Uit:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
“Tom he made a sign to me — kind of a little noise with his mouth — and we went creeping away on our hands and knees. When we was ten foot off Tom whispered to me, and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun. But I said no; he might wake and make a disturbance, and then they’d find out I warn’t in. Then Tom said he hadn’t got candles enough, and he would slip in the kitchen and get some more. I didn’t want him to try. I said Jim might wake up and come. But Tom wanted to resk it; so we slid in there and got three candles, and Tom laid five cents on the table for pay. Then we got out, and I was in a sweat to get away; but nothing would do Tom but he must crawl to where Jim was, on his hands and knees, and play something on him. I waited, and it seemed a good while, everything was so still and lonesome.
As soon as Tom was back we cut along the path, around the garden fence, and by and by fetched up on the steep top of the hill the other side of the house. Tom said he slipped Jim’s hat off of his head and hung it on a limb right over him, and Jim stirred a little, but he didn’t wake. Afterwards Jim said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again, and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it.
And next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New Orleans; and, after that, every time he told it he spread it more and more, till by and by he said they rode him all over the world, and tired him most to death, and his back was all over saddle-boils. Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn’t hardly notice the other niggers. Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country. Strange niggers would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder.”
Mark Twain (30 november 1835 – 21 april 1910)
Jeff East (Huckleberry Finn) en Paul Winfield (Jim) in de film Huckleberry Finn, 1974
THE SHOPPPINGTOWN DOWN UNDER (Fragment)
Traveling the world
For the ultimate
Cairns, Port Douglas
Queensland- North Queensland
The Great Barrier Reef
Tropical rain forest
Here on quicksilver
Out to the outer reef they have had
World leaders aboard
William Jefferson Clinton
The last of whom
took out some time to flirt
With some of the waitresses in blue-green getups
(As if for mermaids)
And one girl in particular
whose birthday it was
At least, so says one of the waitresses I ask
Lee Klein (New York, 30 november 1965)
Uit: Chinese Cinderella
“At the time of my birth, Big Sister was six and a half years old. My three brothers were five, four and three. They blamed me for causing Mama’s death and never forgave me.
A year later, Father remarried. Our stepmother, whom we called Niang, was a seventeen-year-old Eurasian beauty fourteen years his junior. Father always introduced her to his friends as his French wife, though she was actually half French and half Chinese. Besides Chinese, she also spoke French and English. She was almost as tall as Father, stood very straight and dressed only in French clothes, many of which came from Paris. Her thick, wavy black hair never had a curl out of place. Her large, dark brown eyes were fringed with long, thick lashes. She wore heavy makeup, expensive French perfume and many diamonds and pearls. Grandmother Nai Nai told us to call her Niang, Chinese term for mother.
One year after their wedding, they had a son (Fourth Brother), followed by a daughter (Little Sister). There were now seven of us, five children from Father’s first wife and two from our stepmother Niang.
Besides Father and Niang, we lived with our Grandfather Ye Ye, Grandmother Nai Nai and Aunt Baba in a big house in the French concession of Tianjin, a port city on the northeast coast of China. Aunt Baba was the older sister of our father. Because she was meek, shy and unmarried and had no money of her own, they ordered her to take care of me. From an early age, I slept in a crib in her room. This suited me well because I grew to know her better and better. Besides a room, we came to share a life apart from the rest of our family. Under the circumstances, perhaps it was inevitable that, in time, we came to care for each other very deeply.”
Adeline Yen Mah (Tianjin, 30 november 1937)
The Shadow Of The Cross
At the drowsy dusk when the shadows creep
From the golden west, where the sunbeams sleep,
An angel mused: “Is there good or ill
In the mad world’s heart, since on Calvary’s hill
‘Round the cross a mid-day twilight fell
That darkened earth and o’ershadowed hell?”
Through the streets of a city the angel sped;
Like an open scroll men’s hearts he read.
In a monarch’s ear his courtiers lied
And humble faces hid hearts of pride.
Men’s hate waxed hot, and their hearts grew cold,
As they haggled and fought for the lust of gold.
Despairing, he cried, “After all these years
Is there naught but hatred and strife and tears?”
He found two waifs in an attic bare;
— A single crust was their meagre fare —
One strove to quiet the other’s cries,
And the love-light dawned in her famished eyes
As she kissed the child with a motherly air:
“I don’t need mine, you can have my share.”
Then the angel knew that the earthly cross
And the sorrow and shame were not wholly loss.
At dawn, when hushed was earth’s busy hum
And men looked not for their Christ to come,
From the attic poor to the palace grand,
The King and the beggar went hand in hand.
John McCrae (30 november 1872 – 28 januari 1918)
Miniversie van het ontwerp voor een standbeeld
Uit: Gulliver’s Travels
“But I should have mentioned, that before the principal person began his oration, he cried out three times, Langro debul san (these words, and the former, were afterwards repeated, and explained to me). Whereupon immediately about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut the strings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him that was to speak. He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than any of the other three who attended him, whereof one was a page that held up his train, and seemed to be somewhat longer than my middle finger; the other two stood one on each side, to support him. He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe many periods of threatenings, and others of promises, pity, and kindness.
I answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting up my left hand, and both my eyes, to the sun, as calling him for a witness: and, being almost famished with hunger, having not eaten a morsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the demands of nature so strong upon me, that I could not forbear showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules of decency) by putting my finger frequently to my mouth, to signify that I wanted food. The hurgo (for so they call a great lord, as I afterwards learned) understood me very well.He descended from the stage, and commanded that several ladders should be applied to my sides; on which above a hundred of the inhabitants mounted, and walked towards my mouth, laden with baskets full of meat, which had been provided and sent thither by the king’s orders, upon the first intelligence he received of me.”
Jonathan Swift (30 november 1667 – 19 oktober 1745)
Sonnet 35: What May Words Say
What may words say, or what may words not say,
Where truth itself must speak like flattery?
Within what bounds can one his liking stay,
Where Nature doth with infinite agree?
What Nestor’s counsel can my flames allay,
Since Reason’s self doth blow the coal in me?
And ah what hope, that hope should once see day,
Where Cupid is sworn page to Chastity?
Honor is honor’d, that thou dost possess
Him as thy slave, and now long needy Fame
Doth even grom rich, naming my Stella’s name.
Wit learns in thee perfection to express,
Not thou by praise, but prasie in thee is rais’d:
It is a praise to praise, when thou art prais’d.
Sonnet 48: Soul’s Joy, Bend Not
Soul’s joy, bend not those morning stars from me,
Where Virtue is made strong by Beauty’s might,
Where Love is chasteness, Pain doth learn delight,
And Humbleness grows one with Majesty.
Whatever may ensue, oh let me be
Copartner of the riches of that sight:
Let not mine eyes be hell-driv’n from that light:
Oh look, oh shine, oh let me die and see.
For though I oft myself of them bemoan,
That though my heart their beamy darts be gone,
Whose cureless wounds ev’n now most freshly bleed:
Yet since my death-wound is already got,
Dear killer, spare not thy sweet cruel shot:
A kind of grace it is to kill with speed.
Philip Sidney (30 november 1554 – 17 oktober 1586)
Portret door John de Critz the elder, rond 1620