When some one sorrow, that is yet reparable, gets hold of your mind like a monomania, when you think, because Heaven has denied you this or that on which you had set your heart, that all your life must be a blank, oh, then diet yourself well on biography - the biography of good and great men.
It is often said that one has but one life to live, but that is nonsense. For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time.
Just how difficult it is to write biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about his or her love affairs.
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with such applause in the lecture room, how soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick; till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself, in the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.