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I

OUR IDEA OF DEATH

IT has been well said: "Death and death alone is what we must consult about life; and not some vague future or survival, in which we shall not be present. It is our own end; and everything happens in the interval between death and now. Do not talk to me of those imaginary prolongations which wield over us the childish spell of number; do not talk to me  –  to me who am to die outright  –  of societies and peoples! There is no reality, there is no true duration, save that between the cradle and the grave. The rest is mere bombast, show, delusion! They call me a master because of some magic in my speech and thoughts; but I am a frightened child in the presence of death!"1

1 Marie Lenéru, Les Affranchis, Act III., Sc. IV.

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