14 UG (Unter Grund)
Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York
Now that I have abandoned some of my previous lives – – – and trivial personalities – – – let us get back to what I had previously stated;
“I sometimes think that there are only two eras of any importance in the future history of my life. The first is the appearance of a new being, and the second is the appearance of a new temperament.”
Therefore I sought this new temperament in a new life.
There are three chapters in the story of that future life–three periods, distinct and well defined, yet consecutive–beginning when I had not completed twenty-five years and finishing before thirty. They will come back oftenest to future memory and seem more vivid than all the other years of my new existence. For what soul in this wonderful, various future world would wish to depart before ninety! The dark as well as the light, its sweet and its bitter, make me love it.
Of the first future a word only need be written. This is the period of courtship and matrimony; and though the experience will appear to me something altogether fresh and strange, it must nevertheless resemble that of other men, since most men marry.
And the years of that period, which are the longest of the future, occupying fully three years, should not be experienced. It will be all black disaster. Three years of enforced separation and the most extreme suffering which the cruel laws allow an enraged father to inflict on his child and I; the man who will venture to wed her against the father’s will.
Even the wise may be driven mad by oppression, and I that was never wise, but whose past was lived in and led by the passions and fantasies and the unbounded self-confidence of youth. What must it be for me when I am cast into prison to lie for long months in the company of felons, ever thinking of her who will also be desolate and of breaking heart!
But it will end – – – in the abhorrent self-indulgence, the anxiety, the proliferation of a thousand possible and impossible schemes of revenge. If it is any consolation to know that in breaking her heart he, at the same time, will break his own, and will make haste to join her in that silent place.
Ah no! It is no comfort to me, since I cannot but reflect that before her father will shatter my life I will shatter his by taking her from him.
She is his idol.
Peace to his future ashes and mine!
TOMORROW: -15 UG (Unter Grund)