Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Must Pity Die?

"Dante's Inferno: Pity" by William Blake

The Teacher reveals the evil aspects of Pity:

'But dare one say--it is horrible to say--that Pity must ever die?'

'Ye must distinguish. The action of Pity will live for ever: but the passion of Pity will not. The passion of Pity, the Pity we merely suffer, the ache that draws men to concede what should not be conceded and to flatter when they should speak truth, the pity that has cheated many a woman out of her virginity and many a statesman out of his honesty--that will die. It was used as a weapon by bad men against good ones: their weapon will be broken.'

'And what is the other kind--the action?'

'It's a weapon on the other side. It leaps quicker than light from the highest place to the lowest to bring healing and joy, whatever the cost to itself. It changes darkness into light and evil into good. But it will not, at the cunning tears of Hell, impose on good the tyranny of evil. Every disease that submits to a cure shall be cured: but we will not call blue yellow to please those who insist on still having jaundice, nor make a midden of the world's garden for the sake of some who cannot abide the smell of roses.'
~C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce


Note to readers: I will be taking a short holiday out of town, and will be returning next week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Fun link of the day: The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line's Most Memorable Calls

Just in case: The Butterball Turkey Website

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