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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

370   The Life of the World to Come

such support as gives me hope again.  Still, I 'know nothing.
[1890.]

Unburying Cities

Of course I am jealous of the eclat that Flinders Petrie,
Layard and Schliemann get for having unburied cities, but
I do not see why I need be ; the great thing is to unbury the
city, and I believe I have unburied Scheria as effectually as
Schliemann unburied Troy. [The Authoress of the Odyssey.}
True, Scheria was above ground all the time and only wanted
a little common sense to find it; nevertheless people have had
all the facts before them for over 2500 years and have been
looking more or less all the time without finding. I do not
see why it is more meritorious to uncover physically with a
spade than spiritually with a little of the very commonest
common sense.

Apologia
i

When I am dead I would rather people thought me better
than I was instead of worse; but if they think me worse, I
cannot help it and, if it matters at all, it will matter more to
them than to me. The one reputation I deprecate is that of
having been ill-used. I deprecate this because it would tend
to depress and discourage others from playing the game that I
have played I will therefore forestall misconception on this
head.

As regards general good-fortune, I am nearly fifty-five
years old and for the last thirty years have never been laid
up with illness nor had any physical pain that I can remember,
not even toothache. Except sometimes, when a little over-
driven, I have had uninterrupted good health ever since I
was about five-and-twenty.

Of mental suffering I have had my share—as who has not ?
—but most of what I have suffered has been, though I did not
think so at the time, either imaginary, or unnecessary and, so
far, it has been soon forgotten. It has been much less than it
very easily might have been if the luck had not now and again
gone with me, and probably I have suffered less than most
people, take it all round. Like every one else, however, I have
the scars of old wounds ; very few of these wounds were caused