People ask me how it happens that my children are all so promptly obedient and so happy. As if it chanced that some parents have such children or chanced that some have not! I am afraid it is only too true, as someone has remarked, that "this is the age of obedient parents!" What then will be the future of their children? How can they yield to God who have never been taught to yield to human authority? And how well fitted will they be to rule their own households who have never learned to rule themselves?
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss
How do you know if the next act you are about to do is the right one or the wrong one? Consider the face of the poorest and most vulnerable human being that you have ever chanced upon, and ask yourself if the act that you contemplate will be of benefit to that person; and if it will be, it's the right thing to do, and if not, rethink it.
I chanced upon these words from a letter by Van Gogh: "Like everyone else, I feel the need of family and friendship, affection and friendly intercourse. I am not made of iron, like a hydrant or a lamp post. Perhaps this is what really counts: to arrive at the core of human feeling, in spite of the evidence.
I have devoted my whole life to the study of Nature, and yet a single sentence may express all that I have done. I have shown that there is a correspondence between the succession of Fishes in geological times and the different stages of their growth in the egg,-this is all. It chanced to be a result that was found to apply to other groups and has led to other conclusions of a like nature.
No one is fit to encounter an adversary's case successfully unless he can make it for a moment his own, unless he can put it more forcibly than the adversary could put it for himself, and take account not only of what the adversary says, but also the best he MIGHT say, if only he had chanced to think it.
William Hurrell Mallock
Every epoch which seeks renewal first projects its ideal into a human form. In order to comprehend its own essence tangibly, the spirit of the time chooses a human being as its prototype and raising this single individual, often one upon whom it has chanced to come, far beyond his measure, the spirit enthuses itself for its own enthusiasm.
You, Beloved, who are all the gardens I have ever gazed at, longing. An open window in a country house-- , and you almost stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon,-- you had just walked down them and vanished. And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us yesterday, separate, in the evening...
Rainer Maria Rilke
The Jesuits were quite balked by those Indians who, being burned at the stake, suggested new modes of tortures to their tormentors. Being superior to physical suffering, it sometimes chanced that they were superior to any consolation which the missionaries could offer; and the law to do as you would be done by fell with less persuasiveness on the ears of those who, for their part, did not care how they were done by, who loved their enemies after a new fashion, and came very near freely forgiving them all they did.
Henry David Thoreau
Kumiko and I felt something for each other from the beginning. It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go. As our meetings grew more frequent, I felt not so much that I had met someone new as that I had chanced upon a dear old friend.
Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few principles, which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn.
Now he had chanced on one of he standard hard-on sessions of the shower, as on both sides of him and across the room three queens sported horizontal members which they turned around from time to time to conceal or display, barely exchanging looks as they resolved. The old men took no interest in this activity, knowing perhaps from long experience that it rarely meant anything or led anywhere, was a brief and helpless surrender to the forcing-house of the shower. In a few seconds the hard-on might pass from one end of the room to the other with the foolish perfection of a Busby Berkeley routine.
[A]dventures befall the unadventurous as readily, if not as frequently, as the bold. Adventures are a logical and reliable result - and have been since at least the time of Odysseus - of the fatal act of leaving one's home, or trying to return to it again. All adventures happen in that damned and magical space, wherever it may be found or chanced upon, which least resembles one's home. As soon as you have crossed your doorstep or the county line, into that place where the structures, laws, and conventions of your upbringing no longer apply, where the support and approval (but also the disapproval and repression) of your family and neighbors are not to be had: then you have entered into adventure, a place of sorrow, marvels, and regret.
Their bodies lay flatly on the rocks, and their eyes regarded him with evil interest: but it does not appear that Mr. Fison was afraid, or that he realized that he was in any danger. Possibly his confidence is to be ascribed to the limpness of their attitudes. But he was horrified, of course, and intensely excited and indignant at such revolting creatures preying upon human flesh. He thought they had chanced upon a drowned body. He shouted to them, with the idea of driving them off, and, finding they did not budge, cast about him, picked up a big rounded lump of rock, and flung it at one. And then, slowly uncoiling their tentacles, they all began moving towards him - creeping at first deliberately, and making a soft purring sound to each other.
You who never arrived in my arms, Beloved, who were lost from the start, I don't even know what songs would please you. I have given up trying to recognize you in the surging wave of the next moment. All the immense images in me - the far-off, deeply-felt landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and un- suspected turns in the path, and those powerful lands that were once pulsing with the life of the gods- all rise within me to mean you, who forever elude me. You, Beloved, who are all the gardens I have ever gazed at, longing. An open window in a country house- , and you almost stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon, - you had just walked down them and vanished. And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back my too-sudden image. Who knows? Perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us yesterday, separate, in the evening...
Rainer Maria Rilke
There would therefore have been all the more delight at the birth of the first son William within less than a year of Margaret's death, tinged with more than a little anxiety, in view of the fateful words hic incepit pestis, 'here began plague', in the burial part of the register three months later. Just how close this dread flea-borne disease was to the Shakespeares can be guaged from the fact that their Henley Street neighbour Roger Green lost four of his children and town clerk Richard Symons three. One estimate suggests that the town lost around two hundred, or about fifteen per cent, of its population during this single outbreak. It is a sobering thought how much the world could have lost at this time by one ill-chanced flea-bite.
