The line between the public life and the private life has been erased, due to the rapid decline of manners and courtesy. There is a certain crudeness and crassness that has suddenly become accepted behavior, even desirable.
As records of courts and justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind. The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges' decisions based on it were sound in logic and in law. Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied... but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.
A man's death makes everything certain about him. Of course, secrets may die with him. And of course, a hundred years later somebody looking through some papers may discover a fact which throws a totally different light on his life and of which all the people who attended his funeral were ignorant. Death changes the facts qualitatively but not quantitatively. One does not know more facts about a man because he is dead. But what one already knows hardens and becomes definite. We cannot hope for ambiguities to be clarified, we cannot hope for further change, we cannot hope for more. We are now the protagonists and we have to make up our minds.
Human contacts have been so highly valued in the past only because reading was not a common accomplishment.... The world, you must remember, is only just becoming literate. As reading becomes more and more habitual and widespread, an ever-increasing number of people will discover that books will give them all the pleasures of social life and none of its intolerable tedium.
One of the heavy marble busts that lined the higher shelves had slid free and was falling toward her; she ducked out of its way, and it hit the floor inches from where she'd been standing, leaving a sizable dent in the floor. A second later Jace's arms were around her and he was lifting her off her feet. She was too surprized to struggle as he carried her over to the broken window and dumped her unceremoniously out of it.
The existence of pleasure is the first mystery. The existence of pain has prompted far more philosophical speculation. Pleasure and pain need to be considered together; they are inseparable. Yet the space filled by each is perhaps different. Pleasure, defined as a sense of gratification, is essential for nature