Ship Never Sink Quotes

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It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body... On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralysed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
George Orwell (1984)
The most important thing we've learned, So far as children are concerned, Is never, NEVER, NEVER let Them near your television set -- Or better still, just don't install The idiotic thing at all. In almost every house we've been, We've watched them gaping at the screen. They loll and slop and lounge about, And stare until their eyes pop out. (Last week in someone's place we saw A dozen eyeballs on the floor.) They sit and stare and stare and sit Until they're hypnotised by it, Until they're absolutely drunk With all that shocking ghastly junk. Oh yes, we know it keeps them still, They don't climb out the window sill, They never fight or kick or punch, They leave you free to cook the lunch And wash the dishes in the sink -- But did you ever stop to think, To wonder just exactly what This does to your beloved tot? IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD! IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD! IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND! IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND! HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE! HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE! HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES! 'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say, 'But if we take the set away, What shall we do to entertain Our darling children? Please explain!' We'll answer this by asking you, 'What used the darling ones to do? 'How used they keep themselves contented Before this monster was invented?' Have you forgotten? Don't you know? We'll say it very loud and slow: THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ, AND READ and READ, and then proceed To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books! The nursery shelves held books galore! Books cluttered up the nursery floor! And in the bedroom, by the bed, More books were waiting to be read! Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales And treasure isles, and distant shores Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars, And pirates wearing purple pants, And sailing ships and elephants, And cannibals crouching 'round the pot, Stirring away at something hot. (It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it's Penelope.) The younger ones had Beatrix Potter With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter, And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland, And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and- Just How The Camel Got His Hump, And How the Monkey Lost His Rump, And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul, There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole- Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall. Then fill the shelves with lots of books, Ignoring all the dirty looks, The screams and yells, the bites and kicks, And children hitting you with sticks- Fear not, because we promise you That, in about a week or two Of having nothing else to do, They'll now begin to feel the need Of having something to read. And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy! You watch the slowly growing joy That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen They'll wonder what they'd ever seen In that ridiculous machine, That nauseating, foul, unclean, Repulsive television screen! And later, each and every kid Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
But let me say this. I am a superstitious man, a ridiculous failing but I must confess it here. And so if some unlucky accident should befall my youngest son, if some police officer should accidentally shoot him, if he should hang himself while in his jail cell, if new witnesses appear to testify to his guilt, my superstition will make me feel that it was the result of the ill will still borne me by some people here. Let me go further. If my son is struck by a bolt of lightning I will blame some of the people here. If his plane show fall into the sea or his ship sink beneath the waves of the ocean, if he should catch a mortal fever, if his automobile should be struck by a train, such is my superstition that I would blame the ill will felt by people here. Gentlemen, that ill will, that bad luck, I could never forgive. But aside from that let me swear by the souls of my grandchildren that I will never break the peace we have made. After all, are we or are we not better men than those pezzonovanti who have killed countless millions of men in our lifetimes?
Mario Puzo (The Godfather (The Godfather, #1))
The ship was sinking---and sinking fast. The captain told the passengers and crew, "We've got to get the lifeboats in the water right away." But the crew said, "First we have to end capitalist oppression of the working class. Then we'll take care of the lifeboats." Then the women said, "First we want equal pay for equal work. The lifeboats can wait." The racial minorities said, "First we need to end racial discrimination. Then seating in the lifeboats will be allotted fairly." The captain said, "These are all important issues, but they won't matter a damn if we don't survive. We've got to lower the lifeboats right away!" But the religionists said, "First we need to bring prayer back into the classroom. This is more important than lifeboats." Then the pro-life contingent said, "First we must outlaw abortion. Fetuses have just as much right to be in those lifeboats as anyone else." The right-to-choose contingent said, "First acknowledge our right to abortion, then we'll help with the lifeboats." The socialists said, "First we must redistribute the wealth. Once that's done everyone will work equally hard at lowering the lifeboats." The animal-rights activists said, "First we must end the use of animals in medical experiments. We can't let this be subordinated to lowering the lifeboats." Finally the ship sank, and because none of the lifeboats had been lowered, everyone drowned. The last thought of more than one of them was, "I never dreamed that solving humanity's problems would take so long---or that the ship would sink so SUDDENLY.
Daniel Quinn
Why was her ship sinking? Her ship? It's always sinking, she hates it, it's either sinking or it's exploding, either way it never seems to be going anywhere.
Olivie Blake (Alone With You in the Ether)
Keefe?' Amy repeated, her lips curling into a grin. 'He's the supercute blonde guy you picked up cookies for, right? The one who keeps staring at you all intense when I met him, like you were the only person that mattered to him in the entire universe?' Someone coughed near the doorway. It was probably Grady, maybe Edaline too, but Sophie decided she would rather not know who was eavesdropping. 'He doesn't stare at me like that,' she said, hoping her cheeks weren't blushing too badly. It didn't help that Ro kept cackling beside her. ... 'I swear, you have no idea how lucky you are, getting to be around so many gorgeous boys all the time. I don't know how you haven't dated any of them--or have you?' 'She tried with Fitzy,' Ro answered for her. 'But then she realized he was too boring, so they broke up.' 'That's not what happened!' Sophie argued--over lots more coughing from the doorway. 'We didn't really date. We just sort of... liked each other... openly. But then it got super complicated, so we decided to focus on being friends. ... Why are we talking about this?' Sophie asked ... 'Because it's fun watching you get all red and fidgety!' Amy told her. 'Plus, there's a chance our boy is somewhere nearby, listening to this conversation,' Ro added before she raised her voice to a shout. 'Hear that, Hunkyhair? Get your overdramatic butt back here! Your girl is single--and the great Foster Oblivion is over! This is what you've been waiting for!' 'Hunkyhair?' Amy asked, raising one eyebrow as Sophie contemplated smothering herself with her blankets. 'Great Foster Oblivion?' 'Never mind,' Sophie mumbled, sinking deeper into her blankets.
Shannon Messenger (Stellarlune (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #9))
Even a life raft is only supposed to get you from the sinking ship back to land, you were never intended to live in the life raft, to drift years on end, in sight of land but never close enough.
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the deadliest disaster in maritime history, with losses dwarfing the death tolls of the famous ships Titanic and Lusitania. Yet remarkably, most people have never heard of it. On January 30, 1945, four torpedoes waited in the belly of Soviet submarine S-13.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
Never name a ship after your wife in one of your novels, then sink it in the next chapter...
Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick
He thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed. He might have silenced the dark-haired girl if only he had acted quickly enough; but precisely because of the extremity of danger he had lost the power to act. It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one's own body. Even now, in spite of the gin, the dull ache in his belly made consecutive thought impossible. And it is the same, he percieved, in all seemingly heroic or tragic situatuions. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralyzed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
George Orwell (1984)
Here are the sounds of Wear. It rattles stone on stone. It sucks its teeth. It sings. It hisses like the rain. It roars. It laughs. It claps its hands. Sometimes I think it prays. In winter, through the ice, I've seen it moving swift and black as Tune, without a sound. Here are the sights of Wear. It falls in braids. It parts at rocks and tumbles round them white as down or flashes over them in silver quilts. It tosses fallen trees like bits of straw yet spins a single leaf as gentle as a maid. Sometimes it coils for rest in darkling pools and sometimes it leaps its banks and shatters in the air. In autumn, I've seen it breathe a mist so thick and grey you'd never know old Wear was there at all. Each day, for years and years, I've gone and sat in it. Usually at dusk I clamber down and slowly sink myself to where it laps against my breast. Is it too much to say, in winter, that I die? Something of me dies at least. First there's the fiery sting of cold that almost stops my breath, the aching torment in my limbs. I think I may go mad, my wits so outraged that they seek to flee my skull like rats a ship that's going down. I puff. I gasp. Then inch by inch a blessed numbness comes. I have no legs, no arms. My very heart grows still. These floating hands are not my hands. The ancient flesh I wear is rags for all I feel of it. "Praise, Praise!" I croak. Praise God for all that's holy, cold, and dark. Praise him for all we lose, for all the river of the years bears off. Praise him for stillness in the wake of pain. Praise him for emptiness. And as you race to spill into the sea, praise him yourself, old Wear. Praise him for dying and the peace of death. In the little church I built of wood for Mary, I hollowed out a place for him. Perkin brings him by the pail and pours him in. Now that I can hardly walk, I crawl to meet him there. He takes me in his chilly lap to wash me of my sins. Or I kneel down beside him till within his depths I see a star. Sometimes this star is still. Sometimes she dances. She is Mary's star. Within that little pool of Wear she winks at me. I wink at her. The secret that we share I cannot tell in full. But this much I will tell. What's lost is nothing to what's found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.
Frederick Buechner (Godric)
I suppose there hasn’t been a single month since the war, in any trade you care to name, in which there weren’t more men than jobs. It’s brought a peculiar, ghastly feeling into life. It’s like on a sinking ship when there are nineteen survivors and fourteen lifebelts. But is there anything particularly modern in that, you say? Has it anything to do with the war? Well, it feels as if it had. The feeling that you’ve got to be everlastingly fighting and hustling, that you’ll never get anything unless you grab it from somebody else, that there’s always somebody after your job, that next month or the month after they’ll be reducing staff and it’s you that’ll get the bird – that, I swear, didn’t exist in the old life before the war.
George Orwell (Coming up for Air)
He never cried, not even in his dreams, for hard-heartedness was a point of pride. A large iron anchor withstanding the corrosion of the sea and scornful of the barnacles and oysters that harass the hulls of ships, sinking polished and indifferent through heaps of broken glass, toothless combs, bottle caps, and prophylactics into the mud at harbour bottom – that was how he liked to imagine his heart. Someday he would have an anchor tattooed on his chest.
Yukio Mishima
This is one aspect of a reporter's job that never ceases to fascinate and disturb me: facts that go unreported do not exist. How many massacres, how many earthquakes happen in the world, how many ships sink, how many volcanoes erupt, and how many people are persecuted, tortured and killed. Yet if no one is there to see, to write, to take a photograph, it is as if these facts had never occurred, this suffering has no importance, no place in history. Because history exists only if someone relates it. Every little description of a thing observed one can leave a seed in the soil of memory - that keeps me tied to my profession.
Tiziano Terzani (A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East)
I decided I would not go to court to have my mother declared incompetent, I would not fight. I put the car in drive and hit the gas. I felt as if I'd jumped off a sinking ship and was in a life raft with my little girl, my face turned away from the horror, rowing, rowing, as fast and as hard as I could in the opposite direction.
Kaylie Jones (Lies My Mother Never Told Me: A Memoir)
A ship will never sink if God is on it.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Her ship? It’s always sinking, she hates it, it’s either sinking or it’s exploding, either way it never seems to be going anywhere.
Olivie Blake (Alone With You in the Ether)
Once, my grandmama told me a story about her great-grandmama. She'd come across the ocean, been kidnapped and sold. Said her great-grandmama told her that in her village, they ate fear. Said it turned the food to sand in they mouth. Said everyone knew about the death march to the cost, that word had come down about the ships, about how they packed men and women into them. Some heard it was even worse for those who sailed off, sunk into the far. Because that's what it looked like when the ship crossed the horizon: like the ship sailed off and sunk, bit by bit, into the water. Her grandmama said they never went out at night, and even in the day, they stayed in the shadows of they houses. But still, they came for her. Kidnapped her here, and she learned the boats didn't sink to some watery place, sailed by white ghosts. She learned that bad things happened on that ship, all the way until it docked. That her skin grew around the chains. That her mouth shaped to the muzzle. That she was made into an animal under the hot, bright sky, the same sky the rest of her family was under, somewhere far aways, in another world. I knew what that was, to be made a animal.
Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing)
The expulsion of Spain from Cuba (a worthwhile venture) so that the U.S. could take control of Cuba (an unworthy venture) was preceded by a dubious story, never proven, that the Spaniards had exploded the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor. Our seizure of the Philippines (from the Filipinos) was preceded by a manufactured “incident” between Filipino and U.S. troops. The German sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania in World War I was one of the instances of “ruthless” submarine warfare given as a reason to enter that war; years afterward, it was disclosed that the Lusitania was not an innocent vessel but a munitions ship whose papers had been doctored.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
Ah, but, dear North Wind, you don't know how nice it is to feel your arms about me. It is a thousand times better to have them and the wind together, than to have only your hair and the back of your neck and no wind at all." "But it is surely more comfortable there?" "Well, perhaps; but I begin to think there are better things than being comfortable." "Yes, indeed there are. Well, I will keep you in front of me. You will feel the wind, but not too much. I shall only want one arm to take care of you; the other will be quite enough to sink the ship." "Oh, dear North Wind! how can you talk so?" "My dear boy, I never talk; I always mean what I say." "Then you do mean to sink the ship with the other hand?" "Yes." "It's not like you." "How do you know that?" "Quite easily. Here you are taking care of a poor little boy with one arm, and there you are sinking a ship with the other. It can't be like you." "Ah! but which is me? I can't be two mes, you know." "No. Nobody can be two mes." "Well, which me is me?" "Now I must think. There looks to be two." "Yes. That's the very point.—You can't be knowing the thing you don't know, can you?" "No." "Which me do you know?" "The kindest, goodest, best me in the world," answered Diamond, clinging to North Wind. "Why am I good to you?" "I don't know." "Have you ever done anything for me?" "No." "Then I must be good to you because I choose to be good to you." "Yes." "Why should I choose?" "Because—because—because you like." "Why should I like to be good to you?" "I don't know, except it be because it's good to be good to me." "That's just it; I am good to you because I like to be good." "Then why shouldn't you be good to other people as well as to me?" "That's just what I don't know. Why shouldn't I?" "I don't know either. Then why shouldn't you?" "Because I am." "There it is again," said Diamond. "I don't see that you are. It looks quite the other thing." "Well, but listen to me, Diamond. You know the one me, you say, and that is good." "Yes." "Do you know the other me as well?" "No. I can't. I shouldn't like to." "There it is. You don't know the other me. You are sure of one of them?" "Yes." "And you are sure there can't be two mes?" "Yes." "Then the me you don't know must be the same as the me you do know,—else there would be two mes?" "Yes." "Then the other me you don't know must be as kind as the me you do know?" "Yes." "Besides, I tell you that it is so, only it doesn't look like it. That I confess freely. Have you anything more to object?" "No, no, dear North Wind; I am quite satisfied.
George MacDonald (At the Back of the North Wind)
There are such ships, there are such logs in the swamps of our minds, and they rise to the surface of our thoughts for a moment, only to sink again. There are such ships sunk in the wastes of our lives. The years have washed over them. They are forgotten. And yet they rise, ghosts of a past that is ended. They float before us for a while to our own great astonishment, then they settle down again and are as if they never existed.
Guy Endore (The Werewolf of Paris)
The ceilings had set off a ghostly echo, giving all the desperate hilarity the quality of a memory even as I sat listening to it, memories of things I'd never known. Charlestons on the wings of airborne biplanes. Parties on sinking ships, the icy water bubbling around the waists of the orchestra as they sawed out a last brave chorus of "Auld Lang Syne." Actually, it wasn't "Auld Lang Syne" they'd sung, the night the Titanic went down but hymns, lots of hymns, and the Catholic priest saying Hail Marys, and the first-class salon which had really looked a lot like this: dark wood, potted palms, rose silk lampshades with their swaying fringe. I really had had too much to drink. I was sitting sideways in my chair, holding tight to the arms (Holy Mary, Mother of God), and even the floors were listing, like the decks of a foundering ship; like we might all slide to the other end with a hysterical wheeee! piano and all.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Mladić was convinced that she had been murdered. This to him was the only logical explanation. Ana would never kill herself. He could not conceive that his daughter, his own daughter, who played Sinking Ships with him at twenty-three, could condemn him for what he did. He could not understand it. Instead of talking, they were playing childish games. To think she had been killed was easier for him: it relieved him of all responsibility. To understand why she had committed suicide would require him to admit - at least to himself - that he had indeed committed war crimes. This General Mladić could never do. Not even the death of his own dear child could make him acknowledge it. It was as if he had to sacrifice his own daughter - not his soldiers and his own life, as Prince Lazar did - to become a mythological hero. If this was the price for his immortality, the gods left him alive only to make him endure the incredible pain.
Slavenka Drakulić (They Would Never Hurt a Fly: War Criminals on Trial in The Hague)
Monarchy is like a splendid ship, with all sails set it moves majestically on, but then it hits a rock and sinks for ever. Democracy is like a raft. It never sinks but, damn it, your feet are always in the water. That is a good metaphor, for raft, he implies, is simply swept along by the tide or the current; one can with a paddle or a plank steer a little to stay afloat, trim forward direction slightly to left or right, perhaps even slow down or speed up a little, but there is no turning back against the current of democracy.
Bernard Crick (Democracy: A Very Short Introduction)
Slung on a stage over the gunwale of an old felucca, the Peri. A storm had just passed, rushing away toward the land in a great slope of clouds; already turning yellowish from the desert. The sea there is the color of Damascus plums; and how quiet. Sun was going down; not a beautiful sunset, more a gradual darkening of the air and that storm’s mountainside. The Peri had been damaged, we hove to alongside and hailed her master. No reply. Only the sailor—I never saw his face—one of your fellahin who abandon the land like a restless husband and then grumble for the rest of their term afloat. It’s the strongest marriage in the world. This one wore a kind of loincloth and a rag round his head for the sun which was almost gone. After we’d shouted in every dialect we had among us, he replied in Tuareg: ‘The master is gone, the crew is gone, I am here and I am painting the ship.’ It was true: he was painting the ship. She’d been damaged, not a load line in sight, and a bad list. ‘Come aboard,’ we told him, ‘night is nearly on us and you cannot swim to land.’ He never answered, merely continued dipping the brush in his earthen jar and slapping it smoothly on the Peri’s creaking sides. What color? It looked gray but the air was dark. This felucca would never again see the sun. Finally I told the helmsman to swing our ship round and continue on course. I watched the fellah until it was too dark: becoming smaller, inching closer to the sea with every swell but never slackening his pace. A peasant with all his uptorn roots showing, alone on the sea at nightfall, painting the side of a sinking ship.
Thomas Pynchon (V.)
The way you start writing is by writing. Over and over again I have proven this to myself but I always forget it the next time. I always believe that I will never write again. The first time I finished a book a painter was visiting me. Her name is Ginny Stanford and her wonderful paintings have been the covers for nine of my books. 'I'll never write again,' I told her ... 'That's it ... It's over. It was great while it lasted, but now it's done.' That afternoon she made me a wonderful drawing of a ship sinking in the waves of the sea. 'I'll never write again,' it said on the bottom of the picture. 'September, 1981.
Ellen Gilchrist (The Writing Life)
He’d paused at the entrance and was, once again, staring down at the mosaic in the floor. Jostled and shoved by impatient guests, Armand stood his ground and contemplated the ancient symbol of Paris before it was Paris. Jacques had quoted the Latin motto. Fluctuat nec mergitur. Beaten by the waves, but never sinks. For the first time, despite seeing it for decades, Armand realized the mosaic looked like a scene from The Tempest. Shakespeare’s play opened with a terrible storm, and a ship in peril. As a young man leaped from a sinking ship to almost certain death, he screamed, “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.
