The Day I Proposed You Quotes

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An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Of course you can have a true Shadowhunter name," Will said. "You can have mine." Tessa stared at him, all black and white against the black-and-white snow and stone. "Your name?" Will took a step toward her, till they stood face-to-face. Then he reached to take her hand and slid off her glove, which he put into his pocket. He held her bare hand in his, his fingers curved around hers. His hand was warm and callused, and his touch made her shiver. His eyes were steady and blue; they were everything that Will was: true and tender, sharp and witty, loving and kind. "Marry me," he said. "Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be called Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Gray, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Even god doesn't propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?
Dale Carnegie
I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally)
Sky, if you’re wondering if I have commitment issues, the answer is no. Someday in the far, far, far away future…like post-college future…when I propose to you…which I will be doing one day because you aren’t getting rid of me…I won’t be marrying you with the hope that our marriage will work out. When you become mine, it’ll be a forever thing. I’ve told you before that the only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers, and I mean that.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
I want to be with you, Em. I want to be with you every fucking moment of every fucking day.
Katie Ashley (The Proposal (The Proposition, #2))
Dear Miss Independent, I've decided that of all the women I've ever known, you are the only one I will ever love more than hunting, fishing, football, and power tools. You may not know this, but the other time I asked you to marry me, the night I put the crib together, I meant it. Even though I knew you weren't ready. God, I hope you're ready now. Marry me, Ella. Because no matter where you go or what you do, I'll love you every day for the rest of my life. —Jack
Lisa Kleypas (Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3))
When I propose, angel, trust me, you’ll know it.
Sylvia Day (Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3))
I love you much it hurts. I ache for you in my soul. Please… I can’t live without you. I want to be with you every minute of every day. I want to marry you and make a life with you. I want to raise Noah and be a family together. Please… please say you want to be with me forever.
Katie Ashley (The Proposal (The Proposition, #2))
[...] "Marry me," he said. "Marry me, Tess. Marry me and be Tessa Herondale. Or be Tessa Grey, or be whatever you wish to call yourself, but marry me and stay with me and never leave me, for I cannot bear another day of my life to go by that does not have you in it.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Of course I want the moon. And were you to offer it, I'd propose as a trade the stars in my eyes.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
I did not think you would be angry, Jem burst out, and it was like ice cracking across a frozen waterfall, freeing a torrent. We were engaged, Tessa. A proposal-an offer of marriage-is a promise. A promise to love and care for someone always. I did not mean to break mine to you. But it was that or die. I wanted to wait, to be married to you and live wit you for years, but that wasn't possible. I was dying too fast. I would have given it up-all of it up-to be married to you for a day. A day that would never have come. You are a reminder-a reminder of everything I am losing. The life I will not have.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I pulled out the small velvet box I had kept in my pocket all day and got down on one knee. And then she did the craziest thing. She fell down to her knees in front of me. “I’m the one who’s supposed to be on my knees here. You’re ruining the moment
A. Meredith Walters (Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark, #2))
You must know, surely you must know, it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I'd scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I would have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love... I love... I love you. And I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.
Deborah Moggach
Rhys absorbed that with chagrin. "No one has ever accused me of being a romantic," he said ruefully. "If you were, how would you propose?" He thought for a moment. "I would begin by teaching you a Welsh word. Hiraeth There's no equivalent in English." "Hiraeth," she repeated, trying to pronounce it with a tapped R, as he had. "Aye. It's a longing for something that was lost, or never existed. You feel it for a person or a place, or a time in your life...it's a sadness of the soul. Hiraeth calls to a Welshman even when he's closest to happiness, reminding him that he's incomplete." Her brow knit with concern. "Do you feel that way?" "Since the day I was born." He looked down into her small, lovely face. "But not when I'm with you. That's why I want to marry you.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
The moon is an orbital albino, and it gets tons of sunlight, so I propose Operation Sunscreen, where astronauts coat the surface of the moon with a protective layer of sunscreen. If you care about albinos and the environment, you’ll see this is a good idea. And hey, it’s a better use of taxpayer funds than bailing out private banks.

Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
I wanted to ask you one day but the time never seemed right, but we started talking and...Hell, I don't even have a ring. ... I'm naked here, bella, just laying myself out for you, telling you how I feel.
Pamela Clare (Striking Distance (I-Team, #6))
Verranica Welling, I love you with all my soul. I will happily be your king, if you will consent to be my love, my wife and my queen for all of our days in Doon and beyond. This time, I didn't need to think about my answer. Yes, Jamie, Yes!
Carey Corp (Doon (Doon, #1))
God himself, sir, doesn't propose to judge man until the end of his days. (So why should you and I? ~ this latter part is added by Napoleon Hill)
Samuel Johnson
God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.” Why should you and I?
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Or I could write about the day I proposed to you and you so stupidly agreed to spend the rest of your life with a man who couldn't possibly give you all that you deserve in this world.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind. "Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
As Dr. Johnson said: “God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.” Why should you and I?
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Tonight you’re mine. I’ll just wait to cook you breakfast until the day after tomorrow. And every day after that, until next November 9th when I get down on one knee and give you the most book-worthy marriage proposal in history.' She slaps me in the chest. 'That was a huge spoiler, Ben! Did you not learn about spoiler alerts during your reading binge?' I grin as I lower my mouth to hers. 'Spoiler alert. They lived happily ever after.' And then I kiss her. And it’s a twelve.
Colleen Hoover (November 9)
Did you pick that out?“ I asked Dimitri. Honestly, I would have expected him to bend a piece of steel it his bare hands and present her with that. “He did,” said Rose, her normal good humor returning. “He kept telling me that once I turned twenty, it was just a matter of time before he proposed. I told him if he did, he better make it a rock star ring – nothing subtle.” “That’s pretty rock star,” said Eddie. “How long ago did this happen?” “About a month,” said Dimitri. “I got her to war it but can’t get her to set a date.” She grinned. “All in good time, comrade. Maybe when I’m thirty. There’s no hurry. Besides, surely Christian’s going to propose to Liss one of these days. We don’t want to overshadow them.” Dimitri shook his head in exasperation, but he kept smiling. “You’ve always got an excuse, Roza. One of these days…” “One of these days,” she agreed.
Richelle Mead (The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6))
Isabella Swan? I promise to love you forever—every single day of forever. Will you marry me?
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
I want forever with you. I want to wake up next to you every morning and go to bed beside you every night. I want to wear a ring on my finger every day of my life marking me as yours. I want to make you promises, and I want to spend every day of my life working to keep those promises.
Chanel Cleeton (Flirting with Scandal (Capital Confessions, #1))
Do you remember when I first told you that we were different--that we were meant to be together?" Emma nodded. "Nothing has changed since then, except for how much more I love you now. I didn't think it was possible for me to love you more than I did then. It was so strong, so intense. But I was wrong. I love you more everyday that I spend with you. Everyday when I look at you--you are more beautiful than the day before.
Chantelle Nay (Enticed (Eternal, #2))
Oh my. Molly put her hand to her no-doubt agape mouth. Oh my, oh my, oh my. After her divorce, she hadn’t thought this day would ever come again, but here it was, a second proposal. Life is funny, she thought, and she felt herself step back from the reality of her situation for a moment, lest its emotions overwhelm her and make her swoon like a damsel in those Middle English chivalric romances she taught in 10th-grade English. Yes, life was indeed funny. It had no syllabus, which was why Molly, always a diligent student, felt so unprepared for it. Life played tricks on you too, surprised you, with the biggest surprise that life, even at the nearly half-century mark, could still hold surprises. Like so: There is a man in my kitchen, a man I’m in love with, and he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. How strange and how very unconventional by its conventional, everyday setting.
Ray Smith (The Magnolia That Bloomed Unseen)
ah yes I know them well who was the first person in the universe before there was anybody that made it all who ah that they dont know neither do I so there you are they might as well try to stop the sun from rising tomorrow the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldnt answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky I was thinking of so many things he didnt know of Mulvey and Mr Stanhope and Hester and father and old captain Groves and the sailors playing all birds fly and I say stoop and washing up dishes they called it on the pier and the sentry in front of the governors house with the thing round his white helmet poor devil half roasted and the Spanish girls laughing in their shawls and their tall combs and the auctions in the morning the Greeks and the jews and the Arabs and the devil knows who else from all the ends of Europe and Duke street and the fowl market all clucking outside Larby Sharons and the poor donkeys slipping half asleep and the vague fellows in the cloaks asleep in the shade on the steps and the big wheels of the carts of the bulls and the old castle thousands of years old yes and those handsome Moors all in white and turbans like kings asking you to sit down in their little bit of a shop and Ronda with the old windows of the posadas glancing eyes a lattice hid for her lover to kiss the iron and the wineshops half open at night and the castanets and the night we missed the boat at Algeciras the watchman going about serene with his lamp and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Typically therapists are several steps ahead of our patients—not because we’re smarter or wiser but because we have the vantage point of being outside their lives. I’ll say to a patient who has bought the ring but can’t seem to find the right time to propose to his girlfriend, “I don’t think you’re sure you want to marry her,” and he’ll say, “What? Of course I am! I’m doing it this weekend!” And then he goes home and doesn’t propose, because the weather was bad and he wanted to do it at the beach. We’ll have the same dialogue for weeks, until one day he’ll come back and say, “Maybe I don’t want to marry her.” Many people who say, “No, that’s not me,” find themselves a week or a month or a year later saying, “Yeah, actually, that’s me.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone)
Cinder." Kai pulled one leg onto the bank, turning his body so they were facing each other. He took her hands between his and her heart began to drum unexpectedly. Not because of his touch, and not even because of his low, serious tone, but because it occurred to Cinder all at once that Kai was nervous. Kai was never nervous. "I asked you once," he said, running his thumbs over her knuckles, "if you thought you would ever be willing to wear a crown again. Not as the queen of Luna, but ... as my empress. And you said that you would consider it, someday." She swallowed a breath of cool night air. "And ... this is that day?" His lips twitched, but didn't quite become a smile. "I love you. I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I want to marry you, and, yes, I want you to be my empress." Cinder gaped at him for a long moment before she whispered, "That's a lot of wanting." "You have no idea." She lowered her lashes. "I might have some idea." Kai released one of her hands and she looked up again to see him reaching into his pocket - the same that had held Wolf's and Scarlet's wedding rings before. His fist was closed when he pulled it out and Kai held it toward her, released a slow breath, and opened his fingers to reveal a stunning ring with a large ruby ringed in diamonds. It didn't take long for her retina scanner to measure the ring, and within seconds it was filling her in on far more information than she needed - inane worlds like carats and clarity scrolled past her vision. But it was the ring's history that snagged her attention. It had been his mother's engagement ring once, and his grandmother's before that. Kai took her hand and slipped the ring onto her finger. Metal clinked against metal, and the priceless gem looked as ridiculous against her cyborg plating as the simple gold band had looked on Wolf's enormous, deformed, slightly hairy hand. Cinder pressed her lips together and swallowed, hard, before daring to meet Kai's gaze again. "Cinder," he said, "will you marry me?" Absurd, she thought. The emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth was proposing to her. It was uncanny. It was hysterical. But it was Kai, and somehow, that also made it exactly right. "Yes," she whispered. "I will marry you." Those simple words hung between them for a breath, and then she grinned and kissed him, amazed that her declaration didn't bring the surge of anxiety she would have expected years ago. He drew her into his arms, laughing between kisses, and she suddenly started to laugh too. She felt strangely delirious. They had stood against all adversity to be together, and now they would forge their own path to love. She would be Kai's wife. She would be the Commonwealth's empress. And she had every intention of being blissfully happy for ever, ever after.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
One last word,' I said in my horrible careful English, 'are you quite, quite sure that—well, not tomorrow, of course, and not after tomorrow, but—well—some day, any day, you will not come to live with me? I will create a brand new God and thank him with piercing cries, if you give me that microscopic hope' 'No,' she said smiling, 'no.' 'It would have made all the difference,' said Humbert Humbert. Then I pulled out my automatic-I mean, this is the kind of fool thing a reader might suppose I did. It never even occurred to me to do it.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Mr. Brundy, you are no doubt as well acquainted with my circumstances as I am with yours, so let us not beat about the bush. I have a fondness for the finer things in life, and I suppose I always will. As a result, I am frightfully expensive to maintain. I have already bankrupted my father, and have no doubt I should do the same to you, should you be so foolhardy as to persist in the desire for such a union. Furthermore, I have a shrewish disposition and a sharp tongue. My father, having despaired of seeing me wed to a gentleman of my own class, has ordered me to either accept your suit or seek employment. If I married you, it would be only for your wealth, and only because I find the prospect of marriage to you preferable –but only slightly!- to the life of a governess or a paid companion. If, knowing this, you still wish to marry me, why, you have only to name the day.” Having delivered herself of this speech, Lady Helen waited expectantly for Mr. Brundy’s stammering retraction. Her suitor pondered her words for a long moment, then made his response. “’ow about Thursday?
