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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2002 3:46 am 
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"Each man kills the thing he loves. The coward with a kiss the brave man with a sword."

I can't be sure if that's totally right, but I've picked it up from some where and can't find out where. All I know is it was quoted in an X-men cartoon when I was younger... sad but true!!
If anyone can help me out it would be great!
Thanks! M


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2002 9:29 am 
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Easy one...

Oscar Wilde, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol."

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword.

I found it in the Bartlett's that sits next to the computer on my desk. However, looking it up under "each man" and "thing he loves" didn't lead me to it. I had to go to "Oscar Wilde." A deficiency in Bartlett's indexing perhaps?

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True wit is nature to advantage dressed,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2002 5:03 am 
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Thanks, you wouldn't believe how irrate I get when I can't find something!
It's nice to know some one out there can help me out!!
Thanks again,
M


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 8:19 pm 
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Isn't there a line very similar to this in a Faulkner story? I'll admit an alcohol-impeded memory, and most of my books are still boxed up from moving earlier in the year, but I'm almost sure this isn't my imagination.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2002 9:27 pm 
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In Bartlett's 16th ed., it is listed in the index on page 1116 under "loves"-kills thing he loves, p. 567, no. 17.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 6:54 am 
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Cool. I don't know about the Faulkner reference. I'll see if I can dig anything up on that later.
The Wilde citing is pretty easy to verify at Gutenburg. I dug reading the extended passage it is drawn from, so I thought I'd share it:

I only knew what hunted thought
Quickened his step, and why
He looked upon the garish day
With such a wistful eye;
The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.
He does not die a death of shame
On a day of dark disgrace,
Nor have a noose about his neck,
Nor a cloth upon his face,
Nor drop feet foremost through the floor
Into an empty space.
He does not sit with silent men
Who watch him night and day;
Who watch him when he tries to weep,
And when he tries to pray;
Who watch him lest himself should rob
The prison of its prey.
He does not wake at dawn to see
Dread figures throng his room,
The shivering Chaplain robed in white,
The Sheriff stern with gloom,
And the Governor all in shiny black,
With the yellow face of Doom.
He does not rise in piteous haste
To put on convict-clothes,
While some coarse-mouthed Doctor gloats,
and notes
Each new and nerve-twitched pose,
Fingering a watch whose little ticks
Are like horrible hammer-blows.
He does not know that sickening thirst
That sands one's throat, before
The hangman with his gardener's gloves
Slips through the padded door,
And binds one with three leathern thongs,
That the throat may thirst no more.
He does not bend his head to hear
The Burial Office read,
Nor, while the terror of his soul
Tells him he is not dead,
Cross his own coffin, as he moves
Into the hideous shed.
He does not stare upon the air
Through a little roof of glass:
He does not pray with lips of clay
For his agony to pass;
Nor feel upon his shuddering cheek
The kiss of Caiaphas.
http://www.gutenberg.org/
http://www.gutenberg.org/index/by-author.html
http://www.gutenberg.org/index/by-author.html#W
http://www.gutenberg.org/index/by-author/wi3.html
ftp://sailor.gutenberg.org/pub/gutenber ... mwld10.txt


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2002 8:32 am 
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The kiss of Caiaphas -- an allusion to the high priest who condemned Christ, right? Or not?

Phaedrus, thanks for the tip -- I'll search Bartlett's online, although there are some mysteries to their search feature I haven't completely mastered. Funny how I know some Faulkner stories/novels like the back of my most overused dead metaphor and others not at all. Could this be from The Bear? I only read that once, in college -- but it seems like it was a shorter story than that . . .


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