Alone

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R. M. McBride, 1922 - Italy - 280 pages
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Page 173 - Quite insignificant! Not worth troubling about. Hundreds of decent and honest folk are being destroyed every day; nobody cares tuppence; "one dirty blackmailer more or less - what does it matter to anybody ?" There are so many more interesting things on earth. That is why the bishop - ie the reader - here discovers the crime to be a "contemptible little episode", and decides to "relegate it into the category of unimportant events".
Page 173 - For although the personalities of the villain and his legal spouse crop up periodically, with ominous insistence, from the first chapter onwards, they are always swallowed up again. The reason is given in the penultimate chapter, where the critic might have found a resume of my intentions and the key to this plot — to wit, that a murder under those particular circumstances is not only justifiable and commendable but — insignificant.
Page 96 - Galilaean; the world has grown grey from thy breath" and with it grows dim the light of Euripides. In 312 AD Constantine was converted; in 410 Alaric entered Rome. III. MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE "Paganisme immortel, es-tu mort' On le dit, Mais Pan tout has s'en moque, et la Sirene en rit.
Page 151 - ... exerted myself to overcome my uupleasant introduction ; and whether it was the agreeable nature of my conversation, or more likely some excellent wine, which we consumed in considerable quantity, we became at last great friends. It was long past midnight ere we closed our bacchanalian orgies, and he ended by stating that he was happy to have made my acquaintance. I found good reasons why the judge had selected him to be my host, as he was one of those who was under the surveillance of the police,...
Page 123 - I afflicted with this particular ailment, this attenuated form of coprophagia, I should try to keep the hideous secret to myself. It is nothing to boast of. A man owes something to those traditions of our race which have helped to raise us above the level of the brute. Good taste in viands has been painfully acquired; it is a sacred trust.
Page 172 - How to make murder palatable to a bishop: that is the plot. How ? You must unconventionalize him and instil into his mind the seeds of doubt and revolt. You must shatter his old notions of what is right. It is the only way to achieve this result, and I would defy the critic to point to a single incident or character or conversation...
Page 267 - Viterbo, there suddenly came into his head 'a wistful intermezzo of Brahms'. It seemed to spring out of the hot earth. Such a natural song, elvishly coaxing! Would I ever play it again? Neither that, nor any other. It turned my thoughts, as I went along, to Brahms and led me to understand why no man, who cares only for his fellow creatures, will ever relish that music. It is an alien tongue, full of deeps and rippling shadows, uncomprehended of those who know nothing of lonely places; full of thrills...
Page 277 - I thought of certain of my fellow-creatures. I often think of them. What were they now doing ? Taking themselves seriously and rushing about, as usual, haggard and careworn — like those sagacious ants that scurry hither and thither, and stare into each others...
Page 25 - Alas, we are sufficiently familiar with that tale ! Now, Madam, let us not lose a moment ! It is a question of life and death." " Aspirin, I tell you " " Kindly submit, or the three of us will be obliged to employ force." The stomach-pump was produced. It is the drawback of all sea-side places that half the landscape is unavailable for purposes of human locomotion, being covered by useless water. Mentone is more unfortunate than most of them, for its Hinterland is so cloven and contorted that unless...
Page 201 - A murderous flood. . . . That hoary, trickling structure — that fountain which has forgotten to be a fountain, so dreamily does the water ooze through obstructive mosses and emerald growths that dangle in drowsy pendants, like wet beards, from its venerable lips — that fountain untrimmed, harmonious, overhung by ancient ilexes : where shall a more reposeful spot be found ? Doubly delicious, after the turmoil and glistening sheen by the river-bank. For the foliage of the oaks is such that it creates...

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