Individually, men may present a more or less rational appearance, eating, sleeping,
and scheming. But humanity as a whole is changeful, mystical, fickle, delightful.
Men are men, but Man is a woman.
Now, there is a law written in the darkest of the Books of Life, and it is this:
If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly
safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of
seeing it for the first time.
He discovered the fact that all romantics know - that adventures happen on
dull days, and not on sunny ones. When the chord of monotony is stretched
most tight, then it breaks with a sound like a song.
It is too often forgotten that just as a bad man is nevertheless a man,
so a bad poet is nevertheless a poet.
It is almost impossible to convey to any ordinary imagination the degree to which
he had transmitted the leaden London landscape to a romantic gold. The process
began almost in babyhood, and became habitual like a literal madness. It was felt
most keenly at night, when London is really herself, when her lights shine in the
dark like the eyes of innumerable cats, and the outline of the dark houses has the
bold simplicity of blue hills. But for him the night revealed instead of concealing,
and he read all the blank hours of the morning and afternoon, by a contradictory
phrase, in the light of that darkness. To this man, at any rate, the inconceivable
had happened.The artificial city had become to him nature, and he felt the
curbstones and gas lamps as ancient as the sky.
And the doom of failure that lies on all human systems does not in real fact affect them
any more than the worms of the inevitable grave affect a children's game in a meadow.