Commander's Wife Quotes

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Liar! Liar!" shrieked suddenly from the now open trap door. Miracle Max whirled. "Back, Witch--" he commanded. "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife--" she was advancing on him now, an ancient tiny fury--"and after what you've just done I don't think I want to be that any more--
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Clap her in chains," says Randalin. Never have I so wished there was a way for me to show I was telling the truth. But there isn't. No oath of mine carries any weight. I feel a guard's hand close on my arm. Then Cardan's voice comes. "Do not touch her." A terrible silence follows. I wait for him to pronounce judgement on me. Whatever he commands will be done. His power is absolute. I don't even have the strength to fight back. "Whatever can you mean?" Randalin says. "She's-" "She is my wife," Cardan says, his voice carrying over the crowd. "The rightful High Queen of Elfhame. And most definitely not in exile.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
Cauthon lives," Arganda said. "And that's bloody amazing, considering that someone blew up his command post, set fire to his tenet, killed a bunch of his damane, and chased off his wife. Cauthon crawled out of it somehow." "Ha!" Abell Cauthon said. "That's my boy.
Robert Jordan (A Memory of Light (The Wheel of Time, #14))
Do not touch her A terrible silence follows. I wait for him to pronounce judgment on me. Whatever he commands will be done. His power is absolute. I don't even have the strength to fight back. Whatever can you mean? Randalin says. She's ----- She is my wife, Cardan says
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
You see, the religious people — most of them — really think this planet is an experiment. That's what their beliefs come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen's wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and what words they can't say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can't the gods leave well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence. If God didn't want Lot's wife to look back, why didn't he make her obedient, so she'd do what her husband told her? Or if he hadn't made Lot such a shithead, maybe she would've listened to him more. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn't he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why's he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there's one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He's not good at design, he's not good at execution. He'd be out of business if there was any competition.
Carl Sagan
Every person with ADHD already knows that destination addiction is part of their disorder. However, if it doesn’t have a positive outlet, it can destroy your life. It is not another person that will make your life better; it is the qualities in them that you admire. Incorporate those attributes into your own life and you won’t miss a thing.
Shannon L. Alder
Wife of my soul,” he said, and this time his voice didn’t shake but held all the command of the Savatar ataman who had led an army against the Empire and won. “Look at me.
Grace Draven (Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire, #1))
But I envy the Commander's Wife her knitting. It's good to have small goals that can be easily attained.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
I’m going to make the wildly unfounded assumption that Satara’s dead by your hand and not Tory’s. Now, stay with me on this, Cajun. My father slit my throat and murdered my wife because he thought I’d betrayed him by getting married. Before that, he loved me more than his life and I was his last surviving child. His second in command. Now what do you think he’s going to do to you once he sees her body? I can assure you, it won’t be a fun-filled trip to Chuck E. Cheese. (Urian)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law. Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love. All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.' If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been. All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.
Robert G. Ingersoll (About The Holy Bible)
If Innocent is happy, it is because he is innocent. If he can defy the conventions, it is just because he can keep the commandments. It is just because he does not want to kill but to excite to life that a pistol is still as exciting to him as it is to a schoolboy. It is just because he does not want to steal, because he does not covet his neighbour's goods, that he has captured the trick (oh, how we all long for it!), the trick of coveting his own goods. It is just because he does not want to commit adultery that he achieves the romance of sex; it is just because he loves one wife that he has a hundred honeymoons.
G.K. Chesterton (Manalive (Hilarious Stories))
I think she is marvelous. She is untouched by politics, unmarred and untainted. She is absolutely, brilliantly humble. Honest, hardworking. And it would be my honor that she accept to be my wife. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a country to govern and a woman to woo.
Katy Evans (Commander in Chief (White House, #2))
But there was always a shortfall, wasn't there? Between the match that the Holy One, blessed be He, envisioned and the reality of the situation under the chuppah. Between commandment and observance, heaven and earth, husband and wife, Zion and Jew. They called that shortfall 'the world.' Only when Messiah came would the breach be closed, all separations, distinctions, and distances collapsed. Until then, thanks be unto His Name, sparks, bright sparks, might leap across the gap, as between electric poles. And we must be grateful for their momentary light.
Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union)
In the book of Alma is a story that has fascinated e since I first read it. it is about a very colorful character named Moroni--not to be confused with the last survivor of the Nephites, who was also named Moroni. This man was a brilliant military commander, and he rose to be supreme commander of all the Nephite forces at the age of twenty-five. For the next fourteen years he was off to the wars continuously except for two very short periods of peace during which he worked feverishly at reinforcing the Nephite defenses. When peace finally came, he was thirty-nine years old, and the story goes that at the age of forty-three he died. Sometime before this he had given the chief command of the armies of the Nephites to his son Moronihah. Now, if he had a son, he had a wife. I've often wondered where she was and how she fared during those fourteen years of almost continuous warfare, and how she felt to have him die so soon after coming home. I am sure there are many, many stories of patience and sacrifice that have never been told. We each do our part, and we each have our story.
Marjorie Pay Hinckley (Small and Simple Things)
If the bible be true, God commanded his chosen people to destroy men simply for the crime of defending their native land. They were not allowed to spare trembling and white-haired age, nor dimpled babes clasped in the mothers' arms. They were ordered to kill women, and to pierce, with the sword of war, the unborn child. 'Our heavenly Father' commanded the Hebrews to kill the men and women, the fathers, sons and brothers, but to preserve the girls alive. Why were not the maidens also killed? Why were they spared? Read the thirty-first chapter of Numbers, and you will find that the maidens were given to the soldiers and the priests. Is there, in all the history of war, a more infamous thing than this? Is it possible that God permitted the violets of modesty, that grow and shed their perfume in the maiden's heart, to be trampled beneath the brutal feet of lust? If this was the order of God, what, under the same circumstances, would have been the command of a devil? When, in this age of the world, a woman, a wife, a mother, reads this record, she should, with scorn and loathing, throw the book away. A general, who now should make such an order, giving over to massacre and rapine a conquered people, would be held in execration by the whole civilized world. Yet, if the bible be true, the supreme and infinite God was once a savage.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
The father of sin was theft; every one of the Ten Commandments boiled down to “Thou shalt not steal.” Murder was the theft of a life, adultery the theft of a wife, covetousness the secret, slinking theft that took place in the cave of the heart. Blasphemy was the theft of God’s name, swiped from the House of the Lord and sent out to walk the streets like a strutting whore.
Stephen King (The Stand)
I know, 0 Caesar, that thou art awaiting my arrival with impatience, that thy true heart of a friend is yearning day and night for me. I know that thou art ready to cover me with gifts, make me prefect of the pretorian guards, and command Tigellinus to be that which the gods made him, a mule-driver in those lands which thou didst inherit after poisoning Domitius. Pardon me, however, for I swear to thee by Hades, and by the shades of thy mother, thy wife, thy brother, and Seneca, that I cannot go to thee. Life is a great treasure. I have taken the most precious jewels from that treasure, but in life there are many things which I cannot endure any longer. Do not suppose, I pray, that I am offended because thou didst kill thy mother, thy wife, and thy brother; that thou didst burn Eome and send to Erebus all the honest men in thy dominions. No, grandson of Chronos. Death is the inheritance of man; from thee other deeds could not have been expected. But to destroy one's ear for whole years with thy poetry, to see thy belly of a Domitius on slim legs whirled about in a Pyrrhic dance; to hear thy music, thy declamation, thy doggerel verses, wretched poet of the suburbs, — is a thing surpassing my power, and it has roused in me the wish to die. Eome stuffs its ears when it hears thee; the world reviles thee. I can blush for thee no longer, and I have no wish to do so. The howls of Cerberus, though resembling thy music, will be less offensive to me, for I have never been the friend of Cerberus, and I need not be ashamed of his howling. Farewell, but make no music; commit murder, but write no verses; poison people, but dance not; be an incendiary, but play not on a cithara. This is the wish and the last friendly counsel sent thee by the — Arbiter Elegantiae.
Henryk Sienkiewicz (Quo Vadis)
Leo, do take Win to her room. You're both exhausted. We'll have time for talking tomorrow."(Amelia) "Ah, that lovely tone of command," Leo reminisced. "I'd hoped that by now you would have rid her of the habit of barking out orders like a drill sergeant, Rohan." "I enjoy all her habits," Rohan replied, smiling at his wife.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
No. Listen. Take the wax from thy hairy ears. Listen well. I command.
Ernest Hemingway
If... I focus only on what God commands for us as wives to do, it detracts nothing from God's commands for our men. His Word for them still stands.
April Cassidy (The Peaceful Wife)
Remember the Tenth Commandment: "Thou shalt not covert thy neighbors house, thou shalt not covert thy neighbors wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox,nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbor's." Clearly, the biggest loser (aside from slaves, perhaps) in the agricultural revolution was the human female, who went from occupying a central respected role in foraging societies to becoming another possession for a man to earn and defend, along with his house, slaves, and livestock.
Cacilda Jethá (Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality)
Even in the Bible, the admonition in the Ten Commandments not to 'covet thy neighbor's wife' clearly referred not to lust in one's heart (adultery had already been covered in commandment number seven), but to the prospect of taking her as a debt-peon—in other words, as a servant to sweep one's yard and hang out the laundry.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
The skins of concentration camp prisoners, especially executed for this ghoulish purpose, had merely decorative value. They made, it was found, excellent lamp shades, several of which were expressly fitted up for Frau Ilse Koch, the wife of the commandant of Buchenwald and nicknamed by the inmates the “Bitch of Buchenwald.”*
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
The Second Table of the Ten Commandments reads in Hebrew something like this: 'Don't kill; don't be vile; don't steal; don't tell lies about others; don't envy any man his wife or house or animals, or anything he has.' This sounds shockingly wrong in English. For the English genius, religion is solemn and stately; Canterbury Cathedral, not a shul. The grand slow march of "Thou Shalt Nots" is exactly right. Religion for the Jews is intimate and colloquial, or it is nothing.
Herman Wouk (This is My God: A Guidebook to Judaism)
Ah!” he exclaimed, “how right you were to tell me to marry respectably; to have a solid position; to live in decorous fear of the world and one’s wife; and to command the envy of the poor, the good opinion of the rich. You have practised what you preach.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Complete Works of Edward Bulwer-Lytton)
The millions of vacationers who came here every year before Katrina were mostly unaware of this poverty. French Quarter tourists were rarely exposed to the reality beneath the Disneyland Gomorrah that is projected as 'N'Awlins,' a phrasing I have never heard a local use and a place, as far as I can tell, that I have never encountered despite my years in the city. The seemingly average, white, middle-class Americans whooped it up on Bourbon Street without any thought of the third-world lives of so many of the city's citizens that existed under their noses. The husband and wife, clad in khaki shorts, feather boa, and Mardi Gras beads well out of season, beheld a child tap-dancing on the street for money and clapped along to his beat without considering the obvious fact that this was an early school-day afternoon and that the child should be learning to read, not dancing for money. Somehow they did not see their own child beneath the dancer's black visage. Nor, perhaps, did they see the crumbling buildings where the city's poor live as they traveled by cab from the French Quarter to Commander's Palace. They were on vacation and this was not their problem.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
Your heart is in here. I get to carry you around with me all day, every day. You might not get to carry my heart, but it’s completely yours. Always. I’ll marry you and be your wife, but a piece of paper doesn’t make any difference to the fact I’m already yours.
Nina Levine (Command (Storm MC, #7))
She leaned down until they were eye to eye. “His wife loved him. That’s no bullshit. I love you.” “That’s no bullshit.” “If I found out you were screwing around on me, could I off you?” He inclined his head. “I believe I’ve already been informed you’d be doing the rhumba—after appropriate lessons—on my cold, dead body.” “Yeah. Yeah.” It cheered her up. “Just not sure pink Jolene has the stones for that.” “Jimmy Jay was in violation of the . . . which commandment is it that deals with adultery?” “How the hell would I know, especially since I wouldn’t wait for you to face your eternal punishment, should you be in said violation, before I rhumba’d my ass off.” “Such is true love.” “Bet your excellent ass. I got the vibe he might’ve been screwing around, but maybe I’m just a cynical so-and-so.” Pleased with her, Roarke tapped a finger over the dent in her chin. “You are, but you’re my cynical so-and-so.
