687: There is No Happiness in Love.

“Take my advice,” said she. “Never mind love. After all, what is it? The dream of a few weeks. That is all its joy. The disappointment of a life is its Nemesis. Who was ever successful in true love? Success in love argues that the love is false. True love is always despondent or tragical. Juliet loved, Haidee loved. Dido loved, and what came of it? Troilus loved and ceased to be a man.”

“Troilus loved and was fooled,” said the more manly chaplain. “A man may love and yet not be a Troilus. All women are not Cressids.”

“No; all women are not Cressids. The falsehood is not always on the woman’s side. Imogen was true, but how was she rewarded? Her lord believed her to be the paramour of the first he who came near her in his absence. Desdemona was true and was smothered. Ophelia was true and went mad. There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel. But in wealth, money, houses, lands, goods and chattels, in the good things of this world, yes, in them there is something tangible, something that can be retained and enjoyed.”

“Oh, no,” said Mr. Slope, feeling himself bound to enter some protest against so very unorthodox a doctrine, “this world’s wealth will make no one happy.”

“And what will make you happy — you — you?” said she, raising herself up, and speaking to him with energy across the table. “From what source do you look for happiness? Do not say that you look for none? I shall not believe you. It is a search in which every human being spends an existence.”

(Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers. London: J.M. Dent & Co., 1906, pp. 229–230).

Anúncios
687: There is No Happiness in Love.

686: Exactly My Own Sentiments.

Fox used to say of Burke: ‘Burke is a wise man; but he is wise too soon.’ The average man will not bear this. He is a cool, common person, with a considerate air, with figures in his mind, with his own business to attend to, with a set of ordinary opinions arising from and suited to ordinary life. He can’t bear novelty or originalities. He says: ‘Sir, I never heard such a thing before in my life;’ and he thinks this a reductio ad absurdum. You may see his taste by the reading of which he approves. Is there a more splendid monument of talent and industry than ‘The Times’? No wonder that the average man — that any one — believes in it. As Carlyle observes: ‘Let the highest intellect able to write epics try to write such a leader for the morning newspapers, it cannot do it; the highest intellect will fail.’ But did you ever see anything there you had never seen before? Out of the million articles that everybody has read, can any one person trace a single marked idea to a single article? Where are the deep theories, and the wise axioms, and the everlasting sentiments which the writers of the most influential publication in the world have been the first to communicate to an ignorant species? Such writers are far too shrewd. The two million, or whatever number of copies it may be, they publish, are not purchased because the buyers wish to know new truth. The purchaser desires an article which he can appreciate at sight; which he can lay down and say, ‘An excellent article, very excellent; exactly my own sentiments.’

(Walter Bagehot, Biographical Studies. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1881, p. 3).

686: Exactly My Own Sentiments.

685: The Aptest Emblem of Futurity.

The mysterious charm of the virgin — that which renders her so unspeakably attractive — is the presentiment of maternity, the anticipation of a future world, which yet slumbers within her, and is one day to spring out of her. She is the aptest emblem of futurity.

(Novalis; quoted in James Burton Robertson, “Life and Writings of Novalis,” The Dublin Review, Vol. III, 1837, p. 301).

685: The Aptest Emblem of Futurity.

684: Conjure Away the Phantom, Break the Magic Circle.

“Mankind,” however, has no aim, no idea, no plan, any more than the family of butterflies or orchids. “Mankind” is a zoological expression, or an empty word. But conjure away the phantom, break the magic circle, and at once there emerges an astonishing wealth of actual forms — the Living with all its immense fullness, depth and movement — hitherto veiled by a catchword, a dryasdust scheme, and a set of personal “ideals.” I see, in place of that empty figment of one linear history which can only be kept up by shutting one’s eyes to the overwhelming multitude of the facts, the drama of a number of mighty Cultures, each springing with primitive strength from the soil of a mother-region to which it remains firmly bound throughout its whole life-cycle; each stamping its material, its mankind, in its own image; each having its own idea, its own passions, its own life, will and feeling, its own death. Here indeed are colours, lights, movements, that no intellectual eye has yet discovered. Here the Cultures, peoples, languages, truths, gods, landscapes bloom and age as the oaks and the stone-pines, the blossoms, twigs and leaves — but there is no ageing “Mankind.” Each Culture has its own new possibilities of self-expression which arise, ripen, decay, and never return. There is not one sculpture, one painting, one mathematics, one physics, but many, each in its deepest essence different from the others, each limited in duration and self-contained, just as each species of plant has its peculiar blossom or fruit, its special type of growth and decline. These cultures, sublimated life-essences, grow with the same superb aimlessness as the flowers of the field. They belong, like the plants and the animals, to the living Nature of Goethe, and not to the dead Nature of Newton. I see world-history as a picture of endless formations and transformations, of the marvellous waxing and waning of organic forms. The professional historian, on the contrary, sees it as a sort of tapeworm industriously adding on to itself one epoch after another.

(Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926, pp. 21–22).

684: Conjure Away the Phantom, Break the Magic Circle.

682: As Secret as a Hieroglyph.

A friend of mine once passed through a very poor neighbourhood, and saw a man issue from a four-roomed house with a roll of some material under his arm. He was stayed by his wife, who endeavoured by many arguments to dissuade him from pawning what articles he had taken away. After an angry, tumultuous dialogue, he broke from her, and turned to the crowd which had of course assembled. “What I want to know,” he exclaimed, “is this. Is a man a king in his own castle, or is he an antediluvian?” For some years, at intervals, I have tried to discover what this word meant, but in vain. It has remained as secret as a hieroglyph, and undecipherable.

(Morley Roberts, “Agitators and Demaguogues,” Murray’s Magazine, Vol. VII, 1890, p. 676).

682: As Secret as a Hieroglyph.

681: The True Nature.

The fact is that a knowledge of grammar and an ability to make a word for word translation are not in themselves sufficient to enable a person to enter into the spirit of a language or to assimilate the thoughts of the people who read and write it. One might even go further and say that the more a translation is scrupulously literal the less likely it is to be faithful or to reveal the true nature of the original thought, because the correspondence between terms of expression belonging to two different languages is far from exact.

(René Guénon, Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines. London: Luzac & Co., 1945, p. 18).

681: The True Nature.