Customer Is King Quotes

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Nice customs curtsy to great kings.
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
Content Isn't King, It's the Kingdom.
Lee Odden (Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing)
Those who are conquered," wrote the philosopher Ibn Khaldun in the fourteenth century, "always want to imitate the conqueror in his main characteristics—in his clothing, his crafts, and in all his distinctive traits and customs.
Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost)
Customer is king. I am his treasurer.
Toba Beta (My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut)
The King: Your execution - The Queen: Your marketing - The Bishop: Your customer service - The Knight: Your product - The Rook: Your people - The Pawn: Your ideas.
M.J. DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane)
By custom, we wield the sword and wear the armor, but who among you does not know a mother, sister, daughter, friend, who exceeds you in courage and fortitude? So let us no more think of being compared to women as an insult.
Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty, #1))
If you found yourself upset at some other society’s customs, Boas argued, the truly scientific thing to do was to analyze your own reaction. It was probably a good clue to the things that your own culture held dear. The best data generator was your own sense of disgust.
Charles King (Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century)
Custom is the lord of everything, of mortals and immortals king. High violence it justifies, with hand uplifted plundering.
Excerpt from Ursula K Le Guin's speech at National Book Awards Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality. Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write. Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words. I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Even today there still exists in the South--and in certain areas of the North--the license that our society allows to unjust officials who implement their authority in the name of justice to practice injustice against minorities. Where, in the days of slavery, social license and custom placed the unbridled power of the whip in the hands of overseers and masters, today--especially in the southern half of the nation--armies of officials are clothed in uniform, invested with authority, armed with the instruments of violence and death and conditioned to believe that they can intimidate, maim or kill Negroes with the same recklessness that once motivated the slaveowner. If one doubts this conclusion, let him search the records and find how rarely in any southern state a police officer has been punished for abusing a Negro.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Why We Can't Wait)
A long time ago there lived a king who was famed for his wisdom through all the land. Nothing was hidden from him, and it seemed as if news of the most secret things was brought to him through the air. But he had a strange custom; every day after dinner, when the table was cleared, and no one else was present, a trusty servant had to bring him one more dish. It was covered, however, and even the servant did not know what was in it, neither did anyone know, for the king never took off the cover to eat of it until he was quite alone.
Jacob Grimm (The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales)
The king was silent. "Ents!" he said at length. "Out of the shadows of legend I begin a little to understand the marvel of the trees, I think. I have lived to see strange days. Long we have tended our beasts and our fields, built our houses, wrought our tools, or ridden away to help in the wars of Minas Tirith. And that we called the life of Men, the way of the world. We cared little for what lay beyond the borders of our land. Songs we have that tell of these things, but we are forgetting them, teaching them only to children, as a careless custom. And now the songs have come down among us out of the strange places, and walk visible under the Sun." "You should be glad," Théoden King," said Gandalf. "For not only the little life of Men is now endangered, but the life also of those thing which you have deemed the matter of legend. You are not without allies, even if you know them not." "Yet also I should be sad," said Théoden. "For however the fortune of war shall go, may it not so end that much that was fair and wonderful shall pass for ever out of Middle-earth?
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
O Kate, nice customs curtsy to great kings. Dear Kate, you and I cannot be confin'd within the weak list of a country's fashion; we are the makers of manners, Kate; and the liberty that follows our places stops the mouth of all find-faults.
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
No soldiers, no gendarmes or police, no nobles, kings, regents, prefects, or judges, no prisons, no lawsuits - and everything takes its orderly course. All quarrels and disputes are settled by the whole of the community affected, by the gens or the tribe, or by the gentes among themselves; only as an extreme and exceptional measure is blood revenge threatened-and our capital punishment is nothing but blood revenge in a civilized form, with all the advantages and drawbacks of civilization. Although there were many more matters to be settled in common than today - the household is maintained by a number of families in common, and is communistic, the land belongs to the tribe, only the small gardens are allotted provisionally to the households - yet there is no need for even a trace of our complicated administrative apparatus with all its ramifications. The decisions are taken by those concerned, and in most cases everything has been already settled by the custom of centuries. There cannot be any poor or needy - the communal household and the gens know their responsibilities towards the old, the sick, and those disabled in war. All are equal and free - the women included. There is no place yet for slaves, nor, as a rule, for the subjugation of other tribes.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
He said: 'You don't understand. We never thought that we were being used to conquer people. Not at all: we thought the opposite. We were told that we were freeing those people. That is what they said—that we were going to set those people free from their bad kings or their evil customs or some such thing. We believed it because they believed it too. It took us a long time to understand that in their eyes freedom exists wherever they rule.
Amitav Ghosh (The Glass Palace)
This night the woman of his belittling deprecations was thinking how great and good her husband was. But over them both there hung a deeper shade than the shade which Angel Clare perceived, namely, the shade of his own limitations. With all his attempted independence of judgment this advanced and well-meaning young man, a sample product of the last five-and-twenty years, was yet the slave to custom and conventionality when surprised back into his early teachings. No prophet had told him, and he was not prophet enough to tell himself, that essentially this young wife of his was as deserving of the praise of King Lemuel as any other woman endowed with the same dislike of evil, her moral value having to be reckoned not by achievement but by tendency. Moreover, the figure near at hand suffers on such occasions, because it shows up its sorriness without shade; while vague figures afar off are honoured, in that their distance makes artistic virtues of their stains. In considering what Tess was not, he overlooked what she was, and forgot that the defective can be more than the entire.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D’Urbervilles)
You can go a hundred miles a second Don't have to drive no lousy cab Got everything you want and more man And the King picks up the tab You walk around on streets of gold all day And you never have to listen To what these customers say and I know...
Marc Cohn
debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.
Donald Miller (Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen)
I will tell you why; so shall my anticipation Prevent your discovery, and your secrecy to the king And queen moult no feather. I have of late--but Wherefore I know not--lost all my mirth, forgone all Custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily With my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most Excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave O'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted With golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to Me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! in form and moving how Express and admirable! in action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the World! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, What is this quintessence of dust? man delights not Me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling You seem to say so.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet (Classics Illustrated #99))
These be the sort" — she took a fine judicial tone, and stuffed her mouth with paan — "These be the sort to oversee justice. They know the land and the customs of the land. The others, all new from Europe, suckled by white women and learning our tongues from books, are worse than the pestilence. They do harm to kings.
Rudyard Kipling (Kim)
Once he reaches my ribs, he moves his hands to my arms, running them up to my shoulder. “I don’t know what you’re wearing,” he says. “But I like it.” “Custom-made,” I say. “And then stolen by you?” I shrug. “What are you doing?” “What does it look like I’m doing?” “You’re touching me.” “I’m trying to get my key back.” “Sounds like an excuse to touch me.” He smiles and leans forward so his mouth is at my ear. “I don’t see you stopping me.” “If I had, I wouldn’t be able to do this.” His eyes shoot up in alarm, but he doesn’t have enough time to guess what I’m about to do until I’ve already done it. Yes, I knee him. Right between the legs. He takes some time to recover. Enough for me to exit the cell and lock him in. He stares at me levelly. “That was low.
Tricia Levenseller (Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1))
It was a fact generally acknowledged by all but the most contumacious spirits at the beginning of the seventeenth century that woman was the weaker vessel; weaker than man, that is. ... That was the way God had arranged Creation, sanctified in the words of the Apostle. ... Under the common law of England at the accession of King James I, no female had any rights at all (if some were allowed by custom). As an unmarried woman her rights were swallowed up in her father's, and she was his to dispose of in marriage at will. Once she was married her property became absolutely that of her husband. What of those who did not marry? Common law met that problem blandly by not recognizing it. In the words of The Lawes Resolutions [the leading 17th century compendium on women's legal status]: 'All of them are understood either married or to be married.' In 1603 England, in short, still lived in a world governed by feudal law, where a wife passed from the guardianship of her father to her husband; her husband also stood in relation to her as a feudal lord.
Antonia Fraser (The Weaker Vessel)
Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry. The Heathens paid divine honours to their deceased kings, and the Christian world hath improved on the plan, by doing the same to their living ones. How impious is the title of sacred majesty applied to a worm, who in the midst of his splendor is crumbling into dust!
