When once a man has made celebrity necessary to his happiness, he has put it in the power of the weakest and most timorous malignity, if not to take away his satisfaction, at least to withhold it. His enemies may indulge their pride by airy negligence and gratify their malice by quiet neutrality.
The first step to get this noble and manly steadiness, is... carefully keep children from frights of all kinds, when they are young. ...Instances of such who in a weak timorous mind, have borne, all their whole lives through, the effects of a fright when they were young, are every where to be seen, and therefore as much as may be to be prevented.
When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not fall in meekly behind them. We who protest...are not politicians. We are citizens. Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable, in a shamefully timorous Congress.
Hesitancy is the surest destroyer of talent. One cannot be timorous and reticent, one must be original and loud. New metaphors, new rhythms, new expressions of emotion can only spring from unhindered gall. Nothing should interfere with that intuition-not the fear of appearing stupid, nor of offending somebody, nor jeopardizing publication, nor being trivial. The intuition must be as unhindered as a karate chop.
The finest virtues can become deformed with age. The precise mind becomes finicky; the thrifty man, miserly; the cautious man, timorous; the man of imagination, fanciful. Even perseverance ends up in a sort of stupidity. Just as, on the other hand, being too willing to understand too many opinions, too diverse ways of seeing, constancy is lost and the mind goes astray in a restless fickleness.
In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it; for no species of falsehood is more frequent than flattery, to which the coward is betrayed by fear, the dependent by interest, and the friend by tenderness: those who are neither servile nor timorous are yet desirous to bestow pleasure; and, while unjust demands of praise continue to be made, there will always be some whom hope, fear, or kindness will dispose to pay them.
For this, to be sure, from the child's primer down to the last newspaper, every theater and every movie house, every advertising pillar and every billboard, must be pressed into the service of this one great mission, until the timorous prayer of our present parlor patriots: 'Lord, make us free!' is transformed in the brain of the smallest boy into the burning plea: Almighty God, bless our arms when the time comes; be just as thou hast always been; judge now whether we be deserving of freedom; Lord, bless our battle!
And so I miss the fertilization that might come from a contact. And for me-yes, I think I might as well admit it-fertilization does come a great deal from contacts. Why then do I avoid them-in a sort of false pride-shyness-timorous modesty? I used to be afraid of falling in love with people-or having them think I was-that I was chasing them (how ridiculous-I am actually always running away!) but now surely-I should be mature enough to be over that. I am no longer afraid of falling in love, and the other false modesties should vanish. I cannot bear to think "par delicatesse j'ai perdu ma vie." (Because of discretion I have lost my life).
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Lift your head to me... ' His is the kiss of a timorous lover. Feel his inhuman lips on the throat, the heat of it. The bite, when it comes, is cold. Begin to sink as the blood flows into his mouth; it is almost soothing. No pain. No pain at all. His teeth grind into the muscles; ecstasy and torment. Life, the very being, is flowing out. Unholy nourishment. Holy nourishment. Drained slowly. The trauma of it feels like being torn, but it is no more than suddenly having the ability to experience reality in a different way. Waiting for the end... for what? Cannot foretell. No longer flesh, no longer blood. Soul. Free.
I sometimes have moments of such despair, such despair ... Because in those moments I start to think that I will never be capable of beginning to live a real life; because I have already begun to think that I have lost all sense of proportion, all sense of the real and the actual; because, what is more, I have cursed myself; because my nights of fantasy are followed by hideous moments of sobering! And all the time one hears the human crowd swirling and thundering around one in the whirlwind of life, one hears, one sees how people live-that they live in reality, that for them life is not something forbidden, that their lives are not scattered for the winds like dreams or visions but are forever in the process of renewal, forever young, and that no two moments in them are ever the same; while how dreary and monotonous to the point of being vulgar is timorous fantasy, the slave of shadow, of the idea...
A lover finds his mistress asleep on a mossy bank; he wishes to catch a glimpse of her fair face without waking her. He steals softly over the grass, careful to make no sound; he pauses - fancying she has stirred: he withdraws: not for worlds would he be seen. All is still: he again advances: he bends above her; a light veil rests on her features: he lifts it, bends lower; now his eyes anticipate the vision of beauty - warm, and blooming, and lovely, in rest. How hurried was their first glance! But how they fix! How he starts! How he suddenly and vehemently clasps in both arms the form he dared not, a moment since, touch with his finger! How he calls aloud a name, and drops his burden, and gazes on it wildly! He thus grasps and cries, and gazes, because he no longer fears to waken by any sound he can utter - by any movement he can make. He thought his love slept sweetly: he finds she is stone dead. I looked with timorous joy towards a stately house: I saw a blackened ruin.