There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good life is to live.
There is no history of mankind, there are only many histories of all kinds of aspects of human life. And one of these is the history of political power. This is elevated into the history of the world.
There is no intrinsic worth in money but what is alterable with the times, and whether a guinea goes for twenty pounds or for a shilling, it is the labor of the poor and not the high and low value that is set on gold or silver, which all the comforts of life must arise from.
There is no mystery, at least not the kind you want. In real life there are no fogbound moors or clues on matchbooks or fifth columnists waiting to be unmasked. it would be nice if here were, because then there would be solutions to things in life, but it doesn't always work that way. Everyone likes a good detective story. I went through my Hammett phase in college. I think the attraction is, in life our mysteries aren't exciting. You know They're just intractable and depressing and enervating. Like, why do we always hurt the ones we love. Where does the money go ...in a detective story, at least the universe makes sense. It was him. He did it. The natural order is disturbed, but the beauty of it is that it's restored again.
There is no one, no matter how wise he is, who has not in his youth said things or done things that are so unpleasant to recall in later life that he would expunge them entirely from his memory if that were possible.