[St. John Lucas (1879–1934),] The Last Arcadian, and Other Papers
(London: Leonard Smithers & Co., 1899), pp. 2-3:
God knows, my only wish is to slip through the world like a shadow, leaving no trace on the lives of others. But the wealth necessary to enable one to be actually as well as mentally an anchorite has been denied me; I am poor—so poor that I have to stint and save for months in order to be able to attain to my seven precious days of freedom in the country. And the life is very hard. Caged in a stuffy office day after day, in the same dusty air, with the same maddening wheels in the street outside, writing everlastingly beneath a flickering gas-jet, or if the day is fair, by the little light that manages to penetrate the cobwebs and grime of the tight-shut windows, it is small wonder that a man's soul dies within him, that he becomes a mere automaton, joyless, hopeless, almost lifeless. I think that my nature is too dead to be discontented, yet at times I wake up to the ghastly horror of it all, and reckon up the hours and days and years of dull torment before me. It is of such moments that Hell is made.