Casting Forward Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Casting Forward. Here they are! All 100 of them:

...One of the reasons so many women say "I'm not a feminist but..." (and then put forward a feminist position), is that in addition to being stereotyped as man-hating Amazons, feminists have also been cast as antifamily and antimotherhood.
Susan J. Douglas
No reflection was to be allowed now, not one glance was to be cast back; not even one forward. Not one thought was to be given either to the past or the future. The first was a page so heavenly sweet, so deadly sad, that to read one line of it would dissolve my courage and break down my energy. The last was an awful blank, something like then world when the deluge was gone by.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I got to play Kim in Bye Bye Birdie, Sandy in Grease, and Maria in The Sound of Music. And it was so much fun for me, but the thing that I looked forward to the most was at the cast parties. After the shows they had karaoke machines set up and that's when I could sing country music.
Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift Songbook: Guitar Recorded Versions)
Alec took a deep breath and let it out. Well, he’d come this far; he might as well go on. The bare lightbulb hanging overhead cast sweeping shadows as he reached forward and pressed the buzzer. A moment later a voice echoed through the stairwell. “WHO CALLS UPON THE HIGH WARLOCK?” “Er,” Alec said. “It’s me. I mean, Alec. Alec Lightwood.” There was a sort of silence, as if even the hallway itself were surprised. Then a ping, and the second door opened, letting him out onto the stairwell. He headed up the rickety stairs into the darkness, which smelled like pizza and dust. The second floor landing was bright, the door at the far end open. Magnus Bane was leaning in the entryway.
Cassandra Clare
What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.
Winston S. Churchill
But his kind will always lose in the end. I know this, and now I know why. Whether it's wife or nation they occupy, their mistake is the same: they stand still, and their stake moves underneath them.... Chains rattle, rivers roll, animals startle and bolt, forests inspire and expand, babies stretch open-mouthed from the womb, new seedlings arch their necks and creep forward into the light. Even a language won't stand still. A territory is only possessed for a moment in time. They stake everything on that moment, posing for photographs while planting the flag, casting themselves in bronze.... Even before the flagpole begins to peel and splinter, the ground underneath arches and slides forward into its own new destiny. It may bear the marks of boots on its back, but those marks become the possessions of the land.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you. The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?' They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.' The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.' So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.' The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’ As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’ So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him. -San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
We should go back inside," she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess," he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa," he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will," she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No," he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...
Cassandra Clare
Another real danger to young men is thoughtlessness and lack of consideration. Lack of thought is one simple reason why thousands of souls are cast away forever. Men will not consider,-will not look forward,-will not look around them,-will not reflect on the end of their present course, and the sure consequences of their present ways,-and awake at last to find they are damned for lack of thinking.
J.C. Ryle
In families like Fred's, much of a child's identity and his illusions of safety depend on feeling enmeshed. He develops a need to be a part of other people and to have them be a part of him. He can't stand the thought of being cast out. This need for enmeshment carries right into adult relationships.
Susan Forward (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life)
Turning the corner, she saw the dark figure of a man, John, pushed up against the side of his bed cast in the light of another stained glass lamp. She fought the simultaneous instinct to jump away and move closer. “You shouldn’t have come,” he said through gritted teeth. “I had to,” she insisted, taking a step forward. “It sounded like you were in trouble.” He laughed without humor. “Damn right I’m in trouble.
Shawn Maravel (Know Thy Neighbor)
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance. In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun. On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.
Elizabeth Alexander
It was a stern night landscape. The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night clolour. The layers of the Border Range, indistinguishable one from another, cast their heaviness at the skirt of the starry sky in a blackness grave and somber enough to communicate their mass. The whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.
Yasunari Kawabata (Snow Country)
We must have a creature made of Darkness to break through the cage of Darkenss that imprisons your grandmother," Thanatos said. "That creature is me." Aurox stepped forward. "Oh, for shit's sake! We are absolutely fucked!" Aphrodite said. Sadly I had to agree with her.
P.C. Cast (Hidden (House of Night, #10))
Autumn, when, ultimately, all illusions fall away and are cast aside, leaving the trees and hills and roadways--the very earth itself--laid bare and open, stark realities fully revealed. You cannot move forward in the real world if you cannot see the real world. You cannot find the beauty in the world if all you see is its adornment.
Shellen Lubin
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
Terence McKenna
She casts her eyes to the floor and nods slowly. I reach forward, instinctively and tip her chin up to face me. "I'm sure she's very pretty." I tell her. Inside, I'm not sure of any such thing. In my mind, the woman flies around on a broom, has pet monkeys and is deathly afraid of water.
Lori L. Clark (I Breathe You)
You strike me as someone who prefers it when people are upfront.” It was true that Harper had no time or patience for mind games. “So?” Knox leaned forward, wanting her to see the resolve in his expression. “I want you.” And Harper nearly choked on her steak. When she’d finally swallowed it down with the help of her wine, she shrugged. “Thanks for sharing.” “You want me.” She cast him a glare, but didn’t deny it, which soothed his demon slightly. “But you’re going to fight aren’t you?” Every step of the way.
Suzanne Wright (Burn (Dark in You, #1))
You adopted him," I said when Romeo sat on the coffee table in front of me. "You love him," he said simply. Like that was all he needed to know. "But you'll have to take care of him. Feed him. Give him water. Change the litter box." "Thought maybe you'd want to help." I looked up. Our eyes locked. "What if I say no?" I asked. "What happens to Murphy then?" He shrugged. "He's a cook cat. I'll keep him. He can watch football with me on Sundays." I couldn't help but smile at the image that cast in my head. "You'd really do that?" I whispered. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "Yes." Then his stoic eyes turned playful and his smile came out. "You wanna watch football with me on Sundays too?" - Rimmel & Romeo
Cambria Hebert (#Nerd (Hashtag, #1))
We are souls with bodies, not the other way around. Without the essence of who we are—intact and authentically within our vessels—we are unblinking, inanimate objects; we are no longer soil. . . we are dirt.” ~ Steve Ramirez, Casting Forward
Steve Ramirez (Casting Forward: Fishing Tales from the Texas Hill Country)
This was London, in all its filth and glory. Nostalgic for the past, while yearning to cast off the chains of bygone ages and step forward into the bright utopia of the future. Proud of its achievements, yet despising its own flaws. A monster in both size and nature, that would consume the unwary and spit them out again, in forms unrecognizable and undreamt. London, the monster city.
Marie Brennan (With Fate Conspire (The Onyx Court #4))
Yeah? How's this?" Claire, in one smooth, fast motion, pulled an arrow from the bag on her shoulder, slotted it home on the string, and pulled the compound bow back to full extension. She was aiming the arrow straight at Morley's crossed hands, over his heart. He laughed. "You aren't serious--" She fired. The arrow went through both of Morley's hands, pinning them to his chest with the fletching at the end. He stared down in shock at the wood piercing his chest, stumbled, and went down to his knees. Then just down, face forward. The arrow stuck up out of his back, like an exclamation point. "I will," Claire said softly, and let the bow rock forward as she reached one-handed for another arrow and notched it home. "I'm not a really good shot, but this is a really small room, so let me make this very clear: the first vampire who tries to lay a hand on either of my friends gets a new piercing, just like Morley. Now, if you need food, I will figure it out. But you don't get to use my friends like vending machines. Are we clear?" Around the room, vampires nodded, casting disbelieving looks at Morley. Even Oliver was staring at her as if he'd never really seen her before. She didn't know why; he'd known she could do it--hadn't he? Or was she different, somehow?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
The future wafts in and out of my world like a ghost - like a lumbering beast, begging to be tamed. For so long it sat locked in mystery, surrounding me, fickle as the wind. I see it now for the noose it is, the game that never satisfies, the warrior that always kills. The past proved to be set in stone, the immovable rock of my existence that cast its shadow into the valley of death. But it is the future’s bright light that draws me in, the blinding rays that pull me forward with bionic, magnetic, force. They row me towards my destiny with indescribable power, to a fate questionably determined - washed in the patina of hope.
Addison Moore (Burn (Celestra, #3))
Because those events are so real that they cast their shadow forward and backwards through all time, whenever men think of these matters at all. Even if they are mired in ignorace, they will see...fragments of the Truth, as men imprisoned in a cave see shadows cast by the sun. Likewise, all men derive their moral intuitions from God; how not? There is no other source, just as there is no other way to make a wheel than to make it round.
S.M. Stirling
Logan licked a glob of strawberry jelly from her lower lip and smiled up at Odin. Only one comment seemed to perfectly fit her current situation. “I see dead people.” He leaned forward, hands on his hips. “Me, too. It’s the only explanation for what’s standing in front of me. Unless some high school kids broke into the anatomy closet and stole the classroom skeleton, stretched some cadaver skin over that bitch then cast an ancient ritual to animate it.
Jennifer Turner (Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within, #1))
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly. “Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced. “I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it. Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?” Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be. “I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it. I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?” “I play games for a living, Van.” I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?” He stared at me. “See?” “March third, Muffin.” What in the hell? “See?” he mocked me. Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew? “How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly. “Twenty-six.” “How do you know this?” I asked him slowly. “I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated. I was starting to think he was right. Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?” Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.” “I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.” A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?” The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it. Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.” He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me… And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?” Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.” Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.” What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said? “If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
Many years before, Abacus had come to the conclusion that the greatest of heroic stories have the shape of a diamond on its side. Beginning at a fine point, the life of the hero expands outward through youth as he begins to establish his strengths and fallibilities, his friendships and enmities. Proceeding into the world, he pursues exploits in grand company, accumulating honors and accolades. But at some untold moment, the two rays that define the outer limits of this widening world of hale companions and worthy adventures simultaneously turn a corner and begin to converge. The terrain our hero travels, the cast of characters he meets, the sense of purpose that has long propelled him forward all begin to narrow—to narrow toward that fixed and inexorable point that defines his fate. Take the tale of Achilles. In hopes of making her son invincible, the Nereid Thetis holds her newborn boy by the ankle and dips him into the river Styx. From that finite moment
Amor Towles (The Lincoln Highway)
Fear, Aristotle observed, does not strike those who are “in the midst of great prosperity.” Those who are frightened of losing what they have are the most vulnerable, and it is difficult to be clear-headed when you believe that you are teetering on a precipice. “No passion,” Edmund Burke wrote, “so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” The opposite of fear is hope, defined as the expectation of good fortune not only for ourselves but for the group to which we belong. Fear feeds anxiety and produces anger; hope, particularly in a political sense, breeds optimism and feelings of well-being. Fear is about limits; hope is about growth. Fear casts its eyes warily, even shiftily, across the landscape; hope looks forward, toward the horizon. Fear points at others, assigning blame; hope points ahead, working for a common good. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. Fear divides; hope unifies.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
When 'Dirty Mack' salts your flow, get beyond feelings of hurt, anger, bitterness, and especially vengeance. Be glad, and take refuge in knowing light has been cast on the shadow of hatred, envy or jealousy that has mocked your shine. And press forward with your purpose - allowing time and space to clear the way for karmic justice on your behalf.
