Is there any wilderness of sand in the deserts of Arabia, is there any prospect of desolation among the ruins of Palestine, which can rival the repelling effect on the eye, and the depressing influence on the mind, of an English country town in the first stage of its existence, and in the transition state of its prosperity?
I, the dreamer clinging yet to the dream as the patient clings to the last thin unbearable ecstatic instant of agony in order to sharpen the savor of the pain's surcease, waking into the reality, the more than reality, not to the unchanged and unaltered old time but into a time altered to fit the dream which, conjunctive with the dreamer, becomes immolated and apotheosized
You could concentrate much more deeply when you were alone with agony.
We mourn the blossoms of May because they are to whither; but we know that May is one day to have its revenge upon November, by the revolution of that solemn circle which never stops---which teaches us in our height of hope, ever to be sober, and in our depth of desolation, never to despair.
But it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in the most humorous sadness.
Blessed be shock. Blessed be the part of us that protects us from too much pain and sorrow. At the heart of life is a fusebox.
Martin in particular concluded that man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, or in the lethargy of boredom.
For the first time I noticed - as I would notice repeatedly during my ordeal, between one throe of agony and the next - that my suffering was taking place in a grand setting. I saw my suffering for what it was, finite and insignificant, and I was still. My suffering did not fit anywhere, I realized. And I could accept this. It was all right.
Don't forget that in the midst of all your pain and heartache, you are surrounded by beauty, the wonder of creation, art, your music and culture, the sounds of laughter and love, of whispered hopes and celebrations, of new life and transformation, of reconciliation and forgiveness.
Misery loves company, and madness calls it forth.
And then he felt the misery of his life.
That time we separated was my idea. I thought, well, I'm fifty years old and there might be someone else out there. People waste their happiness - that's what makes me sad. Everyone's so scared to be happy.
Agonies are one of my changes of garments.
So your desire is to do nothing? Well, you shall not have a week, a day, an hour, free from oppression. You shall not be able to lift anything without agony. Every passing minute will make your muscles crack. What is feather to others will be a rock to you. The simplest things will become difficult. Life will become monstrous about you. To come, to go, to breathe, will be so many terrible tasks for you. Your lungs will feel like a hundred-pound weight.
For this is the truth about our soul, he thought, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.
It was very sad, he thought. The things men carried inside. The things men did or felt they had to do.
Brooding, she changed the pool into the sea, and made the minnows into sharks and whales, and cast vast clouds over this tiny world by holding her hand against the sun, and so brought darkness and desolation, like God himself, to millions of ignorant and innocent creatures, and then took her hand away suddenly and let the sun stream down.
Where do you get the right to decide our lives? I'll tell you where. From that little hog's gut that hangs between your legs. Well, let me tell you something... you will need more than that. I don't know where you will get it or who will give it to you, but mark my words, you will need more than that.... You are a sad, pitiful, stupid, selfish, hateful man. I hope your little hog's gut stands you in good stead, and you take good care of it, because you don't have anything else.
He turned from the sight of human ignorance and human fate and the sea eating the ground we stand on, which, had he been able to contemplate it fixedly might have led to something; and found consolation in trifles so slight compared with the august theme just now before him that he was disposed to slur that comfort over, to deprecate it, as if to be caught happy in a world of misery was for an honest man the most despicable of crimes.
Misery colored by the greens and blues in my mother's voice took away all the grief out of the words and left me with a conviction that pain was not only endurable, it was sweet.
Never did anybody look so sad. Bitter and black, halfway down, in the darkness, in the shaft which ran from the sunlight to the depths, perhaps a tear formed; a tear fell; the waves swayed this way and that, received it, and were at rest. Never did anybody look so sad.
Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him--he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.
Desiring always to be in mourning, he clothed himself with night.
Great griefs exhaust. They discourage us with life. The man into whom they enter feels something taken from him. In youth, their visit is sad; later on, it is ominous.
He was at his own request and through his own complicity driven out of all his happinesses one after the other; and he had this sorrow, that after having lost Cosette wholly in one day, he was afterwards obliged to lose her again in detail.
In all Thénardier's outpourings, the words and gestures, the fury blazing in his eyes, this explosion of an evil nature brazenly exposed, the mixture of bravado and abjectness, arrogance, pettiness, rage, absurdity; the hodgepodge of genuine distress, and lying sentiment, the shamelessness of a vicious man rejoicing in viciousness, the bare crudity of an ugly soul -- in this eruption of all suffering and hatred there was something which was hideous as evil itself and still as poignant as truth.
In fact, he who has only beheld the misery of man has seen nothing; the misery of woman is what he must see; he who has seen only the misery of woman has seen nothing; he must see the misery of the child.
But here there was only hot swing music and liquor, dance halls, ban, and movies, and sex that hung in the gloom like a chandelier and flooded the world with brief, deceptive rainbows.
For a moment she'd wondered if the seal around her sockets were tight enough to allow the tears simply to go on and fill up the entire lens space and never dry. She could carry the sadness of the moment with her that way forever, see the world refracted through those tears, those specific tears, as if indices as yet unfound varied in important ways from cry to cry.
The old King is dead. The new King approaches! And at his approach the world sheds its sorrow. The sings of the old King dissolve like morning mist! The world assumes the character of the new. His virtues fill up the wood and world!