I could cite you more than one hundred incidents corroborating the truth, that people have a very confused idea when their senses are tied up by fear and anxiety. As soon as cool reflection gives way to the horrors of a disordered fancy, we are but too apt to create phantoms and spectres all around us, we do not see what really exists, but what we fear to behold.
Horrid to behold did now a second phantom appear before our gazing looks, staggering slowly towards us, and leaving a numerous retinue on the staircase; the garment of the spectre was stained with blood, the skull fractured, the eyes like two portentous comets!
There is one thing to be said for Mondays. They take the mind off everything else.
There is no such thing as a stationary point in human endeavors; he who is not worse today than he was yesterday is better; and he who is not better is worse.
There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.
Sweet close rings of the serpent’s twining,
As heart in heart lay sighing and pining.
“What bright babes had Lilith and Adam!
(Sing Eden Bower!)
Shapes that coiled in the woods and waters,
Glittering sons and radiant daughters.
It sometimes happens that, even against principles, even against liberty, equality, and fraternity, even against universal suffrage, even against the government of all by all, from the depths of its anguish, of its discouragements, of its privations, of its fevers, of its distresses, of its miasmas, of its ignorance, of its darkness, that great madman, the rabble, protests, and the populace gives battle to the people.
There are some people, my dear, who hate advice, and, on the whole, do you know, I rather think they are right.
If it were not that every child of earth must learn wisdom for himself in the school of pain and labour, and if experience were orally communicable, as old people are prone to fancy, and if youth were less conceited and selfish, comparatively few foolish things would be done, and this life would lose, in a large measure, its efficacy as a place of discipline.
Thus, in the rough, the coarse old comedy is true; a great gulf separates age and youth. The youngsters will, to the end of time, prefer new lamps to old: they will trust their own senses, not yours. Buzz in the ears of your brood that flame burns and cobwebs catch. Their senses tell them that candlelight and warmth are pleasant, and liberty to fly high or low as one pleases; and, therefore, your love may as well be silent on those subjects. Otherwise you become, in their eyes, but a venerable muff and a bore. Nature has ordained that their nerves shall quiver, as yours have done, and their hearts thumb with fear; and when their turn comes they will scorch their wings, as you have, and make acquaintance with the spider.
Flocks of birds fell like paper
Into the wells
And when I lifted the blue wings
I saw a growing grave.