The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of the final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.
The essential fact which emerges ... is that the three smallest and most active reservoirs ( of carbon in the global carbon cycle), the atmosphere, the plants and the soil, are all of roughly the same size. This means that large human disturbance of any one of these reservoirs will have large effects on all three. We cannot hope either to understand or to manage the carbon in the atmosphere unless we understand and manage the trees and the soil too.
Sometimes I look at this world and it moves me to tears. The joy and terror and the mad bloody drama of it all. I wonder why they never seem to really see it. Maybe one lifetime just isn't enough. Or maybe it's too much. I can't say. But the truth, to be perfectly plain, is that people are always looking for magic in all the wrong places.
This is an age of intellectual sauces, of essence, of distillation. We have conclusions without deductions, abridgments of history and abridgments of science without leading facts. We have animals for literature, Cabinet Encyclopaedias, Family Libraries, Diffusion Societies, and heaven knows what else! What is all this for? Not to add knowledge to the learned, but to tell points to the ignorant, without giving them the trouble to acquire the links. Oh! it is sad work. And the result will be injurious to all classes.
The explanation of the propensity of the English people to portrait painting is to be found in their relish for a Fact. Let a man do the grandest things, fight the greatest battles, or be distinguished by the most brilliant personal heroism, yet the English people would prefer his portrait to a painting of the great deed. The likeness they can judge of; his existence is a Fact. But the truth of the picture of his deeds they cannot judge of, for they have no imagination.
The longer a man lives in this world the more he must be convinced that all domestic quarrels had better never be obtruded on the public; for, let the husband be right, or let him be wrong, there is always a sympathy existing for women which is certain to give the man the worst of it.