You must realize... that the men of the Valley have built their houses and brought up their families without help from others, without a word from the Government. Their lives have been ordered from birth by the Bible. From it they took their instructions. They had no other guidance, and no other law. If it has produced hypocrites and pharisees, the fault is in the human race. We are not all angels. Our fathers upheld good conduct and rightful dealing by strictness, but it is in Man Adam to be slippery, and many are as slimy as the adder. The wonder is to me that the men of the Valley are as they are, and not barbarians at all.I was sorry for Meillyn Lewis, too. But that session of the deacons was helpful as a preventative. It was cruel, but it is more cruel to allow misconduct to flourish without check.
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O, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them that will go to cream in your mouth, and both passing down with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live for ever in the wideness of that rich moment.
Listen to me. Forget all you saw. Leave it. Take your mind from it. It has nothing to do with you. But use it for experience. Now you know what hurt it brings to women when men come into the world. Remember, and make it up to your Mama and to all women... And another thing let it do. There is no room for pride in any man. There is no room for unkindness. There is not room for wit at the expense of others. All men are born the same, and equal. As you saw today, so come Captains and the Kings and the Tinkers and the Tailors. Let the memory direct your dealings with men and women. And be sure to take good care of Mama. Is it?
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There is a wholeness about a woman, of shape, and sound, and colour, and taste, and smell, a quietness that is her, that you will want to hold tightly to you, all, every little bit, without words, in peace, for jealousy for the things that escape the clumsiness of your arms. So you feel when you love... For her womaness is a blessing about her, and you are tender to put your hands upon her and kiss, not with lust, but with the joy of one returning to a lost one.
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There is beautiful you are." "No, " said Marged, between a sigh and a sob. "Yes, " said Owen. "No, " said Marged, not so certain. "Behold, " Owen said, from Solomon. "thou art fair. Thou hast dove's eyes." "Dove's eyes are small." Marged said. "Yours are so big they are my whole world, " said Owen.
In that quietness they were speaking their own language, with their eyes, with the way they stood, with what they put into the air about them, each knowing what the other was saying, and having strength one from the other, for they had been learning through forty years of being together, and their minds were one.
It is simple. Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. Not all of us are born for greatness, but all of us have sense. Make use of it. Think. Think long and well. By prayer and good thought you will conquer all enemies... Behold, the night is coming. Prepare, for the time is at hand.
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Then all the winds of Heaven ran to join hands and bend a shoulder, to bring down to me the sound of a noble hymn that was heavy with the perfume of Time That Has Gone. The glittering multitudes were singing most mightily, and my heart was in blood to hear a Voice that I knew. The Men of the Valley were marching again. My Fathers were singing up there. Loud, triumphant, the anthem rose, and I knew, in some deep place within, that in the royal music was a prayer to lift up my spirit, to be of good cheer, to keep the faith, that Death was only an end to the things that are made of clay, and to fight, without heed of wounds, all that brings death to the Spirit, with Glory to the Eternal Father, forever, Amen.
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There is strange, and yet not strange, is the kiss. It is strange because it mixes silliness with tragedy, and yet not strange because there is good reason for it. There is shaking by the hand. That should be enough. Yet a shaking of hands is not enough to give a vent to all kinds of feeling. The hand is too hard and too used to doing all things, with too little feeling and too far from the organs of taste and smell, and far from the brain, and the length of an arm from the heart. To rub a nose like the blacks, that we think is so silly, is better, but there is nothing good to the taste about the nose, only a piece of old bone pushing out of the face, and a nuisance in winter, but a friend before meals and in a garden, indeed. With the eyes we can do nothing, for if we come too near, they go crossed and everything comes twice to the sight without good from one or other. There is nothing to be done with the ear, so back we come to the mouth, and we kiss with the mouth because it is part of the head and of the organs of taste and smell. It is temple of the voice, keeper of breath and its giving out, treasurer of tastes and succulences, and home of the noble tongue. And its portals are firm, yet soft, with a warmth, of a ripeness, unlike the rest of the face, rosy, and in women with a crinkling of red tenderness, to the taste not in compare with the wild strawberry, yet if the taste of kisses went , and strawberries came the year round, half of joy would be gone from the world. There is no wonder to me that we kiss, for when mouth comes to mouth, in all its stillness, breath joins breath, and taste joins taste, warmth is enwarmed, and tongues commune in a soundless language, and those things are said that cannot find a shape, have a name, or know a life in the pitiful faults of speech.
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Though neither happiness nor respect are worth anything, because unless both are coming from the truest motives, they are simply deceits. A successful man earns the respect of the world never mind what is the state of his mind, or his manner of earning. So what is the good of such respect, and how happy will such a man be in himself? And if he is what passes for happy, such a state is lower than the self-content of the meanest animal.
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Worry, my son?... I am not worried now and I never have or will. You must learn to tell worry from thought, and thought from prayer. Sometimes a light will go from your life... and your life becomes a prayer, till you are strong enough to stand under the weight of your own thought again.
For as men have fists and heads to defend themselves, so women have a gentleness of silence about them, a barrier built of things of the spirit, of pain, of quiet, of helplessness, of grace, of all that is beautiful and womanly an equal part, given to them because they are women in defense of their womaness. And this barrier a man will find against him to turn aside his male attack, keep his arms pinned, stop his mouth, cool his eyes, reduce his heat and restrain his idle imaginings. This barrier it is that women who are women keep always at a height, coming from behind it only when, with knowledge and in light, they trust. You shall see it in their eyes.
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Sing, then. Sing, indeed, with shoulders back, and head up so that song might go to the roof and beyond to the sky. Mass on mass of tone, with a hard edge, and rich with quality, every single note a carpet of colour woven from basso profundo, and basso, and baritone, and alto, and tenor, and soprano, and also mezzo, and contralto, singing and singing, until life and all things living are become a song. O, Voice of Man, organ of most lovely might.
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There is a spirit greater than you, always within reach of you, but he only comes to take charge when your own spirit is lost, and cries out in his own tongue, which you cannot know but only feel, and it is in feeling that you will have orders. Yet not even in feeling, for I felt nothing, only surprise that I was going forward.
That is the trouble... You are a crowd of bits of boys all in the thing for what you will get. Demands, you call them. Well, I am against demands of any kind. You cannot reason with demand, and where there is no reason, there is no sense. As for your support, whatever you call it, some long word, what is the use of it?
I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond. And their eyes were my eyes. As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning, and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down the line stretched from Time That Was, to Time That Is, and is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, had in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the eternal Father. I was one of them, they were of me, and in me, and I in all of them.
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O, blackberry tart, with berries as big as your thumb, purple and black, and thick with juice, and a crust to endear them that will go to cream in your mouth, and both passing down with such a taste that will make you close your eyes and wish you might live forever in the wideness of that rich moment.
There is beautiful you are." "No," said Marged, between a sigh and a sob. "Yes," said Owen. "No," said Marged, not so certain. "Behold," Owen said, from Solomon. "thou art fair. Thou hast dove's eyes." "Dove's eyes are small." Marged said. "Yours are so big they are my whole world," said Owen.
Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. Use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. ... Think long and well. By prayer and good thought you will conquer all enemies.
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