Thursday, May 11, 2023

the last book I ever read (The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, excerpt nine)

from The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

“I want my happiness!” at last he murmured hoarsely and indistinctly, hardly shaping out the words. “Many, many years have I waited for it! It is late! It is late! I want my happiness!”

Alas, poor Clifford! You are old, and worn with troubles that ought never to have befallen you. You are partly crazy, and partly imbecile; a ruin, a failure, as almost everybody is—though some in less degree, or less perceptibly, than their fellows. Fate has no happiness in store for you; unless your quiet home in the old family residence, with the faithful Hepzibah, and your long summer-afternoons with Phoebe, and these Sabbath festivals with Uncle Venner and the Daguerreotypist, deserve to be called happiness! Why not? If not the thing itself, it is marvellously like it, and the more so for that ethereal and intangible quality, which causes it all to vanish, at too close an introspection. Take it, therefore, while you may. Murmur not—question not—but make the most of it!

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