Quivering Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 58 quotes )
There, at a depth to which divers would find it difficult to descend, are caverns, haunts, and dusky mazes, where monstrous creatures multiply and destroy each other. Huge crabs devour fish and are devoured in their turn. Hideous shapes of living things, not created to be seen by human eyes wander in this twilight. Vague forms of antennae, tentacles, fins, open jaws, scales, and claws, float about there, quivering, growing larger, or decomposing and perishing in the gloom, while horrible swarms of swimming things prowl about seeking their prey. To gaze into the depths of the sea is, in the imagination, like beholding the vast unknown, and from its most terrible point of view. The submarine gulf is analogous to the realm of night and dreams. There also is sleep, unconsciousness, or at least apparent unconsciousness, of creation. There in the awful silence and darkness, the rude first forms of life, phantomlike, demoniacal, pursue their horrible instincts.
At daybreak, my face still turned to the wall, and before I had seen above the big window-curtains what shade of colour the first streaks of light assumed, I could already tell what the weather was like. The first sounds from the street had told me, according to whether they came to my ears deadened and distorted by the moisture of the atmosphere or quivering like arrows in the resonant, empty expanses of a spacious, frosty, pure morning; as soon as I heard the rumble of the first tramcar, I could tell whether it was sodden with rain or setting forth into the blue.
I was a witness of the execution at Horsemonger-lane this morning. ... I believe that a sight so inconceivably awful as the wickedness and levity of the immense crowd collected at that execution this morning could be imagined by no man, and could be presented in no heathen land under the sun. The horrors of the gibbet and of the crime which brought the wretched murderers to it, faded in my mind before the atrocious bearing, looks and language, of the assembled spectators. ... When the two miserable creatures who attracted all this ghastly sight about them were turned quivering into the air, there was no more emotion, no more pity, no more thought that two immortal souls had gone to judgment, no more restraint in any of the previous obscenities, than if the name of Christ had never been heard in this world, and there were no belief among men but that they perished like beasts.
In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction.
If he lies pressed against me, he gently twines his legs about mine and our legs are merged by the very soft cloth of our pajamas; he then takes great pains to find the right spot to cuddle his cheek. So long as he is not sleeping, I feel the quivering of his eyelids and upturned lashes against the very sensitive skin of my neck. If he feels a tickling in his nostrils, his laziness and drowsiness keep him from lifting his hand, so that in order to scratch himself he rubs his nose against my beard, thus giving me delicate little taps with his head, like a young calf sucking its mother.
There are objects made up of two sense elements, one visual, the other auditory—the colour of a sunrise and the distant call of a bird. Other objects are made up of many elements—the sun, the water against the swimmer's chest, the vague quivering pink which one sees when the eyes are closed, the feeling of being swept away by a river or by sleep. These second degree objects can be combined with others; using certain abbreviations, the process is practically an infinite one. There are famous poems made up of one enormous word, a word which in truth forms a poetic object, the creation of the writer. The fact that no one believes that nouns refer to an actual reality means, paradoxically enough, that there is no limit to the numbers of them.
I used to rush into strange dreams at night: dreams many-coloured, agitated, full of the ideal, the stirring, the stormy--dreams where, amidst unusual scenes, charged with adventure, with agitating risk and romantic chance, I still again and again met Mr. Rochester, always at some exciting crisis; and then the sense of being in his arms, hearing his voice, meeting his eye, touching his hand and cheek, loving him, being loved by him--the hope of passing a lifetime at his side, would be renewed, with all its first force and fire. Then I awoke. Then I recalled where I was, and how situated. Then I rose up on my curtainless bed, trembling and quivering; and then the still, dark night witnessed the convulsion of despair, and heard the burst of passion.
The Cardinal was bent over his writing desk, the room unchanged save for the light of what appeared a small antique oil lamp. And there were illuminated letters in the book before him, tiny figures fitted into the capitals, the whole gleaming as he let his hand, quivering, turn the page."Ah, think of it," he said, smiling as he saw Tonio, "written language the possession of those who took such pains to preserve it. I am forever entranced with the forms in which knowledge is given us, not by nature, but by our fellow man.
