When I rail at my manservant I do so sincerely with all my mind: my curses are real not feigned. But once I cease to fume, if he needs help from me I am glad to help him: I turn over the page. When I call him a dolt or a calf I have no intention of stitching such labels on him for ever: nor do I believe I am contradicting myself when I later call him an honest fellow. No one characteristic clasps us purely an universally in its embrace. If only talking to oneself did not look mad, no day would go by without my being heard growing to myself, against myself, ‘You silly shit!’ Yet I do not intend that to be a definition of me.
If anyone should think when he sees me sometimes look bleakly at my wife and sometimes lovingly that either emotion is put on, then he is daft. When Nero took leave of his mother whom he was sending to be browned he nevertheless felt some emotion at his mother’s departure and felt horror and pity.
The sun, they say, does not shed its light in one continuous flow but ceaselessly darts fresh rays so thickly at us, one after another, that we cannot perceive any gap between them.
Largus enim liquidi fons luminis, ætherius sol
Inrigat assidue cœlum candore recenti,
Suppeditatque novo confestim lumine lumen.
[That generous source of liquid light, the aethereal sun, assidiously floods the heavens with new rays and ceaselessly sheds light upon new light.]
So, too, our soul drafts its arrows separately but imperceptibly."