It was the emotion caused by a strange doubt of his sanity, for at that critical minute his horse's movements had brought him facing the door from which the Emir had hurriedly rushed out directly after the alarm was given.
God knows it is no man's fault if he is made so that his nerves may fail him at a critical moment. Besides, many a man who is capable of heroism that would win him the Victoria Cross fails when called upon to stand more than a few weeks of trench warfare, for a few minutes of heroism are very different to months of unrelieved strain.
This venture, unaided and alone, into the paths of farming as master and not as man, with an advance of sheep not yet paid for, was a critical juncture with Gabriel Oak, and he recognised his position clearly.
With that morbid interest in trifling things which often manifests itself in the most critical moments, Otto counted the logs on each of the four sides. "Dere be nine dere," said he, indicating the western side, "ten dere, and nine and ten on de other sides." "That must be right," remarked Jack, "for I make them the same."
In the face of such enormities what could Keble do? He was ready to do anything, but he was a simple and an unambitious man, and his wrath would in all probability have consumed itself unappeased within him had he not chanced to come into contact, at the critical moment, with a spirit more excitable and daring than his own.
Whether this pleasure has anything to do with sexuality, whether it includes in itself sexual satisfaction? or can be the occasion of sexual excitement; all this may be refuted by critical consideration, which will probably be directed also to the position taken above that the pleasure in the sensations of passive movement are of sexual character or that they are sexually exciting.
They must bring forward new men; they must encourage the efforts of those now unrecognized and comparatively unknown; they must overcome all reserve and false shame, and act as became men called upon to a critical and leading part, not by their arrogance or ambition, but by the desertion and treachery of those to whose abilities they had bowed without impatience and reluctance.
Richard Kurd's Letters on Chivalry and Romance, Thomas Warton's History of English Poetry. 1774-1778, Tyrwhitt's critical edition of Chaucer, and Horace Walpole's Gothic romance, the Castle of Otranto, 1765, stimulated this awakened interest in the picturesque aspects of feudal life, and contributed to the fondness for supernatural and mediæval subjects.
At this time Turenne, it is said, had serious thoughts of retiring to a convent, and was induced only by the earnest remonstrances of the king, and his representations of the critical state of France, to resume his command. Returning to the Upper Rhine, he was again opposed to Montecuculi.
He had but a few minutes to devote to her and her hosts; for scarcely had he taken her into the spacious rooms, gay with flowers, of which she now took possession, when he was enquired for by two messengers, both anxious to speak with him. Paula knew how critical her uncle's state was, and now, contemplating the probability of losing him, she first understood what he had been to her.