It’s Hallowe’en! This passage from Charles Dickens’ “Nicholas Nickleby” I find most chillingly appropriate:
There is a dread disease which so prepares its victim, as it were, for death; which so refines it of its grosser aspect, and throws around familiar looks unearthly indications of the coming change—a dread disease, in which the struggle between soul and body is so gradual, quiet, and solemn, and the result so sure, that day by day and grain and by grain, the mortal part wastes and withers away, so that the spirit grows light and sanguine with its lightening load and feeling immortality at hand, deems it but a new term of mortal life—a disease in which death and life are so strangely blended, that death takes the glow and hue of life, and life the gaunt and grisly form of death—a disease which medicine never cured, wealth warded off, or poverty could boast exemption from—which sometimes moves in giant strides, and sometimes at a tardy sluggish pace, but, slow or quick, is ever sure and certain.
“Nicholas Nickleby” also tells us that, with hard work and beauty and grace, there’s no difficulty that cannot be overcome. Dickens essays: “Poverty should engender an honest pride, that it may not lead and tempt us to unworthy actions, and that we may preserve the self-respect which a hewer of wood and drawer of water may maintain—and does better in maintaining than a monarch his.”
There are people out there—a porcupine’s a featherbed to them and they’d be happy to bed you with them. Say no.