Journal of Dr GFW
Wednesday, 12 November, 1828
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When night's sable curtain shrouds the universe in nocturnal silence and all who are blessed with the pleasant fireside of home, surrounded by all the endearments its purity is calculated to bestow, I resort to this friend of mine now in my hand and ready at any moment to give the only satisfaction allowed me in these hours when, not possessing a more desirable one, I feel much satisfaction in this enjoyment. Yet hope enlivens the desponding thought of this situation and bids me look for better and more pleasant days yet to come, when I shall be amply compensated for all the deprivation of which I now probably unjustly complain. I do not wish to complain in the least, and would not wish to have it understood so. I am merely showing the operation of the mind under the operation of desire, somewhat curbed by the will. These reflections keep alive animation and induce a steady perseverance to accomplish my design. Hope is the attribute of mind which never forsakes its hold until the object which excites it is beyond the bounds of possibility and hid behind some immovable interposing object that forbids any further pursuit; and even under these circumstances, all ideas of accomplishing the same end are not abandoned, because immediately on the loss of one another is substituted in its place and probably quite as uncertain of ever being enjoyed, and under as unfavorable an aspect. And thus we go on through the whole of our existence, with one expectation following another in rapid succession, too often forgetting the cause of the failure of past designs and instead of stopping to inquire and reflect, we fail a second, a third, and a fourth time before we take the proper course. All arising from inattention to the cause that made abortive our attempts before. Fatal mistake.
When the mind reposes on some sure foundation from which there arises no fear that the confiding basis will always endure and all things move on prosperously, then in what scene can a more unalloyed pleasure arise than in the company and presence of a bosom and intimate friend, one in whose fidelity you can confide every feeling that disturb your wandering thoughts. In such a companion every trouble and sorrow would find relief. Is anything beside, in the wide extended globe, so valuable or so desirable? No! I answer without fear of contradiction. Again in this place you may interrogate and ask, do you make these declarations from experience or from an overstrained theory arising entirely from the want of such a source of confidence? I have never enjoyed the pleasure of friendship to as full extent as indicated above, but from the effect on my mind of what confidence I have reposed in others and from them and observation, I am fully satisfied that the theory is built on an indestructible foundation. But you will understand I am speaking of the thing in its pure genuine form and not the boasting respect, to be found destroying the peace of every community and is varied by every change of sensation. No, I want that warm steady stream, undisturbed by storms and varying winds, but at all times and under all circumstances the same. All would be peace and pleasure while thus surrounded by pure affection, full of respect, unceasing, to use every means compatible with honor and virtue, enlarge the sphere of respectability and happiness, and willing to endure alone for that end, to give up all, to leave all, to promote your peace; but refusing to abandon the road of virtue or respectability. Who could be so base, so vile, so destitute of every good feeling as to wish to create one pang of sorrow in such a breast? None but a demon.