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph over Death and Conscious Encounters With the Divine Presence)
The wafts in and out of my world like a ghost- like a lumbering beast, begging to be tamed. For so long it sat locked in mystery, surrounding me, fickle as the wind. I see it now for the noose it is, the game that never satisfies, the warrior that always kills. The past proved to be set in stone, the immovable rock of my existence that cast its shadow into the valley of death. But it is the future’s bright light that draws me in, the blinding rays that pull me forward with bionic, magnetic, force. They row me towards my destiny with indescribable power, to a fate questionably determined-washed in the patina of hope.
Addison Moore (Burn (Celestra, #3))
Cast light to all you would touch.
Jessica Edouard (Send Sunshine: Dreams of Light & Laughter (Fall Forward Book 3))
My work was practice, practice, practice. Discouragement and weariness cast me down frequently; but the next moment the thought that I should soon be at home and show my loved ones what I had accomplished spurred me on, and I eagerly looked forward to their pleasure in my achievement.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
Her arms groped forward to guide her when her tears blocked her vision in darkness. Then she couldn't run any more. She sank to her knees and began to cry in her terror. She wanted Gary. She suddenly felt strong arms around her. She bent her head to bury it in Gary's shoulder, trembling in the darkness. Whimpering like a small animal in a trap, she pushed herself closer to him and said in a choked voice, "I'm so frightened!" "I know, my love," the voice said. "I'm so sorry you were hurt." She felt herself being pulled up to him, his grip around her tight. It was a strange feeling in this pitch-black hallway, where not even the light of the moon cast any illumination. The lips she touched were cold and yet they responded to her with an unusual warmth. His hands massaged her back. Something, Melanie thought, was wrong with that. The hands were too smooth, not like a plastered wrist would feel. "Gary?" she asked, backing away. She didn't trust what she couldn't see. "My love," the voice whispered, "there is no need to fear now. I shall protect you from those who mean you harm.
Clare McNally (Ghost House)
If there is anything certain in life, it is this. Time doesn't always heal. Not really. I know they say it does, but that is not true. What time does is to trick you into believing that you have healed, that the hurt of a great loss has lessened. But a single word, a note of a song, a fragrance, a knife point of dawn light across an empty room, any one of these things will take you back to that one moment you have never truly forgotten. These small things are the agents of memory. They are the sharp needle points piercing the living fabric of your life. Life, my children, isn't linear where the heart is concerned. It is filled with invisible threads that reach out from your past and into your future. These threads connect every second we have lived and breathed. As your own lives move forward and as the decades pass, the more of these threads are cast. Your task is to weave them into a tapestry, one that tells the story of the time we shared.
Stephen Lee
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable)
The opposite of fear is hope, defined as the expectation of good fortune not only for ourselves but for a group to which we belong. Fear feeds anxiety and produces anger; hope, particularly in a political sense, breeds optimism and feelings of well-being. Fear is about limits; hope is about growth. Fear casts its eyes warily, even shiftily, across the landscape; hope looks forward, toward the horizon. Fear points at others, assigning blame; hope points ahead, working for a common good. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. Fear divides; hope unifies.
Jon Meacham (The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels)
We always have to go backward to move forward. Whether it’s to face our own missteps or reach the end of our lives with a final mistake... We always have to go back to pull ourselves out of ignorance or cast ourselves deeper into revenge.
Amy Rachiele (Sybrina)
He knew he could never jingle change in his pocket or park his car like a confident adult, he was the Adrian he had always been, casting a guilty look over a furtive shoulder, living in eternal dread of a grown-up striding forward to clip his ear.
Stephen Fry (The Liar)
You mean magic is predicated on hope?” “Hope,” [Antryg] said, “and belief in life. We move blindly from second to second through time. Hope and magic both involve the casting forward of the soul. In a way, both magic and hope are a kind of madness.
Barbara Hambly (The Silent Tower (Windrose Chronicles, #1))
Bane: We take Gotham from the corrupt! The rich! The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you... the people. Gotham is yours. None shall interfere. Do as you please. Start by storming Blackgate, and freeing the oppressed! Step forward those who would serve. For and army will be raised. The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests, and cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened. Spoils will be enjoyed. Blood will be shed. The police will survive, as they learn to serve true justice. This great city... it will endure. Gotham will survive!
Christopher Nolan
While there is no question that children can be damaged by put-downs from friends, teachers, siblings, and other family members, children are the most vulnerable to their parents. After all, parents are the center of a young child’s universe. And if your all-knowing parents think bad things about you, they must be true. If Mother is always saying, “You’re stupid,” then you’re stupid. If Father is always saying, “You’re worthless,” then you are. A child has no perspective from which to cast doubt on these assessments.
Susan Forward (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life)
Crip time is time travel. Disability and illness have the power to extract us from linear, progressive time with its normative life stages and cast us into a wormhole of backward and forward acceleration, jerky stops and starts, tedious intervals and abrupt endings. Some of us contend with the impairments of old age while still young; some of us are treated like children no matter how old we get.
Alice Wong (Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century)
Only one comment seemed to perfectly fit her current situation. “I see dead people.” He leaned forward hands on his hips. “Me too. It’s the only explanation for what’s standing in front of me. Unless some high school kids broke into the anatomy closet and stole the classroom skeleton, stretched some cadaver skin over that bitch then cast an ancient ritual to animate it.” She laughed. For as much as she now disliked the bastard she had to admit he was amusing. “Did they do the same to that shit you’re wearing? You do realize it’s 2008 right?” She raised a hand. “Wait let me see if I can reach you using your own language. You do ken ‘tis year of our Lord two thousand and eight aye?
Jennifer Turner (Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within, #1))
Don't worry. If you run out of clothes, I'll lend you some of mine. Kinney?" Iko glanced back. "Would you be a dear and take Ambassador Linh-Blakburn's luggage down to the docks. "With pleasure," Kinney deadpanned. "In fact, I was hoping if I came to see you off, I would be asked to do manual labor." Iko shrugged. "If you don't want to do any heavy lifting, then stop having such impressive muscles." Cinder stifled a laugh as Kinney stepped forward to haul the suitcase off her bed. Though he was pretending to scowl, she could detect redness around his ears. "At least yours is about half the weight of Iko's," he said, casting Cinder a grateful look. "I had only your comfort in mind," said Cinder. "Thanks, Kinney.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
The past never quite disappeared, did it? Folks usually thought time moved forward, starting on the left and riding a right-pointing arrow into the future. Ruby didn't believe that. The future twisted uncertain, a shapeless dream, but the past - the past was set. It cast evidence behind it, photos and letters and bones, piling up in hidden places, waiting for the chance to spill out. An avalanche. A burial. The past consumed the future, always.
Brandy Heineman
I don't know what you want from me then,' she cried, casting out her arms. 'For I cannot make my situation any different. I must marry. And so far, I have no promises.' He would not look at her. 'Ask me then,' she said, voice raw, 'ask me if I should like, if I should want to marry Pemberton, were the choice only about me?' He looked up. 'Would you?' 'No,' she said, voice cracking. 'Now ask me, whether I should still love you, were the choice only mine to make?' He took a step forward. 'Would you?' he said again. 'Yes,' she confessed. 'I will always choose my sisters. I will choose their need more than my want every day. But I want you just as much as I need money. You see me, in my entirety - the worst and the best of me - as no one else ever has.
Sophie Irwin (A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting (A Lady's Guide, #1))
Every magician inherits some family artefact. Baz has a wand, like me; all the Pitches are wandworkers. But Penny has a ring. And Gareth has a belt buckle. (It’s really inconvenient—he has to thrust his pelvis forward whenever he wants to cast a spell. He seems to think it’s cheeky, but no one else does.)
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
People allow India to exist only in two versions: In the first, everything is too beautiful to be encapsulated, women are swarthy and hippy, shoeless boys play soccer in dirt roads, elephants roam the streets, and temples are merely there for your enjoyment. In the second, India is a country lurching forward awkwardly, suffering a rape epidemic, incapable of a feminist movement or proper health care, a place where people shit and piss in the streets, where the caste system has ruined entire generations, where poverty is so rampant and depressing that you'll hardly make it out with your soul intact, where your IT centre is based, a place just close enough to Pakistan or Iraq or Afghanistan to be scary, but stable enough to be fun and exotic. Because, boy, isn't the food good, and aren't the landmarks something, and hasn't everyone there figured out a kind of profound meditative inner peace that we should all learn from? Like all things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. A place, any place, can be beautiful and perfect and damaged and dangerous at the same time.
Scaachi Koul (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter)
I am a man, not an angel, and if the grief that overtook me occasionally blurred my vision and led to certain lapses of conduct, that in no way should cast doubt on the truth of my story. Before anyone tries to discredit me by pointing to those stains on my record, I come forward of my own free will and openly pronounce my guilt to the world. These are treacherous times, and I know how easily perceptions can be twisted by a single word spoken into the wrong ear.
Paul Auster (Travels in the Scriptorium)
Fatally, the term 'barbarian' is the password that opens up the archives of the twentieth century. It refers to the despiser of achievement, the vandal, the status denier, the iconoclast, who refuses to acknowledge any ranking rules or hierarchy. Whoever wishes to understand the twentieth century must always keep the barbaric factor in view. Precisely in more recent modernity, it was and still is typical to allow an alliance between barbarism and success before a large audience, initially more in the form of insensitive imperialism, and today in the costumes of that invasive vulgarity which advances into virtually all areas through the vehicle of popular culture. That the barbaric position in twentieth-century Europe was even considered the way forward among the purveyors of high culture for a time, extending to a messianism of uneducatedness, indeed the utopia of a new beginning on the clean slate of ignorance, illustrates the extent of the civilizatory crisis this continent has gone through in the last century and a half - including the cultural revolution downwards, which runs through the twentieth century in our climes and casts its shadow ahead onto the twenty-first.
Peter Sloterdijk
People come and people go, but time moves ever forward. We are but chaff that is cast aside in it’s wake
Simon Beecher (Mayflower (Mayflower, #1))
Part of the magic was that Hitler told people what they wanted to hear. His pronouncements were not a challenge but a confirmation of his followers’ assumptions and preconceptions, an incitement to cast off the dreary restrictions of civility and rationality and allow their emotions full Dionysiac release, above all a permission both to maintain hope in the face of obdurate reality and to hate anyone or anything that was perceived to undermine that hope. Catholics, Socialists, and Communists, with intellectual structures of their own, were not as susceptible to him. He appealed to a devastated populace that, like him, had lost everything, including their established beliefs, felt a profound sense of grievance, and found consolation in a pan-Germanism that was part sentimentality and part utopianism, a sort of forward-looking nostalgia. The content of the speeches was important to that degree.
Barry Gewen (The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World)
I thought it such a shame that our culture had not devised a way to defang old age. A sophisticated civilization wouldn't ridicule senility, it would elevate it, worship it, wouldn't it? We would train ourselves to see poetry in the nonsense of dementia, to actually look forward to becoming so untethered from the world. We'd make a ceremony of casting off our material goods and confining ourselves to a single room, leaving all our old, abandoned space to someone new, someone young, so that we could die alone, indifferent to our own decay and lost beauty." (127
Timothy Schaffert (The Coffins of Little Hope)
But in the same way that individuals cannot move forward, become whole and healthy, unless they examine the domestic violence they witnessed as children or the alcoholism that runs in their family, the country cannot become whole until it confronts what was not a chapter in its history, but the basis of its economic and social order. For a quarter millennium, slavery was the country.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
This book is a love letter. I want you to look past the carnage and pain, my talk of trauma and its aftermath. Listen, pain is inevitable. You may be hurting right now, maybe you’re dealing with some pain from your past. Know this, pain, both physical and emotional, is unavoidable in life. But you are alive right now, here reading this, and you have the chance to move forward. Stay alive.
Daniel Geraghty (Cast Away Stones: An Eyewitness Account of 9/11 and Memoir of a Survivor, Soldier, Citizen)
The famous British actress Beatrice Lillie was once onstage in Ontario, Canada, performing in Noël Coward’s This Year of Grace, the entire cast lined up to one side of her. She was singing “Britannia Rules the Waves,” when she mistakenly began to sing the second verse twice, before moving to the third. She realized what she was doing but had to carry forward with it. The cast froze in place instead of moving to center stage—which
Dean Koontz (The Big Dark Sky)
In a world without fear of death... people will never attain the hope that is to be found from casting their fears aside and persevering through them. While it is true that people can continue to press forward through the simple act of living... That is in no way comparable to marching forward in the face of death while doing their damnedest to keep it at bay. That is why... that is why people have given that very march a unique and special name. Courage.
Tite Kubo (Bleach―ブリーチ― 74 [Burīchi 74] (Bleach, #74))
I've seen enough death." A single angel rose in the darkness from the circle they'd formed around the Qayom Malak. "If she can't do it, she can't do it." "Shut up, Cam,” Arriane said. “Sit down. Cam stepped forward, approaching Luce. His narrow frame cast its shadow across the Slab. “We’ve taken it this far. You can’t say we haven’t given it every kind of shot.” He turned to face the others. “But maybe she just can’t. There is only so much you can ask a person to do. She wouldn’t be the first filly anybody lost a fortune on. So what if she happens to be the last?” His tone did not match his words, and neither did his eyes, which said with desperate sincerity, You can do this. You have to.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
Let dry my tears, let me gaze into the truly everlasting gleam in your eyes, knowing that what we hold dear in our hearts will forever illuminate our parting journey from now forward. Each drop that falls bears witness to the bittersweet ache of farewell, as we bid adieu to the warmth of shared moments and the comfort of familiar embraces. Yet, amidst the sorrow, there lies a glimmer of solace in the knowledge that the love we've nurtured will transcend the boundaries of time and distance. As we embark on separate paths, may the radiance of cherished memories serve as guiding stars, lighting our way through the darkness of separation. Though tears may blur our vision momentarily, let them not obscure the beauty of the connection we've forged, nor dampen the flicker of hope that dances in our souls. For even in the midst of goodbyes, our love remains an unwavering beacon, casting its luminous glow upon the road ahead.
Rolf van der Wind
The bunk was a long, rectangular building. Inside, the walls were whitewashed and the floor unpainted. In three walls there were small, square windows, and in the fourth a solid door with a wooden latch. Against the walls were eight bunks, five of them made up with blankets and the other three showing their burlap ticking. Over each bunk there was nailed an apple-box with the opening forward so that it made two shelves for the personal belongings of the occupant of the bunk. And these shelves were loaded with little articles, soap and talcum-powder, razors and those Western magazines ranch-men love to read and scoff at and secretly believe. And there were medicines on the shelves, and little vials, combs; and, from nails on the box-sides, a few neck-ties. Near one wall there was a black cast-iron stove, its stove-pipe going straight up through the ceiling. In the middle of the room stood a big square table littered with playing-cards, and around it were grouped boxes for the players to sit on.
John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men)
Uncounted generations will trample heedlessly upon our tombs. What is the use of living if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? … Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on – swinging bravely forward along the grand high road – and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.48
Andrew Roberts (Churchill: Walking with Destiny)
Yhwach. You desired a world... Where fear would no longer be a burden. But... In a world without fear of death... People will never attain the hope that is to be found from casting their fears aside and preserving through them. While it is true that people can continue to press forward through the simple act of living... That is no way comparable to marching forward in the face of death, while doing their damndest to keep it at bay. That is why... That is why people have given that very march a unique and special name. "COURAGE.
aizen souske
He wouldn’t let himself be imprisoned by fear; fear of failing, fear of rejection. That was no way to live; frozen in place, unable to move forward or backward. He would choose instead to step out in faith and rely on the One whose love had the power to cast out his fears – even the darkest of them.
Onyih Odunze (Who Are You? (MOTS Series Collection Book 1))
You too are cast in sadness thicker than stone, heavier than water,' she says. 'It ties you, like me, to this leaden earth.' I lean forward and kiss her. 'Only in dreams,' she says, 'can we be ourselves, uncaged, wild of spirit. Here I am free to climb a tree and find a boy with eyes as sad as mine.
Sally Gardner (Tinder)
Good luck," Kassian said amiably, watching her walk away. When she was gone, he cast another look at Sin. "I hope they skip the sparring this time around." "Afraid I'll beat up your girlfriend?" Sin asked dryly, hunching forward with a wince as he put his head in his hands. "Don't worry, I have no desire to kill a bunch of pathetic little trainees if that's what you're thinking." Boyd raised an eyebrow. "You'd better not be including me in that statement." Sin peeked at him through his fingers. "Oh. I forgot about you." "I'm that easy to forget, am I?" Boyd asked dryly. "Especially when I've been right in front of you for the last hour? I'm flattered.
Ais (Afterimage (In the Company of Shadows, #2))
she, although in a self-solicitous way, was a beautiful piece of tall work, on colossal but careful legs, hips forward; her mouth was big and would have been perfect if there hadn’t been something self-tasting in it, eyes with complicated lids but magnificent in their slow heaviness, an erotic development. So that she had to cast
Saul Bellow (The Adventures Of Augie March)
be that your cousin has influenced you in some way—but as for our Junior Surgeon,” he turned to Carausius, “I remember that when first he was posted here, you yourself, Caesar, were not too sure of his good faith. This is surely some plot of Maximian’s, to cast doubt and suspicion between the Emperor of Britain and the man who, however unworthily, serves him to the best of his ability as chief minister.” Justin stepped forward, his hands clenched at his sides. “That is a foul lie,” he said, for once without a trace of his stutter. “And you know it, Allectus; none better.” “Will you grant me also a space to speak?” Carausius said quietly, and silence fell like a blight on the lamplit chamber. He looked round at all three of them, taking his time. “I remember my doubts, Allectus. I remember also that the
Rosemary Sutcliff (The Silver Branch)
One would have thought that in the days of peace the progress of women to an ever larger share in the life and work and guidance of the community would have grown, and that, under the violences of war, it would be cast back. The reverse is true. War is the teacher, a hard, stern, efficient teacher. War has taught us to make these vast strides forward towards a far more complete equalisation of the parts to be played by men and women in society.
William Manchester (The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965)
I want to be clear that when I used terms such as “pretense” and “intellectual dishonesty” when we first met, I wasn’t casting judgment on you personally. Simply living with the moderate’s dilemma may be the only way forward, because the alternative would be to radically edit these books. I’m not such an idealist as to imagine that will happen. We can’t say, “Listen, you barbarians: These holy books of yours are filled with murderous nonsense. In the interests of getting you to behave like civilized human beings, we’re going to redact them and give you back something that reads like Kahlil Gibran. There you go … Don’t you feel better now that you no longer hate homosexuals?” However, that’s really what one should be able to do in any intellectual tradition in the twenty-first century. Again, this problem confronts religious moderates everywhere, but it’s an excruciating problem for Muslims.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
He knew he could never jingle change in his pocket or park his car like a confident adult, he was the Adrian he had always been, casting a guilty look over a furtive shoulder, living in eternal dread of a grown-up striding forward to clip his ear. But there again, when he sipped at the whiskey his eyes failed to water and his throat forgot to burn. The body shamelessly welcomed what once it would have rejected. At breakfast he demanded not Ricicles and chocolate spread, but coffee and unbuttered toast. And if the coffee was sugared he leapt from it like a colt from an electric fence. He ate the crust and left the filling, guzzled the olives and spurned the cherries. Yet inside he remained the same Adrian who fought down the urge to stand and shout 'Bullocks' during church services, smelt his own farts and wasted hours skimming through National Geographic on the off-chance of seeing a few naked bodies.
Stephen Fry (The Liar)
So when you say that no religion is intrinsically peaceful or warlike, and that every scripture must be interpreted, I think you run into problems, because many of these texts aren’t all that elastic. They aren’t susceptible to just any interpretation, and they commit their adherents to specific beliefs and practices. You can’t say, for instance, that Islam recommends eating bacon and drinking alcohol. And even if you could find some way of reading the Qur’an that would permit those things, you can’t say that its central message is that a devout Muslim should consume as much bacon and alcohol as humanly possible. Nor can one say that the central message of Islam is pacifism. (However, one can say that about Jainism. All religions are not the same.) One simply cannot say that the central message of the Qur’an is respect for women as the moral and political equals of men. To the contrary, one can say that under Islam, the central message is that women are second-class citizens and the property of the men in their lives. I want to be clear that when I used terms such as “pretense” and “intellectual dishonesty” when we first met, I wasn’t casting judgment on you personally. Simply living with the moderate’s dilemma may be the only way forward, because the alternative would be to radically edit these books. I’m not such an idealist as to imagine that will happen.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Zenosyne. It's actually just after you're born that life flashes before your eyes. Entire aeons are lived in those first few months when you feel inseparable from the world itself, with nothing to do but watch it passing by. At first, time is only felt vicariously, as something that happens to other people. You get used to living in the moment, because there's nowhere else to go. But soon enough, life begins to move, and you learn to move with it. And you take it for granted that you're a different person every year, Upgraded with a different body...a different future. You run around so fast, the world around you seems to stand still. Until a summer vacation can stretch on for an eternity. You feel time moving forward, learning its rhythm, but now and then it skips a beat, as if your birthday arrives one day earlier every year. We should consider the idea that youth is not actually wasted on the young. That their dramas are no more grand than they should be. That their emotions make perfect sense, once you adjust for inflation. For someone going through adolescence, life feels epic and tragic simply because it is: every kink in your day could easily warp the arc of your story. Because each year is worth a little less than the last. And with each birthday we circle back, and cross the same point around the sun. We wish each other many happy returns. But soon you feel the circle begin to tighten, and you realize it's a spiral, and you're already halfway through. As more of your day repeats itself, you begin to cast off deadweight, and feel the steady pull toward your center of gravity, the ballast of memories you hold onto, until it all seems to move under its own inertia. So even when you sit still, it feels like you're running somewhere. And even if tomorrow you will run a little faster, and stretch your arms a little farther, you'll still feel the seconds slipping away as you drift around the bend. Life is short. And life is long. But not in that order.
