Marginalia, no.58

If it wasn’t for me, I’d do brilliantly.

~ Nicolas Chamfort

This was gruesomely true in Chamfort’s case, whose suicide attempt involved blasting off his nose and most of his jaw and repeatedly stabbing himself with a paper knife in the neck and chest – all which he survived.  Was it dogged idiocy or admirable single-mindedness to move on to the knife after failing with the pistol?  I shudder to think what such a person might make of himself if he showed half as much enthusiasm for living.  In every endeavor there comes a moment for philosophic surrender; a happy life, I think, must contain many.

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