Jun 162013
 

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The instinctive act of humankind was to stand and listen, and learn how the trees on the right and the trees on the left wailed or chaunted to each other in the regular antiphonies of a cathedral choir; how hedges and other shapes to leeward then caught the note, lowering it to the tenderest sob; and how the hurrying gust then plunged into the south, to be heard no more.

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The jovial party broke up next morning. Breakings-up are capital things in our school-days, but in after life they are painful enough. Death, self-interest, and fortune’s changes, are every day breaking up many a happy group, and scattering them far and wide; and the boys and girls never come back again.

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The land of literature is a fairy land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible.

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The night was dark, and a cold wind blew, driving the clouds, furiously and fast, before it. There was one black, gloomy mass that seemed to follow him: not hurrying in the wild chase with the others, but lingering sullenly behind, and gliding darkly and stealthily on. He often looked back at this, and, more than once, stopped to let it pass over; but, somehow, when he went forward again, it was still behind him, coming mournfully and slowly up, like a shadowy funeral train.

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The object of our lives is won. Henceforth let us wear it silently. My lips are closed upon the past from this hour. I forgive you your part in to-morrow’s wickedness. May God forgive my own!

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The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky–seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.

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The only privilege literature deserves — and this privilege it requires in order to exist — is the privilege of being in the arena of discourse, the place where the struggle of our languages can be acted out.

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The persons of their world lived in an atmosphere of faint implications and pale delicacies, and the fact that he and she understood each other without a word seemed to the young man to bring them nearer than any explanation would have done.

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The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is–a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness.

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The place was packed as full of smells as a bale is of cotton.

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The place, with its gray sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theater after the performance–all strewn with crumpled playbills.

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The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man’s body.’ Sir Francis Bacon

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The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.

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The present era grabs everything that was ever written in order to transform it into films, TV programs; or cartoons. What is essential in a novel is precisely what can only be expressed in a novel, and so every adaptation contains nothing but the non-essential. If a person is still crazy enough to write novels nowadays and wants to protect them, he has to write them in such a way that they cannot be adapted, in other words, in such a way that they cannot be retold.

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The pure work implies the disappearance of the poet as speaker, who hands over to the words.

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The rain and hail pattered against the glass; the chimneys quaked and rocked; the crazy casement rattled with the wind, as though an impatient hand inside were striving to burst it open. But no hand was there, and it opened no more.

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The republic of letters. [Fr., La republique des lettres.]

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The riches of scholarship, the benignities of literature, defy fortune and outlive calamity. They are beyond the reach of thief or moth or rust. As they cannot be inherited, so they cannot, be alienated.

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The right time is ANY time that one is still so lucky as to have.

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The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement–but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims . . . .

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