No young man believes he will ever die. It was a saying of my brother's, and a fine one.
There is a feeling of Eternity in youth, which makes us amend for everything.
To be young is to be as one of the Immortal Gods. One half of time indeed is flown — the other half remains in store for us with all its countless treasures, for there is no line drawn, and we see no limit to our hopes and wishes. We make the coming age our own —
The vast, the unbounded prospect lies before us.
Death, old age, are words without a meaning that pass by us like the idea air which we regard not.
Others may have undergone, or may still be liable to them — we “bear a charmed life”, which laughs to scorn all such sickly fancies.
As in setting out on delightful journey, we strain our eager gaze forward —
Bidding the lovely scenes at distance hail!
And see no end to the landscape, new objects presenting themselves as we advance.
So, in the commencement of life, we set no bounds to our inclinations, nor to the unrestricted opportunities of gratifying them.
We have as yet found no obstacle, no disposition to flag; and it seems that we can go on so forever.
We look round in a new world, full of life, and motion, and ceaseless progress; and feel in ourselves all the vigor and spirit to keep pace with it, and do not foresee from any present symptoms how we shall be left behind in the natural course of things, decline into old age, and drop into the grave.
It is the simplicity, and as it were abstractedness of our feelings in youth, that (so to speak) identifies us with nature, and (our experience being slight and our passions strong) deludes us into a belief of being immortal like it.
Our short-lives connexion with existence we fondly flatter ourselves is an indissoluble and lasting union — a honeymoon that knows neither coldness, jar, nor separation.
As infants smile and sleep, we are rocked in the cradle of our wayward fancies, and lulled into security by the roar of the universe around us — we quaff the cup of life with eager haste without draining it, instead of which it only overflows the more — objects press around us, filling the mind with their magnitude and with the strong of desires that wait upon them, so that we have no room for the thoughts of death.