The Story of Mankind

by Henrik Willem van Loon

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As It Ever Shall Be

"The more I think of the problems of our lives, the more I am persuaded that we ought to choose Irony and Pity for our "assessors and judges" as the ancient Egyptians called upon "the Goddess Isis and the Goddess Nephtys" on behalf of their dead. "Irony and Pity" are both of good counsel; the first with her "smiles" makes life agreeable; the other sanctifies it with her tears." "The Irony which I invoke is no cruel Deity. She mocks neither love nor beauty. She is gentle and kindly disposed. Her mirth disarms and it is she who teaches us to laugh at rogues and fools, whom but for her we might be so weak as to despise and hate."

And with these wise words of a very great Frenchman I bid you farewell. 8 Barrow Street, New York. Saturday, June 26, xxi.


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