Quotation by Walter Pater

Well, we are all condamnés, as Victor Hugo says [in Le dernier jour d'un condamné]:... we have an interval, and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest in art and song. For our one chance is in expanding that interval, in getting as many pulsations as possible into the given time. High passions give one this quickened sense of life, ecstasy and sorrow of love, political or religious enthusiasm, or the "enthusiasm of humanity" [in Auguste Comte's Le système de politique positive]. Only, be sure it is passion, that it does yield you this fruit of a quickened, multiplied consciousness.
Walter Pater (1839–1894), British writer, educator. originally published in "Poems by William Morris," Westminster Review (Oct. 1868). "Conclusion," pp. 212-13, repr. In Studies in the History of the Renaissance, Macmillan (1873).
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