What is politics, after all, but the compulsion to preside over property and make others people's decisions for them? Liberty, the very opposite of ownership and control, cannot, then, result from political action, either at the polls or at the barricades, but rather evolves out of attitude. If it results from anything, it must be levity.
He drew in an answering breath, and she waited to hear the quip, the joke, the dab of levity for the most intense moment they'd ever shared. But he only dropped his head into the crook of her neck and laid his mouth over her leaping pulse as they found their unhurried rhythm in the dark.
Be neat, Philothea; let nothing be negligent about you. It is a kind of contempt of those with whom we converse, to frequent their company in uncomely apparel; but, at the same time, avoid all affectation, vanity, curiosity, or levity in your dress. Keep yourself always, as much as possible, on the side of plainness and modesty, which, without doubt, is the greatest ornament of beauty, and the best excuse for the want of it.
Saint Francis de Sales
I don't feel like it's pressure. It's more of an obligation - not to entertain or be funny, but to have a certain levity. I mean, there's got to be a lightness in your leg. You have to be as light as you can be, and you don't have to be weighted down, stuck in your emotions and stuck in your body, stuck in your head. You just want to try and elevate something.
But thoughtless ingratitude is the armour of the young; without it, how would they ever get through life? The old wish the young well, but they wish them ill also: they would like to eat them up, and absorb their vitality, and remain immortal themselves. Without the protection of surliness and levity, all children would be crushed by the past - the past of others, loaded on their shoulders. Selfishness is their saving grace.
... the Apostle Paul says that we are sealed in the Spirit (cf. Eph. 1:13); since we have in the Son the image of the Father, and in the Spirit the seal of the Son. Let us, then, sealed by this Trinity, take more diligent heed, lest either levity of character or the deceit of any unfaithfulness unseal the pledge which we have received in our hearts.
Where wildness and disorder are visible in the dance, there Satan, death and all kinds of mischief are likewise upon the floor. For this reason I could wish that the dance of death were painted on the walls of all ball-rooms in order to warn the dancers, not by the levity of their deportment, to provoke the God of righteousness to visit them with a sudden judgment.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Must love be ever treated with profaneness as a mere illusion? or with coarseness as a mere impulse? or with fear as a mere disease? or with shame as a mere weakness? or with levity as a mere accident? whereas it is a great mystery and a great necessity, lying at the foundation of human existence, morality, and happiness,--mysterious, universal, inevitable as death.
Our design, not respecting arts, but philosophy, and our subject, not manual, but natural powers, we consider chiefly those things which relate to gravity, levity, elastic force, the resistance of fluids, and the like forces, whether attractive or impulsive; and therefore we offer this work as mathematical principles of philosophy; for all the difficulty of philosophy seems to consist in this from the phenomena of motions to investigate the forces of nature, and then from these forces to demonstrate the other phenomena...
However modest one may be in one's demand for intellectual cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges of things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but simply things that these little bigots KNEW!
Alice?" She spun toward the door, her skirts whirling softly. "Yes?" she forced out. "Do you know what I am holding in my hand?" "No." "Care to guess?" "A pitchfork?" she asked in a stilted attempt at levity, hoping to invoke his earlier, playful mood. "No, my dear," he answered drily. "A key to your room." "What?"she breathed, aghast. "I should hate to have to use it." "You have a key to this room?" "Mm-hmm." She took a step toward the door, panic rising up in her throat. "You're bluffing!" "Do you wish me to prove it?
Every woman whether rich or poor, married or single, has a circle of influence within which, according to her character, she is exerting a certain amount of power for good or harm. Every woman, by her virtue or her vice, by her folly or her wisdom, by her levity or her dignity, is adding something to our national elevation or degradation. A community is not likely to be overthrown where woman fulfills her mission, for by the power of her noble heart over the hearts of others, she will raise that community from its ruins and restore it again to prosperity and joy.
