The thief who is in prison is not necessarily more dishonest than his fellows at large, but mostly one who, through ignorance or stupidity [or racism or poverty! - Draffan] steals in a way that is not customary. He snatches a loaf from the baker's counter and is promptly run into gaol. Another man snatches bread from the table of hundreds of widows and orphans and similar credulous souls who do not know the ways of company promoters; and, as likely as not, he is run into Parliament.
George Bernard Shaw
And I said to myself that unless you conceive Death to be a violent guerrilla and kidnaper who snatches those you love, and if you are not cowardly and cannot submit to such terrorism as civilized people now do in every department of life, you must pursue and inquire and explore every possibility and seek everywhere and try everything.
I can't quite define my aversion to asking questions of strangers. From snatches of family battles which I have heard drifting up from railway stations and street corners, I gather that there are a great many men who share my dislike for it, as well as an equal number of women who ... believe it to be the solution to most of this world's problems.
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil.
Edgar Allan Poe
Here is what I'm trying to tell you: Adult isn't a noun, it's a verb. It's the act of making correctly those small decisions that fill our day. It is one that you can practice, and that can be done in concrete steps. And if you slip up and have Diet Coke for breakfast, no one busts in and snatches away your Adult card. Just move forward and have milk tomorrow.
Kelly Williams Brown
I recall this passage as the hour of its first fully coming over me that she was a beautiful liberal creature. I had seen her personality in glimpses and gleams, like a song sung in snatches, but now it was before me in a large rosy glow, as if it had been a full volume of sound. I heard the whole of the air, and it was sweet fresh music, which I was often to hum over.(Sir Edmund Orme)
She did not listen to the voices of the men behind her. She did not know for how long the broken snatches of their struggle kept rolling past her-the sounds that nudged and prodded one another, trying to edge back and leave someone pushed forward - a struggle, not to assert one's own will, but to squeeze an assertion from some unwilling victim - a battle in which the decision was to be pronounced, not by the winner, but by the loser.
Have you not seen how Allah propels the clouds, then brings them together, then piles them into a heap, and you see rain drops emerging from its midst? How He brings down loads of hail from the sky, striking with it whomever He wills, and diverting it from whomever He wills? The flash of its lightening almost snatches the sight away.
You say you are not happy in the Mission. That, in itself, is not a sign that God does not want you there. Perfect contentment is never to be found, in whatever place and condition one may be. This life is full of annoyances and troubles both of mind and of body; it is a state of continual agitation, which snatches peace of mind from those who think they possess it and eludes those who seek it. Did Our Lord lead an easy life?
Vincent de Paul
... * to learn that money makes life smooth in some ways, and to feel how tight and threadbare life is if you have too little. * to despise money, which is a farce, mere paper, and to hate what you have to do for it, and yet to long to have it in order to be free from slaving for it. * to yearn toward art, music, ballet and good books, and get them only in tantalizing snatches.
My soul is a black maelstrom, a great madness spinning about a vacuum, the swirling of a vast ocean around a hole in the void, and in the waters, more like whirlwinds than waters, float images of all I ever saw or heard in the world: houses, faces, books, boxes, snatches of music and fragments of voices, all caught up in a sinister, bottomless whirlpool.
Born originals, how comes it to pass that we die copies? That meddling ape imitation, as soon as we come to years of indiscretion, (so let me speak,) snatches the pen, and blots out nature's mark of separation, cancels her kind intention, destroys all mental individuality. The lettered world no longer consists of singulars: it is a medley, a mass; and a hundred books, at bottom, are but one.
Why did I not die? More miserable than man ever was before, why did I not sink into forgetfulness and rest? Death snatches away many blooming children, the only hopes of their doting parents: how many brides and youthful lovers have been one day in the bloom of health and hope, and the next a prey for worms and the decay of the tomb! Of what materials was I made, that I could thus resist so many shocks, which, like the turning of the wheel, continually renewed the torture? But I was doomed to live;
He is dead and I, the self serving coward that I am, still live. Life is not fair. There is no pattern. People die at random. Something everyone knows, but no one truly believes. They think that when it comes to them there will be a lesson, a meaning, a story worth telling. That death will come to them as a dread scholar, a fell knight, a terrible emperor. Death is a bored clerk, with too many orders to fill. There is no reckoning. No profound moment. It creeps up on us from behind, and snatches us away while we shit.
