My house completed, and tried and not found wanting by a first Cape Cod year, I went there to spend a fortnight in September. The fortnight ending, I lingered on, and as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go. The world to-day is sick to its thin blood for lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water welling from the earth, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot. In my world of beach and dunes these elemental presences lived and had their being, and under their arch there moved an incomparable pageant of nature and the year.
Emily, there are enemies everywhere. We have to be on our guard, especially for the next couple of weeks.' Theo sighed unhappily. 'This is going to be the longest fortnight of my life.' 'That's saying something, ' I joked, 'given how long you've lived.' 'Exactly, ' he said, without smiling.
You all know why we're here. The time has come for action. To be sure we are prepared, Maeve and I will be heading out to scout conditions. We shouldn't be gone more than a fortnight and in our absence, Fianna will be seeing to things. If we don't return, you all know what to do. Look after yourselves and be ready.
The lieutenant's fooling around again with the telegraph girl at the station, ' said the corporal, after he had gone. 'He's been running after her for a fortnight and he's always frightfully furious when he comes from the telegraph office and he says about her: 'She's a whore. She won't sleep with me!
If, for instance, we'd made the film after the show had been to Broadway, it would have been exactly the same film but we would have been assured that they would have understood it. We didn't have to do any alterations for Broadway. I was supposed to go a fortnight before it opened to alter anything that was necessary and there was nothing really.
I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
I am fussy, about my diet and straining my voice. I know, sounds a bit over the top. But I'm not as bad as I used to be. These days I don't drink alcohol for five days before a show - very dehydrating for the vocal cords, and all that acid reflux. I used to ban it for a fortnight. Nightmare.
Her family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating. For many years of her life she had had two sons; but the crime and annihilation of Edward a few weeks ago, had robbed her of one; the similar annihilation of Robert had left her for a fortnight without any; and now, by the resurrection of Edward, she had one again.
For a week or a fortnight I can write prodigiously in a retired place (as at Broadstairs), and a day in London sets me up again and starts me. But the toil and labour of writing, day after day, without that magic lantern, is IMMENSE!!... My figures seem disposed to stagnate without crowds about them.
I think it's great some hotels provide stationery. Because the first thing I like to do when I get to a hotel room is write a letter. "My dearest Gwendolyn, I arrived by nightfall at the Embassy Suites. It will be a fortnight after my return that this letter shall arrive. Allow me to explain the curious charge at the ledger. It is because I miss thee so much, darling, I accidentally ordered Sorrority Sisters 7."
Spent the fortnight gone in the music room reworking my year's fragments into a 'sextet for overlapping soloists': piano, clarinet, 'cello, flute, oboe, and violin, each in its own language of key, scale, and color. In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor; in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan't know until it's finished, and by then it'll be too late.
The whole point of marriage is to stop you getting anywhere near real life. You think it's a great struggle with the mystery of being. It's more like being smothered in warm cocoa. There's sex, but it's not what you think. Marvellous, for the first fortnight. Then every Wednesday. If there isn't a good late-night concert on the Third. Meanwhile you become a biological functionary. An agent of the great female womb, spawning away, dumping its goods in your lap for succour. Daddy, daddy, we're here, and we're expensive.
Every year, in the deep midwinter, there descends upon this world a terrible fortnight. ... every shop is a choked mass of humanity ... nerves are jangled and frayed, purses emptied to no purposes, all amusements and all occupations suspended in favor of frightful businesses with brown paper, string, letters, cards, stamps, and crammed post offices. This period is doubtless a foretaste of whatever purgatory lies in store for human creatures.