Sébastien Japrisot
For verily it is not deep words that make a man holy and upright; it is a good life which maketh a man dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than be skilful in the definition thereof. If thou knewest the whole Bible, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what should all this profit thee without the love and grace of God? Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, save to love God, and Him only to serve. That is the highest wisdom, to cast the world behind us, and to reach forward to the heavenly kingdom.
Thomas a Kempis (The Imitation of Christ (Optimized for Kindle))
The three thousand miles in distance he put between himself and Emma tonight is nothing compared with the enormous chasm separating them when they sit next to each other in calculus. Emma's ability to overlook his existence is a gift-but not one that Poseidon handed down. Rachel insists this gift is uniquely a female trait, regardless of the species. Since their breakup, Emma seems to be the only female utilizing this particular gift. Even Rayna could learn a few lessons from Emma in the art of torturing a smitten male. Smitten? More like fanatical. He shakes his head in disgust. Why couldn't I just sift when I turned of age? Why couldn't I find a suitable mild-tempered female to mate with? Live a peaceful life, produce offspring, grow old, and watch my own fingerlings have fingerlings someday? He searches through his mind for someone he might have missed in the past. For a face he overlooked before but could now look forward to every day. For a docile female who would be honored to mate with a Triton prince-instead of a temperamental siren who mocks his title at every opportunity. He scours his memory for a sweet-natured Syrena who would take care of him, who would do whatever he asked, who would never argue with him. Not some human-raised snippet who stomps her foot when she doesn't get her way, listens to him only when it suits some secret purpose she has, or shoves a handful of chocolate mints down his throat if he lets his guard down. Not some white-haired angelfish whose eyes melt him into a puddle, whose blush is more beautiful than sunrise, and whose lips send heat ripping through him like a mine explosion. He sighs as Emma's face eclipses hundreds of mate-worthy Syrena. That's just one more quality I'll have to add to the list: someone who won't mind being second best. His just locks as he catches a glimpse of his shadow beneath him, cast by slithers of sterling moonlight. Since it's close to three a.m. here, he's comfortable walking around without the inconvenience of clothes, but sitting on the rocky shore in the raw is less than appealing. And it doesn't matter which Jersey shore he sits on, he can't escape the moon that connects them both-and reminds him of Emma's hair. Hovering in the shallows, he stares up at it in resentment, knowing the moon reminds him of something else he can' escape-his conscience. If only he could shirk his responsibilities, his loyalty to his family, his loyalty to his people. If only he could change everything about himself, he could steal Emma away and never look back-that is, if she'll ever talk to him again.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Then, quietly, he said, “I could do it.” “What?” “I could braid your hair.” “You?” “Yes.” Kestrel’s pulse bit at her throat. She opened her mouth, but before she could say anything he had crossed the room and swept her hair into his hands. His fingers began to move. It was strange that the room was so silent. It seemed that there should have been some kind of sound when a fingertip grazed her neck. Or when he drew a lock taut and pinned it in place. When he let a ribbon-thin braid fall forward so that it tapped her cheek. Every gesture of his was as resonant as music, and Kestrel didn’t quite believe that she couldn’t hear any notes, high or low. She let out a slow breath. His hands stilled. “Did I hurt you?” “No.” Pins disappeared from the dressing table at a rapid rate. Kestrel watched small braids lose themselves inside larger ones, dip in and under and out of an increasingly intricate design. She felt a gentle tug. A twist. A shiver of air. Although Arin wasn’t touching her, he was touching no living part of her, it felt as if a fine net had been cast over Kestrel, one that hazed her vision and shimmered against her skin. “There,” he said. Kestrel watched her reflection lift a hand to her head. She couldn’t think of what to say. Arin had drawn back, hands in his pockets. But his eyes held hers in the mirror, and his face had softened, like when she had played the piano for him. She said, “How…?” He smiled. “How did a blacksmith pick up such an unexpected skill?” “Well, yes.” “My older sister used to make me do this when I was little.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language). To stand up straight with your shoulders back means building the ark that protects the world from the flood, guiding your people through the desert after they have escaped tyranny, making your way away from comfortable home and country, and speaking the prophetic word to those who ignore the widows and children. It means shouldering the cross that marks the X, the place where you and Being intersect so terribly. It means casting dead, rigid and too tyrannical order back into the chaos in which it was generated; it means withstanding the ensuing uncertainty, and establishing, in consequence, a better, more meaningful and more productive order. So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence. People, including yourself, will start to assume that you are
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
A mile off, beyond the fields, lay a road which stretched in the contrary direction to Millcote; a road I had never travelled, but often noticed, and wondered where it led: thither I bent my steps. No reflection was to be allowed now: not one glance was to be cast back; not even one forward. Not one thought was to be given either to the past or the future. The first was a page so heavenly sweet--so deadly sad--that to read one line of it would dissolve my courage and break down my energy. The last was an awful blank: something like the world when the deluge was gone by.
Charlotte Brontë
I’m supposed to believe you sold your emeralds out of some freakish start-out of a frivolous desire to go off with a man you claim was your brother?” “Goodness, I don’t know what you are supposed to believe. I only know I did it.” “Madam!” he snapped. “You were on the verge of tears, according to the jeweler to whom you sold them. If you were in a frivolous mood, why were you on the verge of tears?” Elizabeth gave him a vacuous look. “I liked my emeralds.” Guffaws erupted from the floor to the rafters. Elizabeth waited until they were finished before she leaned forward and said in a proud, confiding tone, “My husband often says that emeralds match my eyes. Isn’t that sweet?” Sutherland was beginning to grind his teeth, Elizabeth noted. Afraid to look at Ian, she cast a quick glance at Peterson Delham and saw him watching her alertly with something that might well have been admiration. “So!” Sutherland boomed in a voice that was nearly a rant. “We are now supposed to believe that you weren’t really afraid of your husband?” “Of course I was. Didn’t I just explain how very cruel he can be?” she asked with another vacuous look. “Naturally, when Bobby showed me his back I couldn’t help thinking that a man who would threaten to cut off his wife’s allowance would be capable of anything-“ Loud guffaws lasted much longer this time, and even after they died down, Elizabeth noticed derisive grins where before there had been condemnation and disbelief. “And,” Sutherland boomed, when he could be heard again, “we are also supposed to believe that you ran off with a man you claim is your brother and have been cozily in England somewhere-“ Elizabeth nodded emphatically and helpfully provided, “In Helmshead-it is the sweetest village by the sea. I was having a very pleas-very practical time until I read the paper and realized my husband was on trial. Bobby didn’t think I should come back at all, because he was still provoked about being put on one of my husband’s ships. But I thought I ought.” “And what,” Sutherland gritted, “do you claim is the reason you decided you ought?” “I didn’t think Lord Thornton would like being hanged-“ More mirth exploded through the House, and Elizabeth had to wait for a full minute before she could continue. “And so I gave Bobby my money, and he went on to have his own agreeable life, as I said earlier.” “Lady Thornton,” Sutherland said in an awful, silky voice that made Elizabeth shake inside, “does the word ‘perjury’ have any meaning to you?” “I believe,” Elizabeth said, “it means to tell a lie in a place like this.” “Do you know how the Crown punishes perjurers? They are sentenced to gaol, and they live their lives in a dark, dank cell. Would you want that to happen to you?” “It certainly doesn’t sound very agreeable,” Elizabeth said. “Would I be able to take my jewels and gowns?” Shouts of laughter shook the chandeliers that hung from the vaulted ceilings. “No, you would not!” “Then I’m certainly happy I haven’t lied.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Flying Home As this plane dragged its track of used ozone half the world long thrusts some four hundred of us toward places where actual known people live and may wait, we diminish down in our seats, disappeared into novels of lives clearer than ours, and yet we do not forget for a moment the life down there, the doorway each will soon enter: where I will meet her again and know her again, dark radiance with, and then mostly without, the stars. Very likely she has always understood what I have slowly learned, and which only now, after being away, almost as far away as one can get on this globe, almost as far as thoughts can carry - yet still in her presence, still surrounded not so much by reminders of her as by things she had already reminded me of, shadows of her cast forward and waiting - can I try to express: that love is hard, that while many good things are easy, true love is not, because love is first of all a power, its own power, which continually must make its way forward, from night into day, from transcending union always forward into difficult day. And as the plane descends, it comes to me in the space where tears stream down across the stars, tears fallen on the actual earth where their shining is what we call spirit, that once the lover recognizes the other, knows for the first time what is most to be valued in another, from then on, love is very much like courage, perhaps it is courage, and even perhaps only courage. Squashed out of old selves, smearing the darkness of expectation across experience, all of us little thinkers it brings home having similar thoughts of landing to the imponderable world, the transoceanic airliner, resting its huge weight down, comes in almost lightly, to where with sudden, tiny, white puffs and long, black, rubberish smears all its tires know the home ground.
Galway Kinnell
Perhaps the most powerful Tollean insight into the ego was that it is obsessed with the past and the future, at the expense of the present. We “live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation,” he wrote. We wax nostalgic for prior events during which we were doubtless ruminating or projecting. We cast forward to future events during which we will certainly be fantasizing. But as Tolle pointed out, it is, quite literally, always Now. (He liked to capitalize the word.) The present moment is all we’ve got. We experienced everything in our past through the present moment, and we will experience everything in the future the same way.
Dan Harris (10% Happier)
One of Roosevelt's most entrenched beliefs, as a cowboy, a hunter, a soldier, and an explorer, was that the health of one man should never endanger the lives of the rest of the men in his expedition. Roosevelt had unflinchingly cast off even good friends like Father Zahm when it became clear that they could no longer pull their own weight or were simply not healthy enough to endure the physical demands of the journey. "No man has any business to go on such a trip as ours unless he will refuse to jeopardize the welfare of his associates by any delay caused by a weakness or ailment of his," he wrote. "It is his duty to go forward, if necessary on all fours, until he drops."... Roosevelt had even held himself to these unyielding standards after Schrank, the would-be assassin, shot him in Milwaukee. Few men would have even considered giving a speech with a bullet in their chest. Roosevelt had insisted on it. This was an approach to life, and death, that he had developed many years earlier, when living with cowboys and soldiers. "Both the men of my regiment and the friends I had made in the old days in the West were themselves a little puzzled at the interest shown in my making my speech after being shot," he wrote. "This was what they expected, what they accepted as the right thing for a man to do under the circumstances, a thing the nonperformance of which would have been discreditable rather than the performance being creditable.
