She was not looking at him, but reciting words into space.
He went on quietly to recite the list of those he knew she would ask for, those most needed in this hour, who had resigned and vanished within the past month.
They had to be recited to her in person by every petitioner.
In the clear, monotonous voice of a military report, consulting no papers, looking straight at the men, Dagny recited the technological facts about the John Galt Line, giving exact figures on the nature of the rail, the capacity of the bridge, the method of construction, the costs.
Mr. Weatherby’s tone had a kind of placid righteousness, as if he were reciting a formula required to convey another meaning, clear to all of them; he was looking straight at Taggart, in special emphasis of the unstated.
He watched them utter mechanical generalities, recite vague phrases of fraudulent evidence, play an intricate game of stretching words to convey no facts and no meaning.
She spoke in a flat monotone, as if reciting her thoughts to herself, intent upon giving the solid identity of words to the torturous shreds of chaos twisting in her mind.
’The good of others’ is a magic formula that transforms anything into gold, a formula to be recited as a guarantee of moral glory and as a fumigator for any action, even the slaughter of a continent.
The words that stood in his mind, as they had stood when he had agreed to come, were like a voodoo formula which one recites when it is needed and beyond which one must not look: What can you do when you have to deal with people?
With a single movement of her arm, the abrupt, explosive movement of sheer physical brutality, such as he had never seen from her before, she swept the magazines off the table and went on, her voice reciting a list of figures without a break, as if there were no connection between her mind and the violence of her body.
She heard a sparkling voice reciting, in the tone of a dryly meticulous bookkeeper, a report about financial transfers, bank accounts, income-tax returns, as if he were reading the dusty pages of a ledger-a ledger where every entry was made by means of offering his own blood as the collateral to be drained at any moment, at any slip of his bookkeeping pen.
Then, as if by some dim recoil against self-pity, he added, reciting a memorized lesson, his voice a desperate attempt at his old, cynical, intellectual tone, "What does it matter, Mr. Rearden? …. Man is only a collection of …. conditioned chemicals …. and a man’s dying doesn’t make …. any more difference than an animal’s."
The face of the machine seemed to have more expression than the face of the mechanic in charge of it; he was a husky young man in a sweat-stained shirt with sleeves rolled above the elbows; his pale blue eyes were glazed by an enormously conscientious concentration on his task; he moved his lips once in a while, as if reciting a memorized lesson.
He had added, in the monotone of reciting some impersonal, statistical report, "The newspapers are yelling that coal is now the most crucial commodity in the country.
They seemed to regard it as their rightful prerogative; they acted as if the purpose of the procedure were not to try a case, but to give them jobs, as if their jobs were to recite the appropriate formulas with no responsibility to know what the formulas accomplished, as if a courtroom were the one place where questions of right and wrong were irrelevant and they, the men in charge of dispensing justice, were safely wise enough to know that no justice existed.
He was reciting it in full earnestness, with the honesty of a conscientious student: "I know that everything is relative and that nobody can know anything and that reason is an illusion and that there isn’t any reality.
I don’t understand you," said Philip; his voice had the angry bewilderment of a man who recites the formulas of a well-tested role, but keeps getting the wrong cues in answer.
The freedom you seek is freedom from the fact that if you stole your wealth, you are a scoundrel, no matter how much you give to charity or how many prayers you recite-that if you sleep with sluts, you’re not a worthy husband, no matter how anxiously you feel that you love your wife next morning-that you are an entity, not a series of random pieces scattered through a universe where nothing sticks and nothing commits you to anything., the universe of a child’s nightmare where…