previous next


Although I do not believe in a Special Providence regulating outward events, and could not reconcile such a belief with what I have seen of life, I do not the less believe in the paternal government of a Deity. That He should visit the souls of those who seek Him seems to me the nobler way to conceive of his influence. And if there were not some error in my way of seeking, I do not believe I should suffer from languor or deadness on spiritual subjects, at the time when I have most need to feel myself at home there. To find this error is my earnest wish; and perhaps I am now travelling to that end, though by a thorny road. It is a mortification to find so much yet to do; for at one time the scheme of things seemed so clear, that, with Cromwell, I might say, ‘I was once in grace.’ With my mind I prize high objects as much as then: it is my heart which is cold. And sometimes I fear that the necessity of urging them on those under my care dulls my sense of their beauty. It is so hard to prevent one's feelings from evaporating in words.

‘The faint sickness of a wounded heart.’ How frequently do these words of Beckford recur to my mind! His prayer, imperfect as it is, says more to me than many a purer aspiration. It breathes such an experience of impassioned anguish. He had everything,—health, personal advantages, almost boundless wealth, genius, exquisite taste, culture; he could, in some way, express his whole being. Yet well-nigh he sank beneath the sickness of the wounded heart; and solitude, ‘country of the unhappy,’ was all he craved at last.

Goethe, too, says he has known, in all his active

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Goethe (1)
Cromwell (1)
Beckford (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: