The very next day, we were told that Abigail had had a massive stroke. She was alive, but the woman we had known had vanished. She did not know where she was or who she was. The alarm clock had gone off. The very old languish and die. We know that, buy the very old know it far better than the rest of us. They live in a world of continual loss and this, as my mother had said, is bitter. [p. 172]
A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here, ' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Distance... is like futurity. A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here,' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wealth and speed are what the world admires, what each pursues. Railways, express mails, steamships and every possible facility for communications are the achievement in which the civilized world view and revels, only to languish in mediocrity by that very fact. Indeed, the effect of this diffusion is to spread the culture of the mediocre.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt. We say we believe in equal opportunity but then stand idle while millions of American children languish in poverty. We insist that we value family, but then structure our economy and organize our lives so as to ensure that our families get less and less of our time.
Every time is a time for comedy in a world of tension that would languish without it. But I cannot confine myself to lightness in a period of human life that demands light ... We all know that, as the old adage has it, "It is later than you think." ..., but I also say occasionally: "It is lighter than you think." In this light let's not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
A successful author is equally in danger of the diminution of his fame, whether he continues or ceases to write. The regard of the public is not to be kept but by tribute, and the remembrance of past service will quickly languish unless successive performances frequently revive it. Yet in every new attempt there is new hazard, and there are few who do not, at some unlucky time, injure their own characters by attempting to enlarge them.
Each of us has a significant place in the tapestry of the world's story. The Creator, created it so. When we are misplaced or displaced from our singular significance-from fear, lack of integrity, playing small; we decline our life's purpose. In other words, if we languish- refusing to flourish- oneself and the entire world is deficient.
LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier
I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who have almost beggared themselves to serve others. If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.
I believe we're at the verge of the greatest time to be alive in this world.But Washington is holding us back. How we tax, how we regulate. We're not embracing the energy revolution in our midst, a broken immigration system that has been politicized rather than turning it into an economic driver.We're not protecting and preserving our entitlement system or reforming for the next generation. All these things languish while we have politicians in Washington using these as wedge issues.
Most dreams die a slow death. They're conceived in a moment of passion, with the prospect of endless possibility, but often languish and are not pursued with the same heartfelt intensity as when first born. Slowly, subtly, a dream becomes elusive and ephemeral. People who've lost their own dreams become pessimists and cynics. They feel like the time and devotion spent on chasing their dreams were wasted. The emotional scars last forever.
Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night, Brother to Death, in silent darkness born, Relieve my languish and restore the light; With dark forgetting of my care return. And let the day be time enough to mourn The shipwreck of my ill adventured youth: Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn Without the torment of the night's untruth.
Selfishness is the most constant of human motives. Patriotism, humanity, or the love of God may lead to sporadic outbursts sweep away the heaped-up wrongs of centuries; but they languish at times, while the love of self works on ceaselessly, unwearyingly,burrowing always at the very root of life, and heaping up fresh wrongs for other centuries to sweep away.
Charles W. Chesnutt
How can I ever trust you? (Acheron) You can't. But I have lived inside your memories for the last three years. I know the pain you hide. I know the pain I caused. If I stay here, I will go mad from the screams. If I return to the Vanishing Isle, I'll languish there alone and in time I will probably learn to hate you all over again. I don't want to hate you anymore, Acheron. You are a god who can control human fate. Is it not possible that there was a reason why we were joined together? Surely the Fates meant for us to be brothers. (Styxx)
Look at it, ' he said, gesturing. 'This window looks down upon hundreds more panes of glass, and behind those panes live thousands upon thousands of lost souls. When I feel cast down and helpless, scores of other men do as well, and when I am bitterly angry at feeling cast down and helpless, countless other people languish in concert with me. When I'm happy, it's the same. It's a bit like... I used to play chamber music. It's like a vast orchestra. And so I shan't ever be alone.
Fantasy is a natural human activity. It certainly does not destroy or even insult Reason; and it does not either blunt the appetite for, nor obscure the perception of scientific verity. On the contrary. The keener and the clearer is the reason, the better fantasy will it make. If men were ever in a state in which which they did not want to know or could not perceive truth (facts or evidence), then Fantasy would languish until they were cured. If they ever get into that state it would not seem at all impossible/ Fantasy will perish and become Morbid Delusion.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power. Let us roll our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball And tear our pleasures with rough strife Through the iron gates of life: Thus, while we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Thorough the iron gates of life: Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.
I am not posing these questions only to the world at large. I query us who own Christ as our life. Can God be pleased by the vast and increasing inequities among us? Is he not grieved by our arrogant accumulation, while Christian brothers and sisters elsewhere languish and die? Is it not obligatory upon us to see beyond the nose of our own national interest, so that justice may roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream? Is there not an obligation upon us to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God is we want to live in his wonderful peace?
Richard J. Foster
For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his last punishment, let the flames of hell consume him for ever. Curse on book thieves, from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain
And many years later, as an adult student of history, Knecht was to perceive more distinctly that history cannot come into being without the substance and the dynamism of this sinful world of egoism and instinctuality, and that even such sublime creations as the Order were born in this cloudy torrent and sooner or later will be swallowed up by it again... Nor was this ever merely an intellectual problem for him. Rather, it engaged his innermost self more than any other problem, and he felt it as partly his responsibility. His was one of those natures which can sicken, languish, and die when they see an ideal they have believed in, or the country and community they love, afflicted with ills.
