Upon the death of his wife: May 16 - She died at nine in the morning, after being ill for two days-easy at last. I arrived here late last night. For myself, I scarce know how I feel - sometimes as firm as the Bass Rock, sometimes as weak as the waters that break on it. . . . May 18- Another day, and a bright one to the external world, again opens on us; the air soft, and the flowers smiling, and the leaves glittering. They cannot refresh her to whom mild weather was a natural enjoyment. Cerements of lead and wood already hold her; cold earth must have her soon. But it is not my Charlotte, it is not the bride of my youth, the mother of my children, that will be laid among the ruins of Cryburgh, which we have so often visited in gaiety and pastime. No, no. She is sentient and conscious of my emotions somewhere- somehow; where we cannot tell - how we cannot tell; yet would I not this moment renounce her in a better world, for all that this world can give me.
On his bold visage middle age Had slightly press'd its signet sage, Yet had not quench'd the open truth And fiery vehemence of youth: Forward and frolic glee was there, The will to do, the soul to dare.
Even Such is Time Even such is time, that takes in trust Our youth, our joys, our all we have, And pays us but with earth and dust; Who, in the dark and silent grave, When we have wandered all our ways, Shuts up the story of our days. But from this earth, this grave, this dust, My God shall raise me up, I trust.
The time comes when each one of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he pinned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will.
Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939)
Source: Civilization and Its Discontents, chapter 5 (1930)
Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow, - attend to the history of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia.
In order to acquire a growing and lasting respect in society, it is a good thing, if you possess great talent, to give, early in your youth, a very hard kick to the right shin of the society that you love. After that, be a snob.