Friday, September 28, 2007

God, How I wish I'd said that.

Literate folks read. They have to. In order to get by in the modern world. Like reading the train and bus times from the schedule. There are others who read the daily news papers to know what's happening in the world. Then there are some who read " how to books " that tell them the steps to assemble say an equipment, put together a piece of furniture or even a mousetrap. Reports and memorandums at office. People read for various reasons. The days of hand signs and smoke signals have long gone.

What is it that makes me want to read every spare moment I can snatch from breakfast to lights out. What is it that makes me carry a novel where ever I go. To read while waiting in line at the local bank. To read while waiting for the waiter to take my order and leisurely execute it. To read at Borders sipping coffee while waiting for my wife to be done with her shopping.

It gives me incalculable pleasure to read a novel or anything for that matter that is written in a manner where style is king, where a writer puts words together in a way I have not seen before, a creation that grabs me instantaneously that makes me say to myself, " Lord wish I had said that. " I have to right away then write it down.

I feel very much like Naipaul's father. It is comforting to note I am not an aberration. This is what V.S.Naipaul says of his father in " Reading and Writing - A Personal Account."

"He read many books at once, finishing none, looking not for the story or the argument in any book but for the special qualities or character of the writer. That was where he found his pleasure, and he would savor writers only in little bursts. Is this why Kafka declared that literature " breaks up the frozen sea inside us."

When I have nothing to read I feel like an uninhabited body, truly miserable at such times. "Literature's most precious gift " says Harold Bloom " is to teach us to be alone with ourselves."

Author Stephen King says it best:
".. and when I find one that is all-out emotionally assaultive, I grab the baby and hold on tight. Something that comes to me full - bore like a big, hot meteor screaming down from the Kansas sky."

William Faulkner, poet laureate reads a forward in one of the books by Sienkiewicz where the author writes thus: "This book was written at the expense of considerable effort, to uplift men's hearts" and Faulkner's immediate reaction was, " What a nice thing to have thought to say. Maybe some day I will write a book too and what a shame I didn't think of that first so I could put it on the front page of mine"

John Steinbeck paraphrased St. John the Apostle in his banquet speech at the City Hall in Stockholm while accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature.

" In the end is the Word, and the Word is Man - and the Word is with Man.


Selections from John Steinbeck's " Travels with Charlie " John Steinbeck's my favorite author. In prose he is so precise, so graphic you might as well call it poetry.

1. In all my travels I saw very little real poverty, I mean the grinding terrifying poorness of the Thirties. That at least was real and tangible. No, it was a sickness, a kind of wasting disease. There were wishes but no wants. And underneath it all the building energy like gases in a corpse. When that explodes, I tremble to think what will be the result. Over and over I thought we lacked the pressures that make men strong and the anguish that makes men great. The pressures are debts, the desires are for more material toys and the anguish is boredom. Through time, the nation has become a discontented land.

2. I could not have escaped hunting if I had wanted to, for open seasons spangle the autumn. We have inherited many attitudes from our recent ancestors who wrestled this continent as Jacob wrestled the angel, and the pioneers won. From them we take a belief that every American is a natural-born hunter. And every fall a great number of men set out to prove that without talent, training, knowledge or practice they are dead shots with rifle or shot gun.

3. I would happily hunt anything that runs or crawls or flies, even relatives, and tear them down with my teeth. But it isn't hunger that drives millions of armed American males to forests and hills every autumn, as the high incidence of heart failure among the hunters will prove. Some how the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don't quite know how. I know there are any number of good and efficient hunters who know what they are doing; but many more are overweight gentlemen, primed with whiskey and armed with high-powered rifles. They shoot at anything that moves or looks as though it might, and their success in killing one another may well prevent a population explosion. If the casualties were limited to their own kind there would be no problem, but the slaughter of cows, pigs,farmers, dogs and highway signs makes autumn a dangerous season in which to travel.

A farmer in upper New York State painted the word cow in big black letters on both sides of his white bossy, but the hunters shot it any way. In Wisconsin, as I was driving through, a hunter shot his own guide between the shoulder blades. The coroner questioning this nimrod asked,
" Did you think he was a deer? "
" Yes sir I did "
" But you weren't sure he was a deer."
" Well, no sir. I guess not. "

4. There are as many worlds as there are kinds of days, and as an opal changes its colors and its fire to match the nature of a day, so do I. The night fears and loneliness were so far gone that I could hardly remember them.

5. In the pattern-thinking about roots I and most other people have left two things out of consideration. Could it be that Americans are a restless people, a mobile people, never satisfied with where they are as a matter of selection? The pioneers, the immigrants who peopled the continent, were the restless ones in Europe. The steady rooted ones stayed home and are still there. But every one of us, except the Negroes forced here as slaves, are descended from the restless ones, the wayward ones who were not content to stay at home.

6. Quite naturally, as we moved down the beautiful coast my method of travel was changed. Each evening I found a pleasant auto court to rest in, beautiful new places that have sprung up in recent years. Now I began to experience a tendency in the West that perhaps I am too old to accept. It is the principle of do it yourself. At breakfast a toaster is on your table. You make your own toast. When I drew into one of these gems of comfort and convenience, registered, and was shown to my comfortable room after paying in advance, of course, that was the end of my contact with the management. There were no waiters, no bell boys. The chambermaids crept in and out invisibly. If I wanted ice, there was a machine near the office. I got my own ice, my own papers. Everything was convenient, centrally located, and lonesome. I lived in the most luxury. Other guests came and went silently. If one confronted them with " Good evening ", they looked a little confused and then responded, " Good evening. ". It seemed to me that they looked at me for a place to insert a coin.

7. The Redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create, a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It's not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time. They have the mystery of ferns that disappeared a million years ago into the coal of the carboniferous era. They carry their own light and shade. The vainest, most slap-happy and irreverent of men, in the presence of redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect. Respect - that's the word. One feels the need to bow to unquestioned sovereigns. I have known these great ones since my earliest childhood, have lived among them, camped and slept against warm monster bodies, and no amount of association has bred contempt in me. And the feeling is not limited to me.

8. The journey had been like a full dinner of many courses, set before a starving man. At first he tries to eat all of everything, but as the meal progresses he finds he must forgo some things to keep his appetite and his taste buds functioning.

9. I realize now that there was something else about the Coopers that set them apart from other Negroes I have seen and met since. Because they were not hurt or insulted, they were not defensive or combative. Because their dignity was intact, they had no need to be overbearing, and because the Cooper boys have never heard that they were inferior, their minds could grow to their true limits.

10. I lived in a small brick house in Manhattan, and being for the moment solvent, employed a Negro. Across the street and on the corner there was a bar and restaurant. One winter dusk when the sidewalks were iced I stood in my window looking out and saw a tipsy woman come out of the bar, slip on the ice, and fall flat. She tried to struggle up but slipped and fell again and lay there screaming maudlin. At that moment the Negro who worked for me came around the corner, saw the woman, instantly crossed the street, keeping as far from her as possible.

When he came in I said, "I saw you duck. Why didn't you give that woman a hand?"
" well, sir, she's drunk and I'm negro. If I touched her she could easy scream rape, and then it's a crowd, and who believes me?"
" It took quick thinking to duck that fast"
" Oh, no sir " he said. " I've been practicing to be a Negro a long time."

Selections from John Steinbeck's " Sweet Thursday "

1. Everyone knows about about Newton's apple. Charles Darwin and his ORIGIN OF SPECIES flashed complete in one second, and he spent the rest of his life backing it up; and the theory of relativity occurred to Einstein in the time it takes to clap your hands. This is the greatest mystery of the human mind - the inductive leap. Everything falls into place, irrelevancies relate, dissonance becomes harmony, and nonsense wears a crown of meaning. But the clarifying leap springs from the rich soil of confusion, and the leaper is not unfamiliar with pain.

2. If only people will give the thought, the care, the judgement to international affairs, to politics, even to their jobs, that they lavish on what to wear to a masquerade, the world would run in greased grooves.

3. What hidden, hoarded longings there are in all of us. Behind the broken nose and baleful eye may be a gentle courtier; behind the postures and symbols and myths of Joe Elegant there may be the hunger to be a man. If one could be, for only an evening, whatever in the world one wished, what would it be ? What secret would come out ?

4. When things get really bad there are some who seek out others who have it worse, for consolation. It is hard to see how this works but it seems to. You balance your trouble against anther's, and if yours is lighter you feel better.

Selections from John Steinbeck's " East of Eden."

1. Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it ; but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.

2. And in our time, when a man dies - if he has had wealth and influence and power and all the vestments that arouse envy, and after the living take stock of the dead man's property and his eminence and works and monuments - the question is still there: was his life good or was it evil ? Was he loved or was he hated ? Is his death felt as a loss or does a kind of joy come out of it ?

3. In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their top most layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.

We have only one story. All novels, all poetry are built on the never ending contest in ourselves of good and evil, and it occurs to me that evil must constantly re spawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing in the world is.

4. In all of history men have been taught that killing of men is an evil thing not to be countenanced. Any man who kills must be destroyed because this is a great sin, may be the worst sin we know and we take a soldier and put murder in his hands and we say to him, " use it well, use it wisely." We put no checks on him. Go out and kill as many of a certain kind of classification of your brothers as you can and we will reward you for it because it is a violation of your early training.

5. Every man has a retirement picture in which he does those things he never had time to do - makes the journeys, reads the neglected books he always pretended to have read. For many years the sheriff dreamed of spending shining time hunting and fishing - wandering on the Santa Lucia range, camping by half-remembered streams. And now that it was almost time, he knew he didn't want to do it. Sleeping on the ground would make his leg ache. He remembered how heavy a deer is and how hard it is to carry the dangling limp body from the place of the kill. And, frankly he didn't care for venison anyway. Madame Raymond could soak it in wine and lace it with spice but, hell, an old shoe would taste good with that treatment.

Selections from John Steinbeck's " In Dubious Battle "

1. Jim on the outskirts, was shivering. His eyes were wide and quiet. Mac watched London and saw what the ' super ' did not see, the shoulders gradually settling and widening, the big, muscled neck dropping down between the shoulders, the arms hooking slowly up, the eyes taking on a dangerous gleam, a flush stealing up the neck and out of the cheeks.

2. And sitting here waiting, I got to know my power. I'm stronger than you, Mac. I'm stronger than anything in the world, because I'm going in a straight line. You and all the rest have to think of women and tobacco and liquor and keeping warm and fed.

Selections from John Steinbeck's " Cannery Row "

1. " Oh " said Hazel and he cast frantically about for a peg to hang a new question on. He hated to have a question die out like this. He wasn't quick enough. While he was looking for a question Doc asked one. Hazel hated that, it meant casting about in his mind for an answer and casting about in Hazel's mind was like wandering alone in a deserted museum. Hazel's mind was choked with uncatalogued exhibits. He never forgot anything but he never bothered to arrange his memories. Everything was thrown together like fishing tackle in the bottom of a row boat, hooks, sinkers and line and lures and gaffs all snarled up.

Doc asked, " How are things going up at the palace?"
Hazel ran his fingers through his dark hair and he peered into the clutter of his mind. " Pretty good." he said. " That fellow Gay is moving in with us I guess. His wife hits him pretty bad. He don't mind that when he's awake but she waits 'til he gets to sleep and then hits him. He hates that. He has to wake up and beat her up and then when he goes back to sleep she hits him again. He don't get any rest so he's moving in with us."

" That's a new one " said Doc. " She used to swear out a warrant and put him in jail."

" Yeah " said Hazel. " But that was before they built the new jail in Salinas. Used to be thirty days and Gay was pretty hot to get out, but this new jail - radio in the tank and good bunks and the Sheriff's a nice fellow. Gay gets in there and he don't want to come out. He likes it so much his wife won't get him arrested any more. So she figured out this hitting him while he's asleep. It's nerve racking, he says. And you know as good as me - Gay never did take any pleasure beating her up. He only done it to keep his self-respect. But he gets tired of it. I guess he'll be with us now."

2. Doc to Richard Frost.

It has always seemed strange to me the things we admire in men, kindness, generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, egotism and self - interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second."

Richard Frost " Who wants to be good if he has to be hungry too. "

Selections from William Faulkner's " His name was Pete"

1. His name was Pete. He was just a dog, a fifteen month old pointer, still almost a puppy even though he had spent one hunting season learning to be the dog he would have been in another two or three if he had lived that long.
But he was just a dog. He expected little of the world into which he came without past and nothing of immortality either

Food - ( he didn't care what or how little just so it was given with affection - a touch of a hand, a voice he knew even if he could not understand and answer the words it spoke ); the earth to run on; air to breathe, sun and rain in their seasons and the co vied quail which were his heritage long before he knew the earth and felt the sun, whose scent he knew already from his staunch and faithful ancestry before he himself ever winded it. That was all he wanted. But that would have been enough to fill the eight or ten or twelve years of his natural life because twelve years are not very many and it doesn't take much to fill them.

Yet short as twelve years are, he should normally have outlived four of the kind of motor cars which killed him - cars capable of climbing hills too fast to avoid a grown pointer dog. But Pete didn't outlive the first of his four. He wasn't chasing it; he had learned not to do that before he was allowed on highways. He was standing on the road waiting for his little mistress on the horse to catch up, to squire her safely home. He shouldn't have been on the road. He paid no road tax , he held no driver's licence, didn't vote. Perhaps his trouble was that the motor car which lived in the same yard he lived in had a horn and brakes on it and he thought they all did. To say he didn't see the car because the car was between him and the late after noon sun is a bad excuse because that brings the question of vision into it and certainly no one unable with the sun at his back to see a grown pointer dog on a curve less two - lane highway would think of permitting himself to drive a car at all, let alone one without either horn or brakes because next time Pete might be a human child and killing human children with motor cars is against the law.

No the driver was in a hurry: that was the reason. Perhaps he had several miles to go yet and was already late for supper. That was why he didn't have time to slow or stop or drive around Pete. And since he didn't have time to do that, naturally he didn't have time to stop afterward.; besides Pete was only a dog flung, broken and crying into a roadside ditch and anyway the car had passed him by then and the sun was at Pete's back now, so how could the driver be expected to hear him crying ?

But Pete has forgiven him. In his year and a quarter of life he never had anything but kindness from human beings; he would gladly give the other six or eight or ten of it rather than make one late for supper.

Selections from, John Steinbeck's " The Moon is Down "

1. Now it was that the conqueror was surrounded, the men of the battalion alone among silent enemies, and no man might relax his guard for even a moment. If he did, he disappeared, and some snowdrift received his body. If he went alone to a woman, he disappeared and some snow drift received his body. If he drank, he disappeared. The men of the batallion could sing only together, could dance only together, and dancing gradually stopped and the singing expressed a longing for home. Their talk was of friends and relatives who loved them and their longings were for warmth and love, because a man can be a soldier for only so many hours a day and for only so many months in a year, and then he wants to be a man again, wants girls and drinks and music and laughter and ease, and when these are cut off, they become irresistibly desirable.

And the men thought always of home. The men of the battalion came to detest the place they had conquered, and they were curt with the people and the people were curt with them, and gradually a little fear began to grow in the conquerors, a fear that it would never be over that they could never relax or go home, a fear that one day they would crack and be hunted through the mountains like rabbits, for the conquered never relaxed their hatred. The patrols seeing lights, hearing laughter would be drawn as to a fire and when they came near the laughter stopped, the warmth went out, and the people were cold and obedient. And the soldiers, smelling warm food from the little restaurant, went in and ordered the warm food and found that it was oversalted and overpeppered.

2. Down toward one end of the village, among the small houses, a dog complained about the cold and the loneliness. He raised his nose to his god and gave a long and fulsome account of the state of the world as it applied to him. He was a practiced singer with a full bell throat and and great versatility of range and control.

3. Good. Now I'll tell you, and I hope you'll understand it. You're not a man any more. You are a soldier. Your comfort is of no importance and, Lieutenant, your life is not of much importance. If you live, you will have memories. That's about all you will ever have. Meanwhile you must take orders and carry them out. Most of the orders will be unpleasant, but that is not your busines. I will not lie to you, Lieutenant. They should have trained you for this, and not for flower - strewn streets. They should have built your soul with truth, not led along with lies.
His voice grew hard. But you took the job, Lieutenant. Will you stay with it or quit it? We can't take care of your soul.

Prackle stood up. Thank you sir.

And the girl, Lanser continued, the girl Lieutenant you may rape her, or marry her - that is of no importance so long as you shoot her when it is ordered.

4. I wonder why they arrested you too, Orden said. I guess they will have to kill you too.

I guess so said Winter. He rolled his thumbs and watched them tumble over and over.

You know so. Orden was silent for a moment and then he said, " You know doctor I am a little man and this is a little town, but there must be a spark in little men that can burst into flame. I am afraid, I am terribly afraid, and I thought of all the things I might do to save my own life, and then that went away, and sometimes now I feel a kind of exultation, as though I were bigger and better than I am, and do you know what I have been thinking, Doctor? He smiled, remembering. Do you remember in school, in the APOLOGY? Do you remember Socrates says, Some one will say, And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end.? To him I may fairly answer, There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought to only consider whether he is doing right or wrong. Orden paused trying to remember.

Doctor Winter sat tensely forward now, and he went on with it. Acting the part of a good man or of a bad. I don't think you have it quite right. You never were a good scholar. You were wrong in the denunciation too.

Orden chuckled. Do you remember that ?

Yes said Winter eagerly, I remember it well. You forgot a line or a word. It was graduation, and you were so excited you forgot to tuck in your shirt - tail and your shirt - tail was out. You wondered why they laughed.

Orden smiled to himself, and his hand went secretly behind him and patrolled for a loose shirt - tail. I was Socrates he said, and I denounced the School Board. How I denounced them. I bellowed it, and I could see them grow red.

Winter said, They were holding their breaths to keep from laughing. Your shirt-tail was out.

Mayor Orden laughed. How long ago? Forty years?

The sentry by the bedroom door moved quietly over to the sentry by the outside door. They spoke sofly out of the corners of their mouths like children whispering in school.

How long you been on duty?
All night. Can't hardly keep my eyes open.
Me too. Hear from your wife on the boat yesterday?
Yes. She said hello to you. Said she heard you was wounded. She don't write much.
Tell her I'm all right.
Sure - when I write.

The Mayor raised his head and looked at the ceiling and he muttered ., Um - um - um. I wonder I wonder if I can remember - how does it go?
And Winter prompted him, And now, O men who have condemned me -

Colonel Lanser came quietly into the room; the sentries stiffened. Hearing the words, the colonel stopped and listened.

Orden looked at the ceiling, lost in trying to remember the old words. And now, O men who have condemned me he said I would fain prophesy to you - for I am about to die - and - in the hour of death - men are gifted with prophetic power. And I - prophesy to you who are my murderers - that immediately after my - my death.

And Winter stood up saying " Departure"
Orden looked at him. What?
And Winter said, The word is departure, not death.
You made the same mistake before. You made that mistake forty-six years ago.
No, it is death. It is death. Orden looked around and saw Colonel Lanser watching him. He asked Isn't it death?
Colonel Lanser said, Departure. It is immediately after my departure.
Doctor winter insisted, You see that's two against one. Departure is the word. It is the same mistake you made before.

Then Orden looked straight ahead and and his eyes were in his memory, seeing nothing outward. And he went on, I prophesy to you who are my murderers that immediately after my - departure punishment far heavier than you have inflicted on me will surely await you.

Winter nodded encouragingly, and Colonel Lanser nodded, and they seemed to be trying to help him remember. And Orden went on, Me you have killed because you wanted to escape the accuser, and not to give an account of your lives .

Lieutenant Prackle entered excited, crying " Colonel Lanser."

Colonel Lanser said " shh - " and he held out his hand to restrain him.

And Orden went on softly, But that will not be as you suppose; far otherwise. His voice grew stronger For I say there will be more accusers of you than there are now -he made a little gesture wih his hand, a speech making gesture - accuser who hitherto I have restrined: and as they are younger they will be more inconsiderate with you, and you will be more offended at them. He frowned trying to remember.

And Lieutenant Prackle said, Colonel Lanser, we have found some men with dynamite.
And Lanser said "Hush"

Orden cintinued, If you think by killing men you can prevent some one from censuring your lives, you are mistaken. He frowned and thought and lookd at the ceiling, and he smiled embarrasedly and he said, " That's all I can remember. It is gone away from me."

And Doctor Winter said, It's very good after after forty-six years, and you weren't very good at it forty-six years ago.

Lieutenant Prackle broke in, The men have dynamite Colonel Lanser.
Did you arrest them?
Yes sir. Captain Loft and -
Lanser said, Tell captain Loft to guard them. He recaptured himself and he advanced into the room and he said, Orden, these things must stop.

And the Mayor smiled helplessly at him. They cannot stop sir.
Colonel Lanser said harshly I arerested you as a hostage for the good behaviour of your people. Those are my orders.
But that won't stop it. Orden said simply. You don't understand. When I have become a hindrance to the people, they will do without me.

Lanser said, Tell me truly what you think. If the people know you will be shot if they light another fuse, what will they do?

The Mayor looked helplessly at Doctor Winter. And then the bed room door opened and Madame came out, carrying the Mayor's chain of office in her hand. She said, You forgot this.

Orden said What? Oh yes. And he stooped his head and Madame slipped the chain of office over his head, and he said, Thank you dear.
Madame complained, You always forget it. You forget it all the time.

The Mayor looked at the end of the chain he held in his hand - the gold medallion with the insignia of his office carved on it. Lanser pressed him. What will they do?
I don't know said the Mayor. I think they will light the fuse.
Suppose you ask them not to?
Winter said, Colonel, this morning I saw a little boy building a snow man, while three grown soldiers watched to see he did not caricature your leader. He made a pretty good likeness, too before they destroyed it.

Lanser ignored the Doctor. Suppose you ask them not to? he repeated.
Orden seemed half asleep; his eyes were droopey, and he tried to think. He said, I am not a very brave man, sir. I think they will light it, anyway. He struggled with his speech. I hope they will, but if I ask them not to, they will be sorry.

Madame said, What is this all about?
Be quiet a moment dear, the Mayor said.
But you think they will light it? Lanser insisted.
The Mayor spoke proudly. Yes, they will light it. I have no choice of living or dying, you see, sir, but - I do have a choice of how I do it. If I tell them not to fight, they will be sorry, but they will fight. If I tell them to fight, they will be glad, and I whom am not a very brave man will have made them a little braver. He smiled apologetically. You see it is an easy thing to do, since the end for me is the same.

Lanser said, If you say yes we can tell them you said no. We can tell them you begged for your life.

And Winter broke in angrily. They would know. You do not keep secrets. One of your men got out of hand one night and he said the FLIES HAVE CONQUERED THE FLY PAPER. You do not keep secrets, Colonel.

From the direction of the mine a whistle tooted shrilly. And a quick gust of wind sifted dry snow against the windows.

Orden fingered his gold medallion. He said, You see sir, nothing can change it. You will be destroyed and driven out. His voice was very soft. The people don't like to be conquered, sir, and so they will not be. Free men cannot start a war, but once it's started, they can fight on in defeat. Herd men, followers of a leader, cannot do that, and so it is always the herd men who win battles and the free men win wars. You will find that is so sir.

Lanser was errect and stiff. My orders are clear. Eleven O'clock was the deadline. I have taken hostages. If there is violence, the hostages will be executed.

And Doctor Winter said to the Colonel, Will you carry out the orders, knowing they will fail?

Lancer's face was tight. I will carry out my orders no matter what they are, but I do think, sir, a proclamation from you might save many lives.

Madame broke in plaintively. I wish you would tell me what all this nonsense is.
It is nonsense dear.
But they can't arrest the Mayor. she explained to him.
Orden smiled at her. No, he said, they can't arrest the Mayor. The Mayor is an idea conceived by free men. It will escape arrest.

From the distance there was the sound of an explosion. And the echo of it rolled to the hills and back again. The whistle at the coal mine tooted a shrill, sharp warning. Orden stood very tensely for a moment and then he smiled. A second explosion roared - nearer this time and heavier - and its echo rolled back from the mountains. Orden looked at his watch and then he took his watch and chain and put them in Doctor Winter's hand. " How did it go about the flies?" he asked.

The flies have conquered the fly paper. Winter said.

Orden called Annie. The bed room door opened instantly and the Mayor said, " Were you listening ?"
" Yes sir." Annie was embarassed.

And now an explosion roared near by and there was a sound of splintering wood and breaking glass, and the door behind the sentries puffed open. And Orden said, Annie I want you to stay with Madame as long as she needs you. Don't leave her alone. He put his arm around Madame and he kissed her on the forehead and then he moved slowly toward the door where lieutenant Prackle stood. In the doorway he turned back to Doctor Winter. " Citro, I owe a cock to Asclepius," he said tenderly. " Will you remember to pay the debt?"

Winter closed his eyes for a moment before he answered, " The debt shall be paid."

Orden chuckled then. " I remembered that one. I didn't forget that one." He put his hand on Prackle's arm, and the Lieutenant flinched away from him.

And Winter nodded slowly. " Yes, you remembered. The debt shall be paid."

Selaections from John Steinbeck's " The Winter of Our Discontent."

1. Any man of reasonable intelligence can make money if that's what he wants. Mostly it's women or clothes or admiration he really wants and they defeflect him. The great artists of finance like Morgan and Rockefeller wern't deflected. They wanted and got money, just simple money. What they did with it afterward is another matter. I've always felt they got scared of the ghost they raised and tried to buy it off.

2. Through the glass - and - iron screen of the door I could see it was Margie Young Hunt. I had never really looked at her, had never inspected her. Maybe that's why she did the fortune - just to make sure I knew she existed. I shouldn't change too quickly.
She sauntered in. Her behind stuck out nice and round and bounced slowly, one up and one down each step. She was well enough stacked in front so she didn't have to emphasize them. They were there. Margie is what Joey-boy will call a "dish", and my own son Allen maybe.

3. I picked a can from the shelf and as she reached to take it from me - just that little gesture - every part of her body moved, shifted, announced itself quietly. I'm here, the leg. Me, the thigh. Not better than me, the soft belly. Everything was new, newly seen. I caught my breath. Mary says a woman can put out signals or not, just as she wishes. And if that's so, Margie had a communication system that ran from her pointed patent-leather toe to her curving soft chestnut hair.

4. I remember thinking how wise a man was H.C. Anderson. The king told his secrets down a well, and his secrets were safe. A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers. Every one takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some retain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight.

A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.

4. I see Patriotic jazz. How's this for beat? " Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.

5. While Margie and Mary went through their pleasant litany, " What have you done with your hair?.. I like it .. That's your color. You should always wear it. - the harmless recognition signals of women - I thought of the most feminine story I ever read. Two women meet. One cries, What have you done with your hair? It looks like a wig? It is a wig. Well you'd never know it.

6. Mary's eyes sought out the children and her spirit moved on them with fixed baynet. They knew what was coming, but they were helpless.
Mary said, The children always do it. They love to. And they do it so well. I'm proud of them.
Well isn't that nice? You don't see it much any more.
I know. We feel very fortunate that they want to help.
I could read their ferrety little minds, looking for an escape, thinking of making a fuss, getting sick, dropping the beautiful old dishes. Mary must have read their evil little minds also. She said " The remarkable thing is that they never break anything, don't even chip a glass.

7. What a frightening thing is the human, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can read only a few and those perhaps not accurately. A flare of searing red pain formed in my bowels and moved upward until it speared and tore at the place just under my ribs. A great wind roared in my ears and drove me like a helpless ship, dismated before it could shorten sail. I tasted bitter salt and I saw a pulsing, heaving room. Every warning signal screamed danger, screamed havoc, screamed shock. It caught me as I passed behind my ladies' chairs and doubled me over in quaking agony, and just as suddenly it was gone.

8. In the slack period Mr. Baker came in. He waited, regarding the cheese and sausage in the cold chamber, until the store was clear of two customers, both sloppy shoppers, the kind who don't know what they want, the kind who pick up and put down, hoping that something will jump into their arms and demand to be bought.

9. In her tiny immaculate house set in a large, overgrown garden very near to old harbor, she leaned toward the make-up mirror to inspect her tools, and her eyes saw through cream, powder, eye - shadowing, and lashes sheathed in black, saw the hidden wrinkles, the elasticity of skin. She felt the years creep up like the rising tide about a rock in a calm sea. There is an arsenal of maturity, of middle age, but these require training and technique she did not have. She must learn them before her structure of youth and excitemnt crumbled and left her naked, rotten, ridiculous. Her success had been that she never let down, even alone. Now, as an experiment, she allowed her mouth to droop as it wanted to, her eyelids to fall half-staff. She lowered her high-yield chin and a plaited rope came into being. Before her in the mirror she saw twenty years clamber over her and she shuddered as the icy whispering told her what lay waiting. She had delayed too long. A woman must have a showcase in which to grow old, lights, props, black velvet, children, graying and fattening, snickering and pilfering, love, protection, and small change, a serene and undemanding husband or his even more serene and less demanding will and trust fund. A woman growing old alone is useless cast-off trash, a wrinkled obscenity with no hobbled retainers to cluck and mutter over her aches and to rub her pains.

10. First I referred to my remembered dreams as I would glance through a newspaper to see if there was anything of interest or import. Then I explored the coming day for events that had not happened. Next I followed a practice learned from the best officer I ever had. He was Charley Edwards, major of middling age, perhaps a little too far along to be combat officer but he was a good one. He had a large family, pretty wife and four children in steps, and his heart could ache with love and longing for them if he allowed it to. He told me about it. In his deadly business he could not afford to have his attention warped and split by love, and so he had arrived at a method. In the morning, that is if he were not jerked from sleep by an alert, he opened his mind and heart to his family. He went over each one in turn, how they looked, what they were like; he caressed them and reassured them of his love. It was as though he picked precious things one by one from a cabinet, looked at each, felt it, kissed it, and put it back; and at last he gave them a small good-by and shut the door of the cabinet. The whole thing took half an hour if he could get it and then he didn't have to think of them again all day. He could devote his full capacity, untwisted by conflicting thought and feeling, to the job he had to do - the killing of men. He was the best officer I ever knew. I asked his permission to use his method and he gave it to me. When he was killed, all I could think was that his had been a good and effective life. He had taken pleasure, savored his love, paid his debts, and how many people even approached that?

Selections from John Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flat."

1.Dolores Engracia Ramirez lived in her own little house on the upper edge of Tortilla Flat. She did housework for some of the ladies in Monterey, and she belonged to the Native Daughters of the Golden West. She was not pretty, this lean faced paisana, but there was in her figure a certain voluptiousness of movement; there was in her voice a throatiness some men found indicative. Her eyes could burn behind a mist with a sleepy passion which those men, to whom the flesh is important,found attractive and downright inviting.

In her brusque movents she was not desirable, but an amorous combination came about within her often enough so that she was called Sweet Ramirez on Tortilla Flat.

It was a pleasant thing to see her when the beast in her was prowling. How she leaned over her front gate. How her voice purred drowsily. Her hips moved gently about, now pressing against the fence, now swelling back like a summer beach-wave, and then pressing the fence again, who in the world could put so much husky meaning into " Ai, amigo. A'onde vas?'

It is true ordinarily her voice was shrill, her face hard and sharp as a hatchet, her figure lumpy and intentions selfish. The softer self came into possession only once or twice a week, and then, ordinarily, in the evening.

2. They knew the front porch was warm when the sun was on the window.

They did not waken quickly, nor fling about nor shock their systems with any sudden movement. No, they arose from the slumber as gently as a soap bubble floats out from its pipe. Down into the gulch they trudged, still only half awake. Gradually their wills coagulated. They built a fire and boiled some tea and drank it from the fruit jars, and at last they settled in the sun on the front porch. The flaming flies made halos about their heads. Life took shape about them, and the shape of yesterday and of to-morrow.

Discussion began slowly, for each man treasured the little sleep he still possessed. From this time until well afternoon, intellectual comradeship came into being.

3. The sun glistened in the pine nedles. The earth smelled dry and good. The rose of Castile perfumed the world with its flowers. This was one of the best of times for the friends of Danny. The stuggle for existence was remote. They sat in judgment on their fellows, judging not for morals, but for interest. Any one having a good thing to tell saved it for recounting at this time. The big brown butterflies came to the rose and sat on the flowers and waved their wings slowly, as though they pumped honey out by wing power.

4. Death is a personal matter, arousing sorrow, despair, fervor or dry-hearted philosophy. Funerals, on the other hand, are social functions. Imagine going to a funeral without first polishing the automobile. Imagine standing at a graveside not dressed in your best suit and your best black shoes, polished delightfully. Imagine sending flowers to a funeral with no attached card to prove you have done the correct thing. In no social institution is the codified ritual of behaviour more rigid than in funerals. Imagine the indignation if the minister altered his sermon or experimented with facial expression. Consider the shock if, at the funeral parlors any chairs were used but those little folding yellow torture chairs with the hard seats. No,dying, a man may be loved, hated, mourned, missed; but once dead he becomes the chief ornament of a complicated and formal social celebration.

Selections from " The Grapes of Wrath "

By Frederic I. Carpenter:
For the first time in history, " Grapes of Wrath " brings together and makes real three great skeins of American thought. It begins with the trascendental oversoul, Emerson's faith in the common man, and his Prostestant self-reliance. To this it joins Whitman's religion of the love of all men and his mass democracy. And it combines these mystical and poetic ideas with the realistic philosophy of pragmatism and its emphasis on effective action. From this it develops a new kind of Chrisstianity- not other worldly and passive, but earthy and active. And Oaklahoma Jim Casy and the Joads think and do all these philosophical things.
Question: Then you admire the migrant people you describe in this book:
Steinbeck: I admire them intensely. Because they are brave, because although the technique of their life is difficult and complicated, they meet it with increasing strength , because they are kind, humerous and wise, because their speech has the metaphor and flavor and imagery of poetry, because they can resist and fight back and because I believe that out of those qualities will grow a new system and a new life which will be better than anything we have had before.

1. If Mary takes the doll, that dirty rag doll, I got to take my Injun bow. I got to. An' this round stick - big as me. I might need this stick. I had this stick so long - a month, or maybe a year. I got to take it. And what's it like in California?

The women sat among the doomed things, turning them over and looking past them and back. This book. My father had it. He liked a book. Pilgrim's Progress. Used to read it. Got his name in it. And his pipe - still smells rank. And this picture - an angel. I looked at that before the fust three come - didn't seem to do much good. Think we could get this china dog in? Aunt Sadie brought it from the St. Louis Fair. See? Wrote right on it. No, I guess not. Here's a letter my brother wrote the day before he died. Here's an old-time hat. These feathers - never got to use them. No, there isn't room.
How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past? No. Leave it. Burn it.

They sat and looked at it and burned it into their memories. How'll it be not to know what land's outside the door. How if you wake up in the night and know - and know the willow tree's not thre? Can you live without the willow tree? Well, no you can't. The willow tree is you. The pain on that mattress there - that dreadful pain -that's you.

And the children - if Sam takes his Injun bow an'his long roun, stick, I get to take two things. I choose the fluffy polla. That's mine.

Suddenly they were nervous. Got to get out quick now. Can't wait. We can't wait. And they piled up the goods in the yards and set fire to them. They stood and watched them burning, and then frantically they loaded up the cars and drove away, drove in the dust. The dust hung in the air for a long time after the loaded cars had passed.

2. The decay spreads over the state , and the sweet smell is a great sorrow on the land. Men who can graft the trees and make the seed fertile and big can find no way to let the hungry people eat their produce. Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the state like a great sorrow.

The works of the roots of the vines, of trees, must be destroyed to keep up the price, and this is the saddest, bitterest thing of all. Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground. The people came for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges at twenty cents a dozen if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosine on the oranges, and they are angry at the crime, angry at the people who have come to take the fruit. A million people hungry, needing the fruit - and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains.

And the smell of rot fills the country.

Burn coffee for fuel in the ships. Burn corn to keep warm, it makes a hot fire. Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them, and let the putrescence drip down into the earth.

There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellegra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates - died of malnutrition - because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.

The people come with nets to fish for potatoes in the river, and the guards hold them back; they come in rattling cars to get the dumped oranges, but the kerosene is sprayed. And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs killed in a ditch and covered with quick-lime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is a failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people THE GRAPES OF WRATH are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

3. She crawled close to his voice. " wanta touch ya again, Tom. It's like I'm blin. It's so dark. I wanta remember, even if it's on'y my fingers that remember. You got to go away, Tom.

Yeah, I knowed it from the start.

We made purty good, she said. I been squirrelin' money away. Hol' out your han', Tom.
I got seven dollars here.

I ain't gonna take ya money, he said. I'll get 'long all right.

Hol' out ya han, Tom. I ain't gonna sleep none if you got no money. You hear me? You got no right cause me pain.

You ain't playin' fair he said.

I thought may be you could go to a big city. Los Angeles, maybe. They wouldn't never look for you there.

Hm-m he said, Lookie, Ma. I been all day an' all night hidin' alone. Guess who I been thinkin' about? Casey. He talked a lot. Use' ta bother me. But now I been thinkin' what he said, an' I can remember - all of it. Says one time he went out in the wilderness to find his own soul, an' he foun' he didn't have no soul that was his'n. Says he foun' he jus' got a little piece of a great big soul. Says a wilderness ain't no good, 'cause his little piece of a soul wasn't no good 'less it was with the rest, an' was whole. Funny how I remember. Didn't think I was even listenin'. But I know now a fella ain't no good alone.

He was a good man, Ma said.

Tom went on, He spouted out some Scripture once, an' it didn' soun' like no hellfire Scripture. He tol' twicet, an' I remember it. Says it's from the Preacher.

How's it go, Tom?

Goes, Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lif' up his fellow, but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to hep him up. Tat's part of her.

Go on Ma said, Go on Tom.

Jus' a little bit more. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him, and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

An' that's Scripture?

Casey said it was. Called it the Preacher.

Hush - listen.

On'y the wind Ma. I know the wind. An' I got to thinkin' Ma - most of the preachin' is about the poor we shall have always with us, an' if you got nothin', why, jus' fol' your hands an' to hell with it, you gonna git ice cream on gol' plates when you're dead. An' then this here Preacher says two get a better reward for their work.

Tom she said. What you aimin to do ?

He was quiet for a long time. I been thinkin' how it was in that gov'ment camp, how our folks took care a themselves, an' if they was a fight they fixed it theirself; an' they wasn't no cops wagglin' their guns, but they was better order than them cops ever give. I been a-wonderin' why we can't do that all over. Throw oyt the cops that ain't our people. All work together for our own thing - all farm our own lan'.

Tom , Ma repeated, what you gonna do?

What Casey done, he said.

But they killed him.

Yeah said Tom. He didn't duck quick enough. He wasn't doing nothin' against the law, Ma. I been thinkin' a hell of a lot, thinkin about our people livin' like pigs, an' the good rich lan' layin' fallow, or maybe one fella with a million acres, while a hundred thousan' good farmers is starvin'. An' I been wonderin' if all our folks got together an' yelled, like them fellas yelled, only a few of em' at the Hooper ranch -

Ma said, Tom, they'll drive you, an' cut you down like they done to young Floyd.

They gonna drive me anyways. They drivin' all our people.

You don't aim to kill nobody, Tom?

No. I been thinkin', long as I'm a outlaw anyways, maybe I could - Hell, I ain't thought it out clear, Ma. Don' worry me now. Don' worry me.

They sat silent in the coal-black cave of vines. Ma said, How'm I gonna know 'bout you? They might kill ya an' I wouldn't know. They might hurt ya. How'm I gonna know?

Tom laughed uneasily. Well, maybe like Casey says,n a fella ain't got a soul of his own, but on'y a piece of a big one - an' then -

Then what, Tom?

Then it don' matter. Then I'll be all aroun' in the dark. I'll be ever'where - wherever you look. Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever they's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. If Casey knowed, why, I'll be in the way guys yell when the're mad an' - I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. An' when our folks eat the stuff they raise an' live in the houses they build - why I'll be there. See God, I'm talkin' like Casey. Comes of thinkin' about him so much. Seems like I can see him sometimes.

I don' un'erstan, Ma said. I don't really know.

Me neither , said Tom. It's just stuff I been thinkin' about. Get thinkin' a lot when you ain't movin aroun'. You got to get back, Ma.

You take the money then. He was silent for a moment. Awright he said.

An' Tom, later - when it's blowed over, you'll come back. You'll find us?

Sure, he said. Now you better go. Here, gimme your han. He guided her toward the entrance. Her fingers clutched his wrist. He swept the vines aside and folowed her out. Go up to the field till you come to a sycamore on the edge, an' then cut acrost the stream. Good-by.

Good-by she said and she walked quickly away. Her eyes were wet and burning, but she did not cry. Her footsteps were loud and careless on the leaves as she went through the brush. And as she went, out of the dim sky the rain began to fall, big drops and few,splashing on the dry leaves heavily. Ma stopped and stood still in the dripping thicket. She turned about - took three steps back toward the boxcar camp. She went straight out to the culvert and climbed up on the road. The rain had passed now, but the sky was overcast. Behind her on the road she heard footsteps, and she turned nervously. The blinking of a dim flashlight played on the road. Ma turned back and started for home. In a moment a man caught up with her. Politely, he kept his light on the ground and did not play it in her face.

Evenin', he said.
Ma said, Howdy.
Looks like we might have a little rain.
I hope not. Stop the pickin'. We need the pickin'.
I need the pickin' too. You live at the camp there?
Yes, sir. Their footsteps beat on the road together.
I got twenty acres of cotton. Little late., but it's ready now. Thought I'd go down and try to get some pickers.
You'll get 'em awright. Seaso's near over.
Hope so. My place is only a mile up that way.
Six of us, said Ma. Three men an' me an' two little fellas.
I'll put out a sign Two miles - this road.
We'll be there in the mornin'.
I hope it don't rain.
Me too said Ma. Twenty acres won' las long.
"There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. And some ain't nice,, but that's as far as any man got a right to say."
Casey spoke again, and his voice rang with pain and cofusion. " I says, " What's this call, this spirit? An' I says , ' It's love. I love people so much I'm fit to bust, sometimes" An I says, " Don't you love Jesus? Well, I thought an thought, an I finally says, " No, I don't know nobody name, Jesus. I know a bunch of stories, but I only love people. An' sometimes I love 'em fit to bust, an' I want to make 'em happy, so I been preachin' somepin I thought would make 'em happy." An then - I been talkin' a hell of a lot. Maybe you wonder about me using bad words. Well, they ain't bad to me no more. They're jus' words folks use, an' they don't been nothing nothing bad with em'. Anyways, I'll tell you one more thing I thought out; an' from a preacher it's the most unreligious thing, and I can't be a preacher no more because I thought and believe it.
What's that? Joad asked.
I figgered about the Holy Spirit and Jesus road. I figgered, " Why do we got to hang it on God or Jesus? Maybe, I figgered, maybe it's al men an' all women we love; maybe that's the Holy Sperit - the human sperit - the whole shebang. Maybe all men got one big soul eve'body's a part of. Now I sat there thinkin' it, an' all of a suddent- I knew it. I knew it so deep down that it was true, and I still know it.

Joad replied,
You can' t hold no church with idears like that...
" People would drive out of the country with idears like that, he said, Jumpin' an 'yellin. That's what folks like. Makes em' feel swell.

She looked into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And, since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had praticed denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Impurtabability could be depended upon. And from her graet and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgement as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.

Selection from Tony Hendra's Father Joe.

1. Fr. Joe: No, dear, I'm dying, the d-d doctor's quite certain.

There was one question I had to ask. I thought he might find it worldly and faithless, and spoke so softly he had to lean forward.

Tony: Do you ever worry, Joe, that thre might be .. just nothing?

Fr. Joe: That's a very good question. His good eye found my face, the dead one staring off at the hopeless horizon.

No, dear. That doesn't worry me. I'm a little frightened perhaps. We always are, aren't we? When we have to open a door that's always bee there .. but we've never opened.

Tony: Surely you've nothing to be frightened about, Joe. After the life you've lived...

Fr. Joe: I don't mean quite that, dear, though I'm a sinner and I've often fallen. I mean frightened by the immensity of what lies beyond the door. A God of love - infinite and eternal. How could I ever be worthy of that?

Yes, it was trembling. Delicately but steadily...His hand tightened its grip a little on mine.

Fr. Joe: We're nothing, are we dear, compared to the perfection of what comes next? Death makes failures of us all.

Selection from Nancy Pearl's Book Lust.

1. I have sometimes dreamt .. that when the Day of Judgment dawns and great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards - their crowns, their lawrels their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble - the Almighty will run to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when he sees us coming with our books under our arms, " Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading "

Selection from Oscar Wilde's " De Profundis" - his letter to Lord Alfred Douglas.

1. I have a strange longing for the great simple primeval things, such as the sea, to me no less of a mother than the Earth. It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little. I discern great sanity in the Greek attitude.
They never chatted about sunsets , or discussed whether the shadows on the grass were really mauve or not. But they saw that the sea was for the swimmwer, and the sand for the feet of the runner . They loved the trees for the shadows that they cast, and the forest for its silence at noon. The vineyard-dresser wreathed his hair with ivy that he might keep offf the rays of the sun as he stooped over the young shoots, and for the artist and the athlete, the two types that Greece gave us, they plaited with garlands the leaves of the bitter laurel and of the wild parsley, which else had been of no service to men.