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
They’re ice cream cufflinks,” I said brightly. “I know a jeweler on Rue de la Paix who makes customized pieces. The onyx is the soy sauce. The ruby is the cherry, even though you don’t eat it with cherry, but I think the red ties the design together.” It was a half-joke gift, half-sincere. Dante owned dozens of luxury cufflinks, but I wanted to give him something more personal. “Do you like them?” I asked. “I love them.” He removed his current cufflinks and replaced them with the new ones. “Thank you, mia cara.
Ana Huang (King of Wrath (Kings of Sin, #1))
Shut up, Willy. Mister, you gonna buy anything? Pa says we can’t shut down for the day until we get thirty dollars’ worth of custom.” “I’ll buy a pumpkin. If you can give me some decent directions.” She gave a theatrical sigh. “One pumpkin. A buck-fifty. Big whoop.
Stephen King (Revival)
The kingdoms of kings are confined, either by mountains or rivers, or by a change in customs or by a difference of language; but my kingdom is as great as the world, because I am neither Italian, nor French, nor Hindu, nor American, nor a Spaniard; I am a cosmopolitan. No country can claim to be my birthplace, God alone knows in which region I shall die. I adopt every custom, I speak every tongue [... ] In this way, you see, being of no country, asking for the protection of no goverment and acknowledging no man as my brother, I am not restrained or hampered by a single one of the scruples that tie the hands of the powerful or the obstacles that block the path of the weak.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
No doubt after the emperor was overthrown in 1911, your gardener would have joined the rest of the world in cutting the queue and taking on the laws and customs of his adoptive land. Before that, his assuming Western dress would have been dangerous for his family in China.
Laurie R. King (Locked Rooms (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #8))
Clan custom and law held that it was the public declaration of intent and then living together that made a handfasting; the ceremonies simply bore witness to it and asked blessings and luck of the Powers on the new family. He knew Christians thought that the ceremony was the marriage, though.
S.M. Stirling (The High King of Montival (Emberverse, #7))
Each of the conquered kingdoms had its own laws and traditions. King Aegon did little to interfere with those. He allowed his lords to continue to rule much as they always had, with all the same powers and prerogatives. The laws of inheritance and succession remained unchanged, the existing feudal structures were confirmed, lords both great and small retained the power of pit and gallows on their own land, and the privilege of the first night wherever that custom had formerly prevailed.
George R.R. Martin (Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1))
The revenues of the ancient Saxon kings of England are said to have been paid, not in money, but in kind, that is, in victuals and provisions of all sorts. William the Conqueror introduced the custom of paying them in money. This money, however, was for a long time, received at the exchequer, by weight, and not by tale. The inconveniency and difficulty of weighing those metals with exactness, gave occasion to the institution of coins, of which the stamp, covering entirely both sides of the piece, and sometimes the edges too, was supposed to ascertain not only the fineness, but the weight of the metal. Such coins, therefore, were received by tale, as at present, without the trouble of weighing.
Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations)
He came forward naked, as was the custom in Akielos. He was a handsome youth with the physique of a champion. Elon, his opponent, was a young man from the south. The two men scooped oil from the receptacle brought to them by the stewards, anointed their bodies with it, then they slung their arms around one another’s shoulders, and, on the signal, heaved. The
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
It seems there was a custom in Ireland at this time of showing obeisance to your king by sucking his nipples. No nipples, you could not be a king.
Marilyn Johnson (Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble)
Hee was swapping all from bill to eye, Hee was swapping all from wing to thigh, His swapping Tool of Generation Out-swappèd all ye Winged Nation. Ho the Blood of King Edward …
Terry Pratchett (The Folklore of Discworld: Legends, Myths, and Customs from the Discworld with Helpful Hints from Planet Earth)
Ten kings met once a year to decide about water sharing, fixing customs, excise, and toll rates, port levies, and to exchange musicians and artisans. An
Anand Neelakantan (Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished)
A craftsman who doesn't know a thing about his customers cannot serve them properly.
Yves Jégo (The Sun King Conspiracy)
Deja King (Bitch The Beginning Of The End (Bitch Series))
We may be from different Kingdoms, different customs and different religions, but today we stand as brothers, as equals with a common goal!
E.O. Odiase (A Cry to War (The Last Warrior King Series, #1))
Perhaps that is the true definition of pragmatism – an ability to deceive oneself and so turn one’s back on principle, law or custom if they stand in the way of what one wants.
Julian Rathbone (The Last English King)
The Fon of Dahomey was foremost among those African peoples who resisted the suppression. Not only was the internal enslavement of their prisoners perceived as essential to their traditions and customs, the external sell of their prisoners afforded their kingdom wealth and political dominance. To maintain a sufficient “slave supply,” the king of Dahomey instigated wars and led raids with
Zora Neale Hurston (Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo")
too aware, even as he says this very proper thank-you, that most people become customers sooner or later, here or at one of the city’s four other fine and not-so-fine sickbays. No one rides for free, and in the end, even the most seaworthy ship goes down, blub-blub-blub. The only way to balance that off, in Hodges’s opinion, is to make the most of every day afloat. But if that’s true, what
Stephen King (Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2))
in his land, owing to the absence of settees and sofas of all sorts, the king, chiefs, and great people generally, were in the custom of fattening some of the lower orders for ottomans; and to furnish a house comfortably in that respect, you had only to buy up eight or ten lazy fellows, and lay them round in the piers and alcoves. Besides, it was very convenient on an excursion; much better than those garden-chairs which are convertible into walking-sticks; upon occasion, a chief calling his attendant, and desiring him to make a settee of himself under a spreading tree, perhaps in some damp marshy place.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
Government by kings was first introduced into the world by Heathens, from which the children of Israel copied the custom, It was the most prosperous invention the devil ever set foot for the promotion of idolatry.
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
The challenge that faced the English in the seventeenth century was how to curb the absolute power of the monarch. In the twenty-first century, it is the markets that have taken on the mantle of absolutism, placing themselves above the jurisdiction of national governments. Holding the king to account was unprecedented and went against custom and tradition - holding the global markets to account is just as audacious and just as necessary.
Billy Bragg (The Three Dimensions of Freedom (Faber Social))
Similarly with the plongeur. He is a king compared with a rickshaw puller or a gharry pony, but his case is analogous. He is the slave of a hotel or a restaurant, and his slavery is more or less useless. For, after all, where is the REAL need of big hotels and smart restaurants? They are supposed to provide luxury, but in reality they provide only a cheap, shoddy imitation of it. Nearly everyone hates hotels. Some restaurants are better than others, but it is impossible to get as good a meal in a restaurant as one can get, for the same expense, in a private house. No doubt hotels and restaurants must exist, but there is no need that they should enslave hundreds of people. What makes the work in them is not the essentials; it is the shams that are supposed to represent luxury. Smartness, as it is called, means, in effect, merely that the staff work more and the customers pay more; no one benefits except the proprietor, who will presently buy himself a striped villa at Deauville. Essentially, a ‘smart’ hotel is a place where a hundred people toil like devils in order that two hundred may pay through the nose for things they do not really want. If the nonsense were cut out of hotels and restaurants, and the work done with simple efficiency, plongeurs might work six or eight hours a day instead of ten or fifteen.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
Have you not reason then to be ashamed and to forbear this filthy novelty, so basely grounded, so foolishly received and so grossly mistaken in the right use thereof. In your abuse thereof sinning against God harming yourselves both in person and goods, and raking also thereby the marks and notes of vanity upon you by the custom thereof making yourselves to be wondered at by all foreign civil nations and by all strangers that come among you to be scorned and held in contempt; a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.
James VI and I
You just never know when you’ll want an escape hatch: mile-long lines at tollbooth plazas, the fifteen minutes you have to spend in the hall of some boring college building waiting for your advisor (who’s got some yank-off in there threatening to commit suicide because he/she is flunking Custom Kurmfurling 101) to come out so you can get his signature on a drop-card, airport boarding lounges, laundromats on rainy afternoons, and the absolute worst, which is the doctor’s office when the guy is running late and you have to wait half an hour in order to have something sensitive mauled. At such times I find a book vital. If I have to spend time in purgatory before going to one place or the other, I guess I’ll be all right as long as there’s a lending library
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
My tuxedo was custom-tailored, but it suddenly felt too tight, like it could barely contain the heavy drum of my heartbeat. I’d dined with presidents, negotiated with CEOs, and vacationed with royalty, but none had shredded my composure the way Isabella did.
