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Hortus Vitae

Essays on the Gardening of Life

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Author: Vernon Lee (Violet Paget)
Published: 1903
Language: English
Wordcount: 39,338 / 121 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 59.7
LoC Category: SB
Downloads: 691
Added to site: 2008.10.08
mnybks.net#: 22277
Genre: Essays
Excerpt

the practical working out, according to their nature and circumstances. So, whether we incline to optimism or to pessimism, we must do our best in the half-hours we can bestow upon our little garden.

I speak advisedly of half-hours, and I would repeatedly insist upon the garden being little. For the garden, whatever its actual size, and were it as extensive as those of Eden and the Hesperides set on end, does not afford the exercise needful for spiritual health and vigour. And whatever we may succeed in growing there to please our taste or (like some virtuous dittany) to heal our bruises, this much is certain, that the power of enjoyment has to be brought from beyond its limits.

Happiness, dear fellow-gardeners, is not a garden plant.

In plain English: happiness is not the aim of life, although it is life's furtherance and in the long run life's sine qua non. And not being life's aim, life often disregards the people who pursue it for its own sake. I am not, like Dr. Pangloss, a

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