J.D. Robb (Salvation in Death (In Death, #27))
So, what comes next for leadership? Absolute Honesty, fairness and justice – we are dealing with people. Those of us who have had the good fortune of commanding hundreds and thousands of men know this. No man likes to be punished, and yet a man will accept punishment stoically if he knows that the punishment meted out to him will be identical to the punishment meted out to another person who has some Godfather somewhere. This is very, very important. No man likes to be superceded, and yet men will accept supercession if they know that they are being superceded, under the rules, by somebody who is better then they are but not just somebody who happens to be related to the Commandant of the staff college or to a Cabinet Minister or by the Field Marshal’s wife’s current boyfriend. This is extremely important, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Sam Manekshaw
German puppets burnt the Jews Jewish puppets did not choose Puppet vultures eat the dead Puppet corpses they are fed Puppet winds and puppet waves Puppet sailors in their graves Puppet flower Puppet stem Puppet Time dismantles them Puppet me and puppet you Puppet German Puppet Jew Puppet presidents command puppet troops to burn the land Puppet fire puppet flames feed on all the puppet names Puppet lovers in their bliss turn away from all of this Puppet reader shakes his head takes his puppet wife to bed Puppet night comes down to say the epilogue to puppet day
Leonard Cohen (Book of Longing)
I feel a guard's hand close on my arm. Then Cardan's voice comes. "Do not touch her." A terrible silence follows. I wait for him to pronounce judgement on me. Whatever he commands will be done. His power is absolute. I don't even have the strength to fight back. "Whatever can you mean?" Randalin says. "She's-" "She is my wife," Cardan says, his voice carrying over the crowd. "The rightful High Queen of Elfhame. And most definitely not in exile.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
THE POWER OF TWO If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. —MATTHEW 18:19 Imagine for a moment the unlimited power of a husband and wife who walk constantly in agreement—the power of a mother and father united in the raising of children who understand the power of relationships, are saturated in wisdom, and are full of faith! How different would our world be today if there were more couples like this? How different would the church be? How different would our communities be? How different would our nations be? Father, Your Word says one person can put a thousand to flight and two can chase off ten thousand. Strengthen the hedge of protection around my marriage and family and whisper peace into my relationships, ministry, workplace, and business. No evil shall come near to my dwelling place or my marriage. Cause my relationships to work in perfect harmony with You today. Break any unhealthy patterns in our relationship, guard our thoughts and words, and fill us with new levels of passion and zeal for your calling upon us as a couple. Remove every hindrance from the divinely ordained intimacy and unity You intend for our relationship. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Everybody talks about freedom, citizens," the big man said gently, seeming to draw upon that very sure source of personal knowledge again, "but they dont really want it. Half of them wants it but the other half dont. What they really want is to maintain an illusion of freedom in front of their wives and business associates. Its a satisfactory compromise, and as long they can have that they can get along without the other which is more expensive. The only trouble is, every man who declares himself free to his friends has to make a slave out of his wife and employees to keep up the illusion and prove it; the wife to be free in front of her bridgeclub has to command her Help, Husband and Heirs. It resolves itself into a battle; whoever wins, the other one loses. For every general in this world there have to be 6,000 privates.
James Jones (From Here to Eternity)
I, for example, quiet plainly and simply insist upon annihilation for myself. “No,” they say, “you must go on living, for without you there would be nothing. If everything on earth were reasonable, nothing would ever happen. Without you there would be no events, and it is necessary that there should be events.” Well, and so on I drudge with unwilling heart so that there be events, and bring about unreason by command. People think toute cette comedie is something serious, all there unquestionable intelligence notwithstanding. There lies there tragedy. Well, and they suffer, of course, but … al the same they live, they live in reality, not in fantasy; for suffering is also life. Without suffering what pleasure would there be in it? Everything would turn into one single, endless church service: much holy soaring, but rather boring. Well, and I? I suffer, but even so I do not live. I am the “x” in an indeterminate equation. I am one of life’s ghosts, who has lost all the ends and the beginnings, and even at last forgotten what to call myself. You are laughing . . . No, you are not laughing, you are angry again. You are eternally angry, you would like there to be nothing but intelligence, but I will tell you again that I would renounce all this empyrean existence, all these honours and ranks just in order to be able to take fleshy form in the person of a seven-pood merchant’s wife and set up candles to God in church. ‘So, you don’t believe in God either?’ Ivan said, smiling with hatred. ‘Well, how can I explain it to you, if you are serious, that is . . . ‘ ‘Does God exist or not?’ Ivan barked, again with ferocious insistence. ‘Ah, so you are serious? My dear little dove, I swear to God I do not know, pour vous dire le grand mot.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Shall I?” I said briefly; and I looked at his features, beautiful in their harmony, but strangely formidable in their still severity; at his brow, commanding, but not open; at his eyes, bright and deep and searching, but never soft; at his tall imposing figure; and fancied myself in idea his wife. Oh! it would never do! As his curate, his comrade, all would be right: I would cross oceans with him in that capacity; toil under Eastern suns, in Asian deserts with him in that office; admire and emulate his courage and devotion and vigour: accommodate quietly to his masterhood; smile undisturbed at his ineradicable ambition. . . . I should suffer often, no doubt, attached to him only in this capacity: my body would be under a rather stringent yoke, but my heart and mind would be free. I should still have my unblighted self to turn to: my natural unenslaved feelings with which to communicate in moments of loneliness. There would be recesses in my mind which would be only mine, to which he never came; and sentiments growing there, fresh and sheltered, which his austerity could never blight, nor his measured warrior-march trample down: but as his wife—at his side always, and always restrained, and always checked—forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low, to compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry, though the imprisoned flame consumed vital after vital—this would be unendurable.
Charlotte Brontë
I won't tell you what his wife said to me yesterday. She is someone in full command of the vernacular.
Colm Tóibín
Commander’s Wife directs,
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
Maxine Hancock says we should think of ourselves as the servant leaders of our homes. I think by the addition of the word leaders, she implies that while we serve we should also command respect.
Sheila Wray Gregoire (To Love, Honor, and Vacuum: When You Feel More Like a Maid Than a Wife and Mother)
Like a thief, the image of her taut, well-formed body crept into his mind next. His hair swept backwards, shot up like long needles in the rush of the air and his thoughts grew bolder. He marveled how beautifully her body arched as she stood and gave commands. Vishwakarma, the god of all craftsmen, in an exalting moment had threaded a wire through it to give it that elegant curve. From that instant, the memories of a wife, of dear daughters waiting back in the village seemed hazy as in a dream. Inhibitions became soft barriers. He remembered the gestures of Chanda Bai’s two hands as she talked; her palms like delicate seashells; her elegant fingers. Flashes of her jewel studded ears, another pair of shells; and her long hair lovingly braided by her servants with thick strands of white and yellow jasmine flowers interlaced in them. He wanted to caress those flowers with his finger.
Mukta Singh-Zocchi (The Thugs & a Courtesan)
The first commandment of dog behavior: Thou shalt not hump. Thou shalt especially not hump in public. Thou shalt not hump thy neighbor’s wife, thy neighbor’s leg, or thy neighbor’s Jack Russell Terrier. - Belle, Dog Only Knows
Terry Kaye (Dog Only Knows)
A wife must do whatever her husband orders her to do.” The command didn’t sit well with her. “This wife doesn’t.” “Damn it, Gillian, don’t turn stubborn on me.” “A husband doesn’t curse in his wife’s presence.” “This husband does,” he snapped.
Julie Garwood (Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2))
Poirot looked at me meditatively. “You have an extraordinary effect on me, Hastings. You have so strongly the flair in the wrong direction that I am almost tempted to go by it! You are that wholly admirable type of man, honest, credulous, honourable, who is invariably taken in by any scoundrel. You are the type of man who invests in doubtful oil fields, and non-existent gold mines. From hundreds like you, the swindler makes his daily bread. Ah, well—I shall study this Commander Challenger. You have awakened my doubts.” “My dear Poirot,” I cried, angrily. “You are perfectly absurd. A man who has knocked about the world like I have—” “Never learns,” said Poirot, sadly. “It is amazing—but there it is.” “Do you suppose I’d have made a success of my ranch out in the Argentine if I were the kind of credulous fool you make out?” “Do not enrage yourself, mon ami. You have made a great success of it—you and your wife.” “Bella,” I said, “always goes by my judgement.” “She is as wise as she is charming,” said Poirot. “Let us not quarrel my friend. See, there ahead of us, it says Mott’s Garage. That, I think, is the garage mentioned by Mademoiselle Buckley. A few inquiries will soon give us the truth of that little matter.
Agatha Christie (Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8))
Oh, Starbuck! it is a mild, mild wind, and a mild looking sky. On such a day - very much such a sweetness as this - I struck my first whale - a boy-harpooneer of eighteen! Forty - forty - forty years ago! - ago! Forty years of continual whaling! forty years of privation, and peril, and storm-time! forty years on the pitiless sea! for forty years has Ahab forsaken the peaceful land, for forty years to make war on the horrors of the deep! Aye and yes, Starbuck, out of those forty years I have not spent three ashore. When I think of this life I have led; the desolation of solitude it has been; the masoned, walled-town of a Captain's exclusiveness, which admits but small entrance to any sympathy from the green country without - oh, weariness! heaviness! Guinea-coast slavery of solitary command! - when I think of all this; only half-suspected, not so keenly known to me before - and how for forty years I have fed upon dry salted fare - fit emblem of the dry nourishment of my soul - when the poorest landsman has had fresh fruit to his daily hand, and broken the world's fresh bread to my mouldy crusts - away, whole oceans away, from that young girl-wife I wedded past fifty, and sailed for Cape Horn the next day, leaving but one dent in my marriage pillow - wife? wife? - rather a widow with her husband alive! Aye, I widowed that poor girl when I married her, Starbuck; and then, the madness, the frenzy, the boiling blood and the smoking brow, with which, for a thousand lowerings old Ahab has furiously, foamingly chased his prey - more a demon than a man! - aye, aye! what a forty years' fool - fool - old fool, has old Ahab been! Why this strife of the chase? why weary, and palsy the arm at the oar, and the iron, and the lance? how the richer or better is Ahab now? Behold. Oh, Starbuck! is it not hard, that with this weary load I bear, one poor leg should have been snatched from under me? Here, brush this old hair aside; it blinds me, that I seem to weep. Locks so grey did never grow but from out some ashes! But do I look very old, so very, very old, Starbuck? I feel deadly faint, bowed, and humped, as though I were Adam, staggering beneath the piled centuries since Paradise. God! God! God! - crack my heart! - stave my brain! - mockery! mockery! bitter, biting mockery of grey hairs, have I lived enough joy to wear ye; and seem and feel thus intolerably old? Close! stand close to me, Starbuck; let me look into a human eye; it is better than to gaze into sea or sky; better than to gaze upon God. By the green land; by the bright hearth-stone! this is the magic glass, man; I see my wife and my child in thine eye. No, no; stay on board, on board! - lower not when I do; when branded Ahab gives chase to Moby Dick. That hazard shall not be thine. No, no! not with the far away home I see in that eye!