When we were alive, they told us that when we died we'd go to heaven. And they said that heaven was a place of joy and glory and we would spend eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the Almighty, in a state of bliss. That's what they said. And that's what led some of us to give our lives, and others to spend years in solitary prayer, while all the joy of life was going to waste around us and we never knew. Because the land of the dead isn't a place of reward or a place of punishment, it is a place of nothing. The good come here as well as the wicked, and all of us languish in this gloom forever, with no hope of freedom, or joy, or sleep, or rest, or peace. But now this child has come offering us a way out and I'm going to follow her. Even if it means oblivion, friends, I'll welcome it, because it won't be nothing. We'll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we'll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we'll be glistening in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was.
Bid me to live, and I will liveThy Protestant to be;Or bid me love, and I will giveA loving heart to thee.A heart as soft, a heart as kind,A heart as sound and freeAs in the whole world thou canst find,That heart I'll give to thee.Bid that heart stay, and it will stayTo honour thy decree;Or bid it languish quite away,And't shall do so for thee.Bid me to weep, and I will weep,While I have eyes to see;And having none, yet I will keepA heart to weep for thee.Bid me despair, and I'll despair,Under that cypress tree;Or bid me die, and I will dareE'en death, to die for thee.--Thou art my life, my love, my heart,The very eyes of me;And hast command of every part,To live and die for thee.
Pregnancy had seemed a reasonable excuse for letting her metal-smithing tools languish, but that accounted for only eighteen months of the last twenty-six years. Motherhood wasn't the real problem, though it took him a long time to figure out what was. She needed resistance, the very quality that metal most demonstrably offered up. Suddenly Glynis had no difficulty to overcome, no hard artisan's life with galleries filching half the too-small price of a mokume brooch that had taken three weeks to forge. No, her husband made a good living, and if she slept late and dawdled the afternoon away reading Lustre, American Craft Magazine and Lapidary Journal, the phone bill would still get paid. For that matter, she needed need itself. She could overcome her anguish about embarking on an object that, once completed, might not meet her exacting standards only if she had no choice. In this sense, his helping had hurt her. By providing the financial cushion that should have facilitated making all the metal whathaveyou she liked, he had ruined her life. Wrapped in a slackening bow, ease was a poisonous present.
What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish? There are some nations in Europe whose inhabitants think of themselves in a sense as colonists, indifferent to the fate of the place they live in. The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called 'the government.' They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved. They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license. When a nation has reached this point, it must either change its laws and mores or perish, for the well of public virtue has run dry: in such a place one no longer finds citizens but only subjects.
Alexis de Tocqueville
To His Coy Mistress Had we but world enough and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day. Thou by the Indian Ganges' side Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the flood, And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow; An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart. For, lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate. But at my back I always hear Time's winge¨d chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Thy beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song; then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity, And your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust; The grave's a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Thorough the iron gates of life: Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run.
What?' He cried, darting at him a look of fury: 'Dare you still implore the Eternal's mercy? Would you feign penitence, and again act an Hypocrite's part? Villain, resign your hopes of pardon. Thus I secure my prey!' As He said this, darting his talons into the Monk's shaven crown, He sprang with him from the rock. The Caves and mountains rang with Ambrosio's shrieks. The Daemon continued to soar aloft, till reaching a dreadful height, He released the sufferer. Headlong fell the Monk through the airy waste; The sharp point of a rock received him; and He rolled from precipice to precipice, till bruised and mangled He rested on the river's banks. Life still existed in his miserable frame: He attempted in vain to raise himself; His broken and dislocated limbs refused to perform their office, nor was He able to quit the spot where He had first fallen. The Sun now rose above the horizon; Its scorching beams darted full upon the head of the expiring Sinner. Myriads of insects were called forth by the warmth; They drank the blood which trickled from Ambrosio's wounds; He had no power to drive them from him, and they fastened upon his sores, darted their stings into his body, covered him with their multitudes, and inflicted on him tortures the most exquisite and insupportable. The Eagles of the rock tore his flesh piecemeal, and dug out his eyeballs with their crooked beaks. A burning thirst tormented him; He heard the river's murmur as it rolled beside him, but strove in vain to drag himself towards the sound. Blind, maimed, helpless, and despairing, venting his rage in blasphemy and curses, execrating his existence, yet dreading the arrival of death destined to yield him up to greater torments, six miserable days did the Villain languish. On the Seventh a violent storm arose: The winds in fury rent up rocks and forests: The sky was now black with clouds, now sheeted with fire: The rain fell in torrents; It swelled the stream; The waves overflowed their banks; They reached the spot where Ambrosio lay, and when they abated carried with them into the river the Corse of the despairing Monk.
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans-saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned-that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason's holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women's breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: 'You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.' Why did he not plainly say: 'I am the Son of God, ' or, 'I am God'? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll