Sunday, January 25, 2009

Quotations from *Cup of Gold*, 5 of 11
John Steinbeck
1902-1968 American

There was respect in his eyes, surely, but no fear, no jealousy, and no suspicion.
John Steinbeck, Cup of Gold

“Heard of her!” he said softly. “Sir, I have dreamed of her and called to her in my sleep. Who has not? Who in all this quarter of the world has not heard of her, and yet who knows any single thing about her? It is a strange thing, the magic of this woman’s name. La Santa Rosa! La Santa Rosa! It conjures up desire in the heart of every man—not active, possible desire, but the ‘if I were handsome, if I were a prince’ kind of desire. The young men make wild plans; some to go disguised to Panama, others to blow it up with quantities of powder. They daydream of carrying the Red Saint off with them. Sir, I have heard a seaman all rotten with disease whispering to himself in the night, ‘If this thing were not on me, I would go adventuring for La Santa Rosa.’”
John Steinbeck, Cup of Gold

And again they sat silently, drinking the rich wine.

“But there is much suffering bound up in women,” Henry Morgan began, as though he had just finished speaking. “They seem to carry pain about with them in a leaking package. You have loved often, they say, Coeur de Gris. Have you not felt the pain they carry?”

“No, sir, I do not think I have. Surely I have been assailed by regrets and little sorrows—everyone has; but mostly I have found only pleasure among women.”

“Ah, you are lucky,” the captain said. “You are filled with luck not to have known the pain. My own life was poisoned by love. This life I lead was forced on me by lost love.”
John Steinbeck, Cup of Gold

“Here is an old man, sir. We are sure he has riches, but he has hidden them away and we can never find any.”

“Then put his feet in the fire!—why, he is a brazen fool! Break his arms!— He will not tell? Put the whip-cord about his temples!— Oh, kill him! kill him and stop his screaming— Perhaps he had no money—”

(There is a woman in Panama—)

“Have you scratched out every grain of gold? Place the city at ransom! We must have riches after pain.”

A fleet of Spanish ships came sailing to the rescue.

“A Spanish squadron coming? We will fight them! No, no; we shall run from them if we can get away. Our hulls lag in the water with their weight of gold. Kill the prisoners!”

(—she is lovely as the sun.)
John Steinbeck, Cup of Gold

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