We call ours a utilitarian age, and we do not know the uses of any single thing. We have forgotten that water can cleanse, and fire purify, and that the Earth is mother of us all. ..I feel sure that in elemental forces there is purification, and I want to go back to them and live in their presence.

All trials are trials for one's life, just as all sentences are sentences of death; and three times I have been tried. The first time I left the box to be arrested, the second time to be led back to the house of detention, the third time to pass into a prison for two years. Society as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer, but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on injust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my foot prints so that none may track me to my hurt: She will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.. The sea washes away the stains and wounds of the world.

.. when in june roses are in their wanton opulence ..
cowl of a monk or the face of a leper behind which I might be at peace.
There is no prison in any world into which love cannot force its entrance.

Miser of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage.. John Keats.

Where others see but dawn coming over the hill, I see the sons of God shouting for joy.. William Blake.

How far away from the true temper of soul, this letter in its changing uncertain moods, its scorn and bitterness its aspirations and its failures to realize those aspirations, shows you quite clearly. But do not forget in what a terrible school I am sitting at my desk. And incomplete, imperfect, as I am, yet from me you may have art. Perhaps I am chosen to teach you something much more wonderful - the meaning of sorrow and its beauty.

Your affectionate friend,
Oscar Wilde.

Selection from Sinclair Lewis's " Arrowsmith "

1. He crossed the wide Missisippi into Minnesota. He changed trains at St. Paul: he rolled into gusty vastness of snow, cut by thin lines of fence - wire. He felt free, in release from the little fields of Winnemac and Ohio, in relaxation from the shaky nerves of midnight study and midnight booziness. He remembered his days of wire - stringing in Montana and regained that careless peace. Sunset was a surf of crimson, and by night, when he stepped from the choaking rail road coach and tramped the platform at Sauk Center, he drank the icy stair and looked and looked up to the vast and solitary winter stars. The fan of the Northern Lights frightened and glorified the sky. He returned to the coach with the energy of the courageous land. He nodded and gurgled in deep smothering sleep; he sprawled on the seat and talked with friendly fellow vagrants ; he drank bitter coffee and ate enormously of buckwheat cakes at a station restaurant; and so changing at anonymous towns, he came at last to the squatty shelters, the two wheat-elevators, the cattle-pen, the oil tank, and the red box of a station with its slushy platform, which composed the outskirts of Wheatsylvania. Against the station, absurd in a huge coon-skin coat, stood Lenora. He must have looked a little mad as he stared at her from the vestibule, as he shivered with the wind. She lifted to him her two open hands, childish in red mittens. He ran down, he dropped his awkward bag on the platform and, unaware of the gaping furry farmers, they were lost in a kiss.

From William Cullen Bryant's final section to his contemplation of death, " Thanatopsis " Extracted from Sherwin B. Nuland's " How We Die "

1. So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like a quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

Selections from John Steinbeck's " The Wayward Bus "

1. Pimples was washing his hands in a flat pan of gasoline in the garage.The sun warmed a brown leaf by the past year and blown into a corner of the garage door frame. After a while a little night-laden fly crawled heavily out from under the leaf and stood in the clear sun. Its wings muddily iridescent and it was sluggish with night cold. The fly rubbed its wings with its legs and then it rubbed its legs together and then it rubbed its face with its forelegs while the sun, slanting under the great puffed clouds, warmed its juices. Suddenly the fly took off, circled twice, fluttered under the oaks and crashed against the screen door of the lunch room, fell on its backand buzzed against the ground, upside down for a second. Then it righted itself and flew up and took its position on the frame beside the lunchroom door.

Alice Chicoy, haggard from the night of sitting up, came to the door and looked out toward the bus. The screen door opened only a few inches, but the fly flung himself through the opening. Alice saw him come through and whacked at him with the dish towel she carried in her hand. The fly buzzed crazily for a moment and then settled under the edge of the counter and turned off the steam valve of the coffee urn.

The brown fluid in the glass pipe on the side of the urn looked thin and pale. She ran her towel over the counter and in doing so noticed that the big white coconut cake in its transparent plastic cover was ragged on one edge with a " V " cut out of it. She took a knife from the silver tray, lifted the cover, trimmed the cake's edge, and put the crumbs in her mouth. And just before the cover went back into place the fly lunged under the edge and flung himself on the coconut filling. He clung under a slight overhang so that he was not visible from above, and he dug and struggled hungrily into the sweet filling. He had a high, huge mountain of cake and he was very happy.

Pimples looked at Alice's well - formed behind and then quickly away. Alice took the knife from behind the counter and cut a wedge of coconut cake. The cliff of cake toppled on the fly and pressed him down. Alice shoveled the cake onto a saucer and slid it along the counter. Pimples went at it with his coffee spoon.

I never said nothing. Hey there's a fly in this cake.

Alice stiffened. You had a fly in your soup yesterday. I think you carry flies in your pocket.

No look here. He's still kicking.

Alice came near. Kill him she cried. Squash him. You want him to get loose? She picked up a fork from behind the counter and mashed the fly and cake crumbs together and scraped the whole thing into the garbage can.

How about my cake? Pimples asked.

You'll get another piece of cake. I don't know why you always get flies. Nobody else does.

Just lucky, I guess, Pimples said softly.


2. You'll see who gets what? said Alice from the doorway.

What are you two doing alone in a bedroom?

Her eyes roved suspiciously about for evidence, skimmed over the sample case on the bed, stopped on the pillow, inspected the spread, and then moved to Norma. Alice's eyes traveled up her feet and legs, lingered a moment on her skirt, hesitated on her waist, and then settled on her flaming face.

3. I'm gonna pass out, and a damn good thing. I wish I would never come to. I wish that would be the end of it - the end of it - Show these bastards I don't have to live if I don't want to. I'll sho 'em.

And then she saw the fly. He wasn't an ordinary housefly but a newborn bluebottle, and his body shone with an iridesvent blue sheen. He had come to the table and was standing on the edge of the pool of wine. He dipped his proboscis and went back to cleaning himself.

Alice sat perfectly still. Her flesh crawled with hatred. All her unhappiness, all her resentments centered in the fly. With an effort of will she forced the two images of the fly to be one image. You son of a bitch, she said softly. You think I'm drunk. I'll show you.

Her eyes were wary and smart. Slowly, slowly, she slipped sideways from the table and crouched low to the floor, supporting herself with her hand. She kept her eyes on the fly. He had not moved. She crept over to the counter and went behind it. A dish towel was lying on the stainless steel sink. She took in her right and folded it carefully. It was too light. She dampened it under the tap and squeezed out the excess water. I'll show the son of a bitch she said, and she moved catlike along the counter. The fly was still there, still shining.

Alice raised her hand and let the towel fall back on her shoulder. Step by careful step she moved close, her hand raised and flexed. She struck. Bottle and glasses and sugar dispenser and napkin holder all crashed to the floor. The fly zoomed and circled. Alice stood still, following him with her eyes. He landed on the lunch counter. She lunged, striking at him, and when he rose again she flailed the air with the towel.

That's not the way, she said to herself. Creep up on him. Creep up on him. The floor tilted under her feet. She put out her hand and supported herself on the stool. Where was he now? She could hear the buzz. The angry, sickening whine of his wings. He's got to land sometime, somewhere. She felt sickness rising in her throat.

The fly made a series of loops and eights and circles and then settled down to low, swooping flights from one end of the room to the other. Alice waited. There was darkness crowding in on the edges of her vision. The fly landed with a little plop on the box of cornflakes on the top of the great pyramid of dry cereals on the shelf behind the counter. He landed on the "C" of "Corn" and moved restlessly over to the "O". He stood very still. Alice snuffled.

The room was rocking and whirling but with will power the fly and the area around him were unblurred. Her left hand reached back to the counter and her fingers crept across it. She moved silently, slowly, around the end of the counter. She raised her right hand very, very carefully. The fly sprang forward a step and paused again. He was ready to take off. Alice sensed it. She sensed his rise before he rose. She swung with all the weight of her body. The wet towel smashed against the pyramid of cardboard boxes and followed through. Boxes and a row of glasses and a bowl of oranges crashed to the floor behind the counter and Alice fell on top.

The room rushed in on her with red and blue lights. Under her cheek a broken box spilled out its cornflakes. She raised her head once and then put it down again and a rolling darkness dropped over her.

The lunchroom was dusky and very quiet. The fly moved to the edge of the drying pool of wine on the white tabletop. For a moment he sensed in all directions for danger, and then deliberately he dipped his flat proboscis into the sweet, sticky wine.

4. It's best to be prepared, he answered. He knew her headaches and they were dreadful. They twisted her face and reduced her to a panting, sweating, grinning, quivering blob of pain. They filled a room and a house. They got into everyone around her. Mr.Pritchard could feel one of her headaches through walls. He could feel it all over his body, and the doctor said there was nothing to do about it. They injected calcium and they gave her sedatives. The headaches usually came when she was nervous and when things, through no fault of her own, were not going well.

Her husband would have like to protect her. They seemed to be selfish, these headaches, and yet they were not. The pain was real. No one could simulate such agonizing pain. Mr. Pritchard dreaded them more than anything in the world. A good one could make the whole house vibrate with horror. And they were a little like conscience. Try as he would, Mr. Pritchard could never lose the feeling that they were in some way his fault. Not that Mrs. Pritchard said anything or indicated that this might be so. In fact she was very brave. She tried to muffle her screams with a pillow.

Mr.Pritchard didn't bother her much in bed - very seldom, in fact. But in a curious way he tied up his occasional lust and his loss of self-control with her headaches. It was planted deep in his mind that this was so, and he didn't know how it had got planted. But he did have a conscience about it. His bestiality, his lust, his lack of self-control, were the cause. And he didn't have any means of saving himself. Sometimes he found himself hating is wife very deeply because he was unhappy. He stayed in his office overtime when she had a headache, and sometimes he just sat at his desk for hours, staring at the brown paneling, his body throbbing with his wife's pain.

In the middle of one of her worst spells she would try to save him. Go to the movie, she would moan. Go over to Charlie Johnson's. Take some whisky. Get drunk. Don't stay here. Go to amovie. But it was impossible. He couldn't.

He put the six little transparent bags into his coat pocket. Would you like to take a couple now, just in case? he asked.

No she said. I think I'm going to be all right. She smiled her brave, sweet smile.

Mildred, when she heard the first mention of asprin, went to the grocery side and studied the OPA price - ceiling chart on the wall. Her mouth pinched tight and her throat was convulsed.

Oh Jesus Christ she said softly under her breath. Oh Christ, is she going to start that already? Mildred didn't quite believe the headaches. She'd never had a bad headache herself, only mild periodic ones and a few hangover headaches at school.
She called her mother's psychosomatic and psychotic, and she dreaded them even more than her father did. As a little girl she had run from them and gone to earth in the cellar or in the space behind the cabinet in the sewing room. And usually she was pulled out and taken into her mother because when mother had a headache she needed love and she needed to be petted. Mildred thought of the headaches as a curse. She hated them. And she hated her mother when she had them.

For a time Mildred had thoughtbt them to be pure sham, and even now, when through reading she knew the pain was real, Mildred still considered the headaches a weapon her mother used with complete cunning, with complete brutality. The headaches were pain to her mother, truly, but they governed and punished the family too. They brought the family to heel. Certain things her mother didn't like were never done because they brought on a headache. And when she was at home, Mildred knew that her fear about getting into the house not later than one in the morning was caused by the almost certainty that her mother would get a headache if she didn't.

Between headaches you forgot how devastating they were. Mildred thought that a psychiatrist was what her mother needed. And Bernice would have done anything. She wanted to do anything. It was Mr. Pritchard who put his foot down. He didn't believe in psychiatrists, he said. But actually he did believe in them. For Mr. Pritchard had gradually come to depend on the headaches. They were in a way a justification to him. They were a punishment on him and they gave him sins to be atoned for. Mr. Pritchard needed sins. There were none in his business life, for the cruelties there were defined and pigeonholed as necessity and responsibility to the stock holders. And Mr. Pritchard needed personal sins and personal atonement. He denounced the idea of a psychiatrist angrily.

5. Juan had grown up with this Lady ( Virgin of Guadalupe ) of the wide skirts standing on the new moon. She had been everywhere when he was little - over his bed to supervise his dreams, in the kitchen to watch over the cooking, in the hall to check him in and out of the house, and on the ZAGUAN door to hear playing in the street. She was in her own fine chapel in the church, in the classroom in school, and, as if that wasn't ubiquitous enough, he wore her on a little gold medal on a golden chain about his neck. He could get away from the eyes of his mother or his father or his brothers, but the dark Virgin was always with him. While his other relatives could be fooled or misled and tricked and lied to, the Guadalupana knew everything anyway. He confessed things to her, but that was only a form because she knew them any way. It was more a recounting of your motives in doing a certain thing than a breaking of the news that you had done it. And that was silly too, because she knew the motives . Then too, there was an expresson on her face, half smile, as though she were about to braek out into laughter. She not only understood, she was also little amused. The awful crimes of childhood didn't seem to merit hell, if her expression meant anything.

Thus Juan as a child had loved her very deeply and had trusted her, and his father had told him that she was the one set aside especially to watch over Mexicans. When he saw German or Gringo children in the streets he knew that the Virgin didn't give a damn about them because they were not Mexicans.

When you add to this the fact that Juan did not believe in her with his mind and did with every sense, you have his attitude toward Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Selection from Steinbeck's " The Pearl "

" This pearl has become my soul " said Kino. " If I give it up I shall lose my soul "

1. He rolled a coin back and forth over his knuckles and made it appear and disappear, made it spin and sparkle. The coin winked into sight and as quickly slipped out of sight, and the man did not even watch his own performance. The fingers did it all mechanically, precisely, while the man hummed to himself and peered out the door. Then he heard the tramp of feet of the approaching crowd, and the fingers of his right hand worked faster until, as the figure of Kino filled the doorway, the coin flashed and disappeared.

2.The two ( Kino and Juana ) came from the rutted country road into the city, and they were not walking in single file, Kino ahead and Juana behind, as usual, but side by side. The sun was behind them and their long shadows stalked ahead, and they seemed to carry two towers of darkness with them. Kino had a rifle across his arm and Juana carried her shawl like a sack over her shoulder. And in it was a small limp heavy bundle. The shawl was crusted with dried blood, and the bundle swayed a little as she walked. Her face was hard and lined and leathery with fatigue and with the tightness with which she fought fatigue. And her wide eyes stared inward on herself. She was as remote and as removed as Heaven. Kino's lips were thin and his jaws tight, and the people say that he carried fear with him, that he was as dangerous as a rising storm. The people say that the two seemed to be removed from human experience; and they had gone through pain and had come out on the other side; that there was almost a magical protection about them. And those people who had rushed to see them crowded back and let them pass and did not speak to them.

Kino and Juana walked through the city as though it were not there. Their eyes glanced neither right nor left nor up nor down, but stared only straight ahead. Their legs moved a little jerkily, like well made wooden dolls, and they carried pillars of black fear about them. And as they walked through the stone and plaster city brokers peered at them from barred windows and servants put one eye to a slitted gate and mothers turned the faces of their youngest children inward against their skirts. Kino and Juana strode side by side through the stone and plaster city and down among the brush houses, and the neighbors stood back and let them pass. Juan Tomas raised his hand in greeting and did not say the greeting and let his hand in the air for a moment uncertainly.

In Kino's ears the Song of the Family was as fierce as a cry. He was immune and terrible, and his song had become a battle cry. They trudged past the burned square where their house had been without even looking at it. They cleared the brush that edged the beach and picked their way down the shore toward the water. And they did not look toward Kino's broken canoe.

And when they came to the water's edge they stopped and stared out over the gulf. And then Kino laid the rifle down, and he dug among his clothes, and then he held the great pearl in his hand. He looked into its surface and it was gray and ulcerous. Evil faces peered from it into his eyes, and he saw the light of burning. And in the surface of the pearl he saw Coyotito lying in the little cave with the top of his head shot away. And the pearl was ugly; it was gray, like a malignant growth. And Kino heard the music of the pearl, distorted and insane. Kino's hand shook a little, and he turned slowly to Juana and held the pearl out to her. She stood beside him, still holding her dead bundle over her shoulder. She looked at the pearl, in his hand for a moment and then she looked into Kino's eyes and said softly, " No, You ".

And Kino drew back his arm and flung the pearl with all his might. Kino and Juana watched it go, winking and glimmering under the setting sun. They saw the little splash in the distance, and they stood side by side watching the place for a long time.

And the pearl settled into the lovely green water and dropped toward the bottom. The waving branches of the algae called to it and beckoned to it. The lights on its surface were green and lovely. It settled down to the sand bottom among the fern-like plants. Above, the surface of the water was a green mirror. And the pearl lay on the floor of the sea. A crab scampering over the bottom raised a little cloud of sand, and when it settled the pearl was gone.

And the music of the pearl drifted to a whisper and disappeared.

Selections from Tolstoty's " The Death of Ivan Ilyich "

1. There is the appaling possibility that I upon whom this world of intimate impressions depends will soon have to face its absolute anihilation. The sun will rise as before, and the winds will blow as before. People will talk of the weather in the same tone. The postman will knock as he did just now and the letters will fall on the mat. But he won't be there. He, our pivot and center of everything, will be nowhere at all.

2. He waited until Gerasim had gone into the next room, and then no longer able to restrain himself, cried like a baby. He cried about his helplessness, about his terrible loneliness, about the cruelty of people, about the absence of God. Why has Thou done all this? why has Thou brought me to this? Why doest Thou torture me so? For What? He did not expect an answer, and he cried because there was no answer and there could be none. Then he quieted down and not only stopped crying but held his breath and became all attention, he seemed to be listening not to an audible voice, but to the voice of his soul, to the flow of thoughts surging within him.

Extracted from " A positively Final Appearence " by Alec Guinness.

A slither of dialogue between two of the fishermen from Act 11 of Pericles:

1. Second Fisherman: Nay, Master, said not I as much when I saw the porpoise, how he bounc'd and tumbled?
They say they're half fish, half flesh .. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea.

First Fisherman: Why, as men do on land: the great ones eat up the little ones. I can compare our rich misers to nothing so fitly as to a whale; A' plays and tumbles, driving the poor fry before him, and at last devours them all at a mouthful. Such whales have I heard on o' the land, who never leave gaping till they swallow'd the whole parish, church steeple, bells and all.

Selection from John Updike:

Once upon a time there was a little fish who was bird from the waist up and who was madly in love with a little bird who was fish from the waist up. So the fish-bird kept saying to the bird-fish , "Oh, why were we created so that we can never live together?" You in the wind and I in the wave, what a pity for the both of us"

And the bird-fish would answer: " No what luck for both of us. This way we'll always be in love, will always be separated."

Selection from Robert Penn Warren's " All the Kig's Men "

1. When the protagonist, Jack Burden is ordered by corrupt Willie Clark to get something on " the upright judge ", Burden replies that there can't possibly be " something" on such an honorable man.

Willie replies " There's always something . Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud, there's always something."

Willie Clark proves right. There's " something " on the " upright judge " and tragedy results.

2. Wiilie Clark to Judge Irwin:

Dirt's a funny thing. Come to think of it , there ain't a thing but dirt in this God's globe except what's under water and that's dirt too. It's dirt makes the grass grow. A diamond ain't a thing in the world but a piece of dirt that got awful hot. And God a Mighty picked up a handful of dirt and blew on it and made you and me and Gerge Wasington and mankind blessed in faculty and apprehension. It all depends what you do with dirt.?

3. If something takes too long, something happens to you, you become all and only the thing you wanted and nothing else, for you have paid too much for it, too much in wanting and too much in waiting and too much in getting.

4. A corn-field nigger could have answered them. I ought to have looked twice at some of the lawyers I'd seen and I'd have known a half-wit could pass it. But Oh no, I was hell-bent in learnig some law.

From Janice James:

1. I've traveled the world twice, Met the famous: saints and sinners, I've been where no one's been before, learnt secrets from writers and cooks, all with one library ticket - through the wonderful wonderful world of books.

Selection from Ken Kesey's " One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. "

Here Harding describes the inexorable Ms. Ratchet to Mc. Murphy:

This world belongs to the strong my friend. The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak. We must face up to this. No more than right that it should be this way. We must learn to accept it as a law of the natural world. The rabbits accept their role in their ritual and recegnize the world is for the strong. In defense, the rabbit becomes sly and frightened and elusive and he digs holes and hides when the wolf is about. And he endures and he goes on. He knows his place. He most certainly doesn't challenge the wolf to combat. Now would that be wise?. would it?

Selection from John Steinbeck's " Of Mice and Men "

1. Lenine said softly, I din't forget, you bet, God damn. Hide in the brush an' wait for George. He pulled his hat down low over his eyes. Georgr gonna give me hell, he said. George gonna wish he was alone an' not have me botherin' him. He turned his head and looked at the bright mountain tops. I can go right off there an' find a cave, he said. And he continued sadly, an never have no ketchup - but I won't care. If George don't want me ... I'll go away. I'll go away.

And then out of Lennie's head there came a little fat woman. .. She stood in front of Lennie and put her hands on her hips, and she frowned disapprovingly at him.

And when she spoke it was in Lennie's voice. I tol you an tol you, she said. I tol you, Min' George because he's such a nice fella an' good to you.. But you don't never take no care. You do bad things.

And Lennie answered her, I tried, Aunt Clara, ma'am. I tried and tried. I couldn' help it.

You never give a thought to George, she went on in Lennie's voice. He been doin nice things for you alla time. When he got a piece a pie you always got half or more'n half. An' if they was any ketchup, why he'd give it all to you.

I know said Lennie miserably. I tried, Aunt I tried Aunt Clara ma'am. I tried and tried.

She interrupted him. All the time he coulda' had such a good time if it wasn't for you. He woulda took his pay an' raised hell in a whore house, and he coulda set in a pool room an' played snooker. But he got to take care of you.

Lennie moaned with grief. I know Aunt Clara, ma'am. I'll go right off in the hills an' I'll fin a cave an' I'll live there so I won't be no more trouble to George.

You jus say that. You're always sayin that, she said sharply. You're always sayin that, an you know sonofabitching well you ain't never gonna do it. You'll jus stick aroun stew the b'Jesus outa George all the time.

Lennie said, I might jus as well go away. George ain' gonna let me tend no rabbits now.

Aunt Clara was gone, and out of Lennie's head there came a gigantic rabbit. It sat on its haunches in front of him, and it waggled its ears and crinkled its nose at him. And it spoke in Lennie,s voice too.

Tend rabbits, it said scornfully. You crazy bastard. You ain't fit to lick the boots of no rabbit. You'd forget em' and let 'em go hungry. That's what you'd do. And then what would George think?

I would not forget, Lennie said loudly.

The hell you wouldn', said the rabbit. You ain't worth a greased jack-pin to ram you into hell. Christ knows George done ever'thing he could to jack you outa the sewer, but it don't do no good. If you think George gonna let you tend rabbits, you're even crzier'n usual. He ain't. He's gonna beat hell outa you with a stick, that's what he gonna do.

Now Lennie retorted belligerently. He ain't neither. George won't do nothing like that. I've knew George - I forget when - and he ain't never raised his han to me with a stick. He's nice to me. He ain't gonna be mean.

Well he's sick of you, said the rabbit. He's gonna beat hell outa you an then go away an' leave you.

He won't, Lennie cried frantically. He won't do nothing like that. I know George. Me an' him travels together.

But the rabbit repeated softly over and over. He gonna leave you, ya crazy bastard.

Lennie put his hands over his ears. He ain't, I tell ya he ain't. And he cried, O George - George - George.

George came quietly out of the brush and the rabbit scuttled back into Lennie's brain.

George said quietly, what the hell you yellin about?

Lennie got up on his knees. You ain't gonna leave me, are ya, George? I know you ain't.

George came stiffly near and sat down beside him. No.

I knowed it, lennie cried. You ain't that kind.

George was silent.

Lennie said George.


I done another bad thing.

It don't make no difference, George said, and fell silent again.....

Lennie said, George.


Ain't ya gonna give me hell?

Give ya hell?

Sure like you always done before. Like, if I din't have you I'd take my fifty bucks...

Jesus Christ Lennie. You van't remember nothing that happens, but you remember evr' word I say.

Well ain't you gonna say it?

George shook himself. He said woodenly, If I was alone I could live so easy. His voice was monotonous, had no emphasis. I could get a job an' not have no mess. He stopped.

Go on said Lennie. An when the enda the month come -

And when the end of the month come I could take my fifty bucks an go to a house ... He stopped again.

Lennie looked eagerly at him. Go on, George Ain't you gonna give me no more hell?

No said George.

Well I can go away said Lennie. I'll go right off in the hills an find a cave if you don want me.

George shook himself. No he said. I want you to stay with me here.

Lennie said craftily - Tell me like you done before.

Tell you what?

Bout the other guys an about us.

George said, Guys like us got no fambly. They make a little stake an then they blow it in. They ain't got nobody in the worl that gives a hoot in hell about em ---

But not us. Lennie cried happily. Tell about us now.

George was quiiet for a moment. But not us he said

Because -

Because I got you an -

An I got you. We got each other, that's what, that gives a hoot in hell about us, Lennie cried in triumph.

The little evening breeze blew over the clearing and the leaves rustled and the wind waves flowed up the green pool; And the shouts of men sounded again, this time much closer than before.

George took off his hat. He said shakily, Take off your hat Lennie. The air feels fine.

Lennie removed his hat dutifully and laid it on the ground in front of him. The shadow in the valley was bluer, and the evening came fast. On the wind the sound of crashing in the brush came to them.

Lennie said, Tell me how it's gonna be.

George has been listening to the distant sounds. For a moment he was business - like. Look acrost the river, Lennie an' I'll tell you so you can almost see it.

Lennie turned his head and looked off across the pool and up the darkening slopes of the Galibans. We gonna get a little place, George began. He reached in his side pocket and brought out Carlson'd Luger; he snapped off the safety. and the hand and gun lay on the ground behind Lennie's back. He looked at the back of lennie's head, at the place where the spine and skull were joined.

A man's voice called up from the river, and another man answered.

Go on said Lennie.

George raised the gun and his hand shook, and he dropped his hand on the ground again.

Go on said Lennie. How's it gonna be. We gonna get a little place.

We'll have a cow said George. An we'll have may be a pig an chickens.. an down the flat we'll have a .. little piece alfalfa -

For the rabbits Lennie shouted.

For the rabbits George repeated.

And I get to tend the rabbits.

An you get to tend the rabbits.

Lennie giggled with happiness. An live on the fatta the lan


Lennie turned his head.

No Lennie. look down there acrost the river, like you can almost see the place.

Lennie obeyed him. George looked down at the gun

There were crashing footsteps in the brush now. George turned and looked toward them.

Go on George. When we gonna do it?

Gonna do it soon.

Me an you,

You.. an me. Everybody gonna be nice to you. Ain' gonna be no more trouble. No body gonna hurt nobody nor steal from em.

Lennie said I thought you was mad at me, George.

No said George. No Lennie. I ain't mad. I never been mad, an' I ain't now. That's a thing I want ya to know.

The voices came close now. George raised the gun and listened to the voices.

Lennie begged. Le's do it now. Le's get that place now.

Sure, right now. I gotta. We gotta.

And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie's head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger. The crash of the shot rolled up the hills and rolled again. Lennie jarred, and then settled slowly forward to the sand, and he lay without quivering.

Selection from John Steinbeck's " Red Pony - The Gift."

The red fearless eyes still looked at him, impersonal and unafraid and detached. He struck again and again, until the buzzard lay dead, until his head was red pulp. He was still beating the dead bird when Billy Buck pulled him off and held him tightly to calm his shaking.

Carl Tiflin wiped the blood from the boy's face with a red bandana. Jody was limp and quiet now. His father moved the buzzard with his toe. " Jody ", he explained, " the buzzard didn't kill the pony. Don't you know that?"

I know it Jody said wearily.

It was Billy Buck who was angry. He had lifted Jody in his arms, and had turned to carry him home. But he turned back on Carl tiflin. " 'Course he knows it. "
Billy said furiously. "Jesus Christ man, can't you see how he'd feel about it? "

Selections from Maureen Dowd's " Bushworld "

1. I was a Times White House repoeter for the first Bush administration. Though 41 was always gracious, I know he was disappointed at first to have drawn an irreverent, newfangled " reporterette ", as Rush Limbaugh would say, who wanted to focus as much on the personalities of leaders as on their policies. But I always figured it this way: Politicians can tell you they won't ever raise taxes- read their lips - or won't ever nation-build, but sometimes, because of their basic natures, needy egos and whispering I agos, they find their way to believing or acting in glaring contradiction to their original promises. When the nation has been scarred by crises like Watergate and Vietnam, it has been because presidents have let their demons overcome experience and common sense.

On Introductions by Harper Lee.

1. Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosit. The only good thing about INTRODUCTIONS is that in some cases they delay the dose to come.

Selection from " To Kill A Mocking Bird."

Aticus Finch said to Jen, " I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all bluejays you want, if you can hit e'm, but remember it's a sin to kill a Mocking Bird. Mocking Birds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a Mocking Bird.

By Elridge Cleaver:

1. The myth of the strong black woman is the other side of the coin of the myth of the beautiful dumb blonde. The white man turned the white woman into a weak-minded weak-bodied, delicte freak a sex pot, and placed her on a pedestal; he turned the black woman into a strong self-reliant, Amazon and deposited her in his kitchen. The white man turned himself into the omnipotent administrator and established himself in the front office.

Selection from James Agee's " A Death in the family. "

1. Father to daughter:

Look at me Poll, he said. She looked at him. That's when you are going to need every ounce of common sense you've got, he said. Just spunk won't be enough, you've got to have gumption> You've got yo bear it in mind that nobody that ever lived is specially priviledged; The axe can fall at any moment on any neck, without any warning or any regard for justice. You've got to keep your mind off pitying your own rotten luck and setting up any kind of howl about it. You've got to remember things as bad as this and a hell of a lot worse have happened to millions of people before and they've come through it and that you will too. You'll bear it because there isn't any choice - except to go tp pieces....

I know it's just unmitigated tommyrot to try tob say a word about it. To say nothing of brass. All I want is to warn you that a lot worse is yet to come than you can imagine yet, so for God's sake brace yourself for it and try to hold yourself together. It's a kind of test, Mary, and it's the only kind that amounts to anything. When something rotten like this happens then you have your choice. you start to really be alive, or you start to die. That's all.

Slections from F. Scott Fitzgerald's " The Great Gatsby "

1. It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently arrived than I, stopped me on the road.

" How do you get to West Egg Village ? " he asked helplessly.

"I told him. and as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the freedom of the neighborhood.

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees - just as things grow in fast movies - I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

2. I lived at west Egg, the - well, less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag to express the bizarre and not a little sinister contrast between them. My house was at the very tip of the egg, only fifty yards from the Sound, and squeezed between two huge places that rented for twelve or fifteen thousand a season. The one on my right was a collosal affair by any standard - it was a factual imitation of some Hotel de Ville in Normandy, with a tower on one side, spanking new under a thin beard of raw ivy, and a marble swimming pool and more than forty acres of lawn and garden. It was Gatsby's mansion. Or rather, as I didn't know Mr. Gatsby it was a mansion inhabited by a gentleman of that name. My own house was an eye-sore, but it was a small eye-sore and it had been overlooked, so I had a view of the water, a partial view of my neighbor's lawn and the consoloing proximity of millionaires - all for eighty dollars a month.

Selection from Frederick Forsythe's " The Day of the jackal "

1. A professional does not act out of fervour and is therefore more calm and less likely to make elementary errors. Not being idealistic, he is not likely to have second thoughts at the last minute about who else might get hurt in the explosion or whatever method, and being a professional he has calculated the risks to the last contingency. So his chances of success on schedule are surer than any one else's, but he will not even enter into operation until he has devised a plan that will enable him not only to complete the mission, but to escape unharmed.

Selection fom John Steinbeck's " Pastures of Heaven "


That night in a letter she wrote : " After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people. This deep desire exists in every one, from the boy who writes dirty words in a public toilet to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do. "

2. One time their father went away, and never came back. He had never sent any money, nor had he ever written to them, but this time he just disappeared for good. For two years they waited, and then their mother said he must be dead. The children shuddered at the thought, but they refused to believe it, because no one so beautiful and fine as their father could be dead. Some place in thw world he was having adventures. There was some good reason why couldn't come back to them. Some day when the reason was gone, he would come: Some morning he would be there with finer presents and better stories than ever before. But their mother said he must have had an accident. He must be dead. Their mother was distracted. She read those advertisements which offered to help he to make money at home. The children made paper flowers and shamefacedly tied to sell them. The boys tried to develop magazine routes, and the whole family nearly starved. Finally, when they coildn't stand it any longer, the boys ran away and joined the navy. After that Molly saw them as seldom as she had seen her father, and they were so changed, ao hard and boisterous, that she didn't even care, for her brothers were strangers to her.

3. In Salinas he ( Pat ) went to the public library. " Have you gpt any picturee of Vermont houses - pretty ones ", he asked the librarian.

" You'll probably find some in the magazines. Come I'll show you where to look "

They had to warn him when the library was about to close. He had found pictures of interiors, but of interiors he had never imagined. The rooms were built on a plan; each decoratio, each piece of furniture, even the floors and walls were related, were a part of the plan. Some deep instructive feeling in him for arrangement, for color and line had responded to the pictures. He hadn't known rooms could be like that - all in one piece. Every room he had ever seen was the result of a gradual and accidental accumulation.

4. In his misery he wanted to hide for awhile, to burrow into some dark place where no one could see him. His way was automatically homeward. The rambling house was dark and unutterably dreary when he arrived. Pat went into the barn and with deliberate steps climbed the short ladder and lay down in the hay. His mind was shrunken and dry with disappointment. Above all things he did not want to go into the house. He was afraid he might lock up the door again. And then, in all the yeats to come, two puzzled spirits would live in the beautiful room, and in his kitchen, Pat would understand how they gazed wistfully into the ghost of a fire.


The old man stared into the valley ( The Pastures of Heaven - Las Pasturas del Cileo ) with his eager eyes, and in his deafened ears the silence surged like a little wind blowing in a cyprus tree. The farther hills were blurred to him, but he could see the golden light and the purple dark. His breathing choked and tears came into his eyes. He beat his hands helplessly against his hips. " I've never had time to think. I've been too busy with troubles ever to think anything out. If I could go down there and live down there for a little - why, I'd think over all the things that ever happened to me, and maybe I could make something out of them, something all in one piece that had a meaning, instead of all these trailing ends, these raw and dragging tails. Nothing would bother me down there and I could think. "

6. Most lives extend in a curve. There is a rise of ambition, a rounded peak of maturity, a gentle downward slope of disillusion and last a flattened grade of waiting for death. John Whiteside lived in a straight line. He was ambitionless; his farm not only made him a good living, but paid enough so he could hire men to work it for him. He wanted nothing beyond what he had or could easily procure. He was one of the few men who could savor the moment while he held it. And he knew it was a good life he was leading, an uniquely good life.

Only one need entered his existence. He had no children.

From authors unknown.

Dear Friend:

A line to say I am living, I'm not among the dead.

I've got used to my arthritis, to my dentures I'm resigned. I can manage my bifocals, but oh, I miss my mind. For some time I can't remember when I stand at the foot of the stairs if I must go up for something, or, if I've just come down from there. And before the fridge so often, my poor mind is filled with doubt. Have I just put food away..or have I come to take some out?

And there are times when it is dark, with my nightcap on my head; I don't know if I'm retiring or just getting out of bed.

So, if it's my turn to write to you, thare's no need to getting sore. I may think I have written and don't want to be a bore. So remember I do love you and wish that you were near, but it's nearly mailtime, so I must say, " goodbye dear. "

There I stood at the mailbox with face very red. Instead of mailing you my letter, I had opened it instead.


The Busy Man.

If you want to get a favor done
By some obliging friend,
And want a promise, safe and sure,
On which you may depend,
Don't go to him who always has
Much leisure time to plan,
But if you want your favor done,
Just ask the busy man.

The man with leisure never has
A moment he can spare,
He's always " putting off " until
His friends are in despair.
But he whose every waking hour
Is crowded full of work
Forgets the art of wasting time,
He cannot stop to shirk.

So when you want a favor done,
And want it right away,
Go to the man who constantly
Works twenty hours a day.

He'll find a moment, sure somewhere,
That has no other use.

And help you, while the idle man
Is framing an excuse.


Around the corner I have a friend
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I knew it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friend's face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell,
And he rang mine...

We were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men..
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name..

" Tomorrow " I say " I will call on Jim "
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes, And
distance between us grows and grows..

Around the corner - yet miles away,
" Here's a telegram sir - "
" Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end..
Around the corner, a vanished friend..

From Jamine di Giovanni on Kosovo for the " Vanity Fair "

1. It is cold in the factory, but Mehije wears only a sweater, muddy bedroom slippers, and thin cotton socks, pink ones.

She has along messy plait running down her back. She does not return my tentative smile; instead she reaches behind her back and hands me a package of loose rags tied with a blue ribbon. She motions for me to open it, and when ai do, I see that the bundle of rags is alive, a tiny baby with gaping bird mouth.

Selections from F.Scott Fitzgerald's " The Great Gatsby "


I ( Nick Carraway ) couldn't forgive him or like him but I saw that what he had done was, to him entirely justified. It was a;; very careless and confused. They careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together,and let other people clean up the mess they had made...


Gatsby's house was still empty when I left - the grass on his lawn had grown as long as mine. One of the taxi drivers in the village never took a fare past the entrance gate without stopping for a minute and pointing inside; perhaps it was he who drove Daisy and Gatsby over to East Egg the night of the accident and perhaps he had made a story about it all his own. I didn't want to hear it and I avoided him when I got off the train.

I spent my Saturday nights in New York because those gleaming, dazzling parties of his were with me so vividly that I could still hear the music and the laughter faint and incessant from his garden and the cars going up and down his drive. One night I did hear a material car there and saw its lights stop at his front steps. But I didn't investigate. Probably it was somr final guest who had been away at the ends of the earth and didn't know that the party was over.

On the last night, with my trunk packed and my car sold to the grocer, I went over and looked at that huge incoherent failure of a house once more. On the white steps an obscene word, scrawled by some boy with a piece of brick, stood out clearly in the moonlight and I ersed it, drawing my shoe raspingly along the stone. Then I wandered down to the beach and sprawled out on the sand.

Selections from George Eliot's ( Mary Anne Evans) " Silas Marner "

1. He turned immediately towards the hearth where Silas Marner sat lulling the child. She was perfectly quiet now but not asleep - only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings with our inward turmoil feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky - before a steady glowing or a full-flowered eglantine or the bending trees over a silent pathway. The wide - open blue eyes looked up at Godfrey's without any uneasiness or sign of recognition: the child could make no visible audible claim on its father; and the father felt a strange mixture of feelings, a conflict of regret and joy, that the pulse of that little heart had no response for the half-jealous yearning in his own, when the blue eyes turned away from him slowly, and fixed themselves on the weever's queer face, which was bent low down to look at them, while the small began to pull Marner's withered cheek with loving disfiguration.

2. Silas Marner's determination to keep the ' tramp's' child was matter of hardly less surprise and iterated talk in the village than the robbery of his money. That softening of feeling towards him, which dated from his misfortune, that merging of suspicion and dislke in a rather contemptuous pity for him as lone and crazy, was now accompanied with a more active sympathy, especially amongst the women. Notable mothers, who knew what it was to keep children ' whole and sweet'; lazy mothers who knew what it was to be interrupted in folding their arms and scratching their elbows by the mischievous propensities of children just firm on their legs, were equally interested in conjecturing how a lone man would manage with a two-year old on his hands, and were equally ready with their suggestions: the notable chiefly telling what he had better do, and the lazy ones being emphatic in telling him what he would never be able to do.

3. Marner took her on his lap, trembling with an emotion mysterious to himself, something unknown dawning on his life. Thought and feeling were so confused within him, that if he had tried to give them utterance, he could only have said that the child was instead of the gold - that the gold had turned into the child. He took the garments from Dolly, and put them on under her teaching; interrupted. of course, by baby's gymnastics.

4.He turned immediately towards the hearth where Silas Marner sat lulling the child. She was perfectly quiet now, but not asleep - only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky - before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway. The wide-open blue eyes looked up at Godfrey's without uneasiness or sign of recognition: the child could make no visible audible claim on its father; and the felt a strange mixture of feelings, a conflict of regret and joy, thatthe pulse of that little heart had no response for the half-jealous yearning of his own, when the blue eyes turned away fro him slowly, and fixed themselves on the weever's queer face, which was bent low down to look at them, while the small hand began to pull Marner's withered cheek with loving disfiguratiion.

5. Unlike the gold which needed nothing, and must be worsipped in close-locked solitude - which was hidden away from the daylight, was deaf to the song of birds, and started to no human tones - Eppie was a creature of endless claims and ever-growing desires , seeking and loving sunshine, and living sounds, and living movements; making trial of everything, with trust in new joy and stirring the human kindness in all eyes that looked on her. The gold had kept his thoughts in an ever repeated circle, leading to nothing beyond itself; but Eppie was an object compacted of changes and hopes that forced his thoughts onward, and carried them far away from their old eager pacing towards the same blank limit - carried them away to the new things that would come with the coming years, when Eppie would have learned to understand how her father Silas cared for her; and made him look for images of that time in the ties and charities that bound together the families of his neighbours. The gold had asked that he should sit weaving longer and longer, deafened and blinded more and more to all things except the monotony of his loom and the repetition of his web; but Eppie called him away from his weaving, and made him think all its pauses a holiday, reawakening his senses with her fresh life, even to the old winter-flies that came crawling forth in the early spring sunshine, and warming him into joy because she had joy,

6. .. and the small boys and girls approached her slowly, with cautious movements and steady gaze like little dogs face to face with one of their own kind, till attraction had reached the point at which the soft lips were put out for a kiss. No child was afraid of approaching Silas when Eppie was near him: there was no repulsion around him now, either for young or old: for the little child had come to link him once more with the whole world. There was love between him and the child that blent them into one, and there was love between the child and the world - from men and women with parental looks and tones, to the red lay-birds and the round pebbles.

7. Sils's face showed that sort of transfiguration as he sat in his arm-chair and looked at Eppie. She had drawn her own chair towards his knees, and leaned forward holding both his hands while she looked up at him. On the table near them lit by a candle lay the recovered gold - the old long-loved gold, ranged in orderly heaps, as Silas used to range it in the days when it was his only joy. He had been telling her how he used to count it every night and how his soul was utterly desolate till she was sent to him.

'At first, I'd sort O' feeling come across me now and then ' he was saying in a subdued tone, 'as if you might be changed into the gold again: for sometimes, turn my head which way I would, I seemed to see the gold; and I thought I should be glad if I could feel it and find it was come back. But that didn't last long . After a bit, I should have thought it was a curse come again if it had drove you from me, for I'd got to feel the need O' your looks and your voice and the touch O' little fingers. You didn't know thwn, Eppie when you were such a little un - you didn't know what your old father Silas felt for you.
' But i know now father ' said Eppie . ' If it hadn't been for you they'd have taken me to the workhouse, and there'd have been nobody to love me.'
'Eh, my precious child the blessing was mine. If you hadn't been sent to save me, I should ha gone to the grave in my misery. The money was taken from me in time; and you see it's been kept - kept it was wanted for you. It's wonderful - our life is wonderful.

Silas sat in silence a few minutes, looking at the money. 'It takes no hold of me now' he said, ponderingly - ' the money doesn'. I wonder if it ever would again - I doubt it might, if I lost you, Eppie. I might come to think I was forsaken again, and lose the feeling that God was good to me.'

8. eppie's heart was swelling at the sense at the sense that her father's head was in distress; and she was just going to lean down and speak to him, when one struggling dread at last gained the mastery over every other in Silas, and he said faintly:

' Eppie, my child, speak. I won't stand in your way. Thank Mr and mrs Cass.

Eppie took her hand from her father's head and came forward a step. Her cheeks were flushed, but not with shyness this time: the sense that her father was in doubt and suffering banished that sort of self-consciousness. She dropped a low curtsy first to Mrs Cass and then to Mr Cass and said :

' Thank you ma'am - thank you, sir. But I can't leave my father, nor own anybody nearer than him. And I don't want to be a lady - thank you all the same' ( here Eppie dropped another curtsy ). ' I couldn't give up the folks I've been used to.'

Eppie's lip began to tremble a little at the last words. She retreated to her father's chair again, and held him round the neck: while Silas, with a subdued sob, put up his hand to grasp hers.

9. ' But I've a claim on you eppie - the strongest of all claims. It's my duty, Marner to own Eppie as my child and provide for her. She is my own child - her mother was my wife. I have a natural claim on her that must stnad before any other.

