It is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought.
Better for him that each sin of his life had brought its sure, swift penalty along with it. There was purification in punishment. Not 'Forgive us our sins,' but 'Smite us for our iniquities' should be the prayer of a man to a most just God.
Yet, after some time, he wearied of them, and would sit in his box at the opera, either alone or with Lord Henry, listening in rapt pleasure to "Tannhauser" and seeing in the prelude to that great work of art a presentation of the tragedy of his own soul.
Literature must rest always on a principle, and temporal considerations are no principle at all. For, to the poet, all times and places are one; the stuff he deals with is eternal and eternally the same: no theme is inept, no past or present preferable.
I asked the question for the best reason possible, for the only reason, indeed, that excuses one for asking any question—simply curiosity. I have a theory that it is always the women who propose to us, and not we who propose to the women. Except, of course, in middle-class life. But then the middle classes are not modern.
Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the Arts that influenced us. To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing. One does not see anything until one sees its beauty. Then, and then only, does it comes into existence.