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I looked through the Gideon Bible in my motel room for tales of great destruction. ‘The sun was risen upon the Earth when Lot entered into Zo-ar,’ I read. ‘Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of Heaven; and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.’
So it goes.
Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known. The world was better off without them.
And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. (Kurt Vonnegut, from Slaughterhouse-5)
Now hang our bloody colours by Damascus,
Reflexing hues of blood upon their heads,
While they walk quivering on their city walls,
Half-dead for fear before they feel my wrath.
Then let us freely banquet, and carous
Full bowls of wine unto the god of war,
That means to fill your helmets full of gold,
And make Damascus’ spoils as rich to you
As was to Jason Colchos’ golden fleece.
And now, Bajazeth, hast thou any stomach?
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
And could of men distinguish her election,
Sh’ hath seal’d thee for herself, for thou hast been
As one in suff’ring all that suffers nothing,
A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards
Hast ta’en with equal thanks; and blest are those
Whose blood and judgment are so well co-meddled,
That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger
To sound what stop she please.
Man, was I sick last week.
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