I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
People talk about the conscience, but it seems to me one must just bring it up to a certain point and leave it there. You can let your conscience alone if you’re nice to the second housemaid.
I have a notion that gamblers are as happy as most people, being always excited; women, wine, fame, the table, even ambition, sate now & then, but every turn of the card & cast of the dice keeps the gambler alive.
I can do nothing that I want to do, go nowhere where I want to go, and see nothing that I want to see. If I turn into the street, I am followed by a multitude. If I stay at home, the house becomes, with callers, like a fair. If I visit a public institution, with only one friend, the directors come down incontinently, waylay me in the yard, and address me in a long speech. I go to a party in the evening, and am so enclosed and hemmed about by people, stand where I will, that I am exhausted for want of air. I dine out, and have to talk about everything and everybody. I go to church for quiet, and there is a violent rush to the neighbourhood of the pew I sit in. and the Clergyman preaches at me. I take my seat in a railroad car, and the very conductor won’t leave me alone. I get out at a Station, and can’t drink a glass of water, without having a hundred people looking down my throat when I open my mouth to swallow.
When shall we see a generation of artists with healthy bodies? At times I feel really wild with myself; for, after all, it is no good being either more sick or more sound than the others; the ideal thing would be to have a temperament strong enough to reach the age of eighty and to have healthy blood withal. Still without all this one would be consoled if only one were sure that a more happily constituted generation of artists was going to follow the present one.
I am not at all surprised that you don’t understand my literary agonies. I don’t understand them myself. But they exist nevertheless, and violent ones.