25 January 2009

* * * THE READING ROOM * * *

Intellectual Alpinist Fails to Encounter Deity

"The tips of my fingers just reached their aim, but only touched without anchoring themselves. As I fell back, my foot missed its former support, and my whole weight came down on the feeble left hand. The clutch was instantaneously torn apart, and I was falling through the air. The old flash of surprise crossed my mind, tempered by something like a sense of relief. All was over. The mountains sprang up with a bound ... "

-- Leslie Stephen, A Bad Five Minutes in the Alps, from "Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking" (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1873)

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