You learn to know a pilot in a storm, a soldier in the battle-line. For that which has come to the full has no room for further growth, and Fortune can snatch away only what she herself has given.
And you wish to be told that you stand exposed to blows of every sort, and that the darts that have transfixed others have quivered around you! Death from starvation comes very gently, but from gorging men explode. But as it was, a very brief extension of time cast him down from his pinnacle.
You have done a very great service to Roman scholarship, for a large part of his writings had been burned; a very great service to posterity, for history will come to them as Dear john book essays uncorrupted record whose honesty cost its author dear and a very great service to the man himself, whose memory now lives and will ever live so long as it shall be worth while to learn the facts of Roman history - so long as there shall be anyone who will wish to hark back to the deeds of our ancestors, so long as there shall be anyone who will wish to know what it is to be a Roman hero, what it is to be unconquered when all necks are bowed and forced to bear the yoke of a Sejanus, what it is to be free in thought, in purpose, and in act.
Even so the cosmos, rejoicing in the spectacle of itself, scorns everything outside. Your son has passed beyond those boundaries within which there is servitude; a great and everlasting peace has welcomed him.
In autumn, Thoreau discusses the countryside and writes down his observations about the geography of Walden Pond and its neighbors: On one of his journeys into Concord, Thoreau is detained and jailed for his refusal to pay a poll tax to the "state that buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle at the door of its senate-house".
Think, then, of God as saying: I have set life on a downward slope: For he had with him his true possessions, upon which no hand can be laid, while the property that was being scattered and pillaged and plundered he counted not his own, but the adventitious things that follow the beck of Fortune.
Assuredly he does not.
He concludes that the primitive, carnal sensuality of humans drives them to kill and eat animals, and that a person who transcends this propensity is superior to those who cannot.
So many funerals pass our doors, yet we never think of death! There is no reason for you to say, Serenus, as your habit is, that this wise man of ours is nowhere to be found.
In our own hands we have the remedy. Order all men one by one to compare their accounts; no man has escaped paying the penalty for being born. At last he has an abiding-place from which nothing can drive him, where nothing can affright him.
For each the boundary-line is marked; where it has been once placed, it will always remain, and no endeavour or favour will move it farther on. I have set forth what could there delight you, what offend you, if you were debating whether you should visit Syracuse; consider that I am coming now to give you advice at your birth: I am ashamed to meet a man who is ready to be beaten.
Consequently I will assert this - that the wise man is not subject to any injury. For this reason he is so resolute and cheerful, for this reason he is elate with constant joy.
We all fall into the error of thinking that only those who are old and already on the downward path are tending toward death, whereas earliest infancy, middle age, every period of life indeed leads in that direction.
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From a Booker Prize-winning author and one of the most impassioned of writers of our time, this powerful collection of essays offers a stark portrait of post-9/11 realities. John Berger occupies a unique position in the international cultural.Download