Reassured Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Williams, having awarded Orwell the title of exile, immediately replaces it with the description 'vagrant'. A vagrant will, for example, not be reassured or comforted by Williams's not-very-consoling insistence that '"totalitarian" describes a certain kind of repressive social control, but, also, any real society, any adequate community, is necessarily a totality. To belong to a community is to be a part of a whole, and, necessarily, to accept, while helping to define, its disciplines.' In other words, Williams is inviting Orwell and all of us to step back inside the whale! Remember your roots, observe the customs of the tribe, recognise your responsibilities. The life of the vagrant or exile is unwholesome, even dangerous or deluded. The warmth of the family and the people is there for you; so is the life of the 'movement.' If you must criticize, do so from within and make sure that your criticisms are constructive. This rather peculiar attempt to bring Orwell back into the fold is reinforced by this extraordinary sentence: 'The principle he chose was socialism, and Homage to Catalonia is still a moving book (quite apart from the political controversy it involves) because it is a record of the most deliberate attempt he ever made to become part of a believing community.' I leave it to any reader of those pages to find evidence for such a proposition; it is true that Orwell was very moved by the Catalan struggle and by the friends he made in the course of it. But he wasn't exactly deracinated before he went, and the 'believing community' of which, in the aftermath, he formed a part was a community of revolutionary sympathisers who had felt the shared experience of betrayal at the hands of Stalin. And of Stalin's 'community', at that epoch, Williams formed an organic part. Nor, by the time he wrote Culture and Society, had he entirely separated from it.

Christopher Hitchens
DAMNATION!' No device of the printer's art, not even capital letters, can indicate the intensity of that shriek of rage. Emerson is known to his Egyptian workers by the admiring sobriquet of Father of Curses. The volume as well as the content of his remarks earned him the title; but this shout was extraordinary even by Emerson's standards, so much so that the cat Bastet, who had become more or less accustomed to him, started violently, and fell with a splash into the bathtub. The scene that followed is best not described in detail. My efforts to rescue the thrashing feline were met with hysterical resistance; water surged over the edge of the tub and onto the floor; Emerson rushed to the rescue; Bastet emerged in one mighty leap, like a whale broaching, and fled - cursing, spitting, and streaming water. She and Emerson met in the doorway of the bathroom. The ensuing silence was broken by the quavering voice of the safragi, the servant on duty outside our room, inquiring if we required his assistance. Emerson, seated on the floor in a puddle of soapy water, took a long breath. Two of the buttons popped off his shirt and splashed into the water. In a voice of exquisite calm he reassured the servant, and then transferred his bulging stare to me. I trust you are not injured, Peabody. Those scratches... ' The bleeding has almost stopped, Emerson. It was not Bastet's fault.' It was mine, I suppose, ' Emerson said mildly. Now, my dear, I did not say that. Are you going to get up from the floor?' No, ' said Emerson. He was still holding the newspaper. Slowly and deliberately he separated the soggy pages, searching for the item that had occasioned his outburst. In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)

Elizabeth Peters
Hardly had the light been extinguished, when a peculiar trembling began to affect the netting under which the three children lay. It consisted of a multitude of dull scratches which produced a metallic sound, as if claws and teeth were gnawing at the copper wire. This was accompanied by all sorts of little piercing cries. The little five-year-old boy, on hearing this hubbub overhead, and chilled with terror, jogged his brother's elbow; but the elder brother had already shut his peepers, as Gavroche had ordered. Then the little one, who could no longer control his terror, questioned Gavroche, but in a very low tone, and with bated breath:- "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche, who had just closed his eyes. "What is that?" "It's the rats, " replied Gavroche. And he laid his head down on the mat again. The rats, in fact, who swarmed by thousands in the carcass of the elephant, and who were the living black spots which we have already mentioned, had been held in awe by the flame of the candle, so long as it had been lighted; but as soon as the cavern, which was the same as their city, had returned to darkness, scenting what the good story-teller Perrault calls "fresh meat, " they had hurled themselves in throngs on Gavroche's tent, had climbed to the top of it, and had begun to bite the meshes as though seeking to pierce this new-fangled trap. Still the little one could not sleep. "Sir?" he began again. "Hey?" said Gavroche. "What are rats?" "They are mice." This explanation reassured the child a little. He had seen white mice in the course of his life, and he was not afraid of them. Nevertheless, he lifted up his voice once more. "Sir?" "Hey?" said Gavroche again. "Why don't you have a cat?" "I did have one, " replied Gavroche, "I brought one here, but they ate her." This second explanation undid the work of the first, and the little fellow began to tremble again. The dialogue between him and Gavroche began again for the fourth time:- "Monsieur?" "Hey?" "Who was it that was eaten?" "The cat." "And who ate the cat?" "The rats." "The mice?" "Yes, the rats." The child, in consternation, dismayed at the thought of mice which ate cats, pursued:- "Sir, would those mice eat us?" "Wouldn't they just!" ejaculated Gavroche. The child's terror had reached its climax. But Gavroche added:- "Don't be afraid. They can't get in. And besides, I'm here! Here, catch hold of my hand. Hold your tongue and shut your peepers!

Victor Hugo
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