August 4

Remained in camp all day; services were held today over the remains of the First Division Inspector; various rumors about moving.

Tegernsee August 4, 1882

With all my heart I adopt your scheme, Reform, Dissolution, and then, let Politics make way for a still higher and worthier cause.


August 4, 1916

Well, here we are in the third year of the war, as Kitchener foresaw, and still with a long way to go to the frontier.

Thanks, by the way, for the article about Kitchener. After all, what can one say of such an end for such a man, after such a career, in which so many times he might have found a soldier's death—then to be drowned like a rat, doing his duty? It leaves one simply speechless. I was, you see. I hadn't a comment to throw at you.

It's hot at last, I'm thankful to say, and equally thankful that the news from the front is good. It is nothing to throw one's hat in the air about, but every inch in the right direction is at least prophetic.

Nothing to tell you about. Not the smallest thing happens here. I do nothing but read my paper, fuss in the garden, which looks very pretty, do up a bundle for my filleul once in a while, write a few letters, and drive about, at sundown, in my perambulator. If that is not an absurd life for a lady in the war zone in these days, I 'd like to know what it is.

I hope this weather will last. It is good for the war and good for the crops. But I am afraid I shall hope in vain.

August 4

August 4, 1880.--I have read a few numbers of the Feuille Centrale de Zofingen. [Footnote: The journal of a students' society, drawn from the different cantons of Switzerland, which meets every year in the little town of Zofingen] It is one of those perpetual new beginnings of youth which thinks it is producing something fresh when it is only repeating the old.

Nature is governed by continuity--the continuity of repetition; it is like an oft-told tale, or the recurring burden of a song. The rose-trees are never tired of rose-bearing, the birds of nest-building, young hearts of loving, or young voices of singing the thoughts and feelings which have served their predecessors a hundred thousand times before. Profound monotony in universal movement--there is the simplest formula furnished by the spectacle of the world. All circles are alike, and every existence tends to trace its circle.

How, then, is fastidium to be avoided? By shutting our eyes to the general uniformity, by laying stress upon the small differences which exist, and then by learning to enjoy repetition. What to the intellect is old and worn-out is perennially young and fresh to the heart; curiosity is insatiable, but love is never tired. The natural preservative against satiety, too, is work. What we do may weary others, but the personal effort is at least useful to its author. Where every one works, the general life is sure to possess charm and savor, even though it repeat forever the same song, the same aspirations, the same prejudices, and the same sighs. "To every man his turn," is the motto of mortal beings. If what they do is old, they themselves are new; when they imitate, they think they are inventing. They have received, and they transmit. E sempre bene!