One thinks of nothing, ' he continued; 'the hours slip by. Motionless we traverse countries we fancy we see, and your thought, blinding with the fiction, playing with the details, follows the outline of the adventures. It mingles with the characters, and it seems as if it were yourself palpitating beneath their costumes.
The idea that human-transforming technology that mingles the dna of natural and synthetic beings and merges man with machines could somehow be used or even inspired by evil supernaturalism to foment destruction within the material world is for some people so exotic as to be inconceivable. Yet nothing should be more fundamentally clear, as students of
The Bible goes equally to the cottage of the peasant, and the palace of the king. - It is woven into literature, and colors the talk of the street. The bark of the merchant cannot sail without it; and no ship of war goes to the conflict but it is there. It enters men's closets; directs their conduct, and mingles in all the grief and cheerfulness of life.
The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity.
... bringing up daughters for nothing but marriage, mingles poison in the cup of domestic life, is traitorous to the virtue of both sexes, for neither suffers alone--is adverse to the happiness, to the development of conscience and to religion, and introduces to the dwellings of wretchedness and despair. The result of this degradation is pride, intemperance, licentiousness--nay, every vice, misery, and degradation.
Harriot Kezia Hunt
Sphere Music - Some sounds seem to reverberate along the plain, and then settle to earth again like dust; such are Noise, Discord, Jargon. But such only as spring heavenward, and I may catch from steeples and hilltops in their upward course, which are the more refined parts of the former, are the true sphere music - pure, unmixed music - in which no wail mingles.
Henry David Thoreau
Art, and, above all, music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks, to draw [one] towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal.
Any man having one drop of the seed of Cane in him Cannot hold the priesthood ... I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ. I know it is true & they know it. The Negro cannot hold one particle of Government ... if any man mingles his seed with the seed of Cane the only way he Could get rid of it or have salvation would be to Come forward & have his head Cut off & spill his Blood upon the ground. It would also take the life of his Children.
And why does England thus persecute the votaries of her science? Why does she depress them to the level of her hewers of wood and her drawers of water? Is it because science flatters no courtier, mingles in no political strife? ... Can we behold unmoved the science of England, the vital principle of her arts, struggling for existence, the meek and unarmed victim of political strife?
No one is a good historian of the patent, visible, striking, and public life of peoples, if he is not, at the same time, in a certain measure, the historian of their deep and hidden life; and no one is a good historian of the interior unless he understands how, at need, to be the historian of the exterior also... True history being a mixture of all things, the true historian mingles in everything.
He had just reached the time of life at which 'young' is ceasing to be the prefix of 'man' in speaking of one. He was at the brightest period of masculine life, for his intellect and emotions were clearly separate; he had passed the time during which the influence of youth indiscriminately mingles them in the character of impulse, and he had not yet arrived at the state wherin they become united again, in the character of prejudice, by the influence of a wife and family.In short he was twenty-eight and a bachelor.
And why does England thus persecute the votaries of her science? Why does she depress them to the level of her hewers of wood and her drawers of water? Is it because science flatters no courtier, mingles in no political strife?... Can we behold unmoved the science of England, the vital principle of her arts, struggling for existence, the meek and unarmed victim of political strife? [Reviewing Charles Babbage's Book, Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830)]
Your soul is a chosen landscape Where charming masked and costumed figures go Playing the lute and dancing and almost Sad beneath their fantastic disguises. All sing in a minor key Of all-conquering love and careless fortune They do not seem to believe in their happiness And their song mingles with the moonlight. The still moonlight, sad and beautiful, Which gives the birds to dream in the trees And makes the fountain sprays sob in ecstasy, The tall, slender fountain sprays among the marble statues.
There must always be a fringe of the experimental in literature-poems bizarre in form and curious in content, stories that overreach for what has not hitherto been put in story form, criticism that mingles a search for new truth with bravado. We should neither scoff at this trial margin nor take it too seriously. Without it, literature becomes inert and complacent. But the everyday person's reading is not, ought not to be, in the margin. He asks for a less experimental diet, and his choice is sound. If authors and publishers would give him more heed they would do wisely. They are afraid of the swarming populace who clamor for vulgar sensation (and will pay only what it is worth), and they are afraid of petulant literati who insist upon sophisticated sensation (and desire complimentary copies). The stout middle class, as in politics and industry, has far less influence than its good sense and its good taste and its ready purse deserve.
Henry Seidel Canby
Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last.- But perhaps thou art dissatisfied with that which is assigned to thee out of the universe.- Recall to thy recollection this alternative; either there is providence or atoms, fortuitous concurrence of things; or remember the arguments by which it has been proved that the world is a kind of political community, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps corporeal things will still fasten upon thee.- Consider then further that the mind mingles not with the breath, whether moving gently or violently, when it has once drawn itself apart and discovered its own power, and think also of all that thou hast heard and assented to about pain and pleasure, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee.
The moon fled eastward like a frightened dove, while the stars changed their places in the heavens, like a disbanding army. 'Where are we?' asked Gil Gil. 'In France, ' responded the Angel of Death. 'We have now traversed a large portion of the two bellicose nations which waged so sanguinary a war with each other at the beginning of the present century. We have seen the theater of the War of Succession. Conquered and conquerors both lie sleeping at this instant. My apprentice, Sleep, rules over the heroes who did not perish then, in battle, or afterward of sickness or of old age. I do not understand why it is that below on earth all men are not friends? The identity of your misfortunes and your weaknesses, the need you have of each other, the shortness of your life, the spectacle of the grandeur of other worlds, and the comparison between them and your littleness, all this should combine to unite you in brotherhood, like the passengers of a vessel threatened with shipwreck. There, there is neither love, nor hate, nor ambition, no one is debtor or creditor, no one is great or little, no one is handsome or ugly, no one is happy or unfortunate. The same danger surrounds all and my presence makes all equal. Well, then, what is the earth, seen from this height, but a ship which is foundering, a city delivered up to an epidemic or a conflagration?' 'What are those ignes fatui which I can see shining in certain places on the terrestrial globe, ever since the moon veiled her light?' asked the young man. 'They are cemeteries. We are now above Paris. Side by side with every city, every town, every village of the living there is always a city, a town, or a village of the dead, as the shadow is always beside the body. Geography, then, is of two kinds, although mortals only speak of the kind which is agreeable to them. A map of all the cemeteries which there are on the earth would be sufficient indication of the political geography of your world. You would miscalculate, however, in regard to the population; the dead cities are much more densely populated than the living; in the latter there are hardly three generations at one time, while, in the former, hundreds of generations are often crowded together. As for the lights you see shining, they are phosphorescent gleams from dead bodies, or rather they are the expiring gleams of thousands of vanished lives; they are the twilight glow of love, ambition, anger, genius, mercy; they are, in short, the last glow of a dying light, of the individuality which is disappearing, of the being yielding back his elements to mother earth. They are - and now it is that I have found the true word - the foam made by the river when it mingles its waters with those of the ocean.' The Angel of Death paused. ("The Friend of Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcon
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria: 1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...) 2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...) 3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts. 4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...) 5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...) 6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' - the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] - as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...) 7) If they do possess talent, they value it... They take pride in it... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...) 8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts... they require mens sana in corpore sano. And so on. That's what civilized people are like... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings. [From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
Without thinking, I step a little closer, reaching out slowly to slide a fingertip over the largest petal of the lily tattoo on her lower back. Instantly a vibration moves up my arm, and I swear the mark on my hand burns against my skin. I clench my fingers into a fist, but I don't step away. 'Did you feel that?' she asks. I shake my head. 'I don't know.' I feel so much, always so much. She takes my hand and brings it to her side again, resting it on the violets. I look at the purple flowers between my fingers and feel the heat of her skin, the way it slides beneath my palm, soft as silk. And that vibration moves through my arm again. Her breath quickens. I find myself moving closer as her blue eyes go wide with wonder. My heart stutters and my chest aches with some unknown need. 'Are you doing this?' I ask. Is she making me want this? 'No, ' she breathes. The smell of her turns to spice, sharp and warm, and I know I'm sensing her now, even through the block in the house. We stand like that for an eternity, still as statues on the outside, but inside I'm running, running toward a place I've never been. I should be terrified. But all I feel is strength. Rightness. And then Kara moves, her hands skimming up my chest, testing the boundaries. Her palms slide to my shoulders, her fingers tracing the line of the muscles in my arms, down to my waist. She grips my shirt, stretching it a little, waiting for me to tell her to stop. But I watch her lift it, let her pull it up, raising my arms, and I even take the last of it off myself, dropping it to the floor. We breathe, staring at each other. The vibrations move between us. My left arm buzzes with them. I think she's doing it. Whatever's happening, it's her. I reach up and brush my marked knuckles across her cheek, amazed at the feel of her, the way her eyes seem to see everything, the way she pulls me into her. I can't seem to remember why I shouldn't kiss her. And kiss her. And... I kiss her, taking her face in both hands, skimming my thumb over her jaw as she leans into the touch, reaching out to curl her fingers around the back of my neck. I have to remind myself to breathe. I need more of her. The emotions roll over me in a rush, a tangle of sensation and movement, heat and sugar and heady aromas. I grip her tighter. Her nails dig into my shoulders. My hands slide down her spine. The kiss deepens, goes on forever, until I can barely see sense. I explore her shape, the feel of her ribs, the textures and taste of her skin on my tongue as I kiss her neck, her shoulders, her chest. As I draw trembling gasps from her lips, she grips me so hard it hurts. Our bodies mesh. Our breath mingles in frenzied desperation. Nothing else exists except her. Her warmth. Her spice. Her.
Rachel A. Marks