Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness: on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming at something else, they find happiness by the way.
Though the most beautiful creature were waiting for me at the end of a journey or a walk; though the carpet were of silk, the curtains of the morning clouds; the chairs and sofa stuffed with cygnet's down; the food manna, the wine beyond claret, the window opening on Winander Mere, I should not feel --or rather my happiness would not be so fine, as my solitude is sublime.
To reduce the imagination to a state of slavery --even though it would mean the elimination of what is commonly called happiness --is to betray all sense of absolute justice within oneself. Imagination alone offers me some intimation of what can be.