Some say there is no such thing as an affinity, no case of a man, at least made bankrupt of passion by a single love. In theory, it may be so; in fact, there are such men neck-or-nothing men, quiet and self-contained, the last to expect that nature will play them such a trick, the last to desire such surrender of themselves, the last to know when their fate is on them.
This unlucky whipster showed an early propensity to mischief, which he gratified in a small way, by playing tricks upon the frequenters of the Wild Goose; putting gunpowder in their pipes, or squibs in their pockets, and astonishing them with an explosion, while they sat nodding round the fire-place in the bar-room; and if perchance a worthy burgher from some distant part of Pavonia had lingered until dark over his potation, it was odds but that young Vanderscamp would slip a briar under his horse's tail, as he mounted, and send him clattering along the road, in neck-or-nothing style, to his infinite astonishment and discomfiture.
Are you tired of your life, sir, that you go a-trying to provoke three great neck-or-nothing chaps, that could keep on running over us, back'ards and for'ards, till we was dead, and then take our bodies up behind 'em, and drown us ten miles off? 'How far is it to London? inquired the same speaker. 'Why, from here, sir, answered John, persuasively, 'it's thirteen very easy mile.
These dragon-slayers did not take lessons in dragon-slaying, nor do leaders of forlorn hopes generally rehearse their parts beforehand. Small things may be rehearsed, but the greatest are always do-or-die, neck-or-nothing matters. Specialism and Generalism Woe to the specialist who is not a pretty fair generalist, and woe to the generalist who is not also a bit of a specialist. Silence and Tact
Upon his generosity the conduct of Edward O'Connor beside the grave of the boy's father had worked strongly; and though Gustavus could not give his hand beside the grave to the man with whom his father had engaged in deadly quarrel, yet he quite exonerated Edward from any blame; and when, after a night more sleepless than Gustavus had ever known, he rose early on the ensuing morning, he determined to ride over to Edward O'Connor's house to breakfast, and commence that friendship which Edward had so solemnly promised to him, and with which the boy was pleased; for Gustavus was quite aware in what estimation Edward was held; and though the relative circumstances in which he and the late Squire stood prevented the boy from "caring a fig" for him, as he often said himself, yet he was not beyond the influence of that thing called "reputation," which so powerfully attaches to and elevates the man who wins it; and the price at which Edward was held in the country influenced opinion even in Neck-or-Nothing Hall, albeit though "against the grain."
To the llanos!" cried Carmen; "they are close behind us. A fellow tried to stop me, but I rode him down." And then followed a neck-or-nothing race through the pass, which was more like a furrow than a road, steep, stony, and full of holes, and being overshadowed by trees, as dark as chaos.
Long ere that should be given death might have come to them both; but there was a gay excitation in that headlong rush through the summer night; there was a champagne-draught of mirth and mischief in that dash through the starlit woodland; there was a reckless, breathless pleasure in that neck-or-nothing moonlight chase!
Or else he would sit and watch the river, although he couldn't do it long, for its swift movement seemed to fascinate him and excite him, and to arouse in him the desire to follow it to follow it wherever it went. These were his quieter moods. Ordinarily there was something gipsy-like, something Neck-or-Nothing about him. A craving for excitement seemed to burn under him like a fire.
Thus, Murphy's trick was quite successful, and the poor pickled electors were driven back to their inn in dudgeon. Andy, when he went to the stable to saddle his steed, for a return to Neck-or-Nothing Hall, found him dead lame, so that to ride him better than twelve miles home was impossible.
At last the fog lifted a bit, and Cunningham spotted cattle in a timbered swamp, but Bat was between him and them; so he circled round gently, and was edging up to get a good start when Bat took the alarm, and saw the cattle; then it was neck-or-nothing with them for possession. Bob and I happened to be in sight and when we saw our mates go off on the jump, we both went for the same spot.