Sheri Cobb South (The Weaver Takes a Wife (Weaver, #1))
I don’t think any other retail company in the world could do what I’m going to propose to you. It’s simple. It won’t cost us anything. And I believe it would just work magic, absolute magic on our customers, and our sales would escalate, and I think we’d just shoot past our Kmart friends in a year or two and probably Sears as well. I want you to take a pledge with me. I want you to promise that whenever you come within ten feet of a customer, you will look him in the eye, greet him, and ask him if you can help him. Now I know some of you are just naturally shy, and maybe don’t want to bother folks. But if you’ll go along with me on this, it would, I’m sure, help you become a leader. It would help your personality develop, you would become more outgoing, and in time you might become manager of that store, you might become a department manager, you might become a district manager, or whatever you choose to be in the company. It will do wonders for you. I guarantee it. Now, I want you to raise your right hand—and remember what we say at Wal-Mart, that a promise we make is a promise we keep—and I want you to repeat after me: From this day forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within ten feet of me, I will smile, look him in the eye, and greet him. So help me Sam.
Sam Walton (Sam Walton: Made In America)
I can't make flowery speeches,” Sir Kai began, “and I wouldn't even if I could. I won't whimper at your feet like these callow puppies that call themselves knights these days, and I don't write poetry or play the damned rebec. I don't intend to change my manners or my way of life, but if you'll have me, Connoire, I'd be obliged if you'd marry me.” The incredulous silence that struck the watching crowd was so profound that Piers could hear the peep of a chickadee in the distant forest. Lady Connoire's expression did not change. Taking a deep breath, she said, “I don't like flowery speeches, and if you ever make one to me, I'll just laugh at you. I despise simpering poems, I hate the squealing of a rebec, and we'll see whether you'll change your manners or not. I'll marry you.
Gerald Morris (Parsifal's Page (The Squire's Tales, #4))
I think I should learn to get along better with people," he explained to Miss Benson one day, when she came upon him in the corridor of the literature building and asked what he was doing wearing a fraternity pledge pin (wearing it on the chest of the new V-neck pullover in which his mother said he looked so collegiate). Miss Benson's response to his proposed scheme for self-improvement was at once so profound and so simply put that Zuckerman went around for days repeating the simple interrogative sentence to himself; like Of Times and the River, it verified something he had known in his bones all along, but in which he could not placed his faith until it had been articulated by someone of indisputable moral prestige and purity : "Why," Caroline Benson asked the seventeen-year-old boy, "should you want to learn a thing like that?
Philip Roth (My Life as a Man)
You do mean to remain, then?' 'If I get what I want.' 'The Dower House?' 'Nay, that's a small matter! I'll tell you what it is one of these days, but I'm not so very sure I can get it yet, so happen I'll do best to keep it to myself.' 'Well, I wouldn't tell anyone!' she exclaimed. 'The thing is you might say I'd no hope of getting it,' he explained. An odd little smile came into his eyes as he saw her puzzled frown. 'I'd be all dashed down in a minute,' he said, shaking his head. 'That would never do!
Georgette Heyer (The Unknown Ajax)
I want us to wake up together, to drink coffee from the same cup, to go to sleep at the same time. I want to go out with you, to show you off and around. I want us to eat dinner, then watch some hockey match together and then your melodramas. I promise I will keep your most favorite CD in my car, and we'll listen to it whenever you'll want, even when I know it will drive me insane. I want you to look at me when I am shaving in the mornings and I promise wherever we go I will always look only at you. I want to finally understand why you smell so fresh and flowery, I want to hold your hand, not under the table, but over it. I want us to cook together, to laugh together, to cry together, I want you for worse and for better. I want us to get married some day, have kids,a lot of them, then grow up and even die in one day. I want it all with you. And I get it that I haven't been around for 4 years, but if you still want me, if you still love me like you did all those years ago, I will make up for our lost time.
Melanie Sargsian (Lovember: A Collection of Short Love Stories)
I would agree that encyclopedia’s could teach me facts, but only a great story could transport me into the mind of another person. These stories taught me about empathy, about good and evil, about love and sorrow. My tastes covered many different genres, but the books I loved most proposed the idea that ordinary people (not to mention hobbits) are born with the capability to do extraordinary, even heroic things. The realization came as a sort of code to all the lessons my parents had taught me about looking beyond wealth and appearances, and appreciating the worth of everyone I met. It’s a lesson that sticks with me to this day. No real leader can see the people around them as static creatures. If you cannot see the potential I the people around you, it’s impossible to rouse them to great things. That may be one of the reasons why, even now, I always make time for a novel or two every month, amongst the mountains of serious works and briefing notes. Facts may fuel a leader’s intellect. But literature fuels the soul.
Justin Trudeau (Common Ground)
Good," I tell her. "Tonight you're mine. I'll just wait to cook you breakfast until the day after tomorrow. And every day after that, until next November 9th when I get down on one knee and give you the most book-worthy marriage proposal in history." She slaps me in the chest. "That was a huge spoiler, Ben! Did you not learn about spoiler alerts during your reading binge?" I grin as I lower my mouth to hers. "Spoiler alert. They lived happily ever after." And then i kiss her. And it's a twelve. Not the end. Far from it.
Colleen Hoover (November 9)
I don't have diamonds or solitaires now, but with this water of the pool and this bottle of beer, I vow before you to love you forever.
Parul Wadhwa (The Masquerade)
I would give you a crown if I could,” he said. “I would show you the world from the prow of a ship. I would choose you, Zoya. As my general, as my friend, as my bride. I would give you a sapphire the size of an acorn.” He reached into his pocket. “And all I would ask in return is that you wear this damnable ribbon in your hair on our wedding day.” She reached out, her fingers hovering over the coil of blue velvet ribbon resting in his palm. Then she pulled back her hand, cradling her fingers as if they’d been singed. “You will wed a Taban sister who craves a crown,” she said. “Or a wealthy Kerch girl, or maybe a Fjerdan royal. You will have heirs and a future. I’m not the queen Ravka needs.” “And if you’re the queen I want?” She shut her eyes. “There’s a story my aunt told me a very long time ago. I can’t remember all of it, but I remember the way she described the hero: ‘He had a golden spirit.’ I loved those words. I made her read them again and again. When I was a little girl, I thought I had a golden spirit too, that it would light everything it touched, that it would make me beloved like a hero in a story.” She sat up, drew her knees in, wrapped her arms around them as if she could make a shelter of her own body. He wanted to pull her back down beside him and press his mouth to hers. He wanted her to look at him again with possibility in her eyes. “But that’s not who I am. Whatever is inside me is sharp and gray as the thorn wood.” She rose and dusted off her kefta. “I wasn’t born to be a bride. I was made to be a weapon.” Nikolai forced himself to smile. It wasn’t as if he’d offered her a real proposal. They both knew such a thing was impossible. And yet her refusal smarted just as badly as if he’d gotten on his knee and offered her his hand like some kind of besotted fool. It stung. All Saints, it stung. “Well,” he said cheerfully, pushing up onto his elbows and looking up at her with all the wry humor he could muster. “Weapons are good to have around too. Far more useful than brides and less likely to mope about the palace. But if you won’t rule Ravka by my side, what does the future hold, General?” Zoya opened the door to the cargo hold. Light flooded in, gilding her features when she looked back at him. “I’ll fight on beside you. As your general. As your friend. Because whatever my failings, I know this: You are the king Ravka needs.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
Suppose Hephaestus, with his instruments, to come to the pair who are lying side by side and to say to them, 'What do you people want of one another?' they would be unable to explain. And suppose further, that when he saw their perplexity he said: 'Do you desire to be wholly one; always day and night to be in one another's company? For if this is what you desire, I am ready to melt you into one and let you grow together, so that being two you shall become one, and while you live live a common life as if you were a single man, and after your death in the world below still be one departed soul instead of two—I ask whether this is what you lovingly desire, and whether you are satisfied to attain this?'—there is not a man of them who when he heard the proposal would deny or would not acknowledge that this meeting and melting into one another, this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of his ancient need.
Plato (The Symposium)
To defend my fear of sudden change, I chose to believe that life was incremental, that the tiny decisions you make every day determine your fate, that your job is to captain an enormous ship subtly into ever-clearer waters. But that’s not how it works at all. Life occurs in moments. You get into college. You propose. You get the job. You get cancer. You get fired. She leaves you...Because I was born in a stable country at a stable time, I falsely extrapolated that change is incremental. But if you zoom out just a little bit, you see that life is soccer, not basketball. It’s revolution, invention, war. It’s big bangs, exploding stars, asteroids killing the dinosaurs. Which means that all the action is in the risk taking, whether I want it to be or not.
Joel Edward Stein (Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity)
I could say 'I love you'—and I do." Raising his lids, he met her gaze. "But it's not that simple… not for me. I never wanted a wife." He drew in a breath. "I never wanted to love—not you, not any woman. I never wanted to risk it—never wanted to be forced to find out if I could handle the strain. In my family, loving's not easy—it's not a simple sunny thing that makes one merely happy. Love for us—for me—was always going to be dramatic—powerful, unsettling—an ungovernable force. A force that controls me, not the other way about. I knew I wouldn't like it—" His eyes met hers. "And I don't. But… it isn't, it appears, something I have a choice about." His lips twisted. "I thought I was safe—that I had defenses in place, strong and inviolable, far too steely for any mere woman to break through. And none did,“not for years." He paused. "Until you. "I can't remember inviting you in, or ever opening the gates—I just turned around one day and you were there—a part of me." He hesitated, studying her eyes, then his face hardened, his voice deepened. "I don't know what will convince you, but I won't ever let you go. You're mine—the only woman I could ever imagine marrying. You can share my life. You know a hock from a fetlock—you know as much about riding as I do. You can be a partner in my enterprises, not a distant spectator standing at the periphery. You'll stand at the center of it all, by my side.
Stephanie Laurens (A Rogue's Proposal (Cynster, #4))
The sole reason is that I love you more than life itself. I loved you more on the day of my second proposal than I did at Kent. I love you more today than I did yesterday, and I know without a doubt that I shall love you even more tomorrow.
