Vault Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 62 quotes )
p.61 He [Roark] was usually disliked, from the first sight of his face, anywhere he went. His face was closed like the door of a safety vault; things locked in safety vaults are valuable; men did not care to feel that. He was a cold, disquieting presence in the room; his presence had a strange quality: it made itself felt and yet it made them feel that he was not there; or perhaps that he was and they weren't.
At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancies were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population has abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that ended only with the dawn of space exploration.
Soul is not even that Crackerjack prize that God and Satan scuffle over after the worms have all licked our bones. That's why, when we ponder--as sooner or later each of us must--exactly what we ought to be doing about our soul, religion is the wrong, if conventional, place to turn. Religion is little more than a transaction in which troubled people trade their souls for temporary and wholly illusionary psychological comfort--the old give-it-up-in-order-to-save-it routine. Religions lead us to believe that the soul is the ultimate family jewel and that in return for our mindless obedience, they can secure it for us in their vaults, or at least insure it against fire theft. They are mistaken.
In the vaults of our hearts and brains, danger waits. All the chambers are not lovely, light and high. There are holes in the floor of the mind, like those in a medieval dungeon floor - the stinking oubliettes, named for forgetting, bottle-shaped cells in solid rock with the trapdoor in the top. Nothing escapes from them quietly to ease us. A quake, some betrayal by our safeguards, and sparks of memory fire the noxious gases - things trapped for years fly free, ready to explode in pain and drive us to dangerous behavior...
I say no wealth is worth my life! Not all they claimwas stored in the depths of Troy, that city built on riches, in the old days of peace before the sons of Achaea came-not all the gold held fast in the Archer's rocky vaults, in Phoebus Apollo's house on Pytho's sheer cliffs! Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding, tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions. But a man's life breath cannot come back again-no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth. Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies... true, but the life that's left me will be long, the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.
He shrugged. - They're just people - he said. - They're just doing what people do. Sir. Lord Vetinari gave him a friendly smile.- Of course, of course - he said. - You have to believe that, I appreciate. Otherwise you'd go quite mad. Otherwise you'd think you're standing on a feather-thin bridge over the vaults of Hell. Otherwise existence would be a dark agony and the only hope would be that there is no life after death. I quite understand.
The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness, "that delectable trance of happiness, that ultimate peak of delight. Laughter of delight, delight of laughter." There is no doubt: this laughter goes "far beyond joking, jeering, and ridicule." The two sisters stretched out on their bed are not laughing at anything concrete, their laughter has no object; it is an expression of being rejoicing at being... and in this ecstatic laughter he loses all memory, all desire, cries out to the immediate present of the world, and needs no other knowledge.
Mr Horsefry was a youngish man, not simply running to fat but vaulting, leaping and diving towards obesity. He had acquired at thirty an impressive selection of chins, and now they wobbled with angry pride.* * It is wrong to judge by appearances. Despite his expression, which was that of a piglet having a bright idea, and his mode of speech, which might put you in mind of a small, breathless, neurotic but ridiculously expensive dog, Mr Horsefry might well have been a kind, generous and pious man. In the same way, the man climbing out of your window in a stripy jumper, a mask and a great hurry might merely be lost on the way to a fancy-dress party, and the man in the wig and robes at the focus of the courtroom might only be a transvestite who wandered in out of the rain. Snap judgements can be so unfair.
It is moonlight. Alone in the silence. I ascend my stairs once more, While waves remote in pale blue starlight. Crash on a white sand shore. It is moonlight. The garden is silent. I stand in my room alone. Across my wall, from the far-off moon, A rain of fire is thrown. There are houses hanging above the stars, And stars hung under the sea, And a wind from the long blue vault of time. Waves my curtains for me. I wait in the dark once more, swung between space and space: Before the mirror I lift my hands. And face my remembered face.
Dig deep, deep, my soul, to find the heart--the blood, the heat, the shrine and resting place. Dig deep, deep into the moist soil all the way to where they lie, those I love--she, Mother, with her dark hair loose and gone, her bones long since tumbled in the back of the vault, as other coffins came to rest in her spot, but in this dream I range them round me to hold as if she were there...
I believe in the Supreme Being, in a Creator, whatever he may be. I care little who has placed us here below to fulfil our duties as citizens and fathers of families; but I don't need to go to church to kiss silver plates, and fatten, out of my pocket, a lot of good-for-nothings who live better than we do. For one can know him as well in a wood, in a field, or even contemplating the eternal vault like the ancients. My God! mine is the God of Socrates, of Franklin, of Voltaire, and of Beranger! I am for the profession of faith of the 'Savoyard Vicar,' and the immortal principles of '89! And I can't admit of an old boy of a God who takes walks in his garden with a cane in his hand, who lodges his friends in the belly of whales, dies uttering a cry, and rises again at the end of three days; things absurd in themselves, and completely opposed, moreover, to all physical laws, which proves to us, by the way, that priests have always wallowed in turpid ignorance, in which they would fain engulf the people with them.
The fire had burned to coals and he lay looking up at the stars in their places and the hot belt of matter that ran the chord of the dark vault overhead and he put his hands on the ground at either side of him and pressed them against the earth and in that coldly burning canopy of black he slowly turned dead center to the world, all of it taut and trembling and moving enormous and alive under his hands. What's her name? said Rawlins in the darkness. Alejandra. Her name is Alejandra.
I know you can't wash in the same river even once. I know the river will bring new lights that you will not see. I know we live slightly longer than a horse and not nearly as long as a crow. I know this has troubled people before and will trouble those after me. I know all this has been said a thousand times before and will be said after me. I didn't know I like the sky cloudy or clearthe blue vault that Andrei watched on his back on the battlefield at Borodino...
The air was cool and fresh and smelled of the kelp and salt that streamed in off the bay at the full of the tide. The sun was high in the tender vault of the sky, and the thunderheads that would sweep in late in the day were still only white marble puffs at the margins of the sky, solid and silver-lined. There was a blue clarity about the horizon and the distant hills that spoke of a weather change but not for another day or two. Along the meadows' edges, as we drove past, I saw pink clover and purple lupine, hawkweed and wild daylilies. Brilliant pink wild azaleas, called lambkill here, flickered like wildfire in the birch groves. Daisies, buttercups, wild columbine, and the purple flags of wild iris starred the roadside. Behind them all was the eternal dark of the pines and firs and spruce thickets and, between those, the glittering indigo of the bay.