Simon Dale

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER EL The Music of the World. If a philosopher, learned in the human mind as Flamsteed in the courses of the stars or the great Newton in the laws of external nature, were to take one possessed by a strong passion of love or a bitter grief or what overpowering emotion you will, and were to consider impartially and with cold precision what share of his time was in reality occupied by the thing .which, as we are in the habit of saying, filled his thoughts or swayed his life or mastered his intellect, the world might well smile (and to my thinking had better smile than weep) at the issue of the investigation. When the first brief shock was gone, how few out of the solid twenty-four would be the hours claimed by the despot, however much the poets might call him insatiable. There is sleeping, and meat and drink, the putting on and off of raiment and the buying of it. If a man be of sound body, there is his sport; if he be sane there are the interests of this life and provision for the next. And if he be young, there is nature's own joy in living which with a patient scornful smile sets aside his protest that he is vowed to misery and makes him, willynilly, laugh and sing. So that, if he do not drown himself in a week and thereby baulk the enquiry, it is odds that he will compose himself in a month and by the end of a year will carry no more marks of his misfortune than (if he be a man of good heart) an added sobriety and tenderness of spirit.Yet all this does not hinder the thing from returning, on occasion given. In my own case—and if my story be followed to its close I am persuaded that I shall not be held to be one who took the disease of love more lightly than my fellows—this process of convalescence, most salutary, yet in a sense humiliating, was aided by a train of ci...
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