Quotes: 360 total. 1 Misattributed. 1 Disputed. 18 About.
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O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
"The greater the happiness that nature sets before me, the more I lament that he is not here to taste it: the greater the bliss we might enjoy together, the more I feel our present wretchedness apart."
Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better.
I am at a loss to understand why people hold Miss Austen's novels at so high a rate, which seem to me vulgar in tone, sterile in invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society, without genius, wit, or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched & narrow. The one problem in the mind of the writer in both the stories I have read, "Persuasion," and "Pride & Prejudice," is marriageableness. All that interests in any character introduced is still this one, Has he or she money to marry with, & conditions conforming? 'Tis "the nympholepsy of a fond despair," say rather, of an English boarding-house. Suicide is more respectable.
And having thee, of all men's pride I boast: Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take All this away and me most wretched make.
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
And sometimes when the night is slow The wretched and the meek We gather up our hearts and go A Thousand Kisses Deep.
And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people.
His wretchedness, and his resistance, And his sad unallied existence: To which his spirit may oppose Itself—and equal to all woes.
It is still her use To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow An age of poverty.
War is wretched beyond description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality.
How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. … All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.
How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.
"I have often felt a bitter sorrow at the thought of the German people, which is so estimable in the individual and so wretched in the generality. A comparison of the German people with other peoples arouses a painful feeling, which I try to overcome in every possible way." Goethes Gespraeche, December 13, 1813
Arise, you prisoners of starvation! Arise, you wretched of the earth!
The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever. It was heard in every sound, and seen in every thing. It was ever present to torment me with a sense of my wretched condition. I saw nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without feeling it. It looked from every star, it smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every storm.
Most wretched men Are cradled into poetry by wrong; They learn in suffering what they teach in song.
Wretched excess is an unfortunate human trait that turns a perfectly good idea such as Christmas into a frenzy of last-minute shopping.
Is life so wretched? Isn't it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled? You are the one who must grow up.
Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just; Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside, Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded.
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts Against their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger, And let not women's weapons, water-drops, Stain my man's cheeks!
Wretched un-idea'd girls.
Wretched, un-idea'd girls.
The wretched have no friends.
The wretched slave, Who, with a body fill'd, and vacant mind, Gets him to rest, cramm'd with distressful bread.
Who, to patch up his fame—or fill his purse— Still pilfers wretched plans, and makes them worse; Like gypsies, lest the stolen brat be known, Defacing first, then claiming for his own.
Who to patch up his fame, or fill his purse, Still pilfers wretched plans, and makes them worse; Like gypsies, lest the stolen brat be known, Defacing first, then claiming for his own.
He had a sense that the old man meant to be good-natured and neighbourly; but the kindness fell on him as sunshine falls on the wretched — he had no heart to taste it, and felt that it was very far off him.
To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.
What is the end of Fame? 'tis but to fill A certain portion of uncertain paper: Some liken it to climbing up a hill, Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour: For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill, And bards burn what they call their "midnight taper," To have, when the original is dust, A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust.
To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures.
''Rank.'''Certainly. However wretched I may feel, I want to prolong the agony as long as possible."
Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep! He, like the world, his ready visit pays Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes.
The keenest pangs the wretched find Are rapture to the dreary void, The leafless desert of the mind, The waste of feelings unemployed.
There's the wretched rent to pay, Yet I glower at pen and ink: Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray, It is later than you think!
We have a wretched motley crew, in the fleet; the marines the refuse of every regiment, and the seamen, few of them, ever wet with salt water.
Careless their merits or their faults to scan, His pity gave ere charity began. Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And e'en his failings leaned to Virtue's side.
In prosperous fortunes be modest and wise, The greatest may fall, and the lowest may rise: But insolent People that fall in disgrace, Are wretched and no-body pities their Case.
Only a complete moral idiot can believe for an instant that we are fighting against the wretched of the earth. We are fighting, as I said before, against the scum of the earth
A Devil with a crucifix Brimstone and fire He needs another carnal fix To take him higher and higher Now Jimmy, he got busted With his pants down Repent ye wretched sinner Self righteous clown
Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man's face. It cannot be concealed. People talk sometimes of secret vices. There are no such things. If a wretched man has a vice, it shows itself in the lines of his mouth, the droop of his eyelids, the moulding of his hands even.
The World's a bubble, and the Life of Man less than a span: In his conception wretched, from the womb so to the tomb; Curst from his cradle, and brought up to years with cares and fears. Who then to frail mortality shall trust, But limns the water, or but writes in dust.
This miserable measure the wretched souls maintain of those who lived without infamy and without praise. Mingled are they with that caitiff choir of the angels, who were not rebels, nor were faithful to God, but were for themselves. The heavens chased them out in order to be not less beautiful, nor doth the depth of Hell receive them, because the damned would have some glory from them.
We exhort the compromisers to open their hearts to truth, to free themselves of their wretched and blind circumspection, of their intellectual arrogance, and of the servile fear which dries up their souls and paralyzes their movements. Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!
The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. If he is of a philosophic disposition, he concludes that human life is essentially wretched, since the man who has all he wants is still unhappy. He forgets that to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
We are beckoned to see the world through a one-way mirror, as if we are threatened and innocent and the rest of humanity is threatening, or wretched, or expendable. Our memory is struggling to rescue the truth that human rights were not handed down as privileges from a parliament, or a boardroom, or an institution, but that peace is only possible with justice and with information that gives us the power to act justly.
Moreover, when our hearts are authentically open to universal communion, this sense of fraternity excludes nothing and no one. It follows that our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people.
Despotic government supports itself by abject civilization, in which debasement of the human mind, and wretchedness in the mass of the people, are the chief criterions. Such governments consider man merely as an animal; that the exercise of intellectual faculty is not his privilege; that he has nothing to do with the laws but to obey them; and they politically depend more upon breaking the spirit of the people by poverty, than they fear enraging it by desperation.
Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat. We are very far from having any moral qualms as far as our national war goes. We have before us the command of the Torah, whose morality surpasses that of any other body of laws in the world: "Ye shall blot them out to the last man." We are particularly far from having any qualms with regard to the enemy, whose moral degradation is universally admitted here.But first and foremost, terrorism is for us a part of the political battle being conducted under the present circumstances, and it has a great part to play: speaking in a clear voice to the whole world, as well as to our wretched brethren outside this land, it proclaims our war against the occupier.
The popular medical formulation of morality that goes back to Ariston of Chios, "virtue is the health of the soul," would have to be changed to become useful, at least to read: "your virtue is the health of your soul." For there is no health as such, and all attempts to define a thing that way have been wretched failures. Even the determination of what is healthy for your body depends on your goal, your horizon, your energies, your impulses, your errors, and above all on the ideals and phantasms of your soul. Thus there are innumerable healths of the body; and the more we allow the unique and incomparable to raise its head again, and the more we abjure the dogma of the "equality of men," the more must the concept of a normal health, along with a normal diet and the normal course of an illness, be abandoned by medical men. Only then would the time have come to reflect on the health and illness of the soul, and to find the peculiar virtue of each man in the health of his soul.
In his last moments he cries out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" What conclusion is it natural to draw from this distressing exclamation? It appears to be this, that on the part of Jesus Christ, there was a virtual renunciation of his confidence in the Creator; and on the supposition that there was originally a concerted plan of execution well understood by both the parties, the fulfilment of it seems here to have been relinquished, and the beneficial effects annihilated. On the part of Jesus, it is saying, "I have been deceived in this undertaking. I did not expect that I should have been forsaken in this hour of my greatest distress; but I rested with confidence on eternal wisdom, for a timely escape from this wretched misfortune." On the part of the Father, there is a want of attention and support in this trying hour. He forsakes his beloved Son; he gives him up to the murderous fury of vindictive enemies; and neither the one nor the other of the parties exhibits that spirit of fortitude and constancy which might justly have been expected on so interesting an occasion. The reflecting mind concludes, therefore, that the whole is but a fiction, and that no such stipulation ever took place between the man Jesus Christ, and the Creator of the world.
The rifle has ever been the companion of the pioneer, and, under God, his tutelary protector against the red man and the beast of the forest. Never was this efficient weapon more needed in just self-defence, than now in Kansas, and at least one article in our National Constitution must be blotted out; before the complete right to it can in any way be impeached. And yet such is the madness of the hour, that, in defiance of the solemn guarantee, embodied in the Amendments to the Constitution, that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." the people of Kansas have been arraigned for keeping and bearing them, and the senator from South Carolina has had the face to say openly, on this floor, that they should be disarmed -- of course, that the fanatics of slavery, his allies and constituents, may meet no impediment. Sir, the senator is venerable with years; he is reputed also to have worn at home, in the State which he represents, judicial honors; and he is placed here at the head of an important Committee occupied particularly with questions of law; but neither his years, nor his position, past or present, can give respectability to the demand he has made, or save him from indignant condemnation, when, to compass the wretched purposes of a wretched cause, he thus proposes to trample on one of the plainest provisions of constitutional liberty.
From ignorance our comfort flows. The only wretched are the wise.
… the giver of life, who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness.
O vita, misero longa! felici brevis! O life! long to the wretched, short to the happy.
Life's cares are comforts; such by Heav'n design'd; He that hath none must make them, or be wretched.
Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope; and few are reduced so low as that.
Ha! see where the wild-blazing Grog-shop appears, As the red waves of wretchedness swell; How it burns on the edge of tempestuous years— The horrible Light-house of Hell!
Ha! see where the wild-blazing Grog-Shop appears, As the red waves of wretchedness swell, How it burns on the edge of tempestuous years The horrible Light-House of Hell!
For that great Love speaks in the most wretched and dirty hearts; only the tone of its voice depends on the echoes of the place in which it sounds.
A little, wretched, despicable creature; a worm, a mere nothing, and less than nothing; a vile insect that has risen up in contempt against the majesty of Heaven and earth.
Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency.
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity, We bid be quiet when we hear it cry; But were we burthen'd with like weight of pain, As much, or more, we should ourselves complain.
All acts suppose certain dispositions, and habits of mind and heart, which may be in themselves states of enjoyment or of wretchedness, and which must be fruitful in other consequences besides those particular acts.
I know my life's a pain and but a span, I know my sense is mocked with everything; And to conclude, I know myself a man, Which is a proud and yet a wretched thing.
He seems to me a very foolish man, and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world, and ever wish and long to reach that endless life where all shall be made clear.
And the voice of men shall call, "He is fallen like us all, Though the weapon of the Lord was in his hand:" And thine epitaph shall be— "He was wretched ev'n as we;" And thy tomb may be unhonoured in the land.
I’m becoming daily more and more misanthropic and misogynous…nothing worthwhile, good or useful to do… no one to devote myself to. My situation makes me horridly sad and wretched. Even musical production has lost its attraction for me for I can’t see the point or goal.
Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 't is prosperous to be just; Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside, Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
… a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries, … a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence,… which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.
A man who has not learned to say " no " — who is not resolved that he will take God's way in spite of every dog that can bark at him, in spite of every silvery voice that can woo him aside — will be a weak and wretched man till he dies.
The people are weary of being oppressed, persecuted, exploited to the maximum. They are weary of the wretched selling of their labor-power day after day — faced with the fear of joining the enormous mass of unemployed — so that the greatest profit can be wrung from each human body, profit later squandered in the orgies of the masters of capital.
Nothing is quite so wretchedly corrupt as an aristocracy which has lost its power but kept its wealth and which still has endless leisure to devote to nothing but banal enjoyments. All its great thoughts and passionate energy are things of the past, and nothing but a host of petty, gnawing vices now cling to it like worms to a corpse.
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective.
An immortality of pain and tears; an infinity of wretchedness and despair; the blackness of darkness across which conscience will forever shoot her clear and ghastly flashes, — like lightning streaming over a desert when midnight and tempest are there; weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; long, long eternity, and things that will make eternity seem longer, — making each moment seem eternity, — oh, miserable condition of the damned!
This, Mr. Emmot, is a war Budget. It is for raising money to wage implacable warfare against poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that before this generation has passed away, we shall have advanced a great step towards that good time, when poverty, and the wretchedness and human degradation which always follows in its camp, will be as remote to the people of this country as the wolves which once infested its forests.
"I think you can see this is not an innocent developer being attacked and abused by some YouTuber out to profiteer from their hard work. This is a developer who has repeatedly acted in an underhanded way, and continues to do so to this very day. A developer that not only cannot take criticism, but actively goes out to censor it with the sole purpose of selling as many copies of their wretched disaster of a game as possible."
Even the most wretched individual of our present society could not exist and develop without the cumulative social efforts of countless generations. Thus the individual, his freedom and reason, are the products of society, and not vice versa: society is not the product of individuals comprising it; and the higher, the more fully the individual is developed, the greater his freedom — and the more he is the product of society, the more does he receive from society and the greater his debt to it.
I saw no reason why you couldn't create a work of pornography that adhered to all the same standards as the best art or literature. The big difference between art and pornography is that art, at its best, makes you feel less alone. You see a painting or read a piece of writing that expresses a thought that you had but didn't express, and you suddenly feel less alone. Pornography, on the other hand, tends to engender feelings of self-disgust, isolation and wretchedness. I wanted to change that.
What is the purpose of this struggle? This is what the wretched self-seeking mind of man is always asking, forgetting that the Great Spirit does not toil within the bounds of human time, place, or casualty. The Great Spirit is superior to these human questionings. It teems with many rich and wandering drives which to our shallow minds seem contradictory; but in the essence of divinity they fraternize and struggle together, faithful comrades-in-arms. The primordial Spirit branches out, overflows, struggles, fails, succeeds, trains itself. It is the Rose of the Winds.
Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, of sickness, or captivity, would, without this comfort, be insupportable; nor does it appear that the happiest lot of terrestrial existence can set us above the want of this general blessing; or that life, when the gifts of nature and of fortune are accumulated upon it, would not still be wretched, were it not elevated and delighted by the expectation of some new possession, of some enjoyment yet behind, by which the wish shall at last be satisfied, and the heart filled up to its utmost extent.
"It is beyond doubt that the happiness which love can bestow on its chosen souls is the highest that can fall to mortal's lot. But when I imagine myself in the place of the man who, after twenty happy years, now in one moment loses his all, I am moved almost to say that he is the wretchedest of mortals, and that it is better never to have known such happy days. So it is on this miserable earth: 'the purest joy finds its grave in the abyss of time'. What are we without the hope of a better future?
Rousseau, though holding views diametrically opposed to Luther's as to the character of man, finally strengthened his hand by his estimate of man's mind. Luther believed in the utter moral wretchedness of man, but Rousseau believed not only in man's goodness on the plane of character but he also was convinced (like Luther) that man is by nature intelligent. The "democrats" of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries deducted from Luther's and Rousseau's joint declaration that man is intelligent (either by nature or by an inner light) the further conclusion that the sum total of all minds must be perfection itself.
No-one was ever made wretched in a brothel.
In wretched outcomes, the devil is in the details.
Ah, music! What a beautiful art! But what a wretched profession!
If happy I and wretched he, Perhaps the king would change with me.
Mythological subjects always new. Modern subjects difficult because of the absence of the nude and the wretchedness of modern costume.
Mud and rain and wretchedness and blood. Why should jolly soldier-boys complain? God made these before the roofless Flood - Mud and rain.
Religion's all. Descending from the skies To wretched man, the goddess in her left Holds out this world, and, in her right, the next.
I'd like to take you now, on wings of song as it were, and try and help you forget for a while your drab, wretched lives.
In the Druid's Rest, Richard won the role in which he made his London debut at age 18. ''In a wretched part, he showed exceptional ability.
I am convinced the most unfortunate people are those who would make an art of love. It sours other effort. Of all artists, they are certainly the most wretched.
There is an ancient saying, famous among men, that thou shouldst not judge fully of a man's life before he dieth, whether it should be called blest or wretched.
Death! to the happy thou art terrible; But how the wretched love to think of thee, O thou true comforter! the friend of all Who have no friend beside!
A joyful heart makes a cheerful face; A sad heart makes a despondent mood. All the days of a poor person are wretched, but contentment is a feast without end.
Each of us, unable to dispense with the help of others, becomes so far weak and wretched. We were meant to be men, laws and customs thrust us back into infancy.
[W]e only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us. From the introduction to The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon.
It is because of my wretchedness that I am "I." It is on account of the wretchedness of the universe that, in a sense, God is "I" (that is to say a person).
We hear the wail of the remorseful winds In their strange penance. And this wretched orb Knows not the taste of rest; a maniac world, Homeless and sobbing through the deep she goes.
We can know only one thing about God — that he is what we are not. Our wretchedness alone is an image of this. The more we contemplate it, the more we contemplate him.
My head was like an ardent coal, My heart as solid ice; My wretched, wretched soul, I knew, Was at the Devil's price: A dozen times I groaned: the dead Had never groaned but twice!
We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer's ink.
My oh My,what a wretched Life. I was born on the day that my poor mama died. I was cut from Her belly with a stanley knife. My daddy did a jig with the drunk midwife
I have so much pride and love for the songs of The Smiths. However, I must ask you, if you come across any Smiths CDs, don't buy them, because all the money goes to that wretched drummer.
Who did leave His Father's throne, To assume thy flesh and bone? Had He life, or had He none? If he had not liv'd for thee, Thou hadst died most wretchedly And two deaths had been thy fee.
Rhime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter…the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing
O bloody Richard! —miserable England! I prophesy the fearfull'st time to thee That ever wretched age hath look'd upon. — Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head: They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.
The 2004 presidential election will be a matter of life or death for the whole nation. We are sick today, and we will be even sicker tomorrow if this wretched half-bright swine of a president gets re-elected in November.
In the wretched times from the death of Augustus to the murder of Domitian, there was nothing but the Stoic philosophy which could console and support the followers of the old religion under imperial tyranny and amidst universal corruption.
These cruel and wretched haters, the vilest of men, I continually cast into demoniac wombs in mortal worlds. Fallen into demoniac wombs, deluded birth after birth, O son of Kunti, they, instead of attaining to Me, tread the lowest path.
Wise command, wise obedience: the capability of these two is the net measure of culture, and human virtue, in every man; all good lies in the possession of these two capabilities; all evil, wretchedness and ill-success in the want of these.
It is vain to recount further the catalogue of miseries. In earlier ages such horrors remain unknown because unrecorded. Just enough flickering light plays upon this infernal scene to give us the sense of its utter desolation and hopeless wretchedness and cruelty.
The United States has already passed on as the world’s economic leader. Having flouted Thomas Jefferson for too long, America has succumbed to public debt, the 'fore horse for oppression and despotism,' after which 'taxation will follow, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
To believe is to be happy; to doubt is to be wretched. To believe is to be strong. Doubt cramps energy. Belief is power. Only so far as a man believes strongly, mightily, can he act cheerfully, or do any thing that is worth the doing.
Oftentimes when our falling and our wretchedness is shewed us, we are so sore adread, and so greatly ashamed of our self, that scarcely we find where we may hold us. But then willeth not our courteous Mother that we flee away, for Him were nothing lother.
America is a new kind of society that produces a new kind of human being. That human being—confident, self-reliant, tolerant, generous, future oriented—is a vast improvement over the wretched, servile, fatalistic, and intolerant human being that traditional societies have always produced, and that Islamic societies produce now.
Bullock-carts piled high with pitiful chattels, cattle being driven alongside. Women with babies in their arms and wretched little tin trunks on their heads. Twenty thousand men, women and children [Refugees during the India's partition] trekking into the promised land - not because it is the promised land.
The recognition of human wretchedness is difficult for whoever is rich and powerful because he is almost invincibly led to believe that he is something. It is equally difficult for the man in miserable circumstances because he is almost invincibly led to believe that the rich and powerful man is something.
Christ pitied because He loved, because He saw through all the wretchedness, and darkness, and bondage of evil; that there was in every human soul a possibility of repentance, of restoration; a germ of good, which, however stifled and overlaid, yet was capable of recovery, of health, of freedom, of perfection.
We all think that fate has dealt us a wretched sort of lot in life, and that others must be better. [...] I presume that in the heaven of the Blessèd there are those who believe that the advantages of that locale are much exaggerated by theologists, who have never been there themselves.
This merely formal conceiving of the facts of one's own wretchedness is at the same time a departure from them--placing them in the object. It is not idle, therefore, to observe reflexively that in that very Thought, one has separated himself from them, and is no longer that which empirically he still sees himself to be.
If a [democratic] society displays less brilliance than an aristocracy, there will also be less wretchedness; pleasures will be less outrageous and wellbeing will be shared by all; the sciences will be on a smaller scale but ignorance will be less common; opinions will be less vigorous and habits gentler; you will notice more vices and fewer crimes.
Those who err in one direction, always take care to let you know that they are quite free from error in the opposite direction. A boorish man thanks God very loudly that he is not insincere— nobody having ever thought of accusing him even of that small and wretched approach to politeness, which is sometimes flavored by insincerity.
He who seeks truth must be content with a lonely, little-trodden path. If he cannot worship her till she has been canonized by the shouts of the multitude, he must take his place with the members of that wretched crowd who shouted for two long hours, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" till truth, reason, and calmness were all drowned in noise.
Not the wretchedest man or woman but has a deep secretive mythology with which to wrestle with the material world and to overcome it and pass beyond it. Not the wretchedest human being but has his share in the creative energy that builds the world. We are all creators. We all create a mythological world of our own out of certain shapeless materials.
So Noah, when he anchor'd safe on The mountain's top, his lofty haven, And all the passengers he bore Were on the new world set ashore, He made it next his chief design To plant and propagate a vine, Which since has overwhelm'd and drown'd Far greater numbers, on dry ground, Of wretched mankind, one by one, Than all the flood before had done.
What a wretched and apostate state is this! To be offended with excellence, and to hate a man because we approve him! The condition of the envious man is the most emphatically miserable; he is not only incapable of rejoicing in another's merit or success, but lives in a world wherein all mankind are in a plot against his quiet, studying their own happiness and advantage.
I never thought of the urban environment as isolating. I leave these speculations to others. It’s quite possible that my work represents a search for beauty in the most prosaic and ordinary places. One doesn’t have to be in some faraway dreamland in order to find beauty. I realize that the search for beauty is not highly popular these days. Agony, misery and wretchedness, now these are worth perusing.
Blind ignorance misleads us thus and delights with the results of lascivious joys. Because it does not know the true light. Because it does not know what is the true light. Vain splendour takes from us the power of being .... behold! for its vain splendour we go into the fire, thus blind ignorance does mislead us. That is, blind ignorance so misleads us that... O! wretched mortals, open your eyes.
If I am to live longer, perhaps I must live out my old age, seeing and hearing less, understanding worse, coming to learn with more difficulty and to be more forgetful, and growing worse than those to whom I was once superior. Indeed, life would be unliveable, even if I did not notice the change. And if I see the change, how could life not be even more wretched and unpleasant?
The teacher reminded us that Rome's liberties were not auctioned off in a day, but were bought slowly, gradually, furtively, little by little; first with a little corn and oil for the exceedingly poor and wretched, later with corn and oil for voters who were not quite so poor, later still with corn and oil for pretty much every man that had a vote to sell—exactly our own history over again.
It always is wretched weather according to us. The weather is like the government — always in the wrong. In summer-time we say it is stifling; in winter that it is killing; in spring and autumn we find fault with it for being neither one thing nor the other and wish it would make up its mind...We shall never be content until each man makes his own weather and keeps it to himself.
By our sinful falls — the powers of the soul are weakened; the strength of grace is decayed; our evidences for heaven are blotted; fears and doubts in the soul are raised (will God once more pardon this scarlet sin, and show mercy to this wretched soul?); the corruptions in the heart are more advantaged and confirmed; and the conscience of a man after falls is the more enraged or the more benumbed.
There should be a notice ahead of the movie that says 'This movie is PG. Can you read? You are a Parent. Do you understand what Guidance is? Or are you just another stupid toddler who thinks they're an adult simply because they've grown older and, unfortunately, have developed fully-functioning sexual organs? Would you like some committee somewhere to decide *everything* for you? Get a damn grip, will you? And shut the wretched kid up !'
I've never been much smitten by Catholicism. I've never been committed to any religious dogma of any sort. … For years the Catholics had me on their blacklist. Then along comes some sharp-witted pater and says 'Let's take this lad into the business, instead.' And I've been plagued by Catholic interpretations ever since. … I've never felt any attraction to Catholicism. Catholicism, I think, does have its attractions. But Protestantism is a wretched kettle of fish.
The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their "vital interests" are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the "sanctity" of human life, or the "conscience" of the civilized world.
You [=Caligula], O most wretched of men! having filled every continent and every island with good laws, and principles of justice, and wealth, and comfort, and prosperity, and abundance of other blessings, you, wretched man, full of all cowardice and iniquity, who have emptied every city of all the things which can conduce to stability and prosperity, and have made them full of everything which leads to trouble and confusion, and the most utter misery and desolation.
You will know that wretched men are the cause of their own suffering, who neither see nor hear the good that is near them, and few are the ones who know how to secure release from their troubles. Such is the fate that harms their minds; like pebbles they are tossed about from one thing to another with cares unceasing. For the dread companion Strife harms them unawares, whom one must not walk behind, but withdraw from and flee.
Knowledge of the truth I may perhaps have attained to; happiness certainly not. What shall I do? Accomplish something in the world, men tell me. Shall I then publish my grief to the world, contribute one more proof for the wretchedness and misery of existence, perhaps discover a new flaw in human life, hitherto unnoticed? I might then reap the rare reward of becoming famous, like the man who discovered the spots on Jupiter. I prefer, however, to keep silent.
How Thought is imp'otent to divine the secret which the gods defend, The Why of birth and life and death, that Isis-veil no hand may rend. Eternal Morrows make our day; our is is aye to be till when Night closes in; 'tis all a dream, and yet we die, — and then and then? And still the Weaver plies his loom, whose warp and woof is wretched Man Weaving th' unpattern'd dark design, so dark we doubt it owns a plan.
Consider the Koran... this wretched book was sufficient to start a world-religion, to satisfy the metaphysical need of countless millions for twelve hundred years, to become the basis of their morality and of a remarkable contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and the most extensive conquests. In this book we find the saddest and poorest form of theism. Much may be lost in translation, but I have not been able to discover in it one single idea of value.
The man can write. He has lived a life. He has seen for himself, making it a point to travel regularly to dangerous and wretched nations. He has been a man of political passion, beginning first as a Trotskyite and becoming in recent years a supporter of the Neocon war in Iraq. … He exists as that most daring of writers, a freelance intellectual. He's a good speaker, can be funny, has bad teeth, is passably good-looking, and is at no pains to be a charmer.
Peace, unity and equality are the enemies of political subtleties. Men who are upright and simple are difficult to deceive because of their simplicity; lures and ingenious pretexts fail to impose upon them, and they are not even subtle enough to be dupes. When, among the happiest people in the world, bands of peasants are seen regulating affairs of State under an oak, and always acting wisely, can we help scorning the ingenious methods of other nations, which make themselves illustrious and wretched with so much art and mystery?
Then sought out Envy in her dark abode, Defil'd with ropy gore and clots of blood: Shut from the winds, and from the wholesome skies, In a deep vale the gloomy dungeon lies, Dismal and cold, where not a beam of light Invades the winter, or disturbs the night. ... She never smiles but when the wretched weep, Nor lulls her malice with a moment's sleep, Restless in spite: while watchful to destroy, She pines and sickens at another's joy; Foe to her self, distressing and distrest, She bears her own tormentor in her breast.
Upon all occasions we ought to have these maxims ready at hand: Conduct me, Jove, and you, O Destiny, Wherever your decrees have fixed my station. ~ Cleanthes. I follow cheerfully; and, did I not, Wicked and wretched, I must follow still Whoever yields properly to Fate, is deemed Wise among men, and knows the laws of heaven. ~ Euripides, Frag. 965. And this third: O Crito, if it thus pleases the gods, thus let it be. Anytus and Melitus may kill me indeed, but hurt me they cannot. ~ Socrates in Plato's Crito and Apology. (52).
The other animals possess only such powers as are required for self-preservation; man alone has more. Is it not very strange that this superfluity should make him miserable? In every land a man's labour yields more than a bare living. If he were wise enough to disregard this surplus he would always have enough, for he would never have too much. "Great needs," said Favorin, "spring from great wealth; and often the best way of getting what we want is to get rid of what we have." By striving to increase our happiness we change it into wretchedness.
The source of the errors of these two sects, is in not having known that the state of man at the present time differs from that of his creation; so that the one, remarking some traces of his first greatness and being ignorant of his corruption, has treated nature as sound and without need of redemption, which leads him to the height of pride; whilst the other, feeling the present wretchedness and being ignorant of the original dignity, treats nature as necessarily infirm and irreparable, which precipitates it into despair of arriving at real good, and thence into extreme laxity.
In the Bible, poverty is not in itself something to be applauded. It is in fact a wretched condition. Rich Christians romanticize it, misinterpreting the text "blessed are the poor in spirit," as when they claim, "I wish I were poor. Their lives are so uncomplicated, more simple. The poor don't have the worries of the rich." Poverty is not an ideal state. On the contrary, it is regarded as an evil condition in the Bible, because the poor are victims of injustice and oppression. Poverty is seen not so much as an absence of possessions, but as a condition of powerlessness. So poverty is not an ideal but an evil.
Jews in Medina are singled out as "men whose malice and enmity was aimed at the Apostle of God". The Yahūd in this literature appear not only as malicious, but also deceitful, cowardly and totally lacking resolve. However, they have none of the demonic qualities attributed to them in mediaeval Christian literature, neither is there anything comparable to the overwhelming preoccupation with Jews and Judaism (except perhaps in the narratives on Muhammad’s encounters with Medinan Jewry) in Muslim traditional literature. Except for a few notable exceptions... the Jews in the Sira and the Maghazi are even heroic villains. Their ignominy stands in marked contrast to Muslim heroism, and in general, conforms to the Qura'nic image of "wretchedness and baseness stamped upon them."
Believe me, it is no time for words when the wounds are fresh and bleeding; no time for homilies when the lightning's shaft has smitten and the man lies stunned and stricken. Then let the comforter be silent; let him sustain by his presence, not by his preaching; by his sympathetic silence, not by his speech. "Afterward," when the storm is spent, he may venture to open his mouth; "afterward," when the morn has dawned, he may seek "to justify the ways of God to man;" for " afterward" the sufferer will be prepared to hear, and "afterward" the sufferer himself may be able to extract sweetness from bitterness, music from mourning, songs from sorrow, and "the peaceable fruit of righteousness" from the root of wretchedness and woe.
We have seen that Alfred in his day had never hesitated to use money as well as arms. Ethelred used money instead of arms. He used it in ever-increasing quantities, with ever-diminishing returns … There is the record of a final payment to the Vikings in 1012. This time forty-eight thousand pounds' weight of silver was extracted, and the oppressors enforce the collection by the sack of Canterbury, holding Archbishop Alphege to ransom, and finally killing him at Greenwich because he refused to coerce his flock to raise the money. The Chronicle states: "All these calamities fell upon us through evil counsel, because tribute was not offered to them at the right time, nor yet were they resisted; but, when they had done the most evil, then was peace made with them. And notwithstanding all this peace and tribute they went everywhere in companies, harried our wretched people, and slew them"
"Those among us who have the opportunity of talking with Jews are little better off. These unhappy people feel that they are in our power; the tyranny they have suffered makes them timid; they know that Christian charity thinks nothing of injustice and cruelty; will they dare to run the risk of an outcry against blasphemy? Our greed inspires us with zeal, and they are so rich that they must be in the wrong. The more learned, the more enlightened they are, the more cautious. You may convert some poor wretch whom you have paid to slander his religion; you get some wretched old-clothes-man to speak, and he says what you want; you may triumph over their ignorance and cowardice, while all the time their men of learning are laughing at your stupidity. But do you think you would get off so easily in any place where they knew they were safe! At the Sorbonne it is plain that the Messianic prophecies refer to Jesus Christ. Among the rabbis of Amsterdam it is just as clear that they have nothing to do with him. I do not think I have ever heard the arguments of the Jews as to why they should not have a free state, schools and universities, where they can speak and argue without danger.
Nothing is more wretched than a guilty conscience.
An accomplished mathematician, i.e. a most wretched orator.
It is a consolation to the wretched to have companions in misery.
The wretched and the miserable would rise to plenty of joy and happiness.
In a few wretched buildings, we created a whole new industry with international significance.
Man's wretched state, That floures so fresh at morne, and fades at evening late.
Man, wretched man, whene'er he stoops to sin, Feels, with the act, a strong remorse within.
'Tis pity bounty had not eyes behind, That man mignt ae'er be wretched for his mind.
Hot wax dripping down to the wretched poor I have seen it a thousand times before
Lying on stained wretched sheets with the bleeding virgin, we could plan a murder...or start a religion.
O wretched is the dame, to whom the sound, "Your lord will soon return," no pleasure brings.
A man who attempts to debate when he cannot listen must make a wretched display of impotence.
There is a limit to caution and farsightedness; if one goes beyond the limit, fear and wretchedness will result.
Fame without the money to insulate you from it is one of the most wretched human conditions possible. (p. 80)
Suddenly the breeze of victory began to blow, and as willed by Allah, the wretched Deccanis (Maratha's) suffered utter defeat.
Nietzsche’s ideas and plans: for example, the idea of giving up the whole wretched academic world to form a secular monastic community.
The problem for a Paracelsian physician like me is that I see diseases as disguises in which people present me with their wretchedness.
Russia! Russia! I see you now, from my wondrous, beautiful past I behold you! How wretched, dispersed, and uncomfortable everything is about you...
… Nietzsche’s ideas and plans: for example, the idea of giving up the whole wretched academic world to form a secular monastic community.
Oh! could I throw aside these earthly bands That tie me down where wretched mortals sigh— To join blest spirits in celestial lands!
All these examples of wretchedness prove his greatness. It is the wretchedness of a great lord, the wretchedness of a dispossessed king. 425
Our lord bishops…that swinish rabble, are petty antichrists, petty popes, proud prelates, intolerable withstanders of reformation, enemies of the gospel, and most covetous wretched priests.
My God! O let me call Thee mine! Weak, wretched sinner though I be, My trembling soul would fain be Thine, My feeble faith still clings to Thee.
...amidst wretchedness, poverty and starvation it is too difficult to preach Advaitism and realize the grand dream of Universal Unity...poor must be given bread first and then religion.
Imagination cannot make fools wise, but it makes them happy, as against reason, which only makes its friends wretched: one covers them with glory, the other with shame. 82
I have not been without battle. Bitter affliction was frequent Between me and my cousins. Frequent trials fell Between me and my fellow-countrymen. There was frequent contention Between me and the wretched.
A wretched soul, bruis'd with adversity, We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry; But, were we burden'd with like weight of pain, As much or more we should ourselves complain.
I regard the inflation acts as wrong in all ways. Personally I am one of the noble army of debtors, and can stand it if others can. But it is a wretched business.
O sad estate Of human wretchedness; so weak is man, So ignorant and blind, that did not God Sometimes withhold in mercy what we ask, We should be ruined at our own request.
What beauty and excellence can the founder of the city seen in this wretched city with its dust-laden air, its hot winds, its dry river-bed, its brackish nasty water and its thron covered suburbs.
O wretched and unhappy Italy! Can you not see that gluttony murders every year more of your inhabitants than you could lose by the most cruel plague or by fire and sword in many battles?
And where, for God’s sake, does that wretched, utterly dishonest phrase “coalition forces” come from? There is no “coalition” in this Iraq war. There are the Americans and the British and a few Australians. That’s it.
What then? what rests? Try what repentance can: what can it not? Yet what can it when one cannot repent? O wretched state! O bosom black as death! O limed soul, that struggling to be free Art more engag'd!
O wretched and unhappy Italy! Can you not see that gluttony murders every year more of your inhabitants than you could lose by the most cruel plague or by fire and sword in many battles? - Luigi Cornaro, Discorsi della Vita Sobria.
But hark! what shriek of death comes in the gale, And in the distant ray what glimmering sail Bends to the storm?—Now sinks the note of fear! Ah? wretched mariners!—no more shall day Unclose his cheering eye to light ye on your way!
My room is very easy to find when you get here, and as for distance, you know - why, Oxford is as near to London as London is to Oxford. If your geography-book doesn't tell you that, it must be a wretched affair.
The wretched desert takes its form, the jackal proud and tight. In search of you, I feel my way, through the slowest heaving night. Whatever fear invents, I swear it makes no sense. I reach through the border fence. Come down, come talk to me.
By way of that wretched sentence "Auschwitz cannot be explained" is the wretched author explaining that we should be silent concerning Auschwitz, that Auschwitz doesn’t exist, or, rather, that it didn’t, for the only facts that cannot be explained are those that don’t or didn’t exist.
Nana (to Mariam) : A man's heart isn't like a woman's womb, Mariam! It won't bleed, it won't make room for you. A man's heart is a wretched, wretched thing. I'm all you have in this world, Mariam and when I'm gone, you'll have nothing. You are nothing!
The wretched consciousness shrinks from it own annihilation, and just as an animal spirit newly severed from the womb of the world, finds itself confronted with the world and knows itself distinct from it, so consciousness must needs desire to possess another life than that of the world itself.
So he died, because for a split second he got brave. But not then. He died much later, after the split second of bravery had faded into long hours of wretched gasping fear, and after the long hours of fear had exploded into long minutes of insane screaming panic.
No rising star in the political firmament ever shone more brightly than Oswald Mosley, none promised more surely to soar to the heavens – and none fell to earth with so deadening a thud. Never were such rich talents so wretchedly squandered. Never did success turn to failure so inscrutably.
'Twould ring the bells of Heaven The wildest peal for years, If Parson lost his senses And people came to theirs, And he and they together Knelt down with angry prayers For tamed and shabby tigers And dancing dogs and bears, And wretched, blind, pit ponies, And little hunted hares.
