Hypocrite qui s’enfonce dans la solitude pour se livrer mieux aux débordement de ses convoitises… Ta chasteté n’est qu’une corruption plus subtile, et ce mépris du monde l’impuissance de ta haine contre lui.
Our souls no longer rebel at a sorrow which we ourselves have imposed upon ourselves, in furtherance of our own purposes, with a view ‒ if even with a futile view ‒ to the extension of our own joy.
I have spoken of memories that haunt us during our youth. They sometimes pursue us even into our manhood, assume gradually less and less indefinite shapes, now and then speak to us with low voices,
We walk about, amid the destinies of our world-existence, encompassed by dim but ever-present memories of a destiny more vast ‒ very distant in the bygone time, and infinitely awful.
We live out a youth peculiarly haunted by such shadows, yet never mistaking them for dreams. As memories we know them. During our youth the distinction is too clear to deceive us even for a moment.
So long as this youth endures, the feeling that we exist is the most natural of all feelings. We understand it thoroughly. That there was a period at which we did not exist ‒ or that it might so have happened that we never had existed at all ‒ are the considerations, indeed, which we find difficulty in understanding. Why we should not exist is, up to the epoch of manhood, of all queries the most unanswerable.
Existence ‒ self-existence ‒ existence from all time and to all eternity ‒ seems, up to the epoch of manhood, a normal and unquestionable condition. Seems, because it is.