Deny everything and you will easily pass for a man of ability; it's a well known trick. Simple hearted people are quite ready to conclude that you are worth more than what you deny. And that's often an error. In the first place, you can pick holes in anything; and secondly, even if you are right in what you say, it's the worse for you, your intellect, directed by simple negation, grows colorless and withers up. While you gratify your vanity, you are deprived of the true consolations of thought;life--the essence of life--evades your jaundiced and petty criticism, and you end by scolding and becoming ridiculous. Only one who loves has the right to censure and find fault.
In his funeral oration the spokesman of the most artistic and critical of European nations, Ernest Renan, hailed him as one of the greatest writers of our times: The Master, whose exquisite works have charmed our century, stands more than any other man as the incarnation of a whole race, because a whole world lived in him and spoke through his mouth. Not the Russian world only, we may add, but the whole Slavonic world, to which it was an honour to have been expressed by so great a Master.
Nothing is worse and more hurtful than a happiness that comes too late. It can give no pleasure, yet it deprives you of that most precious of rights - the right to swear and curse at your fate!
Words indeed have been my ruin; they have consumed me, and to the end I cannot be free of them.