Ana Huang (King of Pride (Kings of Sin, #2))
Mild-mannered Abe, however, is Tarzan of the traffic jungle. He knows the strict species pecking order: pedestrians are on the bottom and run out of the way of everything, bicycles make way to cycle-rickshaws, which give way to auto-rickshaws, which stop for cars, which are subservient to trucks. Buses stop for one thing and one thing only. Not customers - they jump on while the buses are still moving. The only thing that can stop a bus is the king of the road, the lord of the jungle and the top dog. The holy cow.
Sarah Macdonald (Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure)
ACT6.14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. ACT6.15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
The advantages of a hereditary Monarchy are self-evident. Without some such method of prescriptive, immediate and automatic succession, an interregnum intervenes, rival claimants arise, continuity is interrupted and the magic lost. Even when Parliament had secured control of taxation and therefore of government; even when the menace of dynastic conflicts had receded in to the coloured past; even when kingship had ceased to be transcendental and had become one of many alternative institutional forms; the principle of hereditary Monarchy continued to furnish the State with certain specific and inimitable advantages. Apart from the imponderable, but deeply important, sentiments and affections which congregate around an ancient and legitimate Royal Family, a hereditary Monarch acquires sovereignty by processes which are wholly different from those by which a dictator seizes, or a President is granted, the headship of the State. The King personifies both the past history and the present identity of the Nation as a whole. Consecrated as he is to the service of his peoples, he possesses a religious sanction and is regarded as someone set apart from ordinary mortals. In an epoch of change, he remains the symbol of continuity; in a phase of disintegration, the element of cohesion; in times of mutability, the emblem of permanence. Governments come and go, politicians rise and fall: the Crown is always there. A legitimate Monarch moreover has no need to justify his existence, since he is there by natural right. He is not impelled as usurpers and dictators are impelled, either to mesmerise his people by a succession of dramatic triumphs, or to secure their acquiescence by internal terrorism or by the invention of external dangers. The appeal of hereditary Monarchy is to stability rather than to change, to continuity rather than to experiment, to custom rather than to novelty, to safety rather than to adventure. The Monarch, above all, is neutral. Whatever may be his personal prejudices or affections, he is bound to remain detached from all political parties and to preserve in his own person the equilibrium of the realm. An elected President – whether, as under some constitutions, he be no more than a representative functionary, or whether, as under other constitutions, he be the chief executive – can never inspire the same sense of absolute neutrality. However impartial he may strive to become, he must always remain the prisoner of his own partisan past; he is accompanied by friends and supporters whom he may seek to reward, or faced by former antagonists who will regard him with distrust. He cannot, to an equal extent, serve as the fly-wheel of the State.
Harold Nicholson
The king of Jerusalem had been quite explicit in his letter to the abbot of Clairvaux: “Devise for the brothers such customs and habits of life that will not be in contrast with the clamor and harshness of war, but which show themselves to be useful for Christian principles.
Barbara Frale (The Templars: The Secret History Revealed)
they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,  ACT16.20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,  ACT16.21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
As it recurred again and again, it set me thinking of what my architect's books say about the custom in early times to consecrate the choir as soon as it was built, and that the nave, being finished sometimes half a century later, often did not get any blessing at all: I wondered idly if that had been the case at St. Barnabe, and whether something not usually supposed to be at home in a Christian church, might have entered undetected, and taken possession of the west gallery. I had read of such things happening too, but not in works on architecture. ("In The Court Of The Dragon")
Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories)
Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result—when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; whereas soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings,
Plato (The Republic)
7And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God,  fwho had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods 8 gand walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel,  h
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
When in the seventh century King Redwald of East Anglia provided one altar in his church to sacrifice to Christ, and another small one to offer victims to devils,1 he was not behaving childishly, or cunningly hoping to get the best of both worlds, but merely acting according to normal heathen custom, since acceptance of one god did not mean that one wholly rejected one’s neighbour’s deity. This indeed must have been one of the most difficult lessons for the new converts to Christianity to learn, and while they gained in single-mindedness, it is to be feared that they lost much of their old spirit of tolerance. The
H.R. Ellis Davidson (Gods and Myths of Northern Europe)
Sometimes when a father has an ugly, loutish son, the love he bears him so blindfolds his eyes that he does not see his defects, or, rather, takes them for gifts and charms of mind and body, and talks of them to his friends as wit and grace. I, however—for though I pass for the father, I am but the stepfather to "Don Quixote"—have no desire to go with the current of custom, or to implore thee, dearest reader, almost with tears in my eyes, as others do, to pardon or excuse the defects thou wilt perceive in this child of mine. Thou art neither its kinsman nor its friend, thy soul is thine own and thy will as free as any man's, whate'er he be, thou art in thine own house and master of it as much as the king of his taxes and thou knowest the common saying, "Under my cloak I kill the king;" all which exempts and frees thee from every consideration and obligation, and thou canst say what thou wilt of the story without fear of being abused for any ill or rewarded for any good thou mayest say of it.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
The first law of the land shall be the King’s Peace,” King Aegon decreed, “and any lord who goes to war without my leave shall be considered a rebel and an enemy of the Iron Throne.” King Aegon also issued decrees regularizing customs, duties, and taxes throughout the realm, whereas previously every port and every petty lord had been free to exact however much they could from tenants, smallfolk, and merchants. He also proclaimed that the holy men and women of the Faith, and all their lands and possessions, were to be exempt from taxation, and affirmed the right of the Faith’s own courts to try and sentence any septon, Sworn Brother, or holy sister accused of malfeasance.
George R.R. Martin (Fire & Blood (A Targaryen History, #1))
As with their fashions, so is it with their customs and style of living: French manners change with the age of the king. The monarch could even succeed in making his people solemn if he chose to try. He impresses his own characteristics upon the court, the court upon the city, and the city on the provinces. The soul of the sovereign is a mould in which all the others are formed.
Montesquieu (Persian Letters (Penguin Classics))
Not every customer is interested in your product. However, they are interested in themselves. Over-explaining the product may lead to information overload and losing the sale entirely. It’s best to focus on painting a mental picture of what the customer’s life may look like when they buy your product. Once they’ve mentally bought in, then provide all relevant information needed to succeed in using your product.
JetSet (Josh King Madrid, JetSetFly)
Among the Mediterraneans,” wrote Seltman, “as a general rule society was built around the woman, even on the highest levels where descent was in the female line. A man became king or chieftain only by a formal marriage and his daughter, not his son, succeeded so that the next chieftain was the youth who married his daughter … Until the northerners arrived, religion and custom were dominated by the female principle.
Merlin Stone (When God Was a Woman)
O Fabricius! What would your great soul have thought, if to your own misfortune you had been called back to life and had seen the pompous face of this Rome saved by your efforts and which your honourable name had distinguished more than all its conquests? 'Gods,' you would have said, 'what has happened to those thatched roofs and those rustic dwelling places where, back then, moderation and virtue lived? What fatal splendour has succeeded Roman simplicity? What is this strange language? What are these effeminate customs? What do these statues signify, these paintings, these buildings? You mad people, what have you done? You, masters of nations, have you turned yourself into the slaves of the frivolous men you conquered? Are you now governed by rhetoricians? Was it to enrich architects, painters, sculptors, and comic actors that you soaked Greece and Asia with your blood? Are the spoils of Carthage trophies for a flute player? Romans, hurry up and tear down these amphitheatres, break up these marbles, burn these paintings, chase out these slaves who are subjugating you, whose fatal arts are corrupting you. Let other hands distinguish themselves with vain talents. The only talent worthy of Rome is that of conquering the world and making virtue reign there. When Cineas took our Senate for an assembly of kings, he was not dazzled by vain pomp or by affected elegance. He did not hear there this frivolous eloquence, the study and charm of futile men. What then did Cineas see that was so majestic? O citizens! He saw a spectacle which your riches or your arts could never produce, the most beautiful sight which has ever appeared under heaven, an assembly of two hundred virtuous men, worthy of commanding in Rome and governing the earth.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Sciences and Arts and Polemics)
That’s how my cousin came to don the hand-tailored suits and to arrogate to himself the glamorous responsibility for ushering to their tables big-name customers such as Jersey City’s crooked mayor, Frank Hague; New Jersey’s light-heavyweight champion, Gus Lesnevich; and racket tycoons like Cleveland’s Moe Dalitz, Boston’s King Solomon, L.A.’s Mickey Cohen, and even “the Brain” himself, Meyer Lansky, when they were in town for a gangland convention.
