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Sherlock Holmes The Field Bazaar by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"I Should certainly do it," said Sherlock Holmes. I started at the interruption, for my companion had been eating his breakfast with his attention entirely centered upon the paper which was propped up by the coffee pot. Now I looked across at him to find his eyes fastened upon me with the half-amused, half-questioning expression which he usually assumed when he felt he had made an intellectual point. "Do what?" I asked. He smiled as he took his slipper from the mantelpiece and drew from it enough shag tobacco to fill the old clay pipe with which he invariably rounded off his breakfast. "A most characteristic question of yours, Watson," said he. "You will not, I am sure, be offended if I say that any reputation for sharpness which I may possess has been entirely gained by the admirable foil which you have made for me. Have I not heard of debutantes who have insisted upon plainness in their chaperones? There is a certain analogy." Our long companionship in the Baker Street rooms had left us on those easy terms of intimacy when much may be said without offence. And yet I acknowledged that I was nettled at his remark. "I may be very obtuse," said I, "but I confess that I am unable to see how you have managed to know that I was... I was..." "Asked to help in the Edinburgh University Bazaar..." "Precisely. The letter has only just come to hand, and I have not spoken to you since." "In spite of that," said Holmes, leaning back in his chair and putting his finger tips together, "I would even venture to suggest that the object of the bazaar is to enlarge the University cricket field." I looked at him in such bewilderment that he vibrated with silent laughter. "The fact is, my dear Watson, that you are an excellent subject," said he. "You are never blase. You respond instantly to any external stimulus. Your mental processes may be slow but they are never obscure, and I found during breakfast that you were easier reading than the leader in the Times in front of me." "I should be glad to know how your arrived at your conclusions," said I. "I fear that my good nature in giving explanations has seriously compromised my reputation," said Holmes. "But in this case the train of reasoning is based upon such obvious facts that no credit can be claimed for it. You entered the room with a thoughtful expression, the expression of a man who is debating some point in his mind. In your hand you held a solitary letter. Now last night you retired in the best of spirits, so it was clear that it was this letter in your hand which had caused the change in you." "This is obvious." "It is all obvious when it is explained to you. I naturally asked myself what the letter could contain which might have this affect upon you. As you walked you held the flap side of the envelope towards me, and I saw upon it the same shield-shaped device which I have observed upon your old college cricket cap. It was clear, then, that the request came from Edinburgh University - or from some club connected with the University. When you reached the table you laid down the letter beside your plate with the address uppermost, and you walked over to look at the framed photograph upon the left of the mantelpiece." It amazed me to see the accuracy with which he had observed my movements. "What next?" I asked. "I began by glancing at the address, and I could tell, even at the distance of six feet, that it was an unofficial communication. This I gathered from the use of the word 'Doctor' upon the address, to which, as a Bachelor of Medicine, you have no legal claim. I knew that University officials are pedantic in their correct use of titles, and I was thus enabled to say with certainty that your letter was unofficial. When on your return to the table you turned over your letter and allowed me to perceive that the enclosure was a printed one, the idea of a bazaar first occurred to me. I had already weighed the possibility of its being a political communication, but this seemed improbable in the present stagnant conditions of politics. "When you returned to the table your face still retained its expression and it was evident that your examination of the photograph had not changed the current of your thoughts. In that case it must itself bear upon the subject in question. I turned my attention to the photograph, therefore, and saw at once that it consisted of yourself as a member of the Edinburgh University Eleven, with the pavillion and cricket field in the background. My small experience of cricket clubs has taught me that next to churches and cavalry ensigns they are the most debt-laden things upon earth. When upon your return to the table I saw you take out your pencil and draw lines upon the envelope, I was convinced that your were endeavoring to realise some projected improvement which was to be brought about by a bazaar. Your face still showed some indecision, so that I was able to break in upon you with my advice that you should assist in so good an object." I could not help smiling at the extreme simplicity of his explanation. "Of course, it was as easy as possible," said I. My remark appeared to nettle him. "I may add," said he, "that the particular help which you have been asked to give was that you should write in their album, and that you have already made up your mind that the present incident will be the subject of your article." "But how - - !" I cried. "It is as easy as possible," said he, "and I leave its solution to your own ingenuity. In the meantime," he added, rasing his paper, "you will excuse me if I return to this very interesting article upon the trees of Cremona, and the exact reasons for the pre-eminence in the manufacture of violins. It is one of those small outlying problems to which I am sometimes tempted to direct my attention."
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were-- Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.
They lived with their Mother in asand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.
"Now, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor."
"Now run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out." Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker's. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries;
But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate!
First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes;
And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!
Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, "Stop thief."
Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate.
He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.
After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.
Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.
Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him.
And rushed into the toolshed, and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.
Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the toolshed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower- pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.
Presently Peter sneezed-- "Kertyschoo!" Mr. McGregor was after him in no time,
And tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.
Peter sat down to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can.
After a time he began to wander about, going lippity--lippity--not very fast, and looking all around.
He found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath.
An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry.
Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white cat was staring at some goldfish; she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her; he has heard about cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.
He went back towards the toolshed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe--scr- r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow, and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!
Peter got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow, and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes.
Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.
Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the blackbirds.
Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.
He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole, and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!
I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.
His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!
"One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time."
But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.
The Goose with the Golden Eggs by Aesop
A certain man had the good fortune to possess a goose that laid him a Golden Egg every day. But dissatisfied with so slow an income, and thinking to seize the whole treasure at once, he killed the Goose; and cutting her open, found her just what any other goose would be!
Desiree's Baby by Kate Chopin
As the day was pleasant, Madame Valmonde drove over to L'Abri to see Desiree and the baby. It made her laugh to think of Desiree with a baby. Why, it seemed but yesterday that Desiree was little more than a baby herself; when Monsieur in riding through the gateway of Valmonde had found her lying asleep in the shadow of the big stone pillar.
The little one awoke in his arms and began to cry for "Dada." That was as much as she could do or say. Some people thought she might have strayed there of her own accord, for she was of the toddling age. The prevailing belief was that she had been purposely left by a party of Texans, whose canvas-covered wagon, late in the day, had crossed the ferry that Coton Mais kept, just below the plantation. In time Madame Valmonde abandoned every speculation but the one that Desiree had been sent to her by a beneficent Providence to be the child of her affection, seeing that she was without child of the flesh. For the girl grew to be beautiful and gentle, affectionate and sincere - the idol of Valmonde.
It was no wonder, when she stood one day against the stone pillar in whose shadow she had lain asleep, eighteen years before, that Armand Aubigny riding by and seeing her there, had fallen in love with her. That was the way all the Aubignys fell in love, as if struck by a pistol shot. The wonder was that he had not loved her before; for he had known her since his father brought him home from Paris, a boy of eight, after his mother died there. The passion that awoke in him that day, when he saw her at the gate, swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles.
Monsieur Valmonde grew practical and wanted things well considered: that is, the girl's obscure origin. Armand looked into her eyes and did not care. He was reminded that she was nameless. What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana? He ordered the corbeille from Paris, and contained himself with what patience he could until it arrived; then they were married.
Madame Valmonde had not seen Desiree and the baby for four weeks. When she reached L'Abri she shuddered at the first sight of it, as she always did. It was a sad looking place, which for many years had not known the gentle presence of a mistress, old Monsieur Aubigny having married and buried his wife in France, and she having loved her own land too well ever to leave it. The roof came down steep and black like a cowl, reaching out beyond the wide galleries that encircled the yellow stuccoed house. Big, solemn oaks grew close to it, and their thick-leaved, far-reaching branches shadowed it like a pall. Young Aubigny's rule was a strict one, too, and under it his negroes had forgotten how to be gay, as they had been during the old master's easy-going and indulgent lifetime.
The young mother was recovering slowly, and lay full length, in her soft white muslins and laces, upon a couch. The baby was beside her, upon her arm, where he had fallen asleep, at her breast. The yellow nurse woman sat beside a window fanning herself.
Madame Valmonde bent her portly figure over Desiree and kissed her, holding her an instant tenderly in her arms. Then she turned to the child.
"This is not the baby!" she exclaimed, in startled tones. French was the language spoken at Valmonde in those days.
"I knew you would be astonished," laughed Desiree, "at the way he has grown. The little cochon de lait! Look at his legs, mamma, and his hands and fingernails - real finger-nails. Zandrine had to cut them this morning. Isn't it true, Zandrine?"
The woman bowed her turbaned head majestically, "Mais si, Madame."
"And the way he cries," went on Desiree, "is deafening. Armand heard him the other day as far away as La Blanche's cabin."
Madame Valmonde had never removed her eyes from the child. She lifted it and walked with it over to the window that was lightest. She scanned the baby narrowly, then looked as searchingly at Zandrine, whose face was turned to gaze across the fields.
"Yes, the child has grown, has changed," said Madame Valmonde, slowly, as she replaced it beside its mother. "What does Armand say?"
Desiree's face became suffused with a glow that was happiness itself.
"Oh, Armand is the proudest father in the parish, I believe, chiefly because it is a boy, to bear his name; though he says not - that he would have loved a girl as well. But I know it isn't true. I know he says that to please me. And mamma," she added, drawing Madame Valmonde's head down to her, and speaking in a whisper, "he hasn't punished one of them - not one of them - since baby is born. Even Negrillon, who pretended to have burnt his leg that he might rest from work - he only laughed, and said Negrillon was a great scamp. Oh, mamma, I'm so happy; it frightens me."
What Desiree said was true. Marriage, and later the birth of his son had softened Armand Aubigny's imperious and exacting nature greatly. This was what made the gentle Desiree so happy, for she loved him desperately. When he frowned she trembled, but loved him. When he smiled, she asked no greater blessing of God. But Armand's dark, handsome face had not often been disfigured by frowns since the day he fell in love with her.
When the baby was about three months old, Desiree awoke one day to the conviction that there was something in the air menacing her peace. It was at first too subtle to grasp. It had only been a disquieting suggestion; an air of mystery among the blacks; unexpected visits from far-off neighbors who could hardly account for their coming. Then a strange, an awful change in her husband's manner, which she dared not ask him to explain. When he spoke to her, it was with averted eyes, from which the old love-light seemed to have gone out. He absented himself from home; and when there, avoided her presence and that of her child, without excuse. And the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with the slaves. Desiree was miserable enough to die.
She sat in her room, one hot afternoon, in her peignoir, listlessly drawing through her fingers the strands of her long, silky brown hair that hung about her shoulders. The baby, half naked, lay asleep upon her own great mahogany bed, that was like a sumptuous throne, with its satin-lined half-canopy. One of La Blanche's little quadroon boys - half naked too - stood fanning the child slowly with a fan of peacock feathers. Desiree's eyes had been fixed absently and sadly upon the baby, while she was striving to penetrate the threatening mist that she felt closing about her. She looked from her child to the boy who stood beside him, and back again; over and over. "Ah!" It was a cry that she could not help; which she was not conscious of having uttered. The blood turned like ice in her veins, and a clammy moisture gathered upon her face.
She tried to speak to the little quadroon boy; but no sound would come, at first. When he heard his name uttered, he looked up, and his mistress was pointing to the door. He laid aside the great, soft fan, and obediently stole away, over the polished floor, on his bare tiptoes.
She stayed motionless, with gaze riveted upon her child, and her face the picture of fright.
Presently her husband entered the room, and without noticing her, went to a table and began to search among some papers which covered it.
"Armand," she called to him, in a voice which must have stabbed him, if he was human. But he did not notice. "Armand," she said again. Then she rose and tottered towards him. "Armand," she panted once more, clutching his arm, "look at our child. What does it mean? Tell me."
He coldly but gently loosened her fingers from about his arm and thrust the hand away from him. "Tell me what it means!" she cried despairingly.
"It means," he answered lightly, "that the child is not white; it means that you are not white."
A quick conception of all that this accusation meant for her nerved her with unwonted courage to deny it. "It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair," seizing his wrist. "Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand," she laughed hysterically.
"As white as La Blanche's," he returned cruelly; and went away leaving her alone with their child.
When she could hold a pen in her hand, she sent a despairing letter to Madame Valmonde.
"My mother, they tell me I am not white. Armand has told me I am not white. For God's sake tell them it is not true. You must know it is not true. I shall die. I must die. I cannot be so unhappy, and live."
The answer that came was brief:
"My own Desiree: Come home to Valmonde; back to your mother who loves you. Come with your child."
When the letter reached Desiree she went with it to her husband's study, and laid it open upon the desk before which he sat. She was like a stone image: silent, white, motionless after she placed it there.
In silence heran his cold eyes over the written words.
He said nothing. "Shall I go, Armand?" she asked in tones sharp with agonized suspense.
"Do you want me to go?"
"Yes, I want you to go."
He thought Almighty God had dealt cruelly and unjustly with him; and felt, somehow, that he was paying Him back in kind when he stabbed thus into his wife's soul. Moreover he no longer loved her, because of the unconscious injury she had brought upon his home and his name.
She turned away like one stunned by a blow, and walked slowly towards the door, hoping he would call her back.
"Good-by, Armand," she moaned.
He did not answer her. That was his last blow at fate.
Desiree went in search of her child. Zandrine was pacing the sombre gallery with it. She took the little one from the nurse's arms with no word of explanation, and descending the steps, walked away, under the live-oak branches.
It was an October afternoon; the sun was just sinking. Out in the still fields the negroes were picking cotton.
Desiree had not changed the thin white garment nor the slippers which she wore. Her hair was uncovered and the sun's rays brought a golden gleam from its brown meshes. She did not take the broad, beaten road which led to the far-off plantation of Valmonde. She walked across a deserted field, where the stubble bruised her tender feet, so delicately shod, and tore her thin gown to shreds.
She disappeared among the reeds and willows that grew thick along the banks of the deep, sluggish bayou; and she did not come back again.
Some weeks later there was a curious scene enacted at L'Abri. In the centre of the smoothly swept back yard was a great bonfire. Armand Aubigny sat in the wide hallway that commanded a view of the spectacle; and it was he who dealt out to a half dozen negroes the material which kept this fire ablaze.
A graceful cradle of willow, with all its dainty furbishings, was laid upon the pyre, which had already been fed with the richness of a priceless layette. Then there were silk gowns, and velvet and satin ones added to these; laces, too, and embroideries; bonnets and gloves; for the corbeille had been of rare quality.
The last thing to go was a tiny bundle of letters; innocent little scribblings that Desiree had sent to him during the days of their espousal. There was the remnant of one back in the drawer from which he took them. But it was not Desiree's; it was part of an old letter from his mother to his father. He read it. She was thanking God for the blessing of her husband's love:--
"But above all," she wrote, "night and day, I thank the good God for having so arranged our lives that our dear Armand will never know that his mother, who adores him, belongs to the race that is cursed with the brand of slavery."
The Man and His Two Wives
In days when a man was allowed more wives than one, a middle-aged bachelor, who could be called neither young nor old, and whose hair was only just beginning to turn grey, must needs fall in love with two women at once and marry them both. The one was young and blooming and wished her husband to appear as youthful as herself. The other was somewhat more advanced in age and was as anxious that her husband should appear a suitable match for her.
So, while the young one seized every opportunity of pulling out the good man's grey hairs, the old one was as industrious in plucking out every black hair she could find. For a time the man was highly gratified by their attention and devotion, till he found one morning that, between the one and the other, he had not a hair left.
