For weeks now they had been regarded by the ladies of Tilling with something approaching veneration, but there seemed singularly little veneration at the back of the comments this morning. Following so closely on the encounter with Miss Mapp last night, this irreverent attitude was probably due to some atheistical manoeuvre of hers.
It might be well to begin to counteract this irreverent tendency of the age, by cultivating a more respectful and appreciative spirit. Then, the polite word will come spontaneously to the lips. It will be a matter of morals, essentially: of manners, incidentally. This superficial effusiveness, supposed to be "pretty" manners, is related more to subjective vanity than to objective courtesy.
He spoke with a deep, moved gravity almost as if he were speaking of the first Titan building of the earth. Mount Dunstan staring at his delicate, insistent, elderly face, tried to laugh again and failed because the effort seemed actually irreverent. It was a singular hypnotic moment, indeed. He himself was hypnotised. A flashlight of new vision blazed before him and left him dumb.
Collingbourne is the last man in the world who would appear irreverent, but he thought it was a dancing school, and when a mournful looking man on the first landing took him by the arm and said, "Come all ye who are weary and heavy laden," he felt that there was an effort being made to snatch his watch, so he jerked away from the brother and told him he didn't want any taffy, and if he wasn't careful he would get kicked so his head would ache.
Kemp's adoration since her husband's demise; the other a Jubilee portrait of the Queen, somewhat losing in dignity by a moustache which Liza in an irreverent moment had smeared on with charcoal.
It was the tall four-post bed he was selling and he now put his hand upon this object a hardy service with a cunningly simulated air of deference. It was to be profaned by no irreverent handling! "What am I offered for this heirloom of the Templeton family? Ten? Ten! Fifteen over there, thank you, Mr. Cody. Why, gentlemen, that bed cannot be duplicated in America! A real product of Colonial art!
We pretend that it is not because we are too lazy or too selfish to work as hard or think as freely as he does, but because we do not want to be as irreverent as he is that we keep the windows of our minds shut. To excuse our own mediocrity we call the man who tries to get out of the rut a "blasphemer."
Years ago, Mark Twain wrote a book which he called 'An Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven'. For long he desisted from publishing it because of his fear that its outspoken frankness would appear irreverent and shock the sensibilities of the public.
"I asked you," she proceeded, with an entrancing little smile of irreverent approval, "because I was going to say that my last speech was not quite so civil to Lady Theobald." "That is perfectly true," he responded. "It wasn't civil to her at all."
"Not so loud, duke," said Islington; "his majesty may think thy jest irreverent." "I have an arrow blessed by a priest," said Paddington, "which I shall let fly at the spirit if he appears." "Here he is here he is!" cried Will Sommers, as a great white horned owl, which had been concealed in some part of the tree, flew forth. "It may be the demon in that form shoot! shoot!" cried Shoreditch.