“That's what Father and Mother are, thought Nafai. They stay together, not because of any gain, but because of the gift. Father doesn't stay with Mother because she is good for him, but rather because together they can do good for us, and for many others.”
“He splashed into the water, his whole body, not with the reverent attitude of prayer, but with a desperate thirst; he buried his head under the water and drank deep, with his cheek against the cold stone of the riverbed, the water tumbling over his back, his calves. He drank and drank, lifted his head and shoulders above the water to gasp in the evening air, and then collapsed into the water again, to drink as greedily as before.
It was a kind of prayer, though, he realized as he emerged, freezing cold as the water evaporated from his skin in the breeze of the dark morning.
I am with you, he said to the Oversoul. I'll do whatever you ask, because I long for you to accomplish your purpose here.”
“Once these two had been joined together in love, or something like love; they had made two babies, and yet, only fifteen years later, the last tie between them was broken now. All lost, all gone. Nothing lasted, nothing. Even this forty-million-year world that the Oversoul had preserved as if in ice, even it would melt before the fire. Permanence was always an illusion, and love was just the disguise that lovers wore to hide the death of their union from each other for a while.”
“Human is human,” said Issib. “But civilized—that’s the gift of the Oversoul. Civilization without self-destruction.”
“Elemak pulled the shower cord before he soaped. The moment the water hit him he yowled, and then did his own little splash dance, shaking his head and flipping water all over the courtyard while jabbering “ooga-booga looga-booga” just like a little kid.”
“How do men become manly, if not by putting it on as an act until it becomes habit and then, finally, their character?”
“Mage-taught wisdom reproached him: any gift of power was two-edged.”
“Nobody loves the rat race, but nobody can think of anything else—Satan has us just where he wants us.”
“...people have a greater tolerance for evil than for violence. If crooked gambling, thieving, and robbing are covered over, folks will tolerate it longer than outright violence, even when the violence may be cleansing.”
“Don't make a black woman take off her earrings".”
“TWO hundred and thirty nautical miles southeast of Gibraltar, Oran perched above the sea, a splinter of Europe cast onto the African shore. Of the 200,000 residents, three-quarters were European, and the town was believed to have been founded in the tenth century by Moorish merchants from southern Spain. Sacked, rebuilt, and sacked again, Oran eventually found enduring prosperity in piracy; ransom paid for Christian slaves had built the Grand Mosque. Even with its corsairs long gone, the seaport remained, after Algiers, the greatest on the old Pirate Coast. Immense barrels of red wine and tangerine crates by the thousands awaited export on the docks, where white letters painted on a jetty proclaimed Marshal Pétain’s inane slogan: “Travail, Famille, Patrie.” A greasy, swashbuckling ambience pervaded the port’s many grogshops. Quays and breakwaters shaped the busy harbor into a narrow rectangle 1½ miles long, overwatched by forts and shore batteries that swept the sea to the horizon and made Oran among the most ferociously defended ports in the Mediterranean. Here”
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