Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child's play.
If all hearts were open and all desires known -- as they would be if people showed their souls -- how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!
Don't you go believing in sayings, Picotee: they are all made by men, for their own advantages. Women who use public proverbs as a guide through events are those who have not ingenuity enough to make private ones as each event occurs.
Well: what we gain by science is, after all, sadness, as the Preacher saith. The more we know of the laws and nature of the Universe the more ghastly a business we perceive it all to be -- and the non-necessity of it.
Tess then stood erect with the infant on her arm beside the basin, the next sister held the Prayer-Book before her, as the clerk at church held it before the parson; and thus the girl set about baptizing her child.
What does it matter, when you come to think of it, whether a child is yours by blood or not? All the little ones of our time are collectively the children of us adults of the time, and entitled to our general care. That excessive regard of parents for their own children, and their dislike of other people's, is, like class-feeling, patriotism, save-your-own soul-ism and other virtues, a mean exclusiveness at bottom.
These annual migrations from farm to farm were on the increase. . . . With the younger families it was a pleasant excitement which might possibly be an advantage. The Egypt of one family was the Land of Promise to the family who saw it from a distance, till by residence there it became in turn their Egypt also; and so they changed and changed.
When two people are once parted--have abandoned a common domicile and a common environment--new growths insensibly bud upward to fill each vacated place; unforeseen accidents hinder intentions, and old plans are forgotten.