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The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore. Options
Daemon
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
The Sofa King Great
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:54:14 AM
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Applause Bravo!
I love this quote
Its so true that something happen to all people no matter who they are or what type of person they are. And that something don't need an explanation for them to occur, they just happen.
thar
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 1:39:00 AM

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or
sometimes life just sucks!
kitten
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 2:05:33 AM

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Daemon wrote:
The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)



The above quote comes from Of Human Bondage--1915--Chapter CVI. I have included a good deal of this chapter as I like how he describes the people as animals, how he reflects on the tomb stones, and how he questions the wonder of it all.

Philip has just run into an old friend with whom he had once gone to medical school. He has also borrowed money from this friend. Philip is no longer in school but is a floor walker in a store. He pays the man back the money he owes him, doesn't accept the offer for dinner even at his own choosing and turns and walks away. The friend comes after him to tell Philip of the death of a mutual friend and then......................



Lawson nodded quickly and walked away. Philip felt a shiver pass through his heart. He had never before lost a friend of his own age, for the death of Cronshaw, a man so much older than himself, had seemed to come in the normal course of things. The news gave him a peculiar shock. It reminded him of his own mortality, for like everyone else Philip, knowing perfectly that all men must die, had no intimate feeling that the same must apply to himself; and Hayward's death, though he had long ceased to have any warm feeling for him, affected him deeply. He remembered on a sudden all the good talks they had had, and it pained him to think that they would never talk with one another again; he remembered their first meeting and the pleasant months they had spent together in Heidelberg. Philip's heart sank as he thought of the lost years. He walked on mechanically, not noticing where he went, and realised suddenly, with a movement of irritation, that instead of turning down the Haymarket he had sauntered along Shaftesbury Avenue. It bored him to retrace his steps; and besides, with that news, he did not want to read, he wanted to sit alone and think. He made up his mind to go to the British Museum. Solitude was now his only luxury. Since he had been at Lynn's he had often gone there and sat in front of the groups from the Parthenon; and, not deliberately thinking, had allowed their divine masses to rest his troubled soul. But this afternoon they had nothing to say to him, and after a few minutes, impatiently, he wandered out of the room. There were too many people, provincials with foolish faces, foreigners poring over guide-books; their hideousness besmirched the everlasting masterpieces, their restlessness troubled the god's immortal repose. He went into another room and here there was hardly anyone. Philip sat down wearily. His nerves were on edge. He could not get the people out of his mind. Sometimes at Lynn's they affected him in the same way, and he looked at them file past him with horror; they were so ugly and there was such meanness in their faces, it was terrifying; their features were distorted with paltry desires, and you felt they were strange to any ideas of beauty. They had furtive eyes and weak chins. There was no wickedness in them, but only pettiness and vulgarity. Their humour was a low facetiousness. Sometimes he found himself looking at them to see what animal they resembled (he tried not to, for it quickly became an obsession,) and he saw in them all the sheep or the horse or the fox or the goat. Human beings filled him with disgust.

But presently the influence of the place descended upon him. He felt quieter. He began to look absently at the tombstones with which the room was lined. They were the work of Athenian stone masons of the fourth and fifth centuries before Christ, and they were very simple, work of no great talent but with the exquisite spirit of Athens upon them; time had mellowed the marble to the colour of honey, so that unconsciously one thought of the bees of Hymettus, and softened their outlines. Some represented a nude figure, seated on a bench, some the departure of the dead from those who loved him, and some the dead clasping hands with one who remained behind. On all was the tragic word farewell; that and nothing more. Their simplicity was infinitely touching. Friend parted from friend, the son from his mother, and the restraint made the survivor's grief more poignant. It was so long, long ago, and century upon century had passed over that unhappiness; for two thousand years those who wept had been dust as those they wept for. Yet the woe was alive still, and it filled Philip's heart so that he felt compassion spring up in it, and he said:

"Poor things, poor things."

