Thenne the Kyng asshet a chekkere,
And cald a damesel dere;
Downe thay sette hom in fere
Opon the bedsyde.
Torches was ther mony lighte,
And laumpus brennyng full bryghte;
Butte notte so hardy was that knyghte
His hede onus to hide.
Butte fro thay began to play
Quyle on the morun that hit was day,
Evyr he lokette as he lay,
Baudewynne to byde.
And erly in the dawyng
Come thay home from huntyng,
And hertis conne thay home bring,
And buckes of pride.
Thay toke this venesun fyne
And hade hit to kechine;
The Kinge sende aftur Bawdewine,
And bede him cum see.
To the chaumbur he takes the way:
He fyndus the King atte his play;
A knyghte in his bedde lay
Wyth his Lady.
Thenne sayd the King opon highte,
'Tonyghte myssutte I my knyghte,
And hithir folut I him ryghte.
Here funden is hee;
And here I held hom bothe stille
For to do hom in thi wille.
And gif thou take hit now till ille,
No selcouthe thinge me!'
Then the King asshed, 'Art thou wroth?'
'Nay, Sir,' he sayd, 'wythouten othe,
Ne wille the Lady no lothe.
I telle yo as quy For hitte was atte hur awen wille:
Els thurt no mon comun hur tille.
And gif I take hitte thenne to ille,
Muche maugreve have I.
For mony wyntur togedur we have bene,
And yette ho dyd me nevyr no tene:
And ich syn schall be sene
And sette full sorely.'
The King sayd, 'And I hade thoghte
Quy that thou wrathis the noghte,
And fyndus him in bed broghte
By thi Laydy.'
Quod Bawdewyn, 'And ye will sitte,
I schall do yo wele to witte.'
'Yisse!' quod the King, 'I the hete,
And thou will noghte layne.'
'Hit befelle in your fadur tyme,
That was the Kyng of Costantyne,
Purvayed a grete oste and a fyne
And wente into Spayne.
We werrut on a sawdan
And all his londus we wan,
And himselvun, or we blan.
Then were we full fayn.
I wos so lufd wyth the King,
He gaf me to my leding Lordus atte my bidding
Was buxum and bayne.
'He gafe me a castell to gete,
Wyth all the lordschippus grete.
I hade men atte my mete,
Fyve hundryth and mo,
And no wemen butte thre,
That owre servandis schild be.
One was bryghtur of ble
Then ther othir toe.
Toe were atte one assente:
The thrid felow have thay hente;
Unto a well ar thay wente,
And says hur allso:
'Sithin all the loce in the lise,
Thou schall tyne thine aprise.'
And wurchun as the unwise,
And tite conne hur sloe.
'And for tho werkes were we wo,
Gart threte tho othir for to slo.
Thenne sayd the tone of tho,
'Lette us have oure life,
And we schall atte your bidding be
As mycull as we all thre;
Is none of yaw in preveté
Schall have wontyng of wyfe.'
Thay held us wele that thay heghte,
And dighte us on the daylighte,
And thayre body uch nyghte,
Wythoutun any stryve.
The tone was more lovely
That the tother hade envy:
Hur throte in sundur prevely
Ho cutte hitte wyth a knyfe.
'Muche besenes hade we
How that best myghte be;
Thay asshed cowuncell atte me
To do hur to dede.
And I unsquarut and sayd, 'Nay!
Loke furst qwatt hurselvun will say,
Quether ho may serve us all to pay;
That is a bettur rede.'
Ther ho hette us in that halle
To do all that a woman schild fall,
Wele for to serve us all
That stode in that stede.
Ho held us wele that ho heghte,
And dighte us on the daylighte,
And hur body ich nyghte
Intill oure bed beed.
'And bi this tale I understode,
Wemen that is of mylde mode
And syne giffes hom to gode,
Mecull may ho mende;
And tho that giffus hom to the ille,
And sithin thayre folis will fullfill,
I telle yo wele, be propur skille,
No luffe will inne hom lende.
Wyth gode wille grathely hom gete,2
Meke and mylde atte hor mete,
And thryvandly, wythoutun threte,
Joy atte iche ende.
Forthi jelius schall I never be
For no sighte that I see,
Ne no biurdes brighte of ble;
Ich ertheli thinke hase ende.'
The King sayd, 'Thou says wele.
Sir,' he sayd, 'as have I sele,
I will thou wote hit iche dele.
Therfore come I,
Thi Lady gret me to squere squyftelé,
Or I myghte gete entré,
That ho schuld harmeles be,
And all hur cumpany.
Then gerut I my knyghte
To go in bed wyth the biurde bryghte,
On the fur syde of the lighte,
And lay hur dowun by.
I sette me doune hom besyde,
Here the for to abide;
He neghit nevyr no naked syde
Of thi Lady.
