Not every mind is to be estimated by the weight of a single folly; not every personality is to be judged by the drag of a single passion.
We live in an age in which the impact of materialized forces is well-nigh irresistible; the spiritual nature is overwhelmed by the shock.
The tremendous and complicated development of our material civilization, the multiplicity, and variety of our social forms, the depth, subtlety, and sophistry of our imaginative impressions, gathered, remultiplied, and disseminated by such agencies as the railroad, the express and the post-office, the telephone, the telegraph, the newspaper, and, in short, the whole machinery of social intercourse—these elements of existence combine to produce what may be termed a kaleidoscopic glitter, a dazzling and confusing phantasmagoria of life that wearies and stultifies the mental and moral nature.
It induces a sort of intellectual fatigue through which we see the ranks of the victims of insomnia, melancholia, and insanity constantly recruited.
Our modern brain-pan does not seem capable as yet of receiving, sorting, and storing the vast army of facts and impressions which present themselves daily.
The white light of publicity is too white.
We are weighed upon by too many things.
It is as if the wisdom of the infinite were struggling to beat itself into finite and cup-big minds.