Jan Hahn (An Arranged Marriage: A Pride and Prejudice Variation)
My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child. I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible patriotic holiday. But they are murdered children all the same. And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
I know this may be a disappointment for some of you, but I don’t believe there is only one right person for you. I think I fell in love with my wife, Harriet, from the first moment I saw her. Nevertheless, had she decided to marry someone else, I believe I would have met and fallen in love with someone else. I am eternally grateful that this didn’t happen, but I don’t believe she was my one chance at happiness in this life, nor was I hers. Another error you might easily make in dating is expecting to find perfection in the person you are with. The truth is, the only perfect people you might know are those you don’t know very well. Everyone has imperfections. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your standards and marry someone with whom you can’t be happy. But one of the things I’ve realized as I’ve matured in life is that if someone is willing to accept me—imperfect as I am—then I should be willing to be patient with others’ imperfections as well. Since you won’t find perfection in your partner, and your partner won’t find it in you, your only chance at perfection is in creating perfection together. There are those who do not marry because they feel a lack of “magic” in the relationship. By “magic” I assume they mean sparks of attraction. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, and I would never counsel you to marry someone you do not love. Nevertheless—and here is another thing that is sometimes hard to accept—that magic sparkle needs continuous polishing. When the magic endures in a relationship, it’s because the couple made it happen, not because it mystically appeared due to some cosmic force. Frankly, it takes work. For any relationship to survive, both parties bring their own magic with them and use that to sustain their love. Although I have said that I do not believe in a one-and-only soul mate for anyone, I do know this: once you commit to being married, your spouse becomes your soul mate, and it is your duty and responsibility to work every day to keep it that way. Once you have committed, the search for a soul mate is over. Our thoughts and actions turn from looking to creating. . . . Now, sisters, be gentle. It’s all right if you turn down requests for dates or proposals for marriage. But please do it gently. And brethren, please start asking! There are too many of our young women who never go on dates. Don’t suppose that certain girls would never go out with you. Sometimes they are wondering why no one asks them out. Just ask, and be prepared to move on if the answer is no. One of the trends we see in some parts of the world is our young people only “hanging out” in large groups rather than dating. While there is nothing wrong with getting together often with others your own age, I don’t know if you can really get to know individuals when you’re always in a group. One of the things you need to learn is how to have a conversation with a member of the opposite sex. A great way to learn this is by being alone with someone—talking without a net, so to speak. Dates don’t have to be—and in most cases shouldn’t be—expensive and over-planned affairs. When my wife and I moved from Germany to Salt Lake City, one of the things that most surprised us was the elaborate and sometimes stressful process young people had developed of asking for and accepting dates. Relax. Find simple ways to be together. One of my favorite things to do when I was young and looking for a date was to walk a young lady home after a Church meeting. Remember, your goal should not be to have a video of your date get a million views on YouTube. The goal is to get to know one individual person and learn how to develop a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
One afternoon in the fall of 2015, while I was writing this book, I was driving in my car and listening to SiriusXM Radio. On the folk music station the Coffee House, a song came on with a verse that directly spoke to me—so much so that I pulled off the road as soon as I could and wrote down the lyrics and the singer’s name. The song was called “The Eye,” and it’s written by the country-folk singer Brandi Carlile and her bandmate Tim Hanseroth and sung by Carlile. I wish it could play every time you open these pages, like a Hallmark birthday card, because it’s become the theme song of this book. The main refrain is: I wrapped your love around me like a chain But I never was afraid that it would die You can dance in a hurricane But only if you’re standing in the eye. I hope that it is clear by now that every day going forward we’re going to be asked to dance in a hurricane, set off by the accelerations in the Market, Mother Nature, and Moore’s law. Some politicians propose to build a wall against this hurricane. That is a fool’s errand. There is only one way to thrive now, and it’s by finding and creating your own eye. The eye of a hurricane moves, along with the storm. It draws energy from it, while creating a sanctuary of stability inside it. It is both dynamic and stable—and so must we be. We can’t escape these accelerations. We have to dive into them, take advantage of their energy and flows where possible, move with them, use them to learn faster, design smarter, and collaborate deeper—all so we can build our own eyes to anchor and propel ourselves and our families confidently forward.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
Someties it is hard to criticize, one wants only to chronicle. The good and mediocre books come in from week to week, and I put them aside and read them and think of what to say; but the "worthless" books come in day after day, like the cries and truck sounds from the street, and there is nothing that anyone could think of that is good enough for them. In the bad type of thin pamphlets, in hand-set lines on imported paper, people's hard lives and hopeless ambitions have expressed themselves more directly and heartbreakingly than they have ever expressed in any work of art:. it is as if the writers had sent you their ripped-out arms and legs, with "This is a poem" scrawled on them in lipstick. After a while one is embarrassed not so much for them as for poetry, which is for these poor poets one more of the openings against which everyone in the end beats his brains out; and one finds it unbearable that poetry should be so hard to write - a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey in which there is for most of the players no tail, no donkey, not even a booby prize. If there were only some mechanism (like Seurat's proposed system of painting, or the projected Universal Algebra that Gödel believes Leibnitz to have perfected and mislaid) for reasonably and systematically converting into poetry what we see and feel and are! When one reads the verse of people who cannot write poems - people who sometimes have more intelligence, sensibility, and moral discrimination than most of the poets - it is hard not to regard the Muse as a sort of fairy godmother who says to the poet, after her colleagues have showered on him the most disconcerting and ambiguous gifts, "Well, never mind. You're still the only one that can write poetry.
Randall Jarrell (Kipling, Auden and Co.: Essays and Reviews 1935-1964)
I know your first impulse is going to be to send the bracelet back, but why? That undead cholo boyfriend of yours can’t afford to get you anything nice for Valentine’s Day, so just pretend it’s from him. It can be our little secret, like the other little secrets we have from him ;-) Love always, Paul
Meg Cabot (Proposal (The Mediator, #6.5))
Perfect moments, what did they even mean? They were blind luck, that was all. Coincidences. Statistical anomalies. I did some Googling and it turned out somebody had actually bothered to do the math on this, a real actual Cambridge University mathematician named John Littlewood (1885-1977; thank you, Wikipedia). He proposed that if you define a miracle as something with a probability of one in a million, and if you’re paying close attention to the world around you eight hours a day, every day, and little things happen around you at a rate of one per second, then you’d observe about thirty thousand things every day, which means about a million things a month. So, on average, you should witness one miracle every month (or every thirty-three-and-one-third days, if we’re being strictly accurate). It’s called Littlewood’s law. So, there you have it, a miracle a month. They’re not even that special.
Stephanie Perkins (Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories)
We are gathered here, friends,” he said, “to honor lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya died, my own son died. “My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child. “I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. “But they are murdered children all the same. “And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind. “Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns. “I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see—and a thrilling show it really will be . . .” He looked each of us in the eye, and then he commented very softly, throwing it away, “And hooray say I for thrilling shows.” We had to strain our ears to hear what Minton said next. “But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war,” he said, “is today a day for a thrilling show? “The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
I had an additional burden: my higher education. That counts for a great deal. When that higher education was put to the test, it didn’t work. I began to understand the irrelevancy of it, to recoil in disappointment from it. Then one day I saw the comedy of it. Herzog says, ‘what do you propose to do, now that your wife has taken a lover—pull Spinoza from the shelves and look into what he says about adultery, about human bondage?’ You discover, in other words, the inapplicability of your higher learning, the absurdity of the culture it cost you so much to acquire. True devotion to Spinoza et al. would have left you no time for neurotic attachments and bad marriages. That would have been a way out for you.
Saul Bellow (It All Adds Up: From the Dim Past to the Uncertain Future)
I would choose you." The words were out before he thought better of them, and there was no way to pull them back. Silence stretched between them. Perhaps the floor will open and I'll plummet to my death, he thought hopefully. "As your general?" Her voice careful. She was offering him a chance to right the ship, to take them back to familiar waters. And a fine general you are. There could be no better leader. You may be prickly, but that what Ravka needs. So many easy replies. Instead he said, "As my queen." He couldn't read her expression. Was she pleased? Embarrassed? Angry? Every cell in his body screamed for him to crack a joke, to free both of them from the peril of the moment. But he wouldn't. He was still a privateer, and he'd come too far. "Because I'm a dependable soldier," she said, but she didn't sound sure. It was the same cautious, tentative voice, the voice of someone waiting for a punch line, or maybe a blow. "Because I know all of your secrets." "I do trust you more than myself sometimes- and I think very highly of myself." Hadn't she said there was no one else she'd choose to have her back in a fight? But that isn't the whole truth, is it, you great cowardly lump. To hell with it. They might all die soon enough. They were safe here in the dark, surrounded by the hum of engines. "I would make you my queen because I want you. I want you all the time." She rolled on to her side, resting her head on her folded arm. A small movement, but he could feel her breath now. His heart was racing. "As your general, I should tell you that would be a terrible decision." He turned on to his side. They were facing each other now. "As your king, I should tell you that no one could dissuade me. No prince and no power could make me stop wanting you." Nikolai felt drunk. Maybe unleashing the demon had loosed something in his brain. She was going to laugh at him. She would knock him senseless and tell him he had no right. But he couldn't seem to stop. "I would give you a crown if I could," he said. "I would show you the world from the prow of a ship. I would choose you, Zoya. As my general, as my friend, as my bride. I would give you a sapphire the size of an acorn." He reached in to his pocket. "And all I would ask in return is that you wear this damnable ribbon in your hair on our wedding day." She reached out, her fingers hovering over the coil of blue velvet ribbon resting in his palm. Then she pulled back her hand, cradling her fingers as if they'd been singed. "You will wed a Taban sister who craves a crown," she said. "Or a wealthy Kerch girl, or maybe a Fjerdan royal. You will have heirs and a future. I'm not the queen Ravka needs." "And if you're the queen I want?" ... She sat up, drew her knees in, wrapped her arms around them as if she would make a shelter of her own body. He wanted to pull her back down beside him and press his mouth to hers. He wanted her to look at him again with possibility in her eyes. "But that's not who I am. Whatever is inside me is sharp and gray as the thorn wood." She rose and dusted off her kefta. "I wasn't born to be a bride. I was made to be a weapon." Nikolai forced himself to smile. It wasn't as if he'd offered her a real proposal. They both knew such a thing was impossible. And yet her refusal smarted just as badly as if he'd gotten on his knee and offered her his hand like some kind of besotted fool. It stung. All saints, it stung. "Well," he said cheerfully, pushing up on his elbows and looking up at her with all the wry humour he could muster. "Weapons are good to have around too. Far more useful than brides and less likely to mope about the palace. But if you won't rule Ravka by my side, what does the future hold, General?" Zoya opened the door to the Cargo hold. Light flooded in gilding her features when she looked back at him. "I'll fight on beside you. As your general. As your friend. Because whatever my failings, I know this. You are the king Ravka needs.
Leigh Bardugo (Rule of Wolves (King of Scars, #2))
When I took it off, I glanced in the mirror behind the dresser, and I nearly screamed when I saw the reflection. Finn was sitting behind me on the bed. His eyes, dark as night, met mine in the mirror, and I could hardly breathe. "Finn!" I gasped and whirled around to look at him. "What are you doing here?" "I missed your birthday," he said, as if that answered my question. He lowered his eyes, looking at a small box he had in his hands. "I got you something." "You got me something?" I leaned back on the dresser behind me, gripping it. "Yeah." He nodded, still staring down at the box. "I picked it up outside of Portland two weeks ago. I meant to get back in time to give it to you on your birthday." He chewed the inside of his cheek. "But now that I'm here, I'm not sure I should give it to you at all." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "It doesn't feel right." Finn rubbed his face. "I don't even know what I'm doing here." "Neither do I," I said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see you. I just...I don't understand." "I know." He sighed. "It's a ring. What I got you." His gaze moved from me to the engagement ring sitting on the dresser beside me. "And you already have one." "Why did you get me a ring?" I asked tentatively, and my heart beat erratically in my chest. I didn't know what Finn was saying or doing. "I'm not proposing to you, if that's what you're asking." He shook his head. "I saw it and thought of you. But now it seems like poor taste. And here I am, the night before your wedding sneaking in to give you a ring." "Why did you sneak in?" I asked. "I don't know." He looked away and laughed darkly. "That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have no idea why I'm doing it." "What are you doing?" I asked quietly. "I..." Finn stared off for a moment, then turned back to me and stood up. "Finn, I-" I began, but he held up his hand, stopping me. "No, I know you're marrying Tove," he said. "You need to do this. We both know that. It's what's best for you, and it's what I want for you." He paused. "But I want you for myself too." All I'd ever wanted from Finn was for him to admit how he felt about me, and he'd waited until the day before my wedding. It was too late to change anything, to take anything back. Not that I could have, even if I wanted to. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked with tears swimming in my eyes. "Because." Finn stepped toward me, stopping right in front of me. He looked down at me, his eyes mesmerizing me the way they always did. He reached up, brushing back a tear from my cheek. "Why?" I asked, my voice trembling. "I needed you to know," he said, as if he didn't truly understand it himself. He set the box on the dresser beside me, and his hand went to my waist, pulling me to him. I let go of the dresser and let him. My breath came out shallow as I stared up at him. "Tomorrow you will belong to someone else," Finn said. "But tonight, you're with me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
My eldest daughter, Suldana, is in love with another woman. She is eighteen and she spends her days working at our kiosk selling milk and eggs, and at night she sneaks out and goes down to the beach to see her lover. She crawls back into bed at dawn, smelling of sea and salt and perfume. Suldana is beautiful and she wraps this beauty around herself like a shawl of stars. When she smiles her dimples deepen and you can’t help but be charmed. When she walks down the street men stare and whistle and ache. But they cannot have her. Every day marriage proposals arrive with offers of high dowries but I wave them away. We never talk about these things like mothers and daughters should; but I respect her privacy and I allow her to live.
