mere dross

From the earliest times man has been engaged in a search for general rules whereby to turn the order of natural phenomena to his own advantage, and in the long search he has scraped together a great hoard of such maxims, some of them golden and some of them mere dross. The true or golden rules constitute the body of applied science which we call the arts; the false are magic.

Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough

Advertisements

false and barren

It is therefore a truism, almost a tautology, to say that all magic is necessarily false and barren; for were it ever to become true and fruitful, it would no longer be magic but science.

Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough

bastard sister

The principles of association are excellent in themselves, and indeed absolutely essential to the working of the human mind. Legitimately applied they yield science; illegitimately applied they yield magic, the bastard sister of science.

Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough

intensely ridiculous

That thrust of the buttocks, surely it was a little ridiculous. If you were a woman, and a part in all the business, surely that thrusting of the man’s buttocks was supremely ridiculous. Surely the man was intensely ridiculous in this posture and this act!

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

magnificent throb

She did not understand the beauty he found in her, through touch upon her living secret body, almost the ecstasy of beauty. For passion alone is awake to it. And when passion is dead, or absent, then the magnificent throb of beauty is incomprehensible and even a little despicable; warm, live beauty of contact, so much deeper than the beauty of vision.

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

lazy nincompoop

The face in the moonlight looked singularly earnest, and recalled to Marguerite’s aching heart those happy days of courtship, before he had become the lazy nincompoop, the effete fop, whose life seemed spent in card and supper rooms.

Baroness Emma Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel

woman’s penetration

She wished she were in the supper-room, too, at this moment, watching him as he entered; she knew that her woman’s penetration would at once recognise in the stranger’s face — whoever he might be — that strong individuality which belongs to a leader of men — to a hero: to the mighty, high-soaring eagle, whose daring wings were becoming entangled in the ferret’s trap.

Baroness Emma Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel

a vile action

Oh, this was cruel! cruel! What had she done to have deserved all this? Her choice was made: had she done a vile action or one that was sublime? The recording angel, who writes in the book of gold, alone could give an answer.

Baroness Emma Orczy, The Scarlet Pimpernel