Candice Millard (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey)
That a president is inevitably put forward and elected by the forces of established wealth and power means usually that he will be indentured by the time he reaches office. But in fact he is the freest of men if he will have the courage to think so and, at least theoretically, could be so transported by the millions of people who have endorsed his candidacy as to want to do the best for them. He might come to solemn appreciation of the vote we cast, in all our multicolored and multigendered millions, as an act of trust, fingers crossed, a kind of prayer. Not that it’s worked out that way. In 1968 Richard Nixon rebounded from his defeat at the hands of Jack Kennedy, and there he was again, his head sunk between the hunched shoulders of his three-button suit and his arms raised in victory, the exacted revenge of the pod people. That someone so rigid and lacking in honor or moral distinction of any kind, someone so stiff with crippling hatreds, so spiritually dysfunctional, out of touch with everything in life that is joyful and fervently beautiful and blessed, with no discernible reverence in him for human life, and certainly with never a hope of wisdom, but living only by pure politics, as if it were some colorless blood substitute in his veins—that this being could lurchingly stumble up from his own wretched career and use history and the two-party system to elect himself president is, I suppose, a gloriously perverse justification of our democratic form of government.
E.L. Doctorow (Jack London, Hemingway, and the Constitution:: Selected Essays, 1977-1992)
I'd be willing to bet that the notion of the end of time is more common today in the secular world than in the Christian. The Christian world makes it the object of meditation, but acts as if it may be projected into a dimension not measured by calendars. The secular world pretends to ignore the end of time, but is fundamentally obsessed by it. This is not a paradox, but a repetition of what transpired in the first thousand years of history. ... I will remind readers that the idea of the end of time comes out of one of the most ambiguous passages of John's text, chapter 20... This approach, which isn't only Augustine's but also the Church Fathers' as a whole, casts History as a journey forward—a notion alien to the pagan world. Even Hegel and Marx are indebted to this fundamental idea, which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin pursued. Christianity invented History, and it is in fact a modern incarnation of the Antichrist that denounces History as a disease. It's possible that secular historicism has understood history as infinitely perfectible—so that tomorrow we improve upon today, always and without reservation... But the entire secular world is not of the ideological view that through history we understand how to look at the regression and folly of history itself. There is, nonetheless, an originally Christian view of history whenever the signpost of Hope on this road is followed. The simple knowledge of how to judge history and its horrors is fundamentally Christian, whether the speaker is Emmanuel Mounier on tragic optimism or Gramsci on pessimism of reason and optimism of will.
Umberto Eco (Belief or Nonbelief?)
Americans are loath to talk about enslavement in part because what little we know about it goes against our perception of our country as a just and enlightened nation, a beacon of democracy for the world. Slavery is commonly dismissed as a “sad, dark chapter” in the country’s history. It is as if the greater the distance we can create between slavery and ourselves, the better to stave off the guilt or shame it induces. But in the same way that individuals cannot move forward, become whole and healthy, unless they examine the domestic violence they witnessed as children or the alcoholism that runs in their family, the country cannot become whole until it confronts what was not a chapter in its history, but the basis of its economic and social order. For a quarter millennium, slavery was the country.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
If mind belongs to humans alone, then stones, trees, and streams become mere objects of human tinkering. We can plunder the earth's resources with impunity, treating creeks and mountaintops in Kentucky or rivers in India or forests in northwest America as if they existed only for economic development. Systems of land and river become inert chunks of lifeless mud or mechanical runs of H2O rather than the living, breathing bodies upon which we and all other creatures depend for our very lives. Not to mention what 'nature as machine' has done to our emotional and spiritual well-being. When we regard nature as churning its way forward mindlessly through time, we turn our backs on mystery, shunning the complexity as well as the delights of relationship. We isolate ourselves from the rest of the creatures with whom we share this world. We imagine ourselves the apex of creation -- a lonely spot indeed. Human minds become the measure of creation and human thoughts become the only ones that count. The result is a concept of mind shorn of its wild connections, in which feelings become irrelevant, daydreams are mere distractions, and nighttime dreams -- if we attend to them at all -- are but the cast-offs of yesterday's overactive brain. Mind is cut off from matter, untouched by exingencies of mud or leaf, shaped by whispers or gales of wind, as if we were not, like rocks, made of soil. And then we wonder at our sadness and depression, not realizing that our own view of reality has sunk us into an unbearable solipsism, an agony of separateness -- from loved ones, from other creatures, from rich but unruly emotions, in short, from our ability to connect, through senses and feeling and imagination, with the world that is our home.
Priscilla Stuckey (Kissed by a Fox: And Other Stories of Friendship in Nature)
Come inside with me,” he urged, increasing the pressure on her elbow, “and I’ll begin making it up to you.” Elizabeth let herself be drawn forward a few steps and hesitated. “This is a mistake. Everyone will see us and think we’ve started it all over again-“ “No, they won’t,” he promised. “There’s a rumor spreading like fire in there that I tried to get you in my clutches two years ago, but without a title to tempt you I didn’t have a chance. Since acquiring a title is a holy crusade for most of them, they’ll admire your sense. Now that I have a title, I’m expected to use it to try to succeed where I failed before-as a way of bolstering my wounded male pride.” Reaching up to brush a wisp of hair from her soft cheek, he said, “I’m sorry. It was the best I could do with what I had to work with-we were seen together in compromising circumstances. Since they’d never believe nothing happened, I could only make them think I was in pursuit and you were evading.” She flinched from his touch but didn’t shove his hand away. “You don’t understand. What’s happening to me in there is no less than I deserve. I knew what the rules were, and I broke them when I stayed with you at the cottage. You didn’t force me to stay. I broke the rules, and-“ “Elizabeth,” he interrupted in a voice edge with harsh remorse, “if you won’t do anything else for me, at least stop exonerating me for that weekend. I can’t bear it. I exerted more force on you than you understand.” Longing to kiss her, Ian had to be satisfied instead with trying to convince her his plan would work, because he now needed her help to ensure its success. In a teasing voice he said, “I think you’re underrating my gift for strategy and subtlety. Come and dance with me, and I’ll prove to you how easily most of the male minds in there have been manipulated.” Despite his confidence, moments after they entered the ballroom Ian noticed the increasing coldness of the looks being directed at them, and he knew a moment of real alarm-until he glanced at Elizabeth as he took her in his arms for a waltz and realized the cause of it. “Elizabeth,” he said in a low, urgent voice, gazing down at her bent head, “stop looking meek! Put your nose in the air and cut me dead or flirt with me, but do not on any account look humble, because these people will interpret it as guilt!” Elizabeth, who had been staring at his shoulder, as she'd done with her other dancing partners, tipped her head back and looked at him in confusion. "What?" Ian's heart turned over when the chandeliers overhead revealed the wounded look in her glorious green eyes. Realizing logic and lectures weren't going to help her give the performance he badly needed her to give, he tried the tack that had, in Scotland, made her stop crying and begin to laugh: He tried to tease her. Casting about for a subject, he said quickly, "Belhaven is certainly in fine looks tonight-pink satin pantaloons. I asked him for the name of his tailor so that I could order a pair for myself." Elizabeth looked at him as if he'd taken leave of his senses; then his warning about looking meek hit home, and she began to understand what he wanted her to do. That added to the comic image of Ian's tall, masculine frame in those absurd pink pantaloons enabled her to manage a weak smile. "I have greatly admired those pantaloons myself," she said. "Will you also order a yellow satin coat to complement the look?" He smiled. "I thought-puce." "An unusual combination," she averred softly, "but one that I am sure will make you the envy of all who behold you.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Although Daisy was the mildest-tempered of all the Bowmans, she was by no means a coward. And she would not accept defeat without a fight. “You’re forcing me to take desperate measures,” she said. His reply was very soft. “There’s nothing you can do.” He had left her no choice. Daisy turned the key in the lock and carefully withdrew it. The decisive click was abnormally loud in the silence of the room. Calmly Daisy tugged the top edge of her bodice away from her chest. She held the key above the narrow gap. Matthew’s eyes widened as he understood what she intended. “You wouldn’t.” As he started around the dresser, Daisy dropped the key into her bodice, making certain it slipped beneath her corset. She sucked in her stomach and midriff until she felt the cold metal slide to her navel. “Damn it!” Matthew reached her with startling speed. He reached out to touch her, then jerked his hands back as if he had just encountered open flame. “Take it out,” he commanded, his face dark with outrage. “I can’t.” “I mean it, Daisy!” “It’s fallen too far down. I’ll have to take my dress off.” It was obvious he wanted to kill her. But she could also feel the force of his longing. His lungs were working like bellows, and scorching heat radiated from his body. His whisper contained the ferocity of a roar. “Don’t do this to me.” Daisy waited patiently. The next move was his. He turned his back to her, the seams of his coat straining over bunched muscles. His fists clenched as he struggled to master himself. He took a shuddering breath, and another, and when he spoke his voice sounded thick, as if he had just awakened from a heavy sleep. “Take off your gown.” Trying not to antagonize him any more than was necessary, Daisy replied in an apologetic tone. “I can’t do it by myself. It buttons up the back.” Matthew said something in a muffled voice that sounded very foul. After an eternity of silence he turned to face her. His jaw could have been cast in iron. “I’m not going to fall apart that easily. I can resist you, Daisy. I’ve had years of practice. Turn around.” Daisy obeyed. As she bent her head forward, she could actually feel his gaze travel over the endless row of pearl buttons. “How do you ever get undressed?” he muttered. “I’ve never seen so many blasted buttons on one garment.” “It’s fashionable.” “It’s ridiculous.” “You can send a letter of protest to Godey’s Lady’s Book,” she suggested. Giving a scornful snort, Matthew began on the top button. He tried to unfasten it while avoiding contact with her body. “It helps if you slide your fingers beneath the placket,” Daisy said. “And then you can pop the button through the—” “Quiet,” he snapped. She closed her mouth.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
They destroyed all the equipment, all the medicines. The Harijans – the people we used to call Untouchables – used to come a hundred miles for treatment.’ ‘But I thought Untouchability was outlawed at independence,’ I said. ‘Technically it was,’ replied Tyagi. ‘But do you know the saying “Dilli door ast”? It means “Delhi is far away.” The laws they pass in the Lok Sabha [Indian parliament] make little difference in these villages. Out here it will take much more than a change in the law to alleviate the lot of the Dalits [the oppressed castes, i.e. the former Untouchables].’ ‘But I still don’t understand why the Rajputs did this. What difference does it make to them if you educate the Untouchables?’ ‘The lower castes have always been the slaves of the higher castes,’ replied Tyagi. ‘They work in their fields for low wages, they sweep their streets, clean their clothes. If we educate them, who will do these dirty jobs?’ Dr Tyagi waved his hands at me in sudden exasperation: ‘Don’t you see?’ he said. ‘The Rajputs hate this place because it frees their slaves.’ ‘And what did you do,’ I asked, ‘while the Rajputs were beating the place up?’ Dr Tyagi made a slight gesture with his open palm: ‘I was just sitting,’ he said. ‘What could I do? I was thinking of Gandhiji. He was also beaten up – many times. He said you must welcome such attacks because it is only through confrontation that you can go forward. An institution like ours needs such incidents if it is to regenerate itself. It highlights the injustice the Harijans are facing.’ He paused, and smiled. ‘You yourself would not have come here if this had not happened to us.’ ‘What will you do now?’ I asked. ‘We will start again. The poor of this desert still need us.’ ‘And if the higher castes come for you again?’ ‘Then we will welcome them. They are also victims of their culture.
