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An infant prodigy of nine is shoved upon the stage in white. She starts off in a dismal whine about a dark and stormy night, a burglar, whose heart is true, despite his wicked-looking face, who puts the little child in doom, to save her mamma's jewel case. This may bring tears to every eye; it does not set my heart on fire. I'd like to stand serenely by and watch that horrid child expire.
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He sleeps and sleeps, and the days go by, ... I love him dearly and for ever, but this lack of drive in any direction is a bad augury for the future. I am willing and happy to look after him for the rest of my life, but he must do something. If only he would take up some occupation and stick to it. I know that he is unhappy inside but, alas, with his natural resilience these moments of self-revelation dissipate and on go the years, and he will be an elderly man who has achieved nothing at all.
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Here ends the story of a ship, but there will always be other ships, for we are an island race. Through all our centuries, the sea has ruled our destiny. There will always be other ships and men to sail in them. It is these men, in peace or war, to whom we owe so much. Above all victories, beyond all loss, in spite of changing values in a changing world, they give to us, their countrymen, eternal and indomitable pride.
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It is my considered opinion that the human race (soi disant) is cruel, idiotic, sentimental, predatory, ungrateful, ugly, conceited and egocentric to the last ditch and that the occasional discovery of an isolated exception is as deliciously surprising as finding a sudden brazil nut in what you know to be five pounds of vanilla creams. These glorious moments, although not making life actually worth living, perhaps, at least make it pleasanter.
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Any part of the piggy Is quite all right with me Ham from Westphalia, ham from Parma Ham as lean as the Dalai Lama Ham from Virginia, ham from York, Trotters Sausages, hot roast pork. Crackling crisp for my teeth to grind on Bacon with or without the rind on Though humanitarian I'm not a vegetarian. I'm neither crank nor prude nor prig And though it may sound infra dig Any part of the darling pig Is perfectly fine with me.
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My importance to the world is relatively small. On the other hand, my importance to myself is tremendous. I am all I have to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but of my own. I do not intend to let myself down more than I can possibly help, and I find that the fewer illusions I have about myself or the world around me, the better company I am for myself.
Of course, the age-old tradition that a star must appear even if he or she is practically dying is an excellent one, but it can be carried too far. I one played a performance of The Knight of the Burning Pestle with a temperature of 103 and gave sixteen members of the company mumps, thereby closing the play and throwing everybody out of work. There may be a moral lurking somewhere in this, but I cannot for the life of me discover what it is.
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Running is the classical road to self-consciousn ess, self-awareness and self-reliance. Independence is the outstanding characteristic of a runner. He learns the harsh reality of his physical and spiritual limitations when he runs. He learns that personal commitment, sacrifice and determination are his only means to betterment. Runners get promoted only through self-conquest.
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