The young man,who does not know the future,sees life as a kind of epic adventure,an Odyssey through strange seas and unknown islands,where he will test and prove his powers,and thereby discover his immortality.The man of middle years,who has lived the future that he once dreamed,sees life as a tragedy;for he has learned that his power,however great,will not prevail against those forces of accident and nature to which he gives the names of gods,and has learned that he is mortal.But the man of age,if he plays his assigned role properly,must see life as a comedy.For his triumphs and his failures merge,and one is no more the occasion for pride or shame than the other;and he is neither the hero who proves himself against those forces,nor the protagonist who is destroyed by them.
I determined early,however,that it was disruptive of order for men to give honor to those gods who spring from the darkness of instinct.
Nevertheless,of all the roles that I have had to play in my lifetime,this one of being a mortal god has been the most uncomfortable.I am a man,and as foolish and weak as most men;if I have had an advantage over my fellows,it is that I have known this of myself,and have therefore known their weaknesses,and never presumed to find much more strength and wisdom in myself than I found in another.It was one of the sources of my power,that knowledge.
It seems to me now,as my own life is slowly trickling away,that there was a kind of symmetry in their lives that my own has not had.My friends died at the height of their powers,when they had accomplished their work and yet had further triumphs to look forward to;nor were they so unfortunate to come to believe that their lives had been lived for nothing.For nearly twenty years,it seems to me now,my life has been lived for nothing.Alexander was fortunate to have died so young,else he would have come to know that if to conquer a world is a small thing,to rule it is even less.引自 BOOK 3 part2
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