5 June 2012

Only in Looking Back

George Gissing, Born in Exile (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1896), pp. 248-9:
It belongs to the pathos of human nature that only in looking back can one appreciate the true value of those long tracts of monotonous ease which, when we are living through them, seem of no account save in relation to past or future; only at a distance do we perceive that the exemption from painful shock was in itself a happiness, to be rated highly in comparison with most of those disturbances known as moments of joy.