Let not the rash marble riskgarrulous breaches of oblivion's omnipotence, in many words recallingname, renown, events, birthplace. All those glass jewels are best left in the dark. Let not the marble say what men do not. The essentials of the dead man's life--the trembling hope, the implacable miracle of pain, the wonder of sensual delight--will abide forever. Blindly the uncertain soul asks to continuewhen it is the lives of others that will make that happen, as you yourself are the mirror and imageof those who did not live as long as youand others will be (and are) your immortality on earth.
Come here, let me share a bit of wisdom with you. Have you given much thought to our mortal condition?Probably not. Why would you? Well, listen. There's no one alivewho can say if he will be tomorrow. Our fate moves invisibly! A mystery. No one can teach it, no one can grasp it. Accept this! Cheer up! Have a drink!But don't forget Aphrodite--that's You can let the rest go. Am I making sense?I think so. How about a drink. Put on a garland. I'm surethe happy splash of wine will cure your mood. We're all mortal you know. Think mortal. Because my theory is, there's no such thing as life.
Now every mortal has painand sweat is constant, but if there is anything dearer than being alive, it's dark to me. We humans seem disastrously in love with this thing(whatever it is) that glitters on the earth--we call it life. We know no other. The underworld's a blankand all the rest just fantasy.
[A] right understanding that death is nothingto us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to itan infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving forimmortality. For there is nothing terrible in life for the man who hastruly comprehended that there is nothing terrible in not living.
In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments. Those whom life does not cure death will. The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and reality, even where we will not. Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting. I've thought a great deal about my life and my country. I think there is little that can be truly known. My family has been fortunate. Others were less so. As they are often quick to point out.
Puis il réfléchit: la réalité ne coïncide habituellement pas avec les prévisions; avec une logique perverse, il en déduisit que prévoir un détail circonstanciel, c'est empêcher que celui-ci se réalise. Fidèle? Cette faible magie, il inventait, pour les empêcher de se réaliser, des péripéties atroces; naturellement, il finit par craindre que ces péripéties ne fussent prophétiques. Misérable dans la nuit, il essayait de s'affirmer en quelque sorte dans la substance fugitive du temps. Il savait que celui-ci se précipitait vers l'aube du 29; il raisonnait? Haute voix; je suis maintenant dans la nuit du 22; tant que durera cette nuit (et six nuits de plus) je suis invulnérable, immortel. Il pensait que les nuits de sommeil étaient des piscines profondes et sombres dans lesquels il pouvait se plonger. Il souhaitait parfois avec impatience la décharge définitive qui le libérerait tant bien que mal de son vain travail d'imagination.
Many writers, especially male ones, have told us that it is the decease of the father which opens the prospect of one's own end, and affords an unobstructed view of the undug but awaiting grave that says 'you're next.' Unfilial as this may seem, that was not at all so in my own case. It was only when I watched Alexander [my own son] being born that I knew at once that my own funeral director had very suddenly, but quite unmistakably, stepped onto the stage. I was surprised by how calmly I took this, but also by how reluctant I was to mention it to my male contemporaries.
Every subject's duty is the King's; but every subject's soul is his own. Therefore, should every soldier in the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every mote out of his conscience; and dying so, death is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained; and in him that escapes, it were no sin to think that, making God so free an offer, He let him outlive the day to see His greatness and to teach others how they should prepare.