'RAT - tat-tat, RAT - tat-tat, RAT - tat-tat.'
'It is passable,' said Marius. 'But this is a dish that is dead, gone. There is no more true bouillabaisse, because there is no more fish in the Mediterranean. For the bouillabaisse, you must have the rascasse, the tender flesh of the scorpion fish. Today they just use hunks of morue. The saffron and the garlic, they are always the same. But you could eat pieces of a woman soaked in those and it would be good. Go to any of the little places down by the harbour. Eat the plat du jour and drink the vin du Cassis that they give you. It will fill your stomach as well as it fills the fishermen's. The toilette will be filthy. What does that matter? You are a man. You can walk up the Canebiere and do it at the Noailles for nothing after lunch.'
(5) Having regard, Sir, to the above and, specifically, to the continued misuse of the qualities, modest though they may be, that have previously fitted me for the more arduous, and, to me, more rewarding, duties associated with the work of the Double-O Section, I beg leave to submit my resignation from the Service.
* * *
WESTSIDER HIMAN BROWN
'Something has been got from him by fraud, I know,' returned Traddles quietly; 'and so do you, Mr. Heep. We will refer that question, if you please, to Mr. Micawber.'
“You could literally halt epidemics in their tracks with this one remedy,” he said. He flashed twofingers up in a peace sign, then slowly rotated them downward till they were scissoring throughspace. The Running Man.
12 In a Glass, Very Darkly
OF THE detailed historical events of this age of fluctuation I cannot recover much. Of the war which is present to me as I write this book I remember almost nothing. A few shreds of recollection suggest that it resulted in a British victory of sorts, but I place no reliance on this surmise. If it is correct, the great opportunity afforded by this victory, the opportunity of a generous peace and a federal order in Europe, must have been missed; for rival imperialisms continued to exist after that war and real peace was not established. Subsequent wars and upheavals come rather more clearly into my mind. For instance, I seem to remember a defeat of the democratic peoples, led at first by the British, but later by the North Americans, against a totalitarian Europe. For a while the struggle was between Britain alone and the whole of Europe, martialled once more by Germany. Not till the remnant of the British forces had been driven into Scotland, and were desperately holding a line roughly equivalent to the Roman Wall, did the American power begin to make itself felt, and then only for a while; for in America, as elsewhere, the old order was failing, its leaders had neither the imagination nor the courage to adjust themselves to the new world-conditions. Consequently, when at last their turn came they were quite incapable of organizing their haphazard capitalism for war. The American people began to realize that they were the victims of incompetence and treachery, and the population of the Atlantic seaboard demanded a new regime. In this state of affairs resistance became impossible. Britain was abandoned, and North America reverted to a precarious isolationism knowing that the struggle would very soon begin again.
No one said a word for the defence. No one spoke up for his department or mentioned the countless victories of Soviet Intelligence that could be set against the few mistakes. And no one questioned the right of the Head of SMERSH, who shared the guilt with them, to deliver this terrible denunciation. The Word had gone out from the Throne, and General G. had been chosen as the mouthpiece for the Word. It was a great compliment to General G. that he had been thus chosen, a sign of grace, a sign of coming preferment, and everyone present made a careful note of the fact that, in the Intelligence hierarchy, General G., with SMERSH behind him, had come to the top of the pile.
Defensive gestures are often fast and evasive andbeyond your conscious control. Your body has a mindof its own and is ruled by your attitude, useful or useless.
Among the persons of intellect whom I had known of old, the one with whom I had now most points of agreement was the elder Austin. I have mentioned that he always set himself in opposition to our early sectarianism; and latterly he had, like myself, come under new influences. Having been appointed Professor of Jurisprudence in the London University (now University College), he had lived for some time at Bonn to study for his Lectures; and the influences of German literature and of the German character and state of society had made a very perceptible change in his views of life. His personal disposition was much softened ; he w as less militant and polemic; his tastes had begun to turn themselves towards the poetic and contemplative. He attached much less importance than formerly to outward changes; unless accompanied by a better cultivation of the inward nature. He had a strong distaste for the general meanness of English life, the absence of enlarged thoughts and unselfish desires, the low objects on which the faculties of all classes of the English are intent. Even the kind of public interests which Englishmen care for, he held in very little esteem. He thought that there was more practical good government, and (which is true enough) infinitely more care for the education and mental improvement of all ranks of the people, under the Prussian monarchy, than under the English representative government: and he held, with the French Economistes, that the real security for good government is "un peuple éclairé," which is not always the fruit of popular institutions, and which if it could be had without them, would do their work better than they. Though he approved of the Reform Bill, he predicted, what in fact occurred, that it would not produce the great immediate improvements in government, which many expected from it. The men, he said, who could do these great things, did not exist in the country. There were many points of sympathy between him and me, both in the new opinions he had adopted and in the old ones which he retained. Like me, he never ceased to be an utilitarian, and with all his love of the Germans, and enjoyment of their literature, never became in the smallest degree reconciled to the innate-principle metaphysics. He cultivated more and more a kind of German religion, a religion of poetry and feeling with little, if anything, of positive dogma; while, in politics (and here it was that I most differed with him) he acquired an indifference, bordering on contempt, for the progress of popular institutions: though he rejoiced in that of Socialism, as the most effectual means of compelling the powerful classes to educate the people, and to impress on them the only real means of permanently improving their material condition, a limitation of their numbers. Neither was he, at this time, fundamentally opposed to Socialism in itself as an ultimate result of improvement. He professed great disrespect for what he called "the universal principles of human nature of the political economists," and insisted on the evidence which history and daily experience afford of the "extraordinary pliability of human nature" (a phrase which I have somewhere borrowed from him), nor did he think it possible to set any positive bounds to the moral capabilities which might unfold themselves in mankind, under an enlightened direction of social and educational influences. Whether he retained all these opinions to the end of life I know not. Certainly the modes of thinking of his later years, and especially of his last publication, were much more Tory in their general character than those which he held at this time.
Henry replied in the affirmative; and thus they parted.
"It's all right, thanks." James Bond had already lit his cigarette. "No, it's nothing local. I want to... I've been sent out to... ask you to recall your work for the Service at the end of the war." James Bond paused and looked down at Major Smythe carefully. "Particularly the time when you were working with the Miscellaneous Objectives Bureau."