So I learned two things that night, and the next day, from him: the perfection of a moment, and the fleeting nature of it.
The most wicked criminals have God on their lips at all times, for God is the only one who can stomach them.
I did not worry about what a man or woman personally believed, but the nation's official religion should be outwardly practiced by all its citizens. A religion was a political statement. Being a Calvinist, a papist, a Presbyterian, an Anglican labeled a person's philosophy on education, taxes, poor relief, and other secular things. The nation needed an accepted position on such concerns. Hence the fines for not outwardly conforming to the national church.
Perhaps life is like an hour glass, with dear ones the sand that slips from the upper glass--the earth--into the second--eternity.
You must bear losses like a soldier, the voice told me, bravely and without complaint, and just when the day seems lost, grab your shield for another stand, another thrust forward. That is the juncture that separates heroes from the merely strong.
But marrying within one's own family can get monotonous. One has heard all the same family stories, knows all the jokes and all the same recipes. No novelty.
It is only when our fate hangs in the balance, when our very life depends on something, that we see whether or not we trust that the rope to which we are clinging will support us. If we do not, then we let of of the ledge and swing on it with our full weight.
The soft strings of the lute rippled with memories, and the maid's lilting voice made Mary sigh as she closed her eyes. She fell asleep filled with sadness, but without regret.
...Jesus saw the eternal in the everyday. Your last day on earth should be spent as you spent all your others-- doing your daily tasks with love and honesty... An ordinary day is, perhaps, the most holy of all.
I had a desire to see something besides my own shores, if only to be content to return to them someday. If I wish to live in my native land and love her, it should not be out of ignorance.
Mary watched the sunset from her carriage window, realizing that such beauty could never last. Life was a golden glory that faded in the wink of an eye. Life was a village fair that only lasted for a single day. As the carriage rattled along, rocking her like a babe in arms, Mary felt very old and wise. She found that she didn't mind being taken back to the castle, to a caring captivity that was filled with comforts and kindness. And she also found that she couldn't keep her eyes open.
Defeat I can endure with cheerfulness, my lady. But betrayal is like taking the wind from my sails, or the earth from beneath my feet. It chills my spirits like a rainy day, and all I can do is draw the curtains and cry into my pillow.
Lying in bed, half-covered by the blankets, I would drowsily ask why he had come to my door that night long ago. It had become a ritual for us, as it does for all lovers: where, when, why? remember...I understand even old people rehearse their private religion of how they first loved, most guarded of secrets. And he would answer, sleep blurring his words, Because I had to. The question and the answer were always the same. Why? Because I had to.
The moment was all we truly had: a succession of moments, a triumphal march of them, to create a life beyond compare.
Boredom is that awful state of inaction when the very medicine ― that is, activity ― which could solve it, is seen as odious.Archery? It is too cold, and besides, the butts need re-covering; the rats have been at the straw.Music? To hear it is tedious; to compose it, too taxing. And so on.Of all the afflictions, boredom is ultimately the most unmanning.Eventually, it transforms you into a great nothing who does nothing ― a cousin to sloth and a brother to melancholy.