Monday, February 11, 2008

William Booth: who being dead, yet speaketh

Have been looking up some quotes from the 19th century reformer and founder of the Salvation Army, Gen William Booth:

While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight, I'll fight to the very end!”

“To get a man soundly saved it is not enough to put on him a pair of new breeches, to give him regular work, or even to give him a University education. These things are all outside a man, and if the inside remains unchanged you have wasted your labour. You must in some way or other graft upon the man's nature a new nature, which has in it the element of the Divine.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reading Tolstoy and improving my domestic relations

Am enjoying Anna Karenina and going occasionally weak-kneed at the range and depth of the old boy's characterizations. That's what keeps the pages turning, even during the bits on new theories of Russian agricultural productivity. He even tells you what the dog's feeling on at least two occasions.

Am struck by two other things:
1) If the character Levin really is a portrait of Leo himself, he can't have been an easy bloke to live with.

2) I rather like the Russian habit of referring to people by Christian name and patronymic. It seems to add a certain old-fashioned dignity to conversation. Suggested it to my wife as a way of boosting her domestic performance:

'Could you put the samovar on, Cordelia Paulova?'

But alas I feel I would get the reply

'Do it yourself, Glenn Michaelovich.'

Anna Karenina (Wordsworth Classics)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Poverty: Bono demostrates why rock stars are the new prophets

We are supposed to have a war on something, but it isn't 'terror'.

Bono at the NAACP awards