Dear Eloisa (said I) there's no occasion for your crying so much about such a trifle. (for I was willing to make light of it in order to comfort her) I beg you would not mind it - You see it does not vex me in the least; though perhaps I may suffer most from it after all; for I shall not only be obliged to eat up all the Victuals I have dressed already, but must if Henry should recover (which however is not very likely) dress as much for you again; or should he die (as I suppose he will) I shall still have to prepare a Dinner for you whenever you marry any one else. So you see that tho perhaps for the present it may afflict you to think of Henry's sufferings, yet I dare say he'll die soon and then his pain will be over and you will be easy, whereas my Trouble will last much longer for work as hard as I may, I am certain that the pantry cannot be cleared in less than a fortnight
Arraigned at my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last night- of the general state of mind which I have indulged for nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told in her own quiet way , a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had rejected the real, and rabidly devoured the ideal;- I pronounced judgment to this effect:- That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life: that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed the poison as if it were nectar.
Arraigned at my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last night-- of the general state of mind which I have indulged for nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told in her own quiet way , a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had rejected the real, and rabidly devoured the ideal;-- I pronounced judgment to this effect:-- That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life: that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed the poison as if it were nectar.
One should let one's nails grow for a fortnight. O, how sweet it is to drag brutally from his bed a child with no hair on his upper lip and with wide open eyes, make as if to touch his forehead gently with one's hand and run one's fingers through his beautiful hair. Then suddenly, when he is least expecting it, to dig one's long nails into his soft breast, making sure, though, that one does not kill him; for if he died, one would not later be able to contemplate his agonies. Then one drinks his blood as one licks his wounds; and during this time, which ought to last for eternity, the child weeps.
Comte de Lautreamont
It is all a question of sensitiveness. Brute force and overbearing may make a terrific effect. But in the end, that which lives by delicate sensitiveness. If it were a question of brute force, not a single human baby would survive for a fortnight. It is the grass of the field, most frail of all things, that supports all life all the time. But for the green grass, no empire would rise, no man would eat bread: for grain is grass; and Hercules or Napoleon or Henry Ford would alike be denied existence.
D. H. Lawrence
I've decided to call him Norbert,' said Hagrid, looking at the dragon with misty eyes. 'He really knows me now, watch. Norbert! Norbert! Where's Mummy?' 'He's lost his marbles,' Ron muttered in Harry's ear. 'Hagrid,' said Harry loudly, 'give it a fortnight and Norbert's going to be as big as your house. Malfoy could go to Dumbledore at any moment. Hagrid bit his lip. 'I- I know I can't jus' dump him, I can't.' Harry suddenly turned to Ron. 'Charlie,' he said. 'You're losing it too,' said Ron. 'I'm Ron, remember?
J. K. Rowling
No one is adequate to comprehending the misery of my lot! Fate obliges me to be constantly in movement: I am not permitted to pass more than a fortnight in the same place. I have no Friend in the world, and from the restlessness of my destiny I never can acquire one. Fain would I lay down my miserable life, for I envy those who enjoy the quiet of the Grave: But Death eludes me, and flies from my embrace. In vain do I throw myself in the way of danger. I plunge into the Ocean; The Waves throw me back with abhorrence upon the shore: I rush into fire; The flames recoil at my approach: I oppose myself to the fury of Banditti; Their swords become blunted, and break against my breast: The hungry Tiger shudders at my approach, and the Alligator flies from a Monster more horrible than itself. God has set his seal upon me, and all his Creatures respect this fatal mark!
Matthew Gregory Lewis
It had seemed entirely sensible at the time. A simple way to test the truth of her claim that she had lain with de Villiers. To show her that lying to him was useless. To make a point. Instead, he had ignited a desire that burned him like none he had ever felt before. He had expected Lady Laurien d'Amboise to be a timid little convent mouse. Quiet and passive and pliant. Easily manageable. Instead she was outspoken and strong-willed... and stunning in a way he could not even describe. An innocent beauty caught up in a deadly game that was none of her making... Malcolm rose to leave, chuckling. "And what is there to laugh about?" Darach gave his jovial friend a dour look. Malcolm stopped just long enough to do his best imitation of Darach. "'Simple. Kidnap one French lass, hold her for a fortnight, and return her to de Villiers after he meets our demands. Perfectly simple.