To set out for rehearsals in that quivering quarter-hour is to engage conclusions, not beginnings, for one walks past the guilded hallucinations of poverty with a corrupt resignation touched by details, as if the destitute, in their orange-tinted back yards, under their dusty trees, or climbing into their favelas, were all natural scene designers and poverty were not a condition but an art. Deprivation is made lyrical, and twilight, with the patience of alchemy, almost transmutes despair into virtue. In the tropics nothing is lovelier than the allotments of the poor, no theater is as vivid, voluble, and cheap.
Selfishly, perhaps, Catti-brie had determined that the assassin was her own business. He had unnerved her, had stripped away years of training and discipline and reduced her to the quivering semblance of a frightened child. But she was a young woman now, no more a girl. She had to personally respond to that emotional humiliation, or the scars from it would haunt her to her grave, forever paralyzing her along her path to discover her true potential in life.
Let us remember: when we talk of the rending of the veil we are speaking in a figure, and the thought of it is poetical, almost pleasant; but in actuality there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free.
The terror of being judged sharpens the memory: it sends an inevitable glare over that long-unvisited past which has been habitually recalled only in general phrases. Even without memory, the life is bound into one by a zone of dependence in growth and decay; but intense memory forces a man to own his blameworthy past. With memory set smarting like a reopened wound, a man’s past is not simply a dead history, an outworn preparation of the present: it is not a repented error shaken loose from the life: it is a still quivering part of himself, bringing shudders and bitter flavors and the tinglings of a merited shame.
He was a precocious and delicate little boy, quivering with the malaise of being unloved. When we played, his child's heart would come into its own, and the troubled world where his vague hungers went unfed and mothers and fathers were dim and far away--too far away to ever reach in and touch the sore place and make it heal--would disappear, along with the world where I was not sufficiently muscled or sufficiently gallant to earn my own regard.
After a cup of tea (two spoonsful for each cup, and don't let it stand more than three minutes,) it says to the brain, "Now, rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature and into life; spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!
Lying asleep between the strokes of night. I saw my love lean over my sad bed, Pale as the duskiest lily's leaf or head, Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite, Too wan for blushing and too warm for white, But perfect-coloured without white or red. And her lips opened amorously, and said--I wist not what, saving one word--Delight. And all her face was honey to my mouth, And all her body pasture to my eyes; The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire, The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south, The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs. And glittering eyelids of my soul's desire.
The four walls of the living redoubt had fallen, hardly could a quivering be detected here and there among the corpses; and thus the French legions, grander than the Roman legions, expired at Mont-Saint-Jean on ground soaked in rain and blood, in the somber wheatfields, at the spot where today at four in the morning, whistling, and gaily whipping up his horse, Joseph drives by with the mail from Nivelles.
It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon it says, "Work!" After beefsteak and porter, it says, "Sleep!" After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don't let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain, "Now rise, and show your strength. Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life: spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!
The first glance at the pillow showed me a repulsive sentinel perched upon each end of it--cockroaches as large as peach leaves--fellows with long, quivering antennae and fiery, malignant eyes. They were grating their teeth like tobacco worms, and appeared to be dissatisfied about something. I had often heard that these reptiles were in the habit of eating off sleeping sailors' toe nails down to the quick, and I would not get in the bunk any more. I lay down on the floor. But a rat came and bothered me, and shortly afterward a procession of cockroaches arrived and camped in my hair. In a few moments the rooster was crowing with uncommon spirit and a party of fleas were throwing double somersaults about my person in the wildest disorder, and taking a bite every time they stuck. I was beginning to feel really annoyed. I got up and put my clothes on and went on deck. The above is not overdrawn; it is a truthful sketch of inter-island schooner life.
Lisa was thinking, as she climbed the apparently unending staircase, the she had taken pretty long odds. She had not hesitated to buck the Tiger, Life. Simon Iff had warned her that she was acting on impulse. But--on the top of that--he had merely urged her to be true to it. She swore once more that she would stick to her guns. The black mood fell from her. She turned and looked upon the sea, now far below. The sun, a hollow orb of molten glory, hung quivering in the mist of the Mediterranean; and Lisa entered for a moment into a perfect peace of spirit. She became once with Nature, instead of a being eternally at war with it.