. . . this life is a perpetual chequer-work of good and evil, pleasure and pain. When in possession of what we desire, we are only so much the nearer losing it; and when at a distance from it, we live in expectation of enjoying it again.
We like so much to hear people talk of us and of our motives, that we are charmed even when they abuse us.
—Marie de Sévigné, letter dated September 22, 1680.