Chapter 2 My Mother
And yet there had been something curiously impressive about the death of the Mexican. It wasn't that he hadn't deserved to die. He was an evil man, a man they call in Mexico a capungo. A capungo is a bandit who will kill for as little as forty pesos, which is about twenty-five shillings -though probably he had been paid more to attempt the killing of Bond - and, from the look of him, he had been an instrument of pain and misery all his life. Yes, it had certainly been time for him to die; but when Bond had killed him, less than twenty-four hours before, life had gone out of the body so quickly, so utterly, that Bond had almost seen it come out of his mouth as it does, in the shape of a bird, in Haitian primitives.
BOND SLEPT in the plane and was visited by a terrible nightmare. It was the hallway of a very grand town-house, an embassy perhaps, and a wide staircase led up under a spangled chandelier to where the butler was standing at the door of the drawing-room, from which came the murmur of a large crowd of guests. Tracy, in oyster satin, was on his arm. She was loaded with jewels and her golden hair had been piled up grandly into one of those fancy arrangements you see in smart hairdressers' advertisements. On top of the pile was a diamond tiara that glittered gorgeously. Bond was dressed in tails (where in hell had he got those from?), and the wing collar stuck into his neck below the chin. He was wearing his medals, and his order as CMG, on its blue and scarlet ribbon, hung below his white tie. Tracy was chattering, gaily, excitedly, looking forward to the grand evening. Bond was cursing the prospect before him and wishing he was playing a tough game of bridge for high stakes at Blades. They got to the top of the stairs and Bond gave his name.
Design a plan and follow through with it: "I'll invite 10people over for dinner every Saturday night." Do it andget more feedback. Redesign if necessary, and do it againwith more feedback. Repeat the cycle—redesign-do-getfeedback—until you get what you want. You can applythis cycle to any area of your life that you want toimprove—finance, romance, sports, career, you name it.
10 STUDILLAC TO SARATOGA
One serious aspect of the disease was not at first realized. It emerged into view as data accumulated. On the whole the emotionally most developed individuals, though rather less susceptible, were also, when the microbe secured a hold on them, far more gravely damaged. Their initial resistance was greater, but once it had been broken down, they were specially liable to die in the early phase. At the other end of the scale the lowest emotional types, though very liable to contract the disease, recovered easily and suffered only mild after-effects. The young were specially susceptible, though if they succeeded in surmounting the first phase of the disease, they tended to make a good recovery, escaping serious after-effects, and sometimes even the final apathy.
"Give me the cabin next to yours."
Charles. So, I’m equipped. Farewell, Lady!
The dissolution of the incipient caste system formed the end of an epoch. Hitherto the great conflicts which occurred in the human race had been in the main uncontrolled and gravely damaging. In tribal warfare, national warfare, and class struggles the organs of humanity tore at one another in blind fury, so that their common life was at all times crippled and abject, and every human being was to some extent warped. Not only were the types of cell within the great organism but feebly united but often by nature they were lethal to one another. Each was to the other an army of disease cells. Even during that long first phase of the career of the species some conflicts had of course been successfully integrated into the life of the whole, or at least into the life of a whole nation or class. But henceforth, conflicts were far better subordinated to the needs of the whole human race. They ceased to be desperate internecine life-and-death struggles, and became merely internal strains, needed to preserve the taut balance of the common life, like the tension between the antagonist muscles of a limb.
Bond got the general picture, and it stayed with him long after the other man was asleep and snoring softly with a gentle regular clicking sound. A Wykehamist snore, Bond reflected irritably.
Through the next day, Bond's excitement mounted. He found an excuse to go into the Communications Section and wander into the little room where Miss Maria Freudenstein and two assistants were working the cipher machines that handled the Purple Cipher dispatches. He picked up the en clair file-he had freedom of access to most material at headquarters-and ran his eye down the carefully edited paragraphs that, in half an hour to so, would be spiked, unread, by some junior C.I.A. clerk in Washington and, in Moscow, be handed, with reverence, to a top-ranking officer of the KGB. He joked with the two junior girls, but Maria Freudenstein only looked up from her machine to give him a polite smile and Bond's skin crawled minutely at this proximity to treachery and at the black and deadly secret locked up beneath the frilly white blouse. She was an unattractive girl with a pale, rather pimply skin, black hair and a vaguely unwashed appearance. Such a girl would be unloved, make few friends, have chips on her shoulder-more particularly in view of her illegitimacy-and a grouse against society. Perhaps her only pleasure in life was the triumphant secret she harbored La that flattish bosom-the knowledge that she was cleverer than all those around her, that she was, every day, hitting back against the world-the world that despised, or just ignored her, because of her plainness-with all her might. One day they'd be sorry! It was a common neurotic pattern-the revenge of the ugly duckling on society.
She smiled tremulously. "It's nice to feel carpet under one's feet."
"Give me the cabin next to yours."
My course of study had led me to believe, that all mental and moral feelings and qualities, whether of a good or of a bad kind, were the results of association; that we love one thing, and hate another, take pleasure in one sort of action or contemplation, and pain in another sort, through the clinging of pleasurable or painful ideas to those things, from the effect of education or of experience. As a corollary from this, I had always heard it maintained by my father, and was myself convinced, that the object of education should be to form the strongest possible associations of the salutary class; associations of pleasure with all things beneficial to the great whole, and of pain with all things hurtful to it. This doctrine appeared inexpugnable; but it now seemed to me, on retrospect, that my teachers had occupied themselves but superficially with the means of forming and keeping up these salutary associations. They seemed to have trusted altogether to the old familiar instruments, praise and blame, reward and punishment. Now, I did not doubt that by these means, begun early, and applied unremittingly, intense associations of pain and pleasure, especially of pain, might be created, and might produce desires and aversions capable of lasting undiminished to the end of life. But there must always be something artificial and casual in associations thus produced. The pains and pleasures thus forcibly associated with things, are not connected with them by any natural tie; and it is therefore, I thought, essential to the durability of these associations, that they should have become so intense and inveterate as to be practically indissoluble, before the habitual exercise of the power of analysis had commenced. For I now saw, or thought I saw, what I had always before received with incredulity — that the habit of analysis has a tendency to wear away the feelings: as indeed it has, when no other mental habit is cultivated, and the analysing spirit remains without its natural complements and correctives. The very excellence of analysis (I argued) is that it tends to weaken and undermine whatever is the result of prejudice; that it enables us mentally to separate ideas which have only casually clung together: and no associations whatever could ultimately resist this dissolving force, were it not that we owe to analysis our clearest knowledge of the permanent sequences in nature; the real connexions between Things, not dependent on our will and feelings; natural laws, by virtue of which, in many cases, one thing is inseparable from another in fact; which laws, in proportion as they are clearly perceived and imaginatively realized, cause our ideas of things which are always joined together in Nature, to cohere more and more closely in our thoughts. Analytic habits may thus even strengthen the associations between causes and effects, means and ends, but tend altogether to weaken those which are, to speak familiarly, a mere matter of feeling. They are therefore (I thought) favourable to prudence and clearsightedness, but a perpetual worm at the root both of the passions and of the virtues; and, above all, fearfully undermine all desires, and all pleasures, which are the effects of association, that is, according to the theory I held, all except the purely physical and organic; of the entire insufficiency of which to make life desirable, no one had a stronger conviction than I had. These were the laws of human nature, by which, as it seemed to me, I had been brought to my present state. All those to whom I looked up, were of opinion that the pleasure of sympathy with human beings, and the feelings which made the good of others, and especially of mankind on a large scale, the object of existence, were the greatest and surest sources of happiness. Of the truth of this I was convinced, but to know that a feeling would make me happy if I had it, did not give me the feeling. My education, I thought, had failed to create these feelings in sufficient strength to resist the dissolving influence of analysis, while the whole course of my intellectual cultivation had made precocious and premature analysis the inveterate habit of my mind. I was thus, as I said to myself, left stranded at the commencement of my voyage, with a well-equipped ship and a rudder, but no sail; without any real desire for the ends which I had been so carefully fitted out to work for: no delight in virtue, or the general good, but also just as little in anything else. The fountains of vanity and ambition seemed to have dried up within me, as completely as those of benevolence. I had had (as I reflected) some gratification of vanity at too early an age: I had obtained some distinction, and felt myself of some importance, before the desire of distinction and of importance had grown into a passion: and little as it was which I had attained, yet having been attained too early, like all pleasures enjoyed too soon, it had made me blasé and indifferent to the pursuit. Thus neither selfish nor unselfish pleasures were pleasures to me. And there seemed no power in nature sufficient to begin the formation of my character anew, and create in a mind now irretrievably analytic, fresh associations of pleasure with any of the objects of human desire.