Philip Roth (The Plot Against America)
In many elite Hindu families in the Delhi region and the North-west, until about the time of Partition it was the custom for boys to learn Persian and Urdu and be literate in the Persian script, while the girls were taught Devanagari. Among elite Sikh families too, the boys would similarly be schooled in Persian and Urdu and know the Persian script, while the girls were taught Gurmukhi, the Punjabi script in which the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, is written.
Peggy Mohan (Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages)
Thighs so strong they looked as if they might be made of marble. Broad shoulders; a strong Roman nose; dark-brown, glossy hair—the kind wasted on a man—and a year-round tan that screamed, I vacation four times a year. In the office he wore custom suits. Handmade suits fell a particular way on the shoulders that I recognized from the few meetings I’d had with my father. His face and body lived up to every expectation I’d had. Working with him, not so much. I hadn’t expected him to be such a tyrant.
Louise Bay (King of Wall Street (The Royals Collection, #1))
A bare two years after Vasco da Gama’s voyage a Portuguese fleet led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral arrived on the Malabar coast. Cabral delivered a letter from the king of Portugal to the Samudri (Samudra-raja or Sea-king), the Hindu ruler of the city-state of Calicut, demanding that he expel all Muslims from his kingdom as they were enemies of the ‘Holy Faith’. He met with a blank refusal; then afterwards the Samudra steadfastly maintained that Calicut had always been open to everyone who wished to trade there… During those early years the people who had traditionally participated in the Indian Ocean trade were taken completely by surprise. In all the centuries in which it had flourished and grown, no state or kings or ruling power had ever before tried to gain control of the Indian Ocean trade by force of arms. The territorial and dynastic ambitions that were pursued with such determination on land were generally not allowed to spill over into the sea. Within the Western historiographical record the unarmed character of the Indian Ocean trade is often represented as a lack, or failure, one that invited the intervention of Europe, with its increasing proficiency in war. When a defeat is as complete as was that of the trading cultures of the Indian Ocean, it is hard to allow the vanquished the dignity of nuances of choice and preference. Yet it is worth allowing for the possibility that the peaceful traditions of the oceanic trade may have been, in a quiet and inarticulate way, the product of a rare cultural choice — one that may have owed a great deal to the pacifist customs and beliefs of the Gujarati Jains and Vanias who played such an important part in it. At the time, at least one European was moved to bewilderment by the unfamiliar mores of the region; a response more honest perhaps than the trust in historical inevitability that has supplanted it since. ‘The heathen [of Gujarat]’, wrote Tomé Pires, early in the sixteenth century, ‘held that they must never kill anyone, nor must they have armed men in their company. If they were captured and [their captors] wanted to kill them all, they did not resist. This is the Gujarat law among the heathen.’ It was because of those singular traditions, perhaps, that the rulers of the Indian Ocean ports were utterly confounded by the demands and actions of the Portuguese. Having long been accustomed to the tradesmen’s rules of bargaining and compromise they tried time and time again to reach an understanding with the Europeans — only to discover, as one historian has put it, that the choice was ‘between resistance and submission; co-operation was not offered.’ Unable to compete in the Indian Ocean trade by purely commercial means, the Europeans were bent on taking control of it by aggression, pure and distilled, by unleashing violence on a scale unprecedented on those shores.
Amitav Ghosh (In an Antique Land)
Near London Bridge, where the river had frozen to a depth of some twenty fathoms, a wrecked wherry boat was plainly visible, lying on the bed of the river where it had sunk last autumn, overladen with apples. The old bumboat woman, who was carrying her fruit to market on the Surrey side, sat there in her plaids and farthingales with her lap full of apples, for all the world as if she were about to serve a customer, though a certain blueness about the lips hinted the truth. ’Twas a sight King James specially liked to look upon, and he would bring a troupe of courtiers to gaze with him.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando: A Biography)
WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE property of men. It’s a truth written into social customs, old legal doctrines, some would say it’s written into the very laws of nature itself. In the Bible, women are told that their husbands shall rule over them. Fathers give their daughters away on their wedding day. The new owner is the groom. Much of history is based on the practice. In Europe, kings gave their daughters as peace offerings to other nations. Peasants gave their daughters in marriage to landowners as a means of trading their way out of feudal servitude. In other lands, tribes and clans gave their women as sacrifices to their enemies or gifts to their heroes. A beautiful daughter was prized not because of who she was or what she was capable of, but for what she could be bartered for. The entire marriage ceremony, to this day, is a complicated, ritualized human sacrifice. It is a custom of bondage and ownership. The bride is adorned in the most intricate, delicate and expensive clothing possible. She represents wealth, a high dowry, a prized possession. She is walked down the aisle by her father, the current owner, and delivered, in payment for something, always in payment for something, to her new owner, her groom.
Abby Weeks (Given to the Pack (Wolfpack Trilogy, #1))
Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long, my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction—writers of the imagination, who for the last 50 years watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists. I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. (Thank you, brave applauders.) Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial; I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write. (Well, I love you too, darling.) Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I have had a long career and a good one. In good company. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want—and should demand—our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom. Thank you.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Even today, every night of the year, the Queen’s Keys are carried in great ceremony to lock up the gates of the Tower. The Chief Yeoman Warder at 9:53 meets his escort warders and they walk to the gates. They arrive at 10:00 p.m. exactly and are challenged by a sentry with a bayonet who cries loudly, “Who comes here?” The reply by the Chief is, “The Keys.” “Whose keys?” “Queen Elizabeth’s keys.” “Pass, Queen Elizabeth’s keys, and all is well.” The party passes through the Bloody Tower Archway into the fortress and halts at the Broadway Steps. At the top of the stairs, the Tower Guard presents arms and the Chief Warder raises his hat and proclaims, “God preserve Queen Elizabeth.” The sentry replies, “Amen!” Afterward, the keys are taken to the Queen’s House for safekeeping and the Last Post is sounded. This ancient ceremony was interrupted only once since the 14th century. During World War II there was an air raid on London. Bombs fell on the Victorian guardroom just as the party was coming through the Bloody Tower Archway. The noise knocked down the Chief Yeoman and one of the Warder escorts. In the Tower is a letter from the Officer of the Guard in which he apologizes to King George VI for the ceremony finishing late, as well as a reply from the King which states that the officer is not to be punished since the delay was due to enemy action.
Debra Brown (Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors)
She blessed and thanked and praised those bright reflections shimmering down in the pool, and bade them tell her thanks and her praise to Orion, to whom she might not pray. It was thus that Alveric found her, kneeling, bent down in the dark, and reproached her bitterly. She was worshipping the stars, he said, which were there for no such purpose. And she said she was only supplicating their images. We may understand his feelings easily: the strangeness of her, her unexpected acts, her contrariness to all established things, her scorn for custom, her wayward ignorance, jarred on some treasured tradition every day. The more romantic she had been far away over the frontier, as told of by legend and song, the more difficult it was for her to fill any place once held by the ladies of that castle who were versed in all the lore of the fields we know. And Alveric looked for her to fulfil duties and follow customs which were all as new to her as the twinkling stars. But Lirazel felt only that the stars had not their due, and that custom or reason or whatever men set store by should demand that thanks be given them for their beauty; and she had not thanked them even, but had supplicated only their images in the pool. That night she thought of Elfland, where all things were matched with her beauty, where nothing changed and there were no strange customs, and no strange magnificences like these stars of ours to whom none gave their due.
