W. S. Gilbert, the English librettist who was one-half of Gilbert and Sullivan, was born today in 1836. He wrote:
"Man is nature's sole mistake."
How often had he warmed himself by the fire of fellow feeling, reveled in the commingling of like minds, kindred hearts! At a particular pitch of drunkenness, all men were brothers, and the self slipped away, receded temporarily. The only immortality Sully believed in was just this, the persistence of good will, the community of souls that would outlast heaven and earth, that would live on as a rebuke to the implacable enmity of the cosmos.
But how could you permanently maintain what was, after all, only a sporadic impulse? When men were sober they were self-absorbed, hopelessly entangled in their dream lives and therefore blind to the real life of others. -- Chapter 22, The Misforgotten.