John Angell James
I was a witness of the execution at Horsemonger-lane this morning... I believe that a sight so inconceivably awful as the wickedness and levity of the immense crowd collected at that execution this morning could be imagined by no man, and could be presented in no heathen land under the sun. The horrors of the gibbet and of the crime which brought the wretched murderers to it, faded in my mind before the atrocious bearing, looks and language, of the assembled spectators... When the two miserable creatures who attracted all this ghastly sight about them were turned quivering into the air, there was no more emotion, no more pity, no more thought that two immortal souls had gone to judgment, no more restraint in any of the previous obscenities, than if the name of Christ had never been heard in this world, and there were no belief among men but that they perished like beasts.
A few people have ventured to imitate Shakespeare's tragedy. But no audacious spirit has dreamed or dared to imitate Shakespeare's comedy. No one has made any real attempt to recover the loves and the laughter of Elizabethan England. The low dark arches, the low strong pillars upon which Shakespeare's temple rests we can all explore and handle. We can all get into his mere tragedy; we can all explore his dungeon and penetrate into his coal-cellar, but we stretch our hands and crane our necks in vain towards that height where the tall turrets of his levity are tossed towards the sky. Perhaps it is right that this should be so; properly understood, comedy is an even grander thing than tragedy.
Spiritual pride tends to speak of other persons' sins with bitterness or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt. But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity. Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies. But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He is apt to esteem others better than himself.
Riding high and above the waves on extemporaneous notions of an afterlife, Michael brought one foot forward and let it dangle over the roof's edge. He knew that he did not have much time before the other would follow. Some patients below could see the figure atop the building from the courtyard. They started to rile with anticipation, their irate murmurings incomprehensible. A groundskeeper looked up to see what justified the commotion. Michael could hear the shouts from below. He almost toppled when the wind picked up again, but recovered and kept one foot dangling with the other anchored to the roof. The hoots came louder now, almost calling him toward them like sirens guiding ships in the night. From below it was impossible to make out the face of the balancing figurine now poised in suspended descent. Another gust came. He closed his eyes, felt the levity manifesting, and felt the complete freedom inside. He could feel himself gliding down like the sail of a weightless craft, forever plunging into the great beyond, below where mermaids sing and summon their lovers home, further down into the depths of some complacent serenity, further down where thoughts float away and never return and the lightness is so grand that there is no other worldly place imaginable, for there is no world left to be considered. There is only the soul, free from the prison of the body, and it is released to travel another millennium through time, carrying with it the progress and industry gathered from the mind previously occupied. The time it spans inconceivable. He let his other foot go from the roof and felt himself completely let go.
Matthew Chase Stroud
She walked slowly towards him, taking in how he looked so eerily still. 'Okay you, ' she said, her voice choked. 'We have to have a talk. I know you're a Dardano, but a wedding reception in the ICU? Not so classy.' She lowered her head, her attempt at levity falling flat under the weight of her heartbreak. She blinked back her tears and cupped his face. 'You listen to me, okay? You are not leaving me. You're not allowed. You're going to fight, understand? Alessandro, I will not bury another husband. Do you hear me? I refuse to grieve for you. That is not even an option because you are my life.' She kissed his forehead, the beeping of the heart monitor and the respirators the only sounds in the room. 'Funny huh? I spent so much time pushing you away and here I am begging you to stay. Not just for me, but for our boys. Will's already lost one father, don't you leave him too. And Gianni... don't you dare leave him nothing but stories about some man in a picture frame.' Bree took his hand, rubbing his ring finger. 'Please, Alessandro. Fight. I won't survive without you. I won't.' She kissed his palm. 'We've fought too hard for you to just give up when we're finally going to be happy. Dammit Alessandro, you owe me! You owe me a life, a happy life together. So don't you dare die on me. Don't you leave me to deal with that son of a bitch father of yours by myself.' She covered her mouth with her free hand to stifle her sobs. She leaned down and kissed his still mouth. 'I love you... I love you so much... ' Her tears fell on his face as she rested her forehead against his.