Sunday, January 29, 2017

Secret Retributions



Secret retributions are always restoring the level, when disturbed, of the divine justice. It is impossible to tilt the beam. All the tyrants and proprietors and monopolists of the world in vain set their shoulders to heave the bar. Settles forever more the ponderous equator to its line, and man and mote, and star and sun, must range to it, or be pulverized by the recoil.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

(quoted in Vineland by Thomas Pynchon, p. 369, where a character has memorized the passage after discovering it quoted "in a jailhouse copy of The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James." Artwork: Paris Dream by Max Ernst.)

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