Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sic et Non

Call me a “Denier”, it does not offend me. I am proud of it, and here is why:
There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says No! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie; and all men who say no, — why, they are in the happy condition of judicious, unincumbered travellers in Europe; they cross the frontiers into Eternity with nothing but a carpet-bag, — that is to say, the Ego. Whereas those yes-gentry, they travel with heaps of baggage, and, damn them! they will never get through the Custom House.

Herman Mellville Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, [April 16?] 1851