Herman Melville
Hamish Alexander-Harrington knew his wife as only two humans who had both been adopted by a pair of mated treecats ever could. He'd seen her deal with joy and with sorrow, with happiness and with fury, with fear, and even with despair. Yet in all the years since their very first meeting at Yeltsin's Star, he suddenly realized, he had never actually met the woman the newsies called "the Salamander." It wasn't his fault, a corner of his brain told him, because he'd never been in the right place to meet her. Never at the right time. He'd never had the chance to stand by her side as she took a wounded heavy cruiser on an unflinching deathride into the broadside of the battlecruiser waiting to kill it, sailing to her own death, and her crew's, to protect a planet full of strangers while the rich beauty of Hammerwell's "Salute to Spring" spilled from her ship's com system. He hadn't stood beside her on the dew-soaked grass of the Landing City duelling grounds, with a pistol in her hand and vengeance in her heart as she faced the man who'd bought the murder of her first great love. Just as he hadn't stood on the floor of Steadholders' Hall when she faced a man with thirty times her fencing experience across the razor-edged steel of their swords, with the ghosts of Reverend Julius Hanks, the butchered children of Mueller Steading, and her own murdered steaders at her back. But now, as he looked into the unyielding flint of his wife's beloved, almond eyes, he knew he'd met the Salamander at last. And he recognized her as only another warrior could. Yet he also knew in that moment that for all his own imposing record of victory in battle, he was not and never had been her equal. As a tactician and a strategist, yes. Even as a fleet commander. But not as the very embodiment of devastation. Not as the Salamander. Because for all the compassion and gentleness which were so much a part of her, there was something else inside Honor Alexander-Harrington, as well. Something he himself had never had. She'd told him, once, that her own temper frightened her. That she sometimes thought she could have been a monster under the wrong set of circumstances. And now, as he realized he'd finally met the monster, his heart twisted with sympathy and love, for at last he understood what she'd been trying to tell him. Understood why she'd bound it with the chains of duty, and love, of compassion and honor, of pity, because, in a way, she'd been right. Under the wrong circumstances, she could have been the most terrifying person he had ever met. In fact, at this moment, she was . It was a merciless something, her "monster"—something that went far beyond military talent, or skills, or even courage. Those things, he knew without conceit, he, too, possessed in plenty. But not that deeply personal something at the core of her, as unstoppable as Juggernaut, merciless and colder than space itself, that no sane human being would ever willingly rouse. In that instant her husband knew, with an icy shiver which somehow, perversely, only made him love her even more deeply, that as he gazed into those agate-hard eyes, he looked into the gates of Hell itself. And whatever anyone else might think, he knew now that there was no fire in Hell. There was only the handmaiden of death, and ice, and purpose, and a determination which would not— couldnot—relent or rest. "I'll miss them," she told him again, still with that dreadful softness, "but I won't forget. I'll never forget, and one day— oneday, Hamish—we're going to find the people who did this, you and I. And when we do, the only thing I'll ask of God is that He let them live long enough to know who's killing them.
David Weber (Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, #12))
From the essay on Love, in which he describes as a wilderness experience his daily visits with his wife to a hospital 3,000 miles from home in a strange city, where someone he loves is in danger of dying. “When the worst finally happens, or almost happens, a kind of peace comes. I had passed beyond grief, beyond terror, all but beyond hope, and it was thee, in that wilderness, that for the first time in my life I caught sight of something of what it must be like to love God truly. It was only a glimpse, but it was like stumbling on fresh water in the desert, like remembering something so huge and extraordinary that my memory had been unable to contain it. Though God was nowhere to be clearly seen, nowhere to be clearly heard, I had to be near him—even in the elevator riding up to her floor, even walking down the corridor to the one door among all those doors that had her name taped on it. I loved him because there was nothing else left. I loved him because he seemed to have made himself as helpless in his might as I was in my helplessness. I loved him not so much in spite of there being nothing in it for me but almost because there was nothing in it for me. For the first time in my life, there in that wilderness, I caught a glimpse of what it must be like to love God truly, for his own sake, to love him no matter what. If I loved him with less than all my heart, soul, and will, I loved him with at least as much of them as I had left for loving anything… I did not love God, God knows, because I was some sort of saint or hero. I did not love him because I suddenly saw the light (there was almost no light at all) or because I hoped by loving him to persuade him to heal the young woman I loved. I loved him because I couldn’t help myself. I loved him because the one who commands us to love is the one who also empowers us to love, as there in the wilderness of that dark and terrible time I was, through no doing of my own, empowered to love him at least a little, at least enough to survive. And in the midst of it, these small things happened that were as big as heaven and earth because through them a hope beyond hopelessness happened. “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.”… The final secret, I think, is this: that the words “You shall love the Lord your God” become in the end less a command than a promise.
Frederick Buechner (A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces)
There are only two whom we are commanded to love with all our hearts-the Lord our God, and our wives! "What does it mean to love someone with all our hearts? It means with all our emotional feelings and our devotion. Surely when you love your wife with all your heart, you cannot demean her, criticize her, find fault with her, nor abuse her by words, sullen behavior, or actions. "What does it mean to 'cleave unto her'? It means to stay close to her, to be loyal to her, to strengthen her, to communicate with her, and to express your love for her
Ezra Taft Benson
irrefutable truth. It’s basically what God tells Adam and Eve, immediately before he kicks them out of Paradise. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:16-19. KJV)
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
If enslaved to the desire for wealth, let this go. If enslaved by grievance, turn the cheek. If your significance is in being mother or father or wife or husband or child or in having any of these—indeed, if you cling even to your own life—these too let go. Have instead a new mind set upon the kingdom. Do not be anxious, but rather repent—see beyond your old mind, you see? Only have eyes to see what is true beyond what you think. Trust the Father. Then you will master this world with pleasure rather than be mastered by it. Then you will find the power to command any storm.
Ted Dekker (A.D. 30 (A.D., #1))
He knew he needed to release her, but once he allowed his physical connection to drop away, he was uncertain if he’d ever have a chance to reconnect. Instinctively, he knew Azami was elusive, like water flowing through fingers, or the wind shifting in the trees. He needed a way to seal her to him. “How does one court a woman in Japan? Do I need your brothers’ permission?” She blinked again. Shocked. A hint of uncertainty crept into her eyes. She frowned, and he bent his head to swallow her protest before she could utter it. Her mouth trembled beneath his, and then she opened to him, like a flower, luring him deeper. Her arms slid around his neck, her body pressing tightly against his. He tightened his fingers in her hair. He was burning, through and through, from the inside out, a hot melting of bone and tissue. He hadn’t known he was lonely or even looking for something. He’d been complete. He loved his wife. He was a man with teammates he trusted implicitly. He lived in wild places of beauty he enjoyed. He hadn’t considered there would be a woman who could ever fit with him, who would ever turn his insides soft and his body hard. Feel the same way, Azami. He didn’t lift his mouth, kissing her again and again because one he’d made the mistake, he was addicted and what was the use fighting it? Not when it felt so damn right. Somewhere along the line, his kiss went from sheer aggression and command, to absolute tenderness. The emotion for her rose like a volcano, encompassing him entirely, drawn from some part of him he’d never known even existed. His mouth was gentle, his hands on her, possessive, yet just as gentle. Another claiming, this coming from that deep unknown well. Feel the same way, Azami, he whispered into her mind. An enticement. A need. He waited, something in him going still, waiting for her answer. Tell me how you’re feeling? She hadn’t pulled away. If anything, her arms had tightened around his neck. He shared every single breath she took, feeling the slight movement of her rib cage and breasts against him, the warm air they exchanged. Like I’m burning alive. Drowning. Like I never want this moment to end. He wasn’t a man to say flowery things to a woman, nor did he even think them, but he shared the honest truth with her. Like we belong. Once he let her go, the world would slip back into kilter. He wanted her to stay with him, to give him a chance with her. She didn’t hesitate, and he loved that about her as well. She gave herself in truth in the same way he did. I feel the same, but one of us has to be sane. She initiated the kiss when he pulled back slightly, chasing after him with her soft mouth, fingers digging tightly into the heavy muscle at his neck, sighing when his lips settled once more over hers. He took his time, kissing her thoroughly, again and again, all the while slipping deeper into her spell and hoping she was falling under his. Is this your idea of sanity? He’d make it his reality. He was falling further down the rabbit hole and he’d make her his sanity if she’d fall with him. Her soft laughter slipped inside his heart, winding there until there was no shaking her loose. Not really, but you have to be the strong one. He kissed her again. And again. Why is that? You started this.
Christine Feehan (Samurai Game (GhostWalkers, #10))
Priests create a smoke screen around our anxiety, our despair, our terror and our demons. They paint mind-blowing pictures that make us jittery, unhappy and afraid. Priests are nothing but alarmists, pessimists and doom merchants. Calamity Jane personified. But at this stage, they’ve got us. We’ve been knocking off our neighbour’s wife or robbing post offices and we’re just about ready to turn our faces to the wall and abandon hope. We want someone with the power to grant us amnesty from our immorality, and to us the priests appear as Sir Galahad, Boadicea, Rambo or Joan of Arc. Stout fellows, all of them. “I have the fucking answer,” they cry, “Sign here, you plebs.” And we do! 2.2 billion of us! Why? I’ll tell you why. Because we’ve been sold. We feel plagued by conscience and answerable to God only. And the only way we can get to God is through Her second in command ….. the priest.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
And now at the end of the silence, this is what we do. Knowing that any time that we exercise our imagination lovingly on behalf of another, we are actually and literally mediating God to man. So we can sit quietly in the darkness and simply listen as though we heard the good report that we want to hear. We look into the darkness and imagine we are seeing what we want to see. This is then investing this two minutes; we have taken the moments that go to make up two minutes and really are investing it now. So when I take the chair and the lights are lowered let us listen and let us look as though we are hearing and seeing what we want to hear and see. And we are actually fulfilling the command of that wonderful voice that spoke to my wife when it said to her, "You must stop spending your time, your thought, and your money. For everything in life must be an investment." Let these two minutes be your greatest investment.
Neville Goddard (Sound Investments)
Finally the church bell tolls, the same low tone it calls at funerals, and she forces herself to her feet. Her father touches her arm. His face is sorry, but his grip is firm. "You will come to love your husband," he says, but the words are clearly more wish than promise. "You will be a good wife," says her mother, and hers are more command than wish. And then Estele appears in the doorway, dressed as if she is in mourning. And why shouldn't she be? This woman who taught her of wild dreams and willful gods, who filled Adeline's head with thoughts of freedom, blew on the embers of hope and let her believe a life could be her own.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
The skins of concentration camp prisoners, especially executed for this ghoulish purpose, had merely decorative value. They made, it was found, excellent lamp shades, several of which were expressly fitted up for Frau Ilse Koch, the wife of the commandant of Buchenwald and nicknamed by the inmates the “Bitch of Buchenwald.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich)
I feel a guard's hand close on my arm. Then Cardan's voice comes. 'Do not touch her.' A terrible silence follows. I wait for him to pronounce judgement on me. Whatever he commands will be done. His power is absolute. I don't even have the strength to fight back. 'Whatever can you mean?' Randalin says. 'She's-' 'She is my wife,' Cardan says, his voice carrying over the crowd. 'The rightful High Queen of Elfhame. And most definitely not in exile.' The shocked roar of the crowd rolls around me, but none of them are more shocked than I am. I try to open my eyes, try to sit up, but darkness crowds in at the edges of my vision and drags me under.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
As ingenious as this explanation is, it seems to me to miss entirely the emotional significance of the text- its beautiful and beautifully economical evocation of certain difficult feelings that most ordinary people, at least, are all too familiar with: searing regret for the past we must abandon, tragic longing for what must be left behind. (...) Still, perhaps that's the pagan, the Hellenist in me talking. (Rabbi Friedman, by contrast, cannot bring himself even to contemplate that what the people of Sodom intend to do to the two male angels, as they crowd around Lot's house at the beginning of the narrative, is to rape them, and interpretation blandly accepted by Rashi, who blithely points out thta if the Sodomites hadn't wanted sexual pleasure from the angels, Lot wouldn't have suggested, as he rather startingly does, that the Sodomites take his two daughter as subsitutes. But then, Rashi was French.) It is this temperamental failure to understand Sodom in its own context, as an ancient metropolis of the Near East, as a site of sophisticated, even decadent delights and hyper-civilized beauties, that results in the commentator's inability to see the true meaning of the two crucial elements of this story: the angel's command to Lot's family not to turn and look back at the city they are fleeing, and the transformation of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. For if you see Sodom as beautiful -which it will seem to be all the more so, no doubt, for having to be abandoned and lost forever, precisely the way in which, say, relatives who are dead are always somehow more beautiful and good than those who still live- then it seems clear that Lot and his family are commanded not to look back at it not as a punishment, but for a practical reason: because regret for what we have lost, for the pasts we have to abandon, often poisons any attempts to make a new life, which is what Lot and his family now must do, as Noah and his family once had to do, as indeed all those who survive awful annihilations must somehow do. This explanation, in turn, helps explain the form that the punishment of Lot's wife took- if indeed it was a punishment to begin with, which I personally do not believe it was, since to me it seems far more like a natural process, the inevitable outcome of her character. For those who are compelled by their natures always to be looking back at what has been, rather than forward into the future, the great danger is tears, the unstoppable weeping that the Greeks, if not the author of Genesis, knew was not only a pain but a narcotic pleasure, too: a mournful contemplation so flawless, so crystalline, that it can, in the end, immobilize you.