William Dalrymple (The Age of Kali: Indian Travels and Encounters)
Erin. “No matter what else has happened, you’re water and your element is welcome in our circle, but we don’t need any negative energy here—this is too important.” I nodded to the spiders. Erin’s gaze followed mine and she gasped. “What the hell is that?” I opened my mouth to evade her question, but my gut stopped me. I met Erin’s blue eyes. “I think it’s what’s left of Neferet. I know it’s evil and it doesn’t belong at our school. Will you help us kick it out?” “Spiders are disgusting,” she began, but her voice faltered as she glanced at Shaunee. She lifted her chin and cleared her throat. “Disgusting things should go.” Resolutely, she walked to Shaunee and paused. “This is my school, too.” I thought Erin’s voice sounded weird and kinda raspy. I hoped that meant that her emotions were unfreezing and that, maybe, she was coming back around to being the kid we used to know. Shaunee held out her hand. Erin took it. “I’m glad you’re here,” I heard Shaunee whisper. Erin said nothing. “Be discreet,” I told her. Erin nodded tightly. “Water, come to me.” I could smell the sea and spring rains. “Make them wet,” she continued. Water beaded the cages and a puddle began to form under them. A fist-sized clump of spiders lost their hold on the metal and splashed into the waiting wetness. “Stevie Rae.” I held my hand out to her. She took mine, then Erin’s, completing the circle. “Earth, come to me,” she said. The scents and sounds of a meadow surrounded us. “Don’t let this pollute our campus.” Ever so slightly, the earth beneath us trembled. More spiders tumbled from the cages and fell into the pooling water, making it churn. Finally, it was my turn. “Spirit, come to me. Support the elements in expelling this Darkness that does not belong at our school.” There was a whooshing sound and all of the spiders dropped from the cages, falling into the waiting pool of water. The water quivered and began to change form, elongating—expanding. I focused, feeling the indwelling of spirit, the element for which I had the greatest affinity, and in my mind I pictured the pool of spiders being thrown out of our campus, like someone had emptied a pot of disgusting toilet water. Keeping that image in mind, I commanded: “Now get out!” “Out!” Damien echoed. “Go!” Shaunee said. “Leave!” Erin said. “Bye-bye now!” Stevie Rae said. Then, just like in my imagination, the pool of spiders lifted up, like they were going to be hurled from the earth. But in the space of a single breath the dark image reformed again into a familiar silhouette—curvaceous, beautiful, deadly. Neferet! Her features weren’t fully formed, but I recognized her and the malicious energy she radiated. “No!” I shouted. “Spirit! Strengthen each of the elements with the power of our love and loyalty! Air! Fire! Water! Earth! I call on thee, so mote it be!” There was a terrible shriek, and the Neferet apparition rushed forward. It surged from our circle, breaking over Erin
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
To this day when I inhale a light scent of Wrangler—its sweet sharpness—or the stronger, darker scent of Musk, I return to those hours and it ceases to be just cologne that I take in but the very scent of age, of youth at its most beautiful peak. It bears the memory of possibility, of unknown forests, unchartered territories, and a heart light and skipping, hell-bent as the captain of any of the three ships, determined at all costs to prevail to the new world. Turning back was no option. Whatever the gales, whatever the emaciation, whatever the casualty to self, onward I kept my course. My heart felt the magnetism of its own compass guiding me on—its direction constant and sure. There was no other way through. I feel it again as once it had been, before it was broken-in; its strength and resolute ardency. The years of solitude were nothing compared to what lay ahead. In sailing for the horizon that part of my life had been sealed up, a gentle eddy, a trough of gentle waves diminishing further, receding away. Whatever loneliness and pain went with the years between the ages of 14 and 20, was closed, irretrievable—I was already cast in form and direction in a certain course. When I open the little bottle of eau de toilette five hundred different days unfold within me, conversations so strained, breaking slowly, so painstakingly, to a comfortable place. A place so warm and inviting after the years of silence and introspect, of hiding. A place in the sun that would burn me alive before I let it cast a shadow on me. Until that time I had not known, I had not been conscious of my loneliness. Yes, I had been taciturn in school, alone, I had set myself apart when others tried to engage. But though I was alone, I had not felt the pangs of loneliness. It had not burdened or tormented as such when I first felt the clear tang of its opposite in the form of another’s company. Of Regn’s company. We came, each in our own way, in our own need—listening, wanting, tentatively, as though we came upon each other from the side in spite of having seen each other head on for two years. It was a gradual advance, much again like a vessel waiting for its sails to catch wind, grasping hold of the ropes and learning much too quickly, all at once, how to move in a certain direction. There was no practicing. It was everything and all—for the first and last time. Everything had to be right, whether it was or not. The waters were beautiful, the work harder than anything in my life, but the very glimpse of any tempest of defeat was never in my line of vision. I’d never failed at anything. And though this may sound quite an exaggeration, I tell you earnestly, it is true. Everything to this point I’d ever set my mind to, I’d achieved. But this wasn’t about conquering some land, nor had any of my other desires ever been about proving something. It just had to be—I could not break, could not turn or retract once I’d committed myself to my course. You cannot force a clock to run backwards when it is made to persevere always, and ever, forward. Had I not been so young I’d never have had the courage to love her.
Wheston Chancellor Grove (Who Has Known Heights)
Ethan! What on earth are you doing?" "Excuse us,please.It is very warm in here and my wife has begun to feel a little faint." With a smile fixed on his face,giving a series of the same brief explanation,he carried her through the crush,out the front door of the mansion,along the gravel drive to where his carriage was parked. "Home,Jennings," he said to the coachman as a footman opened the door. "And don't spare the horses." Setting her swiftly on the carriage seat, he climbed in and took a place beside her. "Are you insane?" Grace stared at him with disbelief as the matched pair of grays stepped into their traces and the coach jolted forward. "We can't just leave. We're the guests of honor! What will people think?" "They will thank that I am ravenous for my wife's lovely body,and I am." "But-" "Another word,Grace, and I swear I will take you right here." Her eyes widened for an instant, then she sat back on the seat of the carriage, careful to keep facing forward, casting him only an occasional sideways glance. If his body hadn't been throbbing with such urgent need,he might have smiled.
Kat Martin (The Devil's Necklace (Necklace Trilogy, #2))
Until that moment Elizabeth wouldn’t have believed she could feel more humiliated than she already did. Robbed of even the defense of righteous indignation, she faced the fact that she was the unwanted gest of someone who’d made a fool of her not once but twice. “How did you get here? I didn’t hear any horses, and a carriage sure as well can’t make the climb.” “A wheeled conveyance brought us most of the way,” she prevaricated, seizing on Lucinda’s earlier explanation, “and it’s gone on now.” She saw his eyes narrow with angry disgust as he realized he was stuck with them unless he wanted to spend several days escorting them back to the inn. Terrified that the tears burning the backs of her eyes were going to fall, Elizabeth tipped her head back and turned it, pretending to be inspecting the ceiling, the staircase, the walls, anything. Through the haze of tears she noticed for the first time that the place looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in a year. Beside her Lucinda glanced around through narrowed eyes and arrived at the same conclusion. Jake, anticipating that the old woman was about to make some disparaging comment about Ian’s house, leapt into the breach with forced joviality. “Well, now,” he burst out, rubbing his hands together and striding forward to the fire. “Now that’s all settled, shall we all be properly introduced? Then we’ll see about supper.” He looked expectantly at Ian, waiting for him to handle the introductions, but instead of doing the thing properly he merely nodded curtly to the beautiful blond girl and said, “Elizabeth Cameron-Jake Wiley.” “How do you do, Mr. Wiley,” Elizabeth said. “Call me Jake,” he said cheerfully, then he turned expectantly to the scowling duenna. “And you are?” Fearing that Lucinda was about to rip up at Ian for his cavalier handling of the introductions, Elizabeth hastily said, “This is my companion, Miss Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones.” “Good heavens! Two names. Well, no need to stand on formality, since we’re going to be cooped up together for at least a few days! Just call me Jake. What shall I call you?” “You may call me Miss Throckmorton-Jones,” she informed him, looking down the length of her beaklike nose. “Er-very well,” he replied, casting an anxious look of appeal to Ian, who seemed to be momentarily enjoying Jake’s futile efforts to create an atmosphere of conviviality. Disconcerted, Jake ran his hands through his disheveled hair and arranged a forced smile on her face. Nervously, he gestured about the untidy room. “Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“ “Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
It was the same as I remembered it,” she whispered, sounding defeated and puzzled and shattered. It was better than he remembered. Stronger, wilder…And the only reason she didn’t know it was because he hadn’t succumbed to temptation yet and kissed her once more. He had just rejected that idea as complete insanity when a male voice suddenly erupted behind them: “Good God! What’s going on here!” Elizabeth jerked free in mindless panic, her gaze flying to a middle-aged elderly man wearing a clerical collar who was dashing across the yard. Ian put a steadying hand on her waist, and she stood there rigid with shock. “I heart shooting-“ The gray-haired man gasped, sagging against a nearby tree, his hand over his heart, his chest heaving. “I heard it all the way up the valley, and I thought0” He broke off, his alert gaze moving from Elizabeth’s flushed face and tousled hair to Ian’s hand at her waist. “You thought what?” Ian asked in a voice that struck Elizabeth as being amazingly calm, considering they’d just been caught in a lustful embrace by nothing less daunting than a Scottish vicar. The thought had scarcely crossed her battered mind when the man’s expression hardened with understanding. “I thought,” he said ironically, straightening from the tree and coming forward, brushing pieces of bark from his black sleeve, “that you were trying to kill each other. Which,” he continued more mildly as he stopped in front of Elizabeth, “Miss Throckmorton-Jones seemed to think was a distinct possibility when she dispatched me here.” “Lucinda?” Elizabeth gasped, feeling as if the world was turning upside down. “Lucinda sent you here?” “Indeed,” said the vicar, bending a reproachful glance on Ian’s hand, which was resting on Elizabeth’s waist. Mortified to the very depths of her being by the realization she’d remained standing in this near-embrace, Elizabeth hastily shoved Ian’s hand away and stepped sideways. She braced herself for a richly deserved, thundering tirade on the sinfulness of their behavior, but the vicar continued to regard Ian with his bushy gray eyebrows lifted, waiting. Feeling as if she were going to break from the strain of the silence, Elizabeth cast a pleading look at Ian and found him regarding the vicar not with shame or apology, but with irritated amusement. “Well?” demanded the vicar at last, looking at Ian. “What do you have to say to me?” “Good afternoon?” Ian suggested drolly. And then he added, “I didn’t expect to see you until tomorrow, Uncle.” “Obviously,” retorted the vicar with unconcealed irony. “Uncle!” blurted Elizabeth, gaping incredulously at Ian Thornton, who’d been flagrantly defying rules of morality with his passionate kisses and seeking hands from the first night she met him. As if the vicar read her thoughts, he looked at her, his brown eyes amused. “Amazing, is it not, my dear? It quite convinces me that God has a sense of humor.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
