When I awoke it was daylight. The inside of my tent was coated in a curious flaky rime, which I realized after a moment was all of my nighttime snores, condensed and frozen and pasted to the fabric, as if into a scrapbook of respiratory memories.
Even though sugar was very expensive, people consumed it till their teeth turned black, and if their teeth didn’t turn black naturally, they blackened them artificially to show how wealthy and marvelously self-indulgent they were.
A third…candidate for Shakespearean authorship was Christopher Marlowe. He was the right age (just two months older than Shakespeare), had the requisite talent, and would certainly have had ample leisure after 1593, assuming he wasn’t too dead to work.
Among the errors cited in this book are a number committed by some of the leading authorities of this century. If men such as Fowler and Bernstein and Quirk and Howard cannot always get their English right, is it reasonable to expect the rest of us to?
Every last bit of it, good and bad – old churches, country lanes, people saying ‘Mustn’t grumble,’ and ‘I’m terribly sorry but,’ people apologizing to ME when I conk them with a careless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, seaside piers.
I must say, so long as the car is not actually moving. However, as soon as you put the car in motion … everything slides off … It can hold nothing that has not been nailed to it. So I ask you: what then is it for?
Very little of what America does is actually bad, and I don’t think it ever does anything anywhere that is intentionally bad. I mean, sometimes we make mistakes and bad judgments and kind of back the wrong regimes and things, but by and large what America does is really good.
I have a small tattered clipping that I sometimes carry with meand pull out for purposes of privateamusement. It’s a weather forecast from theWestern Daily Mail and it says, in toto: ‘Outlook: Dry and warm, but cooler with some rain.
I wanted to see what was out there. All over America today people would be dragging themselves to work, stuck in traffic jams, wreathed in exhaust smoke. I was going for a walk in the woods. I was more than ready for this.
“Croissant”: However you choose to pronounce it at home, it is perhaps worth nothing that outside the United States, the closer you can come to saying “kwass-ohn,” the sooner you can expect to be presented with one.
It’s hard not to be kind of pessimistic about human beings generally, because we do tend to mess things up. If you just look at the history of extinctions, we’ve killed off an awful lot of animals – and I don’t think we’re doing a very good job of looking after the planet.