He that submits his principles to the influence and caprices of opposite parties will end in having no principles at all.
The Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy
It once occurred to a certain king that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.
And this thought having occurred to him, he had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to anyone who would teach him what was the right time for every action, and who were the most necessary people, and how he might know what was the most important thing to do.
And learned men came to the king, but they all answered his questions differently.
In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance a table of days, months, and years, and must live strictly according to it. Only thus, said they, could everything be done at its proper time. Others declared that it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action, but that, not letting oneself be absorbed in idle pastimes, one should always attend to all that was going on, and then do what was most needful. Others, again, said that however attentive the king might be to what was going on, it was impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action, but that he should have a council of wise men who would help him to fix the proper time for everything.
But then again others said there were some things which could not wait to be laid before a council, but about which one had at once to decide whether to undertake them or not. But in order to decide that, one must know beforehand what was going to happen. It is only magicians who know that; and, therefore, in order to know the right time for every action, one must consult magicians.
Equally various were the answers to the second question. Some said the people the king most needed were his councilors; others, the priests; others, the doctors; while some said the warriors were the most necessary.
To the third question, as to what was the most important occupation, some replied that the most important thing in the world was science. Others said it was skill in warfare; and others, again, that it was religious worship.
All the answers being different, the king agreed with none of them, and gave the reward to none. But still wishing to find the right answers to his questions, he decided to consult a hermit, widely renowned for his wisdom.
The hermit lived in a wood which he never quitted, and he received none but common folk. So the king put on simple clothes and, before reaching the hermit’s cell, dismounted from his horse. Leaving his bodyguard behind, he went on alone.
When the king approached, the hermit was digging the ground in front of his hut. Seeing the king, he greeted him and went on digging. The hermit was frail and weak, and each time he stuck his spade into the ground and turned a little earth, he breathed heavily.
The king went up to him and said: “I have come to you, wise hermit, to ask you to answer three questions: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important and need my first attention?”
The hermit listened to the king, but answered nothing. He just spat on his hand and recommenced digging.
“You are tired,” said the king, “let me take the spade and work awhile for you.”
“Thanks!” said the hermit, and, giving the spade to the king, he sat down on the ground.
When he had dug two beds, the king stopped and repeated his questions. The hermit again gave no answer, but rose, stretched out his hand for the spade, and said:
“Now rest awhile – and let me work a bit.”
But the king did not give him the spade, and continued to dig. One hour passed, and another. The sun began to sink behind the trees, and the king at last stuck the spade into the ground, and said:
“I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me none, tell me so, and I will return home.”
“Here comes someone running,” said the hermit. “Let us see who it is.”
The king turned round and saw a bearded man come running out of the wood. The man held his hands pressed against his stomach, and blood was flowing from under them. When he reached the king, he fell fainting on the ground, moaning feebly. The king and the hermit unfastened the man’s clothing. There was a large wound in his stomach. The king washed it as best he could, and bandaged it with his handkerchief and with a towel the hermit had. But the blood would not stop flowing, and the king again and again removed the bandage soaked with warm blood, and washed and re-bandaged the wound. When at last the blood ceased flowing, the man revived and asked for something to drink. The king brought fresh water and gave it to him. Meanwhile the sun had set, and it had become cool. So the king, with the hermit’s help, carried the wounded man into the hut and laid him on the bed. Lying on the bed, the man closed his eyes and was quiet; but the king was so tired from his walk and from the work he had done that he crouched down on the threshold, and also fell asleep – so soundly that he slept all through the short summer night.
When he awoke in the morning, it was long before he could remember where he was, or who was the strange bearded man lying on the bed and gazing intently at him with shining eyes.
“Forgive me!” said the bearded man in a weak voice, when he saw that the king was awake and was looking at him.
“I do not know you, and have nothing to forgive you for,” said the king.
“You do not know me, but I know you. I am that enemy of yours who swore to revenge himself on you, because you executed his brother and seized his property. I knew you had gone alone to see the hermit, and I resolved to kill you on your way back. But the day passed and you did not return. So I came out from my ambush to find you, and came upon your bodyguard, and they recognized me, and wounded me. I escaped from them, but should have bled to death had you not dressed my wound. I wished to kill you, and you have saved my life. Now, if I live, and if you wish it, I will serve you as your most faithful slave, and will bid my sons do the same. Forgive me!”
The king was very glad to have made peace with his enemy so easily, and to have gained him for a friend, and he not only forgave him, but said he would send his servants and his own physician to attend him, and promised to restore his property.
Having taken leave of the wounded man, the king went out into the porch and looked around for the hermit. Before going away he wished once more to beg an answer to the questions he had put. The hermit was outside, on his knees, sowing seeds in the beds that had been dug the day before.
The king approached him and said, “For the last time, I pray you to answer my questions, wise man.”
“You have already been answered!” said the hermit, still crouching on his thin legs, and looking up at the king, who stood before him.
“How answered? What do you mean?” asked the king.
“Do you not see?” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday, and had not dug these beds for me, but had gone your way, that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented of not having stayed with me. So the most important time was when you were digging the beds; and I was the most important man; and to do me good was your most important business. Afterwards, when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him, for if you had not bound up his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business. Remember then: there is only one time that is important – now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary person is the one with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else: and the most important affair is to do that person good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life.”
The Mark on the Wall
by Virginia Woolf
Perhaps it was the middle of January in the present that I first looked up and saw the mark on the wall. In order to fix a date it is necessary to remember what one saw. So now I think of the fire; the steady film of yellow light upon the page of my book; the three chrysanthemums in the round glass bowl on the mantelpiece. Yes, it must have been the winter time, and we had just finished our tea, for I remember that I was smoking a cigarette when I looked up and saw the mark on the wall for the first time. I looked up through the smoke of my cigarette and my eye lodged for a moment upon the burning coals, and that old fancy of the crimson flag flapping from the castle tower came into my mind, and I thought of the cavalcade of red knights riding up the side of the black rock. Rather to my relief the sight of the mark interrupted the fancy, for it is an old fancy, an automatic fancy, made as a child perhaps. The mark was a small round mark, black upon the white wall, about six or seven inches above the mantelpiece. How readily our thoughts swarm upon a new object, lifting it a little way, as ants carry a blade of straw so feverishly, and then leave it.... If that mark was made by a nail, it can’t have been for a picture, it must have been for a miniature—the miniature of a lady with white powdered curls, powder-dusted cheeks, and lips like red carnations. A fraud of course, for the people who had this house before us would have chosen pictures in that way—an old picture for an old room. That is the sort of people they were—very interesting people, and I think of them so often, in such queer places, because one will never see them again, never know what happened next. They wanted to leave this house because they wanted to change their style of furniture, so he said, and he was in process of saying that in his opinion art should have ideas behind it when we were torn asunder, as one is torn from the old lady about to pour out tea and the young man about to hit the tennis ball in the back garden of the suburban villa as one rushes past in the train. But as for that mark, I’m not sure about it; I don’t believe it was made by a nail after all; it’s too big, too round, for that. I might get up, but if I got up and looked at it, ten to one I shouldn’t be able to say for certain; because once a thing’s done, no one ever knows how it happened. Oh! dear me, the mystery of life; The inaccuracy of thought! The ignorance of humanity! To show how very little control of our possessions we have—what an accidental affair this living is after all our civilization—let me just count over a few of the things lost in one lifetime, beginning, for that seems always the most mysterious of losses—what cat would gnaw, what rat would nibble—three pale blue canisters of book-binding tools? Then there were the bird cages, the iron hoops, the steel skates, the Queen Anne coal-scuttle, the bagatelle board, the hand organ—all gone, and jewels, too. Opals and emeralds, they lie about the roots of turnips. What a scraping paring affair it is to be sure! The wonder is that I’ve any clothes on my back, that I sit surrounded by solid furniture at this moment. Why, if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour—landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one’s hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heels in the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in the post office! With one’s hair flying back like the tail of a race-horse. Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard.... But after life. The slow pulling down of thick green stalks so that the cup of the flower, as it turns over, deluges one with purple and red light. Why, after all, should one not be born there as one is born here, helpless, speechless, unable to focus one’s eyesight, groping at the roots of the grass, at the toes of the Giants? As for saying which are trees, and which are men and women, or whether there are such things, that one won’t be in a condition to do for fifty years or so. There will be nothing but spaces of light and dark, intersected by thick stalks, and rather higher up perhaps, rose-shaped blots of an indistinct colour—dim pinks and blues—which will, as time goes on, become more definite, become—I don’t know what.... And yet that mark on the wall is not a hole at all. It may even be caused by some round black substance, such as a small rose leaf, left over from the summer, and I, not being a very vigilant housekeeper—look at the dust on the mantelpiece, for example, the dust which, so they say, buried Troy three times over, only fragments of pots utterly refusing annihilation, as one can believe. The tree outside the window taps very gently on the pane.... I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes.... Shakespeare.... Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so— A shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind. He leant his forehead on his hand, and people, looking in through the open door,—for this scene is supposed to take place on a summer’s evening—But how dull this is, this historical fiction! It doesn’t interest me at all. I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises. They are not thoughts directly praising oneself; that is the beauty of them; they are thoughts like this: “And then I came into the room. They were discussing botany. I said how I’d seen a flower growing on a dust heap on the site of an old house in Kingsway. The seed, I said, must have been sown in the reign of Charles the First. What flowers grew in the reign of Charles the First?” I asked—(but, I don’t remember the answer). Tall flowers with purple tassels to them perhaps. And so it goes on. All the time I’m dressing up the figure of myself in my own mind, lovingly, stealthily, not openly adoring it, for if I did that, I should catch myself out, and stretch my hand at once for a book in self-protection. Indeed, it is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed in any longer. Or is it not so very curious after all? It is a matter of great importance. Suppose the looking glass smashes, the image disappears, and the romantic figure with the green of forest depths all about it is there no longer, but only that shell of a person which is seen by other people—what an airless, shallow, bald, prominent world it becomes! A world not to be lived in. As we face each other in omnibuses and underground railways we are looking into the mirror that accounts for the vagueness, the gleam of glassiness, in our eyes. And the novelists in future will realize more and more the importance of these reflections, for of course there is not one reflection but an almost infinite number; those are the depths they will explore, those the phantoms they will pursue, leaving the description of reality more and more out of their stories, taking a knowledge of it for granted, as the Greeks did and Shakespeare perhaps—but these generalizations are very worthless. The military sound of the word is enough. It recalls leading articles, cabinet ministers—a whole class of things indeed which as a child one thought the thing itself, the standard thing, the real thing, from which one could not depart save at the risk of nameless damnation. Generalizations bring back somehow Sunday in London, Sunday afternoon walks, Sunday luncheons, and also ways of speaking of the dead, clothes, and habits—like the habit of sitting all together in one room until a certain hour, although nobody liked it. There was a rule for everything. The rule for tablecloths at that particular period was that they should be made of tapestry with little yellow compartments marked upon them, such as you may see in photographs of the carpets in the corridors of the royal palaces. Tablecloths of a different kind were not real tablecloths. How shocking, and yet how wonderful it was to discover that these real things, Sunday luncheons, Sunday walks, country houses, and tablecloths were not entirely real, were indeed half phantoms, and the damnation which visited the disbeliever in them was only a sense of illegitimate freedom. What now takes the place of those things I wonder, those real standard things? Men perhaps, should you be a woman; the masculine point of view which governs our lives, which sets the standard, which establishes Whitaker’s Table of Precedency, which has become, I suppose, since the war half a phantom to many men and women, which soon—one may hope, will be laughed into the dustbin where the phantoms go, the mahogany sideboards and the Landseer prints, Gods and Devils, Hell and so forth, leaving us all with an intoxicating sense of illegitimate freedom—if freedom exists.... In certain lights that mark on the wall seems actually to project from the wall. Nor is it entirely circular. I cannot be sure, but it seems to cast a perceptible shadow, suggesting that if I ran my finger down that strip of the wall it would, at a certain point, mount and descend a small tumulus, a smooth tumulus like those barrows on the South Downs which are, they say, either tombs or camps. Of the two I should prefer them to be tombs, desiring melancholy like most English people, and finding it natural at the end of a walk to think of the bones stretched beneath the turf.... There must be some book about it. Some antiquary must have dug up those bones and given them a name.... What sort of a man is an antiquary, I wonder? Retired Colonels for the most part, I daresay, leading parties of aged labourers to the top here, examining clods of earth and stone, and getting into correspondence with the neighbouring clergy, which, being opened at breakfast time, gives them a feeling of importance, and the comparison of arrow-heads necessitates cross-country journeys to the county towns, an agreeable necessity both to them and to their elderly wives, who wish to make plum jam or to clean out the study, and have every reason for keeping that great question of the camp or the tomb in perpetual suspension, while the Colonel himself feels agreeably philosophic in accumulating evidence on both sides of the question. It is true that he does finally incline to believe in the camp; and, being opposed, indites a pamphlet which he is about to read at the quarterly meeting of the local society when a stroke lays him low, and his last conscious thoughts are not of wife or child, but of the camp and that arrowhead there, which is now in the case at the local museum, together with the foot of a Chinese murderess, a handful of Elizabethan nails, a great many Tudor clay pipes, a piece of Roman pottery, and the wine-glass that Nelson drank out of—proving I really don’t know what. No, no, nothing is proved, nothing is known. And if I were to get up at this very moment and ascertain that the mark on the wall is really—what shall we say?—-the head of a gigantic old nail, driven in two hundred years ago, which has now, owing to the patient attrition of many generations of housemaids, revealed its head above the coat of paint, and is taking its first view of modern life in the sight of a white-walled fire-lit room, what should I gain?— Knowledge? Matter for further speculation? I can think sitting still as well as standing up. And what is knowledge? What are our learned men save the descendants of witches and hermits who crouched in caves and in woods brewing herbs, interrogating shrew-mice and writing down the language of the stars? And the less we honour them as our superstitions dwindle and our respect for beauty and health of mind increases.... Yes, one could imagine a very pleasant world. A quiet, spacious world, with the flowers so red and blue in the open fields. A world without professors or specialists or house-keepers with the profiles of policemen, a world which one could slice with one’s thought as a fish slices the water with his fin, grazing the stems of the water-lilies, hanging suspended over nests of white sea eggs.... How peaceful it is drown here, rooted in the centre of the world and gazing up through the grey waters, with their sudden gleams of light, and their reflections—if it were not for Whitaker’s Almanack—if it were not for the Table of Precedency! I must jump up and see for myself what that mark on the wall really is—a nail, a rose-leaf, a crack in the wood? Here is nature once more at her old game of self-preservation. This train of thought, she perceives, is threatening mere waste of energy, even some collision with reality, for who will ever be able to lift a finger against Whitaker’s Table of Precedency? The Archbishop of Canterbury is followed by the Lord High Chancellor; the Lord High Chancellor is followed by the Archbishop of York. Everybody follows somebody, such is the philosophy of Whitaker; and the great thing is to know who follows whom. Whitaker knows, and let that, so Nature counsels, comfort you, instead of enraging you; and if you can’t be comforted, if you must shatter this hour of peace, think of the mark on the wall. I understand Nature’s game—her prompting to take action as a way of ending any thought that threatens to excite or to pain. Hence, I suppose, comes our slight contempt for men of action—men, we assume, who don’t think. Still, there’s no harm in putting a full stop to one’s disagreeable thoughts by looking at a mark on the wall. Indeed, now that I have fixed my eyes upon it, I feel that I have grasped a plank in the sea; I feel a satisfying sense of reality which at once turns the two Archbishops and the Lord High Chancellor to the shadows of shades. Here is something definite, something real. Thus, waking from a midnight dream of horror, one hastily turns on the light and lies quiescent, worshipping the chest of drawers, worshipping solidity, worshipping reality, worshipping the impersonal world which is a proof of some existence other than ours. That is what one wants to be sure of.... Wood is a pleasant thing to think about. It comes from a tree; and trees grow, and we don’t know how they grow. For years and years they grow, without paying any attention to us, in meadows, in forests, and by the side of rivers—all things one likes to think about. The cows swish their tails beneath them on hot afternoons; they paint rivers so green that when a moorhen dives one expects to see its feathers all green when it comes up again. I like to think of the fish balanced against the stream like flags blown out; and of water-beetles slowly raiding domes of mud upon the bed of the river. I like to think of the tree itself:—first the close dry sensation of being wood; then the grinding of the storm; then the slow, delicious ooze of sap. I like to think of it, too, on winter’s nights standing in the empty field with all leaves close-furled, nothing tender exposed to the iron bullets of the moon, a naked mast upon an earth that goes tumbling, tumbling, all night long. The song of birds must sound very loud and strange in June; and how cold the feet of insects must feel upon it, as they make laborious progresses up the creases of the bark, or sun themselves upon the thin green awning of the leaves, and look straight in front of them with diamond-cut red eyes.... One by one the fibres snap beneath the immense cold pressure of the earth, then the last storm comes and, falling, the highest branches drive deep into the ground again. Even so, life isn’t done with; there are a million patient, watchful lives still for a tree, all over the world, in bedrooms, in ships, on the pavement, lining rooms, where men and women sit after tea, smoking cigarettes. It is full of peaceful thoughts, happy thoughts, this tree. I should like to take each one separately—but something is getting in the way.... Where was I? What has it all been about? A tree? A river? The Downs? Whitaker’s Almanack? The fields of asphodel? I can’t remember a thing. Everything’s moving, falling, slipping, vanishing.... There is a vast upheaval of matter. Someone is standing over me and saying— “I’m going out to buy a newspaper.” “Yes?” “Though it’s no good buying newspapers.... Nothing ever happens. Curse this war; God damn this war!... All the same, I don’t see why we should have a snail on our wall.” Ah, the mark on the wall! It was a snail.