Louise Penny (All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16))
A war always comes to someone else. In Salinas we were aware that the United States was the greatest and most powerful nation in the world. Every American was a rifleman by birth, and one American was worth ten or twenty foreigners in a fight. Pershing’s expedition into Mexico after Villa had exploded one of our myths for a little while. We had truly believed that Mexicans can’t shoot straight and besides were lazy and stupid. When our own Troop C came wearily back from the border they said that none of this was true […] Somehow we didn’t connect Germans with Mexicans. We went right back to our own myths. One American was as good as twenty Germans. This being true, we had only to act in a stern manner to bring the Kaiser to heel. He wouldn’t dare interfere with our trade--but he did. He wouldn’t stick out his neck and and sink our ships--and he did. It was stupid, but he did, and so there was nothing for it but to fight him. The war, at first anyway, was for other people. We, I, my family and friends, had kind of bleacher seats, and it was pretty exciting. And just as war is always for somebody else, so it is also that somebody else always gets killed. And Mother of God! that wasn’t true either. The dreadful telegrams began to sneak sorrowfully in, and it was everybody’s brother. Here we were, over six thousand miles from the anger and the noise, and that didn’t save us […] The draftees wouldn’t look at their mothers. They didn’t dare. We’d never thought the war could happen to us. There were some in Salinas who began to talk softly in the poolrooms and the bars. These had private information from a soldier--we weren’t getting the truth. Our men were being sent in without guns. Troopships were sunk and the government wouldn’t tell us. The German army was so far superior to ours that we didn’t have a chance. That Kaiser was a smart fellow. He was getting ready to invade America. But would Wilson tell us this? He would not. And usually these carrion talkers were the same ones who had said one American was worth twenty Germans in a scrap--the same ones.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of voices–women’s voices–had burst from a side-street a little way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep loud ‘Oh-o-o-o-oh!’ that went humming on like the reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It’s started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this moment the general despair broke down into a multitude of individual quarrels. It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans. They were wretched, flimsy things, but cooking-pots of any kind were always difficult to get. Now the supply had unexpectedly given out. The successful women, bumped and jostled by the rest, were trying to make off with their saucepans while dozens of others clamoured round the stall, accusing the stall-keeper of favouritism and of having more saucepans somewhere in reserve. There was a fresh outburst of yells. Two bloated women, one of them with her hair coming down, had got hold of the same saucepan and were trying to tear it out of one another’s hands. For a moment they were both tugging, and then the handle came off. Winston watched them disgustedly. And yet, just for a moment, what almost frightening power had sounded in that cry from only a few hundred throats! Why was it that they could never shout like that about anything that mattered?
George Orwell (1984)
Oddly enough, she was one of the most thorough-going sceptics he had ever met, and possibly (this was a theory he used to make up to account for her, so transparent in some ways, so inscrutable in others), possibly she said to herself, As we are a doomed race, chained to a sinking ship (her favourite reading as a girl was Huxley and Tyndall, and they were fond of these nautical metaphors), as the whole thing is a bad joke, let us, at any rate, do our part; mitigate the sufferings of our fellow-prisoners (Huxley again); decorate the dungeon with flowers and air-cushions; be as decent as we possibly can. Those ruffians, the Gods, shan’t have it all their own way—her notion being that the Gods, who never lost a chance of hurting, thwarting and spoiling human lives, were seriously put out if, all the same, you behaved like a lady.
Virginia Woolf (Virginia Woolf: The Complete Works)
So you understand, sir,” the stranger went on, “that I have a right to treat you as my enemy.” I kept quiet, with good reason. What was the use of debating such a proposition, when superior force can wipe out the best arguments? “It took me a good while to decide,” the commander went on. “Nothing obliged me to grant you hospitality. If I were to part company with you, I’d have no personal interest in ever seeing you again. I could put you back on the platform of this ship that has served as your refuge. I could sink under the sea, and I could forget you ever existed. Wouldn’t that be my right?” “Perhaps it would be the right of a savage,” I replied. “But not that of a civilized man.” “Professor,” the commander replied swiftly, “I’m not what you term a civilized man! I’ve severed all ties with society, for reasons that I alone have the right to appreciate. Therefore I obey none of its regulations, and I insist that you never invoke them in front of me!
Jules Verne
You’re the one who didn’t keep his word. And speaking of your word and its dubious worth, don’t change the subject. I saw the looks you and Miss Turner were exchanging. The lady goes bright pink every time you speak to her. For God’s sake, you put food on her plate without even asking.” “And where’s the crime in that?” Gray was genuinely curious to hear the answer. He hadn’t forgotten that shocked look she’d given him. “Come on, Gray. You know very well one doesn’t take such a liberty with a mere acquaintance. It’s…it’s intimate. The two of you are intimate. Don’t deny it.” “I do deny it. It isn’t true.” Gray took another swig from his flask and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Damn it, Joss. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to trust me. I gave you my word. I’ve kept it.” And it was the truth, Gray told himself. Yes, he’d touched her tonight, but he’d never pledged not to touch her. He had kept his word. He hadn’t bedded her. He hadn’t kissed her. God, what he wouldn’t give just to kiss her… He rubbed the heel of his hand against his chest. That same ache lingered there-the same sharp tug he’d felt when she’d brought her foot down on his and pursed her lips into a silent plea. Please, she’d said. Don’t. As if she appealed to his conscience. His conscience. Where would the girl have gathered such a notion, that he possessed a conscience? Certainly not form his treatment of her. A bitter laugh rumbled through his chest, and Joss shot him a skeptical look. “Believe me, I’ve scarcely spoken to the girl in weeks. You can’t know the lengths I’ve gone to, avoiding her. And it isn’t easy, because she won’t stay put in her cabin, now will she? No, she has to go all over the ship, flirting with the crew, tacking her little pictures in every corner of the boat, taking tea in the galley with Gabriel. I can’t help but see her. And I can see she’s too damn thin. She needs to eat; I put food on her plate. There’s nothing more to it than that.” Joss said nothing, just stared at him as though he’d grown a second head. “Damn it, what now? Don’t you believe me?” “I believe what you’re saying,” his brother said slowly. “I just can’t believe what I’m hearing.” Gray folded his arms and leaned against the wall. “And what are you hearing?” “I wondered why you’d done all this…the dinner. Now I know.” “You know what?” Gray was growing exasperated. Most of all, because he didn’t know. “You care for this girl.” Joss cocked his head. “You care for her. Don’t you?” “Care for her.” Joss’s expression was smug. “Don’t you?” The idea was too preposterous to entertain, but Gray perked with inspiration. “Say I did care for her. Would you release me from that promise? If my answer is yes, can I pursue her?” Joss shook his head. “If the answer is yes, you can-and should-wait one more week. It’s not as though she’ll vanish the moment we make harbor. If the answer is yes, you’ll agree she deserves that much.” Wrong, Gray thought, sinking back into a chair.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Ship Protected From Storm The students of the great Ghawth (r.a) state that once he was delivering his lessons as usual to them when suddenly his blessed face turned red and beads of perspiration covered his blessed forehead. He then placed his hand into his cloak and remained silent for a short time. The students state that after he removed his hand from inside his cloak, drops of water began to drip from his sleeves. Due to his spiritual state, the students say that they did not ask him any questions but rather, they recorded the date, day and time of this astonishing event. The students say that two months after this incident, a group of traders, who had come by sea to Baghdad, arrived and presented various gifts to al-Ghawth al-A’zam (r.a) The students were very confused by this as they had never seen these traders in Baghdad before. They asked the traders the reason for them bringing the gifts. The traders said that two months previously, whilst they were sailing to Baghdad, their ship was caught in a fierce storm. When they realised that there was a real danger of sinking, they called out the name of “Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani” (r.a). When they called out his name, they found that from the Unseen a hand lifted their ship to safety. When the students compared this narration to the incident in the Madrassa, it was confirmed that it was the same date, day and time in which the great Saint (r.a) had put his hand into his cloak. Suhban-Allah! This incident shows that although Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (r.a) seemed to be placing his hand into his cloak, but in reality, he was stretching his hand into the sea to assist those who called for his assistance!
