misfortune and contentment

“Those who say that life is only a combination of misfortunes mean that life itself is a misfortune. If it is a misfortune, then death is a happiness. Such people did not write in good health, with their purses stuffed with money, and contentment in their souls from having held Cecelias and Marinas in their arms and being sure that there were more of them to come… If pleasure exists, and we can only enjoy it in life, then life is a happiness. There are misfortunes, of course, as I should be the first to know. But the very existence of these misfortunes proves that the sum of good is greater. I am infinitely happy when I am in an dark room and see the light coming through a window which opens on a vast horizon.”

– Giacomo Casanova, History of My Life (Willard R. Trask, translator)

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