Solitude, a harsh, intense solitude, and always this strong impression of having been flung headlong into a hell of darkness! Never at any moment of my life, in any circumstances, have I felt myself living in surroundings so entirely opposite to all that I am conscious of as true, so contrary to all that is the essence of my life. Sometimes when the impression and the contrast grow very intense, I cannot prevent my total submission from taking on a hue of melancholy, and the calm and mute converse with the Master within is transformed for a moment into an invocation that almost supplicates, “O Lord, what have I done that Thou hast thrown me thus into the sombre Night?” But immediately the aspiration rises, still more ardent, “Spare this being all weakness; suffer it to be the docile and clear-eyed instrument of Thy work, whatever that work may be.”
For the moment the clear-sightedness is lacking; never was the future more veiled. It is as though we were moving towards a high, impenetrable wall, so far as the destiny of individual men is concerned. As for the destinies of nations and of the earth, they appear more distinctly. But of these it is useless to speak: the future will reveal them clearly to all eyes, even of the most blind.