Daniel Mendelsohn (The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million)
Sometimes I think these scarves aren’t sent to the Angels at all, but unraveled and turned back into balls of yarn, to be knitted again in their turn. Maybe it’s just something to keep the Wives busy, to give them a sense of purpose. But I envy the Commander’s Wife her knitting. It’s good to have small goals that can be easily attained.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
Grace commanded the second pew, her whole family jammed together, the six of them sour yet insistent, like the richest people flying coach, while behind her sat Charles Jr., never Charlie or Chuck, with his two girls, the ever blonde and blonder copies of his wife, who was six months pregnant with what I could only imagine was a blinding ball of blazing white light.
David Gilbert
Several were still pubescent girls, such as fourteen-year-old Helen Mar Kimball. Although she acquiesced when the prophet explained that God had commanded her to become his plural wife—and that she would be permitted twenty-four hours to comply—Helen later confided to a friend, “I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.
Jon Krakauer (Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith)
What I saw of military life left me humbled. As long as I’d been alive, I’d never encountered the kind of fortitude and loyalty that I found in those rooms. One day in San Antonio, Texas, I noticed a minor commotion in the hallway of the military hospital I was visiting. Nurses shuffled urgently in and out of the room I was about to enter. “He won’t stay in bed,” I heard someone whisper. Inside, I found a broad-shouldered young man from rural Texas who had multiple injuries and whose body had been severely burned. He was in clear agony, tearing off the bedsheets and trying to slide his feet to the floor. It took us all a minute to understand what he was doing. Despite his pain, he was trying to stand up and salute the wife of his commander in chief.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
As if from the back row of a smoky movie theater, she watched as they entered the kitchen and took their places on her mother's polished black and white linoleum. The Wing Commander, his face kind. His wife, sunglasses in the morning. People really do wring their hands when they are anxious. The Chaplain, specks of dried blood on his chin - a quick shave before the breaking of the hearts.
Penny McCann Pennington (It Burns a Lovely Light)
Roman Centurion's Song" LEGATE, I had the news last night - my cohort ordered home By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome. I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below: Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go! I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall, I have none other home than this, nor any life at all. Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here. Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done; Here where my dearest dead are laid - my wife - my wife and son; Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love, Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove? For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice. What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies, Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze - The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days? You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine and olive lean Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on, Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon! You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines. You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but -will you e'er forget The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet? Let me work here for Britain's sake - at any task you will - A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill. Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep, Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep. Legate, I come to you in tears - My cohort ordered home! I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome? Here is my heart, my soul, my mind - the only life I know. I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!
Rudyard Kipling
And the son bursting into his father's house, killing him, and at the same time not killing him, this is not even a novel, not a poem, it is a sphinx posing riddles, which it, of course, will not solve itself. If he killed him, he killed him; how can it be that he killed him and yet did not kill him--who can understand that? Then it is announced to us that our tribune is the tribune of truth and sensible ideas, and so from this tribune of 'sensible ideas' an axiom resounds, accompanied by an oath, that to call the murder of a father parricide is simply a prejudice! But if parricide is a prejudice, and if every child ought to ask his father, 'Father, why should I love you?'--what will become of us, what will become of the foundations of society, where will the family end up? Parricide--don't you see, it's just the 'brimstone' of some Moscow merchant's wife? The most precious, the most sacred precepts concerning the purpose and future of the Russian courts are presented perversely and frivolously, only to achieve a certain end, to achieve the acquittal of that which cannot be acquitted. 'Oh, overwhelm him with mercy,' the defense attorney exclaims, and that is just what the criminal wants, and tomorrow everyone will see how overwhelmed he is! And is the defense attorney not being too modest in asking only for the defendant's acquittal? Why does he not ask that a fund be established in the parricide's name, in order to immortalize his deed for posterity and the younger generation? The Gospel and religion are corrected: it's all mysticism, he says, and ours is the only true Christianity, tested by the analysis of reason and sensible ideas. And so a false image of Christ is held up to us! With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you,' the defense attorney exclaims, and concludes then and there that Christ commanded us to measure with the same measure as it is measured to us--and that from the tribune of truth and sensible ideas! We glance into the Gospel only on the eve of our speeches, in order to make a brilliant display of our familiarity with what is, after all, a rather original work, which may prove useful and serve for a certain effect, in good measure, all in good measure! Yet Christ tells us precisely not to do so, to beware of doing so, because that is what the wicked world does, whereas we must forgive and turn our cheek, and not measure with the same measure as our offenders measure to us. This is what our God taught us, and not that it is a prejudice to forbid children to kill their own fathers. And let us not, from the rostrum of truth and sensible ideas, correct the Gospel of our God, whom the defense attorney deems worthy of being called merely 'the crucified lover of mankind,' in opposition to the whole of Orthodox Russia, which calls out to him: 'For thou art our God...!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
those who gave me the most pleasure. You know why? Because you’re an idiot, and even to fuck well it takes a little intelligence. For example you don’t know how to give a blow job, you’re hopeless, and it’s pointless to explain it to you, you can’t do it, it’s too obvious that it disgusts you. And he went on like that for a while, making speeches that became increasingly crude; with him vulgarity was normal. Then he wanted to explain clearly how things stood: he was marrying her because of the respect he felt for her father, a skilled pastry maker he was fond of; he was marrying her because one had to have a wife and even children and even an official house. But there should be no mistake: she was nothing to him, he hadn’t put her on a pedestal, she wasn’t the one he loved best, so she had better not be a pain in the ass, believing she had some rights. Brutal words. At a certain point Michele himself must have realized it, and he became gripped by a kind of melancholy. He had murmured that women for him were all games with a few holes for playing in. All. All except one. Lina was the only woman in the world he loved—love, yes, as in the films—and respected. He told me, Gigliola sobbed, that she would have known how to furnish this house. He told me that giving her money to spend, yes, that would be a pleasure. He told me that with her he could have become truly important, in Naples. He said to me: You remember what she did with the wedding photo, you remember how she fixed up the shop? And you, and Pinuccia, and all the others, what the fuck are you, what the fuck do you know how to do? He had said those things to her and not only those. He had told her that he thought about Lila night and day, but not with normal desire, his desire for her didn’t resemble what he knew. In reality he didn’t want her. That is, he didn’t want her the way he generally wanted women, to feel them under him, to turn them over, turn them again, open them up, break them, step on them, and crush them. He didn’t want her in order to have sex and then forget her. He wanted the subtlety of her mind with all its ideas. He wanted her imagination. And he wanted her without ruining her, to make her last. He wanted her not to screw her—that word applied to Lila disturbed him. He wanted to kiss her and caress her. He wanted to be caressed, helped, guided, commanded. He wanted to see how she changed with the passage of time, how she aged. He wanted to talk with her and be helped to talk. You understand? He spoke of her in way that to me, to me—when we are about to get married—he has never spoken.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
This shyness is a gift of nature to the fair sex, and it enhances their beauty and prestige, even if they are of a less important family or even if they are less attractive. We have practical experience of this fact. A sweeper woman commanded the respect of many respectable gentlemen simply by manifesting a lady’s shyness. Half-naked ladies in the street do not command any respect, but a shy sweeper’s wife commands respect from all.
A.C. Prabhupāda (Srimad Bhagavatam: First Canto)
The father of sin was theft; every one of the Ten Commandments boiled down to “Thou shalt not steal.” Murder was the theft of a life, adultery the theft of a wife, covetousness the secret, slinking theft that took place in the cave of the heart. Blasphemy was the theft of God’s name, swiped from the House of the Lord and sent out to walk the streets like a strutting whore. She had never been much of a thief; a minor pilferer from time to time at worst. The mother of sin was pride.
Stephen King (The Stand)
When a man seats before his eyes the bronze face of his helmet and steps off from the line of departure, he divides himself, as he divides his ‘ticket,’ in two parts. One part he leaves behind. That part which takes delight in his children, which lifts his voice in the chorus, which clasps his wife to him in the sweet darkness of their bed. “That half of him, the best part, a man sets aside and leaves behind. He banishes from his heart all feelings of tenderness and mercy, all compassion and kindness, all thought or concept of the enemy as a man, a human being like himself. He marches into battle bearing only the second portion of himself, the baser measure, that half which knows slaughter and butchery and turns the blind eye to quarter. He could not fight at all if he did not do this.” The men listened, silent and solemn. Leonidas at that time was fifty-five years old. He had fought in more than two score battles, since he was twenty; wounds as ancient as thirty years stood forth, lurid upon his shoulders and calves, on his neck and across his steel-colored beard. “Then this man returns, alive, out of the slaughter. He hears his name called and comes forward to take his ticket. He reclaims that part of himself which he had earlier set aside. “This is a holy moment. A sacramental moment. A moment in which a man feels the gods as close as his own breath. “What unknowable mercy has spared us this day? What clemency of the divine has turned the enemy’s spear one handbreadth from our throat and driven it fatally into the breast of the beloved comrade at our side? Why are we still here above the earth, we who are no better, no braver, who reverenced heaven no more than these our brothers whom the gods have dispatched to hell? “When a man joins the two pieces of his ticket and sees them weld in union together, he feels that part of him, the part that knows love and mercy and compassion, come flooding back over him. This is what unstrings his knees. “What else can a man feel at that moment than the most grave and profound thanksgiving to the gods who, for reasons unknowable, have spared his life this day? Tomorrow their whim may alter. Next week, next year. But this day the sun still shines upon him, he feels its warmth upon his shoulders, he beholds about him the faces of his comrades whom he loves and he rejoices in their deliverance and his own.” Leonidas paused now, in the center of the space left open for him by the troops. “I have ordered pursuit of the foe ceased. I have commanded an end to the slaughter of these whom today we called our enemies. Let them return to their homes. Let them embrace their wives and children. Let them, like us, weep tears of salvation and burn thank-offerings to the gods. “Let no one of us forget or misapprehend the reason we fought other Greeks here today. Not to conquer or enslave them, our brothers, but to make them allies against a greater enemy. By persuasion, we hoped. By coercion, in the event. But no matter, they are our allies now and we will treat them as such from this moment. “The Persian!
Steven Pressfield (Gates of Fire)
Joys of the thought of Death, the great spheres Time and Space? Prophetic joys of better, loftier love’s ideals, the divine wife, the sweet, eternal, perfect comrade? Joys all thine own undying one, joys worthy thee O soul. O while I live to be the ruler of life, not a slave, To meet life as a powerful conqueror, No fumes, no ennui, no more complaints or scornful criticisms, To these proud laws of the air, the water and the ground, proving my interior soul impregnable, And nothing exterior shall ever take command of me.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass: The Complete Edition)
Because you have listened to the voice of your wife         and have eaten of the tree     of which I commanded you,         ‘You shall not eat of it,’     cursed is the ground because of you;         in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;     thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;         and you shall eat the plants of the field.     By the sweat of your face         you shall eat bread,     till you return to the ground,         for out of it you were taken;     for you are dust,         and to dust you shall return.
Anonymous (ESV Reader's Bible)
In all ages woman has been the source of all that is pure, unselfish, and heroic in the spirit and life of man.....poetry and fiction are based upon woman's love, and the movements of history are mainly due to the sentiments or ambitions she has inspired......there is no aspiration which any man here to-night entertains, no achievement he seeks to accomplish, no great and honorable ambition he desires to gratify, which is not directly related to either or both a mother or a wife. From the hearth-stone around which linger the recollections of our mother, from the fireside where our wife awaits us, come all the purity, all the hope, and all the courage with which we fight the battle of life. The man who is not thus inspired, who labors not so much to secure the applause of the world as the solid and more precious approval of his home, accomplishes little of good for others or of honor for himself. I close with the hope that each of us may always have near us: 'A perfect woman, nobly planned, To warn, to comfort, and command, And yet a spirit still, and bright With something of an angel light.
Chauncey Mitchell DePew
There are times when I sit at the center of the world, and when I know that I can reach out to any of the programs my good wife has written for me and pull back any fact, absorb any explanation or command any event. There are also times when I sit with a full console and a head full of burning questions and learn nothing, because I do not know what to ask. And there are times when I am so full of learning and being and doing that the moments zip past and the days are packed, and other times when I am floating in slack water beside a current, and the world is sliding speedily by.
