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William Somerset Maugham

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She plunged into a sea of platitudes, and with the powerful breast stroke of a channel swimmer made her confident way towards the white cliffs of the obvious.
--
p. 189

 
William Somerset Maugham

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The essence of striving to the far-off worlds is contained in the assimilation of a consciousness of our life in them. The possibility of life on them becomes for our consciousness, as it were, a channel of approach. Indeed, this consciousness must be dug through as a channel. People are able to swim, yet a considerable portion of them do not swim. Such an obvious fact as the far-off worlds completely fails to attract humanity. It is time to cast this seed into the human brain.

 
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If good music has charms to soothe the savage breast, bad music has no less powerful spells for filling the mildest breast with rage, the happiest with horror and disgust. Oh, those mammy songs, those love longings, those loud hilarities! How was it possible that human emotions intrinsically decent could be so ignobly parodied.

 
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I cannot think of a single answer that I made in the years that I argued before the Court while Justice White sat on it that seemed to satisfy him. While I won a number of cases that I argued before him, and he voted for my side in most of them, I never had the sense that anything I said pleased him. White, a former All-American running back (whose much-repeated college nickname, Whizzer, was one that appalled him), was no fan of press claims for broad First Amendment protection. He invariably asked questions that were both pointed and powerful.

 
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There'll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow
Just you wait and see.
There'll be love and laughter
And peace ever after
Tomorrow
When the world is free.

 
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