28 January 2014

'This Country of Faerie'


"Somehow or other," said he, "notwithstanding the beauty of this country of Faerie, in which we are, there is much that is wrong in it. If there are great splendours, there are corresponding horrors; heights and depths; beautiful women and awful fiends; noble men and weaklings.    
"All a man has to do, is to better what he can. And if he will settle it with himself, that even renown and success are in themselves of no great value, and be content to be defeated, if so be that the fault is not his; and so go to his work with a cool brain and a strong will, he will get it done; and fare none the worse in the end, that he was not burdened with provision and precaution."  
"But he will not always come off well," I ventured to say.  
"Perhaps not," rejoined the knight, "in the individual act; but the result of his lifetime will content him."
—MacDonald, Phantastes 

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