Book the Second - the Golden Thread
5. V. The Jackal
Waste forces within him, and a desert all around, this man stood
still on his way across a silent terrace, and saw for a moment,
lying in the wilderness before him, a mirage of honourable ambition,
self-denial, and perseverance. In the fair city of this vision,
there were airy galleries from which the loves and graces looked upon
him, gardens in which the fruits of life hung ripening, waters of Hope
that sparkled in his sight. A moment, and it was gone. Climbing to
a high chamber in a well of houses, he threw himself down in his
clothes on a neglected bed, and its pillow was wet with wasted tears.
Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man
of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed
exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible
of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.