Diriye Osman (Fairytales for Lost Children)
I licked my dry lips, glancing around at everyone staring at us. Finally I looked up into Cole’s handsome face. “I’m here because I love you, and I need to ask you something.” I took a deep breath. It was time to go big. I lowered myself to one knee. Cole’s eyes grew round and I heard a few female gasps behind him. “Shannon, what—” “Cole Walker, I once told you in fear that you were nothing, but there has never been a day of your life that that was true and there has never been a day I’ve ever really thought that. You’ve been extraordinary to me since we were fifteen.” I smiled shakily, feeling vulnerable and frightened but hopeful too as he stared down at me with growing tenderness in his expression. “Apart from Logan I’ve never had a real family. The kind you can count on through everything. The kind that gives you second, third, fourth chances because the other option is no option at all. Because they love you and they’re there for you. Unconditionally. Logan was the only one who ever gave me that. Until you. You’re my family, Cole. I want you to be my family forever.” I laughed hoarsely. “I don’t have a ring or anything. I just have me. And I know I’m not perfect and I know you deserve perfect . . . but I love you more than anyone else in this world and I promise you I’ll never let you forget that again.” My heart slowed its rapid beating as a sense of calm came over me. A sense of rightness. It was as if I’d found the balance I’d been missing ever since I got in that car and left Cole behind on that stoop on Scotland Street all those years ago. “It’s always been you, and I always want it to be . . . Marry me, Cole.
Samantha Young (Echoes of Scotland Street (On Dublin Street, #5))
But where should he begin? - Well, then, the trouble with the English was their: Their: In a word, Gibreel solemnly pronounced, their weather. Gibreel Farishta floating on his cloud formed the opinion that the moral fuzziness of the English was meteorologically induced. 'When the day is not warmer than the night,' he reasoned, 'when the light is not brighter than the dark, when the land is not drier than the sea, then clearly a people will lose the power to make distinctions, and commence to see everything - from political parties to sexual partners to religious beliefs - as much-the-same, nothing-to-choose, give-or-take. What folly! For truth is extreme, it is so and not thus, it is him and not her; a partisan matter, not a spectator sport. It is, in brief, heated. City,' he cried, and his voice rolled over the metropolis like thunder, 'I am going to tropicalize you.' Gibreel enumerated the benefits of the proposed metamorphosis of London into a tropical city: increased moral definition, institution of a national siesta, development of vivid and expansive patterns of behaviour among the populace, higher-quality popular music, new birds in the trees (macaws, peacocks, cockatoos), new trees under the birds (coco-palms, tamarind, banyans with hanging beards). Improved street-life, outrageously coloured flowers (magenta, vermilion, neon-green), spider-monkeys in the oaks. A new mass market for domestic air-conditioning units, ceiling fans, anti-mosquito coils and sprays. A coir and copra industry. Increased appeal of London as a centre for conferences, etc.: better cricketeers; higher emphasis on ball-control among professional footballers, the traditional and soulless English commitment to 'high workrate' having been rendered obsolete by the heat. Religious fervour, political ferment, renewal of interest in the intellegentsia. No more British reserve; hot-water bottles to be banished forever, replaced in the foetid nights by the making of slow and odorous love. Emergence of new social values: friends to commence dropping in on one another without making appointments, closure of old-folks' homes, emphasis on the extended family. Spicier foods; the use of water as well as paper in English toilets; the joy of running fully dressed through the first rains of the monsoon. Disadvantages: cholera, typhoid, legionnaires' disease, cockroaches, dust, noise, a culture of excess. Standing upon the horizon, spreading his arms to fill the sky, Gibreel cried: 'Let it be.
Salman Rushdie (The Satanic Verses)
That summer, in a small house near the beach, he began to write a book. He knew it would be the last thing he ever did, so he decided to write something advocating a crazy, preposterous idea—one so outlandish that nobody had ever written a book about it before. He was going to propose that gay people should be allowed to get married, just like straight people. He thought this would be the only way to free gay people from the self-hatred and shame that had trapped Andrew himself. It’s too late for me, he thought, but maybe it will help the people who come after me. When the book—Virtually Normal—came out a year later, Patrick died when it had only been in the bookstores for a few days, and Andrew was widely ridiculed for suggesting something so absurd as gay marriage. Andrew was attacked not just by right-wingers, but by many gay left-wingers, who said he was a sellout, a wannabe heterosexual, a freak, for believing in marriage. A group called the Lesbian Avengers turned up to protest at his events with his face in the crosshairs of a gun. Andrew looked out at the crowd and despaired. This mad idea—his last gesture before dying—was clearly going to come to nothing. When I hear people saying that the changes we need to make in order to deal with depression and anxiety can’t happen, I imagine going back in time, to the summer of 1993, to that beach house in Provincetown, and telling Andrew something: Okay, Andrew, you’re not going to believe me, but this is what’s going to happen next. Twenty-five years from now, you’ll be alive. I know; it’s amazing; but wait—that’s not the best part. This book you’ve written—it’s going to spark a movement. And this book—it’s going to be quoted in a key Supreme Court ruling declaring marriage equality for gay people. And I’m going to be with you and your future husband the day after you receive a letter from the president of the United States telling you that this fight for gay marriage that you started has succeeded in part because of you. He’s going to light up the White House like the rainbow flag that day. He’s going to invite you to have dinner there, to thank you for what you’ve done. Oh, and by the way—that president? He’s going to be black.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
Lane,” it said curtly. “I was afraid you were still out of the country,” Cecily said with relief. “Are you all right?” “A few new scars,” he said, with lightness in his tone. “How about a pizza? I’ll pic you up…” “I’m in South Dakota.” “What?” “It’s a long story. Leta has a comfortable sofa. Can you come out here right away?” There was a pause. “If you miss me that much, maybe we’d better get married,” he pointed out. “I’m not marrying a man who shoots people for a living,” she replied with a girn. “I only shoot bad people,” he protested. “Besides…I know what a foramen magnum is.” “Darling!” she exclaimed theatrically. “Get the license!” He chuckled. “That’ll be the day, when you take me on. What sort of mischief are you up to, Cecily?” “No mischief. Just an artifact-buying trip. But I need you.” “In that case, I’m on the way. I’ll rent a car at the airport. See you soon.” He hung up. “You’re not going to marry Colby Lane,” Leta said like a disapproving parent. “But he knows what a foramen magnum is,” she said teasingly. “A who?” “It’s the large opening at the back of the skull,” Cecily said. “Gory stuff.” “Not to an archaeologist,” Cecily said. “Did you know that we can identify at least one race by the dentition of a skull? Native Americans are mongoloid and they have shovel-shaped incisors.” This caused Leta to feel her teeth and ask more questions, which kept her from thinking too much about Colby’s mock proposal.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Reading his autobiography many years later, I was astonished to find that Edward since boyhood had—not unlike Isaiah Berlin—often felt himself ungainly and ill-favored and awkward in bearing. He had always seemed to me quite the reverse: a touch dandyish perhaps but—as the saying goes—perfectly secure in his masculinity. On one occasion, after lunch in Georgetown, he took me with him to a renowned local tobacconist and asked to do something I had never witnessed before: 'try on' a pipe. In case you ever wish to do this, here is the form: a solemn assistant produces a plastic envelope and fits it over the amber or ivory mouthpiece. You then clamp your teeth down to feel if the 'fit' and weight are easy to your jaw. If not, then repeat with various stems until your browsing is complete. In those days I could have inhaled ten cigarettes and drunk three Tanqueray martinis in the time spent on such flaneur flippancy, but I admired the commitment to smoking nonetheless. Taking coffee with him once in a shopping mall in Stanford, I saw him suddenly register something over my shoulder. It was a ladies' dress shop. He excused himself and dashed in, to emerge soon after with some fashionable and costly looking bags. 'Mariam,' he said as if by way of explanation, 'has never worn anything that I have not bought for her.' On another occasion in Manhattan, after acting as a magnificent, encyclopedic guide around the gorgeous Andalusia (Al-Andalus) exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, he was giving lunch to Carol and to me when she noticed that her purse had been lost or stolen. At once, he was at her service, not only suggesting shops in the vicinity where a replacement might be found, but also offering to be her guide and advisor until she had selected a suitable new sac à main. I could no more have proposed myself for such an expedition than suggested myself as a cosmonaut, so what this says about my own heterosexual confidence I leave to others.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
PROPOSE DAY POEM: Austerity.. If.. I were to define.. it’s you.. yoo hoo! - Happiness is what.. that makes me feel divine.. smiling you.. yoo hoo!! - What rose is in flowers.. What moon is in stars.. That you are to me.. You and I will be we.. You’re my life.. I.. I.. You’re my life.. I.. I.. I love you.. yoo hoo I love you.. yoo hoo - O girl, O girl, O.. O.. girl.. you be mine.. I love you.. I love you.. I love you.. yoo hoo.. You be my.. Valentine. - Just be mine.. I love you.. O O Valentine!!!
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (Guru with Guitar)
Still, my determination to put your moral strength of purpose to the test is such that I propose to give even you the following direction found in great men's teaching: set aside now and then a number of days during which you will be content with the plainest of food, and very little of it, and with rough, coarse clothing, and will ask yourself 'Is this what one used to dread?' It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself to deal with the difficult time; while fortune is bestowing favours on it then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs. In the midst of peace the soldier carries out manoeuvres, throws up earthworks against a non-existent enemy and tires himself out with unnecessary toil in order to be equal to it when it is necessary. If you want a man to keep his head when crisis comes you must give hime some training before it comes. This was the aim of the men who once every month pretended they were poor, bringing themselves face to face with want to prevent their ever being terrified by a situation which they had frequently rehearsed.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
You’re not playing your opponent, you understand that, yes?” I stared at him, unsure. But I needed him to believe that I understood everything I was supposed to be—it seemed like an unbearable betrayal of our mission for me to be confused about any of it. “Every time you get out on that court, you must play a better tennis game than you played the time before. Did you play your best game of tennis today?” “No,” I said. “Next time, I want you to beat yourself. Every day you must beat the day before.” I sat down on the bench next to me and considered. What my father was proposing was a much, much harder endeavor. But once the thought had been put in my head, I had to rise to it. I could not expel it. “Entiendo,” I said. “Now go get your things. We are driving to the beach.” “No, Dad,” I said. “Please, no. Can’t we just go home? Or what if we went out for ice cream? This girl in my class said there is a place that has great ice cream sandwiches. I thought we could go.” He laughed. “We are not going to condition your legs sitting around eating ice cream sandwiches. We can only do that by…” I frowned.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Carrie Soto Is Back)
In every potential sponsor’s eyes, I was a nobody. And soon I had notched up more rejection letters than is healthy for any one man to receive. I tried to think of an entrepreneur and adventurer that I admired, and I kept coming back to Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin. I wrote to him once, then I wrote once more. In all, I sent twenty-three letters. No response. Right, I thought, I’ll find out where he lives and take my proposal there myself. So I did precisely that, and at 8:00 P.M. one cold evening, I rang his very large doorbell. A voice answered the intercom, and I mumbled my pitch into the speakerphone. A housekeeper’s voice told me to leave the proposal--and get lost. It’s not clear quite what happened next: I assume that whoever had answered the intercom meant just to switch it off, but instead they pressed the switch that opened the front door. The buzzing sound seemed to last forever--but it was probably only a second or two. In that time I didn’t have time to think, I just reacted…and instinctively nudged the door open. Suddenly I found myself standing in the middle of Sir Richard Branson’s substantial, marble-floored entrance hall. “Uh, hello!” I hollered into the empty hall. “Sorry, but you seem to have buzzed the door open,” I apologized to the emptiness. The next thing I knew, the housekeeper came flying down the stairs, shouting at me to leave. I duly dropped the proposal and scarpered. The next day, I sent around some flowers, apologizing for the intrusion and asking the great man to take a look at my proposal. I added that I was sure, in his own early days, he would probably have done the same thing. I never got a reply to that one, either.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I don’t understand,” she said at last. She understood very well, but she no longer wished to be absolutely truthful. “How are you going to stop him talking about it?” “I have a feeling that talk is a thing he will never do.” “I, too, intend to judge him charitably. But unfortunately I have met the type before. They seldom keep their exploits to themselves.” “Exploits?” cried Lucy, wincing under the horrible plural. “My poor dear, did you suppose that this was his first? Come here and listen to me. I am only gathering it from his own remarks. Do you remember that day at lunch when he argued with Miss Alan that liking one person is an extra reason for liking another?” “Yes,” said Lucy, whom at the time the argument had pleased. “Well, I am no prude. There is no need to call him a wicked young man, but obviously he is thoroughly unrefined. Let us put it down to his deplorable antecedents and education, if you wish. But we are no farther on with our question. What do you propose to do?” An idea rushed across Lucy’s brain, which, had she thought of it sooner and made it part of her, might have proved victorious. “I propose to speak to him,” said she. Miss Bartlett uttered a cry of genuine alarm.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
Lillian kept her face against Marcus’s shoulder. As mortified as she had been on the day that he had seen her playing rounders in her knickers, this was ten times worse. She would never be able to face Simon Hunt again, she thought, and groaned. “It’s all right,” Marcus murmured. “He’ll keep his mouth shut.” “I don’t care whom he tells,” Lillian managed to say. “I’m not going to marry you. Not if you compromised me a hundred times.” “Lillian,” he said, a sudden tremor of laughter in his voice, “it would be my greatest pleasure to compromise you a hundred times. But first I would like to know what I’ve done this morning that is so unforgivable.” “To begin with, you talked to my father.” His brows lifted a fraction of an inch. “That offended you?” “How could it not? You’ve behaved in the most highhanded manner possible by going behind my back and trying to arrange things with my father, without one word to me—” “Wait,” Marcus said sardonically, rolling to his side and sitting up in an easy movement. He reached out with a broad hand to pull Lillian up to face him. “I was not being high-handed in meeting with your father. I was adhering to tradition. A prospective bridegroom usually approaches a woman’s father before he makes a formal proposal.” A gently caustic note entered his voice as he added, “Even in America. Unless I’ve been misinformed?” The clock on the mantel dispensed a slow half-minute before Lillian managed a grudging reply. “Yes, that’s how it’s usually done. But I assumed that you and he had already made a betrothal agreement, regardless of whether or not it was what I wanted—” “Your assumption was incorrect. We did not discuss any details of a betrothal, nor was anything mentioned about a dowry or a wedding date. All I did was ask your father for permission to court you.” Lillian stared at him with surprised chagrin, until another question occurred to her. “What about your discussion with Lord St. Vincent just now?” Now it was Marcus’s turn to look chagrined. “That was high-handed,” he admitted.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
EB: 'Ll showed me a long verse-letter, very obscene, he’d received from Dylan T[Thomas] before D’s last trip here [New York]—very clever, but it really can’t be published for a long, long time, he’s decided. About people D. met in the U.S. etc.—one small sample: A Streetcar Named Desire is referred to as 'A truck called F———.' RL: 'Psycho-therapy is rather amazing—something like stirring up the bottom of an aquarium—chunks of the past coming up at unfamiliar angles, distinct and then indistinct.' RL: 'I have just finished the Yeats Letters—900 & something pages—although some I’d read before. He is so Olympian always, so calm, so really unrevealing, and yet I was fascinated.' RL: 'Probably you forget, and anyway all that is mercifully changed and all has come right since you found Lota. But at the time everything, I guess (I don’t want to overdramatize) our relations seemed to have reached a new place. I assumed that would be just a matter of time before I proposed and I half believed that you would accept. Yet I wanted it all to have the right build-up. Well, I didn’t say anything then.' EB: 'so I suppose I am just a born worrier, and that when the personal worries of adolescence and the years after it have more or less disappeared I promptly have to start worrying about the decline of nations . . . But I really can’t bear much of American life these days—surely no country has ever been so filthy rich and so hideously uncomfortable at the same time.
