Certainty Quotes (displaying: 91 - 120 of 323 quotes )
Twenty years was a long time. But Tengo knew that if he were to meet Aomame in another twenty years, he would feel the same way he did now. Even if they were both over fifty, he would still feel the same mix of excitement and confusion in her presence. His heart would be filled with the same joy and certainty.
Elinor now found the difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event, however certain the mind may be told to consider it, and certainty itself. She now found that, in spite of herself, she had always admitted a hope, while Edward remained single, that something would occur to prevent his marrying Lucy; that some resolution of his own, some mediation of friends, or some more eligible opportunity of establishment for the lady, would arise to assist the happiness of all. But he was now married; and she condemned her heart for the lurking flattery which so much heightened the pain of the intelligence.
Those of us who write and study history are accustomed to its approximations and ambiguities. This is why we do not take literally the tenth-hand reports of frightened and illiterate peasants who claim to have seen miracles or to have had encounters with messiahs and prophets and redeemers who were, like them, mere humans. And this is also why we will never submit to dictation from those who display a fanatical belief in certainty and revelation.
Of whom and of what can I say: "I know that"! This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction. For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers. I can sketch one by one all the aspects it is able to assume, all those likewise that have been attributed to it, this upbringing, this origin, this ardor or these silences, this nobility or this vileness. But aspects cannot be added up. This very heart which is mine will forever remain indefinable to me. Between the certainty I have of my existence and the content I try to give to that assurance the gap will never be filled.
These principles laid down as in variable rules: that one must pay a card sharper, but need not pay a tailor; that one must never tell a lie to a man, but one may to a woman; that one must never cheat any one, but one may a husband; that one must never pardon an insult, but one may give one and so on. These principles were possibly not reasonable and not good, but they were of unfailing certainty, and so long as he adhered to them, Vronsky felt that his heart was at peace and he could hold his head up.
My mother has made choices in her life, as we all must, and she is at peace with them. I can see her peace. She did not cop out on herself. The benefits of her choices are massive-a long, stable marriage to a man she still calls her best friend; a family that has extended now into grandchildren who adore her; a certainty in her own strength. Maybe some things were sacrificed, and my dad made his sacrifices, too-but who amongst us lives without sacrifice?
The image of the "presence," whatever it was, waiting there for him to go--this image had not yet been so concrete for his nerves as when he stopped short of the point at which certainty would have come to him. For, with all his resolution, or more exactly with all his dread, he did stop short--he hung back from really seeing. The risk was too great and his fear too definite: it took at this moment an awful specific form.
A precious mouldering pleasure 't is. To meet an antique book, In just the dress his century wore; A privilege, I think, His venerable hand to take, And warming in our own, A passage back, or two, to make. To times when he was young. His quaint opinions to inspect, His knowledge to unfold. On what concerns our mutual mind. The literature of old; What interested scholars most, What competitions ran. When Plato was a certainty, And Sophocles a man; When Sappho was a living girl, And Beatrice wore. The gown that Dante deified. Facts, centuries before, He traverses familiar, As one should come to town. And tell you all your dreams were true: He lived where dreams were born. His presence is enchantment, You beg him not to go; Old volumes shake their vellum heads. And tantalize just so.
What is it that sometimes speaks in the soul so calmly, so clearly, that its earthly time is short? Is it the secret instinct of decaying nature, or the soul's impulsive throb, as immortality draws on? Be what it may, it rested in the heart of Eva, a calm, sweet, prophetic certainty that Heaven was near; calm as the light of sunset, sweet as the bright stillness of autumn, there her little heart reposed, only troubled by sorrow for those who loved her so dearly.
I am a product [...of] endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.
How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that come from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time. Men may write love songs and sing them. They may yearn and hope and dream. But all of this will be only a romantic longing unless there is an exercise of authority that transcends the powers of time and death.
What is magic? Then there is the witches' explanation, which comes in two forms, depending on the age of the witch. Older witches hardly put words to it at all, but may suspect in their hearts that the universe really doesn't know what the hell is going on and consists of a zillion trillion billion possibilities, and could become any one of them if a trained mind rigid with quantum certainty was inserted into the crack and twisted; that, if you really had to make someone's hat explode, all you needed to do was twist into that universe where a large number of hat molecules all decide at the same time to bounce off in different directions. Younger witches, on the other hand, talk about it all the time and believe it involves crystals, mystic forces, and dancing about without yer drawers on. Everyone may be right, all at the same time. That's the thing about quantum.
Once you have mathematical certainty there is nothing left to do or to understand. There will be nothing left but to bottle up your five senses and plunge into contemplation. While if you stick to consciousness, even though the same result is attained, you can at least flog yourself at times, and that will, at any rate, liven you up. Reactionary as it is, corporal punishment is better than nothing.
We can't stand it, to be alone. We cannot bear it, any more than the monks of old could bear it, men who though they had renounced all else for Christ's sake, nevertheless came together in congregations to be with one another, even as they enforced upon themselves the harsh rules of single solitary cells and unbroken silence. They couldn't bear to be alone. We are too much men and women; we are yet formed in the image of the Creater, and what can we say of Him with any certainty except that He, whoever He may be--Christ, Yahweh, Allah--He made us, did He not, because even He in His Infinite Perfection could not bear to be alone.
I thought I was in love with Leola, by which I meant that if I could have found her in a quiet corner, and if I had been certain that no one would ever find out, and if I could have summoned up the courage at the right moment, I would have kissed her. But, looking back on it now, I know that I was in love with Mrs Dempster. Not as some boys are in love with grown-up women, adoring them from afar and enjoying a fantasy life in which the older woman figures in an idealized form, but in a painful and immediate fashion; I saw her every day, I did menial tasks in her house, and I was charged to watch her and keep her from doing foolish things. Furthermore, I felt myself tied to her by the certainty that I was responsible for her straying wits, the disorder of her marriage, and the frail body of the child who was her great delight in life. I had made her what she was, and in such circumstances I must hate her or love her. In a mode that was far too demanding for my age or experience, I loved her.