We know what happened to those who chanced to meet the Great God Pan, and those who are wise know that all symbols are symbols of something, not of nothing. It was, indeed, an exquisite symbol beneath which men long ago veiled their knowledge of the most awful, most secret forces which lie at the heart of all things; forces before which the souls of men must wither and die and blacken, as their bodies blacken under the electric current. Such forces cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be imagined except under a veil and a symbol, a symbol to the most of us appearing a quaint, poetic fancy, to some a foolish tale. But you and I, at all events, have known something of the terror that may dwell in the secret place of life, manifested under human flesh; that which is without form taking to itself a form.
I chanced on a wonderful book by Marius von Senden, called Space and Sight... For the newly sighted, vision is pure sensation unencumbered by meaning: "The girl went through the experience that we all go through and forget, the moment we are born. She saw, but it did not mean anything but a lot of different kinds of brightness."... In general the newly sighted see the world as a dazzle of color-patches. They are pleased by the sensation of color, and learn quickly to name the colors, but the rest of seeing is tormentingly difficult... The mental effort involved... proves overwhelming for many patients. It oppresses them to realize, if they ever do at all, the tremendous size of the world, which they had previously conceived of as something touchingly manageable... A disheartening number of them refuse to use their new vision, continuing to go over objects with their tongues, and lapsing into apathy and despair... On the other hand, many newly sighted people speak well of the world, and teach us how dull is our own vision.
It's true, ' replied Doris with a sniff in Bessy's direction to make her sensible of a victory, even if a minor one. 'It is amazing how so many people go insane. One day a man is a normal, friendly husband and the next he suddenly becomes a raging schizoid and slays his wife and himself as well. The result of what cause? Why, perhaps he chanced to find some schoolgirl treasure of another beau who had been his greatest rival and is stunned to discover that she secretly retains this. But usually the matter is not so simple, you know. Next to nothing may happen, jarring awake some sleeping monstrosity in a man's complex mental machinery and turning him from a sane person to a mentally sick individual. It is wholly impossible to say when a man is sane, for' -she tittered- 'scarce one of us is normal.' 'You mean - it might happen to any of us?' 'Of course, ' said Doris, charmed by all this interest. 'One moment we are seated here, behaving normally and the next some tiny thing, a certain voice, a certain combination of thoughts may throw out the balance wheel of our intellects and we become potential inmates for asylums the rest of our lives. No, not one of us knows when the world will cease to be a normal, ordinary place. You know, no one ever knows when he goes insane: He supposes it is the world altering, not himself. Rooms become peopled with strange shapes and beings, sounds distort themselves into awful cries and, poof! we are judged insane.' 'Poof -' said Jacob, feeling weak and ill. ("He Didn't Like Cats")
L. Ron Hubbard
Natural philosophy is the genius that has regulated my fate; I desire, therefore, in this narration, to state those facts which led to my predilection for that science. When I was thirteen years of age, we all went on a party of pleasure to the baths near Thonon: the inclemency of the weather obliged us to remain a day confined to the inn. In this house I chanced to find a volume of the works of Cornelius Agrippa. I opened it with apathy; the theory which he attempts to demonstrate, and the wonderful facts which he relates, soon changed this feeling into enthusiasm. A new light seemed to dawn upon my mind; and, bounding with joy, I communicated my discovery to my father. My father looked carelessly at the title page of my book, and said, "Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash." If, instead of this remark, my father had taken the pains to explain to me that the principles of Agrippa had been entirely exploded, and that a modern system of science had been introduced, which possessed much greater powers than the ancient, because the powers of the latter were chimerical, while those of the former were real and practical; under such circumstances, I should certainly have thrown Agrippa aside, and have contented my imagination, warmed as it was, by returning with greater ardour to my former studies. It is even possible that the train of my ideas would never have received the fatal impulse that led to my ruin. But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity.
The following year the house was substantially remodeled, and the conservatory removed. As the walls of the now crumbling wall were being torn down, one of the workmen chanced upon a small leatherbound book that had apparently been concealed behind a loose brick or in a crevice in the wall. By this time Emily Dickinson was a household name in Amherst. It happened that this carpenter was a lover of poetry- and hers in particular- and when he opened the little book and realized that that he had found her diary, he was 'seized with a violent trembling, ' as he later told his grandson. Both electrified and terrified by the discovery, he hid the book in his lunch bucket until the workday ended and then took it home. He told himself that after he had read and savored every page, he would turn the diary over to someone who would know how to best share it with the public. But as he read, he fell more and more deeply under the poet's spell and began to imagine that he was her confidant. He convinced himself that in his new role he was no longer obliged to give up the diary. Finally, having brushed away the light taps of conscience, he hid the book at the back of an oak chest in his bedroom, from which he would draw it out periodically over the course of the next sixty-four years until he had virtually memorized its contents. Even his family never knew of its existence. Shortly before his death in 1980 at the age of eighty-nine, the old man finally showed his most prized possession to his grandson (his only son having preceded him in death), confessing that his delight in it had always been tempered by a nagging guilt and asking that the young man now attempt to atone for his grandfather's sin. The grandson, however, having inherited both the old man's passion for poetry and his tendency towards paralysis of conscience, and he readily succumbed to the temptation to hold onto the diary indefinitely while trying to decide what ought to be done with it.