14 For we know Your marvelous works, O God, that they are great, and that by Your power You can bring one thing out of another, without one's wish. For Your power can make rocks to become trees, and trees to become rocks." 北京赛车赢彩专家 The beasts are appeased. From the winter of 1821, when I first read Bentham, and especially from the commencement of the Westminster Review, I had what might truly be called an object in life; to be a reformer of the world. My conception of my own happiness was entirely identified with this object. The personal sympathies I wished for were those of fellow labourers in this enterprise. I endeavoured to pick up as many flowers as I could by the way; but as a serious and permanent personal satisfaction to rest upon, my whole reliance was placed on this; and I was accustomed to felicitate myself on the certainty of a happy life which I enjoyed, through placing my happiness in something durable and distant, in which some progress might be always making, while it could never be exhausted by complete attainment. This did very well for several years, during which the general improvement going on in the world and the idea of myself as engaged with others in struggling to promote it, seemed enough to fill up an interesting and animated existence. But the time came when I awakened from this as from a dream. It was in the autumn of 1826. I was in a dull state of nerves, such as everybody is occasionally liable to; unsusceptible to enjoyment or pleasurable excitement; one of those moods when what is pleasure at other times, becomes insipid or indifferent; the state, I should think, in which converts to Methodism usually are, when smitten by their first "conviction of sin." In this frame of mind it occurred to me to put the question directly to myself: "Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?" And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, "No!" At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for. He had no idea if he was fast or slow, talented or terrible, until one summer weekend in 1986 whenhe drove up to Laramie, Wyoming, to take a stab at the Rocky Mountain Double Marathon. Hesurprised even himself by winning in six hours and twelve minutes, knocking off back-to-back trailmarathons in a scratch over three hours each. Racing ultras, he discovered, was even tougher thanprizefighting. In the ring, the other fighter determines how hard you鈥檙e hit, but on the trail, yourpunishment is in your own hands. For a guy looking to beat himself into numbness, extremerunning could be an awfully attractive sport. He smiled at her. He had no idea if he was fast or slow, talented or terrible, until one summer weekend in 1986 whenhe drove up to Laramie, Wyoming, to take a stab at the Rocky Mountain Double Marathon. Hesurprised even himself by winning in six hours and twelve minutes, knocking off back-to-back trailmarathons in a scratch over three hours each. Racing ultras, he discovered, was even tougher thanprizefighting. In the ring, the other fighter determines how hard you鈥檙e hit, but on the trail, yourpunishment is in your own hands. For a guy looking to beat himself into numbness, extremerunning could be an awfully attractive sport. This first introduction to the highest order of mountain scenery made the deepest impression on me, and gave a colour to my tastes through life. In October we proceeded by the beautiful mountain route of Castres and St. Pons, from Toulouse to Montpellier, in which last neighbourhood Sir Samuel had just bought the estate of Restincli猫re, near the foot of the singular mountain of St. Loup. During this residence in France I acquired a familiar knowledge of the French language, and acquaintance with the ordinary French literature; I took lessons in various bodily exercises, in none of which however I made any proficiency; and at Montpellier I attended the excellent winter courses of lectures at the Facult茅 des Sciences, those of M. Anglada on chemistry, of M. Proven?al on zoology, and of a very accomplished representative of the eighteenth century metaphysics, M. Gergonne, on logic, under the name of Philosophy of the Sciences. I also went through a course of the higher mathematics under the private tuition of M. Lenth茅ric, a professor at the Lyc茅e of Montpellier. But the greatest, perhaps, of the many advantages which I owed to this episode in my education, was that of having breathed for a whole year, the free and genial atmosphere of Continental life. This advantage was not the less real though I could not then estimate, nor even consciously feel it. Having so little experience of English life, and the few people I knew being mostly such as had public objects, of a large and personally disinterested kind, at heart, I was ignorant of the low moral tone of what, in England, is called society'. the habit of, not indeed professing, but taking for granted in every mode of implication, that conduct is of course always directed towards low and petty objects; the absence of high feelings which manifests itself by sneering depreciation of all demonstrations of them, and by general abstinence (except among a few of the stricter religionists) from professing any high principles of action at all, except in those preordained cases in which such profession is put on as part of the costume and formalities of the occasion. I could not then know or estimate the difference between this manner of existence, and that of a people like the French, whose faults, if equally real, are at all events different; among whom sentiments, which by comparison at least may be called elevated, are the current coin of human intercourse, both in books and in private life; and though often evaporating in profession, are yet kept alive in the nation at large by constant exercise, and stimulated by sympathy, so as to form a living and active part of the existence of great numbers of persons, and to be recognized and understood by all. Neither could I then appreciate the general culture of the understanding, which results from the habitual exercise of the feelings, and is thus carried down into the most uneducated classes of several countries on the Continent, in a degree not equalled in England among the so-called educated, except where an unusual tenderness of conscience leads to a habitual exercise of the intellect on questions of right and wrong. I did not know the way in which, among the ordinary English, the absence of interest in things of an unselfish kind, except occasionally in a special thing here and there, and the habit of not speaking to others, nor much even to themselves, about the things in which they do feel interest, causes both their feelings and their intellectual faculties to remain undeveloped, or to develope themselves only in some single and very limited direction; reducing them, considered as spiritual beings, to a kind of negative existence. All these things I did not perceive till long afterwards; but I even then felt, though without stating it clearly to myself, the contrast between the frank sociability and amiability of French personal intercourse, and the English mode of existence in which everybody acts as if everybody else (with few, or no exceptions) was either an enemy or a bore. In France, it is true, the bad as well as the good points, both of individual and of national character, come more to the surface, and break out more fearlessly in ordinary intercourse, than in England: but the general habit of the people is to show, as well as to expect, friendly feeling in every one towards every other, wherever there is not some positive cause for the opposite. In England it is only of the best bred people, in the upper or upper middle ranks, that anything like this can be said. 6 O Eve, we have again transgressed His commandment in that cave, so that He had sent this fire to burn around it, and to prevent us from going into it. But how come Caballo could hammer descents longer than the Grand Canyon in crappy oldsandals, while I couldn鈥檛 manage a few easy months of miles without a major breakdown? WiltChamberlain, all seven feet one inch and 275 pounds of him, had no problem running a 50-mileultra when he was sixty years old after his knees had survived a lifetime of basketball. Hell, aNorwegian sailor named Mensen Ernst barely even remembered what dry land felt like when hecame ashore back in 1832, but he still managed to run all the way from Paris to Moscow to win abet, averaging one hundred thirty miles a day for fourteen days, wearing God only knows whatkind of clodhoppers on God only knows what kind of roads.