25 April 2014

Tolerable Content

Edward FitzGerald to John Allen, 29 April 1839, Letters of Edward FitzGerald, Vol. I (London: Macmillan & Co., 1910), pp. 59-60:
Here I live with tolerable content: perhaps with as much as most people arrive at, and what if one were properly grateful one would perhaps call perfect happiness.  Here is a glorious sunshiny day: all the morning I read about Nero in Tacitus lying at full length on a bench in the garden: a nightingale singing, and some red anemones eyeing the sun manfully not far off.  A funny mixture all this: Nero, and the delicacy of Spring: all very human however.  Then at half past one lunch on Cambridge cream cheese: then a ride over hill and dale: then spudding up some weeds from the grass ... So runs the world away.  You think I live in Epicurean ease: but this happens to be a jolly day: one isn’t always well, or tolerably good, the weather is not always clear, nor nightingales singing, nor Tacitus full of pleasant atrocity.  But such as life is, I believe I have got hold of a good end of it.
Volume II here.