On the other, his commitment to racialism anticipated an early chapter of a darker, more modern story, when twentieth-century governments took up the nineteenth century's most pestilent
ideas and implemented them with thoroughness and malice, until another global war marked their end.
I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame the earth seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy the air, look you, this mighty o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire; why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent
congregation of vapours.
A I fear this fetid, Nick Hornby-induced obsession with compiling best/worst lists is a pestilent
blight on this nation's psyche.
Laertes "wants not buzzers to infect his ear / With pestilent
speeches of his father's death" (4.5.90-91); his howled grief makes the stars "stand / Like wonder-wounded hearers" in the graveyard scene (5.1.256-57).
And even more indecently, it ostentatiously places murder in the parlor--that sanctified domestic space of Victorian and Edwardian England intended to provide a haven from the shambles of modernity, from the rubbishy "street full of men" (and women) who make even the deadly Professor seem more pesky than pestilent
For instance, in descriptions of the "pestilent
stench holes"(MBSL II 1871, 518) in which Boston's workers live, the "moral condition" of working people comes to be equated with their disease-ridden dwellings.
From the pestilent
charnel holds of slavers to plantation huts to chain gangs to the modern penitentiary., Baker's sight is filled by tableaux full of bound, chained, and otherwise incarcerated black bodies.
The ancient edifice teems with fungi; it is overspread with "a pestilent
and mystic vapor" (400); "ebon blackness" goes from being a decorative marker of wealth (as in the rich ebony flooring in the passage above) to a marker of biological danger.
The long hours spent in a pestilent
courtroom were extremely punishing for a man suffering badly from the gout.
There could be little doubt who was worse or where corruption really lay, and Buchanan ended his poem by calling on both the bowels of the earth and the heavens to issue forth fire upon the pestilent
Portuguese colonists and destroy them.(58)
Among the many myths belied by the facts (myths shared by many Victorians) is the vision of the Victorian city as a hell-hole of degradation and iniquity--filthy, pestilent
, home to every vice and disease, destructive of all traditional authority, conducive to anomie" and "alienation." It is fascinating, therefore, to find that illegitimacy, which might be expected to be the byproduct of these inhumane conditions, was actually less prevalent in urban and industrial areas than in rural ones.
Sophisticated and affluent, well-dressed and sporting sunglasses, he is out of place among the squalor of crowded houses, dirty and pestilent
streets, and clothes mended so often they seem only a structure to hold together their patches.