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But we never get back our youth… The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to.
When we think of friends, and call their faces out of the shadows, and their voices out of the echoes that faint along the corridors of memory, and do it without knowing why save that we love to do it, we content ourselves that that friendship is a Reality, and not a Fancy—that it is builded upon a rock, and not upon the sands that dissolve away with the ebbing tides and carry their monuments with them.
The sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgments, which are based on previous judgments, which are usually based on someone else's foolish ideas. These false concepts and ideas are then stored in a highly selective memory system.
Prophet may you be! If I be false, or swerve a hair from truth, when time is old and hath forgot itself, when waterdrops have worn the stones of Troy, and blind oblivion swallowed cities up, and mighty states characterless are grated to dusty nothing, yet let memory, from false to false, among false maids in love, upbraid my falsehood!
In my country, when they would say a man has no sense, they say, such an one has no memory; and when I complain of the defect of mine, they do not believe me, and reprove me, as though I accused myself for a fool: not discerning the difference betwixt memory and understanding, which is to make matters still worse for me. But they do me wrong; for experience, rather, daily shows us, on the contrary, that a strong memory is commonly coupled with infirm judgment.