The Map of Life, Conduct, and Character

By William Edward Hartpole Lecky | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI

TIME

CONSIDERING the countless ages that man has lived upon this globe, it seems a strange thing that he has so little learned to acquiesce in the normal conditions of humanity. How large a proportion of the melancholy which is reflected in the poetry of all ages, and which is felt in different degrees in every human soul, is due not to any special or peculiar misfortune, but to things that are common to the whole human race! The inexorable flight of time; the approach of old age and its infirmities; the shadow of death; the mystery that surrounds our being; the contrast between the depth of affection and the transitoriness and uncertainty of life; the spectacle of the broken lives and baffled aspirations and useless labours and misdirected talents and pernicious energies and long-continued delusions that fill the path of human history; the deep sense of vanity and aimlessness that must sometimes come over us as we contemplate a world in which chance is so often stronger than wisdom; in which desert and reward are so widely separated; in which living beings succeed each other in such a vast and bewildering redundance--eating, killing, suffering, and dying for no useful discoverable purpose,--all these things belong to the normal lot or to the inevitable

-328-

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The Map of Life, Conduct, and Character
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 7
  • Chapter III 19
  • Chapter IV 30
  • Chapter V 44
  • Chapter VI 62
  • Chapter VII 76
  • Chapter VIII 88
  • Chapter IX 108
  • Chapter X 136
  • Chapter XI 198
  • Chapter XIII Money 268
  • Chapter XIV Marriage 300
  • Chapter XV Success 316
  • Chapter XVI 328
  • Chapter XVII `The End' 343
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