It may be said of some very old places, as of some very old books, that they are destined to be forever new. The nearer we approach them, the more remote they seem: the more we study them, the more we have yet to learn. Time augments rather than diminishes their everlasting novelty; and to our descendants of a thousand years hence it may safely be predicted that they will be even more fascinating than to ourselves. This is true of many ancient lands, but of no place is it. so true as of Egypt.Amelia B. Edwards
The future - what should I do with the future? I felt like one who has climbed the brow of a great hill, and finds only a sea of mist beyond. Go forward I must; but to what goal? With what aim? With what hopes? My father had already distinctly forbidden me to adopt art as a profession. My sister, by ignoring all the purport of my last letter, as distinctly signified her own contempt for that which was to me as the life of my life. Neither loved me; both had wounded me bitterly; and I now, almost for the first time, distinctly saw how difficult a struggle lay before me.Amelia B. Edwards
"If I become a painter," I thought, "I become so in defiance of my family; and, defying them, am alone in the wide world evermore. If, on the contrary, I yield and obey, what manner of life lies before me? The hollow life of fashionable society, into which I shall be carried as a marriageable commodity, and where I shall be expected to fulfil my duty as a daughter by securing a wealthy husband as speedily as possible.
Alas! alas! what an alternative! Was it for this that I had studied and striven? Was it for this that I had built such fairy castles, and dreamt such dreams?
My heart beat violently. My forehead was bathed in a cold perspiration. I asked myself for the first time what it was that I was about to see when this door was opened? What chamber, long closed - what deed of mystery, long forgotten - what family secret, long buried, would be revealed to my eyes? Was it right, after all, that I should pursue this discovery? Ought I not, perhaps, to go back as I had come; tell my husband of the secret upon which I had stumbled; and leave it to him to deal with according to his pleasure? Hesitating thus, I had, even now, more than half a mind to go no farther. It was a struggle between delicacy and curiosity; and I was a mere woman, after all, and curiosity prevailed.Amelia B. Edwards
"Come what may," said I aloud, "I will see what lies beyond this door!"
And with this I opened it.
The world,’ he said, ‘grows hourly more and more sceptical of all that lies beyond its own narrow radius; and our men of science foster the fatal tendency. They condemn as fable all that resists experiment. They reject as false all that cannot be brought to the test of the laboratory or the dissecting-room. Against what superstition have they waged so long and obstinate a war, as against the belief of apparitions? And yet what superstition has maintained its hold upon the minds of men so long and so firmly? Show me any fact in physics, in history, in archaeology, which is supported by testimony so wide and so various. Attested by all races of men, in all ages, and in all climates, by the soberest sages of antiquity, by the rudest savage of today, by the Christian, the Pagan, the Pantheist, the Materialist, this phenomenon is treated as a nursery tale by the philosophers of our century. Circumstantial evidence weighs with them as a feather in the balance. The comparison of causes with effects, however valuable in physical science, is put aside as worthless and unreliable. The evidence of competent witnesses, however conclusive in a court of justice, counts for nothing. He who pauses before he pronounces is condemned as a trifler. He who believes, is a dreamer or a fool.Amelia B. Edwards
All tradition,’ said the Professor, ‘is a type of spiritual truth. The superstitions of the East, and the mythologies of the North—the beautiful Fables of old Greece, and the bold investigations of modern science—all tend to elucidate the same principles; all take their root in those promptings and questionings which are innate in the brain and heart of man. Plato believed that the soul was immortal, and born frequently; that it knew all things; and that what we call learning is but the effort which it makes to recall the wisdom of the Past. “For to search and to learn,” said the poet-philosopher, “is reminiscence all.” At the bottom of every religious theory, however wild and savage, lies a perception—dim perhaps, and distorted, but still a perception—of God and immortality.Amelia B. Edwards
Born: June 7, 1831
Died: April 15, 1892