- Aug 21, 2010
The passage in The Green Round of which I was thinking begins on page 157 (either the British or the Arkham edition, I think), but specifically pages 161ff. Machen says that most of us think of felicity as something that a person might be fortunate enough to have acquired. But he reports a dream, in which the delight was based "on what I had lost. What I had lost was all the burden of life. I do not think that many of us realise what that amounts to. Perhaps it might be said that we do not know that it is there -- till it has dropped off. ... For the burden of life is made up of an infinite number of little things. The great sorrows, the terrible losses, the horrible defeats, the remorse for grievous misdoings: these are in the pack, but there is much more. It is piled up with the trifles that we suppose we have forgotten. There are few days on which we do not do something amiss. There are few days on which something is not done amiss to us. There are few days on which something amiss does not happens, without our fault or the fault of another. ... They sink down, one by one, into their appointed depths; and every day the burden grows a little heavier though the greater part of the small odds and ends that stuff it are forgotten. ... It was all this heavy burden that in my dream was taken from me ... and I remember vaguely receiving some intimation that this was but the first degree of a new life, that there were brighter enlightenments and far more intense joys to succeed in their order," etc.