A few minutes later Elizabeth watched Lucinda emerge from the cottage with Ian, but there was no way to guess from their closed expressions what they’d discussed. In fact, the only person betraying any emotion at all was Jake Wiley as he led two horses into the yard. And his face, Elizabeth noted with confusion-which had been stormy when he went off to saddle the horses-was now wreathed in a smile of unrestrained glee. With a sweep of his arm and a bow he gestured toward a swaybacked black horse with an old sidesaddle upon its back. “Here’s your mount, ma’am,” he told Lucinda, grinning. “His name’s Attila.” Lucinda cast a disdainful eye over the beast as she transferred her umbrella to her right hand and pulled on her black gloves. “Have you nothing better?” “No, ma’am. Ian’s horse has a hurt foot.” “Oh, very well,” said Lucinda, walking briskly forward, but as she came within reach the black suddenly bared his teeth and lunged. Lucinda struck him between the ears with her umbrella without so much as a pause in her step. “Cease!” she commanded, and, ignoring the animal’s startled grunt of pain, she continued around to his other side to mount. “You brought it on yourself,” she told the horse as Jake held Attila’s head, and Ian Thornton helped her into the sidesaddle. The whites of Attila’s eyes showed as he warily watched her land in his saddle and settle herself. The moment Jake handed Lucinda the reins Attila began to leap sideways and twist around in restless annoyance. “I do not countenance ill-tempered animals,” she warned the horse in her severest tone, and when he refused to heed her and continued his threatening antics she hauled up sharply on his reins and simultaneously gave him a sharp jab in the flank with her umbrella. Attila let out a yelping complaint, broke into a quick, animated trot, and headed obediently down the drive. “If that don’t beat all!” Jake said furiously, glowering after the pair, and then at Ian. “That animal doesn’t know the meaning of the word loyalty!” Without waiting for a reply Jake swung into his saddle and cantered down the lane after them. Absolutely baffled over everyone’s behavior this morning, Elizabeth cast a puzzled, sideways glance at the silent man beside her, then gaped at him in amazement. The unpredictable man was staring after Lucinda, his hands shoved into his pockets, a cigar clamped between his white teeth, his face transformed by a sweeping grin. Drawing the obvious conclusion that these odd reactions from the men were somehow related to Lucinda’s skillful handling of an obstinate horse, Elizabeth commented, “Lucinda’s uncle raised horses, I believe.” Almost reluctantly, Ian transferred his admiring gaze from Lucinda’s rigid back to Elizabeth. His brows rose. “An amazing woman,” he stated. “Is there any situation of which she can’t take charge?” “None that I’ve ever seen,” Elizabeth said with a chuckle; then she felt self-conscious because his smile faded abruptly, and his manner became detached and cool.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Cribbage!” I declared, pulling out the board, a deck of cards, and pen and paper, “Ben and I are going to teach you. Then we can all play.” “What makes you think I don’t know how to play cribbage?” Sage asked. “You do?” Ben sounded surprised. “I happen to be an excellent cribbage player,” Sage said. “Really…because I’m what one might call a cribbage master,” Ben said. “I bet I’ve been playing longer than you,” Sage said, and I cast my eyes his way. Was he trying to tell u something? “I highly doubt that,” Ben said, “but I believe we’ll see the proof when I double-skunk you.” “Clearly you’re both forgetting it’s a three-person game, and I’m ready to destroy you both,” I said. “Deal ‘em,” Ben said. Being a horse person, my mother was absolutely convinced she could achieve world peace if she just got the right parties together on a long enough ride. I didn’t know about that, but apparently cribbage might do the trick. I didn’t know about that, but apparently cribbage might do the trick. The three of us were pretty evenly matched, and Ben was impressed enough to ask sage how he learned to play. Turned out Sage’s parents were historians, he said, so they first taught him the precursor to cribbage, a game called noddy. “Really?” Ben asked, his professional curiosity piqued. “Your parents were historians? Did they teach?” “European history. In Europe,” Sage said. “Small college. They taught me a lot.” Yep, there was the metaphorical gauntlet. I saw the gleam in Ben’s eye as he picked it up. “Interesting,” he said. “So you’d say you know a lot about European history?” “I would say that. In fact, I believe I just did.” Ben grinned, and immediately set out to expose Sage as an intellectual fraud. He’d ask questions to trip Sage up and test his story, things I had no idea were tests until I heard Sage’s reactions. “So which of Shakespeare’s plays do you think was better served by the Globe Theatre: Henry VIII or Troilus and Cressida?” Ben asked, cracking his knuckles. “Troilus and Cressida was never performed at the Globe,” Sage replied. “As for Henry VIII, the original Globe caught fire during the show and burned to the ground, so I’d say that’s the show that really brought down the house…wouldn’t you?” “Nice…very nice.” Ben nodded. “Well done.” It was the cerebral version of bamboo under the fingernails, and while they both tried to seem casual about their conversation, they were soon leaning forward with sweat beading on their brows. It was fascinating…and weird. After several hours of this, Ben had to admit that he’d found a historical peer, and he gleefully involved Sage in all kinds of debates about the minutiae of eras I knew nothing about…except that I had the nagging sense I might have been there for some of them. For his part, Sage seemed to relish talking about the past with someone who could truly appreciate the detailed anecdotes and stories he’d discovered in his “research.” By the time we started our descent to Miami, the two were leaning over my seat to chat and laugh together. On the very full flight from Miami to New York, Ben and Sage took the two seats next to each other and gabbed and giggled like middle-school girls. I sat across from them stuck next to an older woman wearing far too much perfume.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
We’ve known his family forever. He doesn’t seem to care about the scandal in ours, and he’s an excellent shot-“ “That would certainly be at the top of my list of requirements for a husband,” Minerva broke in, eyes twinkling. “’Must be able to hit a bull’s-eye at fifty paces.’” “Fifty paces? Are you mad? It would have to be a hundred at least.” Her sister burst into laughter. “Forgive me for not knowing what constitutes sufficient marksmanship for your prospective mate.” Her gaze grew calculating. “I heart that Jackson is a very good shot. Gabe said he beat everyone today, even you.” “Don’t remind me,” Celia grumbled. “Gabe also said he won a kiss from you.” “Yes, and he gave me a peck on the forehead,” Celia said, still annoyed by that. “As if I were some…some little girl.” “Perhaps he was just trying to be polite.” Celia sighed. “Probably. I didn’t kiss you “properly” today because I was afraid if I did I might not stop. “The thing is…” Celia bit her lower lip and wondered just how much she should reveal to her sister. But she had to discuss this with someone, and she knew she could trust Minerva. Her sister had never betrayed a confidence. “That wasn’t the first time Jackson kissed me. Nor the last.” Minerva nearly choked on her chocolate. “Good Lord, Celia, don’t say such things when I’m drinking something hot!” Carefully she set her cup on the bedside table. “He kissed you?” She seized Celia’s free hand. “More than once?” Celia nodded. Her sister cast her eyes heavenward. “And yet you’re debating whether to enter into a marriage of convenience with Lyons.” Then she looked alarmed. “You did want the man to kiss you, right?” “Of course I wanted-“ She caught herself. “He didn’t force me, if that’s what you’re asking. But neither has Jackson…I mean, Mr. Pinter…offered me anything important.” “He hasn’t mentioned marriage?” “No.” Concern crossed Minerva’s face. “And love? What of that?” “That neither.” She set her own cup on the table, then dragged a blanket up to her chin. “He’s just kissed me. A lot.” Minerva left the bed to pace in front of the fireplace. “With men, that’s how it starts sometimes. They desire a woman first. Love comes later.” Unless they were drumming up desire for a woman for some other reason, the way Ned had. “Sometimes all they feel for a woman is desire,” Celia pointed out. “Sometimes love never enters into it. Like Papa with his females.” “Mr. Pinter doesn’t strike me as that sort.” “Well, he didn’t strike me as having an ounce of passion until he started kissing me.” Minerva shot her a sly glance. “How is his kissing?” Heat rose in her cheeks. “It’s very…er…inspiring.” Much better than Ned’s, to be sure. “That’s rather important in a husband,” Minerva said dryly. “And what of the duke? Has he kissed you?” “Once. It was…not so inspiring.” She leaned forward. “But he’s offering marriage, and Jackson hasn’t even hinted at it.” “You shouldn’t settle for a marriage of convenience. Especially if you prefer Jackson.” I don’t believe in marriages of convenience. Given your family’s history, I would think that you wouldn’t, either. Celia balled the blanket into a knot. That was easy for Jackson to say-he didn’t have a scheming grandmother breathing down his neck. For that matter, neither did Minerva.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Straightening reluctantly, she strolled about the room with forced nonchalance, her hands clasped behind her back, looking blindly at the cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling, trying to think what to say. And then inspiration struck. The solution was demeaning but practical, and properly presented, it could appear she was graciously doing him a favor. She paused a moment to arrange her features into what she hoped was the right expression of enthusiasm and compassion, then she wheeled around abruptly. “Mr. Thornton!” Her voice seemed to explode in the room at the same time his startled amber gaze riveted on her face, then drifted down her bodice, roving boldly over her ripened curves. Unnerved but determined, Elizabeth forged shakily ahead: “It appears as if no one has occupied this house in quite some time.” “I commend you on that astute observation, lady Cameron,” Ian mocked lazily, watching the tension and emotion play across her expressive face. For the life of him he could not understand what she was doing here or why she seemed to be trying to ingratiate herself this morning. Last night the explanation he’d given Jake had made sense; now, looking at her, he couldn’t quite believe any of it. Then he remembered that Elizabeth Cameron had always robbed him of the ability to think rationally. “Houses do have a way of succumbing to dirt when no one looks after them,” she stated with a bright look. “Another creditable observation. You’ve certainly a quick mind.” “Must you make this so very difficult!