Lord Dunsany (The King of Elfland's Daughter)
According to lore, one of Mother Barnes early customers was a young attorney who introduced himself merely as John. He asked Mother Barnes where the capital of the soon-to-be province of Canada would be located. Gazing through time, she told the young attorney that the capital would be Bytown, and then surprised him by saying he would one day become the leader of this new province. The man, of course, was John A. Macdonald, who did indeed become prime minister of Canada, and went on to live in the new capital, the name of which would change from Bytown to Ottawa shortly after his visit to the witch. Macdonald told the story of his visit to the "Witch of Plum Hollow" many times, the story becoming more entertaining as the years passed.
Andrew King (Ottawa Rewind: A Book of Curios and Mysteries)
But though I seem to be the father, I am the stepfather of Don Quixote, and I do not wish to go along with the common custom and implore you, almost with tears in my eyes, as others do, dearest reader, to forgive or ignore the faults you may find in this my child, for you are neither his kin nor his friend, and you have a soul in your body and a will as free as anyone’s, and you are in your own house, where you are lord, as the sovereign is master of his revenues, and you know the old saying: under cover of my cloak I can kill the king. Which exempts and excuses you from all respect and obligation, and you can say anything you desire about this history without fear that you will be reviled for the bad things or rewarded for the good that you might say about it.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
King Alfred’s Book of Laws, or Dooms, as set out in the existing laws of Kent, Wessex, and Mercia, attempted to blend the Mosaic code with Christian principles and old Germanic customs. He inverted the Golden Rule. Instead of “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you”, he adopted the less ambitious principle, “What ye will that other men should not do to you, that do ye not to other men”, with the comment, “By bearing this precept in mind a judge can do justice to all men; he needs no other law-books. Let him think of himself as the plaintiff, and consider what judgment would satisfy him.” The King, in his preamble, explained modestly that “I have not dared to presume to set down in writing many laws of my own, for I cannot tell what will meet with the approval of our successors.
Winston S. Churchill (The Birth of Britain (A History of the English Speaking Peoples #1))
The matter of sedition is of two kinds: much poverty and much discontentment....The causes and motives of sedition are, innovation in religion; taxes; alteration of laws and customs; breaking of privileges; general oppression; advancement of unworthy persons, strangers; dearths; disbanded soldiers; factions grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending people joineth them in a common cause.' The cue of every leader, of course, is to divide his enemies and to unite his friends. 'Generally, the dividing and breaking of all factions...that are adverse to the state, and setting them at a distance, or at least distrust, among themselves, is not one of the worst remedies; for it is a desperate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are against it be entire and united.' A better recipe for the avoidance of revolutions is an equitable distribution of wealth: 'Money is like muck, not good unless it be spread.' But this does not mean socialism, or even democracy; Bacon distrusts the people, who were in his day quite without access to education; 'the lowest of all flatteries is the flattery of the common people;' and 'Phocion took it right, who, being applauded by the multitude, asked, What had he done amiss?' What Bacon wants is first a yeomanry of owning farmers; then an aristocracy for administration; and above all a philosopher-king. 'It is almost without instance that any government was unprosperous under learned governors.' He mentions Seneca, Antonius Pius and Aurelius; it was his hope that to their names posterity would add his own.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
In his masterpiece, The Histories, the man often referred to as the Father of History wrote that the Persian king Darius asked some Greeks what it would take for them to eat their dead fathers. “No price in the world,” they cried (presumably in unison). Next, Darius summoned several Callatians, who lived in India and “who eat their dead fathers.” Darius asked them what price would make them burn their dead fathers upon a pyre, the preferred funerary method of the Greeks. “Don’t mention such horrors!” they shouted. Herodotus (writing as Darius) then demonstrated a degree of understanding that would have made modern anthropologists proud. “These are matters of settled custom,” he wrote, before paraphrasing the lyric poet Pindar, “And custom is King of all.” In other words, society defines what is right and what is wrong.
Bill Schutt (Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History)
There is a passage in the Old French Queste del Saint Graal that epitomizes the true spirit of Western man. It tells of a day when the knights of Arthur’s court gathered in the banquet hall waiting for dinner to be served. It was a custom of that court that no meal should be served until an adventure had come to pass. Adventures came to pass in those days frequently so there was no danger of Arthur’s people going hungry. On the present occasion the Grail appeared, covered with a samite cloth, hung in the air a moment, and withdrew. Everyone was exalted, and Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, rose and suggested a vow. “I propose,” he said, “that we all now set forth in quest to behold that Grail unveiled.” And so it was that they agreed. There then comes a line that, when I read it, burned itself into my mind. “They thought it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group. Each entered the forest at the point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest, and there was no way or path.” No way or path! Because where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s path. And that is what marks the Western spirit distinctly from the Eastern. Oriental gurus accept responsibility for their disciples’ lives. They have an interesting term, “delegated free will.” The guru tells you where you are on the path, who you are, what to do now, and what to do next. The romantic quality of the West, on the other hand, derives from an unprecedented yearning, a yearning for something that has never yet been seen in this world. What can it be that has never yet been seen? What has never yet been seen is your own unprecedented life fulfilled. Your life is what has yet to be brought into being.
Joseph Campbell (Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Tradition (Collected Works of Joseph Campbell))
Your Eve was wise, John. She knew that Paradise would make her mad, if she were to live forever with Adam and know no other thing but strawberries and tigers and rivers of milk. She knew they would tire of these things, and each other. They would grow to hate every fruit, every stone, every creature they touched. Yet where could they go to find any new thing? It takes strength to live in Paradise and not collapse under the weight of it. It is every day a trial. And so Eve gave her lover the gift of time, time to the timeless, so that they could grasp at happiness. ... And this is what Queen Abir gave to us, her apple in the garden, her wisdom--without which we might all have leapt into the Rimal in a century. The rite bears her name still. For she knew the alchemy of demarcation far better than any clock, and decreed that every third century husbands and wives should separate, customs should shift and parchmenters become architects, architects farmers of geese and monkeys, Kings should become fishermen, and fishermen become players of scenes. Mothers and fathers should leave their children and go forth to get other sons and daughters, or to get none if that was their wish. On the roads of Pentexore folk might meet who were once famous lovers, or a mother and child of uncommon devotion--and they would laugh, and remember, but call each other by new names, and begin again as friends, or sisters, or lovers, or enemies. And some time hence all things would be tossed up into the air once more and land in some other pattern. If not for this, how fastened, how frozen we would be, bound to one self, forever a mother, forever a child. We anticipate this refurbishing of the world like children at a holiday. We never know what we will be, who we will love in our new, brave life, how deeply we will wish and yearn and hope for who knows what impossible thing! Well, we anticipate it. There is fear too, and grief. There is shaking, and a worry deep in the bone. Only the Oinokha remains herself for all time--that is her sacrifice for us. There is sadness in all this, of course--and poets with long elegant noses have sung ballads full of tears that break at one blow the hearts of a flock of passing crows! But even the most ardent lover or doting father has only two hundred years to wait until he may try again at the wheel of the world, and perhaps the wheel will return his wife or his son to him. Perhaps not. Wheels, and worlds, are cruel. Time to the timeless, apples to those who live without hunger. There is nothing so sweet and so bitter, nothing so fine and so sharp.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Habitation of the Blessed (A Dirge for Prester John, #1))
It was no mere astronomic festival, then, that the Pagans celebrated at the winter solstice. That festival at Rome was called the feast of Saturn, and the mode in which it was celebrated there, showed whence it had been derived. The feast, as regulated by Caligula, lasted five days; loose reins were given to drunkenness and revelry, slaves had a temporary emancipation, and used all manner of freedoms with their masters. This was precisely the way in which, according to Berosus, the drunken festival of the month Thebeth, answering to our December, in other words. the festival of Bacchus, was celebrated in Babylon. "It was the custom," says he, "during the five days it lasted, for masters to be in subjection to their servants, and one of them ruled the house, clothed in a purple garment like a king." This "purple-robed" servant was called "Zoganes," the "Man of sport and wantonness," and answered exactly to the "Lord of Misrule," that in the dark ages, was chosen in all Popish countries to head the revels of Christmas.
