For a moment he hung over a gulf where he and his like, all the makers of windy promises, the pedlars of paradise, swirled like a handful of inconsiderable dust. He saw with clarity that the immortal aspirations of men for freedom, truth, beauty, equality, could never know secular satisfaction, and this very fact made both the glory and the tragedy of human life.Fame is the Spur (1943:442)
"I expect," she said, "he'll do like the rest of us. He'll do what he wants to, till the time comes for him to wonder whether it was worth doing."(ibid, 485)
Hardie interrupted him. "The world will be busier soon. We are on the brink of war." ... "Where will you be, Hamer? I am not asking you now as your old leader. As a friend, tell me, where will you be?" ...
"It is not a thing that can be decided off-hand," said Hamer, "There are a thousand considerations."
"There is one consideration," Hardie answered. "Thou shalt not kill."
He got up wearily and held out his hand. "Good-bye," he said. "Think of me at cock-crow."(ibid, 474)
Charles looked relieved, and smiled again. "I must confess, Father," he said, "that I still find it a bit difficult to follow a man who once demanded the Millennium and now says he'll make do with Pleasant Sunday Afternoons."
"Go on demanding the Millennium, my boy," said Hamer. "God help us when we cease to do that. But don't expect to get it, and, above all things, don't try to shove it down the people's throats. If the Millennium pays a penny in the pound, you'll be lucky...."(ibid, 646)
"I know his views. They're an old man's views, and as such I can tolerate them and even respect them. But, remember, Charles, there's an impulsive wisdom of youth as well as a cautious wisdom of age. The views he's been giving you weren't his views when he was as young as we are now."(ibid, 660-1)
"There's no job now for romantics. We, on our side, have got to be as dispassionate as a sanitary squad, cleaning up a dirty smell. And we've got to be quick, because it's spreading, and soon it'll poison and suffocate every decent thing and instinct. ... This is the sabre of Peterloo."
She stood for a moment looking at the light playing on the curved blade ... : the blade that had slashed the life out of the girl Emma in a Manchester street, that the old Warrior had maundered over, that Ellen had polished with bathbrick, that Hamer Shawcross had used to carve his way to the notice and applause of the people, that Jimmy Newbould had worshipped, and that Lady Lostwithiel had embalmed in velvet. ...
"I wondered why I brought it," she said, "But now I know. The world is face to face with reality. It is time to make an end of romantic gestures."
She stood away from Charles, whirled the sabre in a shining circle once round her head, then hurled it far out into the radiance of the moonlight. Silently, as if spellbound, they watched the silver splash of its fall, an Excalibur that no hand was lifted to receive.
For a moment, neither spoke; then Charles said quietly: "That was the most romantic gesture I have ever seen."(ibid, 661)