9 July 2013

The Happiest Day

Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater (London: Taylor & Hessey, 1823), pp. 127-128:
If any man, poor or rich, were to say that he would tell us what had been the happiest day in his life, and the why and the wherefore, I suppose that we should all cry out — Hear him! Hear him! — As to the happiest day, that must be very difficult for any wise man to name, because any event that could occupy so distinguished a place in a man’s retrospect of his life, or be entitled to have shed a special felicity on any one day, ought to be of such an enduring character as that (accidents apart) it should have continued to shed the same felicity, or one not distinguishably less, on many years together. To the happiest lustrum, however, or even to the happiest year, it may be allowed to any man to point without discountenance from wisdom.