The worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. That is what it would mean; starting a life with you, without Him.
I've always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. ... Or it may be a private bargain between me and God, that if I give up this one thing I want so much, however bad I am, He won't quite despair of me in the end.
No one could really hate a saint, could they? They can't really hate God either. When they want to Hate Him and His saints they have to find something like themselves and pretends it's God and hate that.
Then I knew that the sign I had asked for was not a little thing, not a passing nod of recognition, and a phrase came back to me from my childhood of the veil of the temple being rent from top to bottom.
Success in this world depends on knowing exactly how little effort each job is worth...distribution of energy...
As my intimacy with his family grew, I became part of the world which he sought to escape; I became one of the bonds which held him.
Rex, in his early forties, had grown heavy and ruddy; he had lost his Canadian accent and acquired instead the hoarse, loud tone that was common to all his friends, as though their voices were perpetually strained to make themselves heard above a crowd, as though, with youth forsaking them, there was no time to wait the opportunity to speak, no time to listen, no time to reply; time for a laugh — a throaty mirthless laugh, the base currency of goodwill.
Miss Runcible wore trousers and Miles touched up his eye-lashes in the dining-room of the hotel where they stopped for luncheon. So they were asked to leave.
Every Englishman abroad, until it is proved to the contrary, likes to consider himself a traveller and not a tourist.
Oh, why did nobody warn me? cried Grimes in agony. I should have been told. They should have told me in so many words. They should have warned me about Flossie, not about the fires of hell. I've risked them, and I don't mind risking them again, but they should have told me about marriage. They should have told me that at the end of that gay journey and flower-strewn path were the hideous lights of home and the voices of children.
One of the problems of the vacation is money, father.”“Oh, I shouldn’t worry about a thing like that at your age.”“You see, I’ve run rather short.”“Yes?” said my father without any sound of interest.“In fact I don’t quite know how I’m going to get through the next two months.”“Well, I’m the worst person to come to for advice. I’ve never been ‘short’ as you so painfully call it. And yet what else could you say? Hard up? Penurious? Distressed? Embarrassed? Stony-broke?” (Snuffle.) “On the rocks? In Queer Street? Let us say you are in Queer Street and leave it at that. Your grandfather once said to me, ‘Live within your means, but if you do get into difficulties, come to me. Don’t go to the Jews.
I'll pray for you.That's very kind of you.I can't spare you a whole rosary, you know. Just a decade. I've got such a long list of people. I take them in order and they get a decade about once a week.
I knew it all, the whole drab compass of marital disillusion; we had been through it together, the Army and I, from the first importunate courtship until now, when nothing remained to us except the chill bonds of law and duty and custom. I had played every scene in the domestic tragedy, had found the early tiffs become more frequent, the tears less affecting, the reconciliations less sweet, till they engendered a mood of aloofness and cool criticism, and the growing conviction that it was not myself but the loved one who was at fault. I caught the false notes in her voice and learned to listen for them apprehensively; I recognized the blank, resentful stare of incomprehension in her eyes, and the selfish, hard set of the corners of her mouth. I learned her, as one must learn a woman one has kept house with, day in, day out, for three and a half years; I learned her slatternly ways, the routine and mechanism of her charm, her jealousy and self-seeking, and her nervous trick with the fingers when she was lying. She was stripped of all enchantment now and I knew her for an uncongenial stranger to whom I had bound myself indissolubly in a moment of folly.
I knew it all, the whole drab compass of marital disillusion; we had been through it together, the Army and I, from the first importunate courtship until now, when nothing remained to us except the chill bonds of law and duty and custom. I had played every scene in the domestic tragedy, had found the early tiffs become more frequent, the tears less affecting, the reconciliations less sweet, tell they engendered a mood of aloofness and cool criticism, and the growing conviction that it was not myself but the loved one who was at fault. I caught the false notes in her voice and learned to listen for them apprehensively; I recognized the blank, resentful stare of incomprehension in her eyes, and the selfish, hard set of the corners of her mouth. I learned her, as one must learn a woman one has kept house with, day in, day out, for three and a half years; I learned her slatternly ways, the routine and mechanism of her charm, her jealousy and self-seeking, and her nervous trick with the fingers when she was lying. She was stripped of all enchantment now and I knew her for an uncongenial stranger to whom I had bound myself indissolubly in a moment of folly.
A whole Gothic world had come to grief...there was now no armour glittering through the forest glades, no embroidered feet on the green sward; the cream and dappled unicorns had fled...
Aunt Fanny tells me you made great friends with Mr. Mottram. I'm sure he can't be very nice.''I don't think he is,' said Julia. 'I don't know that I like nice people
You'll find you spend half your second year shaking off the undesirable friends you made in your first...
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time.These memories, which are my life--for we possess nothing certainly except the past--were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning.These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again.The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves -- the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
I have a good mind not to take Aloysius to Venice. I don't want him to meet a lot of horrid Italian bears and pick up bad habits.
One does not travel, any more than one falls in love, to collect material. It is simply part of one's life...
Oh, my darling, why is it that love makes me hate the world? It's supposed to have quite the opposite effect. I feel as though all mankind, and God, too, were in a conspiracy against us.
If she looked further than the wedding, it was to see marriage as the beginning of individual existence, this skirmish from which one one's spurs, from which one set out on the true quests of life.
As there was no form of government common to the peoples thus segregated, nor tie of language, history, habit or belief, they were called a Republic.
He was fortified by a memory which kept only the good things and rejected the ill. Despite his sorrows, he had had a fair share of joys and these were ever fresh and accessible.
He was not at all what is called ‘a character’. He was an innocent, affable old man who had somehow preserved his good humor – much more than that, a mysterious and tranquil joy – throughout a life which to all outward observation had been overloaded with misfortune. He had like many another been born in full sunlight and lived to see night fall.
Civilization – and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe – has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance…That is the first discovery, that Christianity is essential to civilization and that it is in greater need of combative strength than it has been for centuries.
If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper...
The langour of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth - all save this come and go with us through life...These things are a part of life itself; but languor - the relaxation of yet unwearied sinews, the mind sequestered and self-regarding, the sun standing still in the heavens and the earth throbbing to our own pulse - that belongs to Youth alone and dies with it.