zaterdag 28 januari 2017

Henri-Frédéric Amiel -- 28 januari 1881

Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821–1881) was een Zwitserse filosoof, dichter en criticus. Uit: Amiel's Journal (vertaald door Mrs. Humphrey Ward).

January 28, 1881.— A terrible night. For three or four hours I struggled against suffocation and looked death in the face.... It is clear that what awaits me is suffocation—asphyxia. I shall die by choking.

I should not have chosen such a death; but when there is no option, one must simply resign one’s self, and at once.... Spinoza expired in the presence of the doctor whom he had sent for. I must familiarize myself with the idea of dying unexpectedly, some fine night, strangled by laryngitis. The last sigh of a patriarch surrounded by his kneeling family is more beautiful: my fate indeed lacks beauty, grandeur, poetry; but stoicism consists in renunciation. Abstine et sustine.

I must remember besides that I have faithful friends; it is better not to torment them. The last journey is only made more painful by scenes and lamentations: one word is worth all others—“Thy will, not mine, be done!” Leibnitz was accompanied to the grave by his servant only. The loneliness of the deathbed and the tomb is not an evil. The great mystery cannot be shared. The dialogue between the soul and the King of Terrors needs no witnesses. It is the living who cling to the thought of last greetings. And, after all, no one knows exactly what is reserved for him. What will be will be. We have but to say, “Amen.”

February 4, 1881.— It is a strange sensation that of laying one’s self down to rest with the thought that perhaps one will never see the morrow. Yesterday I felt it strongly, and yet here I am. [...]

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