But there is another possible attitude towards the records of the past, and I have never been able to understand why it has not been more often adopted. To put it in its curtest form, my proposal is this: That we should not read historians, but history. Let us read the actual text of the times. Let us, for a year, or a month, or a fortnight, refuse to read anything about Oliver Cromwell except what was written while he was alive. There is plenty of material; from my own memory (which is all I have to rely on in the place where I write) I could mention offhand many long and famous efforts of English literature that cover the period. Clarendon's History, Evelyn's Diary, the Life of Colonel Hutchinson. Above all let us read all Cromwell's own letters and speeches, as Carlyle published them. But before we read them let us carefully paste pieces of stamp-paper over every sentence written by Carlyle. Let us blot out in every memoir every critical note and every modern paragraph. For a time let us cease altogether to read the living men on their dead topics. Let us read only the dead men on their living topics.
Dave and Serge... played the Fiddler's Elbow as if it were Giants Stadium, and even though it was acoustic, they just about blew the place up. They were standing on chairs adn lying on the floor, they were funny, they charmed everyone in the pub apart from an old drunk ditting next to the drum kit... who put his fingers firmly in his ears during Serge's extended harmonica solo. It was utterly bizarre and very moving: most musicians wouldn't have bothered turning up, let alone almost killing themselves. And I was reminded... how rarely one feels included in a live show. Usually you watch, and listen, and drift off, and the band plays well or doesn't and it doesn't matter much either way. It can actually be a very lonely experience. But I felt a part of the music, and a part of the people I'd gone with, and, to cut this short before the encores, I didn't want to read for about a fortnight afterward. I wanted to write, but I didn't want to read no book. I was too itchy, too energized, and if young people feel like that every night of the week, then, yes, literature 's dead as a dodo. (Nick's thoughts after seeing Marah at a little pub called Fiddler's Elbow.)
There were some children round him playing in the dust on the paths. They had long fair hair, and with very earnest faces and solemn attention were making little mountains of sand so as to stamp on them and squash them underfoot. Pierre was going through one of those gloomy days when one looks into every corner of one's soul and shakes out every crease. 'Our occupations are like the work of those kids, ' he thought. Then he wondered whether after all the wisest course in life was not to beget two or three of these little useless beings and watch them grow with complacent curiosity. And he was touched by the desire to marry. You aren't so lost when you're not alone any more. At any rate you can hear somebody moving near you in times of worry and uncertainty, and it is something anyway to be able to say words of love to a woman when you are feeling down. He began thinking about women. His knowledge of them was very limited, as all he had had in the Latin Quarter was affairs of a fortnight or so, dropped when the month's money ran out and picked up again or replaced the following month. Yet kind, gentle, consoling creatures must exist. Hadn't his own mother brought sweet reasonableness and charm to his father's home? How he would have loved to meet a woman, a real woman! He leaped up, determined to go and pay a little visit to Mme Rosemilly. But he quickly sat down again. No, he didn't like that one!
Guy de Maupassant
He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, and he Looked and dressed and acted like all parsons that we see. He wore the cleric's broadcloth and he hooked his vest behind. But he had a man's religion and he had a stong man's mind. And he heard the call to duty, and he quit his church and went. And he bravely tramped right with 'em every- where the boys were sent. He put aside his broadcloth and he put the khaki on; Said he'd come to be a soldier and was going to live like one. Then he'd refereed the prize fights that the boys pulled off at night, And if no one else was handy he'd put on the gloves and fight. He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the sol- diers' needs, And he said: "I'm done with preaching; this is now the time for deeds." He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell the size of shell From the shriek it make above him, and he knew just where it fell. In the front line trench he laboured, and he knew the feel of mud, And he didn't run from danger and he wasn't scared of blood. He wrote letters for the wounded, and he cheered them with his jokes, And he never made a visit without passing round the smokes. Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt be- side a lad Who was "going west" right speedy, and they both seemed mighty glad, 'Cause he held the boy's hand tighter, and he smiled and whispered low, "Now you needn't fear the journey; over there with you I'll go." And they both passed out together, arm in arm I think they went. He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent.
Edgar A. Guest
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came, -the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon, -that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure, -he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room, alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours, -but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget, -it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained, -the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare, -exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe