The creatures with whom we share the planet and whom, in our arrogance, we wrongly patronize for being lesser forms, they are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the Earth.
The creativity and pathology of the human mind are, after all, two sides of the same medal coined in the evolutionary mint. The first is responsible for the splendour of our cathedrals, the second for the gargoyles that decorate them to remind us that the world is full of monsters, devils, and succubi.
As the genuine religious impulse becomes dominant, adoration more and more takes charge. 'I come to seek God because I need Him', may be an adequate formula for prayer. 'I come to adore His splendour, and fling myself and all that I have at His feet', is the only possible formula for worship.
You and I are like the first two people on earth who at the beginning of the world had nothing to cover themselves with - at the end of it, you and I are just as stripped and homeless. And you and I are the last remembrance of all that immeasurable greatness which has been created in all the thousands of years between their time and ours, and it is in memory of all that vanished splendour that we live and love and weep and cling to one another.
Why, sir," said he, looking about him, "what splendour I see: gold lace, breeches, cocked hats. Allow me to recommend a sandwich. And would you be contemplating an attack, at all?" "It had crossed my mind, I must admit," said Jack. "Indeed, I may go so far as to say, that I am afraid a conflict is now virtually inevitable. Did you notice we have cleared for action?
O trees of life, O when are you wintering?We are not unified. We have no instinctslike those of migratory birds. Useless, and late,we force ourselves, suddenly, onto the wind,and fall down to an indifferent lake.We realise flowering and fading together.And somewhere lions still roam. Never knowing,as long as they have their splendour, of any weakness.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The great have private feelings of their own, to which the interests of humanity and justice must curtsy. Their interests are so far from being the same as those of the community, that they are in direct and necessary opposition to them; their power is at the expense of OUR weakness; their riches of OUR poverty; their pride of OUR degradation; their splendour of OUR wretchedness; their tyranny of OUR servitude.
And in any case, to the old man, when the world becomes trite, the triteness arises not so much from a cessation as from a transference of interest. What is taken from this world is given to the next. The glory is in the east in the morning, it is in the west in the afternoon, and when it is dark the splendour is irradiating the realm of the under-world. He would only follow.
Cruelty to dumb animals is one of the distinguishing vices of low and base minds. Wherever it is found, it is a certain mark of ignorance and meanness; a mark which all the external advantages of wealth, splendour, and nobility, cannot obliterate. It is consistent neither with learning nor true civility.
In less than seven years the vestiges of the Gothic invasion were almost obliterated, and the city appeared to resume its former splendour and tranquillity. The venerable matron replaced her crown of laurel, which had been ruffled by the storms of war, and was still amused in the last moment of her decay with the prophecies of revenge, of victory, and of eternal dominion.
Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation. These considerations should make us realize the care which is needed, if the liturgical action is to reflect its innate splendour.
Pope Benedict XVI
It may be that, while we plodding realists go on, for ever preoccupied with our daily chores, abstracting a microscopic pleasure from each microscopic duty, your true romantic has the truer vision, and beholds, afar off, in all its lurid splendour and terrible proportions, the piquant adventure we call life.
Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured; the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule; and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capital of the East.
Without him (Jean-Christophe) I would never have understood the splendour of taking free andindependent action as an individual. Up until this stolen encounter with brains had been incapable of graspingthe notion of one man standing up against the whole world...................To me it was the ultimate book: once youhad read it, neither your own life nor the world you lived in would ever look the same.
Architecture is, to a certain extent, a sensual gratification. It addresses itself to the eye, and affords the best scope for the parade of barbaric pomp and splendour. It is the form in which the revenues of a semi-civilized people are most likely to be lavished. The most gaudy and ostentatious specimens of it, and sometimes the most stupendous, have been reared by such hands. It is one of the first steps in the great march of civilization.
William H. Prescott
I have been so great a lover: filled my days So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise, The pain, the calm, and the astonishment, Desire illimitable, and silent content, And all dear names men use, to cheat despair, For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
The apparent rulers of the English nation are like the most imposing personages of the a splendid procession; it is by them that the mob are influenced; it is they who the inspectors cheer. The real rulers are secreted in second hand carriages; no one cares for them or asks about them, but they are obeyed implicitly and unconsciously by reason of the splendour of those who eclipsed and preceded them.
What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.
Ample figure, dazzling splendour to rest under the bed of soil; blooming dreams and withering numb; pangs of hunger, hitches of joy; dreadful pain, loudest laughter, piteous silence that echoes deep - were they all mere delusion? Yet, I wonder if they were real at least until I close these eyes! O dear! Did your own self deceive you?
The beauteous dragonfly's dancing By the waves of the rivulet glancing; She dances here and she dances there, The glimmering, glittering flutterer fair. Full many a beetle with loud applause Admires her dress of azure gauze, Admires her body's bright splendour, And also her figure so slender...
The dragon is withered, His bones are now crumbled; His armour is shivered, His splendour is humbled! Though sword shall be rusted, And throne and crown perish With strength that men trusted And wealth that they cherish, Here grass is still growing, And leaves are yet swinging, The white water flowing, And elves are yet singing Come! Tra-la-la-lally! Come back to the valley!
J. R. R. Tolkien
Not to discriminate every moment some passionate attitude in those about us, and in the very brilliancy of their gifts some tragic dividing of forces on their ways, is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before evening. With this sense of the splendour of our experience and of its awful brevity, gathering all we are into one desperate effort to see and touch, we shall hardly have time to make theories about the things we see and touch.
And one of the things I find most moving is the way people with infirmities manage to embrace Life, and from the cool flowers by the wayside reach conclusions about the vast splendour of its great gardens. They can, if their souls' strings are finely tuned, arrive with much less effort at the feeling of eternity; for everything we do, they may dream. And precisely where our deeds end, theirs begin to bear fruit.
Rainer Maria Rilke
A transition from an author's book to his conversation is too often like an entrance into a large city, after a distant prospect. Remotely, we see nothing but spires of temples and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded with smoke.
Did I ever tell you,' said Lymond pausing on the afterthought, on his way to the flap, 'that that aunt of mine once hatched an egg?' He paused, deep in thought, and walked slowly to the door before turning again. His lordship of Aubigny, staring after the vanishing form of his brother, received the full splendour of Lymond's smile. 'It was a cuckoo,' said Francis Crawford prosaically, and followed Lennox out.
Kings ought never to be seen upon the stage. In the abstract, they are very disagreeable characters: it is only while living that they are 'the best of kings'. It is their power, their splendour, it is the apprehension of the personal consequences of their favour or their hatred that dazzles the imagination and suspends the judgement of their favourites or their vassals; but death cancels the bond of allegiance and of interest; and seen AS THEY WERE, their power and their pretensions look monstrous and ridiculous.
To be under pressure is inescapable. Pressure takes place through all the world; war, siege, the worries of state. We all know men who grumble under these pressures and complain. They are cowards. They lack splendour. But there is another sort of man who is under the same pressure but does not complain, for it is the friction which polishes him. It is the pressure which refines and makes him noble
Agriculture is the foundation of manufactures; since the productions of nature are the materials of art. Under the Roman empire, the labour of an industrious and ingenious people was variously, but incessantly employed, in the service of the rich. In their dress, their table, their houses, and their furniture, the favourites of fortune united every refinement of conveniency, of elegance, and of splendour, whatever could soothe their pride or gratify their sensuality.
There are many images and realities of what women are, become, can be - strong, vulnerable, dogged, determined, frail, brave, courageous. The faces of women are at once gentle, reflective, firm; steeped with a sense of self, the lives of women growing older are lives of care, toil, splendour and glory... the future is not to be feared.
The tragedy of a species becoming unfit for life by over-evolving one ability is not confined to humankind. Thus it is thought, for instance, that certain deer in paleontological times succumbed as they acquired overly-heavy horns. The mutations must be considered blind, they work, are thrown forth, without any contact of interest with their environment. In depressive states, the mind may be seen in the image of such an antler, in all its fantastic splendour pinning its bearer to the ground.
Peter Wessel Zapffe
Whatever experimental film aromas cloaked my movies were because I'm a gleefully clumsy, primitive filmmaker. I really like traditional pleasingly narrative films, but I also just couldn't resist throwing in the disruptive. It seems to me that art-house film is at its glorious zenith right now, maybe it can even get better? There's just so many good films, you know Cemetery Of Splendour, Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, just so much great work coming out.
In astronomy, the law of gravitation is plainly better worth knowing than the position of a particular planet on a particular night, or even on every night throughout a year. There are in the law a splendour and simplicity and sense of mastery which illuminate a mass of otherwise uninteresting details.... But in history the matter is far otherwise.... Historical facts, many of them, have an intrinsic value, a profound interest on their own account, which makes them worthy of study, quite apart from any possibility of linking them together by means of causal laws.
I have seen the face of Jesus, Tell me not of aught beside, I have heard the voice of Jesus, All my soul is satisfied. All around is earthly splendour Earthly scenes lie fair and bright. But mine eyes no longer see them, For the glory of that light. Light that knows no cloud, no waning, Light wherein I see His face, All His love's uncounted treasures, All the riches of His grace.
J. Oswald Sanders
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise From outward things, whate'er you may believe. There is an inmost centre in us all, Where truth abides in fulness; and around, Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in, This perfect, clear perception-which is truth. A baffling and perverting carnal mesh Binds it, and makes all error: and to know Rather consists in opening out a way Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape, Than in effecting entry for a light Supposed to be without.