Robert Lowell (Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell)
In a hurry to escape he let himself out of the house and walked to the truck. Before he could climb inside Marilee raced down the steps. Breathless,she came to a sudden halt in front of him. At the dark look in his eyes she swallowed. "Please don't go,Wyatt. I've been such a fool." "You aren't the only one." He studied her with a look that had her heart stuttering.A look so intense, she couldn't look away. "I've been neating myself up for days,because I wanted things to go my way or no way." "There's no need.You're not the only one." Her voice was soft,throaty. "You've always respected my need to be independent.But I guess I fought the battle so long,I forgot how to stop fighting even after I'd won the war." "You can fight me all you want. You know Superman is indestructable." Again that long,speculative look. "I know I caught you off guard with that proposal. It won't happen again. Even when I understood your fear of commitment, I had to push to have things my way.And even though I still want more, I'm willing to settle for what you're willing to give,as long as we can be together." She gave a deep sigh. "You mean it?" "I do." "Oh,Wyatt.I was so afraid I'd driven you away forever." He continued studying her. "Does this mean you're suffering another change of heart?" "My heart doesn't need to change. In my heart,I've always known how very special you are.It's my head that can't seem to catch up." She gave a shake of her head,as though to clear it. "I'm so glad you understand me. I've spent so many years fighting to be my own person, it seems I can't bear to give up the battle." A slow smile spread across his face, changing it from darkness to light. "Marilee,if it's a sparring partner you want,I'm happy to sigh on. And if,in time,you ever decide you want more, I'm your man." He framed her face with his hands and lowered his head,kissing her long and slow and deep until they were both sighing with pleasure. Her tears started again,but this time they were tears of joy. Wyatt brushed them away with his thumbs and traced the tracks with his lips. Marilee sighed at the tenderness. It was one of the things she most loved about this man. Loved. Why did she find it so hard to say what she was feeling? Because,her heart whispered, love meant commitment and promises and forever after,and that was more than she was willing to consider. At least for now. After a moment he caught her hand. "Where are we going?" "Your place.It's closer than the ranch, and we've wasted too much time already." "i can't leave the ambulance..." "All right." He turned away from the ranch truck and led her toward her vehicle. "See how easy I am?" At her little laugh he added, "I'm desperate for some time alone with you." Alone. She thought about that word. She'd been alone for so long.What he was offering had her heart working overtime. He was willing to compromise in order to be with her. She was laughing through her tears as she turned the key in the ignition. The key that had saved his life. "Wyatt McCord,I can't think of anything I'd rather be than alone with you.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Like the bear who went over the mountain, I went out to see what I could see. And, I might as well warn you, like the bear, all I could see was the other side of the mountain: more of same. I propose to keep here what Thoreau called ‘a meteorological journal of the mind,’ telling some tales and describing some of the sights of this rather tamed valley, and exploring, in fear and trembling, some of the unmapped dim reaches and unholy fastnesses to which those tales and sights dizzyingly lead. I am no scientist. I explore the neighborhood. Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighborhood, view the landscape, to discover at least where it is that we have been set down, if we can’t learn why. So I think about the valley. It is my leisure as well as my work, a game. It is a fierce game I have joined because it is being played anyway, a game of both skill and chance, played against an unseen adversary- the conditions of time-in which the payoffs, which may suddenly arrive in a blast of light at any moment, might as well come to me as anyone else. I risk getting stuck on the board, so to speak, unable to move in any direction, which happens enough; and I risk the searing, exhausting nightmares that plunder rest and force me face down all night long in some muddy ditch seething with hatching insects and crustaceans. But if I can bear the nights, the days are a pleasure. I walk out; I see something, some event that would otherwise have been utterly missed and lost; or something sees me, some enormous power brushes me with its clean wing and I resound like a beaten bell.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
What we are faced with in our culture is the post-Christian version of the doctrine of original sin: all human endeavor is radically flawed, and the journalists who take delight in pointing this out are simply telling over and over again the story of Genesis 3 as applied to today’s leaders, politicians, royalty and rock stars. And our task, as image-bearing, God-loving, Christshaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to the world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to the world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to the world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion. So the key I propose for translating Jesus’ unique message to the Israel of his day into our message to our contemporaries is to grasp the parallel, which is woven deeply into both Testaments, between the human call to bear God’s image and Israel’s call to be the light of the world. Humans were made to reflect God’s creative stewardship into the world. Israel was made to bring God’s rescuing love to bear upon the world. Jesus came as the true Israel, the world’s true light, and as the true image of the invisible God. He was the true Jew, the true human. He has laid the foundation, and we must build upon it. We are to be the bearers both of his redeeming love and of his creative stewardship: to celebrate it, to model it, to proclaim it, to dance to it. “As the Father sent me, so I send you; receive the Holy Spirit; forgive sins and they are forgiven, retain them and they are retained.” That last double command belongs exactly at this point. We are to go out into the world with the divine authority to forgive and retain sins. When Jesus forgave sins, they said he was blaspheming; how then can we imagine such a thing for ourselves? Answer: because of the gift of the Holy Spirit. God intends to do through us for the wider world that for which the foundation was laid in Jesus. We are to live and tell the story of the prodigal and the older brother; to announce God’s glad, exuberant, richly healing welcome for sinners, and at the same time God’s sorrowful but implacable opposition to those who persist in arrogance, oppression and greed. Following Christ in the power of the Spirit means bringing to our world the shape of the gospel: forgiveness, the best news that anyone can ever hear, for all who yearn for it, and judgment for all who insist on dehumanizing themselves and others by their continuing pride, injustice and greed.
N.T. Wright (The Challenge of Jesus)
Taking her left hand, he began to slide the moonstone onto her finger, and hesitated. "How did I propose the first time?" He had been nervous, steeling himself for a possible refusal; he could hardly remember a word he'd said. Amusement tugged at her lips. "You laid out the advantages on both sides, and explained the ways in which our future goals were compatible." Rhys absorbed that with chagrin. "No one has ever accused me of being a romantic," he said ruefully. "If you were, how would you propose?" He thought for a moment. "I would begin by teaching you a Welsh word. Hiraeth. There's no equivalent in English." "Hiraeth," she repeated, trying to pronounce it with a tapped R, as he had. "Aye. It's a longing for something that was lost, or never existed. You feel it for a person or a place, or a time in your life... it's a sadness of the soul. Hiraeth calls to a Welshman even when he's closest to happiness, reminding him that he's incomplete." Her brow knit with concern. "Do you feel that way?" "Since the day I was born." He looked down into her small, lovely face. "But not when I'm with you. That's why I want to marry you." Helen smiled. She reached up to curl her hand around the back of his neck, her caress as light as silk gauze being pulled across his skin. Standing on her toes, she drew his head down and kissed him. Her lips were smoother than petals, all clinging silk and tender dampness. He had the sensation of surrendering, some terrible soft sweetness evading him and rearranging his insides. Breaking the kiss, Helen lowered back to her heels. "Your proposals are improving," she told him, and extended her hand as he fumbled to slide the ring onto her finger.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
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))
Missy and I became best friends, and soon after our first year together I decided to propose to her. It was a bit of a silly proposal. It was shortly before Christmas Day 1988, and I bought her a potted plant for her present. I know, I know, but let me finish. The plan was to put her engagement ring in the dirt (which I did) and make her dig to find it (which I forced her to do). I was then going to give a speech saying, “Sometimes in life you have to get your hands dirty and work hard to achieve something that grows to be wonderful.” I got the idea from Matthew 13, where Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower. I don’t know if it was the digging through the dirt to find the ring or my speech, but she looked dazed and confused. So I sort of popped the question: “You’re going to marry me, aren’t you?” She eventually said yes (whew!), and I thought everything was great.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
In Broadway, I suddenly found myself face to face with William de la Touche Clancey. "Well!" A long drawn-out syllable, in which fear and condescension were unpleasantly mingled. "What is the young Old Patroon about to turn his hand to next?" "The Vauxhall Gardens, I should think." My dislike of Clancey is almost physical. Yet I stare at him with fascination; note that his protuberant eyes are yellowish; that he scratches himself compulsively; that his tongue darts in and out of his mouth like a lizard's catching flies. "Of the delicious nymphs you sport with there?" "Of the delicious fauns, too — and their goatish friends." "Uh-huh..." A long, drawn-out attempt at sounding amused failed of its object. "I hope you realize that your editor's unholy passion for the Negro grows more embarrassing each day. If I were he I should beware. He might simply vanish one dark night." "Murdered? Or sold into slavery?" Clancey recently delighted his admirers by proposing that since the institution of slavery has been an integral part of every high civilization (and peculiarly well-adapted to those nations that follow the word as well as the spirit of Old and New Testaments), poor whites should be bought and sold as well as blacks. "I don't believe that poor sick Mr. Leggett would command a high price in the bazaar. Only his diseased mind would have a certain morbid interest to the special collector. You, on the other hand, ought to fetch a pretty price." "More than the usual two dollars you pay?" Two dollars is the current rate for a male prostitute. "Much more! Why, just for those pink Dutch cheeks alone!" It would be nice to record that I thought to something terminal to say but in my rage I could think of absolutely nothing and so left him with the last word.