Alexander Hislop (The Two Babylons)
This trade must stop.” “I can take no responsibility for any such measure,” said Gumpas. “Very well, then,” answered Caspian, “we relieve you of your office. My Lord Bern, come here.” And before Gumpas quite realized what was happening, Bern was kneeling with his hands between the King’s hands and taking the oath to govern the Lone Islands in accordance with the old customs, rights, usages and laws of Narnia. And Caspian said, “I think we have had enough of governors,” and made Bern a Duke, the Duke of the Lone Islands. “As for you, my Lord,” he said to Gumpas, “I forgive you your debt for the tribute. But before noon tomorrow you and yours must be out of the castle, which is now the Duke’s residence.” “Look here, this is all very well,” said one of Gumpas’s secretaries, “but suppose all you gentlemen stop play-acting and we do a little business. The question before us really is--” “The question is,” said the Duke, “whether you and the rest of the rabble will leave without a flogging or with one. You may choose which you prefer.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
The biblical story of the binding of Isaac shows that human sacrifice was far from unthinkable in the 1st millennium BCE. The Israelites boasted that their god was morally superior to those of the neighboring tribes because he demanded only that sheep and cattle be slaughtered on his behalf, not children. But the temptation must have been around, because the Israelites saw fit to outlaw it in Leviticus 18:21: “You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Molech, and so profane the name of your God.” For centuries their descendants would have to take measures against people backsliding into the custom. In the 7th century BCE, King Josiah defiled the sacrificial arena of Tophet so “that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.”10 After their return from Babylon, the practice of human sacrifice died out among Jews, but it survived as an ideal in one of its breakaway sects, which believed that God accepted the torture-sacrifice of an innocent man in exchange for not visiting a worse fate on the rest of humanity. The sect is called Christianity.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The Negro had been deeply disappointed over the slow pace of school desegregation. He knew that in 1954 the highest court in the land had handed down a decree calling for desegregation of schools "with all deliberate speed." He knew that this edict from the Supreme Court had been heeded with all deliberate delay. At the beginning of 1963, nine years after this historic decision, approximately 9 percent of southern Negro students were attending integrated schools. If this pace were maintained, it would be the year 2054 before integration in southern schools would be a reality. In its wording the Supreme Court decision had revealed an awareness that attempts would be made to evade its intent. The phrase "all deliberate speed" did not mean that another century should be allowed to unfold before we released Negro children from the narrow pigeonhole of the segregated schools; it meant that, giving some courtesy and consideration to the need for softening old attitudes and outdated customs, democracy must press ahead, out of the past of ignorance and intolerance, and into the present of educational opportunity and moral freedom.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Why We Can't Wait)
Who is he that shall control me? Why may not I act & speak & write & think with entire freedom? Who am I to the Universe, or the Universe, what is it to me? Who hath forged the chains of Right and Wrong, of Opinion and Custom? And must I wear them? Is Society my anointed King? Or is there any mightier community or any man or more than man, whose slave I am? I am solitary in the vast society of beings; I consort with no species; I indulge no sympathies. I see the world, human, brute & inanimate nature; I am in the midst of them, but not of them; I hear the song of the storm— the Winds & warring Elements sweep by me— but they mix not with my being. I see cities & nations & witness passions— the roar of their laughter— but I partake it not;— the yell of their grief— it touches no chord in me; their fellowships & fashions, lusts & virtues, the words & deeds they call glory & shame— I disclaim them all. I say to the Universe, Mighty one! thou art not my mother; Return to chaos, if thou wilt, I shall still exist. I live. If I owe my being, it is to a destiny greater than thine. Star by Star, world by world, system by system shall be crushed— but I shall live.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wendell marched down a winding path in the mountainside--- he must have conjured it himself--- to engage the elder horsemen in a square of meadow tucked between two crags. I don't know if it was some inane faerie custom or simply the custom of the horsemen, but the one who appeared to be their leader--- judging by the size of his horse and the number of scars he bore--- stepped forward as if to challenge Wendell to single combat. Wendell, still with that calm detachment, somehow cut out the beast's heart in two sharp movements and hurled it at the rider in a stomach-churning spray of blood, knocking him from his saddle. At that point, the remaining horsemen decided to abandon honor and charge him together, but their horses were, wisely, terrified of Wendell by this point, and shied away when he neared, some throwing their riders off, which Wendell dispatched in various appalling ways, sometimes appearing to forget about his sword entirely. Rose stood there the whole time, aghast, but I was familiar with Wendell's murderous moods and turned away after the third or fourth death, drawing Ariadne with me to the fireside. I was still shaking with fury. So he would risk killing himself rather than pausing to think our way out of things, would he?
Heather Fawcett (Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands (Emily Wilde, #2))
No one believed that the author was the Chinese who received the prize. At the end of the last century, fleeing the scourge of yellow fever that devastated Panama during the construction of the railroad between the two oceans, he had arrived with many others who stayed here until they died, living in Chinese, reproducing in Chinese, and looking so much alike that no one could tell one from the other. At first, there were no more than ten, some of them with their wives and children and edible dogs, but in a few years, four narrow streets in the slums along the port were overflowing with other unexpected Chinese, who came into the country without leaving a trace in the customs record....In the popular view, they were divided into two kinds: bad Chinese and good Chinese. The bad ones were the ones in the lugubrious restaurants along the water front where one was as likely to eat like a King as to die a sudden death at the table, sitting before a plate of rat meat with sunflowers, and which were thought to be nothing more than fronts for white slavery, and many other kinds of trafficking. The good ones were the Chinese in the laundries, heirs of a sacred knowledge, who returned one's shirts cleaner than new, with collars and cuffs like recently ironed communion wafers.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
The menu Kroc used to take McDonald’s national was similarly minimalist, with exactly three food items—Pure Beef Hamburger, fifteen cents; Tempting Cheeseburger, nineteen cents; Golden French Fries, ten cents. He aimed to make his burger construction line as standardized and closely measured as the Crystal Palace, decreeing, among other things, that McDonald’s burger patties must weigh 1.6 ounces and measure 3.875 inches in diameter. Don’t like a quarter ounce of onions on your burger? Too bad, just scrape ’em off—custom orders slow things down, and speed was the whole point. That’s why they call it fast food. Then Burger King countered with “Have it your way” in the ’80s, and to compete, McDonald’s started broadening its menu and allowing for special orders. Today, the average McDonald’s menu has more than a hundred items, and special orders are commonplace. But customers never changed their expectations of miraculously instantaneous service to match the vastly more complicated menu crew members are working with. So a lot of people who’ve experienced the magic of getting a Big Mac seconds after ordering it seem to believe there’s some Star Trek machine in the back that zaps food into existence from nothing. At least, that’s the only reason I can think of that customers like this lady get so mad when their special orders take an extra minute or two.
Emily Guendelsberger (On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane)
You, O king, live far away across many seas. Yet, driven by the humble desire to share in the blessings of our culture, you have sent a delegation, which respectfully submitted your letter. You assure us that it is your veneration for our celestial ruling family that fills you with the desire to adopt our culture, and yet the difference between our customs and moral laws and your own is so profound that, were your envoy even capable of absorbing the basic principles of our culture, our customs and traditions could never grow in your soil. Were he the most diligent student, his efforts would still be vain. Ruling over the vast world, I have but one end in view, and it is this: to govern to perfection and to fulfil the duties of the state. Rare and costly objects are of no interest to me. I have no use for your country’s goods. Our Celestial Kingdom possesses all things in abundance and wants for nothing within its frontiers. Hence there is no need to bring in the wares of foreign barbarians to exchange for our own products. But since tea, silk and porcelain, products of the Celestial Kingdom, are absolute necessities for the peoples of Europe and for you yourself, the limited trade hitherto permitted in my province of Canton will continue. Mindful of the distant loneliness of your island, separated from the world by desert wastes of sea, I pardon your understandable ignorance of the customs of the Celestial Kingdom. Tremble at my orders and obey.
