God prepares great men for great tasks by great trials.
But sometimes you can't figure everything out because you can't ever really understand other people. You can't understand why they do what they do. You just have to accept a little mystery, Ben. People are mysterious, the world is mysterious. You can't know everything. You're not supposed to. This isn't a history book. It's just the world. It's a messy place.
Corrupt influence, which is itself the perennial spring of all prodigality, and of all disorder; which loads us, more than millions of debt; which takes away vigor from our arms, wisdom from our councils, and every shadow of authority and credit from the most venerable parts of our constitution.
Jenny threw back her head and laughed, laughter that rang out through the leaves if the oak tree above them. Jack pulled her to him, to kiss her and whisper her name again. And the oak tree above them whispered back, of love and sacrifice, of a king and a queen, and a future made anew.
There is eloquence in the tonguelesswind, and a melody in the flowing brooks and the rustling of thereeds beside them, which by their inconceivable relation to somethingwithin the soul, awaken the spirits to a dance of breathlessrapture, and bring tears of mysterious tenderness to the eyes, likethe enthusiasm of patriotic success, or the voice of one belovedsinging to you alone.
There is a picture of me in their heads, a picture of someone I don't know yet. She is not the chubby girl with the braces and bad perm. She is not the girl hiding in the bathroom at recess. She is someone new, a blank slate they have named beautiful. That is what I am now: beautiful, with this new body and face and hair and clothes. Beautiful, with this erasing of history.
There is no question that I am the only thing standing between these animals and the business practices of August and Uncle Al, and what my father would do--what my father would want me to do--is look after them, and I am filled with that absolute and unwavering conviction. No matter what I did last night, I cannot leave these animals. I am their shepherd, their protector.