The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him. That remark in itself wouldn't make any sense if quoted as it stands. The average man ought to be allowed a quotation of no less than three sentences, one to make his statement and two to explain what he meant. Ralph Waldo Emerson was about the only one who could stand having his utterances broken up into sentence quotations, and every once in a while even he doesn't sound so sensible in short snatches.
I never get enough of the adrenaline rush of hearing good music played live and played loud like this. Hearing these songs again snatches me out of the day-to-day and helps me forget all the things I usually waste my time worrying about. As long as the music's playing I don't have to do anything except listen, relax, and enjoy myself.
The sequence of theorist, experimenter, and discovery has occasionally been compared to the sequence of farmer, pig, truffle. The farmer leads the pig to an area where there might be truffles. The pig searches diligently for the truffles. Finally, he locates one, and just as he is about to devour it, the farmer snatches it away.
Leon M. Lederman
They stared at her curiously, and she caught snatches of conversation in two or three languages. It wasn't hard to guess their content, and she smiled a bit primly. Youth, it appeared, was full of illusions as to how much sexual energy two people might have to spare while hiking forty or so kilometers a day, concussed, stunned, diseased, on poor food and little sleep, alternating caring for a wounded man with avoiding becoming dinner for every carnivore within range - and with a coup to plan for the end.
Lois McMaster Bujold
The night comes for the purpose of checking our busy employment, and introducing an interval of repose between the links of our action and our aspiration. It draws its dim curtain around the field of toil. It buries the objects of our handiwork in darkness, and involves them with uncertainty. It comes to the relief of the exhausted body and the tired brain. Our powers, harmonizing with the diurnal revolutions of the earth, fail with the failing light, and a merciful Providence casts around us this mantle of shadow, and snatches us from our occupation.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
The most tragic strain in human existence lies in the fact that the pleasure which we find in the things of this life, however good that pleasure may be in itself, is always taken away from us. The things for which men strive hardly ever turn out to be as satisfying as they expected, and in the rare cases in which they do, sooner or later they are snatched away... For the Christians, all those partial, broken and fleeting perfections which he glimpses in the world around him, which wither in his grasp and he snatches away from him even while the wither, are found again, perfect, complete and lasting in the absolute beauty of God.
I have a terrible weakness for collecting snatches of other people's conversations, and occasionally I'm rewarded with unusual fragments of knowledge. My favorite of the day came from a large but shapely woman sitting nearby whom I learned was the owner of a local lingerie shop. 'Beh oui,' she said to her companion, waving her spoon for emphasis, 'il faut du temps pour la corsetterie.' You can't argue with that. I made a mental note not to rush things next time I was shopping for a corset, and leaned back to allow the waiter through with the next course.
Men have called me mad; but the question is not settled whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence - whether much that is glorious - whether all that is profound - does not spring from disease of thought - from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who only dream by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. They penetrate, however rudderless or compassless, into the vast ocean of the 'light ineffable'.
Edgar Allan Poe
The days I'd passed with my mom before she died were still there, it seemed, seared into the corners of my heart. The atmosphere of the station brought it all back. I could see myself running to the hospital, glad to be seeing my mother again. You never know you're happy until later. Because physical sensations like smells and exhaustion don't figure into our memories, I guess. Only the good bits bob up into view. I was always startled by the snatches of memory that I saw as happy, how they came. This time, it was the feeling I got when I stepped out onto the platform. The sense of what it had been like to be on my way to see my mom, for her still to be alive, if only for the time being, if only for that day. The happiness of that knowledge had come back to life inside me. And the loneliness of that moment. The helplessness.
That's the real excellent scary part, that feeling, and that feeling won't come if the lady from next door is there and your mom won't ride the ride, because what brings on that feeling most is when your mom rides wedged in tight with you and your brother on nights like this, when your mom will scream the excellent scream, the scream that people you see in snatches on the boardwalk stop and stare for, the scream that stops the ride next door, the scream that tells us to our hearts the bolts have finally broken.
