Quick note – I updated the quotes page and the books page on here… I know the art and graphics one needs it, too… or I may just put it in a post and tag it.
Tonight I finish the second-to-last of the 70-book Henty set. The other one is at my grandma’s house…. so I shall read it later. I’ve had mixed thoughts while reading Henty. I know that Henty writes more from a historical viewpoint than as a storyteller, which I find hard to cope with sometimes. Especially today – we’d had a wonderful afternoon at the N’s, and some of our conversation had been about poverty in parts of the world, and various other things that prove the fallenness of man. I was reading Henty on the way home, and at one point Henty wrote something like “It’ll be a hard fight.” – but said nothing of death. Nothing of the precious lives – souls! – that would be lost, how many fathers, brothers, sons would be lost… I don’t pay a lot of attention to the battles in his books, they do bore me some, but the main reason is that if I really read it, I would burst into tears. Things like that make me cry. I cannot listen to the news or read the newspaper without feeling like crying.
Yes, death happens. That does make me sad – but sadder still is the passive way people treat it, especially wars in far-off countries.
I love Les Miserables for that reason.
Mr. Hugo does not treat death lightly (although he does kill most of his characters!)
Quotes that prove this:
“’What a pity,’ said Combeferre, ‘What a hideous thing these bloodbaths are! I’m sure, when there are no more kinds, there will be no more war. Enjolras, you’re aiming at that sergeant, you’re not looking at him. Just think that he’s a charming young man; he’s intrepid’ you can see that he’s a thinker’ these young artillery men are well educated; he has a father, a mother, a family; he’s in love, probably; he’s twenty-five at most, he might be your brother.’
‘He is,’ said Enjolras.
‘Yes,’ said Combeferre, ‘and mine, too. Well, don’t let’s kill him.’
‘Leave me alone. We must do what we must.’ And a tear rolled slowly down Enjolras’s marble cheek.”
“There is no bravery that does not shudder and feel the proximity of anguish.”
“If anything is horrible, if there is a reality that surpasses our worst dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to have health and joy, to laugh heartily, to rush toward a glory that lures you on, to feel lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, to speak, to hope, to love; to have mother, wife, children, to have sunlight, and suddenoly, in less time than it takes to cry out, to plunge into an abyss, to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed, to see the heads of grain, the flowers, the leaves, the branches, unable to catch hold of anything, to feel your sword useless, men under you, horses over you, to struggle in vain, your bones broken by some kick in the darkness, to feel a heel gouging your eye out of their sockets, raging at the horseshoe between your teeth, to stifle, to howl, to twist, to be under all this, and to say, “Just then I was a living man.”
(Boy I really need to read that book again!)
But I have so many books to read first! Although I’m basically done with Henty, I have 20 Ballantyne books to read (YAY!) and then the massive stack of books I got for my birthday – THEN come Peter Pan, Les Miserables, Lord of the Rings, and all of those re-reads. 🙂
I had an oboe lesson today. Much prayer is needed… No one can be as good as Mrs. Rawleigh, but I may be able to find a better teacher than I have now – better for me, anyway, he’s a wonderful teacher. Plus where I take lessons is so expensive!
Bail O Dia Ort,
“It doesn’t take courage to kill someone, it takes severe lack of moral stamina.” – Klaus, The Hostile Hospital.