It was the comparative insignificance of ourselves and our world, when placed in comparison of the mighty whole of which man is an atom, that first led me to imagine that our pretensions to eternity might be overrated.
Like shapes from some superbly costumed pageant of High Life in the Twentieth Century this trio drifted, rather than merely walked like mortals, across the terrasse and into the Cafe de l'Univers (which seemed suddenly to shrink in proportion as if reminded of its comparative insignificance in the Scheme of Things) where an awed staff of waiters, led by the overpowered proprietaires, monsieur et madame themselves, welcomed these apparitions from Another and A Better World with bowings and scrapings and a vast bustle and movement of chairs and tables; while all Nant, all of it, that is, that was accustomed to foregather in the cafe at this the hour of the aperitif, looked on with awed and envious eyes.
The people of the two vessels stood aghast with this sad picture of their own insignificance before their eyes.
In strength and beauty, in vastness of design and skill of workmanship, in nobility of outline and richness of detail, the religious fabrics of these times fall into insignificance beside their grand old predecessors; and the manner in which they are cut up into patrician and plebeian quarters, into fashionable coteries for the perfumed portion of humanity, and into half-starved benches with the brand of poverty upon them for the poor, is nothing to the credit of anybody.
This Novel, which, as we have said, was begun two or three years ago, probably on his cessation from the Athenaeum, and was mainly finished, I think, before the removal to St. Vincent, had by this time fallen as good as obsolete to his own mind; and its destination now, whether to the press or to the fire, was in some sort a matter at once of difficulty and of insignificance to him.
Kossuth, in reply, after warm thanks, declined the personal praises bestowed on him, and sketched the series of events by which the Austrian tyranny had converted him from insignificance into a man of importance.
Dwarfed to ant-like insignificance by the verdant immensity around him, the logger toils daily with ax, saw and cable.
I fear we shall have to admit our insignificance on this point.
It was not in the least what he had meant to do with the fugitive flash of consciousness he called self; but all that he had purposed for that transitory being sank into insignificance under the pressure of Undine's claims.
But it goes on its way immovable, grinding the poor, enslaving the slave, admiring hideousness, adulating vulgarity for its wealth and insignificance for its pedigree.