O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favors! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars and women have; And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.
The peasants [of Russia], only a short time free from serfdom, are wretchedly poor. ...The people in that country are about three-fourths illiterate, and the vast majority of the laboring people are peasants. Floggings are of daily occurrence, and the fatalism common to all backward peoples is widespread in Russia.
The world's a bubble—and the life of man Less than a span. In his conception wretched, and from the womb So to the tomb. Nurst from the cradle, and brought up to years With cares and fears. Who then to frail mortality shall trust, But limns in water, and but writes in dust.
You had to form for yourself a lucid language for the world, to overcome the battering of experience, to replace everyday life’s pain and harshness and wretched dreariness with — no not with certainty but with an ignorance you could live with. Deep ignorance, but still a kind that knew its limits. The limits were crucial.
The haggardness of poverty is everywhere seen contrasted with the sleekness of wealth, the exhorted labour of some compensating for the idleness of others, wretched hovels by the side of stately colonnades, the rags of indigence blended with the ensigns of opulence; in a word, the most useless profusion in the midst of the most urgent wants.
The narrow way, the way of holiness, not only leads to life, but it is life. Walking there, serene are our days, peaceful our nights, happy — high above the disorders and miseries of a wretched world—shall be our hourly communion with God; happy — full of assurance, of calm and sacred triumph, shall be our dying hour.
'Do not let the title of scholar, or poet, or lord, intimidate you overmuch. More importantly, do not delude yourself into imagining that such men and women are loftier, or somehow cleverer or purer of intgrity or ideal than you or the other commoner. We live in a world of facades, but the grins behind them are all wretched.'
The minister, who would be most like the Master, must go and, like Him, lay the warm, kindly hand on the leper, the diseased, the wretched. He must touch the blind eyes with something from himself. The tears must be in his own eyes over the dead who are to be raised to spiritual life. Jesus is our great exemplar.
A queen I was, what Gods I knew I loved, And nothing evil was there in my thought, And yet by love my wretched heart was moved Until to utter ruin I was brought! Alas! thou sayest our gods were vain and nought, Wait, wait, till thou hast heard this tale of mine, Then shalt thou think them devilish or divine.
The deplorable condition of many of our people on whom much money has been spent is mainly owing to their wretched education, during which they have tasted of many things, but have relished nothing, learned nothing well, and have been turned out with the unhappy conceit in their heads that they have been educated, because they think that they have learned something.
Mrs. Morse had been drinking all the afternoon; while she dressed to go out, she felt herself rising pleasurably from drowsiness to high spirits. But as she came out into the street the effects of the whisky deserted her completely, and she was filled with a slow, grinding wretchedness so horrible that she stood swaying on the pavement, unable for a moment to move forward.
Apart from the positive woes of perdition, an eternity of wretchedness grows from the want of love to Christ as naturally as the oak grows from the acorn, or the harvest from the scattered grain. It is not that love to Christ merits heaven; it does far better, it makes heaven. It is, as it were, the organ of sensation that takes note of heaven's blessedness.
I sat smiling wretchedly, my heart weeping for The Little Dog Laughed, for every well-turned phrase, for the little flecks of poetry through it, my first story, the best thing I could show for my whole life. It was the record of all that was good in me, approved and printed by the great J. C. Hackmuth, and she had torn it up and thrown it into a spittoon.
To our unhappy sex genius and sensibility are the most treacherous gifts of Heaven. Why should we cultivate talents merely to gratify the caprice of tyrants? Why seek for knowledge, which can prove only that our wretchedness is irremediable? If a ray of light break in upon us, it is but to make darkness more visible; to show us the narrow limits, the Gothic structure, the impenetrable barriers of our prison.
There is a Thorn,—it looks so old, In truth, you'd find it hard to say How it could ever have been young, It looks so old and gray. Not higher than a two years child It stands erect, this aged Thorn; No leaves it has, no prickly points; It is a mass of knotted joints, A wretched thing forlorn. It stands erect, and like a stone With lichens is it overgrown.
The best kings desire to be in a position to be wicked, if they please, without forfeiting their mastery: political sermonisers may tell them to their hearts' content that, the people's strength being their own, their first interest is that the people should be prosperous, numerous and formidable; they are well aware that this is untrue. Their first personal interest is that the people should be weak, wretched, and unable to resist them.
Then ultimately, having developed a subversiveness that had transcended anything that I had as a child, knowing that I’ll be completely uncomfortable wearing those clothes, it would probably act as a distraction in court, and the fact that of course it looked absolutely wretched, I refused to comply, and so went out of the toilet and told him: “It’s either I’m going to wear the black shirt, otherwise, I’m going to wear pyjamas.”
We are fools to depend upon the society of our fellow-men. Wretched as we are, powerless as we are, they will not aid us; we shall die alone. We should therefore act as if we were alone, and in that case should we build fine houses, etc.? We should seek the truth without hesitation; and, if we refuse it, we show that we value the esteem of men more than the search for truth. 211
Perhaps yours is a very remorseful past — a foolish, frivolous, disgraceful, frittered past. Well, Christ says, " My servant, be sad," but no languor; there is work to be done forme yet — rise up, be going! Oh, my brethren, Christ takes your wretched remnants of life — the feeble pulses of a heart which has spent its best hours not for Him, but for self and for enjoyment, and in His strange love He condescends to accept them.
When ready to set out for my world of enchantment, if I saw some wretched mortals arrive who came to keep me back upon earth, I was unable to conceal or restrain my annoyance, and, losing control over myself, I gave them so rude a reception, that it might almost have been called brutal. This only increased my reputation as a misanthrope, whereas it would have gained for me a very different one, if the world had read my heart better.
Pleasure in itself is good, but hope and fear are bad, and so are humility and repentance: "he who repents of an action is doubly wretched or infirm." Spinoza regards time as unreal, therefore all emotions which have to do essentially with an event as future or past are contrary to reason. "In so far as the mind conceives a thing as under the dictate of reason, it is affected equally, whether the idea be of a thing present, past, or future."
What is the greatest you could experience? It is the hour of the great despising. The hour in which even your happiness disgusts you and likewise your reason and your virtue. The hour when you say: “What good is my happiness! It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment. But my happiness should justify existence itself!” The hour when you say: “What good is my reason! Does it crave knowing and the lion craves its good? It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment.”
And why should man, added he, pretend to an exemption from the lot of all other animals? The whole earth, believe me, PHILO, is cursed and polluted. A perpetual war is kindled amongst all living creatures. Necessity, hunger, want, stimulate the strong and courageous: Fear, anxiety, terror, agitate the weak and infirm. The first entrance into life gives anguish to the new-born infant and to its wretched parent: Weakness, impotence, distress, attend each stage of that life: and it is at last finished in agony and horror.
Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, blackmailing, cowardly, thoroughly dishonest creep. His so-called ‘talent’ consists of nothing but tormenting helpless creatures and, if necessary, torturing them to death or simply murdering them. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything except his wretched career as a so-called filmmaker. Driven by a pathological addiction to sensationalism, he creates the most senseless difficulties and dangers, risking other people’s safety and even their lives -just so he can eventually say that he, Herzog, has beaten seemingly unbeatable odds.
I ask no more from mortals Than your beautiful face implies,— The beauty the artist beholding Interprets and sanctifies. Who says that men have fallen, That life is wretched and rough? I say, the world is lovely, And that loveliness is enough. So my doubting days are ended, And the labour of life seems clear; And life hums deeply around me, Just like the murmur here, And quickens the sense of living, And shapes me for peace and storm,— And dims my eyes with gladness When it glides into colour and form!
What is it to be superintendent, chancellor, first president, but to be in a condition wherein from early morning a large number of people come from all quarters to see them, so as not to leave them an hour in the day in which they can think of themselves? And when they are in disgrace and sent back to their country houses, where they lack neither wealth nor servants to help them on occasion, they do not fail to be wretched and desolate, because no one prevents them from thinking of themselves. 139
Dualistic ethics which find in matter the principle of unreality or evil, diminish the human interest in physical fact. The ethics of Plotinus consisted in purification and detachment from things of sense. This is asceticism. And Plotinus was an ascetic, not through endeavor, but from contempt. He did not struggle to renounce the world, but despised it with the spontaneity of a sublimated temperament. He seemed like a man ashamed of being in the body, Porphyry says of him. Nor did he wish to cure any contemptible bodily ailments, or wash his wretched body.
I see other persons around me of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left a sign of Himself. 692
We are already justified in the conviction that human life as we know it in history is a wretched makeshift, rooted in ignorance; and that it could be transcended by a state of existence based on the illumination of knowledge and comprehension, just as our modern control of physical nature based on science transcends the tentative fumblings of our ancestors, that were rooted in superstition and professional secrecy. To do this, we must study the possibilities of creating a more favourable social environment, as we have already done in large measure with our physical environment.
[Rhyme is] but the invention of a barbarous age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meter; … Not without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish poets of prime note have rejected rhyme, … as have also long since our best English tragedies, as... trivial and of no true musical delight; which [truly] consists only in apt numbers, fit quantity of syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoided by the learned ancients both in poetry and all good oratory.
From the time of our first arrival in San Miguel that morning, to the death of Howland, the plaza had been nearly filled with armed men. ...Immediately after the execution of Howland, detachment after detachment of mounted men left the plaza for Anton Chico, where we now learned that Captain Sutton and Colonel Cooke, with their men, were encamped. Next the two pieces of cannon were dragged off in the same direction, surrounded and followed by a motley collection of Indians and badly-armed, half naked, wretched Mexicans, whom Armijo dignified with the title of rural militia.
Years later I saw the gabbia at Piacenza; a harsh black canary-cage strung up high the side of the the towering campanile, in which prisoners were once left to starve to death and rot in full view of the town below. And looking up at it, I remembered that winter in Greece, that Gabbia I had constructed for myself out of light, solitude and self-delusions. My feelings at the end of that wretched term, were those of a man who knows he is in a cage, exposed to the jeers of all his old ambitions until he dies.
The East Berliners were in their wretched element, having passed immediately from one totalitarian regime to another. The damnable hypocrisy of the half-town, pretending that the West was the true prison and the gunmen were protecting the freedom of the citizen, stood for a metaphysic based on lies, the biggest lie of all being the perversion of the term demokratisch. Under the roof of the Friedrichstrabe S-Bahn platform two boys with sub-machine-guns paced, their eyes on potential refugees from communist prosperity. It was a relief to get to the Zoo station and all the howling injunctions to consume.
[Chopping wood] is harder than you think, and I'll bet that you would not split much wood... All the same, I have probably not reached the end of my troubles. Here is winter at hand, a season not very pleasant for the wretched. Then comes the Salon. Alas! I still won't be in it, for I shall have done nothing. I have a dream a picture of the bathing spot at the Grenouillere, for which I've made a few poor sketches, but it is a dream. Renoir, who has just spent two months here, also wants to do this painting.
I shouldn’t care what you suffered. I care nothing for your sufferings. Why shouldn’t you suffer? I do! Will you forget me — will you be happy when I am in the earth? Will you say, twenty years hence, “That’s the grave of Catherine Earnshaw. I loved her long ago, and was wretched to lose her; but it is past. I’ve loved many others since — my children are dearer to me than she was, and, at death, I shall not rejoice that I am going to her, I shall be sorry that I must leave them!” Will you say so, Heathcliff?
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
In many ways I still resent the wretched yellow journalism that was clearly evident in (the media's) treatment of the game — 60 Minutes in particular. I've never watched that show after Ed Bradley's interview with me because they rearranged my answers. When I sent some copies of letters from mothers of those two children who had committed suicide who said the game had nothing to do with it, they refused to do a retraction or even mention it on air. What bothered me is that I was getting death threats, telephone calls, and letters. I was a little nervous. I had a bodyguard for a while.
Turgot was something more even than the best man of his party. He was the best worker. While Voltaire clamoured and wept for humanity, while d'Alembert thought, Grimm wrote, Diderot talked, and Condorcet dreamed and died, Turgot laboured. Broad and bold in aim, he was yet content to do what he could. … To do one's best here and now, with the wretched tools one has to hand, in the teeth of indolence, obstinacy, and the spirit of routine, to compromise where one cannot overcome, and instead of sitting picturing some golden future, to do at once the little one can — that was this statesman's policy.
The Kahal is the corrupting factor which changes our state - it is the cause of the seizure, the trusts, the failures that undermine trade, industry and agriculture in Romania - it is the body that wanders through the public newspapers which it subsidizes - it is the agent spreading the insidious ideas of materialism and liberalism, socialism, anarchism - it is the power of occult Freemasonry. The Kahal is, finally, the agent of revolutions that shook the world and, for some time, troubled the peace of the wretched Romanian people. This is the occult Jewish power against which mankind is disarmed, because they do not know.
In this time I saw a body lying on the earth, which body shewed heavy and horrible, without shape and form, as it were a swollen quag of stinking mire. And suddenly out of this body sprang a full fair creature, a little Child, fully shapen and formed, nimble and lively, whiter than lily; which swiftly glided up into heaven. And the swollenness of the body betokeneth great wretchedness of our deadly flesh, and the littleness of the Child betokeneth the cleanness of purity in the soul. And methought: With this body abideth no fairness of this Child, and on this Child dwelleth no foulness of this body.
The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this army—Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; that is all we can expect—We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.
When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awaken without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. 692
If we never fell, we should not know how feeble and how wretched we are of our self, and also we should not fully know that marvellous love of our Maker. For we shall see verily in heaven, without end, that we have grievously sinned in this life, and notwithstanding this, we shall see that we were never hurt in His love, we were never the less of price in His sight. And by the assay of this falling we shall have an high, marvellous knowing of love in God, without end. For strong and marvellous is that love which may not, nor will not, be broken for trespass.
Therefore be amazed, you great and small who fear God, and you men of God, eloquent speakers, listen and contemplate. Who was it summoned me, a fool, from the midst of those who appear wise and learned in the law and powerful in rhetoric and in all things? Me, truly wretched in this world, he inspired before others that I could be — if I would — such a one who, with fear and reverence, and faithfully, without complaint, would come to the people to whom the love of Christ brought me and gave me in my lifetime, if I should be worthy, to serve them truly and with humility.
What a piece of work is man! says the poet. Yes: but what a blunderer! Here is the highest miracle of organization yet attained by life, the most intensely alive thing that exists, the most conscious of all the organisms; and yet, how wretched are his brains! Stupidity made sordid and cruel by the realities learnt from toil and poverty: Imagination resolved to starve sooner than face these realities, piling up illusions to hide them, and calling itself cleverness, genius! And each accusing the other of its own defect: Stupidity accusing Imagination of folly, and Imagination accusing Stupidity of ignorance: whereas, alas! Stupidity has all the knowledge, and Imagination all the intelligence.
Their worship was not paid to the demon which such a being as they imagined would really be, but to their own idea of excellence. The evil is, that such a belief keeps the ideal wretchedly low; and opposes the most obstinate resistance to all thought which has a tendency to raise it higher. Believers shrink from every train of ideas which would lead the mind to a clear conception and an elevated standard of excellence, because they feel (even when they do not distinctly see) that such a standard would conflict with many of the dispensations of nature, and with much of what they are accustomed to consider as the Christian creed.
When she read my first book Visions and Revisions, she sent me so many red roses that they filled the little flat, but I was too nervous to go and see her. She has been one of the most thrilling sensations — but that is a wretched word to express it — of my whole existence. She has danced for me alone — with a beauty that makes the most beautiful young girls' dancing seem mere child's play. It was as though Demeter herself, the mater dolorosa of the ancient earth, rose and danced. Well, she has gone — and I enclose to you the red rose she gave to me as she went.
President Reagan knew that he would not get behavior change from the Soviet regime unless he seemed serious about changing it. The actual change was a happy byproduct, which spelled the end of the Marxist mystique. East-European youth backpacked their way to the West to tell fellow students about the wide chasm between the deceptive promise of Marxism and its wretched reality. Long lines to take Marxist courses disappeared in Universities, from Buenos Aires to Paris. Similarly, I am convinced once the people bring down the clerical regime, with Iranian journalists, intellectuals and students free to travel, they will have the same shattering impact on the appeal of Islamist theocracy throughout the Moslem world.
May the sacred stream of amity flow forever in my heart. May the universe prosper - such is my cherished desire. May my heart sing with ecstasy at the sight of the virtuous. And may my life be an offering at their feet. May my heart bleed at the sight of the wretched, the irreligious, and my tears of compassion flow from my eyes. May I always be there to show the path to the pathless wanderers of life. Yet if they should not hearken to me, may I bide in patience. May the spirit of goodwill enter into all our hearts, May we all sing in chorus the immortal song of human concord
Our Substance is our Father, God Almighty, and our Substance is our Mother, God, All-wisdom; and our Substance is in our Lord the Holy Ghost, God All-goodness. For our Substance is whole in each Person of the Trinity, which is one God. And our Sense-soul is only in the Second Person Christ Jesus; in whom is the Father and the Holy Ghost: and in Him and by Him we are mightily taken out of Hell, and out of the wretchedness in Earth worshipfully brought up into Heaven and blissfully oned to our Substance: increased in riches and in nobleness by all the virtues of Christ, and by the grace and working of the Holy Ghost.
Many many heartfelt thanks for your letter of September 25. Though it filled me with shame and remorse, I was grateful for the Christian impulse which moved you to stretch out a hand to me in my wretchedness. You say "We become that with which we busy our mind." Too true! Alas, too true! I recall that as a boy the school chaplain said to my class, "If you tell dirty jokes you will grow to look like a dirty joke!" This is been my hapless destiny.... Would you do me a favour? Will you send me a photograph of yourself, so that I may behold a countenance suffused with Christian love, and perhaps even repent?
[Philistines] only devised the notion of an epigone-age in order to secure peace for themselves, and to be able to reject all the efforts of disturbing innovators summarily as the work of epigones. With the view of ensuring their own tranquility, these smug ones even appropriated history, and sought to transform all sciences that threatened to disturb their wretched ease into branches of history... No, in their desire to acquire an historical grasp of everything, stultification became the sole aim of these philosophical admirers of “nil admirari.” While professing to hate every form of fanaticism and intolerance, what they really hated, at bottom, was the dominating genius and the tyranny of the real claims of culture.
Philistines … devised the notion of an epigone-age in order to secure peace for themselves, and to be able to reject all the efforts of disturbing innovators summarily as the work of epigones. With the view of ensuring their own tranquility, these smug ones even appropriated history, and sought to transform all sciences that threatened to disturb their wretched ease into branches of history. … In their desire to acquire an historical grasp of everything, stultification became the sole aim of these philosophical admirers of “nil admirari.” While professing to hate every form of fanaticism and intolerance, what they really hated, at bottom, was the dominating genius and the tyranny of the real claims of culture.
[Philistines] only devised the notion of an epigone-age in order to secure peace for themselves, and to be able to reject all the efforts of disturbing innovators summarily as the work of epigones. With the view of ensuring their own tranquility, these smug ones even appropriated history, and sought to transform all sciences that threatened to disturb their wretched ease into branches of history. … No, in their desire to acquire an historical grasp of everything, stultification became the sole aim of these philosophical admirers of “nil admirari.” While professing to hate every form of fanaticism and intolerance, what they really hated, at bottom, was the dominating genius and the tyranny of the real claims of culture.
