History unfolds itself by strange and unpredictable paths. We have little control over the future and none at all over the past.
Nothing recalls the past so potently as a smell.
History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. What is the worth of all this The only guide to a man is his conscience the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations but with this shield, however the fate may play, we march always in the ranks of honor.
In the past we have had a light which flickered, in the present we have a light which flames, and in the future there will be a light which shines over all the land and sea.
If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find we have lost the future.
For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.
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