Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Today's literary moment

Every now and then a favorite literary passage will lodge in my mind and make me smile. Here's today's selection, from Jane Eyre:

"Do you say your prayers night and morning?" continued my interrogator.

"Yes, sir."

"Do you read your Bible?"


"With pleasure? Are you fond of it?"

"I like Revelations, and the book of Daniel, and Genesis and Samuel, and a little bit of Exodus, and some parts of Kings and Chronicles, and Job and Jonah."

"And the Psalms? I hope you like them?"

"No, sir."

"No? oh, shocking! I have a little boy, younger than you, who knows six Psalms by heart: and when you ask him which he would rather have, a gingerbread-nut to eat or a verse of a Psalm to learn, he says: 'Oh! the verse of a Psalm! angels sing Psalms;' says he, 'I wish to be a little angel here below;' he then gets two nuts in recompense for his infant piety."


Julie D. said...

Oh how deeply I hated that man and his child!

Foxfier said...


I really hate when folks do that....

By a mile-- no, a hundred miles-- I prefer those who “Preach the Gospel at all times....if needed, use words.”

Literacy-chic said...

At what point does the "pious response" become a "conditioned response"?

Darwin said...

Pius response? What pius response. It sounds to me like it was always a conditioned response...

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

What a dumb grown-up! That little boy was a smart kid; he knew which side his ginger-nuts were buttered on. Actually, my favorite quote is just a little before yours:

"And what is hell? Can you tell me that"

"A pit full of fire."

"And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?"

"No, sir."

"What must you do to avoid it"

I deliberated a moment; my answer, when it did come, was objectionable: "I must keep in good health and not die."

I think that is a very realistic passage. It is just the sort of practical reply that a child would make.