The true way to virtue is by withdrawing from temptation; let us then withdraw from these wretched Africans those temptations to fraud, violence, cruelty, and injustice, which the slave trade furnishes. Wherever the sun shines, let us go round the world with him, diffusing our benevolence; but let us not traffic, only that we may set kings against their subjects, subjects against their kings, sowing discord in every village, fear and terror in every family, setting millions of our fellow creatures a-hunting each other for slaves, creating fairs and markets for human flesh through one whole continent of the world, and, under the name of policy, concealing from ourselves all the baseness and iniquity of such a traffic
Yet the current ideas of liberty, which bend so easily to real infringements of the freedom of the individual, in things which concern only himself, would repel the attempt to put any restraint upon his inclinations when the consequence of their indulgence is a life, or lives, of wretchedness and depravity to the offspring, with manifold evils to those sufficiently within reach to be in any way affected by their actions. When we compare the strange respect of mankind for liberty, with their strange want of respect for it, we might imagine that a man had an indispensable right to do harm to others, and no right at all to please himself without giving pain to any one.
Mozart's influence transcends history. Each generation sees something different in his work Mozart's music, which to so many of his contemporaries still seemed to have the brittleness of clay, has long since been transformed into gold gleaming in the light, though it has taken on the different luster of each new generation No earthly remains of Mozart survived save a few wretched portraits, no two of which are alike; the fact that all the reproductions of his death-mask, which would have shown him as he really was, have crumbled to bits seems symbolic. It is as though the world-spirit wished to show that here is pure sound, conforming to a weightless cosmos, triumphant over all chaotic earthliness, spirit of the world-spirit.
The friends of genuine, and I will add of rational Christianity, have not,... on the whole, much reason to regret that their enemies have not made these distinctions; since by this means, we have been taught to make them ourselves; so that Christianity is perhaps as much indebted to its enemies, as to its friends, for this important service. In their indiscriminate attacks, whatever has been found to be untenable has been gradually abandoned, and I hope the attack will be continued till nothing of the wretched outworks be left; and then, I doubt not, a safe and impregnable fortress, will be sound in the center, a fortress built upon a rock, against which the gates of death will not prevail.
Father, I am greatly disturbed by a vision which has appeared to me through divine revelation, a vision seen not with my fleshly eyes but only in my spirit. Wretched, and indeed more than wretched in my womanly condition, I have from earliest childhood4 seen great marvels which my tongue has no power to express but which the Spirit of God has taught me that I may believe." Steadfast and gentle father, in your kindness respond to me, your unworthy servant, who has never, from her earliest childhood, lived one hour free from anxiety. In your piety and wisdom look in your spirit, as you have been taught by the Holy Spirit, and from your heart bring comfort to your handmaiden.
Well, if one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected — those, precisely, who need the law's protection most! — and listens to their testimony. Ask any Mexican, any Puerto Rican, any black man, any poor person — ask the wretched how they fare in the halls of justice, and then you will know, not whether or not the country is just, but whether or not it has any love for justice, or any concept of it. It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
When I say impotent, I mean I've lost even my desire to work. That's a hell of a lot more primal passion than sex. I've lost my reason for being. My purpose. The only thing I ever truly loved. … We have established the most enormous, medical entity ever conceived and people are sicker than ever! WE CURE NOTHING! WE HEAL NOTHING! The whole goddamn wretched world is strangulating in front of our eyes. That's what I mean when I say impotent. You don't know what the hell I'm talking about, do you?...I'm tired. I'm very tired, Miss Drummond. And I hurt. And I've got nothing going for me anymore. Can you understand that?...And you also understand that the only admissible matter left is death.
You got through a day and wondered what your reward was. It soon became evident the prize was you got to withstand tomorrow too. You got through it, hour by long hour, but at the end you looked up without much expectation. You had begun the understand the score. Sure enough: today's prize was the same. Outwardly calm, but with a scream building like the sound of a long-forgotten steam engine in the back corner of a basement, you got through that tomorrow too, and a flat hardpan of further tomorrows after that. You got through enough of then to realize you'd been had, that there aren't tomorrows after all but the wretched stretch of an endless today. What can you do? Rebellion gets you nowhere.
Titan! to thee the strife was given Between the suffering and the will, Which torture where they cannot kill; And the inexorable Heaven, And the deaf tyranny of Fate, The ruling principle of Hate, Which for its pleasure doth create The things it may annihilate, Refused thee even the boon to die: The wretched gift eternity Was thine — and thou hast borne it well. All that the Thunderer wrung from thee Was but the menace which flung back On him the torments of thy rack; The fate thou didst so well foresee, But would not to appease him tell; And in thy Silence was his Sentence, And in his Soul a vain repentance, And evil dread so ill dissembled, That in his hand the lightnings trembled.
When marine officers called on me at Palma, they remarked on the clean roads, the punctual trams and so on. 'Why', they exclaimed, 'business as usual - and you say there's killing going on? what nonsense!' They didn't realise that any tradesman who closed down, closed down at his peril. They didn't know that the relatives of the executed were not allowed to go into mourning. How can you expect the outside appearance of a town to be affected, just because the staff of its prisons is double, treble, ten times, a hundred times what it was? The discreet slaughter of fifteen or twenty wretched people per day, will not prevent tramways from running to schedule, cafés from being full, or churches resounding with the Te Deum.
It is the failing of a certain literature to believe that life is tragic because it is wretched. Life can be magnificent and overwhelming — that is its whole tragedy. Without beauty, love, or danger it would be almost easy to live. And M. Sartre's hero does not perhaps give us the real meaning of his anguish when he insists on those aspects of man he finds repugnant, instead of basing his reasons for despair on certain of man's signs of greatness. The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
It rained. The procession of weary soldiers became a bedraggled train, despondent and muttering, marching with churning effort in a trough of liquid brown mud under a low, wretched sky. Yet the youth smiled, for he saw that the world was a world for him, though many discovered it to be made of oaths and walking sticks. He had rid himself of the red sickness of battle. The sultry nightmare was in the past. He had been an animal blistered and sweating in the heat and pain of war. He turned now with a lover's thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks — an existence of soft and eternal peace. Over the river a golden ray of sun came through the hosts of leaden rain clouds.
It is not the healthy, the confident, the proud, the joyous, the happy, that one must love - they have no need of one's love! Arrogant and indifferent, they accept love only as homage that is theirs to command, as their due. The devotion of another is to them a mere embellishment, an ornament for the hair, a bracelet on the arm, not the whole meaning and bliss of their lives. Only those with whom life has dealt hardly, the wretched, the slighted, the uncertain, the unlovely, the humiliated, could really be helped by love. He who devotes his life to them atones to them for what life has taken from them. They alone know how to love and be loved as one should love - gratefully and humbly.
Man's weakness makes him sociable. Our common sufferings draw our hearts to our fellow-creatures; we should have no duties to mankind if we were not men. Every affection is a sign of insufficiency; if each of us had no need of others, we should hardly think of associating with them. So our frail happiness has its roots in our weakness. A really happy man is a hermit; God only enjoys absolute happiness; but which of us has any idea what that means? If any imperfect creature were self-sufficing, what would he have to enjoy? To our thinking he would be wretched and alone. I do not understand how one who has need of nothing could love anything, nor do I understand how he who loves nothing can be happy.
We see sad scenes by the wayside, small and wretched hovels in quarries and nooks of the roads in which some wretched family finds shelter. The children leave an impression of misery on the mind which can never be effaced. Houses unroofed and lands waste and de-populated, are the memorials of the frightful calamities through which the country has passed. The proprietors are nearly all bankrupt, great numbers of the farmers are gone away, thousands of the peasantry are in the work-houses or in their graves. I believe we can form no fair idea of what has passed in these districts within the last four years, and I see no great prospect of a solid improvement. Here we have in perfection the fruits of aristocratic and territorial usurpation and privileges.
I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God's word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.
Yea, so far forth I saw, that our Lord joyeth of the tribulations of His servants, with ruth and compassion. On each person that He loveth, to His bliss for to bring, He layeth something that is no blame in His sight, whereby they are blamed and despised in this world, scorned, mocked, and outcasted. And this He doeth for to hinder the harm that they should take from the pomp and the vain-glory of this wretched life, and make their way ready to come to Heaven, and up-raise them in His bliss everlasting. For He saith: I shall wholly break you of your vain affections and your vicious pride; and after that I shall together gather you, and make you mild and meek, clean and holy, by oneing to me.
I sincerely hope, trust, and pray that this part of my journey will not seem as dull to you as it did to me at the time, or as it does to me now while I write of it. But now I come to think of it, it cannot seem as dull, for I had to walk that wretched thirty miles or so all the day long, whereas you have not even to read it; for I am not going to say anything more about it, but lead you straight to the end.Oh, blessed quality of books, that makes them a refuge from living! For in a book everything can be made to fit in, all tedium can be skipped over, and the intense moments can be made timeless and eternal.
Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the Right of another. And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know. This sacred Privilege is to essential to free Governments, that the Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Fteeness [sic!] of Speech; a Thing terrible to Publick Traytors.
I’m writing this note, though, because I want to save you if I can. When I was first given the job of spying on you, I had no feelings about your life. Because I did have a husband, Robert. You killed him. But now it’s different. I know now that you were just as much forced into your situation as we were forced into ours. We are infected. But you already know that. What you don’t understand yet is that we’re going to stay alive. We’ve found a way to do that and we’re going to set up society again slowly but surely. We’re going to do away with all those wretched creatures whom death has cheated. And, even though I pray otherwise, we may decide to kill you and those like you.
We have more men and more resources than these traitors and five times as much money. We must beat them in the end, but we must do it by poking them, butting them whenever we see them. By God, shall a United States ship of war hesitate to go in and destroy a dozen of these wretched Mississippi steamers? I am sick of hearing my officers talk of cotton-clad boats and impregnable rams. They should pitch in and destroy them. What matters it, general, whether you and I are killed or not. We came here to die. It is our business and must happen sooner or later. We must fight this thing out until there is no more than one man left and that man must be a Union man. Here's to his health.
In opposition to the aristocratic valuation (good = noble, beautiful, happy, favoured by the gods) the slave morality then is this: The wretched alone are the good; those who suffer and are heavy laden, the sick and the ugly, they are the only pious ones. On the other hand, you, ye noble and rich, are to all eternity the evil, the cruel, the insatiate, the ungodly, and after death the damned. Whereas noble morality was the manifestation of great self-esteem, a continual yea-saying, slave morality is a continual Nay, a Thou shall not, a negation. To the noble valuation good bad (bad = worthless) corresponds the antithesis of slave morality, good evil. And who are the evil in this morality of the oppressed? Precisely the same who in the other morality were the good.
It was … declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. … Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. … avoiding all contact with that evil way. … who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them. … a people so utterly depraved. … Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. … no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.
At one time the Spartans were capable of such a wise measure, but not our present, mendaciously sentimental, bourgeois patriotic nonsense. The rule of six thousand Spartans over three hundred and fifty thousand Helots was only thinkable in consequence of the high racial value of the Spartans. But this was the result of a systematic race preservation; thus Sparta must be regarded as the first Völkisch State. The exposure of sick, weak, deformed children, in short their destruction, was more decent and in truth a thousand times more humane than the wretched insanity of our day which preserves the most pathological subject, and indeed at any price, and yet takes the life of a hundred thousand healthy children in consequence of birth control or through abortions, in order subsequently to breed a race of degenerates burdened with illnesses.
There is now resentment in my love. The thought is troubling my mind that she has a narrow heart, and that in this lies the secret of her unyieldingness. To-day, when I come to think it over more calmly, I go back to the conviction that she has some feeling for me, composed of gratitude, pity, and memories of the past; but it has no active power, cannot rise above prejudice, — even to the avowal of its existence. It does not respect itself, hides, is ashamed of itself, and in comparison with mine is as the mustard-seed to those Alps which surround us. From Aniela one may expect that she will restrict it rather than let it grow. It is of no use to hope or watch for anything from her; that conviction makes me very wretched.
But first me behoveth to tell you as anent my feebleness, wretchedness and blindness. — I have said in the beginning: And in this all my pain was suddenly taken from me: of which pain I had no grief nor distress as long as the Fifteen Shewings lasted following. And at the end all was close, and I saw no more. And soon I felt that I should live and languish; and anon my sickness came again: first in my head with a sound and a din, and suddenly all my body was fulfilled with sickness like as it was afore. And I was as barren and as dry as I never had comfort but little. And as a wretched creature I moaned and cried for feeling of my bodily pains and for failing of comfort, spiritual and bodily.
But when we consider the fleeting nature of human affairs, the restless and uneasy spirit of our times, when every generation overturns the work of its predecessor, can we conceive a more senseless plan than to educate a child as if he would never leave his room, as if he would always have his servants about him? If the wretched creature takes a single step up or down he is lost. This is not teaching him to bear pain; it is training him to feel it. People think only of preserving their child's life; this is not enough, he must be taught to preserve his own life when he is a man, to bear the buffets of fortune, to brave wealth and poverty, to live at need among the snows of Iceland or on the scorching rocks of Malta.
Black magic is not a myth. It is a totally unscientific and emotional form of magic, but it does get results — of an extremely temporary nature. The recoil upon those who practice it is terrific. It is like looking for an escape of gas with a lighted candle. As far as the search goes, there is little fear of failure! To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires. I have been accused of being a "black magician." No more foolish statement was ever made about me. I despise the thing to such an extent that I can hardly believe in the existence of people so debased and idiotic as to practice it.
It must be admitted that this method has its drawbacks, and it is not easy to carry it out; for if he becomes too soon engrossed in watching other people, if you train him to mark too closely the actions of others, you will make him spiteful and satirical, quick and decided in his judgments of others; he will find a hateful pleasure in seeking bad motives, and will fail to see the good even in that which is really good. He will, at least, get used to the sight of vice, he will behold the wicked without horror, just as we get used to seeing the wretched without pity. Soon the perversity of mankind will be not so much a warning as an excuse; he will say, "Man is made so," and he will have no wish to be different from the rest.
If their childhood is made wretched by these notions of power and tyranny, what of their manhood, when their relations with their fellow-men begin to grow and multiply? They are used to find everything give way to them; what a painful surprise to enter society and meet with opposition on every side, to be crushed beneath the weight of a universe which they expected to move at will. Their insolent manners, their childish vanity, only draw down upon them mortification, scorn, and mockery; they swallow insults like water; sharp experience soon teaches them that they have realised neither their position nor their strength. As they cannot do everything, they think they can do nothing. They are daunted by unexpected obstacles, degraded by the scorn of men; they become base, cowardly, and deceitful, and fall as far below their true level as they formerly soared above it.0
Thy Godlike crime was to be kind, To render with thy precepts less The sum of human wretchedness, And strengthen Man with his own mind; But baffled as thou wert from high, Still in thy patient energy, In the endurance, and repulse Of thine impenetrable Spirit, Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse, A mighty lesson we inherit: Thou art a symbol and a sign To Mortals of their fate and force; Like thee, Man is in part divine, A troubled stream from a pure source; And Man in portions can foresee His own funereal destiny; His wretchedness, and his resistance, And his sad unallied existence: To which his Spirit may oppose Itself — and equal to all woes, And a firm will, and a deep sense, Which even in torture can decry Its own concenter'd recompense, Triumphant where it dares defy, And making Death a Victory.
I would count him blessed and holy to whom such rapture has been vouchsafed in this mortal life, for even an instant to lose thyself, as if thou wert emptied and lost and swallowed up in God, is no human love; it is celestial. But if sometimes a poor mortal feels that heavenly joy for a rapturous moment, then this wretched life envies his happiness, the malice of daily trifles disturbs him, this body of death weighs him down, the needs of the flesh are imperative, the weakness of corruption fails him, and above all brotherly love calls him back to duty. Alas! that voice summons him to re-enter his own round of existence; and he must ever cry out lamentably, ‘O Lord, I am oppressed: undertake for me’ (Isa. 38.14); and again, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ (Rom. 7.24)
So last January, with the beginning of a snowstorm in the air about me—and if it settled on me it would betray me!—weary, cold, painful, inexpressibly wretched, and still but half convinced of my invisible quality, I began this new life to which I am committed. I had no refuge, no appliances, no human being in the world in whom I could confide. To have told my secret would have given me away—made a mere show and rarity of me. Nevertheless, I was half-minded to accost some passer-by and throw myself upon his mercy. But I knew too clearly the terror and brutal cruelty my advances would evoke. I made no plans in the street. My sole object was to get shelter from the snow, to get myself covered and warm; then I might hope to plan. But even to me, an Invisible Man, the rows of London houses stood latched, barred, and bolted impregnably.
Many of my Hamptstead friends may remember this 'young lady' [an ash tree] at the entrance to the village. Her fate was distressing, for it is scarcely too much to say that she died of a broken heart. I made this drawing [Study of Trees, pencil on paper, circa 1821] when she was in full health and beauty; on passing some times afterwards, I saw, to my grief, that a wretched board had been nailed to her side, on which was written in large letters: 'All vagrants and beggars will be dealt with according to law.' The tree seemed to have felt the disgrace, for even then some of the top branches had withered. Two long spike nails had been driven far into her side. In another year one half became paralysed, and not long after the other shared the same fate, and this beautiful creature was cut down to a stump, just high enough to hold the board.
I am so superstitious that if I had arrived when there was no sunshine I should have been wretched and most anxious until after my first performance. It is a perfect torture to be superstitious to this degree, and, unfortunately for me, I am ten times more so now than I was in those days, for besides the superstitions of my own country, I have, thanks to my travels, added to my stock all the superstitions of other countries. I know them all now, and in any critical moment of my life, they all rise up in armed legions for or against me. I cannot walk a single step or make any movement or gesture, sit down, go out, look at the sky or ground, without feeling some reason for hope or despair, until at last, exasperated by the trammels put upon my actions by my thought, I defy all superstitions and just act as I want to act.
Commerce was meant by the goodness of the Deity to diffuse the various goods of the earth into every part, to unite mankind in the blessed chains of brotherly love, society, and mutual dependence: the enlightened Christian should diffuse the riches of the Gospel of peace, with the commodities of his respective land. Commerce attended with strict honesty, and with Religion for its companion, would be a blessing to every shore it touched at. In Africa, the poor wretched natives, blessed with the most fertile and luxuriant soil, are rendered so much the more miserable for what Providence meant as a blessing: the Christians' abominable traffic for slaves, and the horrid cruelty and treachery of the petty Kings- encouraged by their Christian customers- who carry them strong liquors, to enflame their national madness, and powder, and bad fire-arms, to furnish them with the hellish means of killing and kidnapping. But enough- it is a subject that sours my blood
Faith is sensitiveness to what transcends nature, knowledge and will, awareness of the ultimate, alertness to the holy dimension of all reality. Faith is a force in man, lying deeper than the stratum of reason and its nature cannot be defined in abstract, static terms. To have faith is not to infer the beyond from the wretched here, but to perceive the wonder that is here and to be stirred by the desire to integrate the self into the holy order of living. It is not a deduction but an intuition, not a form of knowledge, of being convinced without proof, but the attitude of mind toward ideas whose scope is wider than its own capacity to grasp. Such alertness grows from the sense for the meaningful, for the marvel of matter, for the core of thoughts. It is begotten in passionate love for the significance of all reality, in devotion to the ultimate meaning which is only God.
I know that in early ages men did form degraded notions of the Almighty, painting Him like themselves, extreme only in all their passions : they thought He could he as lightly irritated as themselves, and that they could appease His anger by wretched offerings of innocent animals. From such a feeling as this to the sense of the value of a holy and spotless life and death — from the sacrifice of an animal to that of a saint — is a step forward out of superstition quite immeasurable. That between the earnest conviction of partial sight, and the strong metaphors of vehement minds, the sacrificial language should have been transferred onwards from one to the other, seems natural to me; perhaps inevitable. On the other hand, through all history we find the bitter fact that mankind can only be persuaded to accept the best gifts which Heaven sends them, in persecuting and destroying those who are charged to be their bearers.
There are many whose religion consists in criticising habits of dress and manners. They want to bring every one to their own measure. They desire to lengthen out those who seem too short for their standard, and to cut down others who seem too long. They have lost the love of God out of their hearts; but they think they have a spirit of discernment. They think it is their prerogative to criticise, and pronounce judgment; but they should repent of their error, and turn away from their sins... Let us love one another. Let us have harmony and union throughout our ranks. Let us have our hearts sanctified to God. Let us look upon the light that abides for us in Jesus. Let us remember how forbearing and patient He was with the erring children of men. We should be in a wretched state if the God of heaven were like one of us, and treated us as we are inclined to treat one another.
Would you live in wisdom and happiness, fix your heart on the beauty that is eternal; let your desires be limited by your position, let your duties take precedence of your wishes; extend the law of necessity into the region of morals; learn to lose what may be taken from you; learn to forsake all things at the command of virtue, to set yourself above the chances of life, to detach your heart before it is torn in pieces, to be brave in adversity so that you may never be wretched, to be steadfast in duty that you may never be guilty of a crime. Then you will be happy in spite of fortune, and good in spite of your passions. You will find a pleasure that cannot be destroyed, even in the possession of the most fragile things; you will possess them, they will not possess you, and you will realise that the man who loses everything, only enjoys what he knows how to resign.
Nature herself supplies us with an ascending scale or Alphabet of angles for half a degree up to 60 degrees, Specimens of which are placed in every Elementary School throughout the land. Owing to occasional retrogressions, to still more frequent moral and intellectual stagnation, and to the extraordinary fecundity of the Criminal and Vagabond Classes, there is always a vast superfluity of individuals of the half degree and single degree class, and a fair abundance of Specimens up to 10 degrees. These are absolutely destitute of civic rights; and a great number of them, not having even intelligence enough for the purposes of warfare, are devoted by the States to the service of education. Fettered immovably so as to remove all possibility of danger, they are placed in the class rooms of our Infant Schools, and there they are utilized by the Board of Education for the purpose of imparting to the offspring of the Middle Classes that tact and intelligence of which these wretched creatures themselves are utterly devoid.
Charles B. Spahr, Walter A. Wyckoff, Mrs. John Van Vorst and Miss Marie Van Vorst, I. K. Friedman and A. M. Simons have given us some idea of the conditions among the poorest class of laborers in various industrial centers over the country. Jacob A. Riis, Ernest Poole, and Mrs. Lillian Betts have given us most sympathetic descriptions of poverty among the people of the tenements. Flynt and others have given us impressionistic stories of tramps, vagrants, and mendicants. They bring before our very eyes, through books and magazines, stories of needless deaths from insanitary conditions, of long hours of work, of low pay, of overcrowded sweatshops, of child labor, of street waifs, of vile tenements, of the hungry and the wretched. All these books and articles are extremely valuable and useful, but if anything is to be done about the matter, we should begin as soon as possible to know the extent of these conditions and the causes which bring such terribly serious misery and wretchedness into the world.
It is clear that the arm of criticism cannot replace the criticism of arms. Material force can only be overthrown by material force, but theory itself becomes a material force when it has seized the masses. Theory is capable of seizing the masses when it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical. To be radical is to grasp things by the root. But for man the root is man himself. What proves beyond doubt the radicalism of German theory, and thus its practical energy, is that it begins from the resolute positive abolition of religion. The criticism of religion ends with the doctrine that man is the supreme being for man. It ends, therefore, with the categorical imperative to overthrow all those conditions in which man is an abased, enslaved, abandoned, contemptible being—conditions which can hardly be better described than in the exclamation of a Frenchman on the occasion of a proposed tax upon dogs: 'Wretched dogs! They want to treat you like men!'
Examine the man who lives in misery because he does not shine above other men; who goes about producing himself, pruriently anxious about his gifts and claims; struggling to force everybody, as it were begging everybody for God's sake, to acknowledge him a great man, and set him over the heads of men! Such a creature is among the wretchedest sights seen under this sun. A great man? A poor morbid prurient empty man; fitter for the ward of a hospital, than for a throne among men. I advise you to keep out of his way. He cannot walk on quiet paths; unless you will look at him, wonder at him, write paragraphs about him, he cannot live. It is the emptiness of the man, not his greatness. Because there is nothing in himself, he hungers and thirsts that you would find something in him. In good truth, I believe no great man, not so much as a genuine man who had health and real substance in him of whatever magnitude, was ever much tormented in this way.
Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not a misery, but the very foundation of refinement: a sanded floor and whitewashed walls, and the green trees, and flowery meads, and living waters outside; or a grimy palace amid the smoke with a regiment of housemaids always working to smear the dirt together so that it may be unnoticed; which, think you, is the most refined, the most fit for a gentleman of those two dwellings? So I say, if you cannot learn to love real art; at least learn to hate sham art and reject it. It is not because the wretched thing is so ugly and silly and useless that I ask you to cast it from you; it is much more because these are but the outward symbols of the poison that lies within them; look through them and see all that has gone to their fashioning, and you will see how vain labour, and sorrow, and disgrace have been their companions from the first — and all this for trifles that no man really needs!
It is said to have happened that a man who by his misdeeds became liable to punishment under the law returned to society a reformed man after having served his sentence. Then he went to a foreign country where he was unknown and where he became known for his upright conduct. All was forgotten; then came a fugitive who recognized the esteemed man as his peer back in those wretched days. To meet was an appalling recollection; to shudder at it in passing was a deadly anxiety. Even silent, it shouted with a loud voice, until it became vocal in that dastardly fugitive’s voice. Then despair suddenly seized the man who seemed redeemed, and it seized him just because repentance was forgotten, because this civically reformed man was still not surrendered to God in such a way that in the humility of repentance he remembered his former condition. In the temporal and sensuous and civic sense, repentance is still also something that comes and goes over the years, but in the eternal sense it is a quiet daily concern.
Before, he had fought against the money code, and yet he had clung to his wretched remnant of decency. But now it was precisely from decency that he wanted to escape. He wanted to go down, deep down, into some world where decency no longer mattered; to cut the strings of his self-respect, to submerge himself—to sink, as Rosemary had said. It was all bound up in his mind with the thought of being under ground. He liked to think of the lost people, the under-ground people: tramps, beggars, criminals, prostitutes. It is a good world that they inhabit, down there in their frowzy kips and spikes. He liked to think that beneath the world of money there is that great sluttish underworld where failure and success have no meaning; a sort of kingdom of ghosts where all are equal. That was where he wished to be, down in the ghost-kingdom, below ambition. It comforted him somehow to think of the smoke-dim slums of South London sprawling on and on, a huge graceless wilderness where you could lose yourself forever.
Let everyone test himself. With regard to what he has experienced, let him be true to himself, but let no one forget that blessedness of the spirit and suffering of the spirit are not something external of which one can honestly and truly say: The circumstances of my life did not provide me the opportunity to experience this. In the world of the spirit, there is neither sport nor spook; there luck and chance do not make one person a king, another a beggar, one person as beautiful as an Oriental queen, another more wretched than Lazarus. In the world of the spirit, the only one who is shut out is the one who shuts himself out; in the world of the spirit, all are invited and therefore what is said about it can be said safely and undauntedly; if it pertains to one single individual it pertains to all. Why, then, this curiosity about what God has given every human being the opportunity to experience, indeed, has been made so available that it even may be said: He must have understood it.
Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And, — when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, — nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride At length broke under me; and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye! I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favours! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have; And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.
How far is it from Winckfield to Rotherwick? Now do not deceive me, you wretched child! If it is more than a hundred miles, I can't come to see you, and there is no use to talk about it. If it is less, the next question is, How much less? These are serious questions, and you must be as serious as a judge in answering them. There mustn't be a smile in your pen, or a wink in your ink (perhaps you'll say, "There can't be a wink in ink: but there may be ink in a wink" - but this is trifling; you mustn't make jokes like that when I tell you to be serious) while you write to Guildford and answer these two questions. You might as well tell me at the same time whether you are still living at Rotherwick - and whether you are at home - and whether you get my letter - and whether you're still a child, or a grown-up person--and whether you're going to the seaside next summer - and anything else (except the alphabet and the multiplication table) that you happen to know.
When had he really experienced joy? … He had tasted it in the days of his boyhood, when … he far outstripped his contemporaries, when he excelled himself … in argument with the learned men. … And again as a youth when his continually soaring goal had propelled him in and out of the crowd of similar seekers, … when every freshly acquired knowledge only engendered a new thirst. Onwards, onwards, this is your path. He had heard this voice when he had left his home and chosen the life of the Samanas. … … How long was it now since he had heard this voice, since he had soared to any new heights? How flat and desolate his path had been! How many long years he had spent without any lofty goal, without any thirst, without any exaltation, content with small pleasures and yet never really satisfied! Without knowing it, he had endeavored and longed all these years to be like all the other people, like these children, and yet his life had been must more wretched and poorer than theirs, for their aims were not his, nor their sorrows his.
The result of this mental dullness is that inner vacuity and emptiness that is stamped on innumerable faces and also betrays itself in a constant and lively attention to all events in the external world, even the most trivial. This vacuity is the real source of boredom and always craves for external excitement in order to set the mind and spirits in motion through something. Therefore in the choice thereof it is not fastidious, as is testified by the miserable and wretched pastimes to which people have recourse. … The principal result of this inner vacuity is the craze for society, diversion, amusement, and luxury of every kind which lead many to extravagance and so to misery. Nothing protects us so surely from this wrong turning as inner wealth, the wealth of the mind, for the more eminent it becomes, the less room does it leave for boredom. The inexhaustible activity of ideas, their constantly renewed play with the manifold phenomena of the inner and outer worlds, the power and urge always to make different combinations of them, all these put the eminent mind, apart from moments of relaxation, quite beyond the reach of boredom.
I wish and I ask that our rulers who have Jewish subjects exercise a sharp mercy toward these wretched people, as suggested above, to see whether this might not help (though it is doubtful). They must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in, proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish. They surely do not know what they are doing; moreover, as people possessed, they do not wish to know it, hear it, or learn it. There it would be wrong to be merciful and confirm them in their conduct. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all their other vices and thus merit God's wrath and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his. I am exonerated."
So farewell to the little good you bear me. Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness! This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth. My high-blown pride At length broke under me, and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye! I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have; And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.
All, all nature is harmonious, and must and shall be harmony for ever; even we, poor men, with our wild ways and frantic wrongs, and crimes, and follies, to the beings out beyond us and above us, seem, doubtless, moving on our own way under the broad dominion of universal law. The wretched only feel their wretchedness: in the universe all is beautiful. Ay, to those lofty beings, be they who they will, who look down from their starry thrones on the strange figures flitting to and fro over this earth of ours, the wild recklessness of us mortals with each other may well lose its painful interest. Why should our misdoings cause more grief to them than those of the lower animals to ourselves? Pain and pleasure are but forms of consciousness; we feel them for ourselves, and for those who are like ourselves. To man alone the doings of man are wrong; the evil which is with us dies out beyond us; we are but a part of nature, and blend with the rest in her persevering beauty. Poor consolers are such thoughts, for they are but thoughts, and, alas! our pain we feel.
Under these circumstances, there has arisen in society a figure which is certainly the most mournful, and in some respects the most awful, upon which the eye of the moralist can dwell. That unhappy being whose very name is a shame to speak; who counterfeits with a cold heart the transports of affection, and submits herself as the passive instrument of lust; who is scorned and insulted as the vilest of her sex, and doomed, for the most part, to disease and abject wretchedness and an early death, appears in every age as the perpetual symbol of the degradation and sinfulness of man. Herself the supreme type of vice, she is ultimately the most efficient guardian of virtue. But for her, the unchallenged purity of countless happy homes would be polluted, and not a few who, in the pride of their untempted chastity, think of her with an indignant shudder, would have known the agony of remorse and of despair. On that one degraded and ignoble form are concentrated the passions that might have filled the world with shame. She remains, while creeds and civilisations rise and fall, the eternal priestess of humanity, blasted for the sins of the people.
But when, in my desire to discover my own place within my species, I consider its different ranks and the men who fill them, where am I now? What a sight meets my eyes! Where is now the order I perceived? Nature showed me a scene of harmony and proportion; the human race shows me nothing but confusion and disorder. The elements agree together; men are in a state of chaos. The beasts are happy; their king alone is wretched. There is no evil but the evil you do or the evil you suffer, and both come from yourself. Evil in general can only spring from disorder, and in the order of the world I find a never failing system. Evil in particular cases exists only in the mind of those who experience it; and this feeling is not the gift of nature, but the work of man himself. Pain has little power over those who, having thought little, look neither before nor after. Take away our fatal progress, take away our faults and our vices, take away man's handiwork, and all is well. Where all is well, there is no such thing as injustice. Justice and goodness are inseparable.
Afore this time I had great longing and desire of God’s gift to be delivered of this world and of this life. For oftentimes I beheld the woe that is here, and the weal and the bliss that is being there: (and if there had been no pain in this life but the absence of our Lord, methought it was some-time more than I might bear ;) and this made me to mourn, and eagerly to long. And also from mine own wretchedness, sloth, and weakness, me liked not to live and to travail, as me fell to do. And to all this our courteous Lord answered for comfort and patience, and said these words: Suddenly thou shalt be taken from all thy pain, from all thy sickness, from all thy distress and from all thy woe. And thou shalt come up above and thou shalt have me to thy meed, and thou shalt be fulfilled of love and of bliss. And thou shalt never have no manner of pain, no manner of misliking, no wanting of will; but ever joy and bliss without end. What should it then aggrieve thee to suffer awhile, seeing that it is my will and my worship?
I expect that Hell is very heavily populated with just exactly that sort of person [who feels he's accomplished all his goals early in life] because, you know, somebody who fears that he has exhausted what there is for him to do and what he can do at thirty-five, is a fool. What he means is that he's become the sales manager of International Widgets or some wretched thing. That's not a life, that's not a thing that should occupy a man. People drive themselves terribly hard at these jobs, and they develop a sort of mystique about something which does not admit of a mystique. A thing to have a mystique must necessarily have many aspects, many corridors, many avenues, many things that open up. Well, this is not to be found in the business world, and I've known a lot of first-class businessmen and they all tell you this. People have told me that in their particular business there's nothing to be learned that an intelligent man can't learn in eighteen months. But if you've learned it in eighteen months and if you're exhausted by the time you're thirty-five, it's nobody's fault but your own if you haven't found something else to do.
When we begin to hate sin, and amend us by the ordinance of Holy Church, yet there dwelleth a dread that letteth us, because of the beholding of our self and of our sins afore done. And some of us because of our every-daily sins: for we hold not our Covenants, nor keep we our cleanness that our Lord setteth us in, but fall oftentimes into so much wretchedness that shame it is to see it. And the beholding of this maketh us so sorry and so heavy, that scarsely we can find any comfort. And this dread we take sometime for a meekness, but it is a foul blindness and a weakness. And we cannot despise it as we do another sin, that we know: for it cometh of Enmity, and it is against truth. For it is God’s will that of all the properties of the blissful Trinity, we should have most sureness and comfort in Love: for Love maketh Might and Wisdom full meek to us. For right as by the courtesy of God He forgiveth our sin after the time that we repent us, right so willeth He that we forgive our sin, as anent our unskilful heaviness and our doubtful dreads.
Our good Lord the Holy Ghost, which is endless life dwelling in our soul, full securely keepeth us; and worketh therein a peace and bringeth it to ease by grace, and accordeth it to God and maketh it pliant. And this is the mercy and the way that our Lord continually leadeth us in as long as we be here in this life which is changeable. For I saw no wrath but on man’s part; and that forgiveth He in us. For wrath is not else but a forwardness and a contrariness to peace and love; and either it cometh of failing of might, or of failing of wisdom, or of failing of goodness: which failing is not in God, but is on our part. For we by sin and wretchedness have in us a wretched and continuant contrariness to peace and to love. And that shewed He full often in His lovely Regard of Ruth and Pity. For the ground of mercy is love, and the working of mercy is our keeping in love. And this was shewed in such manner that I could not have perceived of the part of mercy but as it were alone in love; that is to say, as to my sight.
Watson: Our society just hasn't faced up to this problem. In a primitive society, if you saw that a baby was deformed, you would abandon it on a hillside. Today this isn't permissible, and with our medicine getting better and better in the sense of being able to keep sick people alive loger, we are going to produce more people living wretched lives. I don't know how you get a society to change on such a basic issue; infanticide isn't regarded lightly by anyone. Fortunately, now through such techniques as amniocentesis, parents can often learn in advance whether their child will be normal and healthy or hopelessly deformed. They then can choose either to have the child or opt for a therapeutic abortion. But the cruel fact remains that because of the present limits of such detection methods, most birth defects are not discovered until birth. If the child were not declared alive until three days after birth, then all parents could be allowed the choice that only a few are given under the present system. The doctor could allow the child to die if the parents so chose and save a lot of misery and suffering. I believe this view is the only rational, compassionate attitude to have.
This change began as soon as I had left Paris and the sight of the vices of the great city ceased to keep up the indignation with which it had inspired me. As soon as I lost sight of men, I ceased to despise them; as soon as I lost sight of the wicked, I ceased to hate them. My heart, little adapted for hatred, only caused me to deplore their wretchedness, from which it did not distinguish their wickedness. This gentler, but far less lofty, frame of mind soon dulled the burning enthusiasm which had so long carried me away, and, without anyone perceiving it, even without perceiving it myself, I became again shy, courteous, and timid; in a word, the same Jean-Jacques as I had been before. If this revolution had merely restored me to myself, and had gone no further, all would have been well; but, unfortunately, it went much further, and carried me away rapidly to the other extreme. From that time my soul, in a state of agitation, no longer kept its centre of gravity, and its oscillations, ever renewed, always destroyed it. I must describe at some length this second revolution – the terrible and fatal epoch of a destiny without example among mankind.
And yet I will venture to believe that in no time, since the beginnings of Society, was the lot of those same dumb millions of toilers so entirely unbearable as it is even in the days now passing over us. It is not to die, or even to die of hunger, that makes a man wretched; many men have died; all men must die,—the last exit of us all is in a Fire-Chariot of Pain. But it is to live miserable we know not why; to work sore and yet gain nothing; to be heart-worn, weary, yet isolated, unrelated, girt in with a cold universal Laissez-faire: it is to die slowly all our life long, imprisoned in a deaf, dead, Infinite Injustice, as in the accursed iron belly of a Phalaris' Bull! This is and remains forever intolerable to all men whom God has made. Do we wonder at French Revolutions, Chartisms, Revolts of Three Days? The times, if we will consider them, are really unexampled. Life was never a May-game for men: in all times the lot of the dumb millions born to toil was defaced with manifold sufferings, injustices, heavy burdens, avoidable and unavoidable; not play at all, but hard work that made the sinews sore, and the heart sore.
You make your appeal in Piccadilly, London, amongst those who are wallowing in luxuries, proceeding from the labour of the people. You should have gone to the gravel-pits, and made your appeal to the wretched creatures with bits of sacks around their shoulders, and with hay-bands round their legs; you should have gone to the roadside, and made your appeal to the emaciated, half-dead things who are there cracking stones to make the roads as level as a die for the tax eaters to ride on. What an insult it is, and what an unfeeling, what a cold-blooded hypocrite must he be that can send it forth; what an insult to call upon people under the name of free British labourers; to appeal to them in behalf of Black slaves, when these free British labourers; these poor, mocked, degraded wretches, would be happy to lick the dishes and bowls, out of which the Black slaves have breakfasted, dined, or supped...Talk, indeed, of transmuting the wretched Africans into this condition! ...Will not the care, will not the anxiety of a really humane Englishman be directed towards the Whites, instead of towards the Blacks, until, at any rate, the situation of the former be made to be as good as that of the latter?
He willeth that we know by the sweetness and homely loving of Him, that all that we see or feel, within or without, that is contrary to this is of the enemy and not of God. And thus — If we be stirred to be the more reckless of our living or of the keeping of our hearts because that we have knowing of this plenteous love, then need we greatly to beware. For this stirring, if it come, is untrue; and greatly we ought to hate it, for it all hath no likeness of God’s will. And when that we be fallen, by frailty or blindness, then our courteous Lord toucheth us and stirreth us and calleth us; and then willeth He that we see our wretchedness and meekly be aware of it. But He willeth not that we abide thus, nor He willeth not that we busy us greatly about our accusing, nor He willeth not that we be wretched over our self; but He willeth that we hastily turn ourselves unto Him. For He standeth all aloof and abideth us sorrowfully and mournfully till when we come, and hath haste to have us to Him. For we are His joy and His delight, and He is our salve and our life.
I know not whether government can command such sums of money as are necessary for the current expenses of the nation; but it is a folly to expect that this expensive department can be long supported on credit. A further attempt would only bring ruin and distress upon ourselves, without affording any substantial advantage, either to the public or the army; and, therefore, I think it highly necessary, as all military movements are under your immediate direction, and as the affairs of this department are intimately connected with all the active operations, that you should have a right understanding with Administration, with respect to the support they can give. in executing the measures you may think proper to take. There is no deficiency in the resources of the country. On the contrary, I have authentic reasons to conclude the country is more plentifully stored with every material necessary for the provision and support of an army, than it has been for three years past. The defect lies in a want of proper means to draw them into public use. I cannot see how a remedy will be applied to this evil in the present management of finance. The wretched state in which that is involved, creates obstructions, and an accumulation of expenses in every branch of the department.
There is a wretched unbelief abroad which seems to contain much healing power. It deems such a connection accidental, and sees in it only a lucky conjunction of the different forces in the game of life. It thinks it an accident that the lovers win one another, accidental that they love one another; there are a hundred other women with whom the hero would have been equally happy, and whom he could have loved as deeply. It thinks that there has been many a poet who might have become as immortal as Homer, if this splendid subject had not already been appropriated by him; many a composer who might have made himself as immortal as Mozart, had the opportunity offered. … The accidental has but one factor; it is accidental that Homer found in the Trojan War the most distinguished epic subject conceivable. The fortunate has two factors: it is fortunate that the most distinguished epic subject fell to the lot of Homer; here the accent falls as much on Homer as on the material. It is this profound harmony which reverberates through every work of art we call classic. And so it is with Mozart; it is fortunate that the subject, which is perhaps the only strictly musical subject, in the deeper sense, that life affords, fell to — Mozart.
So do not train your pupil to look down from the height of his glory upon the sufferings of the unfortunate, the labours of the wretched, and do not hope to teach him to pity them while he considers them as far removed from himself. Make him thoroughly aware of the fact that the fate of these unhappy persons may one day be his own, that his feet are standing on the edge of the abyss, into which he may be plunged at any moment by a thousand unexpected irresistible misfortunes. Teach him to put no trust in birth, health, or riches; show him all the changes of fortune; find him examples—there are only too many of them—in which men of higher rank than himself have sunk below the condition of these wretched ones. Above all do not teach him this, like his catechism, in cold blood; let him see and feel the calamities which overtake men; surprise and startle his imagination with the perils which lurk continually about a man's path; let him see the pitfalls all about him, and when he hears you speak of them, let him cling more closely to you for fear lest he should fall. "You will make him timid and cowardly," do you say? We shall see; let us make him kindly to begin with, that is what matters most.
Am I happy? There are moments when I am overwhelmed by a sense of my success and ease. I become aware that thousands of things which had formerly been forbidden fruit to me are at my command now. I distinctly recall that crushing sense of being debarred from everything, and then I feel as though the whole world were mine. One day I paused in front of an old East Side restaurant that I had often passed in my days of need and despair. The feeling of desolation and envy with which I used to peek in its windows came back to me. It gave me pangs of self-pity for my past and a thrilling sense of my present power. The prices that had once been prohibitive seemed so wretchedly low now. ... And yet in all such instances I feel a peculiar yearning for the very days when the doors of that restaurant were closed to me and when the Canal Street merchant was a magnate of commerce in my estimation. Somehow, encounters of this kind leave me dejected. The gloomiest past is dearer than the brightest present. In my case there seems to be a special reason for feeling this way. My sense of triumph is coupled with a brooding sense of emptiness and insignificance, of my lack of anything like a great, deep interest.
::Here, here will I remain With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here Will I set up my everlasting rest, And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last! Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss A dateless bargain to engrossing death! Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide! Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark! Here's to my love! O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus, with a kiss, I die. - Romeo Go, get thee hence, for I will not away. What's here? a cup, closed in my true love's hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end: O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop To help me after? I will kiss thy lips; Haply some poison yet doth hang on them, To make die with a restorative. Thy lips are warm. Yea, noise? then I'll be brief. O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die. - Juliet Help me into some house, Benvolio, Or I shall faint. A plague o' both your houses! They have made worms' meat of me: I have it, And soundly too: your houses! - Mercutio Thou, wretched boy, that didst consort him here, Shall with him hence. - Tybalt
I was not more than thirteen years old, when in my loneliness and destitution I longed for some one to whom I could go, as to a father and protector. The preaching of a white Methodist minister, named Hanson, was the means of causing me to feel that in God I had such a friend. He thought that all men, great and small, bond and free, were sinners in the sight of God: that they were by nature rebels against His government; and that they must repent of their sins, and be reconciled to God through Christ. I cannot say that I had a very distinct notion of what was required of me, but one thing I did know well: I was wretched and had no means of making myself otherwise. I consulted a good old colored man named Charles Lawson, and in tones of holy affection he told me to pray, and to 'cast all my care upon God'. This I sought to do; and though for weeks I was a poor, broken-hearted mourner, traveling through doubts and fears, I finally found my burden lightened, and my heart relieved. I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern was to have everybody converted. My desire to learn increased, and especially, did I want a thorough acquaintance with the contents of the Bible
Faith is sensitiveness to what transcends nature, knowledge and will, awareness of the ultimate, alertness to the holy dimension of all reality. Faith is a force in man, lying deeper than the stratum of reason and its nature cannot be defined in abstract, static terms. To have faith is not to infer the beyond from the wretched here, but to perceive the wonder that is here and to be stirred by the desire to integrate the self into the holy order of living. It is not a deduction but an intuition, not a form of knowledge, of being convinced without proof, but the attitude of mind toward ideas whose scope is wider than its own capacity to grasp. Such alertness grows from the sense for the meaningful, for the marvel of matter, for the core of thoughts. It is begotten in passionate love for the significance of all reality, in devotion to the ultimate meaning which is only God. By our very existence we are in dire need of meaning, and anything that calls for meaning is always an allusion to Him. We live by the certainty that we are not dust in the wind, that our life is related to the ultimate, the meaning of all meanings. And the system of meanings that permeates the universe is like an endless flight of stairs. Even when the upper stairs are beyond our sight, we constantly rise toward the distant goal.
There is in Melbourne a man who probably knows more about poisonous snakes than anyone else on earth. His name is Dr Struan Sutherland, and he has devoted his entire life to a study of venom. "And I'm bored with talking about it," he said when we went along to see him the next morning, laden with tape recorders and note books. "Can't stand all these poisonous creatures, all these snakes and insects and fish and things. Wretched things, biting everybody. And then people expect me to tell them what to do about it. I'll tell them what to do. Don't get bitten in the first place. That's the answer. I've had enough of telling people all the time. Hydroponics, now, that's interesting. Talk to you all you like about hydroponics. Fascinating stuff, growing plants artificially in water, very interesting technique. We'll need to know all about it if we're going to go to Mars and places. Where did you say you were going?" "Komodo." "Well, don't get bitten, that's all I can say. And don't come running to me if you do because you won't get here in time and anyway I've got enough on my plate. Look at this office. Full of poisonous animals all over the place. See this tank? It's full of fire ants. Venomous little creatures, what are we going to do about them? Anyway, I got some little cakes in case you were hungry. Would you like some little cakes?"
He never would concur in upholding domestic slavery. It was a nefarious institution. It was the curse of heaven in the States where it prevailed. Compare the free regions of the Middle States, where a rich & noble cultivation marks the prosperity & happiness of the people, with the misery & poverty which overspread the barren wastes of Va.Maryd & the other States having slaves. Travel thro' the whole Continent & you behold the prospect continually varying with the appearance and disappearance of slavery. The moment you leave the E. Sts. & enter N. York, the effects of the institution become visible, passing thro' the Jerseys & entering Pa. every criterion of superior improvement witnesses the change. Proceed southwdly & every step you take thro' the great region of slaves presents a desert increasing, with the increasing proportion of these wretched beings. The admission of slaves into the Representation when fairly explained comes to this: that the inhabitant of Georgia and S.C. who goes to the Coast of Africa, and in defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity tears away his fellow creatures from their dearest connections & damns them to the most cruel bondages, shall have more votes in a Govt. instituted for the protection of the rights of mankind, than the Citizen of Pa. and N. Jersey who views with a laudable horror, so nefarious a practice. … He would sooner submit himself to a tax for paying for all such negroes in the U. States, than saddle posterity with such a Constitution
Thou, O World, how wilt thou secure thyself against this man? Thou canst not hire him by thy guineas; nor by thy gibbets and law-penalties restrain him. He eludes thee like a Spirit. Thou canst not forward him, thou canst not hinder him. Thy penalties, thy poverties, neglects, contumelies: behold, all these are good for him. Come to him as an enemy; turn from him as an unfriend; only do not this one thing,—infect him not with thy own delusion: the benign Genius, were it by very death, shall guard him against this!—What wilt thou do with him? He is above thee, like a god. Thou, in thy stupendous three-inch pattens, art under him. He is thy born king, thy conqueror and supreme lawgiver: not all the guineas and cannons, and leather and prunella, under the sky can save thee from him. Hardest thickskinned Mammon-world, ruggedest Caliban shall obey him, or become not Caliban but a cramp. Oh, if in this man, whose eyes can flash Heaven's lightning, and make all Calibans into a cramp, there dwelt not, as the essence of his very being, a God's justice, human Nobleness, Veracity and Mercy,—I should tremble for the world. But his strength, let us rejoice to understand, is even this: The quantity of Justice, of Valour and Pity that is in him. To hypocrites and tailored quacks in high places, his eyes are lightning; but they melt in dewy pity softer than a mother's to the downpressed, maltreated; in his heart, in his great thought, is a sanctuary for all the wretched.
We have, now, matter of mourning: for our sin is cause of Christ’s pains; and we have, lastingly, matter of joy: for endless love made Him to suffer. And therefore the creature that seeth and feeleth the working of love by grace, hateth nought but sin: for of all things, to my sight, love and hate are hardest and most unmeasureable contraries. And notwithstanding all this, I saw and understood in our Lord’s meaning that we may not in this life keep us from sin as wholly in full cleanness as we shall be in Heaven. But we may well by grace keep us from the sins which would lead us to endless pains, as Holy Church teacheth us; and eschew venial reasonably up to our might. And if we by our blindness and our wretchedness any time fall, we should readily rise, knowing the sweet touching of grace, and with all our will amend us upon the teaching of Holy Church, according as the sin is grievous, and go forthwith to God in love; and neither, on the one side, fall over low, inclining to despair, nor, on the other side, be over-reckless, as if we made no matter of it ; but nakedly acknowledge our feebleness, finding that we may not stand a twinkling of an eye but by Keeping of grace, and reverently cleave to God, on Him only trusting. For after one wise is the Beholding by God, and after another wise is the Beholding by man. For it belongeth to man meekly to accuse himself, and it belongeth to the proper Goodness of our Lord God courteously to excuse man.
The reply was simple. If it were only a question of the partner of her youth, her choice would soon be made; but a master for life is not so easily chosen; and since the two cannot be separated, people must often wait and sacrifice their youth before they find the man with whom they could spend their life. Such was Sophy's case; she wanted a lover, but this lover must be her husband; and to discover a heart such as she required, a lover and husband were equally difficult to find. All these dashing young men were only her equals in age, in everything else they were found lacking; their empty wit, their vanity, their affectations of speech, their ill-regulated conduct, their frivolous imitations alike disgusted her. She sought a man and she found monkeys; she sought a soul and there was none to be found. "How unhappy I am!" said she to her mother; "I am compelled to love and yet I am dissatisfied with every one. My heart rejects every one who appeals to my senses. Every one of them stirs my passions and all alike revolt them; a liking unaccompanied by respect cannot last. That is not the sort of man for your Sophy; the delightful image of her ideal is too deeply graven in her heart. She can love no other; she can make no one happy but him, and she cannot be happy without him. She would rather consume herself in ceaseless conflicts, she would rather die free and wretched, than driven desperate by the company of a man she did not love, a man she would make as unhappy as herself; she would rather die than live to suffer."
In this blissful Shewing of our Lord I have understanding of two contrary things: the one is the most wisdom that any creature may do in this life, the other is the most folly. The most wisdom is for a creature to do after the will and counsel of his highest sovereign Friend. This blessed Friend is Jesus, and it is His will and His counsel that we hold us with Him, and fasten us to Him homely — evermore, in what state soever that we be; for whether-so that we be foul or clean, we are all one in His loving. For weal nor for woe He willeth never we flee from Him. But because of the changeability that we are in, in our self, we fall often into sin. Then we have this by the stirring of our enemy and by our own folly and blindness: for they say thus: Thou seest well thou art a wretched creature, a sinner, and also unfaithful. For thou keepest not the Command; thou dost promise oftentimes our Lord that thou shalt do better, and anon after, thou fallest again into the same, especially into sloth and losing of time. (For that is the beginning of sin, as to my sight, — and especially to the creatures that have given them to serve our Lord with inward beholding of His blessed Goodness.) And this maketh us adread to appear afore our courteous Lord. Thus is it our enemy that would put us aback with his false dread, of our wretchedness, through pain that he threateth us with. For it is his meaning to make us so heavy and so weary in this, that we should let out of mind the fair, Blissful Beholding of our Everlasting Friend.
Is there anyone who thinks that the resolution can come later when it is really needed? So it is not needed then, not on the wedding day, when the eternal pledge is entered into? But then, later? Can he mean that there was no thought of leaving one another, but of enjoying the first gladness of their union-and so united, of finding support in the resolution? Then when toil and trouble come, and need, be it physical or spiritual, stands at the door, then the time is there? Aye, indeed, the time is there-the time for the resolved individual to muster up his resolution; but not just the time to form a resolution. It is true that distress and failure may help a man to seek God in a resolution; but the question is whether the conception is always the right one, whether it is joyful, whether it does not have a certain wretchedness, a secret wish that it were not necessary, whether it may not be out of humor, envious, melancholy, and so no ennobling reflection of the trials of life. There is in the state a loan association to which the indigent may apply. The poor man is helped, but I wonder if that poor man has a pleasant conception of the loan-association. And so there may also be a marriage which first sought God when in difficulty, alas, sought Him as a loan-association; and everyone who first seeks God for the first time when in difficulties, always runs this danger. Is then such a late resolution, which even if it were a worthy one, was not without shame and not without great danger, bought at the last moment, is that more beautiful, and wiser than the resolution at the beginning of marriage?
All Islam vibrated at the news of our victories. The Egyptians, the Iraqis, and the whole of the Near East were all ready to rise in revolt. Just think what we could have done to help them, even to incite them, as would have been both our duty and in our own interest! But the presence of the Italians at our side paralysed us; it created a feeling of malaise among our Islamic friends, who inevitably saw in us accomplices, willing or unwilling, of their oppressors. For the Italians in these parts of the world are more bitterly hated, of course, than either the British or the French. The memories of the barbarous, reprisals taken against the Senussi are still vivid. Then again the ridiculous pretensions of the Duce to be regarded as The Sword of Islam evokes the same sneering chuckle now as it did before the war. This title, which is fitting for Mohammed and a great conqueror like Omar, Mussolini caused to be conferred on himself by a few wretched brutes whom he had either bribed or terrorized into doing so. We had a great chance of pursuing a splendid policy with regard to Islam. But we missed the bus, as we missed it on several other occasions, thanks to our loyalty to the Italian alliance! In this theatre of operations, then, the Italians prevented us from playing our best card, the emancipation of the French subjects and the raising of the standard of revolt in the countries oppressed by the British. Such a policy would have aroused the enthusiasm of the whole of Islam. It is a characteristic of the Moslem world, from the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific, that what affects one, for good or for evil, affects all.
