English Scholar, Writer
Dorothy Leigh Sayers
English Scholar, Writer
However entrancing it is to wander unchecked through a garden of bright images, are we not enticing your mind from another subject of almost equal importance?
I took the liberty of ascertaining as much beforehand, my lord.Of course you did, Bunter. You always ascertain everything.
It's difficult to make people see that what you have been taught counts for nothing, and that the only things worth having are the things you find out for yourself. Also, that when so many brands of what Chesterton calls 'fancy souls' and theories of life are offered you, there is no sense in not looking pretty carefully to see what you are going in for. [...] It isn't a case of 'Here is the Christian religion, the one authoritative and respectable rule of life. Take it or leave it'. It's 'Here's a muddling kind of affair called Life, and here are nineteen or twenty different explanations of it, all supported by people whose opinions are not to be sneezed at. Among them is the Christian religion in which you happen to have been brought up. Your friend so-and-so has been brought up in quite a different way of thinking; is a perfectly splendid person and thoroughly happy. What are you going to do about it?' -- I'm worrying it out quietly, and whatever I get hold of will be valuable, because I've got it for myself; but really, you know, the whole question is not as simple as it looks.
Once lay down the rule that the job comes first and you throw that job open to every individual, man or woman, fat or thin, tall or short, ugly or beautiful, who is able to do that job better than the rest of the world.
She couldn't have found anything nastier to say if she had thought it out with both hands for a fortnight.
The planet's tyrant, dotard Death, had held his gray mirror before them for a moment and shown them the image of things to come.
Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.
When a job is undertaken form necessity...the worker is self-consciously aware of the toils and pains he undergoes...But when the job is a labor of love, the sacrifices will present themselves to the worker--strange as it may seem--in the guise of enjoyment. Moralists, looking on at this, will always judge that the former kind of sacrifice is more admirable than the later, because the moralist, whatever he may pretend, has far more respect for pride than for love...I do not mean that there is no nobility in doing unpleasant things from a sense of duty, but only that there is more nobility in doing them gladly out of sheer love of the job. The Puritan thinks otherwise.
I always have a quotation for everything--it saves original thinking.
I will say here and now that I have never discovered, nor can I see, any reasonable use or excuse for the waynee, weedee, weekee convention. It is not merely that I have a profound sympathy with one of my friends who says he just cannot believe that Caesar was the kind of man to talk in that kind of way. Caesar may, indeed, have done so, but what then ?
It's disquieting to reflect that one's dreams never symbolize one's real wishes, but always something Much Worse... If I really wanted to be passionately embraced by Peter, I should dream of dentists or gardening. I wonder what unspeakable depths of awfulness can only be expressed by the polite symbol of Peter's embraces?
One can scarcely be frightened off writing what one wants to write for fear an obscure reviewer should patronize one on that account.
She reflected she must be completely besotted with Peter, if his laughter could hallow an aspidistra.
The really essential factors of success in any undertaking are money and opportunity, and as a rule, the man who can make the first can make the second.
To make a deliberate falsification for personal gain is the last, worst depth to which either scholar or artist can descend in work or life.
When I see men callously and cheerfully denying women the full use of their bodies, while insisting with sobs and howls on the satisfaction of their own, I simply can't find it heroic, or kind, or anything but pretty rotten and feeble.
'I am an amateur,' said Lord Peter
If anybody ever marries you, it will be for the pleasure of hearing you talk piffle.
It's not the innocent young things that need gentle handling--it's the ones that have been frightened and hurt.
One demands a little originality in these days, even from murderers, said Lady Swaffham. Like dramatists, you know--so much easier in Shakespeare's time, wasn't it? Always the same girl dressed up as a man, and even that borrowed from Boccaccio or Dante or somebody. I'm sure if I'd been a Shakespeare hero, the very minute I saw a slim-legged young page-boy I'd have said: 'Ods bodikins! There's that girl again!
She suddenly saw Wimsey in a new light. She knew him to be intelligent, clean, courteous, wealthy, well-read, amusing and enamored, but he had not so far produced in her that crushing sense of inferiority which leads to prostration and hero-worship. But she now realized that there was, after all, something godlike about him. He could control a horse.
The rule seemed to be that a great woman must either die unwed ... or find a still greater man to marry her. ... The great man, on the other hand, could marry where he liked, not being restricted to great women; indeed, it was often found sweet and commendable in him to choose a woman of no sort of greatness at all.
To subdue one's self to one's own ends might be dangerous, but to subdue one's self to other people's ends was dust and ashes. Yet there were those, still more unhappy, who envied even the ashy saltness of those dead sea apples.
Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him -- or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.
I can't think why fancy religions should have such a ghastly effect on one's grammar. It's a kind of intellectual rot that sets in, I'm afraid.