Gore Vidal (Burr)
I shall expect your reply within a month. Surely that is time enough to ... weigh your other offers.' She stared at him. Well. She'd underestimated Lord Prescott. Or perhaps, more accurately, she hadn't fully estimated him ... 'Thank you, Lord Prescott. It's helpful to know that your desire for me will expire by a particular date.' 'Much like the desirability of any woman. You of all people should be fully aware that a woman's bloom doesn't last forever. Nor does her ability to bear children.' ... 'Thank you for reminding me. It slipped my mind, temporarily.' He nodded, smiling a little, acknowledging her little barb. 'Good day, Miss de Ballesteros. I am not a man without feeling, and I think I shall depart now, to recover from the decidedly ambivalent receipt of my proposal.' She smiled a little at that. 'Good day, Lord Prescott. Perhaps I should retire, too, to preserve my bloom.
Julie Anne Long (It Happened One Midnight (Pennyroyal Green, #8))
To celebrate his victories Pompey summoned a meeting of the Senate to vote his father-in-law a further twenty days of public supplication, whereupon a scene ensued that I have never forgotten. One after another the senators rose to praise Caesar, Cicero dutifully among them, until at last there was no one left for Pompey to call except Cato. “Gentlemen,” said Cato, “yet again you have all taken leave of your senses. By Caesar’s own account he has slaughtered four hundred thousand men, women and children—people with whom we had no quarrel, with whom we were not at war, in a campaign not authorised by a vote either of this Senate or of the Roman people. I wish to lay two counter-proposals for you to consider: first, that far from holding celebrations, we should sacrifice to the gods that they do not turn their wrath for Caesar’s folly and madness upon Rome and the army; and second, that Caesar, having shown himself a war criminal, should be handed over to the tribes of Germany for them to determine his fate.” The shouts of rage that greeted this speech were like howls of pain: “Traitor!” “Gaul-lover!” “German!” Several senators jumped up and started shoving Cato this way and that, causing him to stumble backwards. But he was a strong and wiry man. He regained his balance and stood his ground, glaring at them like an eagle. A motion was proposed that he be taken directly by the lictors to the Carcer and imprisoned until such time as he apologised. Pompey, however, was too shrewd to permit his martyrdom. “Cato by his words has done himself more harm than any punishment we can inflict,” he declared. “Let him go free. It does not matter. He will stand forever condemned in the eyes of the Roman people for such treacherous sentiments.” I too felt that Cato had done himself great damage
Robert Harris (Dictator)
But as the cause of perturbations is now discovered, 162for all of them arise from the judgment or opinion, or volition, I shall put an end to this discourse. But we ought to be assured, since the boundaries of good and evil are now discovered, as far as they are discoverable by man, that nothing can be desired of philosophy greater or more useful than the discussions which we have held these four days. For besides instilling a contempt of death, and relieving pain so as to enable men to bear it, we have added the appeasing of grief, than which there is no greater evil to man. For though every perturbation of mind is grievous, and differs but little from madness, yet we are used to say of others when they are under any perturbation, as of fear, joy, or desire, that they are agitated and disturbed; but of those who give themselves up to grief, that they are miserable, afflicted, wretched, unhappy. So that it doth not seem to be by accident, but with reason proposed by you, that I should discuss grief, and the other perturbations separately; for there lies the spring and head of all our miseries; but the cure of grief, and of other disorders, is one and the same in that they are all voluntary, and founded on opinion; we take them on ourselves because it seems right so to do. Philosophy undertakes to eradicate this error, as the root of all our evils: let us therefore surrender ourselves to be instructed by it, and suffer ourselves to be cured; for while these evils have possession of us, we not only cannot be happy, but cannot be right in our minds. We must either deny that reason can effect anything, while, on the other hand, nothing can be done right without reason, or else, since philosophy depends on the deductions of reason, we must seek from her, if we would be good or happy, every help and assistance for living well and happily.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Cicero's Tusculan Disputations Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth)
Have you somewhere else to be, George?” “Hmm?” His friend snapped to attention and grinned. “Anywhere but here. No offense intended, old man, but I tire of watching you glower at them. If you don’t intend to relinquish Lady Oh to Fairchild, why did you invite him?” “Because he looked so woebegone when I had coffee with him the other day. Mrs. Hampton has not let her granddaughter see anyone but my family these weeks, and apparently the colonel felt her withdrawal acutely.” Ben, on the other hand, had been allowed to watch her bruise change color under the rouge. Each shade proved a twist to the knife in his gut. Yes, it would be better for all if Fairchild were given the chance to declare himself. George clapped a hand to his shoulder. “Well, cheer up, my friend. If his expression is any indication, he may propose tonight, and then you will no longer be plagued by indecisiveness, what with him removing all decision from your hands.” “Indeed.” Blast it.
Roseanna M. White (Ring of Secrets (The Culper Ring, #1))
Life is short and that seems to be on people’s minds quite a lot these days. We have entered the era of the bucket list. No longer is it sufficient to tell anyone who wants to listen, or even cares, that you are thinking about a fancy five-star holiday. No, every proposed trip is now qualified as ‘It’s on my bucket list.’ Really? If you want to go on safari, see the Northern Lights, surf off the Maldives, or whatever, save up, drop into the travel agent or book online. We don’t care. Why should I feel inadequate about preferring a week in Blackpool to a week in Bali? And as for ‘experiences’, bungee-jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, swimming with sharks, are you off your head? That is a guaranteed bucket list, a ‘death wish’ list. Show your videos to someone who cares. Does anyone? If you want to do something useful, look after people, even those you don’t know, listen to them: you may be very interesting but others are too in their own way – and, above all, be kind.
Marie Cassidy (Beyond the Tape: The Life and Many Deaths of a State Pathologist)
The New Machine. Imagine you are sitting at your desk at work and the boss comes to you and gives you this proposal. “We just bought a new machine for the company and we need to train someone to operate this new machine. You would have to go to night school three days a week for nine months to learn how to operate this machine. We wouldn’t pay you for going to night school, but when you graduated from night school, you would be our machine operator and you would get a $1,500 per month raise. What do you think?” Most people would reply, “Yes! I could spend three nights a week for nine months in training so that I could get a $1,500 a month raise.” And isn’t that what your network marketing opportunity offers? If you really dedicated yourself, three nights a week for nine months, you should have enough distributors and customers to easily earn $1,500 extra per month. Now, your current job doesn’t offer the opportunity to work three nights a week and get a huge raise, but our network marketing opportunity does.
Tom Schreiter (How To Prospect, Sell and Build Your Network Marketing Business With Stories)
Then came lunch back at the house, attended by the family, the godparents, and the church rector. Beaverbrook stood up to propose a toast to the child. But Churchill rose immediately and said, “As it was my birthday yesterday, I am going to ask you all to drink to my health first.” A wave of good-natured protest rose from the guests, as did shouts of “Sit down, Daddy!” Churchill resisted, then took his seat. After the toasts to the baby, Beaverbrook raised a glass to honor Churchill, calling him “the greatest man in the world.” Again Churchill wept. A call went up for his reply. He stood. As he spoke, his voice shook and tears streamed. “In these days,” he said, “I often think of Our Lord.” He could say no more. He sat down and looked at no one—the great orator made speechless by the weight of the day. Cowles found herself deeply moved. “I have never forgotten those simple words and if he enjoyed waging the war let it be remembered that he understood the anguish of it as well.” The next day, apparently in need of a little attention himself, Beaverbrook resigned again.
Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz)
matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.” As Dr. Johnson said: “God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.” Why should you and I? PRINCIPLE 1 Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Don’t worry,” he said flippantly, taking her arm and starting to walk back toward the house. “I’m not going to make the ritualistic proposal that followed our last encounters. Marriage is out of the question. Among other things, I’m fresh out of large rubies and expensive furs this season.” Despite his joking tone, Elizabeth felt ill at how ugly those words sounded now, even though her reasons for saying them at the time had nothing to do with a desire for jewels or furs. You had to give him credit, she decided miserably, because he obviously took no offense at it. Evidently, in sophisticated flirtations, the rule was that no one took anything seriously. “Who’s the leading contender these days?” he asked in that same light tone as the cottage came into view. “There must be more than Belhaven and Marchman.” Elizabeth struggled valiantly to make the same transition from heated passion to flippancy that he seemed to find so easy. She wasn’t quite so successful, however, and her light tone was threaded with confusion. “In my uncle’s eyes, the leading contender is whoever has the most important title, followed by the most money.” “Of course,” he said dryly. “In which case it sounds as if Marchman may be the lucky man.” His utter lack of caring made Elizabeth’s heart squeeze in an awful, inexplicable way. Her chin lifted in self-defense. “Actually, I’m not in the market for a husband,” she informed him, trying to sound as indifferent and as amused as he. “I may have to marry someone if I can’t continue to outmaneuver my uncle, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d like to marry a much older man than I.” “Preferably a blind one,” he said sardonically, “who’ll not notice a little affair now and then?” “I meant,” she informed him with a dark glance, “that I want my freedom. Independence. And that is something a young husband isn’t likely to give me, while an elderly one might.” “Independence is all an old man will be able to give you,” Ian said blntly. “That’s quite enough,” she said. “I’m excessively tired of being forever pushed about by the men in my life. I’d like to care for Havenhurst and do as I wish to do.” “Marry an old man,” Ian interjected smoothly, “and you may be the last of the Camerons.” She looked at him blankly. “He won’t be able to give you children.” “Oh, that,” Elizabeth said, feeling a little defeated and nonplussed. “I haven’t been able to work that out yet.” “Let me know when you do,” Ian replied with biting sarcasm. “There’s a fortune to be made from a discovery like that one.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I would choose you." The words were out before he thought better of them, and there was no way to pull them back. Silence stretched between them. Perhaps the floor will open and I'll plummet to my death, he thought hopefully. "As your general?" Her voice careful. She was offering him a chance to right the ship, to take them back to familiar waters. And a fine general you are. There could be no better leader. You may be prickly, but that's what Ravka needs. So many easy replies. Instead he said, "As my queen." He couldn't read her expression. Was she pleased? Embarrassed? Angry? Every cell in his body screamed for him to crack a joke, to free both of them from the peril of the moment. But he wouldn't. He was still a privateer, and he'd come too far. "Because I'm a dependable soldier," she said, but she didn't sound sure. It was the same cautious, tentative voice, the voice of someone waiting for a punch line, or maybe a blow. "Because I know all of your secrets." "I do trust you more than myself sometimes- and I think very highly of myself." Hadn't she said there was no one else she'd choose to have her back in a fight? But that isn't the whole truth, is it, you great cowardly lump. To hell with it. They might all die soon enough. They were safe here in the dark, surrounded by the hum of engines. "I would make you my queen because I want you. I want you all the time." She rolled on to her side, resting her head on her folded arm. A small movement, but he could feel her breath now. His heart was racing. "As your general, I should tell you that would be a terrible decision." He turned on to his side. They were facing each other now. "As your king, I should tell you that no one could dissuade me. No prince and no power could make me stop wanting you." Nikolai felt drunk. Maybe unleashing the demon had loosed something in his brain. She was going to laugh at him. She would knock him senseless and tell him he had no right. But he couldn't seem to stop. "I would give you a crown if I could," he said. "I would show you the world from the prow of a ship. I would choose you, Zoya. As my general, as my friend, as my bride. I would give you a sapphire the size of an acorn." He reached in to his pocket. "And all I would ask in return is that you wear this damnable ribbon in your hair on our wedding day." She reached out, her fingers hovering over the coil of blue velvet ribbon resting in his palm. Then she pulled back her hand, cradling her fingers as if they'd been singed. "You will wed a Taban sister who craves a crown," she said. "Or a wealthy Kerch girl, or maybe a Fjerdan royal. You will have heirs and a future. I'm not the queen Ravka needs." "And if you're the queen I want?"... She sat up, drew her knees in, wrapped her arms around them as if she would make a shelter of her own body. He wanted to pull her back down beside him and press his mouth to hers. He wanted her to look at him again with possibility in her eyes. "But that's not who I am. Whatever is inside me is sharp and gray as the thorn wood." She rose and dusted off her kefta. "I wasn't born to be a bride. I was made to be a weapon." Nikolai forced himself to smile. It wasn't as if he'd offered her a real proposal. They both knew such a thing was impossible. And yet her refusal smarted just as badly as if he'd gotten on his knee and offered her his hand like some kind of besotted fool. It stung. All saints, it stung. "Well," he said cheerfully, pushing up on his elbows and looking up at her with all the wry humour he could muster. "Weapons are good to have around too. Far more useful than brides and less likely to mope about the palace. But if you won't rule Ravka by my side, what does the future hold, General?" Zoya opened the door to the Cargo hold.Light flooded in gilding her features when she looked back at him. "I'll fight on beside you. As your general. As your friend. Because whatever my failings, I know this. You are the king Ravka needs.
