Chess players, people who travel all over the world, should be trusted or else not sent anywhere at all. Why are these four people (Antoshion and three other official 'minders') sent along to supervise us? With their meagre experience, all that thay did was interfere, more than ever before. And when they were needed, they weren't to be found ...
I had, in my legal practice, often encountered really shocking examples of the devastating impact of the costs of long-term medical care on meagre incomes. And, just before I was elected, I had my own personal experience in paying very considerable bills for my mother's terminal illness.
We believe that arithmetic as it has been taught in grade schools until quite recently has such a meagre intellectual content that the oft-noted reaction against the subject is not an unfortunate rebellion against a difficult subject, but a perfectly proper response to a preoccupation with triviality.
Criticism is like champagne, nothing more execrable if bad, nothing more excellent if good; if meagre, muddy, vapid and sour, both are fit only to engender colic and wind; but if rich, generous and sparkling, they communicate a genial glow to the spirits, improve the taste, and expand the heart.
Charles Caleb Colton
The great bulk of the legal voters of the South were men who owned no slaves; their homes were generally in the hills and poor country; their facilities for educating their children, even up to the point of reading and writing, were very limited; their interest in the contest was very meagre--what there was, if they had been capable of seeing it, was with the North; they too needed emancipation.
Ulysses S. Grant
What a wretched thing is all fame! A renown of the highest sort endures, say, for two thousand years. And then? Why, then, a fathomless eternity swallows it. Work for eternity; not the meagre rhetorical eternity of the periodical critics, but for the real eternity wherein dwelleth the Divine.
There are two kinds of geniuses. The characteristic of the one is roaring, but the lightning is meagre and rarely strikes; the other kind is characterized by reflection by which it constrains itself or restrains the roaring. But the lightning is all the more intense; with the speed and sureness of lightning it hits the selected particular points - and is fatal.
Time - how it expands to fill the spaces you create; how it makes meagre experiences seem never-ending. Whenever he heard people talk about the ravages of time, about how it robbed and deprived, Justin always smiled; because for him, time was an accomplice, plugging the gaps and fleshing out morsels of memory so he would have something substantial to hang on to. That way, however little he had seen or felt, he would always feel as if he had more: a life far richer than the truth.
Let a man choose what condition he will, and let him accumulate around him all the goods and gratifications seemingly calculated to make him happy in it; if that man is left at any time without occupation or amusement, and reflects on what he is, the meagre, languid felicity of his present lot will not bear him up. He will turn necessarily to gloomy anticipations of the future; and unless his occupation calls him out of himself, he is inevitably wretched.
Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray, to not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that, of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour.
The possibilities of pleasure seemed that morning so enormous and so various that to have only a moth's part in life, and a day moth's at that, appeared a hard fate, and his zest in enjoying his meagre opportunities to the full, pathetic. He flew vigorously to one corner of his compartment, and, after waiting there a second, flew across to the other. What remained for him but to fly to a third corner and then to a fourth? That was all he could do, in spite of the size of the downs, the width of the sky, the far-off smoke of houses, and the romantic voice, now and then, of a steamer out at sea. What he could do he did.
A source of permanent, accessible pleasure, our genitals exist. The god who created our misfortune, who made us short-lived, vain and cruel, has also provided this form of meagre compensation. If we couldn't have sex from time to time, what would life be? A futile struggle against joints that stiffen, caries that form. All of which, moreover, is as uninteresting as humanly possible - the collagen which makes muscles stiffen, the appearance of microbic cavities in the gums.
In physical science a first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.
Picture to yourself the most beautiful girl imaginable! She was so beautiful that there would be no point, in view of my meagre talent for storytelling, in even trying to put her beauty into words. That would far exceed my capabilities, so I'll refrain from mentioning whether she was a blonde or a brunette or a redhead, or whether her hair was long or short or curly or smooth as silk. I shall also refrain from the usual comparisons where her complexion was concerned, for instance milk, velvet, satin, peaches and cream, honey or ivory, Instead, I shall leave it entirely up to your imagination to fill in this blank with your own ideal of feminine beauty.
Before the magisterial mess of Trevor Thomas's house, the orderly houses that most of us live in seem meagre and lifeless - as, in the same way, the narratives called biographies pale and shrink in the face of the disorderly actuality that is a life. The house also stirred my imagination as a metaphor for the problem of writing. Each person who sits down to write faces not a blank page but his own overfilled mind. The problem is to clear out most of what is in it... The goal is to make a space where a few ideas and images and feelings may be so arranged that a reader will want to linger awhile among them, rather than to flee, as I wanted to flee from Thomas's house.
Of the contributions made during the essayist period three call for notice: Weismann deserves mention for his useful work in asking for the proof that "acquired characters" or, to speak more precisely, parental experience can really be transmitted to the offspring. The ocurrence of progressive adaptation by transmission of effects of use had seemed so natural to Darwin and his contemporaries that no proof of the physiological reality of the henomenon was thought necessary. Weismann's challenge revealed the utter inadequacy of the evidence on which the beliefs were based. They are doubtless isolated observations which may be interpreted as favouring the belief in these transmissions, but such meagre indications as exist are by general consent admitted to be too slight to be of much assistance in the attempt to understand how the more complex adaptive mechanisms arose.
What is needed is this, and this alone: solitude, great inner loneliness. Going into oneself and not meeting anyone for hours - that is what one must arrive at. Loneliness of the kind one knew as a child, when the grown-ups went back and forth bound up in things which seemed grave and weighty because they looked so busy, and because one had no idea what they were up to. And when one day you realise that their preoccupations are meagre, their professions barren and no longer connected to life, why not continue to look on them like a child, as if on something alien, drawing on the depths of your own world, on the expanse of your own solitude, which itself is work and achievement and a vocation? Why wish to exchange a child's wise incomprehension for rejection and contempt, when incomprehension is solitude, whereas rejection and contempt are ways of participating in what, by precisely these means, you want to sever yourself from?
Rainer Maria Rilke