It was simply a desire to travel; but it had presented itself as nothing less than a seizure, with intensely passionate and indeed hallucinatory force, turning his craving into vision. His imagination, still not at rest from the morning’s hours of work, shaped for itself a paradigm of all the wonders and terrors of the manifold earth of all that it was now suddenly striving to encompass.
It is likely that not willing is not a practicable state of mind; not to want to do something may be in the long run a mental content impossible to subsist on. Between not willing a certain thing and not willing at all-in other words, yielding to another person’s will-there may lie too small a space for the idea of freedom to squeeze into.
In his youth, indeed, the nature and inmost essence of the literary gift had been, to him, this very scrupulosity; for it he had bridled and tempered his sensibilities, knowing full well that feeling is prone to be content with easy gains and blithe half-perfection. So now, perhaps, feeling, thus tyrannized, avenged itself by leaving him, refusing from now on to carry and wing his art and taking away with it all the ecstasy he had known in form and expression.
“There can be no such triumphs as those you
speak of; for the authority is man himself—his interests, his
worth, his salvation—and thus between it and truth no conflict
is possible. They coincide.”