Frederik Pohl (Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (Heechee Saga, #2))
Early the next morning, I was driving westward toward the ranch. Marlboro Man had called the night before--a rare evening we’d spent apart--and had asked me to come out early. I’d just turned onto the highway that led out of my hometown when my car phone rang. It was dewy outside, foggy. “Hurry up,” Marlboro Man’s voice playfully commanded. “I want to see my future wife.” My stomach lurched. Wife. It would take me a while to get used to that word. “I’m coming,” I announced. “Hold your horses!” We hung up, and I giggled. Hold your horses. Heh-heh. I had a lifetime of these jokes ahead. This was going to be loads of fun.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Like Alan, Jep turned his life around after overcoming the struggles of alcohol and drugs. He came to work for Duck Commander and found his niche as a videographer. He films the footage for our Duckmen videos and works with Willie on the Buck Commander videos. Jep is with us on nearly every hunt, filming the action from a distance. He knows exactly what we’re looking for in the videos and films it, downloads it, edits it, and sends it to the duplicator, who produces and distributes our DVDs. Having worked with the crew of Duck Dynasty over the last few years, I’ve noticed that most people who work in the film industry are a little bit weird. And Jep, my youngest son, is a little strange. It’s his personality-he’s easygoing, likable, and a lot more reserved than his brothers. But he’s the only one who will come up to me and give me a bear hug. He’ll just walk up and say, “Daddy, I need a hug.” The good news for Jep is that as far as the Duck Commander crowd goes, one thing is for sure: weirdos are in! We covet weirdos; they can do things we can’t because they’re so strange. You have to have two or three weirdos in your company to make it work. It’s truly been a blessing to watch Jep grow and mature and become a loving husband and father. He and his wife, Jessica, have four beautiful children.
Phil Robertson (Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander)
He killed all those people -- every male. They had offended the Deity in some way. We know what the offense was, without looking; that is to say, we know it was a trifle; some small thing that no one but a god would attach any importance to. It is more than likely that a Midianite had been duplicating the conduct of one Onan, who was commanded to "go into his brother's wife" -- which he did; but instead of finishing, "he spilled it on the ground." The Lord slew Onan for that, for the lord could never abide indelicacy.... Some Midianite must have repeated Onan's act, and brought that dire disaster upon his nation. If that was not the indelicacy that outraged the feelings of the Deity, then I know what it was: some Midianite had been pissing against the wall. I am sure of it, for that was an impropriety which the Source of all Etiquette never could stand. A person could piss against a tree, he could piss on his mother, he could piss on his own breeches, and get off, but he must not piss against the wall -- that would be going quite too far. The origin of the divine prejudice against this humble crime is not stated; but we know that the prejudice was very strong -- so strong that nothing but a wholesale massacre of the people inhabiting the region where the wall was defiled could satisfy the Deity.
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
On Monday morning, she called me into her bedroom. Her dark hair was tousled, her light robe very feminine against the soft blue of her bed. Her eyes were full of mischief. “Oh, Mr. West,” she whispered in her beguiling child’s voice. “I’ve gotten myself into something. Can you help me get out of it?” “What can I do?” I asked, wondering who was next in line to be fired. “I’ve invited someone to stay here,” she said, “but now we’ve changed our minds.” She cast a glance in the direction of the President’s bedroom. “Could you help us cook up something so we can get out of having her as a houseguest?” Without waiting for a reply, she rushed on, her request becoming a command in mid-breath. “Would you fix up the Queen’s Room and the Lincoln Room so that it looks like we’re still decorating them, and I’ll show her that our guest rooms are not available.” Her eyes twinkled, imagining the elaborate deception. “The guest rooms will be redecorated immediately,” I said, and almost clicked my heels. I called Bonner Arrington in the carpenter’s shop. “Bring drop-cloths up to the Queen’s Room and Lincoln Bedroom. Roll up the rugs and cover the draperies and chandeliers, and all the furniture,” I instructed. “Oh yes, and bring a stepladder.” I called the paint shop. “I need six paint buckets each for the Queen’s Room and the Lincoln Room. Two of the buckets in each room should be empty—off-white—and I need four or five dirty brushes.” I met the crews on the second floor. “Now proceed to make these two rooms look as if they’re being redecorated,” I directed. “You mean you don’t want us to paint?” said the painters. “No,” I said. “Just make it look as if you are.” The crew had a good time, even though they didn’t know what it was all about. As I brought in the finishing touches, ashtrays filled with cigarette butts, Bonner shook his head. “Mr. West, all I can say is that this place has finally got to you,” he said. That evening the President and Mrs. Kennedy entertained a Princess for dinner upstairs in the President’s Dining Room. Before dinner, though, President Kennedy strolled down to the East Hall with his wife’s guest. He pointed out the bedraped Queen’s Room. “… And you see, this is where you would have spent the night if Jackie hadn’t been redecorating again,” he told the unsuspecting lady. The next morning, Mrs. Kennedy phoned me. “Mr. West, you outdid yourself,” she exclaimed. “The President almost broke up when he saw those ashtrays.
J.B. West (Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies)
When man loves as a biological hypostasis, he inevitably excludes others: the family has priority in love over "strangers," the husband lays exclusive claim to the love of his wife - facts altogether understandable and "natural" for the biological hypostasis. For a man to love someone who is not a member of his family more than his own relations constitutes a transcendence of the exclusiveness which is present in the biological hypostasis. Thus a characteristic of the ecclesial hypostasis is the capacity of the person to love without exclusiveness, and to do this not out of conformity with a moral commandment ("Love thy neighbor," etc.), but out of his "hypostatic constitution," out of the fact that his new birth from the womb of the Church has made him part of a network of relationships which transcends every exclusiveness.
John D. Zizoulas
Oh, Captain Aubrey,' cried she, 'I have a service to beg of you.' Mrs Fielding had but to command, said Jack, smiling at her with great affection; he was at her orders entirely - very happy - delighted - could not be more so. 'Why then,' she said, 'you know I am a little talkative - the dear Doctor has often said so, desiring me to peep down - but alas I am not at all writative, at least not in English. English spelling! Corpo di Baccho, English spelling! Now if I give you a dictation and you write it down in good English, I can use the words when I write to my husband.' 'Very well,' said Jack, his smile fading. It was just as he had feared: and he must have been quite mistaken about the signals. Mr Fielding was to understand that the excellent Captain Aubrey had saved Ponto from being drowned: Ponto now doted upon Captain Aubrey and ran up to him in the street. Wicked people therefore said that Captain Aubrey was Laura's lover. Should these rumours reach Mr Fielding he was to pay no attention. On the contrary. Captain Aubrey was an honourable man, who would scorn to insult a brother-officer's wife with dishonest proposals; indeed she had such confidence in his perfect rectitude that she could visit him without even the protection of a maid. Captain Aubrey knew very well that she would not ply the oar. 'Ply the oar, ma'am?' said Jack, looking up from his paper, his pen poised. 'Is it not right? I was so proud of it.' 'Oh yes,' said Jack. 'Only the word is spelt rather odd, you know,' and he wrote she would not play the whore very carefully, so that the letters could not be mistaken, smiling secretly as he did so, his frustration and disappointment entirely overcome by his sense of the ridiculous.
Patrick O'Brian (Treason's Harbour (Aubrey & Maturin, #9))
So, my dear…” She faced him with thudding heart, the crystal piece clutched desperately in her hand, but she was hardly aware that she even held it. “… You say I have let another man into my bed.” Erienne opened her mouth to speak. Her first impulse was to chatter some inanity that could magically take the edge from his callous half statement, half question. No great enlightenment dawned, however, and her dry, parched throat issued no sound of its own. She inspected the stopper closely, turning it slowly in her hand rather than meet the accusing stare. From behind the mask, Lord Saxton observed his wife closely, well aware that the next moments would form the basis for the rest of his life or leave it an empty husk. After this, there could be no turning back. “I think, my dear,” his words made her start, “that whatever the cost, ’tis time you met the beast of Saxton Hall.” Erienne swallowed hard and clasped the stopper with whitened knuckles, as if to draw some bit of courage from the crystal piece. As she watched, Lord Saxton doffed his coat, waistcoat, and stock, and she wondered if it was a trick of her imagination that he seemed somewhat lighter of frame. After their removal, he caught the heel of his right boot over the toe of the left and slowly drew the heavy, misshapen encumbrance from his foot. She frowned in open bemusement, unable to detect a flaw. He flexed the leg a moment before slipping off the other boot. His movements seemed pained as he shed the gloves, and Erienne’s eyes fastened on the long, tan, unscarred hands that rose to the mask and, with deliberate movements, flipped the lacings loose. She half turned, dropping the stopper and colliding with the desk as he reached to the other side of the leather helm and lifted it away with a single motion. She braved a quick glance and gasped in astonishment when she found translucent eyes calmly smiling at her. “Christopher! What…?” She could not form a question, though her mind raced in a frantic search for logic. He rose from the chair with an effort. “Christopher Stuart Saxton, lord of Saxton Hall.” His voice no longer bore a hint of a rasp. “Your servant, my lady.” “But… but where is…?” The truth was only just beginning to dawn on her, and the name she spoke sounded small and thin. “… Stuart?” “One and the same, madam.” He stepped near, and those translucent eyes commanded her attention. “Look at me, Erienne. Look very closely.” He towered over her, and his lean, hard face bore no hint of humor. “And tell me again if you think I would ever allow another man in your bed while I yet breathe.” -Christopher & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
And the observance of his five commandments will bring peace upon the earth. They all have but one object,—the establishment of peace among men. If men will only believe in the doctrine of Jesus and practise it, the reign of peace will come upon earth,—not that peace which is the work of man, partial, precarious, and at the mercy of chance; but the peace that is all-pervading, inviolable, and eternal. The first commandment tells us to be at peace with every one and to consider none as foolish or unworthy. If peace is violated, we are to seek to re-establish it. The true religion is in the extinction of enmity among men. We are to be reconciled without delay, that we may not lose that inner peace which is the true life (Matt. v. 22-24). Everything is comprised in this commandment; but Jesus knew the worldly temptations that prevent peace among men. The first temptation perilous to peace is that of the sexual relation. We are not to consider the body as an instrument of lust; each man is to have one wife, and each woman one husband, and one is never to forsake the other under any pretext (Matt. v. 28-32). The second temptation is that of the oath, which draws men into sin; this is wrong, and we are not to be bound by any such promise (Matt. v. 34-37). The third temptation is that of vengeance, which we call human justice; this we are not to resort to under any pretext; we are to endure offences and never to return evil for evil (Matt. v. 38-42). The fourth temptation is that arising from difference in nationalities, from hostility between peoples and States; but we are to remember that all men are brothers, and children of the same Father, and thus take care that difference in nationality leads not to the destruction of peace (Matt. v. 43-48).
Leo Tolstoy (My Religion)
I am a man in death. I am not God. I am not man. I am a beast and a predator. I want to make love to prostitutes. I want to live like an unnecessary man. I know that God wants this, and therefore I will live that way. I will live that way until He stops me. I will gamble on the Stock Exchange because I want to do so at other people's expense. I am an evil man. I do not love anyone. I wish harm to everyone and good to myself. I am an egoist. I am not God. I am a beast, a predator. I will practice masturbation and spiritualism. I will eat everyone I can get hold of. I will stop at nothing. I will make love to my wife's mother and my child. I will weep, but I will do everything God commands me to. I know that everyone will be afraid of me and will commit me to a lunatic asylum. But I don't care. I am not afraid of anything. I want death. I will blow my brains out if God wants it.
Vaslav Nijinsky (The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky: Unexpurgated Edition)
Korie: Jase lives right across the street from us, and he and his wife, Missy, have three kids: Reed, Cole, and Mia. Jase and Missy like to joke that our oldest son, John Luke, is like Kramer from Seinfeld. On nights when we’re not cooking at our house, John Luke busts through their front door as soon as he sees the dining room light go on to join them for dinner. He seems to know exactly when Missy pulls the rolls out of the oven. Our baby girl, Bella, and their daughter, Mia, are great friends. We say Mia is like the ghost of our house. She appears in our house at all times. You’ll turn around in your recliner, and she’ll be standing there. As soon as we pull in the driveway, she’s in our house, waiting to play with Bella. Our entire neighborhood is actually family. My parents are next door, along with four aunts and uncles and two grandparents. That’s the absolute best thing about where we live. It’s all about family.