It has been said by a distinguished philosopher that England is "usually the last to enter into the general movement of the European mind." The author of the remark probably meant to assert that a man or a system may have become famous on the continent, while we are almost ignorant of the name of the man and the claims of his system. Perhaps, however, a wider range might be given to the assertion. An exploded theory or a disadvantageous practice, like a rebel or a patriot in distress, seeks refuge on our shores to spend its last days in comfort if not in splendour.
It comforted her, in the confused unhappy welter of her emotions, to see the mountains always tranquil, remote, in their lonely splendour; untouchable, serenely inviolate. It was an obscure comfort to her to know that man's hectic world wasn't the only one - that there were others, where agitation and passion and bewilderment had no place. When her love turned into a chaotic fever-dream, in which she was tossing, hallucinated, frightened and miserable, she had longed to escape to the cold, austere, changeless beauty and peace of the snow.
The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendour cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate; those soft intervals of unbended amusement, in which a man shrinks to his natural dimensions, and throws aside the ornaments or disguises which he feels in privacy to be useless incumbrances, and to lose all effect when they become familiar. To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.
Hence the strong attraction which magic and science alike have exercised on the human mind; hence the powerful stimulus that both have given to the pursuit of knowledge. They lure the weary enquirer, the footsore seeker, on through the wilderness of disappointment in the present by their endless promises of the future: they take him up to the top of an exceeding high mountain and show him, beyond the dark clouds and rolling mists at his feet, a vision of the celestial city, far off, it may be, but radiant with unearthly splendour, bathed in the light of dreams.
James G. Frazer
I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story - the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths - which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. ... I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.
J. R. R. Tolkien
The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases. From the love of splendour, from the indulgences of luxury, and from his fondness for amusement he has familiarised himself with a great number of animals, which may not originally have been intended for his associates. The wolf, disarmed of ferocity, is now pillowed in the lady's lap. The cat, the little tiger of our island, whose natural home is the forest, is equally domesticated and caressed. The cow, the hog, the sheep, and the horse, are all, for a variety of purposes, brought under his care and dominion.
Tis a morning pure and sweet, And a dewy splendour falls On the little flower that clings To the turrets and the walls; 'Tis a morning pure and sweet, And the light and shadow fleet; She is walking in the meadow, And the woodland echo rings; In a moment we shall meet; She is singing in the meadow, And the rivulet at her feet Ripples on in light and shadow To the ballad that she sings.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Recall what used to be the theme of poetry in the romantic era. In neat verses the poet lets us share his private, bourgeois emotions: his sufferings great and small, his nostalgias, his religious or political pre-occupations, and, if he were English, his pipe-smoking reveries. On occasions, individual genius allowed a more subtle emanation to envelope the human nucleus of the poem - as we find in Baudelaire for example. But this splendour was a by-product. All the poet wished was to be a human being. When he writes, I believe today's poet simply wishes to be a poet.
Jose Ortega y Gasset
It has been observed in all ages that the advantages of nature or of fortune have contributed very little to the promotion of happiness; and that those whom the splendour of their rank, or the extent of their capacity, have placed upon the summits of human life, have not often given any just occasion to envy in those who look up to them from a lower station; whether it be that apparent superiority incites great designs, and great designs are naturally liable to fatal miscarriages; or that the general lot of mankind is misery, and the misfortunes of those whose eminence drew upon them an universal attention, have been more carefully recorded, because they were more generally observed, and have in reality only been more conspicuous than others, not more frequent, or more severe.
Very great charm of shadow and light is to be found in the faces of those who sit in the doors of dark houses. The eye of the spectator sees that part of the face which is in shadow lost in the darkness of the house, and that part of the face which is lit draws its brilliancy from the splendour of the sky. From this intensification of light and shade the face gains greatly in relief and beauty by showing the subtlest shadows in the light part and the subtlest lights in the dark part.
Leonardo da Vinci
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--- Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--- No---yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever---or else swoon in death.
I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting. Many a man has borne himself proudly on the scaffold; surely the same pride should teach us to think truly about man's place in the world. Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cosy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigour, and the great spaces have a splendour of their own.
Lift Not The Painted Veil Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there, And it but mimic all we would believe With colours idly spread, -behind, lurk Fear And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear. I knew one who had lifted it-he sought, For his lost heart was tender, things to love, But found them not, alas! nor was there aught The world contains, the which he could approve. Through the unheeding many he did move, A splendour among shadows, a bright blot Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
I knew, of course, that I should be well paid for my services, but I would gladly have accepted half the sum I expected if I could have had it that night, for our little treasury was wholly exhausted, and we had not sixpence to purchase a breakfast for the following day. When the great hall door shut upon me, and I found myself on the pavement, with all the luxury and splendour on one side, and I and my desolation on the other, the contrast struck me cruelly, for I too, had been rich, and dwelt in illuminated palaces, and had a train of liveried servants at my command, and sweet music had echoed through my halls. I felt desperate, and drawing my hat over my eyes I began pacing the square, forming wild plans for the relief or escape from my misery. ("The Italian's Story")