The Goose with the Golden Eggs by Aesop
A certain man had the good fortune to possess a goose that laid him a Golden Egg every day. But dissatisfied with so slow an income, and thinking to seize the whole treasure at once, he killed the Goose; and cutting her open, found her just what any other goose would
The Man & the Satyr by Aesop
A long time ago a Man met a Satyr in the forest and succeeded in making friends with him. The two soon became the best of comrades, living together in the Man's hut. But one cold winter evening, as they were walking homeward, the Satyr saw the Man blow on his fingers.
"Why do you do that?" asked the Satyr.
"To warm my hands," the Man replied.
When they reached home the Man prepared two bowls of porridge. These he placed steaming hot on the table, and the comrades sat down very cheerfully to enjoy the meal. But much to the Satyr's surprise, the Man began to blow into his bowl of porridge.
"Why do you do that?" he asked.
"To cool my porridge," replied the Man.
The Satyr sprang hurriedly to his feet and made for the door.
"Goodby," he said, "I've seenenough. A fellow that blows hot and cold in the same breath cannot be friends with me!"
by O. Henry
The most notable thing about Time is that it is so purely relative. A large amount of reminiscence is, by common consent, conceded to the drowning man; and it is not past belief that one may review an entire courtship while removing one's gloves.
That is what Trysdale was doing, standing by a table in his bachelor apartments. On the table stood a singular-looking green plant in a red earthen jar. The plant was one of the species of cacti, and was provided with long, tentacular leaves that perpetually swayed with the slightest breeze with a peculiar beckoning motion.
Trysdale's friend, the brother of the bride, stood at a sideboard complaining at being allowed to drink alone. Both men were in evening dress. White favors like stars upon their coats shone through the gloom of the apartment.
As he slowly unbuttoned his gloves, there passed through Trysdale's mind a swift, scarifying retrospect of the last few hours. It seemed that in his nostrils was still the scent of the flowers that had been banked in odorous masses about the church, and in his ears the lowpitched hum of a thousand well-bred voices, the rustle of crisp garments, and, most insistently recurring, the drawling words of the minister irrevocably binding her to another.
From this last hopeless point of view he still strove, as if it had become a habit of his mind, to reach some conjecture as to why and how he had lost her. Shaken rudely by the uncompromising fact, he had suddenly found himself confronted by a thing he had never before faced --his own innermost, unmitigated, arid unbedecked self. He saw all the garbs of pretence and egoism that he had worn now turn to rags of folly. He shuddered at the thought that to others, before now, the garments of his soul must have appeared sorry and threadbare. Vanity and conceit? These were the joints in his armor. And how free from either she had always been--But why--
As she had slowly moved up the aisle toward the altar he had felt an unworthy, sullen exultation that had served to support him. He had told himself that her paleness was from thoughts of another than the man to whom she was about to give herself. But even that poor consolation had been wrenched from him. For, when he saw that swift, limpid, upward look that she gave the man when he took her hand, he knew himself to be forgotten. Once that same look had been raised to him, and he had gauged its meaning. Indeed, his conceit had crumbled; its last prop was gone. Why had it ended thus? There had been no quarrel between them, nothing--
For the thousandth time he remarshalled in his mind the events of those last few days before the tide had so suddenly turned.
She had always insisted upon placing him upon a pedestal, and he had accepted her homage with royal grandeur. It had been a very sweet incense that she had burned before him; so modest (he told himself); so childlike and worshipful, and (he would once have sworn) so sincere. She had invested him with an almost supernatural number of high attributes and excellencies and talents, and he had absorbed the oblation as a desert drinks the rain that can coax from it no promise of blossom or fruit.
As Trysdale grimly wrenched apart the seam of his last glove, the crowning instance of his fatuous and tardily mourned egoism came vividly back to him. The scene was the night when he had asked her to come up on his pedestal with him and share his greatness. He could not, now, for the pain of it, allow his mind to dwell upon the memory of her convincing beauty that night--the careless wave of her hair, the tenderness and virginal charm of her looks and words. But they had been enough, and they had brought him to speak. During their conversation she had said:
"And Captain Carruthers tells me that you speak the Spanish language like a native. Why have you hidden this accomplishment from me? Is there anything you do not know?"
Now, Carruthers was an idiot. No doubt he (Trysdale) had been guilty (he sometimes did such things) of airing at the club some old, canting Castilian proverb dug from the hotchpotch at the back of dictionaries. Carruthers, who was one of his incontinent admirers, was the very man to have magnified this exhibition of doubtful erudition.
But, alas! the incense of her admiration had been so sweet and flattering. He allowed the imputation to pass without denial. Without protest, he allowed her to twine about his brow this spurious bay of Spanish scholarship. He let it grace his conquering head, and, among its soft convolutions, he did not feel the prick of the thorn that was to pierce him later.
How glad, how shy, how tremulous she was! How she fluttered like a snared bird when he laid his mightiness at her feet! He could have sworn, and he could swear now, that unmistakable consent was in her eyes, but, coyly, she would give him no direct answer. "I will send you my answer to-morrow," she said; and he, the indulgent, confident victor, smilingly granted the delay. The next day he waited, impatient, in his rooms for the word. At noon her groom came to the door and left the strange cactus in the red earthen jar. There was no note, no message, merely a tag upon the plant bearing a barbarous foreign or botanical name. He waited until night, but her answer did not come. His large pride and hurt vanity kept him from seeking her. Two evenings later they met at a dinner. Their greetings were conventional, but she looked at him, breathless, wondering, eager. He was courteous, adamant, waiting her explanation. With womanly swiftness she took her cue from his manner, and turned to snow and ice. Thus, and wider from this on, they had drifted apart. Where was his fault? Who had been to blame? Humbled now, he sought the answer amid the ruins of his self-conceit. If--
The voice of the other man in the room, querulously intruding upon his thoughts, aroused him.
"I say, Trysdale, what the deuce is the matter with you? You look unhappy as if you yourself had been married instead of having acted merely as an accomplice. Look at me, another accessory, come two thousand miles on a garlicky, cockroachy banana steamer all the way from South America to connive at the sacrifice--please to observe how lightly my guilt rests upon my shoulders. Only little sister I had, too, and now she's gone. Come now! take something to ease your conscience."
"I don't drink just now, thanks," said Trysdale.
"Your brandy," resumed the other, coming over and joining him, "is abominable. Run down to see me some time at Punta Redonda, and try some of our stuff that old Garcia smuggles in. It's worth the, trip. Hallo! here's an old acquaintance. Wherever did you rake up this cactus, Trysdale?"
"A present," said Trysdale, "from a friend. Know the species?"
"Very well. It's a tropical concern. See hundreds of 'em around Punta every day. Here's the name on this tag tied to it. Know any Spanish, Trysdale?"
"No," said Trysdale, with the bitter wraith of a smile--"Is it Spanish?"
"Yes. The natives imagine the leaves are reaching out and beckoning to you. They call it by this name--Ventomarme. Name means in English, 'Come and take me.'"
On the Tram by Franz Kafka
I stand on the end platform of the tram and am completely unsure of my footing in this world, in this town, in my family. Not even casually could I indicate any claims that I might rightly advance in any direction. I have not even any defense to offer for standing on this platform, holding on to this strap, letting myself be carried along by this tram, nor for the people who give way to the tram or walk quietly along or stand gazing into shop windows. Nobody asks me to put up a defense, indeed, but that is irrelevant.
The tram approaches a stopping place and a girl takes up her position near the step, ready to alight. She is as distinct to me as if I had run my hands over her. She is dressed in black, the pleats of her skirt hang almost still, her blouse is tight and has a collar of white fine-meshed lace, her left hand is braced flat against the side of the tram, the umbrella in her right hand rests on the second top step. Her face is brown, her nose, slightly pinched at the sides, has a broad round tip. She has a lot of brown hair and stray little tendrils on the right temple. Her small ear is close-set, but since I am near her I can see the whole ridge of the whorl of her right ear and the shadow at the root of it.
At that point I asked myself: How is it that she is not amazed at herself, that she keeps her lips closed and makes no such remark?
The Wolf and the Crane by Aesop
The wolf ravished his prey one day. He ate so fiercely and hungrily that a bone got lodged in his throat, causing him grievous pain. He howled and howled in agony and offered a rich reward to anyone who could remove the bone. A crane passing by considered the money, and after seeing the wolf and hearing him scream in such pain, took pity upon him. She used her long thin bill to reach down his throat and remove the bone. And after removing the bone, she asked the wolf for the promised reward.
"Reward!" cried the wolf, "You greedy, insolent bird! Why do you deserve a reward? You're lucky that I didn't bite your head off when you stuck it in my mouth!"
The Tell-Tale Heart
by Edgar Allan Poe
True! --nervous --very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses --not destroyed --not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily --how calmly I can tell you the whole story.
It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.
Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution --with what foresight --with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it --oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly --very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this, And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously-oh, so cautiously --cautiously (for the hinges creaked) --I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights --every night just at midnight --but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.
Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers --of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back --but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily. I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out --"Who's there?" I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; --just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.
Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh, no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself --"It is nothing but the wind in the chimney --it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel --although he neither saw nor heard --to feel the presence of my head within the room.
When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye. It was open --wide, wide open --and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness --all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot. And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? --now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! --do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me --the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once --once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.
If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs. I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye --not even his --could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out --no stain of any kind --no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all --ha! ha! When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o'clock --still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, --for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises. I smiled, --for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search --search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.
The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears. No doubt I now grew very pale; --but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound --much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath --and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"
The Old Hound Fable by Aesop
A Hound, who in the days of his youth and strength had never yielded to any beast of the forest, encountered in his old age a boar in the chase.
He seized him boldly by the ear, but could not retain his hold because of the decay of his teeth, so that the boar escaped.
His master, quickly coming up, was very much disappointed, and fiercely abused the dog.
The Hound looked up and said: "It was not my fault, master; my spirit was as good as ever, but I could not help mine infirmities. I rather deserve to be praised for what I have been, than to be blamed for what I am."
The most honest musical instrument is the upright piano.
Since Finland closed its borders, nobody has been able to cross the "finish" line.
The best way to watch a fishing turnament is in "live stream".
The cook was embarassed when he saw the salad dressing.
Adults who like puns are considered "groan-ups".
Coming in contact with poison ivy and a four leaf clover will bring you a rash of good luck.
Make a hamburger smile by pickling it gently.
The laziest mountain in the world is Mount "Ever-rest".
The most useful device in the math teacher's tool kit is the "multi-pliars".
As a wedding gift, two snakes were given towels that read, "Hiss" and "Hers".
If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does that mean that the 5th person enjoys it?
April showers bring May flowers. Mayflowers bring Pilgrims.
The capital of France is Paris. The capital in France is the letter, "F".
Crossing poison ivy with a four-leaf clover will get you a rash of good luck.
The sign in the veterinarian's office read, "Back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!
A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
When lambs go on vacation they go to the Baaahamas.
If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.
Holy water is made by boiling the hell out of tap water.
Snap, Crackle and Pop are afraid of cereal killers.
A prisoner is one of the few who can finish a book without finishing a sentence.
When construction workers party they raise the roof.
A model of Mt. Everest is not built to scale ... it's built to look at.
A towel gets wetter as it dries.
The opposite of a croissant is a happy uncle.
A prisoner can finish a book without finishing a sentence.
If you have a calendar, your days are numbered.
Definition of having your grandmother on speed dial - "instagram".
The deer said to the sheep, "I'm faun of ewe".
The number "8" is the same whent it is upside down, everything when it is on its side and nothing when it is cut in half.
The center of gravity is "v".
The letter B is the coolest letter in the alphabet because it's surrounded by AC.
The difference between a jewlwr and a jailer is: A jewler sells watches while a jailer watches cells.
Boomerangs are Australia's biggest export and import products.
Billboards comincate by sign language.
Europe is like a frying pan because it has Greece at the bottom.
When the janitor jumped out of the closet he yelled, "Supplies".
Instead of "the John," I call my bathroom "the Jim." That way it sounds better when I say I go to the Jim first thing every morning.
Don't try to understand the construction of the roof. It's over your head.
There's a new restaurant on the moon. Great food but no atmosphere.
The past, present and future walked into a bar. it was tense.
If you can't find an attorney who knows the law, find one who knows the judge.
The inventor of knock-knock jokes was nominated for the "no bell prize".
The ocean didn't say anything to the beach. It just waved.
The guy whose whole left side was cut off is all right now.
Will the new invention of glass coffins become popular? (remains to be seen)
Every birthday ends with the letter "y".
"I stand corrected", said the man in orthopedic shoes.
Cows never have much money because the farmers milk them dry.
If con is the opposite of pro, then is Congress the oppsite of progress?
The teddy bear declined dessert because he was too stuffed to eat more.
When I told my doctor I broke my leg in two places he advised me to stop going to those places.
You can jump higher than the Empire State Building because the Empire State Building can't jump.
When a frog's car breaks down it gets toad away.
Our child was so surprised when he was born that he didn't speak for a year and a half.
Fish always sing off key because you can't tuna fish.
The mushroom goes to parties because he's a fungi.
When you cross a cat with a lemon you get a sour puss.
Athletes get athlete's foot. Elves get mistletoe.
Short but effective last will and testament, "Being of sound mind, I spent it all."
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like bananas.
The definition of a perfectionist is someone who wants to go from point A to point A+.
The price that a pirate pays for corn is a buccaneer.
The golfer brought an extra pair of pants to his match in case he got a hole in one.
It's worse than raining cats and dogs in the city. It's hailing taxis.
A sponge has holes all over yet still is able to hold water.
Calculus majors don't go to bars because they don't drink and derive.
A cat has nine lives but a frog croaks every night and lives to tell about it the next day.
You can buy a bird when it's going cheep.
When the pirate died, he proclaimed, “Aye Matey”.
A pampered cow gives spoiled milk.
To keep a bagel from escaping, put lox on it.
A shark's two favorite words are "man overboard".
Carrots are good for your eyesight because they contain Vitamin "See".
Don't use the words "beef stew" as a computer password. It's not stroganoff.
People find books about antigravity hard to put down.
I heard the new restaurant on the moon was ok but it had no atmosphere.
You should never date a tennis player because love means nothing to them.
Old bankers never die, they just lose interest.
The definition of retirement from a wife's perspective is twice as much husband with half the income.
We're not sure about what the best thing about Switzerland is but its flag is a big plus.
A sleeping dinosaur can be called a dino-snore.
There are three types of people in this world; those who can count and those who can't.
When the king burps, he issues a royal pardon.
The role of a computer programmer is to solve a problem you didn't know you had in a way you can't understand.
Teddybears always decline dessert, claiming they are already stuffed.
Doesn't nine months feel like a maternity sometines?
Nice things are manufactured in the "satis-factory".
Two witches who live together are called "broommates".
Parallel lines have much in common but they'll never meet.
When the pirate turned 80 years-old he said, "Aye Matey".
Did you hear about the monkeys who shared an Amazon account? They were Prime mates.
A new teacher tries to make use of her psychology courses. The first day of class, she starts by saying, "Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!" After a few seconds, Little Johnny stands up. The teacher asks, "Do you think you're stupid, Johnny?" "No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself."
You cant trust atoms because they make up everything. A grasshopper walks into a bar and the bartender tells him they have a drink named after him. The grasshopper replies, "you mean you have a drink named Bill?"
Knock knock. Who's there? Nobel. Nobel who? You have no door bell. That's why I knocked.
A witch's favorite subject in school is spelling.
When you look for something it"s always in the last place you look because after you find it you stop looking.
Vampires start their letters, "Tomb it may concern ..."
I'm so dumb it takes me an hour to cook minute rice.
The calendar manufacuring worker was fired for taking a day off.
The problem with having a party in space is that you have to planet.
The fastest-growing, national capital is in Ireland. It's Dublin every year.
Q: Which state has the most writers? A: "Pencilvania"
Q: What do you do if your dog chews the dictionary? A: Take the words out of his mouth.
I made my password "incorrect" because if I type it in wrong, my computer will remind me, "Your password is incorrect."
The cart comes before the horse only in the dictionary.
Success is age 4 not peeing in your pants age 12 having friends age 16 having a driver's license age 20 having sex age 35 having money
age 50 having money age 60 having sex age 70 having friends age 80 not peeing in your pants
Q. What dog keeps the best time? A. A watch dog.
Two antennas got married. The ceremony was boring but the reception was great.
Q. What exercises do lazy people do?
Q. Why did the cookie go to the doctor?
A. Because it was feeling crummy.
Q: What did the DNA say to the other DNA?
A: Do these genes make me look fat?
If you're American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom? (European)
"Why does your child say, 'Cluck, cluck, cluck?'"
"Because she thinks he's a chicken."
"Why don't you tell her she's not a chicken?"
"We need the eggs."
What is small, white, round and served in gatherings of 2 or 4 people? (a ping pong ball)
What is the difference between jam and jelly? (there's no such thing as a traffice jelly)
What does every human do at the same time? (grow hold)
What time of the day when written in capital letters is the same forward, backward and upside down? (NOON)
What has 13 hearts and no other organs? (a deck of cards)
What coat goes on best when it is wet? (a coat of paint)
What did the zero say to the eight? (nice belt)
What has one horn and gives milk? (a milk truck)
What instrument is used in computers and pianos but not in tablets? (keyboard)
What time do competitors at the Wimbledon wake up? (ten-ish)
How many times does the digit "3" occur between 300 and 400? (120) Where do turkeys dance? (at the Butter Ball) John has four daughters. Each of his daughters has a brother. How many children does John have? (five) What is half of 2 plus 2? (1 plus 2 = 3) What did they say to the water that was boling away? (you will be mist) What is a lady ghost's favorite make-up? (mas SCARE a) What is orange and sounds like a parrot? (a carrot) Why did the worker get fired from the calendar factory? (he took a day off) What goes up but not down? (your age) What has teeth but cannot bite? (a comb) What has a neck but no head, two arms and no hands? (a shirt) What appears twice in November, once in June and never in May? (the letter "e") What are ducks' favorite snacks? (quackers) A man in a car saw a golden door, a silver door and a copper door. Which one did he open first? (the car door) What invention allows you to look through a wall? (a window) What grows up while growing down? (a goose or a duck) If you a hand away, some will remain. What am I? (handsome) A rooster sits on top of a north-facing, A-frame barn. Which side will the eggs roll down? (roosters don't lay eggs)
What is it that nobody wants but nobody wants to lose? (a lawsuit)
What starts and ends with the letter "e" but in it is only one letter? (envelope)
What cannot be shared until it is taken? (a photo)
How many times can you subtract 5 from 25? (once)
What word is pronounced the same if you take away four of its five letters? (queue)
What building has the most stories? (the library)
A one story house is made entirely of redwood. What color is the staircase? (no staircase in a one stoty home)
Where does Christmas come before Thanksgiving? (in the dictionary)
Whats is heavy when forward but not when it's backward? (ton)
What's the coolest letter in the alphabet? (the letter "B" because its surrounded by AC).
Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? (Mt. Everest)
What does a house wear? (address)
Why did the can crusher quit his job? (because it was soda pressing)
Where do you learn to make a banana split? (sundae school)
What has been taken before you can have it? (your photo)
How many sides does a circle have? (two - the inside and the outside)
Why are koalas not considered actual bears? (they lack the koalifications)
How does a squid make war? (well armed)
What did the paper see to the pen? (write on)
Where do you find a horse with no legs? (right where you left it)
What do you call a baby kangaroo? (a pouch potato)
What does a pilot do if he gets annoyed? (he takes off)
How do you get a squirrel to like you? (you act like a nut)
How do you spell COW in thirteen letters? (see o double you)
What never asks questions but is often answered? (a doorbell)
Why was the painting arrested? (it was framed)
Why was the cake as hard as a rock? (because it was a marble cake.)
What award did the knock-knock joke expert receive? (the no bell prize)
How did the barber win the race? (he knew a shortcut)
What insect has the name of another insect in the first part of its name? (beetle)
What has a bottom at the top? (your legs)
What is so fragile that just saying its name, breaks it? (silence)
What goes through cities and fields but never moves? (a road)
What is a 3 letter word in which there is fewer when you add 2 letters? (few)
What runs all around a backyard but never moves? (a fence)
What did the comedian ask his wife as he removed his clothes on their wedding night? (Haven't you ever seen a comic strip?)
Two fathers and two sons are in a car but there are only three people present. How? (one grandfather, his son, his grandson)
My job is to drive customers away. Who am I? (a taxi driver)
What does a nosy pepper do? (gets jalapeño business) What place is the horse in that is running in a race and passes the horse in second place? (second place)
Where does one wall meet the other wall? (on the corner)
A citizen's brother died, but the man who died had no brother. How could that be? (the citizen was his sister)
What five-letter word has one left when two letters are removed? (stone)
How does Moses prepare tea? (He brews)
What do the towels of the newlywed snakes say? (hiss and hers)
If two's company and three's a crowd, what are four and five? (nine)
What three numbers when added together or multiplied together provide the same answer? (one two and three)
What did the big flower say to the little flower? (Hi, bud.)
How does the solar system arrange dinner? (they planet)
What's green, sings and dances wildly? (Elvis Parsley)
When is it bad luck to see a black cat? (when you are a mouse)
Why was the broom late? (it overswept)
How can you make seven even? (remove the letter "s")
What do you call a fake noodle? (an impasta)
Where do cows go for a night out? (the moovies)
Why did the spider cross the computer key board? (to get to the world wide web)
If two is company and three are a crowd, what is four and five? (nine)
Why can't you starve in the desert? (because of all the sand which is there)
What has a head, a tail and no legs? (a coin)
How do you make a strawberry shake? (tell it a frightening story).
Two children are born on the same day from the same mother but they're not twins. (they're triplets)
Why does Peter Pan always fly? (he "neverlands")
What 9 letter word can have a letter taken away and it still makes a word? Take another letter away and it still makes a word. Keep on doing that until you have one letter left. What is the word? (The word is startling. Startling, starting, staring, string, sting, sing, sin, in, I.)
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? (Towel)
Why arev frogs so happy? (They eat what bugs them.)
What word is spelled incorrectly in every dictionary? (the word, incorrectly)
What has one eye but cannot see? (A needle)
What has to be broken before you can use it? (An egg)
What do you call a tick that loves math? (An arithmetic.)
How does the dog catcher get paid? (By the pound.)
What starts with "P", ends with an "E" and has hundreds of letters in it? (The post office.)
You enter a room and see a room full of people but not a single person. How is that possible? (They are all married.)
What is answered but never asks questions? (A doorbell)
What word looks the same backward, forward and upside down? (SWIMS)
How many months of the year have 28 days? (All of them)
What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? (A towel)
What goes up when rain comes down? (An umbrella)
Which weighs more, a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers? (They both weigh one ton)
What is at the end of a rainbow? (The leter "w)
Joan's mother has five daughters. Their names are Mary 1, Mary 2, Mary 3, Mary 4 and xxx. (Joan)
Why are teddy bears never hungry? (Because they're always stuffed.)
What is a seven letter word containing thousands of letters? (mailbox)
What is tall when its young and short when it's cold. (A Candle)
What goes down but never goes down? (Rain)
What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? (Short)
If there are 10 apples and you take away 3, how many do you have? (3)
The Womem of Trachis by Sophocles
Hyllus You soon will manifest the madness in your words...
Herakles Yes, yes, you will provoke my sleeping plague!
Hyllus My cowardice holds me helpless, quite unable to act...
Herakles You do not think it right to heed your father's plea.
Hyllus Then, father, shall I learn to do impieties?
Herakles It cannot be impiety to gratify a father's heart.
Hyllus Your orders then to do this thing are just.
Herakles They are... to witness which I call upon the gods.
Hyllus Then I will obey, shall not refuse, but show to the gods you ordered this... I would not wish 1250 to be thought a criminal through doing your will. Her. Good sense at last! So swiftly now once more, my son, pray render me swift service, and place me on the pyre before the rending pains and agony attack. Come, take the weight and lift me up; this is the very end of pain, this hero's final hour.
Hyllus There is nothing to prevent our gratifying you, since your orders and compulsion are clear. Her. Come, now, my stubborn soul, before this pain awakes, and clamp 1260 my stone sealed lips with a bite of steel. Not a sound, no screams! I would my enforced end triumphs in dignity.
Hyllus Friends, lift him up and grant to me forgiveness, pray, for what I do, and condemnation of the gods, aware of the crimes they are committing here they gave him birth, were hallowed as his parents, yet observe such suffering. No man can see what is fated to be, 1270 but these events are a shame to gods and tragic for us, most deadly and hard for this man, of all mankind who bears this destiny. And you, young woman, stay not at the house. You have observed deaths deadly and strange, much suffering, unprecedented pain; there was none of these things not of Zeus.
Timon of Athens
by William Shakespeare
Good day, sir.
I am glad you're well.
I have not seen you long: how goes the world?
It wears, sir, as it grows.
Ay, that's well known: But what particular rarity? what strange, Which manifold record not matches? See, Magic of bounty! all these spirits thy power Hath conjured to attend. I know the merchant.
I know them both; th' other's a jeweller.
O, 'tis a worthy lord.
Nay, that's most fix'd.
A most incomparable man, breathed, as it were, To an untirable and continuate goodness: He passes. Jeweller: I have a jewel here--
O, pray, let's see't: for the Lord Timon, sir? Jeweller: If he will touch the estimate: but, for that--
[Reciting to himself] 'When we for recompense have praised the vile, It stains the glory in that happy verse Which aptly sings the good.'
'Tis a good form.
And rich: here is a water, look ye.
You are rapt, sir, in some work, some dedication To the great lord.
A thing slipp'd idly from me. Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes From whence 'tis nourish'd: the fire i' the flint Shows not till it be struck; our gentle flame Provokes itself and like the current flies Each bound it chafes. What have you there?
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov
LOPAKHIN: The train's arrived, thank God. What's the time?
DUNYASHA: It will soon be two. It is light already.
LOPAKHIN: How much was the train late? Two hours at least. I have made a rotten mess of it! I came here on purpose to meet them at the station, and then overslept myself... in my chair. It's a pity. I wish you'd wakened me.
DUNYASHA: I thought you'd gone away. I think I hear them coming. LOPAKHIN: No... They've got to collect their luggage and so on... I don't know what she'll be like now... She's a good sort--an easy, simple person. I remember when I was a boy of fifteen, my father, who is dead--he used to keep a shop in the village here--hit me on the face with his fist, and my nose bled... We had gone into the yard together for something or other, and he was a little drunk. Lubov Andreyevna, as I remember her now, was still young, and very thin, and she took me to the washstand here in this very room, the nursery. She said, "Don't cry, little man, it'll be all right in time for your wedding." My father was a peasant, it's true, but here I am in a white waistcoat and yellow shoes... a pearl out of an oyster. I'm rich now, with lots of money, but just think about it and examine me, and you'll find Here I've been reading this book, but I understood nothing. I read and fell asleep. DUNYASHA: The dogs didn't sleep all night; they know that they're coming.
LOPAKHIN: What's up with you, Dunyasha...?
DUNYASHA: My hands are shaking. I shall faint.
LOPAKHIN: You're too sensitive, Dunyasha. You dress just like a lady, and you do your hair like one too. You oughtn't.
EPIKHODOV: The gardener sent these; says they're to go into the dining-room.
LOPAKHIN: And you'll bring me some kvass.
DUNYASHA: Very well.
EPIKHODOV: There's a frost this morning--three degrees, and the cherry-trees are all in flower. I can't approve of our climate. I can't. Our climate is indisposed to favour us even this once. And, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, allow me to say to you, in addition, that I bought myself some boots two days ago, and I beg to assure you that they squeak in a perfectly unbearable manner. What shall I put on them?
