In nature, as in the souls of men, there slumber endless possibilities and forces, and in suitable conditions... they develop, and will develop furiously. They may fill a world, or they may fall by the roadside. They may take a new direction. They may stop. They may collapse... Nature is perfectly indifferent to what happens... But then, you may ask, what is all this for? The life of people becomes a pointless game... Men build something with pebbles and sand only to see it all collapse again; and human creatures crawl out from underneath the ruins and again start clearing spaces and build huts of moss and planks and broken capitals and, after centuries of endless labour, it all collapses again. Not in vain did Shakespeare say that history was a tedious tale told by an idiot...
Alexander Herzen, From the Other Shore (1850)
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