Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House
“ Vistas of inevitable simplicity and ineffable harmonies would open, so beautiful to me that I was not only delighted, but often startled. ”
Evelyn Waugh, Black Mischief, Chapter 5
“ It was from the least expected quarter, the tribesmen and villagers, that the real support for Seth’s Birth Control policy suddenly appeared. ”
Leon R. Kass, The Beginning of Wisdom, Pp. 406-7.
“ The biblical counterpart of Odysseus, Jacob must solve the fundamental human difficulties illustrated in the pre-Abrahamic chapters of Genesis. ”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, A Dangerous Place, Chapter 1: A Half-Life, p8-9
“ In that I was a member of the Cabinet, protocol provided that I step out of Air Force One behind the President and ahead of Kissinger, who was also on the journey. Somehow Kissinger invariably reached the ground ahead of me. ”
Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (paperback edition), p210-1
“ I couldn’t manage to be anywhere near a nun, let alone a pair of them, without a mind awash in my none-too-pure Jewish thoughts. ”
Ian Fleming, Diamonds are Forever
“ It was natural to bring out the small change and jerk the handles and watch the lemons and the oranges and the cherries and the bell fruits whirl round to their final click-pause-ting, followed by a soft mechanical sigh. Five cents, ten cents, a quarter. Bond gave them all a try… ”
David Pryce-Jones, “Jews, Arabs, and French Diplomacy: A Special Report”
“ The Zionists must understand once and for all that there can be no question of constituting an independent Jewish state in Palestine, or even forming some sovereign Jewish body. ”
Charles Darwin, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, Chapter 1, General Principles of Expression
“ It is well known that cats dislike wetting their feet, owing, it is probable, to their having aboriginally inhabited the dry country of Egypt; and when they wet their feet they shake them violently. My daughter poured some water into a glass close to the head of a kitten; and it immediately shook its feet in the usual manner; so that here we have an habitual movement falsely excited by an associated sound instead of by the sense of touch. ”
Edward Lear, Journals of a Landscape Painter in the Balkans
“ Not the least annoyance was that given me by the persevering attentions of a mad or fanatic dervish, of most singular appearance as well as conduct. His note of ‘Shaitán‘ was frequently sounded; and as he twirled about, and performed many curious antics, he frequently advanced to me, shaking a long hooked stick, covered with jingling ornaments, in my very face, pointing to the Kawas with menacing looks, as though he would say, “Were it not for this protector you should he annihilated, you infidel!” ”
aligula and he greeted each other with great affection after their long absence from each other and Herod brought with him great chests full of gold and jewels and other precious objects. Some came from his own treasury, some from that of Antipas, and the rest had, I believe, been part of an offering made him by the Jews of Alexandria.
Herod invited Caligula to the most expensive banquet that had ever been given in the city: unheard-of delicacies were served, including five great pasties entirely filled with the tongues of titlarks, marvellously delicate fish brought in tanks all the way from India, and for the roast an animal like a young elephant, but hairy and of no known species — it had been found embedded in the ice of some frozen lake of the Caucasus, and brought here packed in snow by way of Armenia, Antioch and Rhodes. Caligula was astonished by the magnificence of the table and admitted that he would never have had sufficient ingenuity to provide such a display even if he had been able to afford it. The drink was as remarkable as the food, and Caligula became so lively as the meal went on that, deprecating his own generosity to Herod in the past as something hardly worth mentioning, he now promised to give him whatever it lay in his power to grant.
“Ask me anything, my dearest Herod,” he said, “And it shall be yours.” He repeated: “Absolutely anything. I swear by my own Divinity that I will grant it.”
Herod protested that he had not provided this banquet in the hope of winning any favour from Caligula. He said that Caligula had done as much for him already as any prince in the world had done for any subject or ally of his in the whole panorama of history or tradition. He said that he was far more than content: he wanted absolutely nothing at all but to be allowed in some measure to show his gratitude. However, Caligula, continuing to help himself from the crystal wine decanter, kept on pressing him: wasn’t there something very special that he wanted? Some new Eastern kingdom? Chalchis, perhaps, or Iturea? Then it was his for the asking.
Herod said: Most gracious and magnanimous and divine Caesar, I repeat that I want nothing for myself at all. All that I can hope for is the privilege of serving you. But you have already read my mind. Nothing escapes your astonishingly quick and searching eyes. There is indeed something that I do really desire to ask, but it is a gift that will directly benefit only yourself. My reward will be an indirect onethe glory of having been your adviser.
Caligula’s curiosity was excited. “Don’t be afraid to ask, Herod,” he said. “Haven’t I sworn that I will grant it, and am I not a God of my word?” “In that case, my one wish,” said Herod, “is that you will no longer think of dedicating that statue of yourself in the Temple of Jerusalem.”
A very long silence followed. I was present at this historic banquet myself and never remember having felt so uncomfortable or so excited in my life as then, waiting to see the result of Herod’s boldness. What in the world would Caligula do? He had sworn by his own Divinity to grant the boon, in the presence of many witnesses; yet how could he go back on his resolution to humble this God of the Jews Who alone of all Gods in the world continued to oppose him?
At last Caligula spoke. He said, mildly, almost beseechingly, as though he counted on Herod to help him out of his dilemma: “I don’t understand, dearest Herod. How do you suppose that the granting of this boon will benefit me?” Herod had worked the whole thing out in detail before ever he sat down to table. He replied with seeming earnestness: “Because, Caesar, to place your sacred statue in the Temple at Jerusalem would not redound to your own glory at all. Oh, quite to the contrary! Are you aware of the nature of the statue that is now kept in the innermost shrine of the Temple, and the rites which are performed about it on holy days? No? Then listen and you will at once understand that what you have regarded as wicked obstinacy among my coreligionists is no more than a loyal desire not to injure your Majesty. The God of the Jews, Caesar, is an extraordinary fellow. He has been described as an anti-God. He has a rooted aversion to statues, particularly to statues of majestic bearing and dignified workmanship like those of the Greek Gods. In order to symbolize His hatred for other divinities He has ordered the erection, in this inner shrine, of a large, crude and ludicrous statue of an ass. It has long ears, huge teeth and enormous genitals, and on every holy day the priests abuse this statue with the vilest incantations and bespatter it with the most loathsome excrement and offal and then wheel it on a carriage around the Inner Court for the whole congregation to abuse similarly; so that the whole Temple stinks like the Great Sewer. It is a secret ceremony. No non-Jews are admitted to it and the Jews themselves are not allowed to speak about it under penalty of a curse. Besides, they are ashamed. You understand everything, now, don’t you? The leading Jews are afraid that if your statue were erected in the Temple it would cause profound misunderstandings; that in their religious fanaticism the common people would subject it to the gravest indignities, while thinking to honour you by their zeal. But, as I say, natural delicacy and the holy silence imposed on them has prevented them from explaining to our friend Petronius why they would rather die than allow him to put your orders into execution. It is lucky that I am here to tell you what they are unable to tell. I am only a Jew on my mother’s side, so that perhaps frees me from the curse. In any case I am risking it, for your sake.’
Caligula drank all this in with perfect credulity and even I was half-convinced by Herod’s gravity. All that Caligula said was, “If the fools had been as frank with me as you have been, my dearest Herod, it would have saved us all a lot of trouble. You don’t think that Petronius has yet carried out my orders?”
“I hope for your sake that he has not,” Herod replied.
Born Free and Equal