And it came to him that the gaping sight-seers and the fat strangers with their guide-books, and all those mean, common people who thronged the shop, with their trivial desires and vulgar cares, were mortal and must die. They too loved and must part from those they loved, the son from his mother, the wife from her husband; and perhaps it was more tragic because their lives were ugly and sordid, and they knew nothing that gave beauty to the world. There was one stone which was very beautiful, a bas relief of two young men holding each other's hand; and the reticence of line, the simplicity, made one like to think that the sculptor here had been touched with a genuine emotion. It was an exquisite memorial to that than which the world offers but one thing more precious, to a friendship; and as Philip looked at it, he felt the tears come to his eyes. He thought of Hayward and his eager admiration for him when first they met, and how disillusion had come and then indifference, till nothing held them together but habit and old memories. It was one of the queer things of life that you saw a person every day for months and were so intimate with him that you could not imagine existence without him; then separation came, and everything went on in the same way, and the companion who had seemed essential proved unnecessary. Your life proceeded and you did not even miss him. Philip thought of those early days in Heidelberg when Hayward, capable of great things, had been full of enthusiasm for the future, and how, little by little, achieving nothing, he had resigned himself to failure. Now he was dead. His death had been as futile as his life. He died ingloriously, of a stupid disease, failing once more, even at the end, to accomplish anything. It was just the same now as if he had never lived.

Philip asked himself desperately what was the use of living at all. It all seemed inane. It was the same with Cronshaw: it was quite unimportant that he had lived; he was dead and forgotten, his book of poems sold in remainder by second-hand booksellers; his life seemed to have served nothing except to give a pushing journalist occasion to write an article in a review. And Philip cried out in his soul:

"What is the use of it?"

The effort was so incommensurate with the result. The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment. Pain and disease and unhappiness weighed down the scale so heavily. What did it all mean? He thought of his own life, the high hopes with which he had entered upon it, the limitations which his body forced upon him, his friendlessness, and the lack of affection which had surrounded his youth. He did not know that he had ever done anything but what seemed best to do, and what a cropper he had come! Other men, with no more advantages than he, succeeded, and others again, with many more, failed. It seemed pure chance. The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.



Please thank Project Gutenberg for the quote in context and the complete work.


Of Human Bondage--1915


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
leoninho
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 9:19:40 AM
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Compare this with Joyce's The Dead (1914) : Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 10:43:35 AM
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To Leon of Lithuania: This passage is breathlessly beautiful to me.

It has the same beauty that a passage from a poem from Byron has, which, I believe, it was that MTC who posted it, in regard to the word "phalanx".

Today's quote is very beautiful too.
Seeker
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:31:32 AM
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The quote made me think of our current political situation in the U.S.
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:38:01 PM

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The quote made me think of a poem by Bertolt Brecht, Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters.

An English translation can be found here.

Just a few lines from it to let you know what it is about_

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?


It reminded me of the fact that, although the rain may fall upon the just and the unjust alike, one of them may have an umbrella or a well-thatched roof and the other may not.


I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
iemmadi
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 2:12:11 PM

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I love today's quote for speaking sth so true... When it comes to act of god, everyone is equal before of the mother nature. It doesn't matter just or unjust, why and wherefore.

The one you are looking for is the one who is looking!!
RubyMoon
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:02:54 PM
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Joined: 6/30/2009
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IMcRout wrote:
The quote made me think of a poem by Bertolt Brecht, Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters.

An English translation can be found here.

Just a few lines from it to let you know what it is about_

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar beat the Gauls.
Did he not have even a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada
Went down. Was he the only one to weep?


It reminded me of the fact that, although the rain may fall upon the just and the unjust alike, one of them may have an umbrella or a well-thatched roof and the other may not.


I often wonder how much beauty is lost in translation... this has beauty in English, but wonder still of the original.
And why is it that the unjust often have the umbrella? Life is that way.
floyd
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:43:45 PM
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Thanks, McRout, for the link to Brecht's "Questions from a Worker Who Reads". I can see why the Waugh quote reminded you of it.

Both writers were talking of how cruel fate can be, and both writers were appalled at fate's arbitrary strokes. The difference, I suppose, is that Brecht's justice is primarily social or class justice, while Waugh's is basically individual justice.

In the Waugh piece, I don't know if the friend at Heidelberg had wealth or was connected with power. He was at least at Heidelberg and was "capable of great things, had been full of enthusiasm for the future." But as a victim of fate, and "little by little, achieving nothing, he had resigned himself to failure."

In Brecht, I expect that you could find victims of fate among both those "who cooked the feast for the victors" and the great men "who paid the bill". Brecht just never cared much about the people who paid the bill.

I wonder how much the different concerns of these two writers reflect the very different culture and experiences of their two countries and their times. What do you, as a German, think of that?

Best regards,

floyd

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
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