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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Boundless Misery

Do not imagine that there are flowers in this place; there are none here—none whatever—no growth of any kind. Even faded flowers are of the earth. O, foolish men! yours is a flower-yielding world, and you will not see that, with all its trouble and sorrow, it is a blessed abode! It is the exceeding love of your Father in heaven, overflowing continually, which creates the flowers. Those millions of perfumed blossoms are the vouchers of love eternal—the sparkling pearls of the cup which runneth over, given by God to man.

Flowers below and stars above—happy are ye who yet walk in life. But you follow your path, heedless of flowers and heedless of stars, engrossed with your paltry self and its too often worthless concerns. O, foolish men!

No, there is no blossoming here; but it is part of our torment to be haunted occasionally by the far-off perfume of some flower. Imagination of course, but all the more potent is the effect. The sweet incense has power to call up, not feelings merely, but visions on which we love to dwell—the spell of vanished enjoyment. Can you conceive it: the fullness of past delight returning to you as by magic, yourself being a prey to death and boundless misery?

Letters from Hell, L. W. J. S., Richard Bentley & Son, London, 1889