E.H. Gombrich (A Little History of the World (Little Histories))
At a swearing-in ceremony for new immigrants in the summer of 2014, the Harvard-educated First Lady Michelle Obama said: “It’s amazing that just a few feet from here where I’m standing are the signatures of the fifty-six Founders who put their names on a Declaration that changed the course of history. And like the fifty of you, none of them were born American—they became American.” That’s if you don’t count the forty-eight of fifty-six who were born in America. The other eight—like the rest of them—were either British or Dutch. Fifty-five were Protestant. Only one was Catholic. There’s a reason King George called the American Revolution “a Presbyterian war.”2 The single document in Nexis’s news archives to report the First Lady’s jaw-droppingly ignorant remark about the signers of America’s Declaration of Independence did so in order to proclaim her “correct.” Yes, said Mrs. Obama was “correct” in the sense that “the Founding Fathers were not born into a fully formed and established America with its own history, customs, culture, and values, as modern American children are.”3 That’s if you don’t count the 85 percent of the Declaration’s signers who were born into a fully formed and established America, with its own history, customs, culture, and values. The American colonies had been around for about 150 years at that point. Not only the signers of the Declaration, but the first seventeen presidents, were all born in one of the original thirteen colonies. The eighteenth was Ulysses Grant, who was born in Ohio.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
Morvidus; and in the richness of his reign, commerce prospered, the town around the castle growing great, and newe fangled habits did arise among the young and old. But after a time the people did say, that the old customs were gone out from the land; and that, with the coming of the new, the old had been washed away. Greatly did folk rue the passing of their customs, saying, that a kingdom ruled by thankless men, would, in short measure, become a kingdom unremembered; and men did complain, when they gathered, at how few remained who yet could call to mind the noble names of the gods. Those gods, they said, had once sustained this land; but they might forget as well as be forgotten, as would be seen. And then did the rains begin: those long rains, of which it was sayd, their like had never fallen; and the streams did overflow their banks, and flood the fields. And the ditches filled with mud, overflowing onto the roads, that none might pass in safety. And vermin did breed in the still water by night; and many infants were delivered still-born, for that the rains had so drenched the roadways, that mid-wives might by no means traverse them in their ladies’ time of need. Which seemed a very omen; and some did wonder, how best to please the gods who had served them so. In this time was delivered of her nine-months’ burden, good Queen Argoel, who in time would bear King Morvidus five children. As the rains battered the castle wall, the child began to kick within her womb, saying,—Mother, my time is come; yet, with the storm still upon the land, she lay abed unattended in her toil.
John Darnielle (Devil House)
In the earliest strand of the conquest narratives, Joshua's violence was associated with an ancient Canaanite custom called the "ban" (herem). Before a battle, a military leader would strike a deal with his god: if this deity undertook to give him the city, the commander promised to "devote" (HRM) all valuable loot to his temple and offer the conquered people to him in a human sacrifice. Joshua had made such a pact with Yahweh before attacking Jericho, and Yahweh responded by delivering the town to Israel in a specular miracle, causing its famous walls to collapse when the priests blew their rams' horns. Before allowing his troops to storm the city, Joshua explained the terms of the ban and stipulated that no one in the city should be spared, since everybody and everything in the town had been "devoted" to Yahweh. Accordingly, the Israelites "enforced the ban on everything in the town, men, and women, young and old, even the oxen and sheep and donkeys, massacring them all." But the ban had been violated when one of the soldiers kept booty for himself, and consequently the Israelites failed to take the town of Ai the following day. After the culprit had been found and executed, the Israelites attached Ai again, this time successfully, setting fire to the city so that it became a sacrificial pyre and slaughtering anybody who tried to escape: "The number of those who fell that day, men and women together, were twelve thousand all (the) people of Ai." Finally Joshua hanged the king from a tree, built a monumental cairn over his body, and reduced the city to "a ruin for ever more, a desolate place, even today.
Karen Armstrong (Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence)
Yes, monsieur, I believe so; for until now, no man has found himself in a position similar to mine. The dominions of kings are limited either by mountains or rivers, or a change of manners, or an alteration of language. My kingdom is bounded only by the world, for I am not an Italian, or a Frenchman, or a Hindu, or an American, or a Spaniard—I am a cosmopolite. No country can say it saw my birth. God alone knows what country will see me die. I adopt all customs, speak all languages. You believe me to be a Frenchman, for I speak French with the same facility and purity as yourself. Well, Ali, my Nubian, believes me to be an Arab; Bertuccio, my steward, takes me for a Roman; Haydée, my slave, thinks me a Greek. You may, therefore, comprehend, that being of no country, asking no protection from any government, acknowledging no man as my brother, not one of the scruples that arrest the powerful, or the obstacles which paralyze the weak, paralyzes or arrests me. I have only two adversaries—I will not say two conquerors, for with perseverance I subdue even them,—they are time and distance. There is a third, and the most terrible—that is my condition as a mortal being. This alone can stop me in my onward career, before I have attained the goal at which I aim, for all the rest I have reduced to mathematical terms. What men call the chances of fate—namely, ruin, change, circumstances—I have fully anticipated, and if any of these should overtake me, yet it will not overwhelm me. Unless I die, I shall always be what I am, and therefore it is that I utter the things you have never heard, even from the mouths of kings—for kings have need, and other persons have fear of you. For who is there who does not say to himself, in a society as incongruously organized as ours, 'Perhaps some day I shall have to do with the king's attorney'?
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Calypso Blues" Wa oh oh, wa oh oh Wa oh wa oh wa oh way Wa oh oh, wa oh oh Wa oh wa oh wa oh way Sittin' by de ocean Me heart, she feel so sad, Sittin' by de ocean, Me heart, she feel so sad Don't got de money To take me back to Trinidad. Fine calypso woman, She cook me shrimp and rice, Fine calypso woman, She cook me shrimp and rice These Yankee hot dogs Don't treat me stomach very nice. In Trinidad, one dollar buy Papaya juice, banana pie, Six coconut, one female goat, An' plenty fish to fill de boat. One bushel bread, one barrel wine, An' all de town, she come to dine. But here is bad, one dollar buy Cup of coffee, ham on rye. Me throat she sick from necktie, Me feet hurt from shoes. Me pocket full of empty, I got Calypso blues. She need to, bubble like perculatah' She come from Trinidad so winin' in her nature Never can't I assess a reps until failure Tell her if she stops she needs fe fly Air Jamaica Anytime she land she nah go feel like no stranger Carry us beyond we similar in behavior Them no understand our customs and we flavor Need a natty dred to be the new care taker, lord! These Yankee girl give me big scare, Is black de root, is blond de hair. Her eyelash false, her face is paint, And pads are where de girl she ain't! She jitterbugs when she should waltz, I even think her name is false. But calypso girl is good a lot, Is what you see, is what she got. Sittin' by de ocean Me heart, she feel so sad, Don't got de money To take me back to Trinidad. Wa oh oh, wa oh oh Wa oh wa oh wa oh way Wa oh oh, wa oh oh Wa oh wa oh wa oh way She need to, she need to, she need to, bubble like perculatah' She come from Trinidad so winin' in her nature Never can't I assess a reps until failure Tell her if she stops she needs fe fly Air Jamaica Anytime she land she nah go feel like no stranger Carry us beyond we similar in behavior Them no understand our customs and we flavor Need a natty dred to be the new care taker, lord! Wa oh oh, wa oh oh Wa oh wa oh wa oh way Wa oh oh, wa oh oh Wa oh wa oh wa oh way
Nat King Cole
Hey, can I help you—whoa!” As he wheeled around and settled into his attack stance, the black human salesperson jumped back and put his palms up. “Forgive me,” Xcor muttered. At least he hadn’t outed one of his weapons. “No problem.” The handsome, well-dressed man smiled. “You looking for something specific?” Xcor glanced around, and nearly walked back to that fancy stairwell. “I require a new shirt.” “Oh, cool, you got a hot date?” “And pants. And socks.” Come to think of it, he never wore underwear. “And undergarments. And a jacket.” The salesman smiled and raised a hand as if he were going to clap his customer on the shoulder—but then caught himself as he clearly rethought the contact. “What kind of look are you going for?” he asked instead. “Clothed.” The guy paused like he wasn’t sure whether that was a joke. “Ah . . . okay, I can work with non-naked. Plus it’s legal. Come on with me.” Xcor followed, because he didn’t know what else to do—he’d gotten this ball rolling; there was no reason not to follow through. The man stopped in front of a display of shirts. “So I’m going to go with the it’s-a-date thing, unless you tell me otherwise. Casual? You didn’t mention a suit.” “Casual. Yes. But I want to look. . . .” Well, not like himself, at any rate. “Presentable.” “Then I think what you’re going to want is a button-down.” “A button-down.” The guy regarded him steadily. “You’re not from here, are you.” “No, I’m not.” “I can tell by the accent.” The salesman passed a hand over the dizzying array of folded-up squares with collars. “These are our traditional cuts. I can tell without measuring you that the European stuff isn’t going to do you right—you’re too muscled in the shoulders. Even if we could get the neck and arm size right, you’d bust out of them. Do you like any of these colors?” “I don’t know what to like.” “Here.” The man picked up a blue one that reminded Xcor of the backdrop on his phone. “This is good with your eyes. Not that I go that way—but you gotta work with what you got. Do you have any idea of your size?” “XXXL.” “We need to be a little more exact.
