from The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene: the fugitive whiskey priest gives his last mass in Mexico

Leonard Durso

A little group of Indians passed the gate: gnarled tiny creatures of the Stone Age: the men in short smocks walked with long poles, and the women with black plaits and knocked-about faces carried their babies on their backs. “The Indians have heard you are here,” Miss Lehr said. “They’ve walked fifty miles–I shouldn’t be surprised.”

They stopped at the gate and watched him: when he looked at them they went down on their knees and crossed themselves–the strange elaborate mosaic touching the nose and ears and chin. “My brother gets so angry,” Miss Lehr said, “if he sees somebody go on his knees to a priest–but I don’t see that it does any harm.”

Round the corner of the house the mules were stamping–the guide must have brought them out to give them their maize: they were slow feeders, you had to give them a long start. It was…

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from At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen: the first two paragraphs

Leonard Durso

In the jungle, during one night in each month, the moths did not come to lanterns; through the black reaches of the outer night, so it was said, they flew toward the full moon.

So it was said. He could not recall where he had heard it, or from whom; it had been somewhere on the rivers of Brazil. He had never watched the lanterns at the time of the full moon; when he remembered it was always the dark of the moon or beyond the tropics. Yet the idea of the moths in the high darkness, straining upward, filled him with longing, and at these times he would know that he had not found what he was looking for, nor come closer to discovering what it was.

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“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

from Douglas Moore’s Art of Quotation. The same I might add can be said of judging anyone by the friends they surround themselves with.

Art of Quotation

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian, diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer


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