LOPAKHIN: Go away. You bore me.
EPIKHODOV: Some misfortune happens to me every day. But I don't complain; I'm used to it, and I can smile. I shall go. There... There, you see, if I may use the word, what circumstances I am in, so to speak. It is even simply marvellous.
DUNYASHA: I may confess to you, Ermolai Alexeyevitch, that Epikhodov has proposed to me.
DUNYASHA: I don't know what to do about it. He's a nice young man, but every now and again, when he begins talking, you can't understand a word he's saying. I think I like him. He's madly in love with me. He's an unlucky man; every day something happens. We tease him about it. They call him "Two-and-twenty troubles."
LOPAKHIN: There they come, I think.
DUNYASHA: They're coming! What's the matter with me? I'm cold all over.
LOPAKHIN: There they are, right enough. Let's go and meet them. Will she know me? We haven't seen each other for five years.
DUNYASHA: I shall faint in a minute... Oh, I'm fainting!
ANYA: Let's come through here. Do you remember what this room is, mother?
Hippolytus by Euripides
Aphrodite Mighty and of high renown, among mortals and in heaven alike, I am called the goddess Aphrodite. Of all those who dwell between theEuxine Seaand the Pillars of Atlas and look on the light of the sun, I honor those who reverence my power, but I lay low all those who think proud thoughts against me. For in the gods as well one finds this trait: they enjoy receiving honor from mortals.
The truth of these words I shall shortly demonstrate. Hippolytus, Theseus' son by the Amazon woman and ward of holy Pittheus, alone among the citizens of this land of Trozen, says that I am the basest of divinities. He shuns the bed of love and will have nothing to do with marriage. Instead, he honors Apollo's sister Artemis, Zeus's daughter, thinking her the greatest of divinities. In the green wood, ever consort to the maiden goddess, he clears the land of wild beasts with his swift dogs and has gained a companionship greater than mortal. To this pair I feel no grudging ill-will: why should I? Yet for his sins against me I shall punish Hippolytus this day. I have already come a long way with my plans and I need little further effort. One day when he came from Pittheus' house to the land of Pandion to see and celebrate the holy mysteries of Demeter, his father's high-born wife Phaedra saw him, and her heart was seized with a dreadful longing by my design. And before she came to this land of Trozen, she built, hard by the rock of Pallas Athena, a temple to Aphrodite overlooking this land since she loved a foreign love. After ages shall call this foundation Aphrodite-Next-Hippolytus.
But since Theseus has left the land of Cecrops, fleeing the blood-guilt he incurred for the murder of the Pallantidae, and sailed with his wife to this land, consenting to a year-long exile from his home, from this point on the poor woman, groaning and struck senseless by the goad of love, means to die  in silence, and none of her household knows of her malady. But that is not the way this passion is fated to end. I shall reveal the matter to Theseus and it will come to light, and the young man who wars against me shall be killed by his father with the curses the sea-lord Poseidon granted as a gift to Theseus: three times may Theseus pray to the god and have his prayer fulfilled. But Phaedra, noble though she is, shall nonetheless die. I do not set such store by her misfortune as to let my enemies off from such penalty as will satisfy my heart.
But now I see Hippolytus coming, finished with the toil of the hunt, and so I shall leave this place. A great throng of his servants treads close at his heels and shouts, hymning the praises of the goddess Artemis. Clearly he does not know that the gates of the Underworld stand open for him and that this day's light is the last he shall ever look upon.Exit Aphrodite. Enter Hippolytus by Eisodos A, carrying a garland, with a chorus of servants
Hippolytus Come follow me and sing of Zeus's heavenly daughter Artemis, who cares for us.
Hippolytus and chorus of Servants Lady, lady most revered, daughter of Zeus, my greeting, daughter of Leto and of Zeus, of maidens the fairest by far, who dwellest in the broad heaven in the court of your good father, the gilded house of Zeus. My greeting to you, fair one, fairest of all who dwell in Olympus!
by Henrik Ibsen
GERD (looks at him with the greatest eyes). Now I know you, haa! I thought sua priest just now; hiith he and the others i command! The biggest man you're here is you.
BRAND. No, I'm the smallest me.
GERD. Show me the bugs in your hands!
BRAND. Did it work?
GEKD. Nailers! Vert 'has you in your hair, deep wounds on your forehead thorn' thorns. Sunhan bore the cross tree! As a small amount of misinformation, I seemed to receive a guarantee that someone else was suffering death on the cross; - who knows then, you 're the Savior man!
BRAND. Child, the sonar gave way!
GERD. In my legs I fall.
BRAND. Give up!
GERD. You shed blood that saves everyone.
BRAND. Relief for my soul I do not know for my own!
GERD. This is a gun! Shoot -!
BRAND (shakes his head). I'm looking for death myself!
GERD. You, the best of us! show your hands to the wounds but; you are the greatest of them.
BRAND. Not like the cheapest worm in the country.
GERD (looks up; clouds evaporate). Do you know where you stand?
BRAND (stares in front of him). I stand on the next porch; foot heavy, vertical road.
GERD (wilder). Do you know where you stand?
BRAND. The mists evaporate by evaporation.
GERD. Oh, and towards the sky points the Svarten hill!
BRAND (looks up). So this "Icy Church" lie!
GERD. That's where I got it!
BRAND. Now if you could only get far! - Oh, as if I miss a bitter day, the warmth of a pet, a thirst for church in peace, I miss a spring in the chest! (Bursts into tears.) I cried out, Jesus, often sua; embraced you never me; you passed me ain 'like an old word only; from the garment release, water washed repentance, give even a rag!
GERD (service). What is this? She cries, she, a tear rolls over her cheek, raises the steam warm, even the tomb curtains of the mountains melt a drop from it, (Trembling.) Why are you crying now?
BRAND (brightest, with a brilliant face and as if broken). The law, when you first win the frost, you get a summer day! Before, I wanted to be a painting on which the Creator writes; - now I want to be a poem that makes us eat glow. The ice is already breaking, tears are leaking, now I can weep the burden, the knees at the request to flex!
GERD (peeking up, saying quietly and timidly). There it stains again! Wickedly swaying the slopes of the mountains, the hills wings in motion. Now capture a moment of freedom when you just listen to it!
(Puts the gun on his cheek and shoots; there is a thud like the thunder of thunder from the walls of a mountain.)
BRAND (jumps up). Haa, who shot!
GERD. Now its like this! The bullet hurt, drops down, drops screaming! Hundreds of hawk feathers fly, covering the slopes; now it's growing, white! huu, it gets this far!
BRAND (falls to the ground). What a generation has broken, the boy will be judged.
GERD. It's like the vault of heaven grows when that one fell! Is it circling here, but I am no longer afraid; it's like a white dove -! (Exclaims in horror.) Huu, that thump thunderous!
(Throws into the snow.)
BRAND (presses under the attacking avalanche and shouts up). Answer, Creator, when death comes, is it no longer valid to have the will of man qvantum satis -?
(An avalanche buries him; the whole valley is filled.)
SOUND (shouts through thunder). He is Deus caritatis !
Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles
ANTIGONE More must I hear?
ISMENE Tombless he died, none near.
ANTIGONE Lead me thither; slay me there.
ISMENE How shall I unhappy fare, Friendless, helpless, how drag on A life of misery alone?
CHORUS (Ant. 2) Fear not, maids—
ANTIGONE Ah, whither flee?
CHORUS Refuge hath been found.
ANTIGONE For me?
CHORUS Where thou shalt be safe from harm.
ANTIGONE I know it.
CHORUS Why then this alarm?
ANTIGONE How again to get us home I know not.
CHORUS Why then this roam?
ANTIGONE Troubles whelm us—
CHORUS As of yore.
ANTIGONE Worse than what was worse before.
CHORUS Sure ye are driven on the breakers' surge.
ANTIGONE Alas! we are. CHORUS Alas! 'tis so.
ANTIGONE Ah whither turn, O Zeus? No ray Of hope to cheer the way Whereon the fates our desperate voyage urge.
THESEUS Dry your tears; when grace is shed On the quick and on the dead By dark Powers beneficent, Over-grief they would resent.
ANTIGONE Aegeus' child, to thee we pray.
THESEUS What the boon, my children, say.
ANTIGONE With our own eyes we fain would see Our father's tomb.
THESEUS That may not be.
ANTIGONE What say'st thou, King?
THESEUS My children, he Charged me straitly that no moral Should approach the sacred portal, Or greet with funeral litanies The hidden tomb wherein he lies; Saying, "If thou keep'st my hest Thou shalt hold thy realm at rest." The God of Oaths this promise heard, And to Zeus I pledged my word.
ANTIGONE Well, if he would have it so, We must yield. Then let us go Back to Thebes, if yet we may Heal this mortal feud and stay The self-wrought doom That drives our brothers to their tomb.
THESEUS Go in peace; nor will I spare Ought of toil and zealous care, But on all your needs attend, Gladdening in his grave my friend.
CHORUS Wail no more, let sorrow rest, All is ordered for the best.
The Choephori by Aeschylus
ORESTES Lord of the shades and patron of the realm
That erst my father swayed, list now my prayer,
Hermes, and save me with thine aiding arm,
Me who from banishment returning stand
On this my country; lo, my foot is set
On this grave-mound, and herald-like, as thou,
Once and again, I bid my father hear.
And these twin locks, from mine head shorn, I bring,
And one to Inachus the river-god,
My young life's nurturer, I dedicate,
And one in sign of mourning unfulfilled
I lay, though late, on this my father's grave.
For O my father, not beside thy corse
Stood I to wail thy death, nor was my hand
Stretched out to bear thee forth to burial.
What sight is yonder? what this woman-throng
Hitherward coming, by their sable garb
Made manifest as mourners? What hath chanced?
Doth some new sorrow hap within the home?
Or rightly may I deem that they draw near
Bearing libations, such as soothe the ire
Of dead men angered, to my father's grave?
Nay, such they are indeed; for I descry
Electra mine own sister pacing hither,
In moody grief conspicuous. Grant, O Zeus,
Grant me my father's murder to avenge-
Be thou my willing champion!
Pass we aside, till rightly I discern
Wherefore these women throng in suppliance. (PYLADES and ORESTES
withdraw; the CHORUS enters bearing vessels for libation; ELECTRA
follows them; they pace slowly towards the tomb of Agamemnon.)
CHORUS (singing, strophe 1)
Forth from the royal halls by high command
I bear libations for the dead.
Rings on my smitten breast my smiting hand,
And all my cheek is rent and red,
Fresh-furrowed by my nails, and all my soul
This many a day doth feed on cries of dole.
And trailing tatters of my vest,
In looped and windowed raggedness forlorn,
Hang rent around my breast,
Even as I, by blows of Fate most stern
Saddened and torn.
Oracular thro' visions, ghastly clear,
Bearing a blast of wrath from realms below,
And stiffening each rising hair with dread,
Came out of dream-land Fear,
And, loud and awful, bade
The shriek ring out at midnight's witching hour,
And brooded, stern with woe,
Above the inner house, the woman's bower
And seers inspired did read the dream on oath,
Chanting aloud In realms below
The dead are wroth;
Against their slayers yet their ire doth glow.
Therefore to bear this gift of graceless worth-
O Earth, my nursing mother!-
The woman god-accurs'd doth send me forth
Lest one crime bring another.
Ill is the very word to speak, for none
Can ransom or atone
For blood once shed and darkening the plain.
O hearth of woe and bane,
O state that low doth lie!
Sunless, accursed of men, the shadows brood
Above the home of murdered majesty.
Rumour of might, unquestioned, unsubdued,
Pervading ears and soul of lesser men,
Is silent now and dead.
Yet rules a viler dread;
For bliss and power, however won,
As gods, and more than gods, dazzle our mortal ken.
Justice doth mark, with scales that swiftly sway,
Some that are yet in light;
Others in interspace of day and night,
Till Fate arouse them, stay;
And some are lapped in night, where all things are undone
On the life-giving lap of Earth
Blood hath flowed forth;
And now, the seed of vengeance, clots the plain-
Unmelting, uneffaced the stain.
And Ate tarries long, but at the last
The sinner's heart is cast
Into pervading, waxing pangs of pain.
Alcestis by Euripides
No you look upon your wife indeed.
Beware! May it not be some phantom from the Underworld?
Do not think your guest a sorcerer.
But do I indeed look upon the wife I buried?
Yes-but I do not wonder at your mistrust.
Can I touch, speak to her, as my living wife?
Speak to her-you have all you desired.
ADMETUS taking ALCESTIS in his arms
O face and body of the dearest of women! I have you once more, when I thought I should never see you again!
You have her-may the envy of the Gods be averted from you!
O noble son of greatest Zeus, fortune be yours, and may your Father guard you! But how did you bring her back from the Underworld to the light of day?
By fighting with the spirit who was her master.
Then did you contend with Death?
I hid by the tomb and leaped upon him.
But why is she speechless?
You may not hear her voice until she is purified from her consecration to the Lower Gods, and until the third dawn has risen. Lead her in.
And you, Admetus, show as ever a good man's welcome to your guests.
Farewell! I go to fu
XANTHIAS Shall I crack any of those old jokes, master,
At which the audience never fail to laugh?
DIONYSUS Aye, what you will, except "I'm getting crushed":
Fight shy of that: I'm sick of that already.
XANTHIAS Nothing else smart?
DIONYSUS Aye, save "my shoulder's aching."
XANTHIAS Come now, that comical joke?
DIONYSUS With all my heart.
Only be careful not to shift your pole, And-
DIONYSUS And vow that you've a belly-ache.
XANTHIAS May I not say I'm overburdened so
That if none ease me, I must ease myself?
DIONYSUS For mercy's sake, not till I'm going to vomit.
XANTHIAS What! must I bear these burdens, and not make
One of the jokes Ameipsias and Lycis And Phrynichus, in every play they write,
Put in the mouths of their burden-bearers?
DIONYSUS Don't make them; no! I tell you when I see
Their plays, and hear those jokes, I come away
More than a twelvemonth older than I went.
XANTHIAS O thrice unlucky neck of mine, which now
Is getting crushed, yet must not crack its joke!
DIONYSUS Now is not this fine pampered insolence
When I myself, Dionysus, son of-Pipkin, Toil on afoot, and let this fellow ride,
Taking no trouble, and no burden bearing?
XANTHIAS What, don't I bear?
DIONYSUS How can you when you're riding?
XANTHIAS Why, I bear these.
XANTHIAS Most unwillingly.
DIONYSUS Does not the donkey bear the load you're bearing?
XANTHIAS Not what I bear myself: by Zeus, not he.
DIONYSUS How can you bear, when you are borne yourself?
XANTHIAS Don't know: but anyhow my shoulder's aching.
DIONYSUS Then since you say the donkey helps you not, You lift him up and carry him in turn.
XANTHIAS O hang it all! why didn't I fight at sea?
You should have smarted bitterly for this.
DIONYSUS Get down, you rascal; I've been trudging on
Till now I've reached the portal, where I'm going
First to turn in. Boy! Boy! I say there, Boy!
HERACLES Who banged the door? How like prancing Centaur
He drove against it Mercy o' me, what's this?
DIONYSUS Did you observe?
DIONYSUS How alarmed he is.
