English Novelist, Biographer and Journalist
Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh
English Novelist, Biographer and Journalist
When I reached C Company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning.
Where can we hide in fair weather, we orphans of the storm?
Where do you lurk? I shall come down your burrow and ch-chivvy you out like an old st-t-toat.
While still a young man, John Courteney Boot had, as his publisher proclaimed, "achieved an assured and enviable position in contemporary letters."
Wine is a bride who brings a great dowry to the man who woos her persistently and gracefully.
Yes, I was determined to have a happy Christmas' 'Did you?' 'I think so. I don't remember it much, and that's always a good sign, isn't it?
You can't ever tell what's going to hurt people.
You could appreciate the beauty of the world by trying to paint it.
You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid, I would hardly be a human being.
You never find an Englishman among the under-dogsÂ—except in England, of course.
You see my adjutant made rather a silly mistake. He hadn't had much truck with boots before and the silly fellow thought they were extra rations. My men ate the whole bag of tricks last night.
You spend the first term at Oxford meeting interesting and exciting people and the rest of your time there avoiding them.
Your colleague, Captain Grimes, has been convicted before me on evidence that leaves no possibility of his innocence - of a crime (I might almost call it a course of action) which I can neither understand nor excuse. I dare say I need not particularize.
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life--for we possess nothing certainly except the past--were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves -- the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.
Oh, why did nobody warn me? cried Grimes in agony. I should have been told. They should have told me in so many words. They should have warned me about Flossie, not about the fires of hell. I've risked them, and I don't mind risking them again, but they should have told me about marriage. They should have told me that at the end of that gay journey and flower-strewn path were the hideous lights of home and the voices of children.
She had heard someone say something about an Independent Labour Party, and was furious that she had not been asked.
That's the public-school system all over. They may kick you out, but they never let you down.
Then I knew that the sign I had asked for was not a little thing, not a passing nod of recognition, and a phrase came back to me from my childhood of the veil of the temple being rent from top to bottom.
What is this impulse of two people to build their beastly home? It's you & me, unborn, asserting our presence. All we are is a manifestation of the impulse to family life, and if by chance we have escaped the itch ourselves, Nature forces it upon us another way.
My unhealthy affection for my second daughter has waned. Now I despise all my seven children equally.
Old boy, said Grimes, you're in love. Nonsense! Smitten? said Grimes. No, no. The tender passion? No. Cupid's jolly little darts? No. Spring fancies, love's young dream? Nonsense! Not even a quickening of the pulse? No. A sweet despair? Certainly not. A trembling hope? No. A frisson? a Je ne sais quoi? Nothing of the sort. Liar! said Grimes.
She had regained what I thought she had lost forever, the magical sadness which had drawn me to her, the thwarted look that had seemed to say, Surely I was made for some other purpose than this?