Thursday, November 11, 2010


Pathetic and Futile

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Retired Colourman , from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes:
"Did you see him?" he asked.

"You mean the old fellow who has just gone out?"


"Yes, I met him at the door."

"What did you think of him?"

"A pathetic, futile, broken creature."

"Exactly, Watson. Pathetic and futile. But is not all life pathetic and futile? Is not his story a microcosm of the whole? We reach. We grasp. And what is left in our hands at the end? A shadow. Or worse than a shadow—misery."

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