I usually say I did the best I could with what I had. I have no major regrets.
You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then. You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.
But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice. Oh don't you see, Marilla? There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I'll be through with them. That's a very comforting thought.
There is a great solitude about such a shore. The woods are never solitary- they are full of whispering, beckoning, friendly life. But the sea is a mighty soul, forever moaning of some great, unshareable sorrow, which shuts it up into itself for all eternity. We can never pierce its infinite mystery- we may only wander, awed and spell-bound, on the outer fringe of it. The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only- a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels.
Here with hosts of friends I revel who can never change or chill;Though the fleeting years and seasons they are fair and faithful still!Kings and courtiers, knights and jesters, belles and beaux of far away,Meet and mingle with the beauties and the heroes of to-day.All the lore of ancient sages, all the light of souls divine,All the music, wit and wisdom of the gray old world is mine,Garnered here where fall the shadows of the mystic pineland's gloom!And I sway an airy kingdom from my little book-lined room.
If you take a bale of hay and tie it to the tail of a mule and then strike a match and set the bale of hay on fire, and if you then compare the energy expended shortly thereafter by the mule with the energy expended by yourself in the striking of the match, you will understand the concept of amplification.
The original story, whatever it was, was told to those who forgot some details and substituted others. The original is long lost in the restorations. They have had the composer accompanied by a gifted sister, who, the inflexible record shows, died years before the song was written. They have seated him at the prim old spindle-legged mahogany desk in the hall at Federal Hill and had him dash it off in the frenzy of inspiration. Or they have followed him to the rocks of the old spring house, whither they have sent him, pencil in hand, and counted the frowns of agony with which he laboriously set down now a strain of melody and again a phrase of words. They have heard him trying it out with the deep booming bass voice of him who had never more than a weak but sweet light baritone. Every writer of it has himself for the hero and has described it as he would himself have acted it before the grand audience of posterity. These various stories cling about Federal Hill, the outgrowth of the human desire for contact with the vague figures of the past.
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.