Willie Robertson (The Duck Commander Family)
told me more about what happened the other night?” she asked, deciding to air her worst fears. “Am I under suspicion or something?” “Everyone is.” “Especially ex-wives who are publicly humiliated on the day of the murder, right?” Something in Montoya’s expression changed. Hardened. “I’ll be back,” he promised, “and I’ll bring another detective with me, then we’ll interview you and you can ask all the questions you like.” “And you’ll answer them?” He offered a hint of a smile. “That I can’t promise. Just that I won’t lie to you.” “I wouldn’t expect you to, Detective.” He gave a quick nod. “In the meantime if you suddenly remember, or think of anything, give me a call.” “I will,” she promised, irritated, watching as he hurried down the two steps of the porch to his car. He was younger than she was by a couple of years, she guessed, though she couldn’t be certain, and there was something about him that exuded a natural brooding sexuality, as if he knew he was attractive to women, almost expected it to be so. Great. Just what she needed, a sexy-as-hell cop who probably had her pinned to the top of his murder suspect list. She whistled for the dog and Hershey bounded inside, dragging some mud and leaves with her. “Sit!” Abby commanded and the Lab dropped her rear end onto the floor just inside the door. Abby opened the door to the closet and found a towel hanging on a peg she kept for just such occasions, then, while Hershey whined in protest, she cleaned all four of her damp paws. “You’re gonna be a problem, aren’t you?” she teased, then dropped the towel over the dog’s head. Hershey shook herself, tossed off the towel, then bit at it, snagging one end in her mouth and pulling backward in a quick game of tug of war. Abby laughed as she played with the dog, the first real joy she’d felt since hearing the news about her ex-husband. The phone rang and she left the dog growling and shaking the tattered piece of terry cloth. “Hello?” she said, still chuckling at Hershey’s antics as she lifted the phone to her ear. “Abby Chastain?” “Yes.” “Beth Ann Wright with the New Orleans Sentinel.” Abby’s heart plummeted. The press. Just what she needed. “You were Luke Gierman’s wife, right?” “What’s this about?” Abby asked warily as Hershey padded into the kitchen and looked expectantly at the back door leading to her studio. “In a second,” she mouthed to the Lab. Hershey slowly wagged her tail. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Beth Ann said, sounding sincerely rueful. “I should have explained. The paper’s running a series of articles on Luke, as he was a local celebrity, and I’d like to interview you for the piece. I was thinking we could meet tomorrow morning?” “Luke and I were divorced.” “Yes, I know, but I would like to give some insight to the man behind the mike, you know. He had a certain public persona, but I’m sure my readers would like to know more about him, his history, his hopes, his dreams, you know, the human-interest angle.” “It’s kind of late for that,” Abby said, not bothering to keep the ice out of her voice. “But you knew him intimately. I thought you could come up with some anecdotes, let people see the real Luke Gierman.” “I don’t think so.” “I realize you and he had some unresolved issues.” “Pardon me?” “I caught his program the other day.” Abby tensed, her fingers holding the phone in a death grip. “So this is probably harder for you than most, but I still would like to ask you some questions.” “Maybe another time,” she hedged and Beth Ann didn’t miss a beat. “Anytime you’d like. You’re a native Louisianan, aren’t you?” Abby’s neck muscles tightened. “Born and raised, but you met Luke in Seattle when he was working for a radio station . . . what’s the call sign, I know I’ve got it somewhere.” “KCTY.” It was a matter of public record. “Oh, that’s right. Country in the City. But you grew up here and went to local schools, right? Your
Lisa Jackson (Lisa Jackson's Bentz & Montoya Bundle: Shiver, Absolute Fear, Lost Souls, Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, Malice & Devious (A Bentz/Montoya Novel))
Benedict Arnold was appointed to the rank of general in the Continental Army by George Washington during the American War of Independence. It was up to him to protect the fortifications at West Point, New York, which in 1802 became the U.S. Military Academy. Arnold however planned to surrender his command to the British forces. When his treasonous act was discovered Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British sloop-of-war Vulture, avoiding capture by the forces of George Washington, who had previously been alerted to the plot. Arnold was hailed a hero by the British, who gave him a commission in the British Army as brigadier general. In the winter of 1782, after the war, he moved to London with his wife where he was received as a hero by King George III. In the United States his name "Benedict Arnold" became synonyms for the words “TRAITOR & TREASON.” Cohorting with a foreign power to overthrow the government or purposely aiding the enemy is an act of Treason!
Hank Bracker (Suppressed I Rise)
Sweetheart, you are alive. I am alive. And since I cannot be the pirate I always dreamed of being, I fell in love with one instead. I am not a traitor, I am not a deserter, and in time I will explain it all to you. For now, just trust that I am your Gallant Knight.”  He smiled. “Your officer.” She stared at him, uncomprehending. “My friends call me Gray. My men address me as Sir Graham. And the rest of the world knows me as”—he smiled a sheepish, charming grin that pushed a dimple into his chin—“Rear Admiral Sir Graham Falconer, Knight of the Bath and Commander of the Leeward Islands squadron of the Royal Navy’s West Indies Station. My flag is hoisted on His Majesty’s Ship Triton, and we're on our way to Barbados to pick up a convoy of merchant ships to escort back to England, where I shall enjoy a long-deserved leave with you as my wife, if you’ll have me, before duty returns me to my post. Maeve?” Her eyes were slipping shut. “Maeve?” But the shock was too much for her. The Pirate Queen had fainted.
Danelle Harmon (My Lady Pirate (Heroes of the Sea #3))
The emotions commanding him were similarly simple and straightforward. He feared what he could not understand, and he despised what he feared. But acknowledging fear did not make him a coward – for he had proclaimed for himself an eternal war against all that threatened him, be it a devious wife who had raised walls round her soul, or conspirators against the empire of Lether. His enemies, he well understood, were the true cowards. They thought within clouds that obscured all the harsh truths of the world. Their struggles to ‘understand’ led, inevitably, to seditious positions against authority. Even as they forgave the empire’s enemies, they condemned the weaknesses of their own homeland – not recognizing that they themselves personified such weaknesses. An empire such as Lether was ever under siege. (...) A siege, inside and out, yes – the very privileges the empire granted were exploited by those who would see the empire destroyed. And there could be no room for ‘understanding’ such people – they were evil, and evil must be expurgated.
Steven Erikson (Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #7))
There are people in this country who will argue that because of the demise of morals in general, and Sunday school in particular, kids today are losing their innocence before they should, that because of cartoons and Ken Starr and curricula about their classmates who have two mommies, youth learn too soon about sex and death. Well, like practically everyone else in the Western world who came of age since Gutenberg, I lost my innocence the old-time-religion way, by reading the nursery rhyme of fornication that is the Old Testament and the fairy tale bloodbath that is the New. Job taught me Hey! Life's not fair! Lot's wife taught me that I'm probably going to come across a few weird sleazy things I won't be able to resist looking into. And the book of Revelation taught me to live in the moment, if only because the future's so grim. Being a fundamentalist means going straight to the source. I was asked to not only read the Bible, but to memorize Bible verses. If it wasn't for the easy access to the sordid Word of God I might have had an innocent childhood. Instead, I was a worrywart before my time, shivering in constant fear of a god who, from what I could tell, huffed and puffed around the cosmos looking like my dad did when my sister refused to take her vitamins that one time. God wasn't exactly a children's rights advocate. The first thing a child reading the Bible notices is that you're supposed to honor your mother and father but they're not necessarily required to reciprocate. This was a god who told Abraham to knife his boy Isaac and then at the last minute, when the dagger's poised above Isaac's heart, God tells Abraham that He's just kidding. This was a god who let a child lose his birthright because of some screwball mix-up involving fake fur hands and a bowl of soup. This was a god who saw to it that his own son had his hands and feet nailed onto pieces of wood. God, for me, was not in the details. I still set store by the big Judeo-Christian messages. Who can argue with the Ten Commandments? Don't kill anybody: don't mess around with other people's spouses: be nice to your mom and dad. Fine advice. It was the minutiae that nagged me.
Sarah Vowell (Take the Cannoli)
A rattle of dishes warned of a servant’s entry into the hall, but Christopher was incensed, and half turning with a growl, he gestured Paine back. “Get out of here, man!” “Christopher!” Erienne gasped and took two halting steps to follow the befuddled servant, but Christopher came around to face her with a glare. “Stay where you are, madam! I am not finished with you.” “You have no right to give orders here,” she protested, her own ire growing. “This is my husband’s house!” “I’ll give orders when and where I damn well please, and for once, you will stand and listen until I’m through!” More than a trifle outraged herself, Erienne hurled back her answer. “You may command the men on your ship to your will, Mister Seton, but you have no such authority here! Good day to you!” Catching up her skirts, she whirled and stalked toward the tower until she heard the sound of rapid footsteps coming behind her, then a sudden panic seized her that he would make such a scene that she would not be able to face the servants… or her husband. She raced into the entry, stepping over the puddle, and took to the stairs, forcing every bit of strength she could into her limbs. She had barely gained the fourth step when she heard sliding feet, a loud thump, and then a painful grunt followed by an angry curse. When she whirled, Christopher was just coming to rest in a heap against the wall after sliding across the floor, partway on his back. For a moment she stared aghast at the dignified man sprawled in a most undignified manner, but when he raised his head to look at her with barely contained rage, she was struck by the humor of it all. Bubbling laughter broke forth, winning from him a dark scowl of exasperation. “Are you hurt, Christopher?” she asked sweetly. “Aye! My pride has been mightily bruised!” “Oh, that will mend, sir,” she chuckled, spreading her skirts to perch primly on the step above him. Her eyes danced with a lively light that was simply dazzling to behold. “But you should take care. If such a modest spot of water can bring you down so abruptly, I would not advise sailing beyond these shores.” “ ’Tis not a spot of water that’s brought me down, but a waspish wench who sets her barbs against me at every turn.” “You dare accuse me when you come in here huffing and snorting like a raging bull?” She gave a throaty, skeptical laugh. “Really, Christopher, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You frightened Paine and nearly made me swallow my heart.” “That’s an impossibility, madam, for that thing is surely made of cold, hard steel.” “You’re pouting,” she chided flippantly, “because I have not fallen swooning at your feet.” “I’m angry because you continually deny the fact that you should be my wife!” he stated emphatically. Footsteps on the stairs behind Erienne made them glance up. Aggie came nonchalantly down the steps, seeming unaware of Christopher’s storm-dark frown. Excusing herself, she stepped past her mistress. Finally, on reaching level footing, she contemplated the man, a twinkle of mischief in her eye. “Aren’t ye a wee bit old ter be takin’ yer leisure on the floor, sir?” He raised a brow at Erienne as that one smothered a giggle, and with a snort, got to his feet and brushed off his breeches and coatsleeve. -Christopher, Erienne, and Aggie
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
You’re too goddamned fat,” he said. I took a defiant drag on my cigarette and willed myself not to cry. The remark made me dizzy. For the past four years, Ma and Grandma had played by the rule: never to mention my weight. Now my jeans and sweatshirt were folded in a helpless pile beside me and there was only a thin sheet of paper between my rolls of dimply flesh and this detestable old man. My heart raced with fear and nicotine and Pepsi. My whole body shook, dripped sweat. “Any trouble with your period?” he asked. “No.” “What?” “No trouble,” I managed, louder. He nodded in the direction of his stand-up scale. The backs of my legs made little sucking sounds as they unglued themselves from the plastic upholstery. He brought the sliding metal bar down tight against my scalp and fiddled with the cylinder in front of my face. “Five-five and a half,” he said. “Two hundred . . . fifty-seven.” The tears leaking from my eyes made stains on the paper gown. I nodded or shook my head abruptly at each of his questions, coughed on command for his stethoscope, and took his pamphlets on diet, smoking, heart murmur. He signed the form. At the door, his hand on the knob, he turned back and waited until I met his eye. “Let me tell you something,” he said. “My wife died four Tuesdays ago. Cancer of the colon. We were married forty-one years. Now you stop feeling sorry for yourself and lose some of that pork of yours. Pretty girl like you—you don’t want to do this to yourself.” “Eat shit,” I said. He paused for a moment, as if considering my comment. Then he opened the door to the waiting room and announced to my mother and someone else who’d arrived that at the rate I was going, I could expect to die before I was forty years old. “She’s too fat and she smokes,” I heard him say just before the hall rang out with the sound of my slamming his office door. I was wheezing wildly by the time I reached the final landing. On the turnpike on the way home, Ma said, “I could stand to cut down, too, you know. It wouldn’t hurt me one bit. We could go on a diet together? Do they still sell that Metrecal stuff?” “I’ve been humiliated enough for one fucking decade,” I said. “You say one more thing to me and I’ll jump out of this car and smash my head under someone’s wheels.
