Thinking it selfish to dwell on her own sufferings, when in the midst of wretches, who had not only lost all that endears life, but their very selves, her imagination was occupied with melancholy earnestness to trace the mazes of misery, through which so many wretches must have passed to this gloomy receptacle of disjointed souls, to the grand source of human corruption.
Inarticulate wretches have been behind most of the major advances in civilization. If Vincent Van Gogh had been able to get on with his neighbours, then he might have become an excellent painter-decorator, and received a big turn out at his funeral, and that would be that. But the genes wouldn't let him.
The poor wretches have convinced themselves that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, by worshipping that crucified sophist and living under his laws...they receive these doctrines by tradition, without any definite evidence. So if any charlatan or trickster comes among them, he quickly acquires wealth by imposing upon these simple people.
It was pretty miserable wretches that minded at all whether they were wet or dry. He could not understand why such people had been born. "It's nothing but damned eccentricity to want to be dry" he would say. "I've been wet more than half my life and never been a whit the worse for it.
Your haughty religious people would have held their heads up to see me as I am tonight, and preached of flames and vengeance, ' cried the girl. 'Oh, dear lady, why ar'n't those who claim to be God's own folks as gentle and as kind to us poor wretches as you, who, having youth, and beauty, and all that they have lost, might be a little proud instead of so much humbler?
Those wretches tainted with the error of Indifferentism and Modernism hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute, but relative: that is, that it must adapt itself to the varying necessities of the times and the varying dispositions of souls, since it is not contained in an unchangeable revelation, but is, by its very nature, meant to accommodate itself to the life of man.
Pope Pius XI
Pride measures prosperity not by her own advantages but by the disadvantages of others. She would not even wish to be a goddess unless there were some wretches left whom she could order about and lord it over, whose misery would make her happiness seem all the more extraordinary, whose poverty can be tormented and exacerbated by a display of her wealth. This infernal serpent, pervading the human heart, keeps men from reforming their lives, holding them back like a suckfish.
But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches given over to all mean and filthy vice, and suspected even of horrid crimes. It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints.
I loved dancing with a delirious 'I wish I could die' passion, especially when the music appealed to me ... but alas! only one in ten partners had any notion of time, and what made it worse, the nine were always behind, never before the beat. ... Sometimes I would firmly seize smaller, lighter partners by the scruff of the neck, so to speak, and whirl them along in the way they should go, but I saw they were not enjoying themselves, and oddly enough I wanted these wretches to like dancing with me.
To get rich, one must have but a single idea, one fixed, hard, immutable thought: the desire to make a heap of gold. And in order to increase this heap of gold, one must be inflexible, a usurer, thief, extortionist, and murderer! And one must especially mistreat the small and the weak! And when this mountain of gold has been amassed, one can climb up on it, and from up on the summit, a smile on one's lips, one can contemplate the valley of poor wretches that one has created.
Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude - and destroy if possible - those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I was there when we opened the gates. Some of these poor wretches running out were so emaciated they actually died from the excitement of being liberated. I saw it happen several times. These people in the camps - they were like walking skeletons. You could see all their bones. The gates opened and the people ran out yelling, "I'm free! I'm free!" And some of them died right there. I was horrified to see what the SS had done to these people. - Roy Gates
Yes, I laugh at all mankind, and the imposition that they dare to practice when they talk of hearts. I laugh at human passions and human cares, vice and virtue, religion and impiety; they are all the result of petty localities, and artificial situation. One physical want, one severe and abrupt lesson from the colorless and shriveled lip of necessity, is worth all the logic of the empty wretches who have presumed to prate it, from Zeno down to Burgersdicius. It silences in a second all the feeble sophistry of conventional life, and ascetical passion.
Charles Robert Maturin
(H)ow many great noblemen rob their petty tradesmen, condescend to swindle their poor retainers out of wretched little sums, and cheat for a few shillings? When we read that a nobleman has left for the Continent, or that another noble nobleman has an execution in his house - that one or other owe six or seven millions, the defeat seems glorious even, and we respect the victim of the vastness of his ruin. But who pities a poor barber who can't get his money for powdering the footman's heads; or a poor carpenter who has ruined himself by fixing up ornaments and pavilions for my lady's dejeuner; or the poor devil of a tailor whom the steward patronizes, and who has pledged all he is worth, and more, to get the liveries ready, which my lord has done him the honor to bespeak? - When the great house tumbles down, these miserable wretches fall under it unnoticed: as they say in old legends, before a man goes to the devil himself, he sends plenty of other souls thither.
William Makepeace Thackeray
Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? ... It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.
Here sighs and cries and shrieks of lamentation echoed throughout the starless air of Hell; at first these sounds resounding made me weep: tongues confused, a language strained in anguish with cadences of anger, shrill outcries and raucous groans that joined with sounds of hands, raising a whirling storm that turns itself forever through that air of endless black, like grains of sand swirling when a whirlwind blows. And I, in the midst of all this circling horror, began, "Teacher, what are these sounds I hear? What souls are these so overwhelmed by grief?" And he to me: "This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise. They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God, who undecided stood but for themselves. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them, for fear the damned might glory over them." And I. "Master, what torments do they suffer that force them to lament so bitterly?" He answered: "I will tell you in few words: these wretches have no hope of truly dying, and this blind life they lead is so abject it makes them envy every other fate. The world will not record their having been there; Heaven's mercy and its justice turn from them. Let's not discuss them; look and pass them by...
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:-'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:-such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll