I have nothing but myself to write about, no facts, no theories, no opinions, no adventures, no sentiments, nothing but my own poor barren individualism, of considerable interest to me, but I do not know why I should presume it will be so to you. Egotism is not tiresome, or it ought not to be, if one is sincere about oneself; but it is so hard to be sincere. Well, never mind, I mean to be, and you know me well enough to see through me when I am humbugging.
Life is more than a theory, and love of truth butters no bread: old men who have had to struggle along their way, who know the endless bitterness, the grave moral deterioration which follow an empty exchequer, may well be pardoned for an over-wish to see their sons secured from it; hunger, at least, is a reality...
That which especially distinguishes a high order of man from a low order of man, that which constitutes human goodness, human nobleness, is surely not the degree of enlightenment with which men pursue their own advantage; but it is self-forgetfulness; it is self-sacrifice; it is the disregard of personal pleasure, personal indulgence, personal advantage, remote or present, because some other line of conduct is more right.
It may be from some moral obliquity in myself, or from some strange disease; but for me, and I should think too for every human being in whose breast a human heart is beating, to know that one single creature is in that dreadful place would make a hell of heaven itself. And they have hearts in heaven, for they love there.
Beautiful is old age""beautiful as the slow-dropping mellow autumn of a rich glorious summer. In the old man, Nature has fulfilled her work; she loads him with blessings; she fills him with the fruits of a well-spent life; and, surrounded by his children and his children's children, she rocks him softly away to a grave, to which he is followed with blessings. God forbid we should not call it beautiful.
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