Wally Lamb (She's Come Undone)
Early the next morning, I was driving westward toward the ranch. Marlboro Man had called the night before--a rare evening we’d spent apart--and had asked me to come out early. I’d just turned onto the highway that led out of my hometown when my car phone rang. It was dewy outside, foggy. “Hurry up,” Marlboro Man’s voice playfully commanded. “I want to see my future wife.” My stomach lurched. Wife. It would take me a while to get used to that word. “I’m coming,” I announced. “Hold your horses!” We hung up, and I giggled. Hold your horses. Heh-heh. I had a lifetime of these jokes ahead. This was going to be loads of fun. He met me at my car, wearing jeans, boots, and a soft, worn denim shirt. I climbed out of the car and stepped right into his arms. It was just after 8:00 A.M., and within seconds we were leaning against my car, sharing a passionate, steamy kiss. Leave it to Marlboro Man to make 8:00 A.M. an acceptable time to make out. I never would have known this if I hadn’t met him. “So…what are we gonna do today?” I asked, trying to remember what day it was. “Oh, I thought we’d drive around for a while…,” he said, his arms still grasping my waist, “and talk about where we might want to live.” I’d heard him mention before, in passing, that someday he wanted to move to a different spot on the ranch, but I’d never paid much attention to it. I’d never really cared much where he lived, just as long as he took his Wranglers with me. “I want it to be your decision, too.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
MAC. Fear not then any longer the hostile spear of the Argives; for I myself, old man, before I am commanded, am prepared to die, and to stand for slaughter; for what shall we say if the city thinks fit for our sakes to encounter a great danger, but we putting toils on others, avoid death when we can be saved? Not so, since this would be ridiculous for suppliants sitting at the shrines of the Gods to mourn, but being of such a sire as we are, to be seen to be cowards; how can this seem good! it were more noble, I think, (which may it never happen!) to fall into the hands of the enemy, this city being taken, and afterward, being born of a noble father, having suffered dreadful things, to see Hades none the less; but shall I wander about, driven from this land, and shall I not indeed be ashamed if any one says, "Why have ye come hither with your suppliant branches, yourselves being too fond of life! Depart from the land, for we will not aid cowards." But neither, indeed, if these die, and I myself am saved, have I any hope to fare well; for before now many have in this way betrayed their friends. For who would choose to have me, a solitary damsel, for his wife, or to raise children from me? therefore it is better to die than to have such an unworthy fate as this; and this may even be more seemly for some other, who is not illustrious as I. Lead me then where this body must needs die, and crown me and begin the rites, if you think fit, and conquer your enemies; for this life is ready for you, willing, and not unwilling; and I promise to die for these my brethren, and for myself; for not caring for life, I have found this most glorious thing to find, namely, to leave life gloriously.
Euripides (The Tragedies of Euripides, Volume I.)
The people like me, finally, after years and years of agitation, made deeply moving and eloquent speeches against the wrongness of your domination over us, and then finally, after the mutilated bodies of you, your wife, and your children were found in your beautiful and spacious bungalow at the edge of your rubber plantation—found by one of your many house servants (none of it was ever yours; it was never, ever yours)—you say to me, “Well, I wash my hands of all of you, I am leaving now,” and you leave, and from afar you watch as we do to ourselves the very things you used to do to us. And you might feel that there was more to you than that, you might feel that you had understood the meaning of the Age of Enlightenment (though, as far as I can see, it had done you very little good); you loved knowledge, and wherever you went you made sure to build a school, a library (yes, and in both of these places you distorted or erased my history and glorified your own). But then again, perhaps as you observe the debacle in which I now exist, the utter ruin that I say is my life, perhaps you are remembering that you had always felt people like me cannot run things, people like me will never grasp the idea of Gross National Product, people like me will never be able to take command of the thing the most simpleminded among you can master, people like me will never understand the notion of rule by law, people like me cannot really think in abstractions, people like me cannot be objective, we make everything so personal. You will forget your part in the whole setup, that bureaucracy is one of your inventions, that Gross National Product is one of your inventions, and all the laws that you know mysteriously favour you.
Jamiaca Kincaid
Noah and the Flood 9These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, [3] for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. [4] Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, [5] its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16Make a roof [6] for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
The Ten Commandments EXODUS 20  z And  a God spoke all these words, saying, 2 b “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 c “You shall have no other gods before [1] me. 4 d “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 e You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am  f a jealous God,  g visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands [2] of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 h “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 i “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 j Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the  k seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the  l sojourner who is within your gates. 11For  m in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 n “Honor your father and your mother,  o that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 13 p “You shall not murder. [3] 14 q “You shall not commit adultery. 15 r “You shall not steal. 16 s “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 t “You shall not covet  u your neighbor’s house;  v you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Baron, Baroness Originally, the term baron signified a person who owned land as a direct gift from the monarchy or as a descendant of a baron. Now it is an honorary title. The wife of a baron is a baroness. Duke, Duchess, Duchy, Dukedom Originally, a man could become a duke in one of two ways. He could be recognized for owning a lot of land. Or he could be a victorious military commander. Now a man can become a duke simply by being appointed by a monarch. Queen Elizabeth II appointed her husband Philip the Duke of Edinburgh and her son Charles the Duke of Wales. A duchess is the wife or widow of a duke. The territory ruled by a duke is a duchy or a dukedom. Earl, Earldom Earl is the oldest title in the English nobility. It originally signified a chieftan or leader of a tribe. Each earl is identified with a certain area called an earldom. Today the monarchy sometimes confers an earldom on a retiring prime minister. For example, former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan is the Earl of Stockton. King A king is a ruling monarch. He inherits this position and retains it until he abdicates or dies. Formerly, a king was an absolute ruler. Today the role of King of England is largely symbolic. The wife of a king is a queen. Knight Originally a knight was a man who performed devoted military service. The title is not hereditary. A king or queen may award a citizen with knighthood. The criterion for the award is devoted service to the country. Lady One may use Lady to refer to the wife of a knight, baron, count, or viscount. It may also be used for the daughter of a duke, marquis, or earl. Marquis, also spelled Marquess. A marquis ranks above an earl and below a duke. Originally marquis signified military men who stood guard on the border of a territory. Now it is a hereditary title. Lord Lord is a general term denoting nobility. It may be used to address any peer (see below) except a duke. The House of Lords is the upper house of the British Parliament. It is a nonelective body with limited powers. The presiding officer for the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor or Lord High Chancellor. Sometimes a mayor is called lord, such as the Lord Mayor of London. The term lord may also be used informally to show respect. Peer, Peerage A peer is a titled member of the British nobility who may sit in the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. Peers are ranked in order of their importance. A duke is most important; the others follow in this order: marquis, earl, viscount, baron. A group of peers is called a peerage. Prince, Princess Princes and princesses are sons and daughters of a reigning king and queen. The first-born son of a royal family is first in line for the throne, the second born son is second in line. A princess may become a queen if there is no prince at the time of abdication or death of a king. The wife of a prince is also called a princess. Queen A queen may be the ruler of a monarchy, the wife—or widow—of a king. Viscount, Viscountess The title Viscount originally meant deputy to a count. It has been used most recently to honor British soldiers in World War II. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was named a viscount. The title may also be hereditary. The wife of a viscount is a viscountess. (In pronunciation the initial s is silent.) House of Windsor The British royal family has been called the House of Windsor since 1917. Before then, the royal family name was Wettin, a German name derived from Queen Victoria’s husband. In 1917, England was at war with Germany. King George V announced that the royal family name would become the House of Windsor, a name derived from Windsor Castle, a royal residence. The House of Windsor has included Kings George V, Edward VII, George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.
Nancy Whitelaw (Lady Diana Spencer: Princess of Wales)
Epilogue "It's a girl!" "A what?" Michael stared in shock at the midwife, who had just left his wife's chambers. "A girl, Your Grace," the woman replied nervously, perhaps worried that he would order Isabella's head cut off for not producing a male heir. A girl, Michael thought in wonder. Not for a moment had he thought his child would be a girl. For the past one hundred years, only males had been born into the Blackmore line, and he hadn't expected his offspring to be any different. "I must see them at once." Michael stood abruptly, causing the small, rotund midwife to jump with nerves. "Yes, Your Grace." She bowed fearfully—and unnecessarily, for he was only a Duke—and gestured for him to follow her into his wife's rooms. In a few long strides, he was inside Isabella's inner sanctum and rushing to the bed, where his wife lay as serene and calm as though she had merely taken a walk . "Isabella?" he croaked, tears in his eyes. "Oh, don't be so dramatic, darling!" Isabella replied with a gentle smile. "I'm perfectly all right, and so is the baby. One of the nurses shall bring her back in a minute; they're just bathing her." As though her words had been a command, the door to the antechamber opened and a second—more cheerful—midwife emerged with an armful of blankets. "Here she is, Your Grace," she said, shoving the bundle of blankets into his arms. "What, where?" the Duke asked in confusion, before looking down at the white blankets, light as a feather, that he held. There, in the midst of all the material and swaddled tight, was the face of the tiniest baby he had ever seen. "She's very small," he said in confusion to Isabella, who merely smiled. "Should she be this small?" "Actually, she's quite big," the midwife interjected, her face a picture of amusement at Michael's helpless expression. "What do you think?" Isabella asked softly, leaning over his shoulder to stare down at the baby. "I-I-I" Michael stuttered, completely overwhelmed. "You love her that much already?" Isabella teased . Unable to respond, Michael merely nodded, knowing that he probably appeared cold to the watching midwife. But his wife knew the truth, and she understood that sometimes a man didn't need words to express how much love was in his heart. And one day, his daughter would understand too.
Claudia Stone (Proposing to a Duke (Regency Black Hearts #1))
The thing I really like about Jase is that he’s as obsessed with ducks as I am. I rarely took my boys hunting with me when they were very young. In fact, I never took them when I was still an outlaw. “Not this time, boys, we might be running from the game warden,” I’d tell them. But after I repented and came to Jesus Christ, I started taking my sons hunting with me, beginning with Alan. Before we moved to where we live now, it was a pretty long haul from town to the Ouachita River bottoms. Alan got carsick nearly every time I took him hunting, but he didn’t think I knew. We stopped at the same gas station every time, and he’d walk around back and lose his breakfast before he climbed back into the truck. I was proud of him for never complaining. I took Jase hunting for the first time when he was five. He was shooting Pa’s heavy Belgium-made Browning twelve-gauge shotgun, which he could barely even hold up. It kicked like a mule! The first time Jase shot the gun, it kicked him to the back of the blind and flipped him over a bench. “Did I get him?” Jase asked. I knew right then that I had another hunter in the family, and Jase is still the most skilled hunter of all my boys. I trained Jase to take over the company by teaching him the nuances of duck calls and fowl hunting, and he is still the person in charge of making sure every duck call sounds like a duck. Not only did Jase design the first gadwall drake call to hit the market, he also invented the first triple-reed duck caller. Jase and I live to hunt ducks. We track ducks during the season through a nationwide network of hunters, asking how many ducks are in their areas and what movements are expected. Then we check conditions of wind and weather fronts that might influence duck movement. We talk it all over during the day and again each morning, before the day’s hunt, as we prepare to leave for the blind. When Kay and I began to ponder becoming less active in the Duck Commander business, we offered its management to Jase, who had been most deeply involved in the company. But he had no desire to get into management. Jase likes building duck calls and doesn’t really enjoy the business aspects of the company, like making sales calls or dealing with clients and sponsors. Like me, Jase is most comfortable when he’s in a duck blind and doesn’t care for the details that come with running a company. Jase only wants to build duck calls, shoot ducks, and spend time with his family (he and his wife, Missy, have three kids).
