THE STORY OF A DEAD SELF.
In love-organized labor, there is no question of mine and thine. Humanities come and go – without leaving a trace behind them. Over their fates and deeds silence falls. Towers of height and statues of stone crumble to dust. Vast continents and expansive oceans find their graves. Fiery suns and brilliant stars fall into the gloom of death. This very Universe lives to die. Nerve and fiction light up the mysterious senses: the senses work out the wondrous perceptions: the perceptions with all their beauty and glory die out into nothingness. I let malicious slander to sting itself to death. My courageous and thoughtful patience makes of them a wreath of flowers of joy. Give me a starless night of poverty, and a moonless gloom of obscurity – I still have the calm light of joy. Give me Penury's roofless hut, and squalid cell, and it must be to me Pride's golden palace. Though my crown appears to be all of thorns of misery, to me it is all interspersed with flowers of joy. Pillowed on the thorns of the present, with the dreams of the past, I awake myself with pleasure to look into a dark and dreary future. Enduring the unavoidable with an indomitable patience, defying with a loving courage the foul lies, the ridiculous conceit, the idle and malignant pretensions of the vain and villainous I have braved my last hour. A Shelley, with his whole time devoted to the creation of beauties of literature, might be an idle vagabond to a society which worships successful idiots and clever impostors. Not for profits, not for reputation, - the man of Genius does his work. Goethe, a most powerful intellect of his day, had to say – "If Europe praised me, what has Europe done for me. Nothing. Even my works have been an expense to me." But for his wife's fortune the brave Carlyle who has torn asunder a thousand shams would have perished in his earlier days, when Fame was slow, in coming to him. We are not living amidst gods, Sir. Think of the Great Past! Think of the glorious Rome! What mighty power was hers! Where are the beauties and glories!? Think of Greece! Where is Alexander the Great – where is that Ambitious Child? Think of France! Where is Napoleon, the terror of Europe, the Fortune's Favorite? You see him upon the frightful field of Waterloo, where chance and fate combined to wreck the fortunes of this greatest soldier of modern world. Think of Julius Caesar! Think of the daggers that drank his blood. Here you see the Arch of Titus brought to dust – there you see Nero's golden palace in ruins! The Coliseum, the Forum, the beauty and the glory of Rome – now lie beneath the grass that grows. And yet look at our gigantic vanity! If I am true to my own sense of right, I count as nought a world's word. And with the noble utterances of my lovely poet, Leigh Hunt, I take leave of my kind fellows, - "Write me as one who loves his fellow-man."
A. S. M.