My father had left a small collection of books in a little room upstairs, to which I had access (for it adjoined my own) and which nobody else in our house ever troubled. From that blessed little room, Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, the Vicar of Wakefield, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, and Robinson Crusoe, came out, a glorious host, to keep me company. They kept alive my fancy, and my hope of something beyond that place and time …
If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery, fearful of losing my way. But since everything and anything are always possible, the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease.
I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper,and Flippancy…. But flippancy is the best of all. In the first place,it is very economical. Only a clever human can make a real Joke aboutvirtue, or indeed about anything; any of them can be trained to talk _asif_ virtue were funny. Among flippant people the Joke is always assumedto have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subjectis discussed in a matter which implies that they have already found aridiculous side to it.
The unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, all that. Unknown is what it is. Accept that it’s unknown, and it’s plain sailing.