We were now about to launch upon an unknown region — our route lay henceforth across that unexplored wilderness, of which I have so frequently spoken, without either pilot or trail to guide us for nearly 500 miles. We had to depend entirely upon our knowledge of the geographical position of the country for which we were steering, and the indications of a compass and sextant. This was emphatically a pioneer trip; such a one also as had, perhaps, never before been undertaken — to convey heavily laden wagons through a country almost wholly untrod by civilized man, and of which we, at least, knew nothing. We were therefore extremely anxious to acquire any information our visitors might be able to give us; but Tabba-quena being by no means experienced in wagon tactics, could only make us understand, by gestures, mixed with a little wretched Spanish, that the route up the Canadian presented no obstacles according to his mode of traveling. He appeared, however, very well acquainted with the whole Mexican frontier, from Santa Fé to Chihuahua, and even to the Gulf, as well as with all the Prairies. During the consultation he seemed occasionally to ask the opinions of other chiefs who had huddled around him. Finally, we handed him a sheet of paper and a pencil, signifying at the same time a desire that he would draw us a map of the Prairies. This he very promptly executed; and although the draft was somewhat rough, it bore, much to our astonishment, quite a map-like appearance, with a far more accurate delineation of all the principal rivers of the plains — the road from Missouri to Santa Fé, and the different Mexican settlements, than is to be found in many of the engraved maps of those regions.
And who would not risk its terrors to gain its raptures? Ah, what raptures they were! The mere recollection thrills you. How delicious it was to tell her that you loved her, that you lived for her, that you would die for her! How you did rave, to be sure, what floods of extravagant nonsense you poured forth, and oh, how cruel it was of her to pretend not to believe you! In what awe you stood of her! How miserable you were when you had offended her! And yet, how pleasant to be bullied by her and to sue for pardon without having the slightest notion of what your fault was! How dark the world was when she snubbed you, as she often did, the little rogue, just to see you look wretched; how sunny when she smiled! How jealous you were of every one about her! How you hated every man she shook hands with, every woman she kissed—the maid that did her hair, the boy that cleaned her shoes, the dog she nursed—though you had to be respectful to the last-named! How you looked forward to seeing her, how stupid you were when you did see her, staring at her without saying a word! How impossible it was for you to go out at any time of the day or night without finding yourself eventually opposite her windows! How you would watch her, spaniel-like, to anticipate her slightest wish! How proud you were to do her bidding! How delightful it was to be ordered about by her! To devote your whole life to her and to never think of yourself seemed such a simple thing. You would go without a holiday to lay a humble offering at her shrine, and felt more than repaid if she only deigned to accept it.
The new-born infant cries, his early days are spent in crying. He is alternately petted and shaken by way of soothing him; sometimes he is threatened, sometimes beaten, to keep him quiet. We do what he wants or we make him do what we want, we submit to his whims or subject him to our own. There is no middle course; he must rule or obey. Thus his earliest ideas are those of the tyrant or the slave. He commands before he can speak, he obeys before he can act, and sometimes he is punished for faults before he is aware of them, or rather before they are committed. Thus early are the seeds of evil passions sown in his young heart. At a later day these are attributed to nature, and when we have taken pains to make him bad we lament his badness. In this way the child passes six or seven years in the hands of women, the victim of his own caprices or theirs, and after they have taught him all sorts of things, when they have burdened his memory with words he cannot understand, or things which are of no use to him, when nature has been stifled by the passions they have implanted in him, this sham article is sent to a tutor. The tutor completes the development of the germs of artificiality which he finds already well grown, he teaches him everything except self-knowledge and self-control, the arts of life and happiness. When at length this infant slave and tyrant, crammed with knowledge but empty of sense, feeble alike in mind and body, is flung upon the world, and his helplessness, his pride, and his other vices are displayed, we begin to lament the wretchedness and perversity of mankind. We are wrong; this is the creature of our fantasy; the natural man is cast in another mould.
How strange! This bed on which I shall lie has been slept on by more than one dying man, but today it does not repel me! Who knows what corpses have lain on it and for how long? But is a corpse any worse than I? A corpse too knows nothing of its father, mother or sisters or Titus. Nor has a corpse a sweetheart. A corpse, too, is pale, like me. A corpse is cold, just as I am cold and indifferent to everything. A corpse has ceased to live, and I too have had enough of life.... Why do we live on through this wretched life which only devours us and serves to turn us into corpses? The clocks in the Stuttgart belfries strike the midnight hour. Oh how many people have become corpses at this moment! Mothers have been torn from their children, children from their mothers - how many plans have come to nothing, how much sorrow has sprung from these depths, and how much relief!... Virtue and vice have come in the end to the same thing! It seems that to die is man's finest action - and what might be his worst? To be born, since that is the exact opposite of his best deed. It is therefore right of me to be angry that I was ever born into this world! Why was I not prevented from remaining in a world where I am utterly useless? What good can my existence bring to anyone? … But wait, wait! What's this? Tears? How long it is since they flowed! How is this, seeing that an arid melancholy has held me for so long in its grip? How good it feels - and sorrowful. Sad but kindly tears! What a strange emotion! Sad but blessed. It is not good for one to be sad, and yet how pleasant it is - a strange state...
So little apprehension appeared to exist, that, in February, 1843, Don Antonio José Chavez, of New Mexico, left Santa Fé for Independence, with but five servants, two wagons, and fifty-five mules. He had with him some ten or twelve thousand dollars in specie and gold bullion, besides a small lot of furs. ...about the tenth of April, ...he found himself near the Little Arkansas; at least a hundred miles within the territory of the United States. He was there met by fifteen men from the border of Missouri, professing to be Texan troops, under the command of one John McDaniel. This party had been collected, for the most part, on the frontier, by their leader, who was recently from Texas, from which government he professed to hold a captain's commission. They started, no doubt, with the intention of joining one Col. Warfield (also said to hold a Texan commission), who had been upon the Plains near the Mountains, with a small party, for several months — with the avowed intention of attacking the Mexican traders. Upon meeting Chavez, however, the party of McDaniel at once determined to make sure of the prize he was possessed of, rather than take their chances of a similar booty beyond the U. S. boundary. ...Lots were accordingly cast to determine which four of the party should be the cruel executioners; and their wretched victim was taken off a few rods and shot down in cold blood. ...five of the whole number (including three of the party that killed the man) effected their escape, but the other ten were arrested, committed, and sent to St. Louis for trial before the United States Court. It appears that those who were engaged in the killing of Chavez have since been convicted of murder; and the others, who were only concerned in the robbery, were found guilty of larceny, and sentenced to fine and imprisonment (John McDaniel and his brother David were both executed. ...The Texas government disclaimed all responsibility for McDaniel).
All honour and reverence to the divine beauty of form! Let us cultivate it to the utmost in men, women, and children — in our gardens and in our houses. But let us love that other beauty too, which lies in no secret of proportion, but in the secret of deep human sympathy. Paint us an angel, if you can, with a floating violet robe, and a face paled by the celestial light; paint us yet oftener a Madonna, turning her mild face upward and opening her arms to welcome the divine glory; but do not impose on us any aesthetic rules which shall banish from the region of Art those old women scraping carrots with their work-worn hands, those heavy clowns taking holiday in a dingy pot-house, those rounded backs and stupid weather-beaten faces that have bent over the spade and done the rough work of the world — those homes with their tin pans, their brown pitchers, their rough curs, and their clusters of onions. In this world there are so many of these common coarse people, who have no picturesque sentimental wretchedness! It is so needful we should remember their existence, else we may happen to leave them quite out of our religion and philosophy and frame lofty theories which only fit a world of extremes. Therefore, let Art always remind us of them; therefore let us always have men ready to give the loving pains of a life to the faithful representing of commonplace things — men who see beauty in these commonplace things, and delight in showing how kindly the light of heaven falls on them. There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can't afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my every-day fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.
The first thing is serenity. The agitation has to end. The itchy irritability, the restlessness, the wanting. So do the lows, the self-loathing, wretched, heavy-hearted, lead-gutted, teary-eyed, dry-mouthed misery. The pain. So do the highs. The wide-eyed, bilious highs, the cheek-chewing, trouble-brewing highs, the never-stopping-till-I-touch-the-sky highs, the up-at-dawn hitting-the-pipe highs, chasing, defacing, heart-racing highs, gagging, shagging, blagging highs. All the things we do to change the way we feel, the way the world looks and tastes: It’s all got to go. So courage is necessary. Courage to change yourself, the one thing you can change. Your attitude and actions. Neither the serenity nor the courage are available to you on your own; if they were, you would’ve found them by now—you’ve been pretty fastidious in your research. God, however you conceptualize him, will have to grant them to you. And whatever you conceptualize God as, with your human mind, your individual brain, made up of instinctive responses, training, and memories, however you conceptualize a power that’s beyond you and the decisions you’ve made so far, your conception will be extremely limited. Likely as limited as my cat’s conception of the Internet. The invisible network of interconnected portals that communicate data are beyond my cat’s comprehension. My cat’s inability to comprehend does not impede the Internet. The World Wide Web (which is incidentally quicker to say than “double-you, double-you, double-you-dot”) will continue to exist, regardless of my cat’s awareness. Pray, then, for wisdom, wisdom to know the difference between things we can change and things we can’t. Likely this will be a lifetime’s work, undertaken one day at a time. Which, for humans, is the way time happens. I don’t have to live the 25th of May 2022 yet. I might never have to. I only have to live in this moment. That’s why meditation comes in handy, and practicing it as a community has benefits too. How are we to achieve real change, conditions in which practices that lead to a different type of consciousness can plausibly be pursued?
It is a great pity that this tendency towards religious thought can find no better outlet than the Jewish pettifoggery of the Old Testament. For religious people who, in the solitude of winter, continually seek ultimate light on their religious problems with the assistance of the Bible, must eventually become spiritually deformed. The wretched people strive to extract truths from these Jewish chicaneries, where in fact no truths exist. As a result they become embedded in some rut of thought or other and, unless they possess an exceptionally commonsense mind, degenerate into religious maniacs. It is deplorable that the Bible should have been translated into German, and that the whole of the German Folk should have thus become exposed to the whole of this Jewish mumbo jumbo. So long as the wisdom, particularly of the Old Testament, remained exclusively in the Latin of the Church, there was little danger that sensible people would become the victims of illusions as the result of studying the Bible. But since the Bible became common property, a whole heap of people have found opened to them lines of religious thought which—particularly in conjunction with the German characteristic of persistent and somewhat melancholy meditation—as often as not turned them into religious maniacs. When one recollects further that the Catholic Church has elevated to the status of Saints a whole number of madmen, one realises why movements such as that of the Flagellants came inevitably into existence in the Middle Ages in Germany. As a sane German, one is flabbergasted to think that German human beings could have let themselves be brought to such a pass by Jewish filth and priestly twaddle, that they were little different from the howling dervish of the Turks and the negroes, at whom we laugh so scornfully. It angers one to think that, while in other parts of the globe religious teaching like that of Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed offers an undeniably broad basis for the religious-minded, Germans should have been duped by a theological exposition devoid of all honest depth.
No one thinks or feels or appreciates or lives a mental-emotional-imaginative life at all, except in terms of the artificial reference-points supply'd him by the enveloping body of race-tradition and heritage into which he is born. We form an emotionally realisable picture of the external world, and an emotionally endurable set of illusions as to values and directions in existence, solely and exclusively through the arbitrary concepts and folkways bequeathed to us through our traditional culture-stream. Without this stream around us we are absolutely adrift in a meaningless and irrelevant chaos which has not the least capacity to give us any satisfaction apart from the trifling animal ones . . . Without our nationality—that is, our culture-grouping—we are merely wretched nuclei of agony and bewilderment in the midst of alien and directionless emptiness . . . We have an Aryan heritage, a Western-European heritage, a Teutonic-Celtic heritage, an Anglo-Saxon or English heritage, an Anglo-American heritage, and so on—but we can't detach one layer from another without serious loss—loss of a sense of significance and orientation in the world. America without England is absolutely meaningless to a civilised man of any generation yet grown to maturity. The breaking of the saving tie is leaving these colonies free to build up a repulsive new culture of money, speed, quantity, novelty, and industrial slavery, but that future culture is not ours, and has no meaning for us . . . Possibly the youngest generation already born and mentally active—boys of ten to fifteen—will tend to belong to it, as indeed a widespread shift in their tastes and instincts and loyalties would seem to indicate. But to say all this has anything to do with us is a joke! These boys are the Bedes and Almins of a new, encroaching, and apparently inferior culture. We are the Boëthii and Symmachi and Cassiodori of an older and perhaps dying culture. It is to our interest to keep our own culture alive as long as we can—and if possible to reserve and defend certain areas against the onslaughts of the enemy.
I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers. Our landholders, too, like theirs, retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation. This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagance. And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
In the parts of Mercia acquired by Alfred, the shire system seems now to have been introduced for the first time. This is the one grain of truth in the legend that Alfred was the inventor of shires, hundreds and tithings. … The Celtic principality in Cornwall, which seems to have survived at least till 926, must long have been practically dependent on Wessex. … We come now to what is in many ways the most interesting of Alfred’s works, his translation of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, the most popular philosophical manual of the middle ages. Here again Alfred deals very freely with his original and though the late Dr G. Schepss showed that many of the additions to the text are to be traced not to Alfred himself, but to the glosses and commentaries which he used, still there is much in the work which is solely Alfred’s and highly characteristic of his genius. It is in the Boethius that the oft-quoted sentence occurs: “My will was to live worthily as long as I lived, and after my life to leave to them that should come after, my memory in good works.” … The last of Alfred’s works is one to which he gave the title Blostman, i.e. “Blooms” or Anthology. The first half is based mainly on the Soliloquies of St Augustine, the remainder is drawn from various sources, and contains much that is Alfred’s own and highly characteristic of him. The last words of it may be quoted; they form a fitting epitaph for the noblest of English kings. “Therefore he seems to me a very foolish man, and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world, and ever wish and long to reach that endless life where all shall be made clear.” … How Alfred passed to “the life where all things are made clear” we do not know. The very year is uncertain. The arguments on the whole are in favour of 900. The day was the 26th of October. Alike for what he did and for what he was, there is none to equal Alfred in the whole line of English sovereigns; and no monarch in history ever deserved more truly the epithet of Great.
I can understand the ignorant masses loving to soak themselves in drink—oh, yes, it's very shocking that they should, of course—very shocking to us who live in cozy homes, with all the graces and pleasures of life around us, that the dwellers in damp cellars and windy attics should creep from their dens of misery into the warmth and glare of the public-house bar, and seek to float for a brief space away from their dull world upon a Lethe stream of gin. But think, before you hold up your hands in horror at their ill-living, what "life" for these wretched creatures really means. Picture the squalid misery of their brutish existence, dragged on from year to year in the narrow, noisome room where, huddled like vermin in sewers, they welter, and sicken, and sleep; where dirt-grimed children scream and fight and sluttish, shrill-voiced women cuff, and curse, and nag; where the street outside teems with roaring filth and the house around is a bedlam of riot and stench. Think what a sapless stick this fair flower of life must be to them, devoid of mind and soul. The horse in his stall scents the sweet hay and munches the ripe corn contentedly. The watch-dog in his kennel blinks at the grateful sun, dreams of a glorious chase over the dewy fields, and wakes with a yelp of gladness to greet a caressing hand. But the clod-like life of these human logs never knows one ray of light. From the hour when they crawl from their comfortless bed to the hour when they lounge back into it again they never live one moment of real life. Recreation, amusement, companionship, they know not the meaning of. Joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, love, friendship, longing, despair, are idle words to them. From the day when their baby eyes first look out upon their sordid world to the day when, with an oath, they close them forever and their bones are shoveled out of sight, they never warm to one touch of human sympathy, never thrill to a single thought, never start to a single hope. In the name of the God of mercy; let them pour the maddening liquor down their throats and feel for one brief moment that they live!
My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago—a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people.Then indeed when Rome collapsed there were endless streams of new German bands flowing into the Empire from the North; but, if Germany collapses today, who is there to come after us? German blood upon this earth is on the way to gradual exhaustion unless we pull ourselves together and make ourselves free!And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited.
The solitude of my walk led me into a train of reflections on that unequal division of property which occasions the numberless instances of wretchedness which I had observed all over Europe. The property of this country is absolutely concentrated in a very few hands... These employ the flower of the country as servants... They employ also a great number of manufacturers and tradesmen, and lastly the class of laboring husbandmen. But after all there comes the most numerous of all classes, that is the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? ...I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small land holders are the most precious part of a State.
Our Italian ally has been a source of embarrassment to us everywhere. It was this alliance, for instance, which prevented us from pursuing a revolutionary policy in North Africa. In the nature of things, this territory was becoming an Italian preserve and it was as such that the Duce laid claim to it. Had we been on our own, we could have emancipated the Moslem countries dominated by France; and that would have had enormous repercussions in the Near East, dominated by Britain, and in Egypt. But with our fortunes linked to those of the Italians, the pursuit of such a policy was not possible. All Islam vibrated at the news of our victories. The Egyptians, the Irakis and the whole of the Near East were all ready to rise in revolt. Just think what we could have done to help them, even to incite them, as would have been both our duty and in our own interest! But the presence of the Italians at our side paralysed us; it created a feeling of malaise among our Islamic friends, who inevitably saw in us accomplices, willing or unwilling, of their oppressors. For the Italians in these parts of the world are more bitterly hated, of course, than either the British or the French. The memories of the barbarous, reprisals taken against the Senussi are still vivid. Then again the ridiculous pretensions of the Duce to be regarded as The Sword of Islam evokes the same sneering chuckle now as it did before the war. This title, which is fitting for Mahomed and a great conqueror like Omar, Mussolini caused to be conferred on himself by a few wretched brutes whom he had either bribed or terrorized into doing so. We had a great chance of pursuing a splendid policy with regard to Islam. But we missed the bus, as we missed it on several other occasions, thanks to our loyalty to the Italian alliance! In this theatre of operations, then, the Italians prevented us from playing our best card, the emancipation of the French subjects and the raising of the standard of revolt in the countries oppressed by the British. Such a policy would have aroused the enthusiasm of the whole of Islam. It is a characteristic of the Moslem world, from the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific, that what affects one, for good or for evil, affects all.
Mothers and nurses grow fond of children because of the care they lavish on them; the practice of social virtues touches the very heart with the love of humanity; by doing good we become good; and I know no surer way to this end. Keep your pupil busy with the good deeds that are within his power, let the cause of the poor be his own, let him help them not merely with his money, but with his service; let him work for them, protect them, let his person and his time be at their disposal; let him be their agent; he will never all his life long have a more honourable office. How many of the oppressed, who have never got a hearing, will obtain justice when he demands it for them with that courage and firmness which the practice of virtue inspires; when he makes his way into the presence of the rich and great, when he goes, if need be, to the footstool of the king himself, to plead the cause of the wretched, the cause of those who find all doors closed to them by their poverty, those who are so afraid of being punished for their misfortunes that they do not dare to complain? But shall we make of Emile a knight-errant, a redresser of wrongs, a paladin? Shall he thrust himself into public life, play the sage and the defender of the laws before the great, before the magistrates, before the king? Shall he lay petitions before the judges and plead in the law courts? That I cannot say. The nature of things is not changed by terms of mockery and scorn. He will do all that he knows to be useful and good. He will do nothing more, and he knows that nothing is useful and good for him which is unbefitting his age. He knows that his first duty is to himself; that young men should distrust themselves; that they should act circumspectly; that they should show respect to those older than themselves, reticence and discretion in talking without cause, modesty in things indifferent, but courage in well doing, and boldness to speak the truth. Such were those illustrious Romans who, having been admitted into public life, spent their days in bringing criminals to justice and in protecting the innocent, without any motives beyond those of learning, and of the furtherance of justice and of the protection of right conduct.