Eppie had given a violent start and turned quite pale. Silas on the contrary who had been relieved by eppie's answer from the dread lest his mind should be in opposition to hers, delt the spirit of resistance in him set free, not without a touch of paternal fierceness. ' Then sir, he answered with an accent of bitterness that had been silent in him since the memorable day when his youthful hope had perished - ' then sir, why didn't you say so sixteen years ago, and claim her before I'd come to love her, instead of coming to take her from me now, when you might as well take the heart out o' my body ? God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine; you have no right to her. When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in

I know that, Marner. I was wrong. I've repented of my conduct in that matter, said Godfrey, who could not help feeling the edge of Silas's words.

I am glad to hear it sir said Marner, with gathering excitement; but repentence doesn't alter what's been going on for sixteen year. Your coming now and saying " I'm her father" doesn't alter the feelings inside us. It's me she's been calling her father ever since she could say the word.'

But I think you might look at the thing more reasonably Marner said Godfrey, unexpectedly awed by the weaver's direct truth-speaking. It isn't as if she was to be taken quite away from you, so that you'd never see her again. She'll be very near you and come to see you very often. She'll feel just the same towards you.

Just the same? said Marner, more bitterly than ever. How'll she feel just the same for me as she does now, when we eat O' the same bit, and drink 0' the same cup, and think of the same things from one day's end to another? Just the same? that's idle talk. You'd cut us i' two.'

10. Nancy:
What you say is natural my dear child - it's natural you should cling to those who've brought you up, she said mildly; but there's a duty you owe to your lawful father. There's perhaps something to be given up on more sides than one. When your father opens his home to you I think it's right you shouln't turn your back on it.

I can't feel as I've got any father but one. said Eppie, impetuously while tears gathered. I've always thought of a little home where he'd sit in the corner and I should fend and do everything for him. I can think of no other home. I wasn't brought up to be a lady, and I can't trn my mind to it. I like the working-folks, and their houses, and their ways. And she ended passionately while the tears fell, ''m promised to marry a working-man, as I'll live with father and help me take care of him.'

11. There is hardly a servant- maid in these days who is not better informed than miss nancy; yet she had the essential attributes of a lady - high veracity, delicate honor in her dealings, deference to others, and refined personal habits, - and lest these should not suffice to convince grammatical fair ones that her feelings can at all resemble theirs I will add that she was slightly proud and exacting and as constant in her affections towards a baseless opinion as towards an erring lover.

12. No said Silas no that doesn't hinder. Since the time the child was sent to me and I've come to love her as myself, I've had light enough to trusten by; and, now she says she'll never leave me, I think I shall trusten till I die.

13. Seen at a little distance as she walked across the churchyard and down the village she seemed to be attired in pure white and her hair looked like the dash of gold on a lily. One hand was on her husband's arm, and with the other she clasped the hand of her father Silas.

You won't be giving me away father she said before they went to church; you'll only be taking Aaron to be a son to you.

14. Thank you ma'am - thank you sir for your offers - they're very great, and far above my wish. For I should have no delight i' life any more if I was forced to go away from my father and knew he was sitting at home a-thinking of me and feeling lone. We've been used to be happy together everyday and I wan't think O' no happiness without him. And he says he'd nobody i' the world till I was sent to him, and he'd have nothing when I was gone. And he's took care of me and loved me from the first and I'll cleave to him and he'd have nothing when I was gone. And he's took care of me and loved from the first and I'll cleave to him as long as he lives, and nobody shall ever come between him and me.'

Selections from C.S. Forester's " African Queen "

1. When they came out of the lieutenant-commander's presence Rose was seething with shame. Until then she had been a woman without a future and in consequence without any real care. It was different now. The lieutenant commander had mentioned the possibility of a return to England; to Rose that meant poor streets and censorious people and prying aunts - that aints should be prying was in Rose's experience an essential characteristic of aunts. And it was terribly painful to contemplate a separation from Allnut; he had been so much to her; she had been hardly out of his sights for weeks now; to lose him now would be like losing a limb, even if her feelings towards him had changed; she could not contemplate this unforeseen future of hers without Allnut.

"Charlie : she said urgently. " We've got to get married."

" Coo " said Allnut. This was an aspect of the situation he had not actually thought of.

2. It was a solemn moment, The consumption of all their efforts, their descent of the rapids of the Ulanga, their running the gauntlet at Shona, the mending of the propeller, their toil in the water-lilly pool and theie agony in the delta was at hand.

" Coo ' said Allnut, eminiscently, " aven't we just ad time. Been a regular bank 'oliday "

3. She felt a warm gratitude towards the fate which had been so kind. It was a wild exaltation that she clasped Allnutt's arm. In all the uncertainty of future peril and all the certainty of future triumph she clung to him in overwhelming passiom. Her love for him and her passion for her country were blended inextricably, strangely. She kissed him in the star-light as Joan of Arc might have have kissed a holy relic.

4. It did not disturb Alnutt, for no accountable noise could do that, and Allnutt's peaceful sleeping was nearly as annoying as the croaking of the frogs to Rose in her wakefulness. She lay and sweated in the breathless night, disturbed, uncomfortable, irritated. If Rose had ever indulged in scolding or shrewishness she would have been an evil companion the next morning, but rigid upbringing had had sufficient effect on her to prevent her from indulging in such a wanton abuse of power. She did not yet know she could scold; she had never tasted the sweet delights of giving rein to ill tember.

5. If English explorers had turned back at the sight of apparent impossibilities the British Empire would not be nearly its present size.

6. The very intimacy to which she admitted him, her tenderness for him, confirmed him in his state of mind. No other woman had been tender to Charlie Allnutt, not even his drunken mother nor the drabs of the East End, nor the enslaved prostitutes of Port Said, nor Carrie, his mistress at the mine, whom he had always suspected of betraying him wih the filthy native laborers. Rose was sweet and tender and maternal, and in all this she was different fro every one else, He could abandon all thought of himself and his troubles while he was with her. It did not matter if he was a hopeless failure as long as she forebore to tell him so.

When she pressed his arm he held her more closely to reassure himself once more, and her kiss brought him peace and comfort.

7. She felt a warm gratitude towards the fate which had been so kind. It was in wild exaltation that she clapsed Allnutt's arm. In all the uncertainty of future peril and all the certainty of future triumph she clung to him in overwhelming passion. Her love for him and her passion for her country were blended inextricably, strangely. She kissed him in the starlight as Joan of Arc might have kissed a holy relic.

8. Perhaps no one can really understand the state of mind of a man who volunteers in war for duty that may lead to death, but that such volunteers are always forth-coming has been proved by too many pitiful events in history.

9. In that awful moment Rose would have found no comfort in Allnutt anyway. It was a matter only for her and God. There was no trace of thr iron-nerved woman who had brought the African Queen down the Ulanga, in the weeping figure who besought God for forgiveness of her neglect. She could make no attempt to compound with God, to offer future good behaviour in exchange for forgiveness of the past, because her training did not permit it. She could only plead utter abject penitence and beg for forgiveness as an arbitrary forgiveness from the stern God about whom her brother had taught her. She was torn with misery. She could not tell if she were forgiven or not. She did not know how much of hellfire she would have to endure on account of these days of forgetfulness.

Worse still she could not tell whether her angry God might not see fit to punish her additionally by blasting her present expedition with failure. It would be an apt punishment seeing that the exprdition was the cause of her neglect. There was a bibilical flavor about it which tore her with apprehension.

10. Curiously enough they were happy as children during these days of hectic work. Hard regular labor suited both of the, and soon as Allnut had become infected by Rose's passion to complete the job they had a common interest all day long. And every day there was the blessed satisfaction of knocking off work in the late afternoon, and revelling in the feeling of comradely friendliness which drew them close together until passion was roused and hand went out to hand and lip met lip. Rose had never known such happiness before nor perhaps had Allnutt either. They could laugh and joke together; Rose had never laughed nor joked like that in the whole thirty-three years of her existence. Her father had taken shopkeeping as seriously as he ( and her brother ) had taken religion. She had never realized before that friendliness and merriment could exist along with a serious purpose in life any more than she had realized that there was pleasure in the intercourse of the sexes. There was something intensely satisfying in their companionship.

11. Only when they were on the point of departure did either of them waver. Rose found him close beside her murmuring in a broken voice-

Give us another kiss old girl.

And Rose put her arms around him and whispered - Carlie, charlie, dear Charlie. She patted his shoulder and she looked round at the beauty all about them, where she had given him her virginity and her eyes were wet. Then they cast off and Allnutt pushed off ......

12. Most important factor of all, perhaps was the influence of the doctrine of the imperfection of man ( as opposed to woman ) which Rose had imbibed all through her girlhood. Her mother, her aunts, all the married women she knew had a supreme contempt for men regarded in the light of house-inhabiting creatures. They were careless, and clumsy and untidy. They were incapable of dusting a room or cooking a joint. They were subject to fits of tantrums. Women had to devote themselves to clearing their path for them and smoothing their way. yet at the same time it was a point of faith these incomprehensible creatures were the lords of creation for whom nothing could be too good. for them the larger portion of the supper haddock must always be reserved. For them on Sunday afternoons one must step quietly lest their nap be disturbed. Their trivial illnesses must be coddled, their peevish complaints heard with penitence, their bad temper condoned. In fact - perhaps it is the explanation of this state of affairs - men were, in their inscrutable oddity, and in the unquestioned deference accorded them, just like miniatures of the exacting and all-poerful God whom the women worshipped.

13. Rose had never before found pleasure in scenery, just as scenery. Samuel never had. If as a girl some bluebell wood in england ( perhaps Rose had never seen a bluebell wood; it is possible ) had brought a thrill into her bosom and a catch into her throat she would have viewed such symptoms with suspicion, as betokening a frivolity of mind verging upon wantonness. Samuel was narrow and practical about these things.

But Rose was free now from Samuel and his joyless bilious outlook; it was a freedom all the more insidious because she was not conscious of it. She stood in the stern and drank in the sweet beauty of all, smiling at the play of color in the at the waterfall. Her mind played with memories, of the broad sun-soaked reaches of the upper Ulanga, of the cataracts and the dangers they had just passed.

14. There could be no monotony on a river, with its snags and mud bars its bends and its backwaters its eddies and its swirls. Perhaps those few days of active happiness were sufficint recompense to Rose for thiety-three years of passive misery.

15. Freedom and responsibility and an open-air life and a foretaste of success were working wonders on her. She had spent ten years in Africa but those ten years immured in a dark bungalow with hardly any one save Samuel to talk to had no more forwarded her development than ten years in a nunnery would have done. She had lived in subjection all her life, and subjection offers small hope to personality, And no woman with Ros's upbringing could live for ten days ina small boat with a man - even a man like Allnutt - without broadening her ideas and smoothing away the jagged corners and becoming somrthing more like a human being. These last ten days had brought her into flower.

Those big breasts of hers, which began to sag when she had begun to lapse into spinsterhood were firm and upstanding now again and she could look down on them swelling out the bosom of her white drill frock without misgiving. Even in these ten days her body had done much towards replacing fat where fat should be and eliminating it from those areas where it should not. Her face had filled out, and though there were puckers round her eyes caused by the sun they went well with her healthy tan and lent piquancy to the ripe feminity of her body. She drank her tea with her mouth full in a way which would have horrified he a month back.

16. It was only a few seconds before they reached the next rapid, like the last stretch of ugly rocks and boiling eddies and green inclined slopes of hurtling water, where the eye had to be quick and the brain quicker still, where the hand had to be steady and strong and subtle and the will resolute.

16. There could be no monotony on a river , with its snags and mud bars its bends and its bakwaters, its eddies and its swirls. Perhaps those few days of active happiness wee sufficient recompense to Rose for thirty-three years of passive misery.

Selections from Graham Greene's " The Third Man "

1. There is a lot of comedy in these situations if you are not directly concerned. You need a background of Central European terror. of a father who belonged to a losing side, of house searches and disappearences, before the fear outweighed the comedy. The Russian, you see refused to leave the room while Anna dressed: the Englishman refused to remain in the room: the American wouldn't leave a girl unprotected with a Russian soldier, and the Frenchman - well, I think the Frenchman must have thought it was fun. Can't you imagine the scene ?. The Russian was just doing his duty and watched the girl all the time, without a flicker of sexual interest; the American stood with his back chivalrously turned, but aware, I am sure, of every movement; the Frenchman smoked his cigarette and watched with detached amusement the reflection of the girl dressing in the mirror of the wardrobe; and the Englishman
stood in the passage wondering what to do next.

2. Don't picture Harry Lime as a smooth scoundrel. He wasn't that. The picture I have of him on my files is an excellent one: he is caught by a street photographer with his stocky legs apart, big shoulders a little hunched, a belly that has known too much goosd food for too long, on his face a look of cheerful rascality, a geniality, a recognition that his happiness will make the world's day.

Leonard Woolf on Freud:

There was something about him as of a half - extincy volcano, something sombre, suppressed, reserved. He gave me the feeling which only very few people whom I have met gave me, a feeling of great gentleness, but behind the gentleness, great strength.

From Kazuo Ishiguro's " Never Let Me Go "

Tommy to Kath:

I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold on to each other, holding as hard as they can, but in the end its just too much. The currents too strong. They've to let go, drift apart. That's how I think it is with us. It's a shame Kath because we've loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can't stay together for ever.

George Will in the Wasington Post:

General Mac Arthur said that every military defeat can be explained by two words - " too late "

Too late in anticipating danger, too late in preparing for it, too late in taking action.

Clinton's political defeat can be similarly explained - too late in recognizing that the electorate does not acknowledge her entitlement to the presidency, too late in understanding that she had a serious challenger, too late in anticipating that she would not dispatch Barrack Obama by Super Tuesday ( Feb. 5th ), too late in planning for the special challenges of caucus states, too late in channelling her inner shoy- and - beer hard hat.

Selections from Paula Fox's " Desperate Characters "

1. At once the cat cried out, and began to lap up the milk. From other houses came the faint rattle of plates and pots, the number of television sets and radios - but the sheer multiplicity of noises made it difficult to identify individual noises.

2. Charlie would be almost home now, heading toward that populous, gloomy 1920 pile of stone in which he lived.

3.You already asked me that, Sophie replied. He's fine, considering. I think he's better off than some, perhaps because he's not much given to introspection. He's too preoccupied with fighting off a mysterious effluvium he thinks will drown him. He thinks garbage is an insult directed against him personally, and he's still trying to wash the dishes before we've finished eating.

Selections from Nathaniel West's " Day of the Locust "

1. None of them really heard her. They were all too busy watching her smile, laugh, shiver, whisper, grow indignant, cross and uncross her legs, stick out her tongue, widen and narrow her eyes, toss her headso that her platinum hair splashed against the red plush of the chair back. The strange thing about her gestures and expressions was that they didn't really illustrate what she was saying. They were almost pure. It was as though her body recognized how foolish her words were and tried to to excite her hearers into being uncritical. it worked that night; no one even thought of laughing at her. the only move they made was to narrow their circle about her.

2. What a perfect escape the return of the womb was. Better by far than Religion or Art or the South Sea Islands. It was so snug and warm there, and the feeding was automatic. Everything perfect in the hotel. No wonder the memory of those accommodations lingered in the blood and nerves of everyone. It was dark, yes but what a warm rich darkness. The grave wasn't in it. No onder one fought so desperately against being evicted when the nine month's lease was up.

3. All their lives they had slaved at some kind of dull, heavy labor. behind desks and counters, in the fields and at tedious machines of all sorts, saving their pennies and dreaming of their leisure that would be theirs when they had enough. Finally that day came. They could draw a weekly income of ten or fifteen dollars. Where else should they go but California,the land of sunshine and oranges?

Once there, they discover that sunshine isn't enough. They get tired of oranges, even avocado pears and passion fruit.Nothing happens. They don't know what to do with their time. They haven't the mental equipment for leisure, the money nor the physical equipment for pleasure. Did they slave so long just to go to an occasional Iowa picnic? What else is there? They watch the waves come in at Venice. There wasn't any ocean where most of them came from, but after you've seen one wave, youv'e seen them all. The same is true of the airplanes at Glendale. If only a plane would crash once in a while so that they could watch the passengers being consumed in a " holocaust of flame ", as the newspapers put it. But the planes never crash.

Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they've been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the newspapers and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex, crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, wars. This daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can't titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.

Selection from " The Devil in the White City. "

The opening of the World's Fair in Chicago at the close of the 19th century.

Two hundred white doves leaped for the sky. The guns of the Michigan fired. Steam whistles shrieked. Spontaneously the throng began to sing " My country, T'is of thee ".

As the crowd thundered, a man eased up beside a thin, pale woman with a bent neck, Jane Adams realized her purse was gone.

The Great Fair had begun.

Bob Herbert in the New York Times.

The challenge for the working press right now is to see if we can force ourselves past the overwhelming temptations of Wright and race and focus in a sustained way on some other matters, like the cratering economy, mestasizing energy costs, the dismal state of public education, the nation's crumbling infra structure or the damage being done to the American soul- by the endless war in Iraq.

David Brooks in the New York Times.

This wasn't just shameless spin, it was shameless with a purpose . Clinton signaled that she was not going to stomp on it, flay it and leave it a twisted mass of jelly quivering on the ground. She was going to perform the primordial duty of an Alpha dog leader - helping one's own.

George Will in the washington Post.

General douglas Mac Arthur said that every military defeat can be explained by two words - " Too Late. "

Too late in anticipating danger, too late in preparing for it, too late in taking action. Clinton's political defeat can be similarly explained - too late in recognizing that the electorate does not acknowledge her entitlement to the presidency, too late in understanding that she had a serious challenger, too late in anticipating that she would not dispatch Barack Obama by Super Tuesday, too late in planning for the special challenges of caucus states, too late in channelling her inner shot-and-beer hard hat.

Thomas Friedman in the New York Times.


But what matters a lot more is that under Mr. Bush, America today is neither feared nor respected nor liked in the Middle East, and that his lack of an energy policy for seven years has left Israel's enemies and America's enemies - petro-dictators and the terrorists they support - stronger than ever. The rise of Iran as a threat to Israel today is directly related to Mr. Bush's failure to succeed in Iraq and to develop alternatives to oil.

2. It's a tricky business. But if Israel is your voting priority, then at least ask the right questions about Mr. Obama. Knock off the churlish whispering campaign about what's in his heart on Israel ( what was in Richard nixon's heart? ) and focus first on what kind of America you think he'd build and second on whether you believe that as President he'd have the smarts, steel and cunning to seize a historic oportunity if it arises.

Michael Garner, President - N.B.C.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance take it. If it changes your life, let it. No body said life would be easy. They just promised it would most likely be worth it.

From Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry.

1. Elmer and Jim Jefferts retired to a table to nourish the long, rich, chocolate strains suitable to drunken melody. Actually, they sang very well. Jim had a resolute tenor, and as to Elmer Gantry, even more than his bulk, his thick black hair, his venturesome black eyes, you remembered arousing baritone. He was born to
be a senator. He said anything important, and he always said it sonorously. He cpould make, " good morning " seem profound as kant, welcoming as a brass band, and uplifting as a cathedral organ. It was a cello, his voice, and in the enchantment of it you did not hear his slang, his boasting, his smut, and the dreadful violence which ( at this period ) he preferred on singulars and plurals.

2. In the church:

Professors with string mustaches and dog-eared Bibles, men students in in sweaters or flannel shirts, modest ribbons, over smiling old maids of the town, venerable saints from the back-country with beards which partly hid the fact that they were collars without ties, old women with billowing shoulders, irritating young married couples with broods of babies who crawled, slid, bellowed, and stared with embarassing wonder at bachelors.

3. His mother was wringing his hand, begging, " Oh won't you come?. Won't you make your old mother happy? Let yourself know the joy of surrender to Jesus." She was weeping, old eyes puckered, and in her weeping was his every recollection of winter dawns when she had let him stay in bed and brought porridge to him across the icy floor; winter evenings when he had awakened to find her still stitching; and that confusing intimidating hour, in the abyss of his first memories, when he had seen her shaken beside a coffin that contained a cold monster in the shape of his father.

4. But as he ( Elmer Gantry ) came to the row kneeling front of the first pew, he had a thought that made everything all right. Yes. He could have both. He could have Judson and his mother, yet retain Jim's respect. He had only to bring Jim also to Jesus, then all of them would be together in beatitude.

5. It tells you straight out from the shoulder that if you don't believe in the virgin birth and the resurrection, atonement, and immersion, then it don't make no difference about your so-called good works and charity and all that, because your'e are doomed and bound to go straight to hell, and not no make-believe hell, either, but a real gosh-awful turble bed of sure-enough coals. yes sir.

6. ... they've been, so brought up to take the church interpretation of every word that they read into it whatever they've been taught to find there. I's been so with me, upto the last couple of years. But now I'm becoming a quarter free, and I'm appalled to see that I don't find Jesus, whom the bishops of his day cursed as a rounder and wine-bibber, being chosen as the of the Prohibitionists is one of the funniest twists in history. But he's vain, he praises himself outrageously , he's fond of astonishing people by little magical tricks which we've been taught to revere as " miracles " He is furious as a child in a tantrum when people don't recognize him as a great leader. He loses his temper. He blasts the poor barren fig-tree when it does'nt feed him. What minds people have. they hear preachers proving by the Bible the exact opposites, that the Roman Catholic Church is devinely ordained and that it is against all divine ordinances, and it never occurs to them that far from the Christian religion - or any other religion - being a blessing to humanity, it's produced such confusion in all thinking, such secondhand viewing of actualities, that only now are we beginning to ask what and why we are, and what we can do with life.

Just what are the teachings of Christ? Did he come to bring peace or more war? He says both. Did he approve earthly monarchies or ebel against them? He says both. Did he ever - think of it, God himself, taking on human form to help the earth - did he ever suggest sanitation. which would have saved millions from plagues? And you can't say his failure there was because he was too lofty to consider mere sickness. On the contrary, he was awfully interested in it, always healing some one - providing they flattered his vanity enough.

What did he teach? One place in the Sermon on the Mount he advises - let me get my Bible - here it is: " Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven. " that's an absolute contradiction, in the one document which is the charter of the whole Christian Church. Oh, I know you can reconcile, Phil. That's the whole aim of the ministerial training: to teach us to reconcile contradictions by saying that one of them doesn't mean what it means - and it's always a good stunt to throw in " You'd understand it if you'd only read it in the original greek."

There's just one thing that stands out clearly and uncontadicted in Jesus's teaching. he advocated a system of economics whereby no one saved money or stored up wheat or did anything but live like a tramp. If this teaching of his had been accepted, the world would have starved in twenty years after his death.


