While numbers were declining, the average level of intelligence was declining also. The more intelligent were more reluctant than the dullards to burden themselves with children in a hostile world; or else, climbing into wealth and comfort without any social or religious ideals to stimulate them into assuming the burden, they avoided it.
Zatopek bald, self-coached thirty-year-old apartment-dweller from a decrepit Eastern Europeanbac(was) kw(a) ater when he arrived for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. Since the Czech teamwas so thin, Zatopek had his choice of distance events, so he chose them all. He lined up for the5,000 meters, and won with a new Olympic record. He then lined up for the 10,000 meters, andwon his second gold with another new record. He’d never run a marathon before, but what the hell;with two golds already around his neck, he had nothing to lose, so why not finish the job and giveit a bash?
Barbara. We’ll take care of the Colonel.
He tried desperately to keep the flame steady but the breath rasped through the girl's teeth as the handle shifted between his jaws and the flame of the torch brushed her forearm.
The first report secured from the law officers of the Crown took the ground that the capture was legal under international law and under the practice of Great Britain itself. This report was, however, pushed to one side, and Palmerston drafted a demand for the immediate surrender of the commissioners. This demand was so worded that a self-respecting government would have had great difficulty in assenting to it without risk of forfeiting support with its own citizens. It was in fact intended to bring about a state of war. Under the wise influence of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria refused to give her approval to the document. It was reworded by Albert in such fashion as to give to the government of the United States an opportunity for adjustment without loss of dignity. Albert was clear in his mind that Great Britain ought not to be committed to war for the destruction of the great Republic of the West and for the establishment of a state of which the corner-stone was slavery. Fortunately, Victoria was quite prepared to accept in this matter Albert's judgment. Palmerston protested and threatened resignation, but finally submitted.
He has never developed the habit of stopping beautiful women on the sidewalk, but, said a grinning Scavullo, "if I see someone wildly attractive walking by, I get excited. I might turn around and whistle or something."
Leiter looked politely puzzled. "I'm afraid I don't understand, sir. It is connected directly with the operator."
For some years after this I wrote very little, and nothing regularly, for publication: and great were the advantages which I derived from the intermission. It was of no common importance to me, at this period, to be able to digest and mature my thoughts for my own mind only, without any immediate call for giving them out in print. Had I gone on writing, it would have much disturbed the important transformation in my opinions and character, which took place during those years. The origin of this transformation, or at least the process by which I was prepared for it, can only be explained by turning some distance back.
For a moment he lay there, all the breath knocked out of him. Then the thin man came and hauled him up against the wall by his collar. He had a gun in his hand. He looked Bond inquisitively in the eyes. Then unhurriedly he bent down and swiped the barrel viciously across Bond's shins. Bond grunted and caved at the knees.
Bond sauntered on in search of an air-conditioned bar where he could get out of the heat and do some thinking. He was pleased with his interview. At least it hadn't been the brush-off he had more than half expected. He was amused by the hunchback. There was something splendidly theatrical about him, and his vanity about the Spangled Mob was appealing. But he wasn't at all funny.
13 ACME MUD AND SULPHUR
'She must be newly rigged,' said Steerforth, 'and I shall leave Littimer behind to see it done, that I may know she is quite complete. Did I tell you Littimer had come down?'
All this I could realize, though vaguely and externally. What passed my comprehension was the changing detail of social and cultural life. It was natural in the circumstances that living should be greatly simplified. Luxuries were less and less in demand. The arts were shorn of their luxurious detail. On the other hand art of a stripped and purposeful kind played an increasing though an altered part in life. In words, in music, in colour and plastic form, men created a ceaseless flood of symbolic aids to the spirit, mostly in styles which I could not at all appreciate. Surprisingly, also, though living under the threat of annihilation, men were addicted to erecting great and durable temples, upon which they lavished all the skill and care which was ceasing to find an outlet in ordinary life. Sub-atomic technique, by its wealth of new materials, had made possible a far more daring, soaring, and colourful architecture than is known to us. Along with the new materials came new architectural canons, strange to me. The architecture of mundane life was simple and impermanent. The temples alone were built to last; yet they were often demolished to make room for finer structures.
'Let's consider what has to be done,' he said in a matter-of-fact voice. 'I'd better explain what I'm going to try and do and how you can help. Which isn't very much I'm afraid,' he added.
But in reference to The O’Kellys there arose a circumstance which set my mind to work on a subject which has exercised it much ever since. I made my first acquaintance with criticism. A dear friend of mine to whom the book had been sent — as have all my books — wrote me word to Ireland that he had been dining at some club with a man high in authority among the gods of the Times newspaper, and that this special god had almost promised that The O’Kellys should be noticed in that most influential of “organs.” The information moved me very much; but it set me thinking whether the notice, should it ever appear, would not have been more valuable, at any rate, more honest, if it had been produced by other means — if, for instance, the writer of the notice had been instigated by the merits or demerits of the book instead of by the friendship of a friend. And I made up my mind then that, should I continue this trade of authorship, I would have no dealings with any critic on my own behalf. I would neither ask for nor deplore criticism, nor would I ever thank a critic for praise, or quarrel with him, even in my own heart, for censure. To this rule I have adhered with absolute strictness, and this rule I would recommend to all young authors. What can be got by touting among the critics is never worth the ignominy. The same may, of course, be said of all things acquired by ignominious means. But in this matter it is so easy to fall into the dirt. Facilis descensus Averni. There seems to be but little fault in suggesting to a friend that a few words in this or that journal would be of service. But any praise so obtained must be an injustice to the public, for whose instruction, and not for the sustentation of the author, such notices are intended. And from such mild suggestion the descent to crawling at the critic’s feet, to the sending of presents, and at last to a mutual understanding between critics and criticised, is only too easy. Other evils follow, for the denouncing of which this is hardly the place — though I trust I may find such place before my work is finished. I took no notice of my friend’s letter, but I was not the less careful in watching The Times. At last the review came — a real review in The Times. I learned it by heart, and can now give, if not the words, the exact purport. “Of The Kellys and the O’Kellys we may say what the master said to his footman, when the man complained of the constant supply of legs of mutton on the kitchen table. Well, John, legs of mutton are good, substantial food;’ and we may say also what John replied: ‘Substantial, sir — yes, they are substantial, but a little coarse.’” That was the review, and even that did not sell the book!