It is not certain whether the effects of totalitarianism upon verse need be so deadly as its effects on prose. There is a whole series of converging reasons why it is somewhat easier for a poet than a prose writer to feel at home in an authoritarian society.[... ]what the poet is saying- that is, what his poem "means" if translated into prose- is relatively unimportant, even to himself. The thought contained in a poem is always simple, and is no more the primary purpose of the poem than the anecdote is the primary purpose of the picture. A poem is an arrangement of sounds and associations, as a painting is an arrangement of brushmarks. For short snatches, indeed, as in the refrain of a song, poetry can even dispense with meaning altogether.
I put my hand on the altar rail. 'What if... what if Heaven is real, but only in moments? Like a glass of water on a hot day when you're dying of thirst, or when someone's nice to you for no reason, or... ' Mam's pancakes with Toblerone sauce; Dad dashing up from the bar just to tell me, 'Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite'; or Jacko and Sharon singing 'For She's A Squishy Marshmallow' instead of 'For She's A Jolly Good Fellow' every single birthday and wetting themselves even though it's not at all funny; and Brendan giving his old record player to me instead of one of his mates. 'S'pose Heaven's not like a painting that's just hanging there for ever, but more like... Like the best song anyone ever wrote, but a song you only catch in snatches, while you're alive, from passing cars, or... upstairs windows when you're lost...
I want to give just a slight indication of the influence the book has had. I knew that George Orwell, in his second novel, A Clergyman's Daughter , published in 1935, had borrowed from Joyce for his nighttime scene in Trafalgar Square, where Deafie and Charlie and Snouter and Mr. Tallboys and The Kike and Mrs. Bendigo and the rest of the bums and losers keep up a barrage of song snatches, fractured prayers, curses, and crackpot reminiscences. But only on my most recent reading of Ulysses did I discover, in the middle of the long and intricate mock-Shakespeare scene at the National Library, the line 'Go to! You spent most of it in Georgina Johnson's bed, clergyman's daughter.' So now I think Orwell quarried his title from there, too.
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
How then does light return to the world after the eclipse of the sun? Miraculously. Frailly. In thin stripes. It hangs like a glass cage. It is a hoop to be fractured by a tiny jar. There is a spark there. Next moment a flush of dun. Then a vapour as if earth were breathing in and out, once, twice, for the first time. Then under the dullness someone walks with a green light. Then off twists a white wraith. The woods throb blue and green, and gradually the fields drink in red, gold, brown. Suddenly a river snatches a blue light. The earth absorbs colour like a sponge slowly drinking water. It puts on weight; rounds itself; hangs pendent; settles and swings beneath our feet.
I AM come of a race noted for vigor of fancy and ardor of passion. Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence-whether much that is glorious-whether all that is profound-does not spring from disease of thought-from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. They penetrate, however, rudderless or compassless into the vast ocean of the "light ineffable", and again, like the adventures of the Nubian geographer, "agressi sunt mare tenebrarum, quid in eo esset exploraturi". We will say then, that I am mad.
Edgar Allan Poe
He acts like an animal, has an animal's habits! Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one! There's even something -sub-human -something not quite to the stage of humanity yet! Yes, something - ape-like about him, like one of those pictures I've seen in - anthropological studies! Thousands and thousands of years have passed him right by, and there he is - Stanley Kowalski - survivor of the Stone Age! Bearing the raw meat home from the kill in the jungle! And you - you here - waiting for him! Maybe he'll strike you or maybe grunt and kiss you! That is, if kisses have been discovered yet! Night falls and the other apes gather! There in the front of the cave, all grunting like him, and swilling and gnawing and hulking! His poker night! - you call it - this party of apes! Somebody growls - some creature snatches at something - the fight is on! God! Maybe we are a long way from beng made in God's image, but Stella - my sister - there has been some progress since then! Such things as art - as poetry and music - such kinds of new light have come into the world since then! In some kinds of people some tendered feelings have had some little beginning! That we have got to make grow! And cling to, and hold as our flag! In this dark march towards what-ever it is we're approaching... Don't - don't hang back with the brutes!