My dear Father, Charley wrote you in his letter to his Aunt Laura thanking you for your kindness in sending us a nice Christmas present. You must not think because I have not written you myself before this that I appreciated your kindness less. I have been so troubled with pains and weakness in my arm and hand as to be almost useless at times. I think it was nursing so much when the children were sick. I was so relieved when Anna's note to Charly arrived yesterday telling Frankie was better. It would have been dreadful for Mother to have gone out west at this miserable season of the year. I was wretchedly uneasy. I do hope poor Franky will get along nicely now. It will make him much more careful about exposing himself having had this severe attack. Charley received the enclosed letters Anna sent from Sister Eliza and Toad[?]. I was very glad to get them. It is quite refreshing to read Sister Eliza's letters. They are so cheerful and happy. I had a letter from her on Friday. This Custom House investigating committee is attracting a great deal of attention and time here. It holds its sessions at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Mr. Broome was up on Tuesday evening until ten o'clock but was not called upon. It is very slow. He has been for three weeks passed preparing the statement for those summoned from the Public Stores. Mr. Broome sends Laura a paper to look at—The Fisk tragedy. What is Nora doing with herself this winter. She might write to me sometimes. Give much love to Mother. Ask her for her receipt for getting fat. I would like to gain some myself. It is so much nicer to grow fleshy as you advance in life than to shrivel and dry up. The children are all well and growing very fast. Lloyd has to study very hard this year. His studies are quite difficult. I suppose Charley Harris is working hard too. Mr. Broome sent you a paper with the Navy Register in this week. I received your papers and often Richard calls and gets them. I must close. Mr. Broome and children join me in love to you, Mother, Laura, Anna, Nora, Charly & all. With much love, Your devoted child, Mary Jane I enclose Nancy letter which was written some time ago. - Mary Jane Boarman in a Sunday letter to her father (January 21, 1872)
Every feeling of hardship is inseparable from the desire to escape from it; every idea of pleasure from the desire to enjoy it. All desire implies a want, and all wants are painful; hence our wretchedness consists in the disproportion between our desires and our powers. A conscious being whose powers were equal to his desires would be perfectly happy. What then is human wisdom? Where is the path of true happiness? The mere limitation of our desires is not enough, for if they were less than our powers, part of our faculties would be idle, and we should not enjoy our whole being; neither is the mere extension of our powers enough, for if our desires were also increased we should only be the more miserable. True happiness consists in decreasing the difference between our desires and our powers, in establishing a perfect equilibrium between the power and the will. Then only, when all its forces are employed, will the soul be at rest and man will find himself in his true position. It is only in this primitive condition that we find the equilibrium between desire and power, and then alone man is not unhappy. As soon as his potential powers of mind begin to function, imagination, more powerful than all the rest, awakes, and precedes all the rest. It is imagination which enlarges the bounds of possibility for us, whether for good or ill, and therefore stimulates and feeds desires by the hope of satisfying them. But the object which seemed within our grasp flies quicker than we can follow; when we think we have grasped it, it transforms itself and is again far ahead of us. We no longer perceive the country we have traversed, and we think nothing of it; that which lies before us becomes vaster and stretches still before us. Thus we exhaust our strength, yet never reach our goal, and the nearer we are to pleasure, the further we are from happiness. The world of reality has its bounds, the world of imagination is boundless; as we cannot enlarge the one, let us restrict the other; for all the sufferings which really make us miserable arise from the difference between the real and the imaginary. Health, strength, and a good conscience excepted, all the good things of life are a matter of opinion; except bodily suffering and remorse, all our woes are imaginary. You will tell me this is a commonplace; I admit it, but its practical application is no commonplace, and it is with practice only that we are now concerned.
I repair to the post assigned me with no other discouragement than what springs from my own inadequacy to its high duties. If I do not sink under the weight of this deep conviction it is because I find some support in a consciousness of the purposes and a confidence in the principles which I bring with me into this arduous service. To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality toward belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the right of conscience or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press; to observe economy in public expenditures; to liberate the public resources by an honorable discharge of the public debts; to keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics — that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe; to promote by authorized means improvements friendly to agriculture, to manufactures, and to external as well as internal commerce; to favor in like manner the advancement of science and the diffusion of information as the best aliment to true liberty; to carry on the benevolent plans which have been so meritoriously applied to the conversion of our aboriginal neighbors from the degradation and wretchedness of savage life to a participation of the improvements of which the human mind and manners are susceptible in a civilized state — as far as sentiments and intentions such as these can aid the fulfillment of my duty, they will be a resource which can not fail me.
Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows — to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check. From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.
The part of the story that came next was suddenly missing, I couldn’t think of it, so I went into the next room and drank a glass of water (my “and then” still hanging in the frangible air) as if this were the most natural thing in the world to do at that point, thinking that I would “make up” something, while in the other room, to put in place of that part of the anecdote that had fallen out of my mind, to keep the light glittering in his cautious eyes. And in truth I was getting a little angry with him now, not fiercely angry but slightly désabusé, because he had been standing very close to me, closer than I really like people to stand, the rims of his shoes touching the rims of my shoes, our belt buckles not four inches distant, a completely unwarranted impingement upon my personal space. And so I went, as I say, into the next room and drank a glass of water, trying to remember who he was and why I was talking to him, not that he wasn’t friendly, if by “friendly” you mean standing aggressively close to people with an attentive air and smiling teeth, that’s not what I mean by “friendly”, and it was right then that I decided to lie to him, although what I had been telling him previously was true, to the best of my knowledge and belief. But, faced now with this “gap” in the story, I decided to offer him a good-quality lie in place of the part I couldn’t remember, a better strategy, I felt, than simply stopping, leaving him with a maimed, not-whole anecdote, violating his basic trust, simple faith, or personhood even, for all I knew. But the lie had to be a good one, because if your lie is badly done it makes everyone feel wretched, liar and lied-to alike plunged into the deepest lackadaisy, and everyone just feels like going into the other room and drinking a glass of water, or whatever is available there, whereas if you can lie really well then you get dynamic results, 35 percent report increased intellectual understanding, awareness, insight, 40 percent report more tolerance, acceptance of others, liking for self, 29 percent report they receive more personal and more confidentual information from people and that others become more warm and supportive toward them—all in consequence of a finely orchestrated, carefully developed untruth. And while I was thinking about this, counting my options, I noticed that he was a policeman, had in fact a dark-blue uniform, black shoes, a badge and a gun, a policeman’s hat, and I noticed also that my testicles were aching, as they sometimes do if you sit too long in a uncomfortable or strained position, but I had been standing and then I understood, in a flash, that what he wanted from me was not to hear the “next” part of my story, or anecdote, but that I give my harpsichord to his wife as a present.
I have the honor to further supplement my reports of June 30th and July 11th (File No. 840.1) in regard to the expulsion of the Armenians from this region, or to speak more clearly, the wholesale massacre of these Armenians, as follows — Any doubt that may have been expressed in previous reports as to the Government's intention in sending away the Armenians have been removed and any hope that may have been expressed as to the possibility of some of them surviving has been destroyed. It has been no secret that the plan was to destroy the Armenian race as a race, but the methods have been more cold-blooded and barbarous, if not more effective, than I had first supposed. It was apparent that very few would ever survive the journey from here to Urfa or to any other place at this season of the year. As a matter of fact, it has been quite unnecessary to consider the difficulties of such a journey. It seems to be fully established now that practically all who have been sent away from here have been deliberately shot or otherwise killed within one or two days after their departure. This work has not all been done by bands of Kurds but has for the most part been that of gendarmes who accompanied the people from here or the companies of armed "cetes" (convicts) who have been released from prison for the purpose of murdering the Armenian exiles. It has been repeatedly reported, and I think there is no doubt about the truth of these reports, that not a single man who has been sent away has been spared. Many of the women and children have been deliberately killed at the same time. A few of the more attractive women have been carried off to adorn the harems of some of the Kurdish chieftains and of some of the gendarmes. Some of the older women and children have been allowed to wander along, accompanied by gendarmes, with the certainty that all of them will soon perish from hunger, sickness and exhaustion. I do not believe there has ever been a massacre in the history of the world so general and thorough as that which is now being perpetrated in this region or that a more fiendish, diabolical scheme has ever been conceived by the mind of man. What the order is officially and nominally to exile the Armenians from these Vilayets may mislead the world for a while, but the measure is nothing but a massacre of the most atrocious nature. It would be that even if all the people had been allowed to perish on the road. As the greater part of them, however, have been actually murdered as as there is no doubt that this was done by the order of the Government, there can be no pretense that the measure is anything else but a general massacre. In all, probably a third of the population of this region is gone. The most remarkable feature of the situation is the helplessness of the Armenians and the total lack of resistance on their part. With two or three insignificant exceptions, there has not been a blow struck by any of them. I have been told that two or three gendarmes have been killed in the villages, but probably not a half a dozen in all. It did not seem possible that such an order could be carried out without more or less violence. One would think that some would have chosen death here, knowing that it awaited them a few hours after their departure, and many talked that way, but when the time has come all have started without making any resistance. This has been due, partially, of course, to the lack of sprit in the Armenian race, but it is due very largely also to the clever way in which the scheme has been carried out. Everything was apparently planned months ago. Then, when practically all the Armenian men had been gotten out of the way it was announced that all Armenians must be deported. Effective resistance to such an order was impossible. The whole scheme was planned so cleverly that the police and gendarmes are able to carry it out with no risk at all to themselves. A few thousand men have thus been able to dispose of 15,000 or 20,000 Armenians from this immediate locality. It appears that the same system has been followed in other parts of this Vilayet and in other Vilayets. It is impossible to say how many Armenians have been killed but it is estimated that the number as not far from a million. Greater misery could not be imagined. It was bad enough before when there were several thousand all in a most wretched condition. Now, when only the worst of them are left behind, the scene beggars all description. The dead and dying are everywhere. Each day there are many deaths and these will continue until all are gone. Dead bodies are to be seen there at any time. One sees dead bodies now in all directions and on every road... The whole country as one vast charnel house, or, more correctly speaking, slaughterhouse. When one sees men and women seventy or even eighty years old, lame, blind and sick, innocent women and children and helpless babies sent away to be killed or die and actually sees them dead or dying all around, it is impossible to conceive of any justification that can be urged for a measure so severe.
"You ask me," said Plutarch, "why Pythagoras abstained from eating the flesh of beasts, but I ask you, what courage must have been needed by the first man who raised to his lips the flesh of the slain, who broke with his teeth the bones of a dying beast, who had dead bodies, corpses, placed before him and swallowed down limbs which a few moments ago were bleating, bellowing, walking, and seeing? How could his hand plunge the knife into the heart of a sentient creature, how could his eyes look on murder, how could he behold a poor helpless animal bled to death, scorched, and dismembered? how can he bear the sight of this quivering flesh? does not the very smell of it turn his stomach? is he not repelled, disgusted, horror-struck, when he has to handle the blood from these wounds, and to cleanse his fingers from the dark and viscous bloodstains? "The scorched skins wriggled upon the ground, The shrinking flesh bellowed upon the spit. Man cannot eat them without a shudder; He seems to hear their cries within his breast. "Thus must he have felt the first time he did despite to nature and made this horrible meal; the first time he hungered for the living creature, and desired to feed upon the beast which was still grazing; when he bade them slay, dismember, and cut up the sheep which licked his hands. It is those who began these cruel feasts, not those who abandon them, who should cause surprise, and there were excuses for those primitive men, excuses which we have not, and the absence of such excuses multiplies our barbarity a hundredfold. "'Mortals, beloved of the gods,' says this primitive man, 'compare our times with yours; see how happy you are, and how wretched were we. The earth, newly formed, the air heavy with moisture, were not yet subjected to the rule of the seasons. Three-fourths of the surface of the globe was flooded by the ever-shifting channels of rivers uncertain of their course, and covered with pools, lakes, and bottomless morasses. The remaining quarter was covered with woods and barren forests. The earth yielded no good fruit, we had no instruments of tillage, we did not even know the use of them, and the time of harvest never came for those who had sown nothing. Thus hunger was always in our midst. In winter, mosses and the bark of trees were our common food. A few green roots of dogs-bit or heather were a feast, and when men found beech-mast, nuts, or acorns, they danced for joy round the beech or oak, to the sound of some rude song, while they called the earth their mother and their nurse. This was their only festival, their only sport; all the rest of man's life was spent in sorrow, pain, and hunger. "'At length, when the bare and naked earth no longer offered us any food, we were compelled in self-defence to outrage nature, and to feed upon our companions in distress, rather than perish with them. But you, oh, cruel men! who forces you to shed blood? Behold the wealth of good things about you, the fruits yielded by the earth, the wealth of field and vineyard; the animals give their milk for your drink and their fleece for your clothing. What more do you ask? What madness compels you to commit such murders, when you have already more than you can eat or drink? Why do you slander our mother earth, and accuse her of denying you food? Why do you sin against Ceres, the inventor of the sacred laws, and against the gracious Bacchus, the comforter of man, as if their lavish gifts were not enough to preserve mankind? Have you the heart to mingle their sweet fruits with the bones upon your table, to eat with the milk the blood of the beasts which gave it? The lions and panthers, wild beasts as you call them, are driven to follow their natural instinct, and they kill other beasts that they may live. But, a hundredfold fiercer than they, you fight against your instincts without cause, and abandon yourselves to the most cruel pleasures. The animals you eat are not those who devour others; you do not eat the carnivorous beasts, you take them as your pattern. You only hunger for the sweet and gentle creatures which harm no one, which follow you, serve you, and are devoured by you as the reward of their service. "'O unnatural murderer! if you persist in the assertion that nature has made you to devour your fellow-creatures, beings of flesh and blood, living and feeling like yourself, stifle if you can that horror with which nature makes you regard these horrible feasts; slay the animals yourself, slay them, I say, with your own hands, without knife or mallet; tear them with your nails like the lion and the bear, take this ox and rend him in pieces, plunge your claws into his hide; eat this lamb while it is yet alive, devour its warm flesh, drink its soul with its blood. You shudder! you dare not feel the living throbbing flesh between your teeth? Ruthless man; you begin by slaying the animal and then you devour it, as if to slay it twice. It is not enough. You turn against the dead flesh, it revolts you, it must be transformed by fire, boiled and roasted, seasoned and disguised with drugs; you must have butchers, cooks, turnspits, men who will rid the murder of its horrors, who will dress the dead bodies so that the taste deceived by these disguises will not reject what is strange to it, and will feast on corpses, the very sight of which would sicken you.'" Although this quotation is irrelevant, I cannot resist the temptation to transcribe it, and I think few of my readers will resent it.
this third period (as it may be termed) of my mental progress, which now went hand in hand with hers, my opinions gained equally in breadth and depth, I understood more things, and those which I had understood before, I now understood more thoroughly. I had now completely turned back from what there had been of excess in my reaction against Benthamism. I had, at the height of that reaction, certainly become much more indulgent to the common opinions of society and the world, and more willing to be content with seconding the superficial improvement which had begun to take place in those common opinions, than became one whose convictions on so many points, differed fundamentally from them. I was much more inclined, than I can now approve, to put in abeyance the more decidedly heretical part of my opinions, which I now look upon as almost the only ones, the assertion of which tends in any way to regenerate society. In those days I had seen little further than the old school of political economists into the possibilities of fundamental improvement in social arrangements. Private property, as now understood, and inheritance, appeared to me, as to them, the dernier mot of legislation: and I looked no further than to mitigating the inequalities consequent on these institutions, by getting rid of primogeniture and entails. The notion that it was possible to go further than this in removing the injustice -- for injustice it is, whether admitting of a complete remedy or not -- involved in the fact that some are born to riches and the vast majority to poverty, I then reckoned chimerical, and only hoped that by universal education, leading to voluntary restraint on population, the portion of the poor might be made more tolerable. In short, I was a democrat, but not the least of a Socialist. We were now much less democrats than I had been, because so long as education continues to be so wretchedly imperfect, we dreaded the ignorance and especially the selfishness and brutality of the mass: but our ideal of ultimate improvement went far beyond Democracy, and would class us decidedly under the general designation of Socialists. While we repudiated with the greatest energy that tyranny of society over the individual which most Socialistic systems are supposed to involve, we yet looked forward to a time when society will no longer be divided into the idle and the industrious; when the rule that they who do not work shall not eat, will be applied not to paupers only, but impartially to all; when the division of the produce of labour, instead of depending, as in so great a degree it now does, on the accident of birth, will be made by concert on an acknowledged principle of justice; and when it will no longer either be, or be thought to be, impossible for human beings to exert themselves strenuously in procuring benefits which are not to be exclusively their own, but to be shared with the society they belong to. The social problem of the future we considered to be, how to unite the greatest individual liberty of action, with a common ownership in the raw material of the globe, and an equal participation of all in the benefits of combined labour. We had not the presumption to suppose that we could already foresee, by what precise form of institutions these objects could most effectually be attained, or at how near or how distant a period they would become practicable. We saw clearly that to render any such social transformation either possible or desirable, an equivalent change of character must take place both in the uncultivated herd who now compose the labouring masses, and in the immense majority of their employers. Both these classes must learn by practice to labour and combine for generous, or at all events for public and social purposes, and not, as hitherto, solely for narrowly interested ones. But the capacity to do this has always existed in mankind, and is not, nor is ever likely to be, extinct. Education, habit, and the cultivation of the sentiments, will make a common man dig or weave for his country, as readily as fight for his country. True enough, it is only by slow degrees, and a system of culture prolonged through successive generations, that men in general can be brought up to this point. But the hindrance is not in the essential constitution of human nature. Interest in the common good is at present so weak a motive in the generality not because it can never be otherwise, but because the mind is not accustomed to dwell on it as it dwells from morning till night on things which tend only to personal advantage. When called into activity, as only self-interest now is, by the daily course of life, and spurred from behind by the love of distinction and the fear of shame, it is capable of producing, even in common men, the most strenuous exertions as well as the most heroic sacrifices. The deep-rooted selfishness which forms the general character of the existing state of society, is so deeply rooted, only because the whole course of existing institutions tends to foster it; modern institutions in some respects more than ancient, since the occasions on which the individual is called on to do anything for the public without receiving its pay, are far less frequent in modern life, than the smaller commonwealths of antiquity. These considerations did not make us overlook the folly of premature attempts to dispense with the inducements of private interest in social affairs, while no substitute for them has been or can be provided: but we regarded all existing institutions and social arrangements as being (in a phrase I once heard from Austin) "merely provisional," and we welcomed with the greatest pleasure and interest all socialistic experiments by select individuals (such as the Co-operative Societies), which, whether they succeeded or failed, could not but operate as a most useful education of those who took part in them, by cultivating their capacity of acting upon motives pointing directly to the general good, or making them aware of the defects which render them and others incapable of doing so.