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[142] of one another's lives. It might be easy, perhaps, to devise more profitable ways of spending eternity; but there is no doubt that the pursuit he proposes, if we undertook it, would occupy a good many ages of that period. It would be necessary, however, to stipulate that none of it should be given to us in the form of autobiography, since we have altogether too much of that offered to us in this life. To make our friends really interesting, we must be allowed to explore their secrets in spite of them, and perhaps against their direct opposition.

Of course we all view this drama of life around us through a medium varying with our temperaments. Heine says that he once went to see the thrilling tragedy of β€˜La Tour de Nesle,’ in Paris, and sat behind a lady who wore a large hat of rose-red gauze. The hat obstructed his whole view of the stage; he saw the play only through it, and all the horror of the tragedy was transformed by the most cheerful roselight. Some of us are happy in having this rose-tinted veil in our temperaments; but the plot and the tragedy are there. β€˜The innocent,’

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