Georges Bernanos - People Quotes
4 Sourced Quotes
When marine officers called on me at Palma, they remarked on the clean roads, the punctual trams and so on. 'Why', they exclaimed, 'business as usual - and you say there's killing going on? what nonsense!' They didn't realise that any tradesman who closed down, closed down at his peril. They didn't know that the relatives of the executed were not allowed to go into mourning. How can you expect the outside appearance of a town to be affected, just because the staff of its prisons is double, treble, ten times, a hundred times what it was? The discreet slaughter of fifteen or twenty wretched people per day, will not prevent tramways from running to schedule, cafés from being full, or churches resounding with the Te Deum.
Everybody in Palma knew that my son was a lieutenant in the Phalange, and I was often seen at mass. For months I had been friendly with insurgent leaders who were feared by all the suspects. And yet people I hardly knew spoke freely to me, when the slightest indiscretion on my part would have cost their liberty, or their lives. I'll tell you why it was. It was because it is still known in the world that a Frenchman doesn't let himself become a policeman's pawn - that's why. Because a Frenchman is a free man.
There is no mask that temptation cannot wear, and the idea that Satan is purely a logician is an illusion held by not a few naive people. Many a shifty old man sees him as an opponent in an academic argument, but if he does the observer is still at the stage of games and trifles. Sometimes, though not often, the black desire to harm wins out over quicker and less bitter delights. When that happens, evil shows itself for what it truly is, not a way of life, but an attack on life itself.