XANTHIAS Aye truly, lest you've lost your wits.
HERACLES O by Demeter, I can't choose but laugh.
Biting my lips won't stop me. Ha! ha! ha!
DIONYSUS Pray you, come hither, I have need of you.
HERACLES I vow I can't help laughing, I can't help it.
A lion's hide upon a yellow silk, A club and buskin! What's it all about?
Where were you going?
DIONYSUS I was serving lately Aboard the-Cleisthenes.
More than a dozen of the enemy's ships.
HERACLES You two?
DIONYSUS We two.
HERACLES And then I awoke, and lo!
DIONYSUS There as, on deck, I'm reading to myself
The Andromeda, a sudden pang of longing.
Shoots through my heart, you can't conceive how keenly.
HERACLES How big a pang?
DIONYSUS A small one, Molon's size.
HERACLES Caused by a woman?
HERACLES A boy?
DIONYSUS No, no.
HERACLES A man?
DIONYSUS Ah! ah!
HERACLES Was it for Cleisthenes?
DIONYSUS Don't mock me, brother: on my life I am
In a bad way: such fierce desire consumes me.
HERACLES Aye, little brother? how?
DIONYSUS I can't describe it.
But yet I'll tell you in a riddling way. Have you e'er felt a sudden lust for soup?
HERACLES Soup! Zeus-a-mercy, yes, ten thousand times.
DIONYSUS Is the thing clear, or must I speak again?
HERACLES Not of the soup: I'm clear about the soup.
DIONYSUS Well, just that sort of pang devours my heart For lost Euripides.
HERACLES A dead man too.
DIONYSUS And no one shall persuade me not to go After the man.
HERACLES Do you mean below, to Hades?
DIONYSUS And lower still, if there's a lower still.
HERACLES What on earth for?
DIONYSUS I want a genuine poet,
"For some are not, and those that are, are bad."
HERACLES What! does not Iophon live?
DIONYSUS Well, he's the sole Good thing remaining, if even he is good.
For even of that I'm not exactly certain.
HERACLES If go you must, there's Sophocles-he comes
Before Euripides-why not take him?
DIONYSUS Not till I've tried if Iophon's coin rings true
When he's alone, apart from Sophocles. Besides, Euripides, the crafty rogue,
Will find a thousand shifts to get away, But he was easy here, is easy there.
HERACLES But Agathon, where is he?
Oedipus At Colonus by Sophocles
ANTIGONE Theseus, behold us falling at thy feet.
THESEUS What boon, my children, are ye bent to obtain?
ANTIGONE Our eyes would see our father’s burial-place.
THESEUS ’Tis not permitted to go near that spot.
ANTIGONE O Athens’ sovereign lord, what hast thou said?
THESEUS Dear children, ’twas your father’s spoken will That no man should approach his resting-place, Nor human voice should ever violate The mystery of the tomb wherein he lies. He promised, if I truly kept this word, My land would evermore be free from harm. The power which no man may transgress and live, The oath of Zeus, bore witness to our troth.
ANTIGONE His wishes are enough. Then, pray thee, send An escort to convey us to our home, Primeval Thebes, if so we may prevent The death that menaces our brethren there.
THESEUS That will I; and in all that I may do To prosper you and solace him beneath,— Who even now passes to eternity,— I must not falter. Come, lament no more. His destiny hath found a perfect end.
Thyestes By Seneca
(last lines of closing act)
ATREUS: Well done, Atreus! Victory! You're in pain, Thyestes, so my crime wasn't wasted. Now I believe that my sons really are mine, and that my wife was not unfaithful with you.
THYESTES: How did my children deserve this?
ATREUS: By being yours.
THYESTES: You gave sons to their own father to -
ATREUS: Yes, I did. And they were definitely your sons, I'm delighted to say.
THYESTES: I call on the gods who protect the righteous.
ATREUS: What about the gods who guard marriages?
THYESTES: Who repays crime with crime?
ATREUS: I know why you're upset: it's because I committed that crime before you did. You're not miserable because you ate that monstrous meal; no, it's because you didn't cook one like that for me. I know what your plan was - to attack my sons, with their mother's help, and murder them and serve them up to me. The only thing that stopped you was you thought they were yours.
THYESTES: The gods of vengeance will come. I pray that they will punish you.
ATREUS: Your sons will punish you.
The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus
Hermes, messenger to the dead, guardian
of your father’s powers, help rescue me—
work with me, I beg you, now I’ve come back,
returned to this land from exile. On this grave,
on this heaped-up earth, I call my father,
imploring him to listen, to hear me . . .
Here’s a lock of hair, offering to Inachus,
the stream where I was raised. Here’s another,
a token of my grief. I was not there,
my father, to mourn your death. I couldn’t stretch
my hand out to you, when they carried off
your corpse for burial.
What’s this I see?
What’s this crowd of women coming here,
all wearing black in public? What does it mean?
What new turn of fate? Has some fresh sorrow
struck the house? Or am I right to think
they bring libations here to honour you,
my father, to appease the dead below?
That must be it. I see my sister there,
Electra. That’s her approaching with them.
She’s grieving—in great pain—that’s obvious.
O Zeus, let me avenge my father’s death.
Support me as my ally in this fight.
Pylades, let’s stand over there and hide,
so I can find out what’s taking place,
what brings these suppliant women here.
I’ve been sent here from the palace,
to bring libations for the dead,
to clap out the hands’ sharp beat.
Blood flows down my cheeks
from cuts my nails have scratched.
As life drags on and on, my heart
feeds itself on my laments,
to the sound of garments torn apart,
the sound of sorrow in our clothes,
as we rip the woven linen
covering our breasts.
No laughter any more.
Our fortune beats us down.
With hair-raising shrieks, Fear,
dream-prophet in this house,
breathed a furious cry of terror,
at night, while people were asleep.
Deep within the inner house
the heavy scream re-echoed, all the way
to rooms where women slept.
Those who read our dreams,
who speak by heaven’s will,
declared, “The dead beneath the ground
are discontent—their anger grows
against the ones who killed them.”
O Earth, my mother Earth,
to protect herself from harm
that godless woman sends me here
with gifts, with loveless gifts.
But I’m too scared to speak her words,
the prayer she wishes me to say.
What can atone for blood
once fallen on the ground?
Alas for the grief-filled hearth,
Alas for the buried home!
Sunless darkness grips the house
which all men hate, for now
their master’s murdered.
It’s gone—that ancient splendour
no man could resist or fight,
no man could overcome.
Its glory rang in every ear,
echoed in every heart.
Now it’s been thrown away.
But each man feels the fear.
For now, in all men’s eyes,
success is worshipped,
more so than god himself.
But Justice is vigilant—
she tips the scales.
With some she’s quick,
striking by light of day,
for others sorrows wait,
delaying until their lives
are half way sunk in twilight,
while others are embraced
by night that never ends.
The nurturing earth drinks blood,
she drinks her fill. That gore,
which cries out for revenge,
will not dissolve or seep away.
The guilty live in utter desperation—
madness preys upon their minds
infecting them completely.
The man who violates a virgin’s bed
cannot be redeemed. All rivers flow
into one stream to cleanse his hand
of black blood which defiles him.
Such waters flow in vain.
As for me—gods set a fatal noose
around my city, so I was led
out of my father’s house a slave.
Now I do what I have to do—
beat down my bitter rage.
Against my inclinations,
I follow what my masters say,
whether right or wrong.
Still, behind our veils
we weep for her, this girl,
her senseless suffering,
as grief, concealed and cold,
congeals our hearts to ice.
Medea by Euripides
Medea: Oh children, my children, you still have a city and a home, where you can live, once you’ve left me in wretched suffering. You can live on here without your mother. But I’ll go to some other country, an exile, before I’ve had my joy in you, before I’ve seen you happy, or helped to decorate your marriage beds, your brides, your bridal chambers, or lifted high your wedding torches. How miserable my self-will has made me. I raised you— and all for nothing. The work I did for you, the cruel hardships, pains of childbirth— all for nothing. Once, in my foolishness, I had many hopes in you—it’s true— that you’d look after me in my old age, that you’d prepare my corpse with your own hands, in the proper way, as all people wish. But now my tender dreams have been destroyed. For I’ll live my life without you both, in sorrow. And those loving eyes of yours will never see your mother any more. Your life is changing. Oh, my children, why are you looking at me in that way? Why smile at me—that last smile of yours? Alas, what shall I do? You women here, my heart gives way when I see those eyes, my children’s smiling eyes. I cannot do it. Good bye to those previous plans of mine. I’ll take my children from this country. Why harm them as a way to hurt their father and have to suffer twice his pain myself? No, I won’t do that. And so farewell to what I planned before. But what’s going on? What’s wrong with me? Do I really want my enemies escaping punishment, while I become someone they ridicule? I will go through with this. What a coward I am even to let my heart admit such sentimental reasons. Children, you must go into the house.
Merriam-Webster defines music in part as "an agreeable sound", which can rightly be called an understatement.
Violins and fiddles have delivered some of the world's most distinctive music for centuries. They are wooden, stringed instruments with a hollow, wooden body and are higher pitched than their larger counterparts, the cello and the bass. It has been commented (tongue-in-cheek) that the difference between the violin and the fiddle is that the violin has strings while the fiddle has "strangs".
Jazz is considered to be a uniquely American genre of music. Also having been born in the U.S. is rap and hip-hop.
Harry Truman was 33rd president of the Uniyed States, serving from 1945 to 1953. Prior to his presidency, Mr. Truman served as the 34th vice-president of the United States and senator from Missouri. Among other notable accomplishments, he is known for implementing the Marshall Plan and helping to build NATO. He grew up in Independence, Missouri and fought in France during WW 1 as a captain in the Field Artillery. on June 28, 1919, he married his swetheart, Bess.
Richard Nixon by Andrew
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th president of the United States. He served in that office from 1969 to 1974. Prior to his presidency, he served as vice-president to Dwight Eisenhower. Highlights of his presidency include ending American involvement in the Vietnam conflict, ending the draft, airlifting arms to Israel during the Yom Kippur War and visiting China. President Nixon resigned from office during the Watergate scandal in 1974.
Albert Einstein by Andrew
Albert Einsten is universally appreciated as one of the most advanced physisists the world has ever known. Born on March 14, 1879 and having died on April 18, 1955, his general theory of relativity revoluntionized the way sciene perceives matter and energy. Althoug he began his career in Europe, he completed it in the United States. His name has evolved in the vernacular to a synonym for genius.
Jimmy Carter by Andrew
James Earl Carter Jr. was the 39th president of the United States. Having served in that office from 1977 to 1981, he had previously served the 76th governor of Georgia. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946, he worked as an officer on nuclear submarines. Later he returned home to work on his family's peanut farm before beginning his political career.
Jonas Salk by Andrew
Jonas Salk was credited with developing one of the original polio vaccines. From the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he successfully researched and developed the medicine that would virtually eliminate the ubitiquous affliction. To optimize the vaccine's availability to the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time he opted to no slow the procees down by applying for a patent. In 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker.
Nikola Tesla by Andrew
NikolaTesla was a Serbian-American inventor and pioneer into the sourcing of electricity. He was born and raised in the Austrian Empire, where he studied physics. His success with alternating electrical current made our world possible today. Efforts to create wireless global electricity went unfinished due to lack of continued funding. He died in 1943 in 1960, the General Conference of Weights and Measures honored him by naming the SI unit of magnetic flux the tesla.
Apollo 11 by Andrew
The first spaceflight to ever land humans on the Moon was Apollo 11. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo Lunar Module, "Eagle" Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that made the historic landing. They spent a little over two hours on the Moon's surface and gathered over 47 pounds of material to bring back with them on their return flight to Earth. Michael Collins flew the orbiting Command Module, "Columbia" as Armstrong and Aldrin explored the lunar service. Armstrong's words when he first walked on the lunar surface still echo in historical context today: "That's one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind."
First President by Andrew
George Washington was the first President of the United States. He took his oath of office on April 30, 1789 at Federal Hall in New York. Knowing that historic precedent was being set, he wrote, “As the first of everything, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent, it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles.”
Washington’s humble tendencies lead him away from becoming king-like and set the ball in motion in that regard for all that would follow him.
Americans can be thankful today that he was who he was then.
JFK by Andrew
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts and died on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1940, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve where he served as a PT boat commander in the Pacific theater during World War II. During his service, he earned the Navy Marine Corps Medal and th Purple Heart.
After completing his Naval career, Mr. Kennedy briefly worked as a journalist, before going into politics. His political life is marked by his having been a congressman and a senator before being elected to the presidency in 1963.
Mr. Kennedy was assassinated in the third year of his first term.
A Winter Walk by Henry D. Thoreau
The surly night-wind rustles through the wood, and warns us to retrace our steps, while the sun goes down behind the thickening storm, and birds seek their roosts, and cattle their stalls.
"Drooping the lab'rer ox Stands covered o'er with snow, and _now_ demands The fruit of all his toil."
Though winter is represented in the almanac as an old man, facing the wind and sleet, and drawing his cloak about him, we rather think of him as a merry wood-chopper, and warm-blooded youth, as blithe as summer. The unexplored grandeur of the storm keeps up the spirits of the traveller. It does not trifle with us, but has a sweet earnestness. In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends. The imprisoning drifts increase the sense of comfort which the house affords, and in the coldest days we are content to sit over the hearth and see the sky through the chimney top, enjoying the quiet and serene life that may be had in a warm corner by the chimney side, or feeling our pulse by listening to the low of cattle in the street, or the sound of the flail in distant barns all the long afternoon. No doubt a skilful physician could determine our health by observing how these simple and natural sounds affected us. We enjoy now, not an oriental, but a boreal leisure, around warm stoves and fireplaces, and watch the shadow of motes in the sunbeams.
Sometimes our fate grows too homely and familiarly serious ever to be cruel. Consider how for three months the human destiny is wrapped in furs. The good Hebrew Revelation takes no cognizance of all this cheerful snow. Is there no religion for the temperate and frigid zones? We know of no scripture which records the pure benignity of the gods on a New England winter night. Their praises have never been sung, only their wrath deprecated. The best scripture, after all, records but a meagre faith. Its saints live reserved and austere. Let a brave devout man spend the year in the woods of Maine or Labrador, and see if the Hebrew Scriptures speak adequately to his condition and experience, from the setting in of winter to the breaking up of the ice.
Now commences the long winter evening around the farmer's hearth, when the thoughts of the indwellers travel far abroad, and men are by nature and necessity charitable and liberal to all creatures. Now is the happy resistance to cold, when the farmer reaps his reward, and thinks of his preparedness for winter, and, through the glittering panes, sees with equanimity "the mansion of the northern bear," for now the storm is over,
"The full ethereal round, Infinite worlds disclosing to the view, Shines out intensely keen; and all one cope Of starry glitter glows from pole to pole."
