"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

4.16.2008

a morning like this...

SCOTUS rules that lethal injection does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

"He had heard that they could eat what they wished on a morning like this. Strange that a man should ask for food at such a time. Did the body hunger, driven by some deep dark power that did not know it must die? Is the boy quiet, and does he dress quietly, and does he think of Ndotsheni now? Do tears come into his eyes, and does he wipe them away, and stand up like a man? Does he say, I will not eat any food, I will pray? Is Msimangu there with him, or Father Vincent, or some other priest whose duty it is, to comfort and strengthen him, for he is afraid of the hanging? Does he repent him, or is there only room for his fear? Is there nothing that can be done now, is there not an angel that comes there and cries, This is for God not for man, come child, come with me?

"He looked out of his clouded eyes at the faint steady lightening in the east. But he calmed himself, and took out the heavy maize cakes and the tea, and put them upon a stone. And he gave thanks, and broke the cakes and ate them, and drank of the tea. Then he gave himself over to deep and earnest prayer, and after each petition he raised his eyes and looked to the east. And the east lightened and lightened, till he knew that the time was not far off. And when he expected it, he rose to his feet and took off his hat and laid it down on the earth, and clasped his hands before him. And while he stood there the sun rose in the east."

- Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

2 Comments:

Blogger Roger said...

That excerpt is one of my all time favorite passages in one of my all time favorite books....favorite because it breaks my heart w/ both the beauty and the poignancy and the ultimate redemption that lies beneath it all...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:18:00 AM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

R, CTBT is my favorite book. The paragraphs after this one are why Betsy V. and I are friends. And the day I got to go the valley of the Umzimkulu and ride a little train down to Carisbrooke to read those words there was one of the best of my life...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 1:52:00 PM

 

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