Be present at the great spectacle of life

It is an uneasy lot at best,
to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy:
to be present at this great spectacle of life
and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self–
never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold,
never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed
into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion,
the energy of an action,
but always to be scholarly and uninspired,
ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted.

George Eliot, Middlemarch


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