'Forthi, of jelusnes, be thou bold,3
Thine avow may thou hold.
Butte of tho othir thinges that thou me told
I wold wete more:
Quy thou dredus notte thi dede
Ne non that bitus on thi brede?
As evyr brok I my hede,
Thi yatis are evyr yare!'
Quod Bawdewyn, 'I schall yo telle:
Atte the same castell
Quere this antur befelle,
Besegitte we ware.
On a day we usshet oute
And toke presonerus stoute;
The tone of owre feloys hade doute,
And durst notte furthe fare.
'The caytef crope into a tunne
That was sette therowte in the sunne.
And there come fliand a gunne,
And lemet as the levyn,
Lyghte opon hitte, atte the last,
That was fastnut so fast;
All in sundur hit brast,
In six or in sevyn.
And there hit sluye him als And his hert was so fals!
Sone the hed fro the hals,
Hit lyputt full evyn.
And we come fro the feghting
Sowunde, wythoutun hurting,
And then we lovyd the King
That heghhest was in hevyn.
'Then owre feloys con say,
'Schall no mon dee or his day,
Butte he cast himselfe away
Throgh wontyng of witte.'
And there myne avow made I So dyd all that cumpany For dede nevyr to be drery:
Welcum is hit Hit is a kyndely thing.'
'Thou says soth,' quod the King,
'Butte of thi thryd avowyng
Telle me quych is hit,
Quy thi mete thou will notte warne
To no levand barne?'
'Ther is no man that may hit tharne Lord, ye schall wele wete.
'For the sege aboute us lay stille;
We hade notte all atte oure wille4
Mete and drinke us to fille:
Us wontutte the fode.
So come in a messyngere,
Bade, 'Yild uppe all that is here!'
And speke wyth a sturun schere5
'I nyll, by the Rode!'
I gerutte him bide to none,
Callud the stuard sone,
Told him all as he schuld done,
As counsell is gud;
Gerutte trumpe on the wall,
And coverd burdes in the hall;
And I myself emunge hom all
As a king stode.
'I gerut hom wasshe; to mete wente.
Aftur the stuard then I sente:
I bede that he schuld take entente
That all schuld well fare Bede bringe bred plenté,
And wine in bollus of tre,
That no wontyng schuld be
To lasse ne to mare.
We hade no mete butte for on day Hit come in a nobull aray.
The messyngere lokit ay
And se hom sle care.
He toke his leve atte mete.
We gerutte him drinke atte the gate,
And gafe him giftus grete,
And furthe con he fare.
'But quen the messyngere was gone,
These officers ichone
To me made thay grete mone,
And drerely con say Sayd, 'In this howse is no bred,
No quyte wine nyf red;
Yo behoves yild uppe this stid
And for oure lyvys pray.'
Yette God helpus ay his man!
The messyngere come agayn than
Wythoute to the chevytan,
And sone conne he say:
'Thoghe ye sege this sevyn yere,
Castell gete ye none here,
For thay make als mury chere
Als hit were Yole Day!'
'Then the messyngere con say,
'I rede yo, hie yo hethin away,
For in your oste is no play,
Butte hongur and thurst.'
Thenne the king con his knyghtis calle.
Sethin to cowunsell wente thay all 'Sythin no bettur may befall,
This hald I the best.'
Evyn atte the mydnyghte,
Hor lordis sembelet to a syghte,
That were hardy and wighte:
Thay remuyt of hor rest.
Mete laynes mony lakke:
And there mete hor sege brake,
And gerut hom to giffe us the bake;
To preke thay were full preste.
'And then we lokit were thay lay
And see oure enmeys away.
And then oure felawis con say,
The lasse and the mare,
'He that gode may gete
And wernys men of his mete,
Gud Gode that is grete
Gif him sory care!
For the mete of the messyngere,
Hit mendutte all oure chere.''
Then sayd the King, that thay myghte here,
And sqwythely con square,
'In the conne we fynde no fabull;
Thine avowes arne profetabull.'
And thus recordus the Rownde Tabull,
The lasse and the more.
Thenne the Kinge and his knyghtis all,
Thay madun myrthe in that halle.
And then the Lady conne thay calle,
The fayrist to fold;
Sayde Bawdewyn, 'And thou be wise,
Take thou this Lady of price For muche love in hur lyce To thine hert hold.
Ho is a biurde full bryghte,
And therto semely to thy sighte.
And thou hase holdin all that thou highte,
As a knighte schulde!'
Now Jhesu Lord, Hevyn Kynge,
He graunt us all His blessynge,
And gife us all gode endinge,
That made us on the mulde.
~ Anonymous Olde English

You're my friend:
I was the man the Duke spoke to;
I helped the Duchess to cast off his yoke, too;
So here's the tale from beginning to end,
My friend!


Ours is a great wild country:
If you climb to our castle's top,
I don't see where your eye can stop;
For when you've passed the cornfield country,
Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed,
And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract,
And cattle-tract to open-chase,
And open-chase to the very base
Of the mountain where, at a funeral pace,
Round about, solemn and slow,
One by one, row after row,
Up and up the pine-trees go,
So, like black priests up, and so
Down the other side again
To another greater, wilder country,
That's one vast red drear burnt-up plain,
Branched through and through with many a vein
Whence iron's dug, and copper's dealt;
Look right, look left, look straight before,-
Beneath they mine, above they smelt,
Copper-ore and iron-ore,
And forge and furnace mould and melt,
And so on, more and ever more,
Till at the last, for a bounding belt,
Comes the salt sand hoar of the great sea-shore,
-And the whole is our Duke's country.


I was born the day this present Duke was-
(And O, says the song, ere I was old!)
In the castle where the other Duke was-
(When I was happy and young, not old!)
I in the kennel, he in the bower:
We are of like age to an hour.
My father was huntsman in that day;
Who has not heard my father say
That, when a boar was brought to bay,
Three times, four times out of five,
With his huntspear he'd contrive
To get the killing-place transfixed,
And pin him true, both eyes betwixt?
And that's why the old Duke would rather
He lost a salt-pit than my father,
And loved to have him ever in call;
That's why my father stood in the hall
When the old Duke brought his infant out
To show the people, and while they passed
The wondrous bantling round about,
Was first to start at the outside blast
As the Kaiser's courier blew his horn
Just a month after the babe was born.
``And,'' quoth the Kaiser's courier, ``since
``The Duke has got an heir, our Prince
``Needs the Duke's self at his side: ''
The Duke looked down and seemed to wince,
But he thought of wars o'er the world wide,
Castles a-fire, men on their march,
The toppling tower, the crashing arch;
And up he looked, and awhile he eyed
The row of crests and shields and banners
Of all achievements after all manners,
And ``ay,'' said the Duke with a surly pride.
The more was his comfort when he died
At next year's end, in a velvet suit,
With a gilt glove on his hand, his foot
In a silken shoe for a leather boot,
Petticoated like a herald,
In a chamher next to an ante-room,
Where he breathed the breath of page and groom,
What he called stink, and they, perfume:
-They should have set him on red Berold
Mad with pride, like fire to manage!
They should have got his cheek fresh tannage
Such a day as to-day in the merry sunshine!
Had they stuck on his fist a rough-foot merlin!
(Hark, the wind's on the heath at its game!
Oh for a noble falcon-lanner
To flap each broad wing like a banner,
And turn in the wind, and dance like flame!)
Had they broached a white-beer cask from Berlin
-Or if you incline to prescribe mere wine
Put to his lips, when they saw him pine,
A cup of our own Moldavia fine,
Cotnar for instance, green as May sorrel
And ropy with sweet,-we shall not quarrel.


So, at home, the sick tall yellow Duchess
Was left with the infant in her clutches,
She being the daughter of God knows who:
And now was the time to revisit her tribe.
Abroad and afar they went, the two,
And let our people rail and gibe
At the empty hall and extinguished fire,
As loud as we liked, but ever in vain,
Till after long years we had our desire,
And back came the Duke and his mother again.


And he came back the pertest little ape
That ever affronted human shape;
Full of his travel, struck at himself.
You'd say, he despised our bluff old ways?
-Not he! For in Paris they told the elf
Our rough North land was the Land of Lays,
The one good thing left in evil days;
Since the Mid-Age was the Heroic Time,
And only in wild nooks like ours
Could you taste of it yet as in its prime,
And see true castles, with proper towers,
Young-hearted women, old-minded men,
And manners now as manners were then.
So, all that the old Dukes had been, without knowing it,
This Duke would fain know he was, without being it;
'Twas not for the joy's self, but the joy of his showing it,
Nor for the pride's self, but the pride of our seeing it,
He revived all usages thoroughly worn-out,
The souls of them fumed-forth, the hearts of them torn-out:
And chief in the chase his neck he perilled
On a lathy horse, all legs and length,
With blood for bone, all speed, no strength;
-They should have set him on red Berold
With the red eye slow consuming in fire,
And the thin stiff ear like an abbey-spire!


Well, such as he was, he must marry, we heard:
And out of a convent, at the word,
Came the lady, in time of spring.
-Oh, old thoughts they cling, they cling!
That day, I know, with a dozen oaths
I clad myself in thick hunting-clothes
Fit for the chase of urochs or buffle
In winter-time when you need to muffle.
But the Duke had a mind we should cut a figure,
And so we saw the lady arrive:
My friend, I have seen a white crane bigger!
She was the smallest lady alive,
Made in a piece of nature's madness,
Too small, almost, for the life and gladness
That over-filled her, as some hive
Out of the bears' reach on the high trees
Is crowded with its safe merry bees:
In truth, she was not hard to please!
Up she looked, down she looked, round at the mead,
Straight at the castle, that's best indeed
To look at from outside the walls:
As for us, styled the ``serfs and thralls,''
She as much thanked me as if she had said it,
(With her eyes, do you understand?)
Because I patted her horse while I led it;
And Max, who rode on her other hand,
Said, no bird flew past but she inquired
What its