" Shallard, you can't understand the authority and resonableness of the Church. You're not ready to. You think too much of your puerile powers of reasoning. You haven't enough divine humility to comprehend the ages of wisdom that have gone to building up this fortress, and you stand outside its walls, one pitifully lonely little figure , blowing the trumpet of your egotism, and demanding of the sentry, " take me to your commander. I am graciously inclined to assist him. Only he must understand that I think his granite walls are pasteboard, and i reserve the right to blow them down when I get tired of them" Man, if you were a prostitute or amurderer and came to me saying, " Can I be saved? I'd cry " Yes ". and give my life to helping you. But your'e obsessed by a worse crime than murder - pride of intellect. And yet you haven't such an awfully overpowering intellect to be proud of, and I'm not sure but that's the worst crime of all. Good-day."

He added as Frank ragingly opened the door, " Go home and pray for simplicity. "


So Elmer came, though tardily, to the Great Idea which was to revolutionize his life and bring him eternal and splendid fame.

That shabby Corsican artillery lieutenant and author, Bonaparte, first conceiving that he might be the ruler of Europe - Darwin seeing dimly the scheme of evolution - Paolo realizing that all of life was nothing but an irradiation of Francesca - Newton pondering on the falling apple - Paul of Tarsus comprehending that a certain small Jewish sect might be the new religion of the doubting Greeks and Romans - Keats beginning to write " The Eve of St. Agnes " - none of these men, transformed by a Great Idea from mediocrity to genius, was more remarkable than Elmer Gantry of Paris, Kansas, when he beheld the purpose of which the heavenly powers had been training him.


At midnight, his mouth hanging open, Elmer was ringing at the house of T.J.Rigg. He rang, desperately. No answer. He stood outside and then bawled " T.J. T.J. "
with sleepiness, protested, " Whadda yuh want."
Come down quick. It's me - Elmer Gantry. I need you, bad.

" All right. Be right down."

A grotesque little figure in an old fashioned night shirt, puffing at a cigar, Rigg admitted him and led him to the library.

" T.J; they've got me."

"Yuh? The bootleggers?"

" No. Hettie. You know my secretary?"

" Oh. Yuh. I see. Been pretty friendly with her?"

Elmer told everything.

" All right, said Rigg. " I'll be there at twelve to meet Oscar with you. We'll stall for time, and I'll do something. Don't worry Elmer. And look here. Elmer, don't you think that even a preacher ought to try to go straight? "

"I've learned my lesson, T.J. I swear this is the last tme I'll ever step out, even look at a girl. God, you've been a good friend to me old man. "

" Well, I like anything I am connected with to go straight. Pue egotism. You better have a drink. You need it. "

" No. I'm going to hold onto that vow, anyway. I guess it's all I've got. Oh, my God. And just this evening I thought I was a big important guy, that nobody could touch."

" You might make a sermon out of it - and you probably will "


" You see " his mother exulted. " I knew you and Cleo would be happier if I just pointed out a few things to you. After all, your old mother may be stupid and Main- Street, but there's nobody like a mother to understand her bo, and I knew that if I just spoke to you, even if you are a Doctor of Divinity, you'd see things different."

" Yes, it was your training that made me a Christian and a reacher. Oh, a man does owe so much to a pious mother." said Elmer.


His study was so quiet. How he missed Hettie's presence.
He knelt. He dis not so much pray as yearn inarticulately. But this came out clearly: " I've ;earned my lesson. I'll never look at a girl again. I'm going to be the head of all the moral agencies in the country - nothing can stop , now I,ve got the Napap. - but I'm going to be all things I want other folks to be. Never again "

He stood at his study door, watching the robed choir filing out to the auditorium chanting. He realized how he had come to love the details of his church; how, if his people betrayed him now, he woul miss it: the choir, the pulpit, the singing, the adoring faces.

It had come. He could not put it off. He had to face them.
Feebly the Reverend Dr. Gantry wavered through the door to the auditorium and exposed himself to twenty-five hundred question marks.

They rose and cheered - cheered - cheered. Their's were the shining faces of friends. Their;s were the shining faces of friends.

Without planning it, Elmer knelt on the platform, holding his hands out to them, sobbing, and with him they knelt and sobbed and prayed, while outside the locked glass door of the church , seeing the mob kneel within, hundreds knelt on the steps of the church, on the sidewalk, all down the block.

" Oh my friends. " cried Elmer, " do you believe ni my innocence, in the fiendishness of my accusers ? Reassure me with a hallelujah."

The church thundered with the triumphant hallelujah, and in a sacred silence Elmer prayed:

" O Lord, thou hast stooped from thy mighty throne and rescued thy servant from the assault of the mercenaries of Satan. Mostly we thank thee because thus we can go on doing thy work, and thine alone. Not less but more zealously shall we seek utter purity and the prayer-life, and rejoice in freedom from all temptations."

He turned to include the choir, and for first time he saw that there was a new singer, a girl with charming ankles and lively eyes, with whom he would certainly have to become well acquainted. But the thought was so swift that it did not interrupt the paen of his prayer:

" Let me count this day, Lord, as the beginning of a crusade for complete morality and the domination of the Christian church through all the land. Dear Lord, thy work is but begun. We shall yet make these United States a moral nation. "

12. What gets 'em and brings 'em and holds 'em to their pews every Sunday is the straight Gospel - and it don't hurt one bit to scare 'em into being righteous with the good old-fashioned hell.

Selections from Sinclair Lewis's " Main Street "

1. Here - she meditated - is the newest empire of the world; The Northern Middlewest; a land of dairy herds and exquisite lakes, of new automobil and tar-paper shanties and ilos like red towers, of clumsy speech and ahope that is boundless. An empire which feeds a quarter of the world - yet its work is merely begun. They are pioneers, these sweaty wayfarers, for all their telephones and bank accounts and automatic pianos and co-operative leagues. And for all its fat richness, theirs theirs is a pioneer land. What is its future? She wondered. A future of cities and factory smut where now are loping empty fields? Homes universal and secure? Ir placid chateau ringed with sullen huts? Youth free to find knowledge and laughter? Willingness to sift the sanctified lies? Or creamy-skinned fat women, smeared with grease and chalk, gorgeous in the skins of beasts and the bloody feathers of slain birds, playing bridge with puffy pink-nailed jeweled fingers, women who after much expenditure of labor and bad temper still grtesquely resemble their own flatulent lap-dogs? The ancient stale inequalities, or something different in history, unlike the tedious maturity of other empires? What future and what hope?

2. She was close to her husband's arms; she clung to him; whatever of strangeness and slowness and insularity she might find in him, none of that mattered so long as she could slip her hands beneath his coat, run her fingers over the warm smoothness of the satin back of his waistcoat, seem almost to creep into his body, find in him strength, find in the courage and kindness of her man a shelter from the perplexing world.

3. A man in cuffless shirt-sleeves with pink arm-garters, wearing linen collar but no tie, yawned his way from Dyer's Drug Storeacross to the hotel. He leaned against the wall, scratched a while, sighed, and in a bored way gossiped with a man tilted back in a chair. A lumber-wagon, its long green box filled with large spools of barbed-wire fencing, creaked down the block. A Ford in reverse, sounded as though it were shaking to pieces, then recovered and rattled away. In the Greek candy-store
was the whine of peanut-roaster, and the oily smell of nuts.

From Hermann Hesse's, " Beneath the wheel."

1. Herr Joseph Giebenrath, jobber and middleman, possessed no laudable or peculiar traits distinguishing him from his felloe townsmenn. Like the majority, he was endowed with a sturdy and healthy body, a knack for business and an unabashed, heartfelt veneration for money; not to mention a small house and garden, a family plot in the cemetery, a more or less enlightened if threadbare attachment to the church, an appropriate respect for God and the authorities, a blind submission to the inflexible laws of bourgeois respectability. Though no teetotaler, he never drank to excess; though engaged in more than one questionable deal, he never transgressed the limits of what was legally permitted. He despised those poorer than himself as have-nots and those wealthier as show-offs. He belonged to the Chamber of Commerce and every Friday went bowling at the Eagle. He smoked only cheap cigars, reserving a better brand for after-dinner and Sundays.

In every respect, his inner life was that of a Philistine. The "sensitive" side of his personality had long since corroded and now consisted of little more than a traditional rough-and-ready "family sense", pride in his only son, and an occasional charitable impulse toward the poor. His intellectual gifts were limited to an inborn canniness and dexterity with figures. His reading was confined to the newspapers, and his need for amusement was assuaged by the amateur theatricals the Chamber of Commerce put on each year and an occasional visit to the circus. He could have exchanged his name and address with any of his neighbors, and nothing would have been different. In common with every other paterfamilias in town, and deeply ingrained in his soul, he also had this: deep-seated distrust of any poer or person superior to himself, and animosity toward anyone who was either exraordinary or more gifted, sensitive or intelligent than he.

Nathaniel Hawthorne in " Custom House "

Human nature will not flourish any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn out soil.

My children have had other birth places,and,so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots to unaccustomed earth."

Selections from Colleen McCullough's " The Thorn Birds "

1. We're poor, Meggie,that's the main reason. The nuns always have poor pupils. After you've been in Sister Ag's moldy old school a few days you'll see it's only the Clearys she takes it out on, but the Marshalls and the MacDonalds as well. We're all poor. Now, if we were rich and rode to school in a big carriage like the O'briens, they'd be all over us like a rash. But we can't donate organs to the church, or gold vestments to the sacristry, or a new horse and buggy to the nuns. So we don't matter. They can do what they like to us.


The proper name for it is menstruation, to menstruate. But when Adam an Eve fell, God punished the woman more than He did the man. Do you remember the words in your Bible history? " In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." What God meant was that for a woman everything having to do with children involves pain. Great joy, but also great pain. It is your lot, Meggie, and you must accept it.


I have loved you she said pathetically.
No you haven't. I am the goad of your old age.
You're wrong. I have loved you. God, how much. Do you think my years automatically preclude it? Well, Father de Bricassart, let me tell you something. Inside this stupid body I'm still young - I feel, I still want, I still dream, I still kick my heels and chafe at restrictions like my body. Old age is the bitterest vengeance our vengeful God inflicts upon us. Why doesn't He age our minds as well? She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, her teeth showing sourly. " I shall go to Hell, of course. But before I do, I hope I get the chance to tell God what a mean , spiteful, pitiful apology of a God He is. "


If I'd been younger I'd have got you in a different way, Ralph. You'll never know how I longed to throw thirty years of my life out the window. If the Devil had come to me and offered to buy my soul for the chance to be young again, I'd have sold it in a second, and not stupidly regretted the bargain like the old Faust. But no Devil. I really can't bring myself to believe in God or the Devil, you know. I've never seen a scrap of evidence to the effect they exist. Have you?

No. But belief doesn't rest on proof of existence, Mary. It rests on faith, and faith is the touchstone of the Church. Without faith, there is nothing.


What human being ever lived who could resist the repetition of perfect pleasure when offered so plausibly? Adam-like, Luke nodded, for at this stage he was far less well informed than Meggie.


And in the darkness she smiled, content. For it had not all run out. The moment she felt him shrink out of her she had drawn up all the internal muscles int a knot, slid off him onto her back, stuck her crossed knees in the air casually and hung on to what she had with every ounce of determination in her. Oho, my fine gentleman, I'll fix you yet. You wait and see, Luke O'Neill. I'll get my baby if it kills me.


She dragged herself out of the ghastly dream into which she had sunk, past caring, and saw the beloved face close to hers, the strong black hair with two white wings in its darkness now, the fine aristocratic features a little more lined, more patient if possible, and the blue eyes looking into hers with love and longing. How had she ever confused Luke with him? There was no one like him, there never would be for her, and she betrayed what she felt for him. Luke was the dark side of the mirror, Ralph was splendid as the sun, and as remote. Oh, how beautiful to see him.


He kissed her hand passionately, then held it to his cheek." Always, my Meggie, You know that."

Pray for me and the baby. If any one can save us, you can. You're much closer to God thanw we are. No one wants us, no one has ever wanted us , even you.

Where's Luke?

I don't know, and I don't care. She closed her eyes and rolled her head upon a pillow, but the fingers in his gripped strongly, wouldn't let him go.


"Think what you like " he said. " But tell me your Grace, if it came down to choice between Meggie's life and the baby's, what would your comscience advise?"

" The Church is adamant on that point, Doctor. No choice must ever be made. The child cannot be done to death to save the mother, nor the mother done to death to save the child." He smiled back at Doc Smith just as maliciously. " But if it should come to that, Doctor, I won't hesitate to tell you to save Meggie, and the hell with the baby."

Doc Smith gasped, laughed, and clapped him on the back. " Good for you. Rest easy, I won't broadcast what you said. But so far the child's alive, and I can't see what good killing it is going to do"

But Anne was thinking to herself: I wonder what your answer would have been if the child was yours, Archbishop?


Luke's not a bad man, or even an unlikable one, she went on. Just a man. You're all the same, great big hairy moths basing yourselves to pieces after a silly flame behind a glass so clear your eyes don't see it. And if you manage to blunder your way inside the glass to fly into the flame, you fall down burned and dead. While all the time out there in the cool night there's food, and love, and baby moths to get. But do you see it, do you want it? No. It's back after the flame again, beating yourselves senseless until you burn yourselves dead.


Do you remember the rose you gave me the night the night I left Drogheda? he asked tenderly.

" Yes, I remember." The life had gone out of her voice, the hard light out of her eyes. They stared at him now like a soul without hope, as expressionless and glassy as her mother's.

" I have it still in my missal. And evry time i see a rose that color, I think of you. Meggie, I love you. You're my rose, the most beautiful human image and thought in my life.

Down went the corners of her mouth again, up shone that tense, glittering fierceness with the tang of hate in it. " An image, a thought. A human image and thought. Yes, that's right, that's all I am to you.

You're nothing but a romantic, dreaming fool, Ralph de Bricaassart. You have no more idea of what life is all about than the moth I called you. No wonder you became a priest. You couldn't live with the ordinariness of life if you were an ordinary man any more than ordinary man Luke does.

You say you love me, but you have no idea what love is; you're just mouthing words you've memorized because you think they sound good. What floors me is why you men haven't managed to dispense with us women altogether, which is what you'd like to do, isn't it? You should work out a way of marrying each other; you'd be divinely happy.

Meggie, don't. Please don't.

" Oh go away. i don't want to look at you. And you've forgotten one thing about your precious roses, ralph - they've got nasty, hooky thorns.

He left the room without looking back.


What had she said to Anne? That her wants and needs were quite ordinary - a husband, children,a home of her own. Someone to love. It didn't seem much to ask ; after all, most women had the lot. But hoe many of the women who had them were truly content? Meggie thought she would be, because for her they were so hard to come by.


Oh, dear God, dear God. No, not dear God. What's God ever done for me, except deprive me of Ralph? Wer'e not too fond of each other, God and I. And do You know something God? You don't frighten me the way You used to. How much I feared You, Your punishment. All my life I've trodden the straight and narrow, from fear of You. And what's it got me? Not one scrap more than if I'd broken every rule in Your book. You're a fraud, God, a deamon of fear. You treat us like children, dangling punishment. But You don't frighten me any more. Because it isn't Ralph I ought to be hating, it's You. It's all your fault, not poor Ralph's. He's just living in fear of You, the way I always have. That he could love You is something I can't understand. I don't see what there is about You to love.

Yet how can I stop lovng a man who loves God? No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to do it. He's the moon, and I'm crying for it. Well, you've just got to stop crying for it, Meggie O'Neill, that's all there is to it. You're going to have to content yourself with Luke. and Luke's children. By hook or crook you're going to wean Luke fro the wretched sugar. and live with him out where there are'nt even any trees. You're going to tell the Gilly bank manager that your future income stays in your own name, and you're going to use it to have the comforts and conveniences in your treeless home that Luke won't think to provide for you. You're going to use it to educate Luke's children properly, and make sure they never want.

And that's all there is to be said about it, Meggie O'Neill. I'm Meggie O'Neill, not Meggie de Bricassart. It even sounds silly, Meggie de Bricassart. I'd have to be Meghann de Bricassart, and I've always hated Meghann. Oh' will I ever stop regretting that they're not Ralph's children? That's the question, isn't it? Say it to yourself over and over again. Your life is your own, Meggie O'Neill, and you're not goint to waste it dreaming of a man and children you can never have.

There. That's telling yourself. No use thinking of the past, what must be buried. The future's the thing, and the future belongs to Luke, Luke's children. It doesn't belong to Ralph de Bricassart. He is the past.

Meggie rolled over in the sand and wept as she hadn't wept since she was three years old: noisy wails, with only the crabs and the birds to hear her desolation.


A red English sports car roared off the Donny road and up the long, hilly drive; it was new and expensive, its bonnet strapped down with leather, its silver exhausts and scarlet paintwork glittering. For a while she didn't recognize the man who vaulted over the low door, for he wore the North Queensland uniform of a pair of shorts and nothing else. My word, what a beautiful bloke. she thought, watching him appreciatively and with a twinge of memory as he took the steps two at a time. I wish Luddie wouldn't eat so much; he could do with a bit of this chap's condition. Now he's no chicken - look at those marvelous silver temples - but I've never seen a cane cutter in better nick.

When the calm, aloof eyes looked into hers, she realized who he was.

My God. she said, and dropped the baby's bottle.

He retrieved it, handed it to her and leaned against the veranda railing, facing her. "It's all right. The teat didn't strike the ground; you can feed her with it."


Before she could reach the veranda he caught her, the impetus of her flight spinning her round against him so hard he staggered. It didn't matter, any of it, the gruelling battle to retain his soul's integrity, the long pressing down of will upon desire; in moments he had gone lifetimes. All that power held dormant, sleeping, only needing the dtonation of a touch to trigger a chaos in which mind was subservient to passion, mind's will extinguished in body's will.

Up slid her arms around his neck, his across her back, spasmed: he bent his head, groped with his mouth for hers, found it. Her mouth, no longer an unwanted, unwelcome memory but real; her arms about him as if she couldn't bear to let him go; the way she seemed to lose even the feel of her bones; how dark she was like the night, tangled memory and desire, unwanted memory and unwelcome desire. The years he must have longed for this, longed for her and denied her power, kept himself even from the thought of her a woman.


I wanted you to come to me because I can trust your face not to give away what your brain is thinking no matter what your eyes might be seeing, and because you have the best diplomatic turn of mind I have ever encountered.


Not for Dane an austere, Calvinistic God. His God was limned in stained glass, wreathed in incense, wrapped in lace and gold embroidery, hymned in musical complexity, and worshipped in lovely latin cadences.


Nor was he highly sexed, for what reason she wasn't sure: whether he had taught himself to sublimate his passions almost perfectly, or whether in spite of his bodily endowments some necessary cerebral essence was in short supply. Probably the former, since he plyed some sort of vigorous sport every day of his life to make sure he went to bed exhausted. She knew very well that his inclinations were "normal", that is, hetrosexual, and she knew what type of girl appealed to him - tall, dark and voluptuous. But he just wasn't sensually aware; he didn't notice the feel of things when he held them, or the odors in the air around him, or understand the special satisfaction of shape and color. Before he experienced a sexual pull the provocative object's impact had to be irresistible, and only at such rare moments did he seem to realize there was an earthly plane most men trod, of choice, for as long as they possibly could.


Is she spayed? asked Justine.
Of course.
Of course. Though why you needed to bother I don't know. Just being a permanent inhabitant of this place would be enough to neuter anyone's ovaries.


She laughed shrilly, eerily. " Oh, Ralph, what a sham you are. Sham man, sham priest. And to think once you actually had the temerity to offer to make love to me. Were you so positive I'd refuse? How I wish I hadn't. I'd give my soul to see you wriggle out of it if we could have that night back again. Sham, Sham, Sham. That's all you are, Ralph. An impotent man, and impotent priest. I don't think you could get it up and keep it up for the Blessed Virgin herself. Have you ever managed to get it up, Father de Bricassart?. Sham.

Yet you're wrong, Mary. I can get it up. It's just that I don't choose to, that I have spent years proving to myself it can be controlled, dominated, subjugated. For getting it up is the activity of man, and I am a priest.


she was young and she had never quite got to savor love, if for a moment or two she had tasted it. She wanted to roll it round on her tongue, get the bouquet of it into her lungs, spin it dizzying to her brain.


One thing Luke was never afraid of, and that was hard work; he thrived on it the way some men thrived on its opposite, whether because his father had been a barfly and a town joke or because he had inherited his German mother's love of industry no one had ever bothered to find out.


What is it about this frigging country, that its men prefer being with other men to having a home life with their wives and children? If the bachelor's life is what they truly want, why on earth do they try marriage at all.


He drifted for a while on the wings of of a different kind of freedom: the relief of relinquishing his mandate to fight her, the peace of losing a long, incredible bloody war and finding the surrender far sweeter than the battles.


We are what we are, that's all. Like the old Celtic legend of the bird with the thorn in its breast, singing its heart out and dying. Because it has to, its driven to.


The cable said: Have just become Mrs. Rainer Moerling Hartheim Stop Private ceremony the vatican Stop papal blessings all over the palace Stop That is definitely being married Exclamation we will be down on a delayed honeymoon as soon as possible but Europe is going to be home Stop Love to all and fro Rain too Stop Justine.

Meggie put the form down on the table and stared wide-eyed through the window at the wealth of autumn roses, bees of roses. and the hibiscus, the bottlebrush, the ghost gums, the bouganvillaea up above the world so high, the pepper trees. How beautiful the garden was, how alive. To see its small things grow big, change, and wither; and new little things come again in the same endless, unceasing cycle.

Time for Drogheda to stop. Yes, more than time. Let the cycle renew itself with unknown people. I did it all to myself, I have no one else to blame. And I cannot regret one single moment of it.

The bird with thorn in its breast, it follows an immutable law; it is driven by it knows not what to impale itself, and die singing. At the very instant the thorn enters there is no awareness in it of the dying to come; it simply sings and sings until there is not the life to utter another note. But we, when we put the thorns in our breasts , we know. We understand. And still we do it. Still do it.


All the hungers and yearnings of her woman's years had been ruthlessly suppressed; they had never gained a hold on her, for she had always been careful to avoid any situation which might encourage them to flower. If she found a man attractive she studiously ignored him, if a child began to laugh its way into her heart she made sure she never saw the child again. She avoided the physical side of her nature as she would the plague, shut it up in some dark and sleeping corner of her mind and refused to admit it existed. Keep out of trouble, the orphonage nuns had told her, and Mary Horton had kept out of trouble.


Oh Ron, I wish there was something I could do. Why do people have to die?

He shook his head. " I dunno. That's the hardest question in the world ain't it? I never found an answer that satisfied me. Cruel of God to give us loved ones, make us in His image so that we can love them, then take them away. He oughta thought of a better way of doing it, don't you reckon? I know we're none of us angels and we must seem sort of like worms to Him, but most of us do our best, most of us aren't all that bad. Why should we have to suffer like this? It's hard, Mary, it's awful, awful hard.'


That's the trouble, you grow toward each other as the years go on, until you're sort of like a pair of old boots, warm and comfortable.


Why must things change? she asked herself; why can't something perfect stay perfect? Because we're all human beings, her reasoning self would answer, because we're so complex and flawed, because once a thing occurs to us it must recur, and in recurring it alters the form and essence of what has gone before.

Selections from Colleen McCuloough's " An Indecent Obsession."

1. The butterflies were going, the night moths coming, and met, and passed each other without acknowledgment, no more than silent flickering ghosts. A chiming and a clear joyous trilling of many birds came from cages of the palm fronds.

2. He wasn't going to like Luce, but then probably no one ever liked Luce. As with Nugget, there was nothing about him nothing about him which suggested he had ever seen battle action. On no one would Michael have wished battle action, but the men who had seen it were different, and not in terms of courage, resolution, strength. Action coudn't manufacture these qualities if they weren't there, couldn't destroy them if they were. Its horror went far deeper than that, was far more complex. Looking death in the eye, weighing up the importance of living. Showing a man the randomness of his own death. Making a man realize how selfish he was, to thank his lucky stars the bullet had every name on it save his own. The dependence on superstition. The anguish and self-torment after each action was over because at the time a man became an animal to himself, a statistic to those in control of his military destiny..

3. After all, she was, if not the arbiter of their final destinies, at least the fulcrum of their sojourns in X.

4. She tried always to respect her power by not using it, and not dwelling upon it. But just occasionally, as now, awareness that she did possess it popped into consciousness and stared her a little too smugly in the eye.

5. But the eyes she took for granted never gazed on her with the blinded ease of a friendly liking; they took her apart and put her back together again at each meeting, not in any lascivious sense, but as a delighted small boy might dissect the mystery of his most treasured toy.

6. The room was dimly lit, but nothing could disguise the signs of hard living in the old man's seamed face, nor diminish the laceration of a gaze that was fierce, stone hard, predatory.

7. Neil was an old mountainside gouged deep by rain, a fluted column. two boards that fitted tongue in groove, the marks of anguished fingers down a pillar of clay, a sleeping sed pod that could not open, because God had stuck its edges together with celestial glue and was laughing at Neil, laughing.. Luce was Benedict, the Benedict God would have fashioned had Benedict been more pleasing to Him; light and life and song. And yet Luce was evil, a treason to God, an insult to God, an inversion of intent. Luce being so, what did that make Benedict?

8. Benedict saw her as infinitely superior to all other women, distinguishing as always between women and girls. Females were born one or the other, they didn't change. Girls he found disgusting; they laughed at how he looked, they teased as cruelly and deliberately as cats. Women on the other hand were calm creatures, the guardians of the race, beloved of God. Men might kill and maim and fornicate, girls might tear the world apart, but women were life and light.

9. " You're late, Sally, " she said.
Sister Dawkin grunted. "I'm like Moses, always late. You know what the Lord said: Come forth, and Moses came fifth and lost his job."

10. They rose to kneel; his hands drifted down her sides with hesitant slowness, as if he wanted to prolong everything to an agony point, and she didn't have the strength to help him or resist him any more, she was too intent on being one with a miracle.

11. Odd, that as her strength waned theirs appeared to be growing. Was that what mothers did? Tried to hold a family unit together when the natural reasons for its exixtence had ceased.

The End.
Nurse Langtry began to walk again, briskly and without any fear, understanding herself at last. And understanding that duty, the most indecent of all obsessions, was only another name for love.

Selections from Colleen McCullough's " The Touch"

To Alexander's horror, New York proved to be a city much like glasgow or Liverpool in that its teeming hordes were pent up in stinking slums. Where it differed, however, was in the cheerful mood of its poor, convinced that that they wouldn't be at the bottom of the human rubbish heap forever. Some of that was due to the polyglot nature of these people, who hailed from all over Europe and clustered according to nationality. Though their living conditions were appalling, they lacked that awful hopelessness of the British poor had aplenty. A poor Englishman or Scot never even dremed of getting out, rising up whereas everyone in New York seemed sure that times would improve.

Och, patience.. He just didn't have it when it came to women, to women's troubles. Why was she putting him in the wrong? " You must understand" he said, the words clipped, uncompromising, " That a man's physical desires are much as that old horror Murray says. Why shouldn't I go to Ruby's bed, when there's no pleasure to be had in yours? Try Though I do to arouse you, to satisfy you, I can't. You go away somewhere, I make love to a tailor's dummy. I want physical desire to go both ways, Elizabeth. You tolerate my invasions of your bed because you've been taught that a wife does have conjugal duties. But that kind of love making is awful. Your coldness reduces the act to mechanics for generating children. It should be far more - a mutual and passionate pleasure, a joy for both of us. If you offered me that, I'd have no need to seek solace with Ruby.

The ride back to the house got itself done - how, she never afterward knew. Her eyes, her mind, her very soul were possessed by the memory of that beautiful, wonderful body that had no flaw, its muscles liquid beneath the smooth skin, the face rapt, frozen in perfect pleasure. All her life she she had yearned for freedom, but had never encountered it personified in a human being until now, and it was unforgettable. A revelation.

Lee Costevan was home.

Selections from Jay Parini's " The Apprentice Lover "

If you will cling to nature , to the simple things in nature, the tiny things one scarecely sees, and that so unexpectedly multiply beyond measure; if you have this love of insignificant things and seek them out, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems inconsiderable - theneverything in your life will grow easier, more coherent, and somehow more acceptable.

Selections from Philip Roth's " The Human Stain."


The summer that Coleman took me into his confidence about Faunia Farley and their secret was the summer, fittingly enough, that Bill Clinton's secret emerged in every last mortifying deatail - every last lifelike detail, the livingness, like the mortification, exuded by the pungency of the specigic data. We hadn't had a season like it since somebody stumbled upon the new Miss America nude in an old issue of PENTHOUSE, pictures of her elegantly posed on her knees and on her back that forced the shamed young woman to relinquish her crown and go on to become a huge pop star. Ninety -eight in New England was a summer of exquisite warmth and sunshine, in baseball a summer of mythical battle between a home -run god who was white and a home-run god who was brown, and in America the summer of an enormous piety binge, a purity binge,when terrorism - which had replaced communism as the prevailing threat to the country's security - was succeeded by cocksucking, and a virile, youthful middle-sged president and a brash, smitten twenty-one year-old employee carrying on in the Oval Office like two teenage kids in a parking lot revived Amrica's oldest communal passion, historically perhaps its most treacherous and subversive pleasure: the ecstasy of sanctimony. In the Congress, in ppress, and on the networks, the righteous grandstanding creeps, crazy to blame, deplore, and punish, were evrywhere out moralizing to beat the band: all of them in a calculated frenzy with that Hawthorne( who in the 1860s , lived not many miles from my door ) identified in the incipient country of long ago as " the persecuting spirit ; all of them eager to enact the astringent rituals of purification that would excise the erection from the executive branch, thereby making things cozy and safe enough for Senator Lieberman's ten - year old daughter to watch TV with her embarassed daddy again.
he knew he was watching her ; knowing she knew, he watched all the harder - and that they weren't able to couple down in the dirt didn't make a scrap of difference. It was enough that they should be alone togeher somewhere other than in his bed, it was enough to have to maintain the matter--of- factness of being separated by unsurpassable social obstacles, to play their roles as farm laborer and retired college professor, to perform consummately at her being a strong, lean working woman of thirty-four, a wordless illiterate, an elemental rustic of muscle and bone who'd just been in the yard with the pitchfork cleaning up from the morning milking, and at his being a thoughtful senior citizen of seventy-one, an accomplished classist, an amplitidinous brain of a man replete with the vocabularies of two ancient tongues. It was enough to be able to conduct themselves like two people who had nothing whatsoever in common, all the while remembering how they could distill to an orgasmic essence everything about them that was irreconcilable, the human discrepancies that produced all the power. It was enough to feel the thrill of leading a double life.

Cole Porter in " Can Can "

If a lass in Michigan can,
If an ass in Astrakhan can,
If a lass in Saskachevan can,
Baby, you can, can, can too.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez in " Love in the time of Cholera. "

1. She was 28 years old and had given birth three times but her naked body preserved intact the giddy excitement of an unmarried woman.

" i've been bathing for almost a week without any soap."
Then fully awake, she remembered, and tossed and turned in fury with the world because in fact because in fact she had forgotten to replace the soap in the bathroom. She had noticed its absence three days earlier when she was already under the shower, and she had planned to replace it afterward, but the she forgot until the next day, and on the third day the same thing happened again. The truth was that a week had not gone by, as he said to make her feel more guilty, but three unpardonable days, and her anger at being found out in a mistake maddened her. As always she defended herself by attacking.

" Well I've bathed every day ", she shouted, beside herself with rage. " and there's always been soap."

" Let me stay here " he said. " There was soap."
When they recalled this episode, now they have rounded the corner of old age, neither could believe the astonishing truth that this had been the most serious argument in fifty years of living together, and the only one that had made them both want to abandon their responsibilities and begin a new life. Even when they were old and placid they were careful about bringing it up, for the barely healed wounds could begin to bleed again as if they had been inflicted only yesterday.

To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughte. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell. Nevertheless, when she entersed the riotous noise of the Arcade of the Scribes, he realized that he might lose the moment he had craved for so many years.

Three days later, in Paris, Dr. Juvenal Urbino received a telegram during supper with friends, and he toasted the memory of his father with champagne. He said: " He was a good man." Later he would reproach himself for his lack of maturity: he had avoided reality in order not to cry. But three weeks later he received a copy of the posthumous letter, and then he surrendered to the truth. All at once the image of the man he had known before he knew any other was rvealed to him in all its profundity, the man who had raised him and taught him and had slept and fornicated with his mother for thirty-two years and yet who, before that letter, had never revealed himself body and soul because of timidity, pure and simple. Until then Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his family conceived of death as a misfortune that befell others, other people's fathers and mothers, other people's brothers and sisters and husbands and wives, but not theirs.
They were people whose lives whose lives were slow, who did not see themselves growing old, or falling sick, or dying, but who disappeared little by little in their own time, turning into memories, mists from other days, until they were absotbed into oblivion.


Dr. Juvenal Urbino came ten mintes early for the Saturday appontment, and Miss Lynch had not finished dressing to receive him. He had not felt so much tension since his days in Paris when he had to present himself for an oral examination. As she lay on her canvas bed, wearing a thin silk slip, Miss Lynch's beauty was endless. Everything about her was large and intense: her siren's thighs, her slow-burning skin, her astonished breasts, her diaphanous gums with their perfect teeth, her whole body radaiting vapor of good health that was the human odor Femina Daza had discovered in her husband's clothing.


" I have a right to know who she is," she said.
And then he told her everything, feeling as if he were lifting the weight of the world from his shoulders, because he was convinced that she already knew and only needed to confirm the details. But she did not, of course, so as he spoke she began to cry again, not with her earlier timid sobs but with abundant salty tears that ran down her cheeks and burned her nightdress and inflamed her life, because he had not done what she, with her heart in her mouth, had hoped he would do, which was to be a man: deny everything, and swear on his life it was not true, and grow indignant at the false accusation, and shout curses at this ill-begotten society that did not hesitate to trample on one's honor, and remain impurturbable even when faced with crushing proofs of his disloyalty. Then, when he told her that he had been with his confessor that afternoon, she feared she would go blind witth rage. Ever since her days at tha Academy she had been convinced that the men and women of the Church lacked any virtue inspired by God. This was a discordant note in the harmony of the house, which they had managed to overlook without mishap. but her husband's allowing his confessor to be privy to an intimacy that was not only his but hers as well was more than she could bear.

Extract from Thomas Wolfe's, " You can't go home again."

When a cicada comes out of the ground to enter the last stage of its life cycle, it looks more like a fat, earth-stained grubworm than a winged thing. Laboriously it climbs up the trunk of a tree, pulling itself along on legs that hardly seem to belong to it, for they move with painful awkwardness as though the creature had not yet got the hang of how to use them. At last it stops in its weary climb and clings to the bark by its front feet. Then, suddenly, there is a little popping sound, and one notices that the creature's outer garment has split down the back, as neatly as though it had come equipped with a zipper. Slowly now the thing inside begins to emerge, drawing itself out through the opening until it has freed its body, head, and all its members. Slowly, slowly, it accomplishes this amazing task, and slowly creeps out into a patch of sun, leaving behind the brown and lifeless husk from which it came.

The living, elemental protoplasm, transluscent, pale green now, remains motionless for a long time in the sun, but if one has the patience to watch it further, one will see the miracle of change and growth enacted before his very eyes. After a while the body begins to pulse with life, it flattens out and changes color like a chameleon, and from small sprouts on each side of the back the wings commence to grow. Quickly, quickly now, they lengthen out - one can see it happening - until they become transparent fairy wings, irridescent, shimmering in the sun. They begin to quiver delicately, then more rapidly, and all at once, with a metallic whirring sound, they cut the air and the creature flashes off, a new born thing released into a new element.

America, in the fall of 1929, was like a cicada. It had come to an end and a beginning. On October 24th, in New York, in a marble-fronted building down in Wall Street, there was a sudden crash that was heard throughout the land. The dead and husk of the America that had been had cracked and split right down the back, and the living, changing, suffering thing within - the real America, the America that had always been, the America that was yet to be - began now slowly to emerge. It came forth into the light of day, stunned, cramped, crippled by the bonds of its imprisonment, and for a long time it remained in a state of suspended animation, full of latent vitality, waiting, waiting patiently, for the next stage of its metamorphosis.

The leaders of the nation had fixed their gaze so long upon the illusions of false prosperity that they had foegotten what America looked like. Now they saw it - saw its newness, its raw crudeness, and its strength - and turned their shuddering eyes away. " Give us back our well-worn husk," they said, " where we were so snug and comfortable." And then they tried word -magic. " Conditions are fundermentally sound," they said - by which they meant to reassure themselves that nothing now was really changed , that things were as they always had been, and as always would be, forever and ever, amen.

But they were wrong. They did not know that you can't go home again. America had come to the end of something, and to the beginning of something else. But no one knew what that something else would be, and out of the change and the uncertainty and the wrongness of the leaders grew fear and desperation, and before long hunger stalked the streets. Through it all there was only one certainty, though no one saw it yet. America was still America, and whatever new thing came of it would be American.

By Charlie Daniels written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

A brief candle, both ends burning
An endless mile, a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
Your'e free at last.

From Thomas Wolfe's " You can't go home again."

But he was stained with evil. There was something genuinely old and corrupt at the sources of his life and spirit. It had got into his blood, his bone his flesh. It was palpable in the touch of his thin, frail hand when he greeted you, it was present in the deadly weariness of his tone of voice, in the dead - white texture of his emaciated face, in his lank and lusterless auburn hair, and most of all, in his sunken mouth, around which there hovered constantly the ghost of a smile, and yet, really, it was no smile at all. It was, anything, only a shadow at the corners of the mouth. when one looked closely, it was gone. But one knew it was always there - lewed, evil, mocking, horribly corrupt, and suggesting a limitless vitality akin to the humor of death, which welled up from some secret spring in his dark soul.

I am afraid I have been at best a giddy fellow, Parson, and that my old age will be spent in memories of trivial things - of various merry widows who come to town, of poker chips, race horses, cards, and rattling dice, of bourbon, Scotch, and rye - all the forms of hellishness that saintly fellows, Parsons, who go to prayer meeting every week, know nothing of. So, I suppose I'll warm my old age with the memories of my own sinfulness - and be buried at last, like all good men and true, among more public benefactors in the town's expensive graveyard on the hill....But I also remember other things , Parson. So can you. And may be in mhy humble sphere I, too , have served a purpose - of being the wild oat of more worthy citizens.

They sat in utter silence, their frightened, guilty eyes all riveted upon his face, and each man felt as if those cold, unseeing eyes had looked straight through him. For a moment more judge Bland just stood there, and, slowly, without a change of muscle in the blankness of his face, the ghostly smile began to hover like a shadow at the corners of his sunken mouth.


George didn't say anything. For as Randy spoke, and George remembered all that Meritt had told him about the company, a terrific picture flashed through his mind. It was a picture he had seen in a gallery somewhere, portraying a long line of men stretching from the great Pyramid to the very portals of great Pharoah's house, and great Pharoah stood with a thonged whip in his hand and applied it unmercifully to the bare back and shoulders of the man in front of him, who was great Pharaoh's chief overseer, and in the hand of the overseer was a whip of many tails which he unstintedly applied to the quivering back of the wretch before him, who was the chief overseer's lieutenant, and in the lieutenant's hand a whip of rawhide which he laid vigorously in the quailing body of his head sergeant, and in the sergeant's hand a wicked flail with which he belaboreed a whole company of groaning corporals, and in the hands of every corporal a knotted lash with which to whack a whole regiment of slaves, who pulled and hauled and bore burdens and toiled and sweated and built the towering structure of the pyramid.


He liked women cut to fashion, with firm breasts, long necks, slender legs, flat hips, and unsuspected depth and undulance. He liked their faces pale, their hair of bronze-gold wire, their red mouths thin, a little cruel, their eyes long, slanting, cat-grey, and lidded carefully. He likes a frosted cocktail shaker in a lady's hands, and he liked a voice horse-husky, city-wise, a trifle weary, ironic, faintly insolent, that said:

" Well.. What happened to you darling? I thought that you would never get here."


When a cicada comes out of the ground to enter the last stage of its life cycle, it looks more like a fat, earth-stained grubworm than a winged thing. Laboriously it climbs up the trunk of a tree, pulling itself along on legs that hardly seem to belong to it, for they move with painful awkwardness as though the creature had not yet got the hang of how to use them. At last it stops in its weary climb and clings to the bark by its front feet. Then, suddenly, there is a little popping sound, and one notices that the creature's outer garment has split down the back, as neatly as though it had come equipped with a zipper. Slowly now the thing inside begins to emerge, drwing itself out through the opening until it had freed its body, head, and all its members. Slowly , slowly, it accomplishes this amazing task, and, slowly creeps out into a patch of sun, leaving behind the brown and lifeless husk fro which it came.

The living, elemental protoplasm, translucent, pale green now, remains motionless for a long time in the sun, but if one has the patience to watch it further, one will see the miracle of change and growth enacted before his very eyes. After awhile the body begins to pulse with lif, it flattens out and changes color like a chameleon, and from small sprouts from each side of the back the wings commence to grow. Quickly, quickly now, they lengthen out - one can see it happening - until they become transparent fairy wings, iridescent, shimmering in the sun. They begin to quiver delicately, then more rapidly, and all at once, with metallic whirring sound, they cut the air and the creature flashes off, a new-born thing released into new element.

America in the fall of 1929, was like a cicada. It had come to an end an a beginning. On October 24th, in New York, in a marble-fronted building down in Wall Street, there was a sudden crash that was heard throughout the land. The dead and outworn husk of the America that had been cracked and split right down the back, and the livin, changing, suffering thing within - the real America, the America that had always been, the America that was yet to be - began now slowly to emerge. It came forth into the light of day, stunned, cramped, crippled by the bonds of imprisonment, and for a long time it remained in a state of suspended animation, full of latent vitality, waiting, waiting patiently, for the next stage of its metamorphosis.

The leaders of the nation had fixed their gaze so long upon the illusions of a false prosperity that they had forgotten what America loked like. Now they saw it - saw its newness, its raw crudeness, and its strength - and turned their shuddering eyes away. " Give us back our well-worn husk ", they said, " where we were so snug and comfortable. "

And then they tried word - magic. " Conditions are fundermentally sound, " they said - by which they meant to reassure themselves that nothing now was really changed, that things were as they alwayd had been, and as they always would be, forever and ever, amen.

But they were wrong. They did not know thay you can't go home again. America had come to the end of something, and to the beginning of somrthing else. But no one knew what that something else would be, and out of the change and the uncertainty and the wrongness of the leaders grew fear and desperation, and before long hunger stalked the streets. through it all there was only one certainty, though no one saw it yet. America was still America, and whatever new thing came of it would be American.

Kahlil Gibran, " A Self Portrait "
My health as you know, like a violin in the hands of one who does not how to play it, for it makes him hear harsh melody. My sentiments are like an ocean with their ebb and flow; my soul is like a quail with broken wings. She suffers immensely when she sees the swarms of birds hovering in the sky, for she finds herself unable to do likewise. But like all other birds , she enjoys the silence of Night, the coming of Dawn, the rays of Sun, and the beauty of the valley. I paint and write now and then, and in the midst of my paintings and writings, I am like a small boat sailing between an ocean of an endless depth and a sky of limitless blue - strange dreams,sublime desires , great hopes, broken and mended thoughts; and between all these there is something which the people call Despair, and which I call Inferno.

Thomas W0lfe: " The Web And The Rock."


After a day before the drug stores or around the efountain in the Couthouse Squire, they go out to lynch a nigger. They kill him, and they kill him hard. They get in cars at night and put the nigger in between them, they go down the dusty roads until they find the place that they are going to, and before they get there, they jab little knives into the nigger, not a long way, not the whole way in, but just a little way. And they laugh to see him squirm. When they get out at the place where they are going to, the place the nigger sat in is a pool of blood. Perhaps it makes the boy who is driving the car sick at his stomach, but the older people laugh. Then they take the nigger through the rough field stubble of a piece of land and hang him to a tree. But before they hang him they saw off his thick nose and his fat nigger lips with a rusty knife. And they laugh about it. Then they castrate him. And at the end they hang him.


Oh my dear boy he howled faintly, with his husky and contemptuous laugh - " shae is a woman - therefore governed by her sentiment; a woman therefore blind to logic, the evidence of life, the laws of ordered reason; a woman - therefore blind to logic, the evidence for life, the laws of ordered reason; a woman - therefore at the bottom of her heart a Tory, the slave of custom and conformity a woman - therefore cautious and idolatorous; a womwn - therefore fearful for her nest; a woman - therefore the bitter enemy of revolt and newness, hating change, the naked light of truth, the destruction of time-honored superstitions, however cruel, false,a nd shameful they may be. Oh .. she is a woman and she does not know.

Henry Wouk in " Caine Mutiny"

Father in a letter to his dying son.

Remember this if you can - there is nothing, nothing more precious than time. You probably feel you have a measurelee supply of it., you haven't. Wasted hours destroy your life just as surely at the beginning as at the end. - only at the end it becomes more obvious. Use your time while you have it, Willie, in making something of yourself.

Think of me and of what I might have been, Willie. At times in your life when you come to the crossroads. For mysake, for the sake of the father who took the wrong turns, take the right ones, and carry my blessing and my justification with you.

I stretch out my hand to you.

Good-bye my son. Be a man.

From " The Citadel " by A.J.Cronin.

But as he drank his tea Andrew was most fascinated by Mrs. Boland - he simply could not keep his eyes from her. Pale, dreamy, unperturbed, she sat silently imbibing endless cups of black boiled tea while the children squabbled about her and the baby openly drew his nourishment from her generous fount. She smiled and nodded, cut bread for the children, poured out the tea, drank and gave suck, all with a kind of abstracted placidity, as though years of din, din, dirt, drabness - and Con's ebullience - had in the end exalted her to a plane of heavenly lunacy where she was isolated and immune.

Ellsworth Toohey to Peter in " The Fountainhead."

Kindness Peter, kindness. That is the first commandment, perhaps the only one..... We must be kind, Peter, to everybody around us. We must accept and forgive - there is so much to be forgiven in each one of us. If you learn to love everything, the humblest, the least, the meanest, then the meanest in you will be loved. Then we'll find the sense of universal equality, the great peace of brotherhood, a new world, Peter, a beautiful new world..."

The people had come to witness a sensational case, to see celebrities, to get material for conversation, to be seen, to kill time. They would return to unwanted jobs, unloved families, unchosen friends, to drwaing rooms, evening clothes, cocktail glasses and movies, to unadmitted pain, murdered hope, desire left unreached, left hanging silently over a path on which no step was taken, to days of effort not to think, not to say, to forget and give in and give up. But each of them had known some unforgotten moment - a morning when nothing had happened, a piece of music heard suddenly and never heard in the same way again, a stranger's face seen in a bus - a moment when each had known a different sense of living. And each remembered other moments, on a sleepless nights, on an afternoon of steady rain, in a church, in an empty street at sunset, when each had wondered why there was so much suffering and ugliness in the world. They had not tried to find the answer and they had gone on living as if no answer were necessary. But each had known a moment when, in lonely, naked honesty, he had felt the need of an answer.

Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind deraded. But thereafter men had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves. He had left them a gift they had not conceived and he had opened the roads of the world.

That man, unsubmissive and first, stands in the opening chapter of every legend mankind has recorded about its beginning. Prometheus was chained to a rock and torn by vultur - because he had stolen the fire of the gods. Adam was condemned to suffer - because he had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with one and that that one paid for his courage.

Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received - hatred. The great creators - the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors - stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The firat motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision wen ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.

Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons - a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man - the function of his reasoning mind.

But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is secondary consequence. The primary act - the process of reason - must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.

We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is nly the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.

Nthing is given to man on earth. Everything he needs has to be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways - by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by minds of others . The creator originates. The parasite borros. The creatoe faces nature alone. The parasite faces nature through an intermediary.

The creator's concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite's concern is the conquest of men.

The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.

The basic need of the creator is is independence. The reasoning mind cannot work under any form of compulsion, It cannot be curbed, sacrificed or subordinated to any consideration whatsoever. It demands total independence in function and in motiv. To a creator, all relations with men are secondary.

The basic need of the secon-hander is to secure his ties with men in order to be fed. He places relations first. He declares that man exists in order to serve others. He preaches altruism.

Altuism is the doctrine which demands that men live for others and place others before self.

No man can live for another. He cannot share his spirit just as he cannot share his body. But the secon-hander has used altruism as a weapon of exploitaton and reversed the base of mankind's moral principles. Men have been taught every precept that destroys the creator. Men have been taught dependence as a virtue.

The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of thise he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality - the man who lives to serve others - is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of the servility of the spirit? The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He dgrades the dignity of man and he degrades the conception of love. But this is the essence of altruism.

Men ahve been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created. Creation comes before destribution - or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary. Yet we are taught to admire the second-hander who dispenses gifts he has not produced above the man who made the gifts possible. We praise an act of charity. We shrug at an act of achievement.

Men ahve been taught that their first concern is to relieve the suffering of others. But suffering is a disease. Should one come upon it, one tries to give relief and assistance. To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer - in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism. The creator is not concerned with disease , but with life. Yet the work of the creators has eliminated one form of disease after another, in man's body and spirit, and brought more relief from suffering than any altruist could ever conceive.

Men ahve been taught that it is a virtue to agree with the others. But the creator is the man who disagrees. Men ahve been taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. But the creator is the man who goes against the current. Men have been taught that it is a virtue to stand together. But the creator is the man who stands alone.

Men have been taught that the ego is the synonym of evil, and selflessness the ideal of virtue. But the creator is the egotist in the absolute sense, and the selfless man is the one who does not think, feel, judge or act. These are functions of the self.

Here the basic reversal is most deadly. The issue has been perverted and man has been left no alternative - and no freedom. As poles of good and evil, he has offered two conceptions: egotism and altruism. Egotism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism - the sacrifice of self to others. This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon othres for the sake of self. When it was added that man must find joy in self-immolation, the trap was closed. Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal - under the threat that sadism was his only alternative. This was the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.

This was the device by which dependence and suffering were perpetuated as fundermentals of life.

The choice is not self-sacrifice or domination. The choice is independence or dependence. The code of the creator or the code of the second-hander. This is the basic issue. It rests upon the alternative of life or death. The code of the creator is built on the needs of the reasoning mind which allows man to survive. The code of the second-hander is built on the needs of a mind incapable of survival. All that which proceeds from man's independent ego is good. All that which proceeds from man's dependence upom men is evil.

The egotist in the absolute sense is not the man who sacrifices others. He is the man who stands above the need of using others in any manner. He does not function through them. He is not concerned with them in any primary matter. Not in his aim, not in his motive, not in his thinking, not in his desires, not in the source of his energy. He does not exist for any other man - and he asks no ther man to exist for him. This is the only form of brotherhood and mutual respect possible between men.

Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of man's independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn't done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.

In all proper relationships there is no sacrifice of anyone to anyone. An architect needs clients, but he does not subordinate his work to their wishes. They need him, but they do not order a house just to give him a commission. Men exchange their work by free, mutual consent to mutual advantage when their personal interests agree and they both desire the exchange. If they do not desire it, they are not forced to deal with each other. They seek further. This is the only possible form of relationship between equals. Anything else is a relation of slave to master, or victim to executioner.

No work is ever done collectively, by a majority decision. Every creative job is achieved under the guidance of a single individual thought. An architect requires a great many men to erect his building. But he does not ask them to vote on his design. They work together by free agreement and each is free in his proper function. An architect uses ateel, glass and concrete, produced by others. But the materials remain so just so much steel, glass and concrete until he touches them. What he does with them is his individual product and his individual property. This is the only pattern for proper co-operation among men.

The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Man's first duty is to himself. His moral law is never to place his prime goal within the persons of others. His moral obligation is to do what he wishes, provided his wish does not depend PRIMARILY upon other men. This includes the whole sphere of his creative faculty, his thinking, his work. But it does not include the sphere of the gangster, the altruist and the dictator.

A man thinks and works alone. Robbery, exploitation and ruling presuppose victims. They imply dependence. They are the province of the second-hander.

Rulers of men are not egotists. They create nothing. They exist entirely through the persons of others. Their goal is in their subjects, in the activity of enslaving. They are as dependent as the beggar, the social worker and bandit. The form of dependence does not matter.

But men are taught to regard second-handers - tyrants, emperors, dictators - as exponents of egotism. By this fraud they were made to destroy the ego, themselves and others. The purpose of the fraud was to destroy the creators. Or to harness them Which is a synonym.

From the beginning of history, the two antagonists have stood face to face: the creator and the second-hander. When the firsr creator invented the wheel, the secon-hander responded. he invented altruism.

The creator - denied, opposed, persecuted, exploited - went on, moved forward and carried all humanity along on his energy. The second-hander contributed nothing to the process except the impediments. The contest has another name: the individual against the collective.

The "common good" of a collective - a race, a class, a state - was ythe claim and justification of evry tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpertrated by desciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. They believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing for themselves. But observe the results.

The only good wish men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is - Hands off.

Now observe the results of society built on the principle of individualism. This, our country. The noblest country in the history of men. The country of greatest achievement, greatest prosperity,

greatest freedom. This country was not based on selfless service, sacrifice, renunciation or any precept of altruism. It was based on a man's right to the pursuit of happiness. His own happiness. Not any one else's. A private, personal selfish motive. Look at the rsults. Look into your own conscience.

It is an ancient conflict. Men have come close to the truth, but it was destroyed each time and one civilization fell after another. Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

Now in our age, collectivism , the rule of the secon-hander and second-rater, the ancient monster, has broken loose and is running amuck. It has brought men to a level of intellectual indecency never equaled on earth. It has reached a scale of horror without precedent. It has poisoned evry mind. It has swallowed most of Europe. It is engulfing our country.

I am an architect. I know what is to come by the principle on which it is built. We are approaching a world in which I cannot permit myself to live.

Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt.

I designed Cortlandt. I gave it to you. I destroyed it.

I destroyed it because I did not choose to let it exist. It was a double monster. In form and in implication. I had to blast both. The form was mutilated by two secon-handers who assumed the right to improve upon that which they had not made and could not equal. They were permitted to do it by the general implication that the altruistic purpose of the building superseded all rights and that I had no claim to stand against it.

I agreed to design Cortlandt for the purpose of seeing it erected as I designed it and for no other reason. That was the price I set foe my work. I was not paid.

I do not blame Peter Keating. He was helpless. He had a contract with his employers. It was ignored. He had a promise that the structure he offered would be built as designed. The promise was broken. The love of a man for the integrity of his work and his right to preserve it are now considered a vague intangible and an inessential. you have heard the prosecutor say that. Why was the building disfigured? For no reasn. Such acts never have any reason, unless it's the vanity of some secon-handers who feel they have right to anyone's property, spiritual or maerial. who permitted them to do it? No particular man among the dozens in authority. No one cared to permit it or to stop it. No one was responsible. No one can be held to account. Such is the nature of all collective action.

I did not receive the payment I asked. But the owners of Cortlandt got what they needed from me. They wanted a scheme devised to build a structure as cheaply as possible. They found no one else who could do it to their satisfaction. I could and did. They took the benefit of my work and made me contribute it as a gift. But I am not an altruist. I do not contribte gifts of this nature.

It is said that I have destroyed the home of the destitute. It is forgotten that but for me the destitute could not have had this particular home. Those who were concerned with the poor had to come to me, who have never been concerned, in order to help the poor. It is believed that the poverty of the future tenants gave them a right to my work. That their need constituted a claim on my life. That it was my duty to contribute anything demanded of me. This is the secon-hander's credo now swallowing the world.

I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need.

I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.

It had to be said. The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing.

i wished to come here and say that the integrity of a man's cretive work is of greater importance than any charitable endevor. Those of you who do not understand this are the men who are destroying the world.

I wished to come here and state my terms. I do not care to exist on any others.

I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society. to my country, I wish to give the ten years which I will spend in jail if my country exists no longer. I will spend them in memory and in gratitude for what my country has been. It will be my act of loyalty, my refusal to live or work in what has taken its place.

My act of loyalty to every creator who ever lived and was made to suffer by the force responsible for the Cortlandt I dynamited. To every tortured hour of loneliness, denial, frustration, abuse he was made to spend - and to the battles he won. To every creator whose name is known - and to every creator who lived , struggled and perished unrecognized before he could achieve. To every creator who was destroyed in body or in spirit. To Henry Cameronm. To Steven Mallory. To a man who doesen't want to be named, but who is sitting in this courtroom and knowas that I am speaking of him.

Roark stood, his legs apart, his arms straight at his sides, his head lifted-as he stood in an unfinished building. Later, when he was seated again at the defense table, many men in the room felt as if they still saw him standing; one moment's picture that would not be replaced.

The picture remained in their minds through the long legal discussions that followed. They heard the judge state to the prosecutor that the defendant had, in effect changed his plea: he had admitted his act, but had not pleaded guilty of the crime: an issue of temporary legal insanity was raised; it was upto the jury to decide whether the defendent knew the nature and quality of his act, or if he did whether he knew that the act was wrong. The prosecutor raised no objection; there was an odd silence in the room; he felt certain that he had won his case already. He made hs closing address. No one remembered what he said. The judge gave his instructions to the jury. The jury rose and left the courtroom.

Selections from Ayn Rand's " Atlas Shrugged "

He glanced at her and did not answer. Then he said, " I like cigarettes, Miss Taggart. I like to think of fire held in a man's hand. Fire, a dangerous force, tamed at his fingertips. I often wonder about the hours when a man sits alone, watching the smoke of a cigarette, thinking. I wonder what great things have come from such hours. When a man thinks, there is a spot of fire alive in his mind - and it is proper he should have the burning point of a cigarette as his one expression.

Selections from Summerset Maugham's "The Summing Up"

I am like a tramp who has rigged himself up as best he could with a pair of trousers from a charitable farmer's wife, a coat off a scarecrow, odd boots out of a dustbin, and a hat that he has found in the road. They are shreds and patches, but he has fitted himself into them pretty comfortably and, uncomely as they may be, he finds they suit him well enough. When he passes a gentleman in a smart suit, a new hat and well- polished shoes, he thinks he looks very grand, but he is not sure in that neat and respectable attire he would be nearly so much at his ease as in his own rags and tatters.
Some say that God has placed evils here for our training; some say he has sent them upon men to punish them for their sins. But I have seen a child die of meningitis. I have only found one explanation that appealed equally to my sensibility and to my imagination. This is the doctrine of the transmigration of the souls. As everyone knows, it assumes that life does not begin at birth or end at death, but is a link in indefinite series of lives each one of which is determined by the acts done in previous existences. Good deeds may exalt a man to the heights of heaven and evil deeds degrade him to the depths of hell. All lives come to an end, even the life of the gods, and happiness is to be sought in release from the round of births and repose in the changeless state called Nirvana.
I am well aware that many who were more deserving than I have not had the happy fate that has befallen me. An accident here, an accident there, might have changed everything and frustrated me as so many with talents equal to, or greater than, mine with equal opportunities, have been frustrated. Should any of them chance to read these pages, I would ask them to believe that I do not arrogantly ascribe to my merits what has come to me, but to some concatenation of unlikely circumstances for which I can offer no explanation. With all my limitations, physical and mental, I have been glad to live. I would not live my life over again. There would be no point in that. Nor would I care to pass again through the anguish I have suffered. It is one of the faults of my nature that I have suffered more from the pains, than I have enjoyed the pleasures of my life. But without my physical imperfections, with a stronger body and a better brain, I would not mind entering upon the world afresh.
Old age has its pleasures, which,though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth. The philosophers have always told us that we are the slaves of our passions, and is it so small a thing to be liberated from their sway? The fool's old age will be foolish, but so was his youth. The young man turns away from it with horror because he thinks when he reaches it, he will yearn for the things that give variety and gusto to his youth. He is mistaken. It is true that the old man will no longer be able to climb an Alp or tumble a pretty girl on a bed; it is true that he can no longer arouse the concupiscence of others. It is something to be free from the pangs of unrequited love and the torment of jealousy. It is something that envy, which so often poisons youth, should be assuaged by the extinction of desire. But these are negative compensations; old age has positive compensations also. Paradoxical as it may it has more time. When I was young I was amazed at Plutarch's statement that the elder Cato began at the age of eighty to learn Greek. I am amazed no longer. Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long. In old age the taste improves and it is possible to enjoy art and literature without the personal bias that in youth warps the judgement. It has the satisfaction of its own fulfilment. It is liberated from the trammels of human egoism; free at last, the soul delights in the passing moment, but does not bid it stay.
What exactly is one's reaction to a great work of art? What does one feel when for instance one looks at Titian's Entombment in the Louvre or listens to the quintet in the Meistersinger? I know what mine is. It is an excitement that gives me a sense of exhilaration, intellectual but suffused with sensuality, a feeling of well-being in which I seem to discern a sense of power and of liberation fro human ties; at the same time I feel in myself a tenderness which is rich with human sympathy. I feel rested, at peace and yet spiritually aloof. Indeed on occasion, looking at certain pictures or statues, listening to certain music, I have had an emotion so strong that I could only describe the inion with God. That is why I have thought that this sense of communion with a larger reality is not only the privilege of the religious, but may be reached by other paths than prayer and fasting

From Arthur Miller's adaptation of:
An Enemy Of The People By Henrik Ibsen.
Dr. Stockmann: Good day, gentlemen.
Hovstad: Let us knoe what you decide and we'll...
Dr. Stockmann: I've decided. I am an enemy of the people.
Mrs. Stockmann: Tom, what are you..?
Dr.Stockmann: To such people, who teach their chidren to think with their fists - to them I'm an enemy. And family..I think you can count as enemies.
Hovstad: Doctor, you could have everything you want.
Dr. Stockmann: Except the truth. I could have everything but that - the water is poisoned.
Hovstad: But you'll be in charge.
Dr. Stockmann: But the children are poisoned. the people are poisoned. If the only way I can be a friend of the people is to take charge of thet corruption, then I am an enemy. The water is poisoned, poisoned,poisoned. That's the beginning of it and that's the end of it. Now get out of here.
Hovstad: You know where you are going to end?
Dr. Stockmann: I said get out of here. He grabs Alasken's umbrella out of his hand.
Mrs. Stockmann: What are you doing?
alasken: You are a fanatic, you are out of your mind.
Mrs. Stockmann: What are you doing?
Dr. Stockmann: They want me to buy the paper, the public, the pollution of thr springs, buy the whole pollution of this town. They'll make me a hero out of me for that....
Hovstad: Doctor, you are out of your mind.
He and Alaskern turn to go. They are in the doorway.
Ejlif, rushing at them: Don't you say that to him.
Dr. Stockmann, as Mrs Stockmann cries out, rushes them with the umbrella: Out of here.....
The Captain knows where we can get a ship.
Dr. Stockmann: No ships.
Petra: We are staying?
Mrs. Stockmann: But they can't go back to school. I won't let them out of the house.
Dr. Stockmann: We're staying.
Petra: Good.......
Mrs. Stockmann: puzzled. What do you mean?
Dr. Stockmann, going over to Mrs. Stockmann: It means, my dear, that we are all alone. And there'll be a long night before it's day-
A rock comes through a paneless window. Horster goes to the window. A crowd is heard approaching.
Horater: Half the town is out.
Mrs.Stockmann: What's going to happen?. Tom what's going to happen?
Dr. Stockmann: holding his hands to quiet her, and with a trembling mixture of trepidation and courageous insistence:
I don't know. But remember now, everybody. You are fighting for the truth, and that's why you're alone. And that makes you strong. We're the strongest people in the world..
The crowd is heard angrily calling outside. another rock comes through the window.

Dr. Stockmann:..and the strong must learn to be lonely.

The crowd noise gets louder....

From Henrik Ibsen's " A Doll's House "

Trovald: I would slave night and day for you, Nora - I would endure sorrow and poverty for your sake. But no man would sacrifice his honor even for the one he loves.

Nora: Thousands of women have done that.

Trovald: You are thinking and talking like a stupid child.

Nora: Perhaps. But you don't think or talk like the man I could spend the rest of my life with. As soon as you stopped being frightened - and you weren't afraid of what was happening to me, you were afraid of what was happening to you - when it was over, as far as you were concerned it was just as if nothing had happened. Exactly as before, I was your little lark. I was your doll. Of course you would handle it twice as gently. It was so delicate and and fragile. Trovald - it was then it dawned on me that for eight years I've been living with a stranger and I had borne him three children - Oh, I can't bear to think of it. I could tear myself to pieces.

Tovald:(sadly) Yes. I see, I see. A gulf has opened up between us - I see that now. But Nora, couldn't we bridge that gulf?

Nora: The woman I am now is no wife for you.

Tovald: I could change who I am -

Nora: Perhaps - if your doll is taken away from you.

Torvald: But to lose you - to lose you for ever. No, no Nora I can't accept that.

Nora: That is why it must happen.

Torvald: Nora, Nora, not now. Wait until tomorrow.

Nora; ( Putting on her cloak ) I can't spend the night in the house of a stranger.

Torvald: But we could live here like brother and sister?

Nora: ( Putting on her hat ) You know that that wouldn't last. (Puts the cloak round her) Goodbye, Torvald. I won't see my children. I know they're in better hands than mine. The woman I am now would be no use to them.

Torwald: But someday, Nora - someday ?

Nora: Ho can I answer that? I've no idea of what's going to become of me.

Torvald: But you are my wife, whatever happens to you.

Nora: Listen, Torvald. I have heard that when a wife leaves her husband's house, as I am doing now, he is legally freed from all obligations toward her. In any case, I am setting you free. You're not to feel like a prisoner in any way. I will not feel that way at all. There must be perfect freedom on both sides. Here's your ring back. Give me mine.

Torvald: That too?

Nora: That too.

Torvald: Here it is.

Nora: There. Now it's all over. I've put the keys here. The maids know all about running the house - much better than I do. Tomorrow, after I've left, Kristine will come and pack the things I brought with me from home. I'll have them sent on to me.

Torvald: It's all over. All over - Nora, will you never think of me again?

Nora: I know that I will often think of you... and the children.. and this house.

Torvald: May I write to you Nora?

Nora: No - never. You must never do that.

Torvald: But at least let me send you -

Nora: Nothing - nothing -

Torvald: Just let me help you if you ever need it.

Nora: No. I can never accept anything from a stranger.

Torvald: Nora - can I never be anything more than a stranger to you?

Nora: (taking her bag) Oh Torvald, the greatest miracle of all would have to happen.

Trovald: What would that be?

Nora: You and I would have to change so much that - Oh, Torvald, I don't believe in miracles anymore.

Torvald: But I will. Tell me - changed so much that - ?

Nora: That our life together would be a real marriage. Goodbye.

Torvald: ( sinks down on a chair at the door and buries his face in his hands ) Nora..Nora..( looks around and arises ) Emty. She's gone. ( a glimmer of hope flashes across his face ) The greatest miracle of all - ?

Anton Chekhov on Anton Chekhhov in The Undescovered Chekhov (Thirty Eight New Stories)
Translated by Peter Constantine:

" What the aristocratic writers get for free from nature, intellectuals of lower birth have to pay with their youth. Write a story of a young man, the son of a serf,
a former shop boy, choirboy, schoolboy, and student, brought up to respect rank, to kiss priests' hands, and worship the thoughts of others, thankful for every piece of bread, whipped time and again, having to give lessons without galoshes, brawling, torturing animals, loving to eat at rich relatives' houses, needlessly hypocritical before God and man, merely from a sense of his own insignificance - write a story about how this young man squeezes the serf out of himself, drop by drop, and how waking up one bright morning this young man feels that in his veins there no longer flows the blood of aslave, but the blood of a real man."