--Mark Twain, The Prince And The Pauper
I've seen it before. There are women who spread ruin through no fault of theirs, just by being too beautiful, too ful of life and love. They can't help it. People come to them as people go to a warm fire in winter.
--Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
--Paul Bowles, Under The Sheltering Sky
Pale as a candle flame in the dusk, tallow-pale, he stalked along, holding her hand, and Louie looked up and beyond him at the enfeebled stars. Thus, for many years, she had seen her father's head, a ghostly earth flame against the heavens, from her little height. Sam looked down on the moon of her face; the dayshine was enough still to light the eyeballs swimming up to him.
--Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children
“Mostly I just kill time," he said, "and it dies hard.”
--Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye