As I write this book, immersed once more in the passions and savage deeds of contemporary mankind, hearing each day of horror and brutality, fearing that very soon some hideous disaster may fall upon my people and on the whole human race, and on those few who, being most dear to me, are for me the living presence of humanity, it is impossible for me to recapture fully the serene and intelligent mood of my post-mortal experience. For throughout that age-long future I must, I think, have been strengthened by the felt presence of other and superhuman spectators. Was it that the more lucid populations of the cosmos, in their scattered worlds, up and down the constellations, here and there among the galaxies, had sent observers to witness the terrestrial miracle; or had focused their attention and their presence from afar on our little orb, so forlorn, so inconsiderable, where man, poised between the light and the dark on the knife-edge of choice, fought out his destiny. It was as though, under their influence, I was able to put off to some extent my human pettiness; as though, haltingly and with celestial aid, I could see man’s double fate through the eyes of those superhuman but not divine intelligences. Their presence is now withdrawn. But in memory of them I shall do my utmost to tell the twofold story at once with intimate human sympathy and with something of that calm insight which was lent to me.
Leading American pianist
Miserable little propitiators of a remorseless Idol, how abject we were to him! What a launch in life I think it now, on looking back, to be so mean and servile to a man of such parts and pretensions!
From my eighth to my twelfth year the Latin books which I remember reading were, the Bucolics of Virgil, and the first six books of the AEneid; all Horace except the Epodes; the Fables of Phaedrus; the first five books of Livy (to which from my love of the subject I voluntarily added, in my hours of leisure, the remainder of the first decade); all Sallust; a considerable part of Ovid's Metamorphoses; some plays of Terence; two or three books of Lucretius; several of the Orations of Cicero, and of his writings on oratory; also his letters to Atticus, my father taking the trouble to translate to me from the French the historical explanations in Mongault's notes. In Greek I read the Iliad and Odyssey through; one or two plays of Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, though by these I profited little; all Thucydides; the Hellenics of Xenophon; a great part of Demosthenes, AEschines, and Lysias; Theocritus; Anacreon; part of the Anthology; a little of Dionysius; several books of Polybius; and lastly Aristotle's Rhetoric, which, as the first expressly scientific treatise on any moral or psychological subject which I had read, and containing many of the best observations of the ancients on human nature and life, my father made me study with peculiar care, and throw the matter of it into synoptic tables. During the same years I learnt elementary geometry and algebra thoroughly, the differential calculus and other portions of the higher mathematics far from thoroughly: for my father, not having kept up this part of his early acquired knowledge, could not spare time to qualify himself for removing my difficulties, and left me to deal with them, with little other aid than that of books; while I was continually incurring his displeasure by my inability to solve difficult problems for which he did not see that I had not the necessary previous knowledge.
Establishing rapport in 90 seconds or less withanother person or group, be it in a social or communitysetting or with a business audience or even in a packedcourtroom, can be intimidating for many people. It hasalways amazed me that in this most fundamental of alllife skills, we've been given little or no training. You areabout to discover that you already possess many of theabilities needed for making natural connections withother people—it's just that you were never aware ofthem before.
On a leafless stalk, bent beneath the shower,
I found what follows lying on my desk one morning.
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.
Sophia. Weasel, Weasel, will you go directly to the garden and fetch....
But then the octopus, quietly, relentlessly pulled downward, and terrible realization came to Major Smythe. He summoned his dregs of strength and plunged his spear down. The only effect was to push the scorpionfish into the mass of the octopus and offer more arm to the octopus. The tentacles snaked upward and pulled more relentlessly. Too late, Major Smythe scrabbled away his mask. One bottled scream burst out across the empty bay, then his head went under and down, and there was an explosion of bubbles to the surface. Then Major Smythe's legs came up and the small waves washed his body to and fro while the octopus explored his right hand with its buccal orifice and took a first tentative bite at a finger with its beaklike jaws.
Jack Spang. The man who had ordered Bond's death. Who had ordered Tiffany's death. The man Bond had only once seen for a few minutes in an overheated room in Covent Garden. Mr Rufus B. Saye. Of The House of Diamonds. Vice-President for Europe. The man who played golf at Sunningdale and visited Paris once a month. 'Model citizen,' M had called him.
'Very well then.' Goldfinger returned to his seat at the table. He sat down, picked up his pencil and began talking to it in a thoughtful, conversational voice. 'First, and in some ways most difficult, is the question of disposal. One billion dollars of gold bullion weighs approximately one thousand tons. To transport this amount would require one hundred ten-ton trucks or some twenty six-wheel heavy industry road transporters. I recommend the latter vehicles. I have a list of the charter companies who hire out this type of vehicle and I recommend that, if we are to be partners, you should proceed immediately after this meeting to contracting with the relevant companies in your territories. For obvious reasons you will all wish to engage your own drivers and this I must leave in your hands. No doubt' - Mr Goldfinger allowed himself the ghost of a smile -'the Teamsters' union will prove a fruitful source for reliable men and you will perhaps consider recruiting ex-drivers from the Negro Red Ball Express that served the American armies during the war. However, these are details requiring exact planning and co-ordination. There will also be a traffic control problem and no doubt you will make arrangements among yourselves for sharing out the available roads. Transport aircraft will be a subsidiary source of mobility and arrangements will be made to keep open the north-south runway on the Godman Airfield. Your subsequent disposal of the bullion will, of course, be your own affair. For my part' - Goldfinger looked coolly round the table - 'I shall initially be using the railroad and, since I have a bulkier transport problem, I trust you will allow me to reserve this means of egress for my own.' Goldfinger did not wait for comment. He continued in an even tone: 'Compared with this problem of transport, the other arrangements will be relatively simple. To begin with, on D-1,1 propose to put the entire population, military and civilian, of Fort Knox temporarily out of action. Exact arrangements have been made and only await my signal. Briefly, the town is supplied with all drinking and other water-supplies by two wells and two filter plants yielding just under seven million gallons per day. These are under the control of the Post Engineer. This gentleman has been pleased to accept a visit from the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of the Tokyo Municipal Waterworks who wish to study the workings of a plant of this size for installation in a new suburb planned for the environs of Tokyo. The Post Engineer has been much flattered by this request and the Japanese gentlemen will be accorded all facilities. These two gentlemen, who are, of course, members of my staff, will be carrying on their persons relatively small quantities of a highly concentrated' opiate devised by the German chemical warfare experts for just this purpose during the last war. This substance disseminates rapidly through a volume of water of this magnitude, and, in its consequent highly diluted form, has the effect of instant but temporary narcosis of any person drink ing half a tumbler of the infected water. The symptoms are a deep and instant sleep from which the victim awakens much refreshed in approximately three days. Gentlemen' - Gold-finger held out one hand palm upwards - 'in the month of June in Kentucky I consider it out of the question that a single resident is able to go through twenty-four hours without consuming half a glass of water. There may perhaps be a handful of confirmed alcoholics on their feet on D-Day, but I anticipate that we shall enter a town in which virtually the entire population has fallen into a deep sleep where they stand.'
鈥楳y last dear ayah is not forgotten. I have given orders for a modest little monument of brick and mortar, to mark where Hannah sleeps. We have no stones here. I went to the cemetery with the mason, ... to give directions, and was struck by finding a tiny but touching memorial already on the spot. A very little wooden Cross, covered with paper, to facilitate the writing of an inscription. There was the date, of course in Urdu, and 鈥淣ot dead, but sleepeth鈥滬 and 鈥淭he Lord gave; the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.鈥 This tribute of love had been placed over his dear Mother鈥檚 grave by J., the eldest son here, a lad of about fourteen. I mean to keep to his inscription, when the humble monument is placed over Hannah鈥檚 dust. Dear woman! she was of the meek and quiet spirits who are precious to the Lord.鈥橖/p>
These were the thoughts which mingled with the dry heavy dejection of the melancholy winter of 1826-7. During this time I was not incapable of my usual occupations. I went on with them mechanically, by the mere force of habit. I had been so drilled in a certain sort of mental exercise, that I could still carry it on when all the spirit had gone out of it. I even composed and spoke several speeches at the debating society, how, or with what degree of success, I know not. Of four years continual speaking at that society, this is the only year of which I remember next to nothing. Two lines of Coleridge, in whom alone of all writers I have found a true description of what I felt, were often in my thoughts, not at this time (for I had never read them), but in a later period of the same mental malady:
On the second of April, the Stars and Stripes are borne into Richmond by the advance brigade of the right wing of Grant's army under the command of General Weitzel. There was a certain poetic justice in the decision that the responsibility for making first occupation of the city should be entrusted to the coloured troops. The city had been left by the rear-guard of the Confederate army in a state of serious confusion. The Confederate general in charge (Lee had gone out in the advance hoping to be able to break his way through to North Carolina) had felt justified, for the purpose of destroying such army stores (chiefly ammunition) as remained, in setting fire to the storehouses, and in so doing he had left whole quarters of the city exposed to flame. White stragglers and negroes who had been slaves had, as would always be the case where all authority is removed, yielded to the temptation to plunder, and the city was full of drunken and irresponsible men. The coloured troops restored order and appear to have behaved with perfect discipline and consideration. The marauders were arrested, imprisoned, and, when necessary, shot. The fires were put out as promptly as practicable, but not until a large amount of very unnecessary damage and loss had been brought upon the stricken city. The women who had locked themselves into their houses, more in dread of the Yankee invader than of their own street marauders, were agreeably surprised to find that their immediate safety and the peace of the town depended upon the invaders and that the first battalions of these were the despised and much hated blacks.