Phil Robertson (Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander)
Moses. Men and Vows NUMBERS 30 Moses spoke to  f the heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, “This is what the LORD has commanded. 2 g If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or  h swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word.  i He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Women and Vows 3“If a woman vows a vow to the LORD and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house in her youth, 4and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. 5But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And the LORD will forgive her, because her father opposed her. 6“If she marries a husband, while under her  j vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, 7and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. 8But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her  j vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself.  k And the LORD will forgive her. 9(But any vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, anything by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her.) 10And if she vowed in her husband’s house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath, 11and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. 12But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void, and  l the LORD will forgive her. 13Any vow and any binding oath to afflict herself, [1] her husband may establish, [2] or her husband may make void. 14But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges that are upon her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her on the day that he heard of them. 15But if he makes them null and void after he has heard of them, then  m he shall bear her iniquity.” 16These are the statutes that the LORD commanded Moses about a man and his wife and about a father and his daughter while she is in her youth within her father’s house.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
When I Want to Be More Like Jesus Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 JOHN 2:5-6 NOTHING REVEALS to a woman how close or far away she is from being like Jesus than the relationship she has with her husband. The way she thinks, talks, acts, and reacts around him—or in response to him—shows her how far she has to go in order to become all that God wants her to be. Marriage is one of the true testing grounds for what is in all of us. Any selfishness, inconsideration, or lack of love in either a husband or wife will be revealed as they live together day after day, year after year. But if ever a woman doesn’t like what she sees happening in herself with regard to her marriage relationship, she can seek to be more like Jesus, so that His love, selflessness, and kindness will grow in her and be revealed to those around her—especially her husband. (A man can and should do the same thing, of course, but this is about you right now.) Ask God to help you walk as Jesus walked. The only way to actually do that is by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you have received Jesus, then you have His Holy Spirit in you, and you can live God’s way because the Holy Spirit enables you to do so. The way to have the perfect love of Jesus grow in you is to be daily in God’s Word so you can hear from Him about how to live, and you can read about the way Jesus lived, and you can let the Word live in you so you can be led by God’s Spirit to make the right choices about how to live your life. The Bible says if we say we know God and do not keep His commandments, we have no truth in us (1 John 2:4). Thank God that you have the mind of Christ and therefore all you need to become more Christlike. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and teach you and enable you to have the same compassion, selflessness, forgiveness, mercy, and love toward your husband that Jesus has toward you. Ask Him to fill you with His truth. My Prayer to God LORD, help me to think like You, act like You, and talk like You—with compassion, love, grace, and mercy. Take away everything in me that is not of You—all anger, bitterness, criticism, and lack of love. Remove every tendency in me to function in the flesh and lash out with my words or actions. Take away any desire in me to withdraw from my husband, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. I know that holding myself apart from him is not what You want me to do, for Your nature is to have us draw close to each other as You draw close to us, and I want to imitate You. Lead me in Your ways, Lord. Teach me what Your unconditional love means and help me to display it. Fill me so full of Your love and forgiveness that it overflows from me to my husband. Mold my heart into the way You want it to be. Change me every time I read Your Word. Help me to be so sold out to You that I cannot move or speak apart from the love You put in my heart. Lord, You are beautiful, kind, gentle, faithful, true, unselfish, wise, lovely, peaceful, good, and holy. You are light and life. Enable me to be more like You. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
A stranger. Young, well-dressed, pale and visibly sweaty, as if he’d endured some great shock and needed a drink. West would have been tempted to pour him one, if not for the fact that he’d just pulled a small revolver from his pocket and was pointing it in his direction. The nose of the short barrel was shaking. Commotion erupted all around them as patrons became aware of the drawn pistol. Tables and chairs were vacated, and shouts could be heard among the growing uproar. “You self-serving bastard,” the stranger said unsteadily. “That could be either of us,” Severin remarked with a slight frown, setting down his drink. “Which one of us do you want to shoot?” The man didn’t seem to hear the question, his attention focused only on West. “You turned her against me, you lying, manipulative snake.” “It’s you, apparently,” Severin said to West. “Who is he? Did you sleep with his wife?” “I don’t know,” West said sullenly, knowing he should be frightened of an unhinged man aiming a pistol at him. But it took too much energy to care. “You forgot to cock the hammer,” he told the man, who immediately pulled it back. “Don’t encourage him, Ravenel,” Severin said. “We don’t know how good a shot he is. He might hit me by mistake.” He left his chair and began to approach the man, who stood a few feet away. “Who are you?” he asked. When there was no reply, he persisted, “Pardon? Your name, please?” “Edward Larson,” the young man snapped. “Stay back. If I’m to be hanged for shooting one of you, I’ll have nothing to lose by shooting both of you.” West stared at him intently. The devil knew how Larson had found him there, but clearly he was in a state. Probably in worse condition than anyone in the club except for West. He was clean-cut, boyishly handsome, and looked like he was probably very nice when he wasn’t half-crazed. There could be no doubt as to what had made him so wretched—he knew his wrongdoings had been exposed, and that he’d lost any hope of a future with Phoebe. Poor bastard. Picking up his glass, West muttered, “Go on and shoot.” Severin continued speaking to the distraught man. “My good fellow, no one could blame you for wanting to shoot Ravenel. Even I, his best friend, have been tempted to put an end to him on a multitude of occasions.” “You’re not my best friend,” West said, after taking a swallow of brandy. “You’re not even my third best friend.” “However,” Severin continued, his gaze trained on Larson’s gleaming face, “the momentary satisfaction of killing a Ravenel—although considerable—wouldn’t be worth prison and public hanging. It’s far better to let him live and watch him suffer. Look how miserable he is right now. Doesn’t that make you feel better about your own circumstances? I know it does me.” “Stop talking,” Larson snapped. As Severin had intended, Larson was distracted long enough for another man to come up behind him unnoticed. In a deft and well-practiced move, the man smoothly hooked an arm around Larson’s neck, grasped his wrist, and pushed the hand with the gun toward the floor. Even before West had a good look at the newcomer’s face, he recognized the smooth, dry voice with its cut-crystal tones, so elegantly commanding it could have belonged to the devil himself. “Finger off the trigger, Larson. Now.” It was Sebastian, the Duke of Kingston . . . Phoebe’s father. West lowered his forehead to the table and rested it there, while his inner demons all hastened to inform him they really would have preferred the bullet.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
Then he was striding toward me. His mesmerizing gaze pinned me in place as he cupped my face. When his lips covered mine, I gasped. He took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, groaning into the contact. His hands tightened on my face. His sexy groans made my toes curl, muddling my thoughts. Block that out! I was Aric’s wife. I’d wronged him in the past, had consigned him to misery for hundreds—no, thousands—of years. I needed to make this right. Like penance. There was something vaguely threatening about his words. Misgivings about this arose. Too fast. “If you have feelings for him, fight them,” Aric commanded me. “By going to him, you’d be stoking them once more. Don’t you understand? He can find another woman—I cannot. If you choose him, you’ll be consigning me to a hellish fate. As you’ve done again and again. No, this will be even worse, because I’ve had a greater glimpse of what I’ll be missing.” “I just want to talk to him. I’m leaving this weekend,” I said in an unwavering voice. “No, you will not.” His arrogant demeanor back in place, he said, “Understand me, I’m not surrendering the one woman who was born for me alone. Not to a human, not to anyone.” “You can’t keep me here against my will any longer. What are you going to do? Put that cuff back on me?” I held up my hand to stop him. “I understand why you did it. But I won’t be a prisoner anymore.” He snatched up his shirt, threading his arms into the sleeves. “You say you keep your promises now? You made a vow before gods to be my wife. In this life, you will keep your promises to me—before you ever honor one to him!” “You can’t stop me from leaving. I have my powers back. I earned my powers back.” With a cruel curve of his lips, he said, “You promised never to harm me, Empress. Know that you’ll have to kill me before I would ever let you go.” As he strode out the door, I said, “And know that you’ll have to put that cilice on me to keep me prisoner again.” He whirled around, fury in his expression. “You refused—twice—to beg me for your own life, but you’d beg for his?” I whispered, “Yes.” With a calculating gleam in his eyes, he said, “This isn’t an impossible task you ask of me. I could call in ancient favors, contact old allies. They could be here in mere hours. We’d ride out as one.” “T-truly?” “On one condition: you’ll become my wife in truth, mine in every way. Beginning tonight. Comply, and I’ll take on an army for you.” My lips parted with shock. “How can you do this to me?” “Deveaux is lost to you in one way or another. He’ll either be slaughtered by the Lovers—or saved by my female, by her sacrifice.” He offered his hand. “Come with me, and begin this.” “Don’t, Aric! Don’t destroy what I do feel for you.” “I’ll take”—he seized my hand, yanking me close—“what I can get.” Despite myself, I shivered from the contact, from his husky voice. His hold on me was firm, proprietary. Because he believed I was about to become his. The red witch in me whispered, Death thinks he has you at his mercy. But the Empress doesn’t get collared or caged—or controlled. Take his head and pay the Tower. Shut up! “Please, Aric. I’ll grow to hate you for this. I don’t want to feel that way about you. Never again. Don’t force me to do this.” “Force?” Unmoved, he led me toward his bedroom. “I’m not forcing you to do anything. Just as you can’t force me to save your lover’s life. We each make sacrifices to get what we want.” With my heart pounding, I crossed the threshold into his dark world. Black walls, black ceiling, black night beyond his windows. Yet outside I thought I saw . . . a single fluttering snowflake. Like a sign.
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
But as she rounded the last turn before the hall landing, she nearly collided with Sir Ian, carrying his mother’s shawl. “Oh!” Lina exclaimed, coming to an abrupt halt a step above his. “Rather careless of you to leave this behind,” he said. He was too close. “Aye, it was,” she agreed, stepping back up a step to gain more space. His eyes danced. “Mayhap I should demand a penance before returning it.” “You dare,” she said, stiffening and wishing he were not so fiendishly beguiling with that boyish gleam of mischief in his eyes. He was definitely not just a mischievous boy anymore, though. And, for a lady to encourage such behavior . . . He looked up, as if to heaven, and murmured, “Just one wee ki—” “Shame on you, Sir Ian Colquhoun,” she interjected, thinking she sounded just like her mother. “Galbraith cannot know that you are on this stairway.” “Once again, you are wrong, lass,” he said, his eyes still alight. “He is still with Lizzie on the dais—giving her a well-deserved scolding, I trust. I saw that you had left the shawl and offered to find a maidservant to return it to you. But this is much better. I do think you should thank me prettily for taking so much trouble.” “I will thank you. After you have returned it to me.” Cocking his head, he held the shawl higher, so she’d have to reach for it. When she did, he moved it back out of her reach. Lina lowered her outstretched hand to her side and eyed him sternly from her slightly superior height. “I thought you sought my approval.” He stepped up to the stair below hers, putting the shawl out of reach again. His face was now inches higher than hers and his body again much too close for comfort. “I’d prefer something else just now,” he said softly, looking into her eyes. Reaching with his left hand for her right wrist, he held it firmly. Apparently oblivious of her attempt to snatch it free, he pressed the shawl into her hand and let go of her wrist, his gaze never leaving hers. She waited to see what he would do next. He smiled then, wryly, as if he dared her to walk away. His lips were tantalizingly close. Lina shut her eyes. “Coward,” Ian murmured, enjoying himself. Her eyes flew open. Then, to his astonishment, she learned forward, brushed her lips against his right cheek, and whirled, snatching up her skirts in her free hand as first her right foot and then her left blindly sought the next stair upward. Reaching out, he easily caught her arm. “Not so fast,” he said, turning her back to face him. “You must not kiss and run, lass. That’s against the rules.” “The lady makes the rules, sir. Let go of me.” She was two steps above his again, looking disdainfully down her nose at him. She did not try to pull away. She was testing him, he knew. But she was right about who made the rules. Even so, the urge was strong to seize her and teach her what kissing was all about. However, he also wanted to make her desire that kiss enough to abandon her disapproval. And that was the greater challenge. Sakes, if he were seeking a wife and had no royal duty commanding him . . . Shifting his grip to her hand, he drew it to his lips and slowly kissed each knuckle. Then he kissed the silky skin above them, turned her trembling hand palm up long enough to breathe gently into that tender palm . . . and released her. With a barely discernable gasp, she turned away, her dignity apparently still—or again—intact. He enjoyed watching her move, so he stood where he was to savor the sight. His reward came when she stopped before vanishing around the next curve and looked back. Her lips parted slowly, invitingly, in surprise. He bowed and had the delight of seeing her whirl again and hurry away. “I shall win this battle, I think,” he murmured to himself.
Amanda Scott (The Knight's Temptress (Lairds of the Loch, #2))