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
Clad in red velvet it came, the very covering my old Master had so loved, the dream king, Marius. It came swaggering and camping through the lighted streets of Paris as though God had made it. But it was a vampire child, the same as I, son of the seventeen hundreds, as they reckoned the time to be then, a blazing, brash, bumbling, laughing and teasing blood drinker in the guise of a young man, come to stomp out whatever sacred fire yet burnt in the cleft scar tissue of my soul and scatter the ashes. It was The Vampire Lestat. It wasn't his fault. Had one of us been able to strike him down one night, break him apart with his own fancy sword and set him ablaze, we might have had a few more decades of our wretched delusions. But nobody could. He was too damned strong for us. Created by a powerful and ancient renegade, a legendary vampire by the name of Magnus, this Lestat, aged twenty in mortal years, an errant and penniless country aristocrat from the wild lands of Auvergne, who had thrown over custom and respectability and any hope of court ambitions, of which he had none anyway since he couldn't even read or write, and was too insulting to wait on any King or Queen, who became a wild blond-haired celebrity of the boulevard gutter theatricals, a lover of men and women, a laughing happy-go-lucky blindly ambitious self-loving genius of sorts, this Lestat, this blue-eyed and infinitely confident Lestat, was orphaned on the very night of his creation by the ancient monster who made him, bequeathed to him a fortune in a secret room in a crumbling medieval tower, and then went into the eternal comfort of the ever devouring flames. This Lestat, knowing nothing of Old Covens and Old Ways, of soot covered gangsters who thrived under cemeteries and believed they had a right to brand him a heretic, a maverick and a bastard of the Dark Blood, went strutting about fashionable Paris, isolated and tormented by his supernatural endowments yet glorying in his new powers, dancing at the Tuileries with the most magnificently clad women, reveling in the joys of the ballet and the high court theater and roaming not only in the Places of Light, as we called them, but meandering mournfully in Notre Dame de Paris itself, right before the High Altar, without the lightning of God striking him where he stood. Armand’s description of Lestat from The Vampire Armand
Anne Rice (The Vampire Armand (Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat #7))
an analysis of the Egyptian language reveals a Semitic element in it; that the early dynastic culture had certain characteristics which were unknown to the Neolithic Egyptians but are closely parallelled in early Babylonia; that there were two elements in the Egyptian religion, one of which seems to have originally belonged to the Neolithic people, while the other has a Semitic appearance; and that there were two sets of burial customs in early Egypt, one, that of the Neolithic people, the other evidently that of a conquering race, which eventually prevailed over the former;
Leonard William King (History of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery)
Customs of the Egyptians.       Chapter I. Concerning The Kings And
Charles Rollin (The Ancient History of the Egyptians, Carthaginians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Macedonians and Grecians (Vol. 1 of 6))
It seems certain that in the early dynastic period two races lived in Egypt, which differed considerably in type, and also, apparently, in burial customs ... the supersession of the burial customs of the indigenous Neolithic race by those of another race which conquered and dominated the indigenes. And, since the extended burials of the IVth Dynasty are evidently those of the higher nobles, while the contracted ones are those of inferior people, it is probable that the customs of extended burial and embalming were introduced by a foreign race which founded the Egyptian monarchical state, with its hierarchy of nobles and officials, and in fact started Egyptian civilization on its way.
Leonard William King (History of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia and Assyria in the Light of Recent Discovery)
Before the New Kingdom, the bestowal of “divine love” occurred by a “superior” deity upon a human, a subordination that extended down the chain of authority, passed from gods to royals, from royals to non-royal officials, from officials to their wives and relatives, etc.[538] In this regard, Doxey further relates: [Egyptologist] W.K. Simpson has studied the concept of divine love, asserting that prior to the New Kingdom, love was always bestowed by a superior upon a subordinate. Simpson’s view is certainly correct with regard to the love of gods. During the Middle Kingdom, humans always receive divine love; they are never described as “loving” a god.[539] On some occasions, such as when the king was “beloved by the people,” such love or mri could apparently be “reciprocated between superiors and subordinates” as well.[540] The clarification of the Middle and New Kingdoms indicates that this custom changed during the New Kingdom, with the use of the mry epithet becoming increasingly popular even as applied to deities. It is evident that, especially after the Hellenization of the Ptolemaic and Greco-Roman periods, various Egyptian deities became the objects of “divine love” and were themselves invoked as “beloved” or Mery. In reality, this ability to bestow mry upon even the “chief of all gods” is demonstrated as early as the New Kingdom in a hymn from the Papyrus Kairo CG 58038 (Boulaq 17), parts of which may date to the late Middle Kingdom,[541] such as the 18th Dynasty (1550-1292 BCE), and in which we find the combined god Amun-Re praised as “the good god beloved.”[542] Indeed, at P. Boulaq 17, 3.4, we find Amun-Re deemed Mry, as part of the epithet “Beloved of the Upper Egyptian and Lower Egyptian Crowns.”[543] Amun-Re is also called “beloved” in Budge’s rendering of the Book of the Dead created for the Egyptian princess and priestess Nesi-Khonsu (c. 1070-945 BCE).[544]
D.M. Murdock (Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection)
Amateur musical performances were extremely important for all of us during the war, and my experience of them started at the age of ten or eleven, when my friends and I took part in a custom that was very popular back then but now seems to have died out altogether. It was carried out at Halloween, but instead of going round asking for trick or treats we did something called ‘Guising’. A group of us lads would go to the front door of a house we thought might be welcoming and politely ask if we could come in and perform. Our particular playlet was suggested by my father; it was one he had performed when he was a lad, although whether there was any deeper tradition behind the verses we recited I cannot say. We were all dressed up in costumes, with one boy dressed as a king with a cardboard crown on his head. Once all were in the house most of us would cluster behind the sitting-room door, then the first boy would enter the room on his own and say, ‘Red up sticks and red up stools here comes in a pack of fools, a pack of fools behind that door. Step in King George and clear the floor.’ The boy with the crown on his head would enter and recite, ‘King George is my name, sword and pistol by my side, I hope to win the game.’ The first boy would answer, ‘The game, sir, the game, sir, is not within your power. I will slash you and slay you within half an hour.’ These two boys would then have a duel with toy swords and the first boy would drop down as though dead, at which the king would kneel down and say, ‘Is there a doctor in the town?’ A small boy with a little attaché case would then pop out from behind the door saying, ‘My name is Doctor Brown, the best little doctor in the town. A little to his nose and a little to his bum, now rise up, jock, and sing a song.’ It was an absurd little sketch, but we used to get showered with pieces of cake and home-made toffees and fudge, and we would pass from house to house performing the same sketch. Even now I can recall the words perfectly.
John Moffat (I Sank The Bismarck)
It’s not hard to find an analog in the human world. Consider fast food, for instance. It makes sense—when the kids are starving and you’re driving home after a long day—to stop, just this once, at McDonald’s or Burger King. The meals are inexpensive. It tastes so good. After all, one dose of processed meat, salty fries, and sugary soda poses a relatively small health risk, right? It’s not like you do it all the time. But habits emerge without our permission. Studies indicate that families usually don’t intend to eat fast food on a regular basis. What happens is that a once a month pattern slowly becomes once a week, and then twice a week—as the cues and rewards create a habit—until the kids are consuming an unhealthy amount of hamburgers and fries. When researchers at the University of North Texas and Yale tried to understand why families gradually increased their fast food consumption, they found a series of cues and rewards that most customers never knew were influencing their behaviors. 1.24 They discovered the habit loop.