Kant expresses eloquently the absolute and inescapable nature of duty in its perennial opposition to our transitory and nickering desires. But Kant is unfair in his picturesque contrast between the perplexities attending the pursuit of happiness and the certainty attachable to morality. As a matter of observation, moral codes have varied quite as much as man's different ways of finding happiness.
But if the deeds proceed from the will, then it at once attaches a responsibility to them. Place before the mind a murder committed by a party through pure physical compulsion brought to bear on the arm that inflicts the blow, and the conscience says, here no guilt is attachable.
But when you consider that all the important tendencies of the creature, his appetites, his loves, his hates, his curiosity, his sexual cravings, his fears, and pugnacity, are freely attachable to all sorts of objects as stimulus, and to all kinds of objects as gratification, the complexity of human nature is not so inconceivable.
Was there any meaning attachable to the fact that his room was kept so tidy and neat, that every day something was added to its comfort or color, that he found fresh flowers whenever he returned, or a book, or fruit, or a dainty morsel to eat, and once a bunch of Indian paint-brush, wild flowers of the desert that Lucy knew he loved?
My certainty in this matter was due, not to any exalted sense of my own desirableness to women, but to my anything but exalted concept of women as instinctive huntresses of men. In my experience women hunted men with quite the same blind tropism that marks the pursuit of the sun by the sunflower, the pursuit of attachable surfaces by the tendrils of the grapevine.
A large share, therefore, of the blame attachable to this failure must rest where fidelity of narration has obliged me to place it. Again, the recall of the victorious detachment from the left to the right bank of the Mississippi, and the consequent abandonment of that complete command of the river which this partial success had obtained, was a military error of the gravest kind.
By the time she had grown sharper, as the gentlemen who had criticised her calves used to say, she found in her mind a collection of images and echoes to which meanings were attachable images and echoes kept for her in the childish dusk, the dim closet, the high drawers, like games she wasn't yet big enough to play.
For to the nerves or tissues, or whatever it be that answers to the helm of a rich man's desires, there is a whole army of limbs seen and unseen attachable: he may be reckoned by his horse-power by the number of foot-pounds which he has money enough to set in motion.
Voltaire is, by nature, an attached or attachable creature; flinging out fond boughs to every kind of excellence, and especially holding firm by old ties he had made.
For though there was no sort of blame or discredit of any kind attached or attachable to her from any part of my story, as she is, I believe, still living, and as the memory of that time cannot but be a painful one to her, it is as well to suppress it. The lady, as I have said, was handsome and young, and of course all the young fellows who got a chance flirted with her en tout bien tout honneur.