Hazrat Shaykh Sayyid Abdul Kadir Jilani
And then it sends a signal to turn off the system.” “So the universe with the wallet in the chamber waiting to be sent still exists,” added Allen. “But the universe from which it is actually sent never does.”  “That is just so messed up,” said Blake in exasperation, and Jenna, Walsh, and Soyer nodded their agreement. “Here is my advice to all of you,” said Cargill. “The best thing to do is ignore time travel, and don’t think about the paradoxes too hard. If you do, your head really will explode,” he added with a wry smile. “Just think of it as duplication and teleportation. But always keep in mind that the universe seems to go out of its way to ensure that infinite alternate timelines aren’t allowed. So no matter what, we only ever get this one universe.” He sighed. “So we’d better make sure we don’t screw it up.”     48   Brian Hamilton hated Cheyenne Mountain. Sure, it was one of the most interesting places in the world to visit, but living there only worked if you were a bat. The Palomar facility had also been underground, but nothing like this. It had a much larger security perimeter, so trips to the surface were easier to make happen. Not that it really mattered. Soon enough he would be traveling on another assignment anyway, living in a hotel room somewhere. But what he really wanted was to work side by side with Edgar Knight, toward their common goal. He was tired of being Knight’s designated spy, having to watch Lee Cargill squander Q5’s vast resources and capabilities. Watching him crawl like a wounded baby when he could be soaring. Cargill was an idiot. He could transform the world, but he was too weak to do it. He could wipe out the asshole terrorists who wanted nothing more than to butcher the helpless. If you have the ultimate cure for cancer, you use it to wipe out the disease once and for all. You don’t wield your cure only as a last resort, when the cancer has all but choked the life out of you. Edgar Knight, on the other hand, was a man with vision. He was able to make the tough decisions. If you were captain of a life raft with a maximum capacity of ten people, choosing to take five passengers of a sinking ship on board was an easy decision, not a heroic one. But what about when there were fifty passengers? Was it heroic to take them all, dooming everyone to death? Or was the heroic move using force, if necessary, to limit this number, to ensure some would survive? Sure, from the outside this looked coldhearted, while the converse seemed compassionate. But watching the world circle the drain because you were too much of a pussy to make the hard decisions was the real crime. Survival of the fittest was harsh reality. In the animal kingdom it was eat or be eaten. If you saw a group of fuck-nuts just itching to nuke the world back into the Dark Ages—who believed the Messiah equivalent, the twelfth Imam, would only come out to play when Israel was destroyed, and worldwide Armageddon unleashed—you wiped them out. To a man. Or else they’d do the same to you. It had been three days since Cargill had reported that he was on the verge of acquiring Jenna Morrison and Aaron Blake.
Douglas E. Richards (Split Second (Split Second, #1))
In the tumultuous business of cutting-in and attending to a whale, there is much running backwards and forwards among the crew. Now hands are wanted here, and then again hands are wanted there. There is no staying in any one place; for at one and the same time everything has to be done everywhere. It is much the same with him who endeavors the description of the scene. We must now retrace our way a little. It was mentioned that upon first breaking ground in the whale’s back, the blubber-hook was inserted into the original hole there cut by the spades of the mates. But how did so clumsy and weighty a mass as that same hook get fixed in that hole? It was inserted there by my particular friend Queequeg, whose duty it was, as harpooneer, to descend upon the monster’s back for the special purpose referred to. But in very many cases, circumstances require that the harpooneer shall remain on the whale till the whole flensing or stripping operation is concluded. The whale, be it observed, lies almost entirely submerged, excepting the immediate parts operated upon. So down there, some ten feet below the level of the deck, the poor harpooneer flounders about, half on the whale and half in the water, as the vast mass revolves like a tread-mill beneath him. On the occasion in question, Queequeg figured in the Highland costume—a shirt and socks—in which to my eyes, at least, he appeared to uncommon advantage; and no one had a better chance to observe him, as will presently be seen. Being the savage’s bowsman, that is, the person who pulled the bow-oar in his boat (the second one from forward), it was my cheerful duty to attend upon him while taking that hard-scrabble scramble upon the dead whale’s back. You have seen Italian organ-boys holding a dancing-ape by a long cord. Just so, from the ship’s steep side, did I hold Queequeg down there in the sea, by what is technically called in the fishery a monkey-rope, attached to a strong strip of canvas belted round his waist. It was a humorously perilous business for both of us. For, before we proceed further, it must be said that the monkey-rope was fast at both ends; fast to Queequeg’s broad canvas belt, and fast to my narrow leather one. So that for better or for worse, we two, for the time, were wedded; and should poor Queequeg sink to rise no more, then both usage and honor demanded, that instead of cutting the cord, it should drag me down in his wake. So, then, an elongated Siamese ligature united us. Queequeg was my own inseparable twin brother; nor could I any way get rid of the dangerous liabilities which the hempen bond entailed. So strongly and metaphysically did I conceive of my situation then, that while earnestly watching his motions, I seemed distinctly to perceive that my own individuality was now merged in a joint stock company of two; that my free will had received a mortal wound; and that another’s mistake or misfortune might plunge innocent me into unmerited disaster and death. Therefore, I saw that here was a sort of interregnum in Providence; for its even-handed equity never could have so gross an injustice. And yet still further pondering—while I jerked him now and then from between the whale and ship, which would threaten to jam him—still further pondering, I say, I saw that this situation of mine was the precise situation of every mortal that breathes; only, in most cases, he, one way or other, has this Siamese connexion with a plurality of other mortals. If your banker breaks, you snap; if your apothecary by mistake sends you poison in your pills, you die. True, you may say that, by exceeding caution, you may possibly escape these and the multitudinous other evil chances of life. But handle Queequeg’s monkey-rope heedfully as I would, sometimes he jerked it so, that I came very near sliding overboard. Nor could I possibly forget that, do what I would, I only had the management of one end of it.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, The Whale)
In your eyes, I furl my sail every night . . . yet my ship will never sink. عيناك ألف شراع ومركب تغرقني عشقاً ولا تغرق
Amany Al-Hallaq
Friend never end.It is the ship that will not sink forever.