More wine for me, pour me some more!" "You smart girl, I knew you're a smart girl, just teasing... ' Faces turn red, the dark earth blood is rising. They wink at Pelka, wink at the host: "He knows his goods!" The women feel the buttons constricting them - they undo one, another, a third. By twos the guests go outside to get some air. "Well, my dear guests, are you soaked to the gills? Eh? And now-to dance! Get lively!" The table and the chairs vanish. The middle of the room is empty. Ivan the Monk jumps out of his hole, a tambourine in his hands: "Tim-ta-a-am! Tim-ta-a-am!" 'Eh-hey!" the redhead suddenly snatches the tambourine and sweeps off, tapping wildly in a circle. Eyes closed: a white sleepless sun-a white night on the meadow-white columns of smoke swaying over fires... "Eh-ah!"-to whirl herself to death, to whirl out everything, to empty herself - nothing has ever been... Heavy boots are thumping on the floor, beards fly in the wind, the frock-coat tails go flying... hey, get going, faster, faster - a hundred versts an hour! ("The North")
It's okay if you can't. No worries. Just an idea, ' I say quickly, looking away so she won't see how disappointed I am. 'No-I mean, I want to, but-' Hana sucks in a breath. I hate this, hate how awkward we both are. 'I kind of have this party'-she corrects herself quickly- 'this thing I'm supposed to go to with Angelica Marston.' My stomach gets that hollowed-out feeling. It's amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart. [... ] A rush of hatred overwhelms me. Hatred for my life, for its narrowness and cramped spaces; hatred for Angelica Marston, with her secretive smile and rich parents; hatred for Hana, for being so stupid and careless and stubborn, first and foremost, and for leaving me behind before I was ready to be left; and underneath all those layers something else, too, some white-hot blade of unhappiness flashing in the very deepest part of me. I can't name it, or even focus on it clearly, but somehow I understand that this-this other thing-makes me the angriest of all. [... ] Despite everything, this gives me pause. In the days after the party at Roaring Brook Farms, snatches of music seemed to follow me everywhere: I heard it winging in and out of the wind, I heard it singing off the ocean and moaning through the walls of the house. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, my heart pounding, with the notes sounding in my ears. But every time I was awake and trying to remember the melodies consciously, hum a few notes or recall any of the chords, I couldn't. Hana's staring at me hopefully, waiting for my response. For a second I actually feel bad for her. I want to make her happy, like I always did, want to see her give a whoop and put her fist in the air and flash me one of her famous smiles. But then I remember she has Angelica Marston now, and something hardens in my throat, and knowing that I'm going to disappoint her gives me a kind of dull satisfaction.
To sit indoors was silly. I postponed the search for Savchenko and Ludmila till the next day and went wandering about Paris. The men wore bowlers, the women huge hats with feathers. On the cafe terraces lovers kissed unconcernedly - I stopped looking away. Students walked along the boulevard St. Michel. They walked in the middle of the street, holding up traffic, but no one dispersed them. At first I thought it was a demonstration - but no, they were simply enjoying themselves. Roasted chestnuts were being sold. Rain began to fall. The grass in the Luxembourg gardens was a tender green. In December! I was very hot in my lined coat. (I had left my boots and fur cap at the hotel.) There were bright posters everywhere. All the time I felt as though I were at the theatre. I have lived in Paris off and on for many years. Various events, snatches of conversation have become confused in my memory. But I remember well my first day there: the city electrified my. The most astonishing thing is that is has remained unchanged; Moscow is unrecognizable, but Paris is still as it was. When I come to Paris now, I feel inexpressibly sad - the city is the same, it is I who have changed. It is painful for me to walk along the familiar streets - they are the streets of my youth. Of course, the fiacres, the omnibuses, the steam-car disappeared long ago; you rarely see a cafe with red velvet or leather settees; only a few pissoirs are left - the rest have gone into hiding underground. But these, after all, are minor details. People still live out in the streets, lovers kiss wherever they please, no one takes any notice of anyone. The old houses haven't changed - what's another half a century to them; at their age it makes no difference. Say what you will, the world has changed, and so the Parisians, too, must be thinking of many things of which they had no inkling in the old days: the atom bomb, mass-production methods, Communism. But with their new thoughts they still remain Parisians, and I am sure that if an eighteen-year-old Soviet lad comes to Paris today he will raise his hands in astonishment, as I did in 1908: "A theatre!
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother's arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer-you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits. But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents-not until that time arrives when a little hand-resembling our own-gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.