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “I apologize,” he said with mocking gravity. “Do go on. You were saying?” “Well, I was thinking, since we’re quite stranded here-Lucinda and I, I mean-with absolutely nothing but time on our hands, that this house could certainly use a woman’s touch.” “Capital idea!” burst out Jake, returning from his mission to locate the butter and casting a highly hopeful look at Lucinda. He was rewarded with a glare from her that could have pulverized rock. “It could use an army of servants carrying shovels and wearing masks on their faces,” the duenna countered ruthlessly. “You needn’t help, Lucinda,” Elizabeth explained, aghast. “I never meant to imply you should. But I could! I-“ She whirled around as Ian Thornton surged to his feet and took her elbow in a none-too-gentle grasp. “Lady Cameron,” he said. “I think you and I have something to discuss that may be better spoken in private. Shall we?” He gestured to the open door and then practically dragged her along in his wake. Outdoors in the sunlight he marched her forward several paces, then dropped her arm. “Let’s hear it,” he said. “Hear what?” Elizabeth said nervously. “An explanation-the truth, if you’re capable of it. Last night you drew a gun on me, and this morning you’re awash with excitement over the prospect over the prospect of cleaning my house. I want to know why.” “Well,” Elizabeth burst out in defense of her actions with the gun, “you were extremely disagreeable!” “I am still disagreeable,” he pointed out shortly, ignoring Elizabeth’s raised brows. “I haven’t changed. I am not the one who’s suddenly oozing goodwill this morning.” Elizabeth turned her head to the lane, trying desperately to think of an explanation that wouldn’t reveal to him her humiliating circumstances. “The silence is deafening, Lady Cameron, and somewhat surprising. As I recall, the last time we met you could scarcely contain all the edifying information you were trying to impart to me.” Elizabeth knew he was referring to her monologue on the history of hyacinths in the greenhouse. “I just don’t know where to begin,” she admitted. “Let’s stick to the salient points. What are you doing here?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Now back to the p—Sealord. Reports aside, what do we really know about this Dilys Merimydion?” “We know that he’s wealthy, he’s a skilled warrior, he’s handsome, charming, and helped save the world from a dread god who would have plunged the whole of Mystral into unending winter,” Autumn added. “Not to ruin your determination to find something wrong with him, Viviana, but that last one tells me all I need to know. The man literally helped save the world.” She shrugged. “I can spend three months of my time being nice to him for that.” Spring sighed. “Yes, yes, but in the reports I’ve read, there isn’t one bad thing about him listed. Not one, and that’s just not normal.” “You’re complaining because the reports say Dilys Merimydion is a good man?” Summer shook her head. “Not just good. Too good. As in too good to be true. I’m just saying, something smells fishy to me." Autumn laughed. “You know, there’s a good joke in that remark.” Spring rolled her eyes. “Don’t. Please. Spare us.” In addition to her addiction to food, Autumn possessed a terrible love for pranks, puns, and bad jokes. Which, of course, she took inordinate glee in inflicting on her family. Autumn sniffed with mock indignation. “As if I would cast my pearls before swine. What were we talking about again? Oh, yes, Dilys Merimydion. The Scrumptious Sealord.” “Oh, dear gods,” Spring groaned. “You’ve nicknamed him. Alliteratively.” “I thought about Delicious Dilys. Or Manly Merimydion. After all, from what Storm said, he’s very easy on the eyes. I don’t know, after ten years of being pursued by the Verminous Vermese, I’m looking forward to being courted by a handsome, young suitor who actually respects women and considers them—gasp!—real human beings. Like men, but without the dangly bits. Shocking, I know, but there you have it.” Summer couldn’t help it. She started laughing. Spring glowered. “Stop that! Don’t encourage her!” She turned the glower on Autumn and said, “Aleta Seraphina Helen Rosalie Violet Coruscate, can you please, for one moment, take this seriously?” “You’re taking it seriously enough for the three of us, dearest Viviana.” Autumn lowered her voice and boomed..."he must be investigated. Something about him smells fishy.” Cupping a hand over her mouth, she quipped to Summer in a loud aside, “I dunno, do you think maybe it’s—you know—the gills?” Summer covered her mouth with both hands and spluttered with laughter.
C.L. Wilson (The Sea King (Weathermages of Mystral, #2))
Look at that ship. That clipper cost me a queen’s ransom, even with the Kestrel thrown in the bargain. But it was the fastest ship to be had.” He took her hands in his. “Forget money. Forget society. Forget expectations. We’ve no talent for following rules, remember? We have to follow our hearts. You taught me that.” He gathered her to him, drawing her hands to his chest. “God, sweet, don’t you know? You’ve had my heart in your pocket since the day we met. Following my heart means following you. I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth if I have to.” He shot an amused glance at the captain. “Though I’d expect your good captain would prefer I didn’t. In fact, I think he’d gladly marry us today, just to be rid of me.” “Today? But we couldn’t.” His eyebrows lifted. “Oh, but we could.” He pulled her to the other side of the ship, slightly away from the gaping crowd. Wrapping his arms around her, he leaned close to whisper in her ear, “Happy birthday, love.” Sophia melted in his embrace. It was her birthday, wasn’t it? The day she’d been anticipating for months, and here she’d forgotten it completely. Until Gray had appeared on the horizon, she hadn’t been looking forward to anything. But now she did. She looked forward to marriage, and children, and love and grand adventure. Real life and true passion. All of it with this man. “Oh, Gray.” “Please say yes,” he whispered. “Sophia.” The name was a caress against her ear. “I love you.” He kissed her cheek and pulled away. “I’ve been remiss in not telling you. You can’t know how I’ve regretted it. But I love you, Sophia Jane Hathaway. I love you as no man ever loved a woman. I love you so much, I fear I’ll burst with it. In fact, I think I shall burst if I go another minute without kissing you, so if you’ve any mind to say yes, I’d thank you to-“ Sophia flung her arms around his neck and kissed him. Hard at first, to quiet the fool man; then gently, to savor him. oh, how she loved the taste of him, like freshly baked bread and rum. Warm and wholesome and comforting, with just a hint of spice and danger. “Yes,” she sighed against his lips. She pulled back and looked into his eyes. “Yes, I will marry you.” His arms tightened about her waist. “Today?” “Today. But you must let me change my gown first.” Smiling, she stroked his smooth cheek. “You even shaved.” “Every day since we left Tortola.” He gave her a rueful smile. “I’ve a few new scars to show for it.” “Good.” She kissed him. “I’m glad. And I don’t care if society casts us out for the pirates we are, just as long as I’m with you.” “Oh, I don’t know that we’ll be cast out, exactly. We’re definitely not pirates. After your stirring testimony”-he chucked her under the chin-“Fitzhugh decided to make the best of an untenable situation. Or an unhangable pirate, as it were. If he couldn’t advance on his career by convicting me, he figured he’d advance it by commending me. Awarded me the Kestrel as salvage and recommended me to the governor for a special citation of valor. There’s talk of knighthood.” He grinned. “Can you believe it? Me, a hero.” “Of course I believe it.” She laced her fingers at the back of his neck. “I’ve always known it, although I should curse that judge and his ‘citation of valor.’ As if you needed a fresh supply of arrogance. Just remember, whatever they deem you-gentleman or scoundrel, hero or pirate-you are mine.” “So I am.” He kissed her soundly, passionately. “And which would you prefer tonight?” At the seductive grown in his voice, shivers of arousal swept down to her toes. “Your gentleman? Your scoundrel? Your hero or your pirate?” She laughed. “I imagine I’ll enjoy all four on occasion. But tonight, I believe I shall find tremendous joy in simply calling you my husband.” He rested his forehead against hers. “My love.” “That, too.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
But Muslims now find themselves in a world shaped by western theories and western values. If we are to consider how Islamic communities conducted their affairs throughout the greater part of their history, it may be convenient to compare and contrast this way of life with the contemporary western model. Today the Muslims are urged to embrace democracy and are condemned for political corruption, while western scholars debate whether Islam can ever accommodate the democratic ideal. On the whole, they think not. Democracy, they believe, is a sign of political maturity and therefore of superiority. Western societies, since they are seen as democratic, exemplify this superiority. So there is one question that has to be pressed home: what, precisely, is meant by democracy? Let me put forward an imaginary Arab who knows nothing of western ways but would like to learn about them. He is aware that the literal meaning of the word democracy is "mob rule", but understands that this is not what westerners mean by it. He wonders how this meaning has, in practice, been modified and, since his questions are directed to an Englishman, he is not altogether surprised to be told that Britain is the exemplary democracy. He learns that the people—all except children, lunatics and peers of the realm—send their representatives to Parliament to speak for them. He is assured that these representatives never accept bribes to vote against their consciences or against the wishes of their constituents. He enquires further and is astonished to learn that the political parties employ what are known as Whips, who compel members to vote in accordance with the party line, even if this conflicts both with their consciences and with the views of the people who elected them. In this case it is not money but ambition for office that determines the way they vote. "But is this not corruption?" he asks naively. The Englishman is shocked. "But at least the party in power represents the vast majority of the electorate?" This time the Englishman is a little embarrassed. It is not quite like that. The governing party, which enjoys absolute power through its dominance in the House of Commons, represents only a minority of the electorate. "Are there no restraints on this power?" There used to be, he is told. In the past there was a balance between the Crown, the House of Lords and the Commons, but that was seen as an undemocratic system so it was gradually eroded. The "sovereignty" of the Lower House is now untrammelled (except, quite recently, by unelected officials in Brussels). "So this is what democracy means?" Our imaginary Arab is baffled. He investigates further and is told that, in the 1997 General Election, the British people spoke with one voice, loud and clear. A landslide victory gave the Leader of the Labour Party virtually dictatorial powers. Then he learns that the turn-out of electors was the lowest since the war. Even so, the Party received only forty-three per cent of the votes cast. He wonders if this can be the system which others wish to impose on his own country. He is aware that various freedoms, including freedom of the press, are essential components of a democratic society, but no one can tell him how these are to be guaranteed if the Ruler, supported by a supine—"disciplined"—House of Commons enjoys untrammelled authority. He knows a bit about rulers and the way in which they deal with dissent, and he suspects that human nature is much the same everywhere. Barriers to oppression soon fall when a political system eliminates all "checks and balances" and, however amiable the current Ruler may be, there is no certainty that his successors, inheriting all the tools of power, will be equally benign. He turns now to an American and learns, with some relief since he himself has experienced the oppression of absolutism, that the American system restrains the power of the President by that of the Congress and the Supreme Court; moreover, the electe
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