Leigh Bardugo
Ya'aburnee1. As in you bury me. A rough translation for the way I want to leave this world before you because I can’t imagine having to go through a single day without you in it. If this last week was a preview of that kind of life, then I can assure you it isn’t a life worth living. You’re my wife and my best friend. The future mother of my children and the one place that truly feels like home. You’re the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, not because you signed a contract, but because you love me enough to stay without one. “I want to be the kind of man who is worthy of a woman like you—if it’s even possible. I promise to work every damn day to make sure you don’t regret marrying someone as miserable as me. Because when I’m with you, I’m not miserable at all. You make me happy in a way that makes me afraid to blink just in case it all disappears.” The vulnerability of his words tugs at every single one of my heartstrings. “I’ll give you anything you want—anything at all—so long as you give me a chance to make you as happy as you make me. A dog. A family. A home. I want it all. These are my terms and conditions, take it or leave it because I’m not open to negotiations.” “Only you could make a proposal sound like a business acquisition and get away with it.” “Marry me,” he orders with a smile that could make me agree to just about anything.
Lauren Asher (Terms and Conditions (Dreamland Billionaires, #2))
It’s a rare company I visit these days that doesn’t have a Dilbert cartoon posted somewhere. I guess the message of these cartoons is “Our company is in some ways like Dilbert’s company, ” or, even worse, “My boss is in some ways like Dilbert’s boss.” When I encounter these cartoons, I always want to find the person who posted them and ask, “Yes, but are you like Dilbert?” Are you keeping your head down? Are you accepting senseless direction when it’s offered? Are you letting the bureaucracy dominate at the expense of the real goals? If so, I’d like to tell that person, then you’re part of the problem. At the risk of being a total killjoy, I propose that you look at the next Dilbert cartoon that falls under your eye in a totally different way. I propose that you ask yourself about Dilbert’s role in whatever corporate nonsense is the butt of the joke. Ask yourself, How should Dilbert have responded? (The real Dilbert, of course, never responds at all.) How could Dilbert have made this funny situation distinctly nonfunny? What could he have done to put an end to such absurdities? There is always an obvious answer. Sometimes the action is one that would get Dilbert fired. It’s easy (and fair) to blame lousy management on lousy managers. But it’s not enough. It’s also necessary to blame the people who allow themselves to be managed so badly. At least partly at fault for every bad management move is some gutless Dilbert who allows it to happen.
Tom DeMarco (Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency)
Do tell the story,” says Shadow. Cal taps a finger against his cup. “It was almost as if she just appeared in my room one day, out of the blue.” “Oh! Who is she?” cries the duchess. “A lady I met in Renovia,” he answers, as Shadow’s cheeks burn. “In a castle.” “Renovian,” says the duchess with distaste. “What is she like?” “Shadow is about to answer when Cal cuts her off. He looks right at her when he speaks. “She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met. Brave, courageous, loyal. In all the kingdoms of Avantine I have never met her equal.” “And how did you propose, brother? Seeing that you had sworn off marriage and children to look after Mother’s estate,” says Shadow softly. “Ah, but she too had vowed not to marry,” Cal answers. “So we promised to be unmarried to each other, but together forever.” “What an atypical arrangement,” says Shadow, not quite meeting his eye. The duchess was fully agitated by now. “Sworn off marriage and children? How strange! What kind of engagement is this?” She takes an aggressive bite of toast. “A promise between two souls,” he says, but he only has eyes for Shadow. “A promise can be broken,” Shadow replies. “Not mine,” he says, so quietly that he’s not sure she can hear him. “Nor mine,” she says, which means that she did. They catch each other’s eye, and Cal wants nothing more than to reach across the table for her hand and to pull her to him. But they are at the Duke and Duchess of Girt’s table, and must conform to propriety.
Melissa de la Cruz (The Queen's Assassin (The Queen's Secret, #1))
Where is everyone?" Alec shrugged, striding across the hall as if he owned the place, which Magnus supposed he sort of did. "I expect everyone's off gathering gear and weapons. We should just go find my mother." "How do you propose to find her?" Magnus said. "Ah," said Alec, "the Institute has a very old magic woven into its walls. I shall now use it to commune with my mother, wherever she might be found." He put his hands around his mouth and bellowed at the top of his lungs. "MOOOOOOOOOM!" Alec's voice reverberated impressively against the stone walls. Max giggled and yelled, "Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" alongside Alec. The sound faded away and Magnus waited. "Well?" he said, and Alec held up a finger. After a moment, there was a flare, and a fire-message appeared in front of him. He plucked it from the air and opened it, giving Magnus a superior look. "'She's in the library,'" he read. A second fire-message appeared, in the same spot as the first. Alec opened it. "'Did you know you can send fire-messages within the Institute?'" he read. "'I just found out.'" He looked at Magnus in bewilderment. "Of course I knew that." "To the library, then?" said Magnus. A third fire-message appeared. Max lunged to try to grab it, but it was too far above his head. Magnus grabbed that one and read, "'I love fire-messages, have a great day, your friend, Simon Lovelace, Shadowhunter.' Can we go?" They heard a fourth one burst behind them as they left by the hall door, but neither of them looked back at it.
Cassandra Clare (The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2))
I do not know the substance of the considerations and recommendations which Dr. Szilárd proposes to submit to you,” Einstein wrote. “The terms of secrecy under which Dr. Szilárd is working at present do not permit him to give me information about his work; however, I understand that he now is greatly concerned about the lack of adequate contact between scientists who are doing this work and those members of your Cabinet who are responsible for formulating policy.”34 Roosevelt never read the letter. It was found in his office after he died on April 12 and was passed on to Harry Truman, who in turn gave it to his designated secretary of state, James Byrnes. The result was a meeting between Szilárd and Byrnes in South Carolina, but Byrnes was neither moved nor impressed. The atom bomb was dropped, with little high-level debate, on August 6, 1945, on the city of Hiroshima. Einstein was at the cottage he rented that summer on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, taking an afternoon nap. Helen Dukas informed him when he came down for tea. “Oh, my God,” is all he said.35 Three days later, the bomb was used again, this time on Nagasaki. The following day, officials in Washington released a long history, compiled by Princeton physics professor Henry DeWolf Smyth, of the secret endeavor to build the weapon. The Smyth report, much to Einstein’s lasting discomfort, assigned great historic weight for the launch of the project to the 1939 letter he had written to Roosevelt. Between the influence imputed to that letter and the underlying relationship between energy and mass that he had formulated forty years earlier, Einstein became associated in the popular imagination with the making of the atom bomb, even though his involvement was marginal. Time put him on its cover, with a portrait showing a mushroom cloud erupting behind him with E=mc2 emblazoned on it. In a story that was overseen by an editor named Whittaker Chambers, the magazine noted with its typical prose flair from the period: Through the incomparable blast and flame that will follow, there will be dimly discernible, to those who are interested in cause & effect in history, the features of a shy, almost saintly, childlike little man with the soft brown eyes, the drooping facial lines of a world-weary hound, and hair like an aurora borealis… Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.36 It was a perception that plagued him. When Newsweek did a cover on him, with the headline “The Man Who Started It All,” Einstein offered a memorable lament. “Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,” he said, “I never would have lifted a finger.”37 Of course, neither he nor Szilárd nor any of their friends involved with the bomb-building effort, many of them refugees from Hitler’s horrors, could know that the brilliant scientists they had left behind in Berlin, such as Heisenberg, would fail to unlock the secrets. “Perhaps I can be forgiven,” Einstein said a few months before his death in a conversation with Linus Pauling, “because we all felt that there was a high probability that the Germans were working on this problem and they might succeed and use the atomic bomb and become the master race.”38
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
Why did you come here-that is, why did you agree to reconsider my proposal?” The question alarmed and startled her. Now that she’d seen him she had only the dimmest, possibly even erroneous recollection of having spoken to him at a ball. Moreover, she couldn’t tell him she was in danger of being cut off by her uncle, for that whole explanation was to humiliating to bear mentioning. “Did I do or say something during our brief meetings the year before last to mislead you, perhaps, into believing I might yearn for the city life?” “It’s hard to say,” Elizabeth said with absolute honesty. “Lady Cameron, do you even remember our meeting?” “Oh, yes, of course. Certainly,” Elizabeth replied, belatedly recalling a man who looked very like him being presented to her at Lady Markham’s. That was it! “We met at Lady Markham’s ball.” His gaze never left her face. “We met in the park.” “In the park?” Elizabeth repeated in sublime embarrassment. “You had stopped to admire the flowers, and the young gentleman who was your escort that day introduced us.” “I see,” Elizabeth replied, her gaze skating away from his. “Would you care to know what we discussed that day and the next day when I escorted you back to the park?” Curiosity and embarrassment warred, and curiosity won out. “Yes, I would.” “Fishing.” “F-fishing?” Elizabeth gasped. He nodded. “Within minutes after we were introduced I mentioned that I had not come to London for the Season, as you supposed, but that I was on my way to Scotland to do some fishing and was leaving London the very next day.” An awful feeling of foreboding crept over Elizabeth as something stirred in her memory. “We had a charming chat,” he continued. “You spoke enthusiastically of a particularly challenging trout you were once able to land.” Elizabeth’s face felt as hot as red coals as he continued, “We quite forgot the time and your poor escort as we shared fishing stories.” He was quiet, waiting, and when Elizabeth couldn’t endure the damning silence anymore she said uneasily, “Was there…more?” “Very little. I did not leave for Scotland the next day but stayed instead to call upon you. You abandoned the half-dozen young bucks who’d come to escort you to some sort of fancy soiree and chose instead to go for another impromptu walk in the park with me.” Elizabeth swallowed audibly, unable to meet his eyes. “Would you like to know what we talked about that day?” “No, I don’t think so.” He chucked but ignored her reply, “You professed to be somewhat weary of the social whirl and confessed to a longing to be in the country that day-which is why we went to the park. We had a charming time, I thought.” When he fell silent, Elizabeth forced herself to meet his gaze and say with resignation, “And we talked of fishing?” “No,” he said. “Of boar hunting.” Elizabeth closed her eyes in sublime shame. “You related an exciting tale of a wild board your father had shot long ago, and of how you watched the hunt-without permission-from the very tree below which the boar as ultimately felled. As I recall,” he finished kindly, “you told me that it was your impulsive cheer that revealed your hiding place to the hunters-and that caused you to be seriously reprimanded by your father.” Elizabeth saw the twinkle lighting his eyes, and suddenly they both laughed. “I remember your laugh, too,” he said, still smiling, “I thought it was the loveliest sound imaginable. So much so that between it and our delightful conversation I felt very much at ease in your company.” Realizing he’d just flattered her, he flushed, tugged at his neckcloth, and self-consciously looked away.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I think I understand now what you meant when you said I have to give up my mortal qualms. And I am willing to do that. But I want you to marry me.' 'Ah.' He sat down on the couch, looking stunned with lack of sleep. 'And so you came here in the middle of the night?' 'I hope that you love me,' I tried to sound the way Oriana did when she forbade us to do things- stern, but not unkind. 'And I will try to live as the Folk do. But you ought to marry me even if neither of those things were true, because otherwise I might ruin your fun.' 'My fun?' he echoed. Then he sounded worried. Then he sounded awake. 'Whatever game you are playing with Nicasia and Cardan,' I said. 'And with me. Tell Madoc we're to be wed and tell Jude about your real intentions or I will start shaping stories of my own.' ... I realised that Locke might teach me lessons, but he wasn't going to like what I did once I learned them. 'You promised-' he began, but I cut him off. 'Not a marriage of a year and a day, either,' I said. 'I want you to love me until you die.' He blinked. 'Don't you mean until you did? Because you're sure to.' I shook my head. 'You're going to live forever. If you love me, I will become a part of your story. I will live on in that.' He looked at me in a way he'd never done before, as though evaluating me all over again. Then he nodded. 'We will marry,' he said, holding up his hand. 'On three conditions. The first is that you will tell no one about us until the coronation of Prince Dain.' That seemed like a small thing, the waiting. 'And during that time, you must not renounce me, no matter what I say or do.' I know the nature of faerie bargains. I should have heard this as the warning that it was. Instead, I was only glad that two of his conditions seemed simple enough to fulfill. 'What else?' Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart's blood should run cold. 'Only this,' Locke said. 'Remember we don't love the way that you do.
