Humanity cherishes its swaddling clothes; but it shall not grow up unless it can free itself from them. Turning down his mother's breast does not make the weaned child ungrateful. ... Rise up naked, valiant; make the sheaths crack; push aside the stakes; to grow straight you need no more than the thrust of your sap and the call of the sun.
The finest virtues can become deformed with age. The precise mind becomes finicky; the thrifty man, miserly; the cautious man, timorous; the man of imagination, fanciful. Even perseverance ends up in a sort of stupidity. Just as, on the other hand, being too willing to understand too many opinions, too diverse ways of seeing, constancy is lost and the mind goes astray in a restless fickleness.
No encounter occured that day, and i was glad of it; i took out of my pocket a little homer i had not opened since leaving marseilles, reread three lines of the odyssey, learned them by heart; then, finding sufficient sustenance in their rhythm and reveling in them at leisure, i closed the book and remained, trembling, more alive than i had thought possible, my mind numb with happiness.