Bumped by Pamela
It was the 4th of March and I was scheduled to fly out of LaGuardia Airport in New York to visit my family in Albuquerque. I arrived at the gate in plenty of time only to hear the announcement that the airline was overbooked and needed volunteers to give up their seats on this flight, be rescheduled on a flight three hours later and be awarded a $1,500 airline voucher that was good for a year. I thought about being late to see my family but decided the two more times I could visit them with the voucher would be worth it. I took the offer. So now I've got an airline voucher in my hand and three hours to kill. Went and had a slow coffee and then showed up at the gate for my rescheduled flight. It is then when I heard the same announcement with the same offer but this time I would have to come back the next day to fly out. I thought about again, called my family in Albuquerque and ended up walking out of the airport that day with two $1,500 vouchers and a flight to Albuquerque scheduled for 11 the next morning. I went home, got a good night's sleep and showed up again at LaGuardia the next morning in plenty of time for my re-re-scheduled flight to Albuquerque. Believe it or not, the same announcement came over the loudspeaker. The airline had overbooked due to weather issues and was now offering a $1,000 travel voucher to a volunteer who would give up their seat to take a two and a half hour later flight. I took it. The overbooking must have resolved itself by the time of this last flight because there were plenty of seats. The net result was that I got safely to Albuquerque 27 hours later that I was originally scheduled but had $4,000 worth of airline vouchers, that I used that year many times to go back and forth to Albuquerque to visit my family.
The Leaves of Fall by Andrew
The leaves fell this year in October, just like they had in all previous years. But this season was different. This year the leaves seemed to gather in piles, a welcome eventuality since my decreasing capacity to rake them was evident to all who knew me. I couldn't believe it but was not going to complain. Before the wind had a chance to scatter them everywhere, I loaded them into big bags and carried them the short distance to the woods. What would have taken at least a day to accomplish was now completed in an hour and a half. I am blessed and thankful.
Our Stray Cat by Andrew
It was a cold March day when we first saw him. He came to our window and had that "feed me" look on his face. Now we've seen stray cats before ... in fact we adopted two of them. This little guy, probably about a year old, was different, however. He seemed already people-oriented. He purred and let us pet him, and of course let us feed him too. He even let us put him in a cat carrier so we could get him to the vet. The vet surprised us with the news that this cat was a male and had already been altered. The implication was that he belonged to someone so we brought him back home, gave him a good meal, put a collar with a note on it and let him out. Our little black and white visitor came back, though. We kept feeding him and he kept coming back. No one had responded to the note with our phone number on it so we guessed that he had been abandoned. We looked in the lost and found registry but saw nothing matching the description of the cat we affectionately named, "Burrito". So now we have an outside cat that comes faithfully everyday at dawn and dusk and consumes a healthy two cans of feline food at each visit. For now, we don't have to make a decision about bringing him in for the winter but when that time comes later this year, Burrito too wil have a big decision to make.
About Parenting by Pamela (a non-parent, non-professional, untrained , well intended wife) Obviously remote learning for your kids has its drawbacks but a least you know they may less likely to be exposed to COVID or any other unwanted infection. I offer no advice about having your child vaccinated against COVID. It's up to each parent to decide. They may not resemble you physically but they will resemble you by their attitudes and behaviors. You may not be recognized for your good work until they have children of their own. Rightly or wrongly, you will be judged by the behavior of your children. Ground rules for the dinner table - no devices allowed. If you deny them the latest devices, you may be putting them at a disadvantage. If you give them all the latest tech gadgets, you may be spoiling them. Your children are doing their best to grow up, just like you did. Maybe it would help if you think of it this way - you're not raising children, you're raising adults. Have certain, designated times of the day where all family members are device-free. You will be remembered by how they interact with the world after you're gone. Use the current protest situation to teach them love and respect. If you hate, so might they. If you love, so might they. If you spend all your time on a device, so will they. Be patient, be loving, be a good guide. Use the quarantined time together at home to reestablish your relationship with your kids (and family). How long can they sit still without having their face in their phones? Teach them by the example you set. Can your kids tell time on a non-digital clock? Can your kids add and subtract without a calculator?
Find a happy medium between letting them be "over-deviced" and 21 century ignorant. As much as they may need you now, you may need them when you are elderly. They will learn their from values from you.
Grandparent influence is impotrant in the upbringing of a child also.
They will follow your lead.
Be the person you want them to become.
They will learn by your example.
Give them credit for understanding more than you might otherwise believe.
They are gifts. Treasure them.
Until they get older, you're not their friend, you're their parent who must guide them without being overbearing.
Don't lecture them.
Be the person you want your children to become.
Be truthful with them because they will detect non-truth and discount everything else you say.
It's important they know your motivation is your love for them.
Your role as a parent is a life-long committment.
Set an example for them.
They are your best way of leaving something positive for the future of the world.
It is the outlook they acqire from you that will guide them throughot their lives.
Be there for them.
Parenting may be the most important role you'll ever play in this life.
You wont have a more insight-inspiring legacy than your children.
They are a reflection of all they've gleaned from you.
It's important that they know you love them.
For better or for worse, they are a reflection of all you've imparted to them.
Respect them and they will respect you.
Give them a sense of their heritage so they know from whence they came.
They will learn more from being talked to rather than talked at.
Show them your main concern is their safety.
Talk to them, not at them.
If you want them to develop a love for reading, let them start by reading books of interst to them.
You are their role model.
Its not a popularity contest.
They will learn their values from your example.
When its all said and done, they are your future. Teach them well.
Be firm but fair.
If they know you really love them, they will be more likely to follow your direction and example.
Don't talk down to them.
Your children are your legacy.
Find the line between constuctive, non-alienating correction and criticism, and don't cross it.
More parenchild face-to-face time, less device time.
Operate under the assumption that they will remember how you parented them, even if it doesn't seem so now.
Don't force it but be there for them if they want one-on-one time with you.
Schedule regular family time with limited access to devices.
Be firm with them but communicate in a non-condescending manner that they will understand.
Your kids will grow up to parent as they were parented.
They are your legacy.
You are their parent long past the time they've grown and moved out.
Loving time is the most important asset you have to spend on your children.
Be their parent, not necessarily their friend.
Be consistent with them.
Just being there for them is sometimes all they need.
Set them on the right moral course. Their compasses will take them the rest of the way.
Your children will learn more from your example than your words.
More snow expected for the Northeast. This must be winter.
What's next, if anything, after Omicron?
Remembering the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
COVID vaccination sites that had been closed due to lack of "business" are now opting to re-open.
Allowing non-citizens to vote in NYC municipal elections may be a step too far.
Until you have to go out and shovel it, the first snow of winter is always a nice surprise.
Airline travel is getting both routine and difficult at the same time.
How reliable are COVID home tests?
Multiple COVID testing sites have popped up.
Outside temperature dropped 30 degress since yesterday. It must be winter.
Are residential routers from cable companies getting worse or is it just the last four I've had?
R.I.P. Betty White.
R.I.P. Harry Reid.
Many reports of new COVID cases. Too many.
Due to the pandemic, Times Square usual number of New Years revelers will be reduced from 58,000 to 15,000 and they will have to show proof of vaccination or negative testing before being admitted to the area.
Symptoms from Omicron are reportedly less severe than Delta but it's more transmissable.
Much credit to the lockdown decision makers as no matter which way they go, there will be many unhappy citizens.
After Delta and Omicron, what's next? (hopefully nothing)
Anytime people have any symptoms from anything now, they question themselves and their medical providers about it's being COVID.
COVID therapeutics are now making their way to the market for those that have contaracted the disease.
Asymptomatic COVID cases continue to be detected.
New COVID cases continue to be reportedly caused by the Delta variant rather than the Omicron variant.
Rockefeller "rocks" again this year with a 79 foot, beautifully decorated tree from Maryland.
As we approach Christmas, many of us mistakenly thought the COVID risk would have been over by now.
Winter cold seems to be bringing winter COVID.
As of now, the Delta variant continues to be the prevailing virus detected in the afflicted.
Bird feeder season has now begun. Come and get it little guys.
We all hope that the measures announced by the president to combat the Omnicron variant (and others) will be enough.
To lockdown or not to lockdown, that is the question.
First it was the Delta variant. Now it's the Omicron variant. What's next?
More to worry about - the South African variant.
Multiple demonstrations against potential re-lockdowns are ocurring in Europe.
With cold weather coming and European COVID surging, the U.S. is pulling out all stops to protect Americans.
What's in the new Pfizer COVID pill?
Not sure if the mRNA method is a better vaccine than the traditional kind but I guess time will tell.
NYC has now suggested that all adults receive booster shots.
California, New Mexico and Colorado have decided not to wait for federal approval to authorize boosters for everyone over 18.
Many Christmas decorations are already adorning retail stores.
The older I get, the more I find my love-hate relationship with routine has turned to just love.
Good News. New COVID infections reportedly continue to decline.
It was good to see the New York City Marathon resume operation after last year's COVID interruption.
This is the first day of the season that I can actually see my breath as it condenses in the cold outside air.
I can't say I'll miss the too-many political ads that were everywhere in recent weeks.
It's hard to believe that COVID 19 has been around now for almost two years.
Mass vaccination sites continue to bustle.
When approval for vaccinating 5-11 year-olds is granted, will vaccines be offered in schools?
Mixing and matching booster shots is reportedly almost approved by the CDC.
RIP Colin Powell.
Early reports may associate a rise in COVID cases with recent colder temperatures.
Booster shots and getting ready for 5-11 year-olds is keeping vaccination sites busy.
As autumn leaves fall, we get ready for the inevitable snows by winterizing our homes.
The spread of COVID 19 seems to be declining, at least for now.
Unemployment numbers have ticked down to 5.2%
Prices creep up as the economic recovery continues.
Vaccination approval for 5-11 year-olds has been requested.
Some of the best friends you'll ever find have four legs.
Long lines again at vaccination sites.
Many folks have already begun coming in for their boosters.
Pfizer has asked the FDA for vaccine approval for children.
Contrary to earlier reports, the booster vaccines are just third doses of the same medication with no variant fighting enhncements.
Cross currents is a good way to describe American citizens' acceptance of the COVID vaccine.
It looks like 5-12 year olds will soon be vaccine eligible.
Cool nights have started to creep into these last days of summer.
Isn't it a grand time of the year when both baseball and football are in full swing?
The governement is sending mixed signals about the need for booster shots.
The majority of Americans have now received at least one vaccine.
It looks like the mRNA technology present in the current vaccines is here to stay.
Where is the hoped for vaccine from NovaVax?
It looks like three shots will be the accepted standard for COVID vaccinations.
The weather service has reported record rainfalls where Ida has been.
The hurricane season has certainly made a grand entrance, hasn't it.
How will COVID spread when the weather turns colder?
R.I.P. Ed Asner (Lou Grant).
I heard a doctor predict that the Delta virus will do its damage and then burn itself by the end of the year.
Vaccination sites that were on the verge of closing s few weeks ago will remain open presumably through the booster process.
Many who are being employer-mandated to be vaccinated, are choosing the one-injection J. and J. option.
What comes after the Delta and Lamda variants?
Third doses and booster shots are not the same thing.
Temporary vaccination sites have begun to appear in schools.
Booster shots for everyone eight months after the first vaccine are expected to be recommended.
Booster shots have now been approved for the immuno-compromised.
The decision to be or not to vaccinated should be medical, not political.
The U.S. has won the medal count in this year's Olympic Games.
Are Delta virus reversal trends (downward) in the UK and India a possible outcome for the U.S.?
To be vaccinated or tested weekly seems like a small price to pay.
Breakthrough cases are still a concern but less so than cases experienced by the unvaccinated.
Kudos to Simone Biles for overcoming, competing and winning a Bronze Medal.
Many late stragglers continue to trickle into vaccination sites.
Pfizer has reportedly asked for authorization to bring its COVID booster to market.
The option to be vaccinated or tested weekly are the choices facing many workers.
Do we need booster or don't we? I'd prefer not to find out the hard way that the CDC was being too conservative by not recommending them.
Mowing the lawn this time of the year requires less frequent sessions than it does in the Spring.
Went to an amusement park today. First time in decades. I guess it'll take more than that to recapture my youth though.
Inflation is the new-old buzz word in economic health talk.
Are we heading back to lockdowns again?
Reuters journalist, Danish Siddiqui has been killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and the Taliban. News reporting can be dangerous.
The Delta variant continues to rear its ugly head in all parts of the world.
Vaccination sites are closing at a fast pace. I hope that's a good thing.
I still find it hard to go anywhere without my cell phone.
As predicted, Pfizer is recommending booster shots to combat the Delta variant.
As we can all see, hurricane season has begun.
What did homeowners do before the advent of Home Depot?
Does anyone use cash anymore?
Warm, seasonal weather may be a contributing factor to the lack of new COVID cases.
As the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan, can the Taliban be far behind to fill the void?
Champlain Towers is a tragedy that will hopefully not be repeated elsewhere.
Looking at some of my credit cards, I think they're older than half the curent population.
Although the percentage is small, fully vaccinated people are still being diagnosed with COVID.
The U.S. leads the way in donating COVID vaccines to some of the poorer countries of the world.
The Delta Variant is now the latest COVID concern.
Spring winds down and summer begins here in the Northern Hemisphere.
Vaccination sites that were very busy a short while ago, are now starting to close down.
Friction between the masked and maskless in public places is becoming disturbingly more prevalent.
My prediction is that eventually employers will see the benefits of having their employees work from the office rather than from home.
Erma Bombeck was right. Grass definitely is greener over the septic tank.
Under appreciated conveniences like neighborhood grocery stores are taken too much for granted nowadays.
What's up with all of the new reports from credible sources of unexplained phenomena in the skies?
Peonies are blooming as we continue to enjoy a beutiful spring.
Whether its the results of vaccinations, warm weather or other factors, COVID seems to be evaporating as a threat to society, at least for now.
Vaccination sites that have up to now only offered Pfizer vaccines, have begun to offr Johnson and Johnson, as well.
Thank you to all those who have ever served in the American military.
I wonder to what percentage the amount of total U.S. cash retail transactions has dropped, as opposed to card transactions.
Can young people tell time on a non-digital clock?
Masks seem to be being worn less and less now. I hope that's a good thing.
Why is the price of gas at the pump so much higher than it's been?
Let's hope the Middle East cease fire holds.
When my ink jet printer runs out of ink, I'm going to swith to laser jet.
Infrastructure legislation appears to be successfully working its way through Congress.
Parents have already begun to bring many of their 12-15 year-olds in for vaccinations.
The hacked pipeline company underscores just how vulnerable society is.
Anyone over 12 years-old will be allowed to be vaccinated soon.
The most recent, reported policy from the NFL is that a player may not be cut soley because he has not been vaccinated.
Hard to believe it's been 60 years since Alan Shepherd flew the first U.S. mission into space.
Improving U.S. infrastructure has to be a win, win situation for all Americans.
I miss going to the library. maybe it will reopen again soon.
Anyone over 60 in the State of New York can now be vaccinated without an appointment.
Let's vaccinate the needy in India.
A COVID outbreak occurred at a Mississippi nursing home where most had been fully vaccinated. Uh oh.
Since I always seem to lose keys, I think I'll try some of Apple's new Apple Tags.
Apple announces new, improved iPads.
It looks like we will need at least one more booster vaccination before the process is all over.
It's a little concerning to know that slightly under 1% of fully vaccinated Americans are being diagnosed with COVID 19.
Congratulations to New Mexico for having compiled the most successful vaccination record in the country.
With a pause on administration of the J and J vaccine, hopefully the supplies of the other manufacturers will cover the shortfall.
According to recent reports, the South African variant of the corona virus can get through at least some of the barriers that vaccination protection provides.
Normalcy is returning to the world quickly. Hopefully not too quickly.
Long before "Googling it" became a thing, there were encyclopedias. Whatever happened to them?
16 year-olds have begun receiving vaccinations in New York.
Why am I getting more robo calls now?
Thank you New York State for creating an app that let's me officially confirm my having been vaccinated to anyone who asks.
Air travel re-ramps up as restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers relax.
Hopefully the federal government will issue some sort of showable confirmation of one's being vaccinated.
Within a week, any State of New York resident over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID vaccine.
The U.S. is on the verge of having a vaccine glut.
The therapy value of pets is underrated.
Reports are that the IRS is so backed up with stimulus payments that its refund process has slowed.
I'm guessing we may need booster vaccinations in the Fall to combat the new variant strains.
The world continues to line up for vaccinations, as restrictions on the categories of people that may recive them are reduced.
Sping has finally (thankfully) sprung.
There's too much "us vs. them" nowadays.
My family rescued a shelter dog but it turns out that we were the ones who were rescued.
The rapid vaccination roll-out has thankfully continued from one admistration to the next. U.S.A. is the greatest.
Even after having received my second dose, I still try to social distance and wear my mask.
March is bringing some welcome April weather early.
The name of the game in weather is also whiplash.
The name of the game in the stock market is whiplash.
I am finallyseeing a little patches of grass breaking through under the many layers of snow.
Let's hope the 100% open-for-business position of the states no longer requiring masks doesn't backfire health-wise.
"It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time," tweeted Tiger Woods as he saw his fellow golfers wearing red shirts and black pants.
I don't want to jinx it but it seems the back of the cold winter has been broken.
Looking forward to college basketball's March Madness.
Hopefully the safety practices people have learned during the pandemic will continue long after the vaccines have been administered.
Tesla has purchased a billion and half dollars worth of bitcoin so that it can be positioned in the future to buy and sell the things it will need.
I'm sseing a lot of conversions from book reading to pad reading nowadays.
With all the COVID issues in the news, one wonders what will newscasters find to talk about when the pandemic is over.
The stock market has seen a role reversal as investors now scramble to NASD stocks for safety and security rather than the industrials.
Hopefully Valentine's Day will bring more unity to our country, now that we need it more than ever.
More snow expcted up here in the Northeast.
There's a lot of snacks on deep discount sales this week at the super markets thanks to the Super Bowl.
I've been doing a lot of snow shoveling lately. Oh well. I guess I'll appreciate the summer when it comes, that much more.
I've heard reports of COVID arm, where a rash and/or a bump appear at the injection site eight days later.
The South African COVID mutation has just been reported in South Carolina.
I wish I were smart enough to enjoy all the features of my smart TV and my smart phone.
I'm hoping the current array of vaccines will be effective against the new COVID mutations.
The reports now indicate that despite a shortage of vaccines, those who have had their first dose will definitely have their second dose on schedule.
I often wonder how hard life must have ben for our ancestors, who had none of the modern conveniences we take for granted.
Political differences aside, it's time to start working together.
I'm piling up miles by using my airline creidit card but wonder when I'll be able to use them.
Dr. Martin Luther Kings Day, January 18, 2021.
To those who have gotten their first vaccine dose, make sure to have your second on administered in a critically timely fashion.
New reports of different strains of the corona virus from different parts of the world are a little disconcerting.
The new plan is to vaccinate every American over 65 years-old first.
Far more can be acomplished by working together than can be accomplished at cross or opposing purposes.
Our lives will be made much easier when a more efficient battery is invented.
The toughest part of decorating the house for the holidays is having to take them down in January.
I may have been mistaken but I believe I saw all the cans and paper we take such care to separate before discarding, being mingled together and crushed in the same sanitation "recycle" truck. I hope I'm wrong.
Vaccine rollout has been slow so far but I'm hopeful that the pace will pick up shortly.
New Year's Eve in Times Square seemed funny without crowds.
It is odd to see Congressional Democrats teaming up with President Trump in an effort to boost pending stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.
Government stimulus checks are on the way.
I'm wondering if we will ever return to the the way things used to be or will some hybrid new normal emerge?
The birds at our feeder seem to be hungrier this season.
The latest cause for concern is the the new COVID mutation discovered in the UK.
Not that there's a choice in the matter but if there was one, should it be Pfizer or should it be Moderna?
The snow season started early this year in the U.S.
There's too much, "us vs. them" in the world today.
If you're in the area, see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It's a treat again this year.
Israel and Morocco agree to normalize relations. That's four new breakthroughs in as many months.
Rescue a pet. You'll find that actually you're the one who's been rescued.
Today's news is filled with the goings on of the competing forces of safety-lockdown vs. freedom-non-lockdowns.
A possible upside of the pandemic is that animal rescue shelters are reporting a record number of adoptions.
In the midst of this pandemic, there will be record online sales this holiday season from people trying to avoid malls.
We fought off temptation this past Thanksgiving and avoided seeing family. Hard but necessary.
These COVID numbers being reported are getting scarier by the day, and it's not even winter yet.
Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Let's ascertain their efficacy and safety and then get them distributed to anyone who wants them.
Glad to be receiving no more political robo-calls and mailers.
Voting records were set this year in terms of the sheer numbers of participants.
Now that the election is over, let's heal.
It looks like early voting is here to stay for future elections.
The final debate was more presidential than the previous one. Both candidates gave a good accounting of themselves.
I'm always hearing the scientists say that masks are more effective than a vaccine. That probably wont be true when a safe, totally effective vaccine is found.
Too many COVID cases in the White House (and everywhere).
It appears as though the medicinal cocktail offered by Regeneron is showing promise, especially after having helped with President Trump's recovery.
Wishing the President and Mrs. Trump and all those who are or will be suffering from COVID a safe and speedy recovery.
After the first presidential debate one wonders what if anything was gained by either candidate.
Vice-president Pence and presidential candidate Biden met in NYC to take part in the 9/11 ceremony together.
The new social distancing/mask norm is fast becoming a necessary part of world culture.
Now that both conventions are over, election season moves into full swing.
The decision on whether or not to open schools has merit on both sides.
Virtual political conventions this year. Another feature of a year already destined for the history books.
Tragedy in Beirut.
Like youth being wasted on the young, summer is wasted on the summered.
Wearing (your mask) is caring.
In areas where a high density of COVID cases exist, it's been said that contact tracing may not be an effective tool at that point.
The number of COVID cases, the outside temperature and the stock market have all gone up.
Long time members of the Democratic party will have to decide if they can be political bedfellows with the new Progressives.
Hey governors, let's not open our states only to have to re-close them again.
Notwithstanding data from the latest polls, it's still way too early to predict the outcome of the political contests.
The latest is that not everyone with COVID speads it but the super spreaders pass it on to many.
If there weren't crossword puzzles, I'm not sure I'd buy newspapers.
The corona virus is unfortunately still raging even as we approach the 4th of July.
They say the reason participants in recent protest demonstrations have not gotten COVID is because of the masks they were wearing and the fact that the rallies were conducted out of doors.
The truth is I druther not have to wear a mask anymore at the market but I druther not get sick either.
The ground upon which we stand is changing with us on it. Social change seems to be a fact of life.
I hope lockdown fatigue doesn't deter people from social distancing, especially if new COVID spikes occur.
It's a tough decision for one to make when choosing whether to stand up for justice by protesting or to observe social distancing guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID.
Still too much we don't know about COVID to be confident about being safe in public.
Hopefully the nation's reopening wont be the start of a new wave of viral spread.
Will social distancing become part of the new norm?
Hoping to get back to whatever the new normal is soon in America.
The UK has extended their virus lockdown until at least June 1.
Physical health versus economic health. I don't envy the leaders who have to decide when and by how much to re-open.
Australia and New Zealand report significant gains in combatting COVID 19. maybe the rest of the world should follow their lead.
It's interesting how Sweden has experienced the nearly the same death/illness rates as the rest of the world and they implemented zero social guidelines.
The country has begun to re-open, little by little.
The scientists now tell us that UV rays can kill the corona virus.
When I do venture out for food, I'm still seeing a lot of empty shelves in the super markets.
Still adjusting to being basically homebound but glad there's phone, Internet, radio and TV to stay updated and connected.
It's odd to be donning disposable masks and gloves before entering the super market but I guess that's the way life is for now.
Self-quarantining is no fun but it beats the alternative.
NY State has now been given permission to begin COVID 19 testing on their own.
Americans will soon be getting help from the administration on a local level to combat or mitigate issues arriving from the coronavirus
Will he or wont he? Will the ground hog see its shadow? We'll know soon enough.
I's hard to believe that we're in another presidential election year already.
Tensions have thankfully eased on both sides in the U.S.-Iran issue.
New Israeli technology (Diffusing Alpha-emitters Radiation Treatment) has shown promise in shrinking tumors.
All this snow and frigid wearther and winter has only just begun.
I'm old school so I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to receive multiple texts fom my airline on a recent trip, informing me of everything from gate changes to the time needed to walk to the borading area for my connecting flight.
To the consternation of the retailers, the holiday season this year is especially shortened due to the lateness of Thanksgiving.
Many blessings to appreciate again this Thanksgiving.
What's up with having January weather and temperatures before the middle of November?
Honoring the multitude of veterans that have sacrificed for us.
This year's World Series is the only one in which all seven victories were won by the visiting team.
October 27, 2019 is the only day of the season in the U.S. when professionalb baseball, basketball, football and hockey are played.
The World Series is underway. Credit to both the Astros and the nationals for making it this far.
I try to stay apolitical in this column but what has the U.S. done to the Kurds?
Pre-voting is now an option in New York, where a voter can cast their ballot up to nine days before Election Day.
While "birds of a feather stick together" is appropriate for birds, what about dogs or other species that intermarry?
I try to look at the glass as being half-full.
I hope would have had whatever it takes to have pulled the five-year old child from the subway tracks in NYC this week, as the heroes who did it, actually did.
Looking forward to next year's introduction of 5G networks.
Sometimes the reason price differences for gas at different, nearby service stations is hard to figure.
I'm starting to be charged a service fee when I pay for merchandise at a store. Are retailers serious?
The leaves have started to turn. I guess summer is ending.
Republican primary challengers have begun the process for the 2020 presidential nomination.
Credit to the airlines for keeping people safe yet transported in a wild weather environment.
As Dorian bears down on the Southeast U.S., another hurriane season begins.
It's getting to be the time of the year again when one has to both mow and rake. Ouch.
"Back to School" used to be unwelcome words to me. Now I can only feel students' pain vicariously.
The Internet has turned out to be both a blessing and a curse.
Electricity and water are conveniences we take too much for granted.
Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.
It's only the summer of 2019 and already the news is dominated by the election in the fall of 2020.
Six months ago, I was complaining about the cold. Today I'm complaing about the heat. I should be more grateful for the in-between days.
Although not inexpensive, these new plant-based veggie burgers are pretty tasty.
Democratic Presidential candidates are many and hopeful at this early stage.
Living in a private home would be so nice if we didn't have to shovel snow, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, keep up with the maintenance, pay the mortgage, pay the taxes ......... etc.
Snow in Denver in May, multiple tornados in the plains? What's up with all that?
Is climate change the cause of the recent, intense weather we've been experiencing or is it just that we've become more aware of the weather paterns through news reporting?
Trump-Pence vs. Biden-Harris in 2020. Remember where you heard that first.
Between global warming, net neutrality and the election season having begun, how we we make it till the 2020's?
I've never walked into a "Trader Joe's" that wasn't bustling.
It's hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago we were shovelling snow. Now we're making sure the lawn mower is working properly.
The more things change in the modern 2019 world, the more they stay the same.
A double didgit number of Democratic contenders for president have announced.
Daylight savings time has begun, as we seemed to have earned this season's coming warm weather.
NYC won the bidding for an Amazon headquarters and lost it to some questionable politics. What a shame.
Many Democratic hopefuls for the 2020 presidency have announced. They will still have to contend with a Republican president whose support with his base seems unwavering.
The shutdown has finally ended.
Too much discord in Washington, not enough discourse.
What was accomplished by the government shutdown?
I'm not complaining, just observing, that the the Southwest and the Northeast have seemed to undergone a climatoligical role reversal so far this season.
Maybe the country can start to heal a little in this time of good tidings.
The tree at Rockefeller Center awes us again this year. Wow.
Do hard copy holiday cards still matter or is everything electronic now?
Thanksgiving is just around the corner.
One of the most enjoyable experiences a human can have is to recognize that another's life has been improved because of you.
Its already holiday time. Where does the time go?
If nothing else, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings have motivated people to come out and vote.
With all the acrimony in Washington, who's going to want to serve the country in government?
Wouldn't you like to be able to bottle up some of these summer days and release them in the dead of winter?
The heat wave has thankfully broken, at least for now.
Why have so many leaves fallen of the trees already in July?
What happened to middle of the road politics?
Unless the courts become involved, net neutrality is now a thing of the past.
I am learning to not seek enjoyment from things I don't have but rather to look at the things I do have differently. What a blessing.
Credit has to be given where it's due. If the Koreas achieve a framework for peace, President Trump will have been no small reason for it.
It was good to see the release of the three Americans being held in North Korea.
The potential reconciliation of the two Koreas would be no small milestone.
The U.S. led attack on Syria as punishment for the chemical attack on its citizens re-affirms the American role as the world policeman.
Not sure who I'm voting for yet in November but am looking forward to a spirited campaign.
Tax time again. Can't avoid 'em so we we might as well grin and file 'em.
The poisoning of the Russian double agent and his daughter in London is an egrigious act of attempted murder.
Isn't it nice to see the Winter snow drifts melting away in the Spring warmth?
It's true. People's best friends really are dogs.
How can people help contibute to society? How about volunteering.
If the government actually shuts down does the Treasury get to keep the unpaid federal salaries and does that help the deficit?
With winters like the one we're having, advocates for global warming reform must be on the defensive.
The Gallup Poll reports the most admired men in 2017 are Barak Obama and Donald Trump. The most admired women are Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.
When Edward Kennedy was drafted from college into the NFL, he told his recruiters that he had decided to go into another contact sport instead, politics. Looks like nothing has changed.
Divisions continue to loom in our great country. :(
If in NYC, see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. If that doesn't put you in the spirit, nothing will.
With the costs of insurance, fuel, maqintenance, etc, I wouldn't own a car if it wasn't necessary to get around for everyday chores.
I understand why gasoline prices skyrocketed after the hurricane in Houston but find it hard to understand why they havent come down as rapidly, not that the refineries are back on line.
Is it me or are there more serious hurricanes this year than usual?
I might try going an hour with my smart phone, just to see if I have withdrawl symptoms.
Are there enough lobbyists in Washington? lol
No more foreign interference in our elections, please.
I gave up on the notion a long time ago that we have pets as a service to them. They are present in our homes because they are therapeutic for us.
I am finding the older I get, the more set in my ways I have become. Where routine used to be an enemy, it is now a friend.
One of the many improvements I've observed over the years, is the accuracy of the weather forecasters.
Alt right, ultra left? At the end of the day, we all have to play in the same American sandbox.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could all walk around with our own individual, controllable weather for our spaces?
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