During all this time, the ship—without so much as an inch of sail flying—was being driven nine or ten leagues (roughly thirty miles) in each four-hour watch. And all this time, Strachey said, those on board, even those who had never done a hard day’s work in their lives, struggled to keep the sinking ship from slipping beneath the waves.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
Q: What kind of ship never sinks? A: Friendship.
Scott McNeely (Ultimate Book of Jokes: The Essential Collection of More Than 1,500 Jokes)
Her whole body shook as big, fat drops slid down her cheeks. Mortified, she covered her face as though she could hide her wailing. Strong arms enveloped her and Mitch pulled her close. She gave one thought to protest, and then sank into the warm, solid strength of his chest. He was big and broad, so different from what she was used to. The thought made her cry harder. She should push him away, but instead she curled closer. Needing him. She was the most wicked kind of woman. There’d be no escaping hell now. All those years of penance washed away by one night of rash behavior. Mitch kissed her temple, rubbing his hands over her bare skin. That he let her cry, and didn’t start lecturing her on emotional outbursts, made her want to crawl into him and never let go. He swayed them both, murmuring nonsense and tracing slow, soothing circles over her back. “Come on now, Princess. Tell me what’s wrong so I can help you.” She hiccupped into his shirt while she clung to him as though he were her life vest on a sinking ship. A great gush of air was followed by a hiccup. She blurted her very pressing and very embarrassing need. “I-I h-have to go to the b-b-bathroom.” The gentle sway stopped. A rumble in his chest was followed by a cough. He was trying not to laugh. The jerk. She sobbed harder: great heaping wails straight from the pit of her stomach. Now that she was on a roll, she keened pitifully, “A-and m-m-y f-feet hurt.” “It’s okay.” His tone was most definitely amused. “Why didn’t you go?” Now came the worst confession. “M-my dress i-is too b-big.” “Well, take it off.” Did he think she was an idiot? “I c-can’t get it off.” With a fresh batch of hysterics, her shoulders trembled as she buried her face in his T-shirt, now wet with tears. No one at the store had mentioned she’d need a crew of people to go to the bathroom, and now a stranger had to undress her. She hiccupped. They really should mention these kinds of details at the time of purchase. He ran his fingers down a million tiny buttons from the blades of her shoulders to the curve of her ass. “It’s okay. We can take care of this.” “B-but,” she cried. The thought almost unbearable. She was being tested. How was she supposed to be good when she had to disrobe in front of the most gorgeous man alive? “You’ll s-see me almost n-naked.” When he said nothing, fresh tears welled in her eyes. He probably thought she was propositioning him. Surely women threw themselves at him all the time. He rubbed her bare arms. “I’m thirty-four, Princess. I’ve seen a naked woman before.” “But you haven’t seen me.” No one had seen her—well, except Steve, but he hardly even counted. “I’m twenty-eight, and only one guy has seen me. And he isn’t like you. Why can’t you be someone else?” “Like who?” He trailed a path over her bare skin, creating a rush of tingles up and down her spine. She burrowed closer, some of her hysterics finally calming as his soothing but intoxicating presence worked its charm. “You’re not Mister Rogers, you know.” “You can trust me, Maddie. I won’t attack.” Ha!
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
On June 15, 1904, an annual gala was held on the passenger ship as it steamed up the East River, with about 1,400 people from St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Consisting mostly of German immigrants, the boat was packed with women and children, and when a small fire started on the ship shortly after the trip began, faulty equipment was unable to put it out or stop it from spreading. On top of that, the lifeboats were tied up and the crew, which never conducted emergency drills, was unprepared for a potential disaster. When parents put life preservers on their children and then had them enter the water, they soon learned that the life preservers were also faulty and didn’t float. As the disaster unfolded, over 1,000 passengers burned to death or drowned, many swept under the water by the East River’s current and weighed down by heavy wool clothing. Few people on board knew how to swim, exacerbating the situation, and eventually the overcrowded decks began to collapse, crushing some unfortunate victims. In the end, the General Slocum sank in shallow water while hundreds of corpses drifted ashore, and the fallout was immediate. The captain was indicted for criminal negligence and manslaughter, and the ship’s owner was also charged. While the captain would receive a 10 year sentence, the company in charge of the General Slocum got off with a light fine. In a somewhat fitting postscript, the ship was salvaged and converted into a barge, only to sink once again during a heavy storm in 1911.
Charles River Editors (The Sinking of the General Slocum: The History of New York City’s Deadliest Maritime Disaster)
Brigham, the greatest and certainly the most able economist and administrator and businessman this nation has ever seen, didn't give a hoot for earthly things: 'I have never walked across the streets to make a trade.' He didn't mean that literally. You always do have to handle things. But in what spirit do we do it? Not the Krishna way, by renunciation, for example... If you refuse to be concerned with these things at all, and say, "I'm above all that," that's as great a fault. The things of the world have got to be administered; they must be taken care of, they are to be considered. We have to keep things clean, and in order. That's required of us. This is a test by which we are being proven. This is the way by which we prepare, always showing that these things will never captivate our hearts, that they will never become our principle concern. That takes a bit of doing, and that is why we have the formula 'with an eye single to his glory.' Keep first your eye on the star, then on all the other considerations of the ship. You will have all sorts of problems on the ship, but unless you steer by the star, forget the ship. Sink it. You won't go anywhere.