Holly Black (The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air, #1.5))
Hunsford, near Westerham, Kent, 15th October. “Dear Sir,— “The disagreement subsisting between yourself and my late honoured father always gave me much uneasiness, and since I have had the misfortune to lose him, I have frequently wished to heal the breach; but for some time I was kept back by my own doubts, fearing lest it might seem disrespectful to his memory for me to be on good terms with anyone with whom it had always pleased him to be at variance.—’There, Mrs. Bennet.’—My mind, however, is now made up on the subject, for having received ordination at Easter, I have been so fortunate as to be distinguished by the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh, whose bounty and beneficence has preferred me to the valuable rectory of this parish, where it shall be my earnest endeavour to demean myself with grateful respect towards her ladyship, and be ever ready to perform those rites and ceremonies which are instituted by the Church of England. As a clergyman, moreover, I feel it my duty to promote and establish the blessing of peace in all families within the reach of my influence; and on these grounds I flatter myself that my present overtures are highly commendable, and that the circumstance of my being next in the entail of Longbourn estate will be kindly overlooked on your side, and not lead you to reject the offered olive-branch. I cannot be otherwise than concerned at being the means of injuring your amiable daughters, and beg leave to apologise for it, as well as to assure you of my readiness to make them every possible amends—but of this hereafter. If you should have no objection to receive me into your house, I propose myself the satisfaction of waiting on you and your family, Monday, November 18th, by four o’clock, and shall probably trespass on your hospitality till the Saturday se’nnight following, which I can do without any inconvenience, as Lady Catherine is far from objecting to my occasional absence on a Sunday, provided that some other clergyman is engaged to do the duty of the day.—I remain, dear sir, with respectful compliments to your lady and daughters, your well-wisher and friend, “William Collins
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Epilogue "It's a girl!" "A what?" Michael stared in shock at the midwife, who had just left his wife's chambers. "A girl, Your Grace," the woman replied nervously, perhaps worried that he would order Isabella's head cut off for not producing a male heir. A girl, Michael thought in wonder. Not for a moment had he thought his child would be a girl. For the past one hundred years, only males had been born into the Blackmore line, and he hadn't expected his offspring to be any different. "I must see them at once." Michael stood abruptly, causing the small, rotund midwife to jump with nerves. "Yes, Your Grace." She bowed fearfully—and unnecessarily, for he was only a Duke—and gestured for him to follow her into his wife's rooms. In a few long strides, he was inside Isabella's inner sanctum and rushing to the bed, where his wife lay as serene and calm as though she had merely taken a walk . "Isabella?" he croaked, tears in his eyes. "Oh, don't be so dramatic, darling!" Isabella replied with a gentle smile. "I'm perfectly all right, and so is the baby. One of the nurses shall bring her back in a minute; they're just bathing her." As though her words had been a command, the door to the antechamber opened and a second—more cheerful—midwife emerged with an armful of blankets. "Here she is, Your Grace," she said, shoving the bundle of blankets into his arms. "What, where?" the Duke asked in confusion, before looking down at the white blankets, light as a feather, that he held. There, in the midst of all the material and swaddled tight, was the face of the tiniest baby he had ever seen. "She's very small," he said in confusion to Isabella, who merely smiled. "Should she be this small?" "Actually, she's quite big," the midwife interjected, her face a picture of amusement at Michael's helpless expression. "What do you think?" Isabella asked softly, leaning over his shoulder to stare down at the baby. "I-I-I" Michael stuttered, completely overwhelmed. "You love her that much already?" Isabella teased . Unable to respond, Michael merely nodded, knowing that he probably appeared cold to the watching midwife. But his wife knew the truth, and she understood that sometimes a man didn't need words to express how much love was in his heart. And one day, his daughter would understand too.
Claudia Stone (Proposing to a Duke (Regency Black Hearts #1))
Is power like the vis viva and the quantite d’avancement? That is, is it conserved by the universe, or is it like shares of a stock, which may have great value one day, and be worthless the next? If power is like stock shares, then it follows that the immense sum thereof lately lost by B[olingbroke] has vanished like shadows in sunlight. For no matter how much wealth is lost in stock crashes, it never seems to turn up, but if power is conserved, then B’s must have gone somewhere. Where is it? Some say ‘twas scooped up by my Lord R, who hid it under a rock, lest my Lord M come from across the sea and snatch it away. My friends among the Whigs say that any power lost by a Tory is infallibly and insensibly distributed among all the people, but no matter how assiduously I search the lower rooms of the clink for B’s lost power, I cannot seem to find any there, which explodes that argument, for there are assuredly very many people in those dark salons. I propose a novel theory of power, which is inspired by . . . the engine for raising water by fire. As a mill makes flour, a loom makes cloth and a forge makes steel, so we are assured this engine shall make power. If the backers of this device speak truly, and I have no reason to deprecate their honesty, it proves that power is not a conserved quantity, for of such quantities, it is never possible to make more. The amount of power in the world, it follows, is ever increasing, and the rate of increase grows ever faster as more of these engines are built. A man who hordes power is therefore like a miser who sits on a heap of coins in a realm where the currency is being continually debased by the production of more coins than the market can bear. So that what was a great fortune, when first he raked it together, insensibly becomes a slag heap, and is found to be devoid of value. When at last he takes it to the marketplace to be spent. Thus my Lord B and his vaunted power hoard what is true of him is likely to be true of his lackeys, particularly his most base and slavish followers such as Mr. Charles White. This varmint has asserted that he owns me. He fancies that to own a man is to have power, yet he has got nothing by claiming to own me, while I who was supposed to be rendered powerless, am now writing for a Grub Street newspaper that is being perused by you, esteemed reader.
Neal Stephenson (The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, #3))
You mean you’re not going to kiss my wrist again,” I said. “But that’s all right, because I am going to kiss you.” And I did. If I could keep a single moment for all time, that would be the one. I became the very air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand in my hair and his round soft perfect mouth. No Heaven but this! I thought, and I knew that it was true to a standard even St. Clare could not have argued. Then it was done, and he was holding both my hands between his and saying, “In some ballad or Porphyrian romance, we would run off together.” I looked quickly at his face, trying to discern whether he was proposing we do just that. The resolve written in his eyes said no, but I could see exactly where I would have to push, and how hard, to break that resolve. It would be shockingly easy, but I found I did not wish it. My Kiggs could not behave so shabbily and still remain my Kiggs. Some other part of him would break, along with his resolve, and I did not see a way to make it whole again. The jagged edge of it would stab at him all his life. If we were to go forward from here, we would proceed not rashly, not thoughtlessly, but Kiggs-and-Phina fashion. That was the only way it could work. “I think I’ve heard that ballad,” I said. “It’s beautiful but it ends sadly.” He closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against mine. “Is it less sad that I’m going to ask you not to kiss me again?” “Yes. Because it’s just for now. The day will come.” “I want to believe that.” “Believe it.” He took a shaky breath. “I’ve got to go.” “I know.” I let him go inside first; my presence was not appropriate for tonight’s ritual. I leaned against the parapet, watching my breath puff gray against the blackening sky as if I were a dragon whispering smoke into the wind. The conceit made me smile, and then an idea caught me. Cautiously, avoiding ice, I hauled myself up onto the parapet. It had a wide balustrade, adequate for sitting, but I did not intend merely to sit. With comical slowness, like Comonot attempting stealth, I drew my feet up onto the railing. I removed my shoes, wanting to feel the stone beneath my feet.
Rachel Hartman (Seraphina (Seraphina, #1))
Missy and I became best friends, and soon after our first year together I decided to propose to her. It was a bit of a silly proposal. It was shortly before Christmas Day 1988, and I bought her a potted plant for her present. I know, I know, but let me finish. The plan was to put her engagement ring in the dirt (which I did) and make her dig to find it (which I forced her to do). I was then going to give a speech saying, “Sometimes in life you have to get your hands dirty and work hard to achieve something that grows to be wonderful.” I got the idea from Matthew 13, where Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower. I don’t know if it was the digging through the dirt to find the ring or my speech, but she looked dazed and confused. So I sort of popped the question: “You’re going to marry me, aren’t you?” She eventually said yes (whew!), and I thought everything was great. A few days later, she asked me if I’d asked her dad for his blessing. I was not familiar with this custom or tradition, which led to a pretty heated argument about people who are raised in a barn or down on a riverbank. She finally convinced me that it was a formality that was a prerequisite for our marriage, so I decided to go along with it. I arrived one night at her dad’s house and asked if I could talk with him. I told him about the potted plant and the proposal to his daughter, and he pretty much had the same bewildered look on his face that she’d had. He answered quite politely by saying no. “I think you should wait a bit, like maybe a couple of years,” he said. I wasn’t prepared for that response. I didn’t handle it well. I don’t remember all the details of what was said next because I was uncomfortable and angry. I do remember saying, “Well, you are a preacher so I am going to give you some scripture.” I quoted 1 Corinthians 7:9, which says: “It is better to marry than to burn with passion.” That didn’t go over very well. I informed him that I’d treated his daughter with respect and he still wouldn’t budge. I then told him we were going to get married with him or without him, and I left in a huff. Over the next few days, I did a lot of soul-searching and Missy did a lot of crying. I finally decided that it was time for me to become a man. Genesis 2:24 says: “For this reason [creation of a woman] a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” God is the architect of marriage, and I’d decided that my family would have God as its foundation. It was time for me to leave and cleave, as they say. My dad told me once that my mom would cuddle us when we were in his nest, but there would be a day when it would be his job to kick me out. He didn’t have to kick me out, nor did he have to ask me, “Who’s a man?” Through prayer and patience, Missy’s parents eventually came around, and we were more than ready to make our own nest.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
Here is my six step process for how we will first start with ISIS and then build an international force that will fight terrorism and corruption wherever it appears. “First, in dedication to Lieutenant Commander McKay, Operation Crapshoot commenced at six o’clock this morning. I’ve directed a handpicked team currently deployed in Iraq to coordinate a tenfold increase in aerial bombing and close air support. In addition to aerial support, fifteen civilian security companies, including delegations from our international allies, are flying special operations veterans into Iraq. Those forces will be tasked with finding and annihilating ISIS, wherever they walk, eat or sleep. I’ve been told that they can’t wait to get started. “Second, going forward, our military will be a major component in our battle against evil. Militaries need training. I’ve been assured by General McMillan and his staff that there is no better final training test than live combat. So without much more expenditure, we will do two things, train our troops of the future, and wipe out international threats. “Third, I have a message for our allies. If you need us, we will be there. If evil raises its ugly head, we will be with you, arm in arm, fighting for what is right. But that aid comes with a caveat. Our allies must be dedicated to the common global ideals of personal and religious freedom. Any supposed ally who ignores these terms will find themselves without impunity. A criminal is a criminal. A thief is a thief. Decide which side you’re on, because our side carries a big stick. “Fourth, to the religious leaders of the world, especially those of Islam, though we live with differing traditions, we are still one people on this Earth. What one person does always has the possibility of affecting others. If you want to be part of our community, it is time to do your part. Denounce the criminals who besmirch your faith. Tell your followers the true meaning of the Koran. Do not let the money and influence of hypocrites taint your religion or your people. We request that you do this now, respectfully, or face the scrutiny of America and our allies. “Fifth, starting today, an unprecedented coalition of three former American presidents, my predecessor included, will travel around the globe to strengthen our alliances. Much like our brave military leaders, we will lead from the front, go where we are needed. We will go toe to toe with any who would seek to undermine our good intentions, and who trample the freedoms of our citizens. In the coming days you will find out how great our resolve truly is. “Sixth, my staff is in the process of drafting a proposal for the members of the United Nations. The proposal will outline our recommendations for the formation of an international terrorism strike force along with an international tax that will fund ongoing anti-terrorism operations. Only the countries that contribute to this fund will be supported by the strike force. You pay to play.
C.G. Cooper (Moral Imperative (Corps Justice, #7))