How could a man be satisfied with a decision between such alternatives and under such circumstances No more than he can be satisfied with his hat, which he's chosen from among such shapes as the resources of the age offer him. . . .
George Eliot (1819 - 1880)
Source: Middlemarch, bk. 2, ch. 18 (1871), of the Reverend Walter Tyke.
In the multitude of middle-aged men who go about their vocations in a daily course determined for them much in the same way as the tie of their cravats, there is always a good number who once meant to shape their own deeds and alter the world a little.
Our virtues are dearer to us the more we have had to suffer for them. It is the same with our children. All profound affection entertains a sacrifice. Our thoughts are often worse than we are, just as they are often better.