Hugh Nibley
The world around us will always shift their definitions of what's right and wrong. But God's Word never changes. His truth is steadfast. Why build my life on sinking sand when I have something much more solid I can live upon?
Jody Hedlund (The Runaway Bride (The Bride Ships, #2))
The ship which lies at anchor may sometimes be a little shaken—but never sinks; flesh and blood may have its fears and disquiets—but grace keeps them afloat. A Christian, having cast anchor in heaven, his heart never sinks.
Thomas Watson (The Art of Divine Contentment (Illustrated))
You are not going to lose me," said Claybriar. "I don't want to put you through that." "Is that a promise?" I said, and then immediately realized what I'd asked. I held my hand up in front of his mouth even as he drew breath to answer. "No," I said. "Don't bind yourself. Just do your best to stay alive; that's enough for me." It was a little dizzying to realize that he'd been willing to promise me that he'd never leave me, and that unlike the others in my past he'd be bound to that promise. It was tempting, in a dark sort of way. But I wouldn't let him do it any more than I'd let him chain himself in the hold of a sinking ship.
Mishell Baker (Phantom Pains (The Arcadia Project, #2))
Are you serious, Lee? You have your choice between standing around among the Empress’s court, being polite to arrogant parasites while you’re slowly being driven insane with boredom, or exploring an area of the world that few Northerners have ever seen. Which sounds better to you?” “I’m not sure. Remind me which one doesn’t involve being on a boat.” He frowned. “What’s wrong with being on a boat?” “Besides the tendency to capsize and kill everyone on board? Nothing, I’m sure.” Plus there was something about the thought of all that open air and water that made me want to shiver. “You’re afraid of boats?” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he pressed his lips together, as though wishing he could snatch back the question by the act of shutting his mouth. But that was what it came down to, an irrational fear based on no experience with an activity others had no difficulty with. “Apparently so.” “You never told me that.” He appeared to be accusing me of something. “I didn’t know until just now, did I?” “Don’t worry about it, Lee. It’ll be fine.” I gritted my teeth. “Oh, I’m sure it’ll be a treat until the boat sinks.” “Actually, I think they prefer to have it called a ship.” “Don’t even start with me.
Moira J. Moore (Heroes Adrift (Hero, #3))
Destiny is the only ship that will never sink, even if it has a leak.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Don't be a man-pleaser in anything you do. When popular demands, stay true to what's true. You might rock the boat, you might sink the ship. You might not look cool, you might not look hip. But you will please God, so stand for what's right. Go into the darkness, and shine really bright. O Lord, help us stand. Help us to stand strong. To never back down or compromise with wrong. To love others enough to show them what's true even if it means a beating or two. To love You agapao. To stand by Your side. Not to run away, deny You, then hide.
Calvin W. Allison (Growing in the Presence of God)
The Coast Guard report concluded, “The Commandant concurs with the Board that the most probable cause of the sinking was the loss of buoyancy resulting from massive flooding of the cargo hold.  This flooding most likely took place through ineffective hatch closures.  As the boarding seas rolled over the spar deck, the flooding was probably concentrated forward. The vessel dove into a wall of water and never recovered, with the breaking up of the ship occurring as it plunged or as the ship struck the bottom.  The sinking was so rapid and unexpected that no one was able to successfully abandon ship.
Charles River Editors (The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald: The Loss of the Largest Ship on the Great Lakes)
So that’s what grit meant: to never once stop trying, to lean upon his strengths, and trust what is inside him. And so, from that day forward, things started to get better. His mom became less worried and fewer things upset her. They’d gone to see a counselor to change their way of thinking. “No wind to fill your sails,” he’d say, “doesn’t mean your ship is sinking. It just means you’re sitting still, the perfect time to self-reflect. Do you only see what’s wrong because it’s not what you expect? If so, open your eyes wide and find the brighter side of things. Get in touch with all the joy and comfort that it brings. You’d be surprised at how things change when you just let your worries go. It's where you place your focus that will proceed to grow.
Jeanne Evelyn (Chase Found Grit: Fostering Resilience During Virtual Learning)
the perpetual presence of Christ with that Holy Catholic Church, which is His body, is the great secret of its continuance and security. It lives on, and cannot die, because Jesus Christ is in the midst of it. It is a ship tossed with storm and tempest; but it cannot sink, because Christ is on board. Its members may be persecuted, oppressed, imprisoned, robbed, beaten, beheaded, or burned; but His true Church is never extinguished.
J.C. Ryle (Knots Untied)
The blue pieces are rare,” he says, examining it and then pressing it into my hand. “This is a good piece. Some people call them mermaid’s tears. Do you want to hear the story?” I nod as I inspect the smooth glass in my palm—it looks like a gem, a tear of frosted sapphire. “The story goes that a mermaid watched as a storm threatened to wreck the ship of the man she loved,” Ted says. His voice is hypnotic, I love listening to him. I sink my head back onto his shoulder as he speaks and he runs a hand across my hair, my whole body alert to his touch. “She was forbidden by Neptune from intervening in the weather, but she calmed the sea and tamed the waves to save her love from certain death. For her disobedience, she was banished to the ocean floor, never to surface again. Her tears wash up on the shore as glass, a reminder of true love.
Sophie Cousens (Just Haven't Met You Yet)
Many disappearances were actually suicides. But it needed desperate courage to kill yourself in a world where firearms, or any quick and certain poison, were completely unprocurable. He thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed. He might have silenced the dark-haired girl if only he had acted quickly enough; but precisely because of the extremity of his danger he had lost the power to act. It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one's own body. Even now, in spite of the gin, the dull ache in his belly made consecutive thought impossible. And it is the same, he perceived in all seemingly heroic or tragic situations. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralyzed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
George Orwell (1984)
The sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff is the deadliest disaster in maritime history, with losses dwarfing the death tolls of the famous ships Titanic and Lusitania. Yet remarkably, most people have never heard of it.
Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea)
What has never been absolutely certain is how many of the eight musicians were involved in this exercise, as they’d previously worked as two separate groups with different repertoires. If they combined, what did the two pianists, Percy Taylor and Theo Brailey, play after they were out on the Boat Deck itself? It seems unlikely that they would have hauled a piano onto the deck of a sinking ship. Others have questioned the ability of the cellists to remain in place once the ship listed beyond a certain degree because cellists need to be firmly seated. The survivors mostly referred to “the band” or “the ship’s orchestra” without enumerating them.
Steve Turner (The Band That Played On: The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic)
It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one’s own body. And it is the same, he perceived, in all seemingly heroic or tragic situations. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralyzed by fright or screaming with pain, life is A moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
George Orwell (1984)
Please remember that the lightning has never apologized for breaking skies open; the ocean has never said sorry for sinking ships. You, as well, must never apologize for being a force of nature. And as you love the lightning and as you love the oceans, so shall you love yourself. The skies are yours, the depths are yours-- that is okay. After all, Immortal is not a small nor simple thing. You'd have to be stupid to think it would be easy.
C. JoyBell C. (The Conversation of Immortals (The Conversations #4))
Worries never helped a sinking ship - but they changed how the ship has been built. — B
Laura Chouette
He thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed. … It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body. … And it is the same, he perceived, in all seemingly heroic or tragic situations. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralysed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or aching tooth.
George Orwell (1984)
It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy, but always against one’s own body. Even now, in spite of the gin, the dull ache in his belly made consecutive thought impossible. And it is the same, he perceived, in all seemingly heroic or tragic situations. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralyzed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
George Orwell (1984)
Although ship for ship it approached a match with the British and in gunnery was superior, the Kaiser, who could hark back to no Drakes or Nelsons, could never really believe that German ships and sailors could beat the British. He could not bear to think of his “darlings,” as Bülow called his battleships, shattered by gunfire, smeared with blood or at last, wounded and rudderless, sinking beneath the waves. Tirpitz, whom once he had gratefully ennobled with a “von” but whose theory of a navy was to use it for fighting, began to appear as a danger, almost as an enemy, and was gradually frozen out of the inner councils.
Barbara W. Tuchman (The Guns of August)
At their invitation we crowded into the spacious control cabin of the great airship, where scientific gear occupied every available cubic—perhaps hypercubic—inch. Among the fantastical glass envelopes and knottings of gold wire as unreadable to us as the ebonite control panels scrupulously polished and reflecting the Arctic sky, we were able here and there to recognize more mundane items—here Manganin resistance-boxes and Tesla coils, there Leclanché cells and solenoidal magnets, with electrical cables sheathed in commercial-grade Gutta Percha running everywhere. Inside, the overhead was much higher than expected, and the bulkheads could scarcely be made out in the muted light through three hanging Fresnel lenses, the mantle behind each glowing a different primary color, from sensitive-flames which hissed at different frequencies. Strange sounds, complex harmonies and dissonances, resonant, sibilant, and percussive at once, being monitored from someplace far Exterior to this, issued from a large brass speaking-trumpet, with brass tubing and valvework elaborate as any to be found in an American marching band running back from it and into an extensive control panel on which various metering gauges were ranked, their pointers, with exquisite Breguet-style arrowheads, trembling in their rise and fall along the arcs of italic numerals. The glow of electrical coils seeped beyond the glass cylinders which enclosed them, and anyone’s hands that came near seemed dipped in blue chalk-dust. A Poulsen’s Telegraphone, recording the data being received, moved constantly to and fro along a length of shining steel wire which periodically was removed and replaced. “Ætheric impulses,” Dr. Counterfly was explaining. “For vortex stabilization we need a membrane sensitive enough to respond to the slightest eddies. We use a human caul—a ‘veil,’ as some say.” “Isn’t a child born with a veil believed to have powers of second sight?” Dr. Vormance inquired. “Correct. And a ship with a veil aboard it will never sink—or, in our case, crash.” “Things have been done to obtain a veil,” darkly added a junior officer, Mr. Suckling, “that may not even be talked about.
Thomas Pynchon (Against the Day)
On February 9th, 1942, the SS Normandie, a proud ocean liner and the pride of the French Merchant Marine, was being converted into a troop transport. A welder’s torch cut through a bulkhead and set afire a bundle of flammable rags and a stack of life jackets. The fire soon roared throughout the ship and since the internal fire protection system had been disabled, the only assistance available was from the New York City Fire Department. Fireboats pumped water onto the blaze until it caused this magnificent vessel to become unstable. I guess it never occurred to anyone that the water going into the ship, should have been pumped out! On February 10th, the ship rolled over onto its port side, sinking into the mud alongside Pier 88 in Manhattan. Investigations ensued with the thought being that this tragedy was caused by enemy sabotage. However, later findings indicated that the fire had been completely accidental. There are still some allegations contradicting this, and claims that the fire was indeed arson and involved “Lucky” Luciano, the Mafia boss who controlled the waterfront. From the time the fire started until the Normandie was righted in 1943, I watched what was happening to the now renamed USS Lafayette from a perfect vantage point at the top of the Palisades near North Street Park. It was the talk of the town and everyone continued to speculate as to who was at fault. “It must have been the Nazis,” was the conventional wisdom. The soldiers to whom I frequently talked, stationed at the searchlights and gun emplacements, were the ones who surely would know. Eventually, stripped of her superstructure, the ship was righted at great expense. There was talk of converting her into an aircraft carrier, or of cutting her down to become a smaller vessel. However, in the end she was sold for $161,680 to Lipsett, Inc., an American shipyard, where the once magnificent ship was reduced to scrap metal.
Hank Bracker
Mixed thoughts of business and pleasure, 100 million dollar meetings is a success of true measure. Privately bonded to the treasury of secrecy, it's secrets that give keys to open sesame, look to the Bible for it's a sweet recipe of Supremacy. Find the knowledge to it all and never sell it for loose lips sink ships.
Jose R. Coronado (The Land Flowing With Milk And Honey)
With the constant soundtrack of the sea, being here often feels like being on an old ship. One that might sink at any moment. Seaglass has thin walls that like to eavesdrop, and tired floorboards that like to talk. This house has never been good at keeping secrets.
Alice Feeney (Daisy Darker)
As we are a doomed race, chained to a sinking ship, as the whole thing is a bad joke, let us, at any rate, do our part; mitigate the sufferings of our fellow-prisoners; decorate the dungeon with flowers and air-cushions; be as decent as we possibly can. Those ruffians, the Gods, shan't have it all their own way,—her notion being that the Gods, who never lost a chance of hurting, thwarting and spoiling human lives were seriously put out if, all the same, you behaved like a lady.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs Dalloway)