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Live, and be happy, and make others so. Options
Daemon
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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Live, and be happy, and make others so.

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)
MTC
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 2:46:43 AM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
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The last words of Justine, "the saintly sufferer," in Ch. 8 of Frankenstein:

Justine assumed an air of cheerfulness, while she with difficulty repressed her bitter tears. She embraced Elizabeth, and said, in a voice of half-suppressed emotion, "Farewell, sweet lady, dearest Elizabeth, my beloved and only friend; may Heaven, in its bounty, bless and preserve you; may this be the last misfortune that you will ever suffer! Live, and be happy, and make others so."

And on the morrow Justine died. Elizabeth's heartrending eloquence failed to move the judges from their settled conviction in the criminality of the saintly sufferer. My passionate and indignant appeals were lost upon them.

(http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/mshelley/bl-mshelley-frank8.htm)

I'd like to feel more sympathy for this wrongly-accused victim of injustice, but the cloying sentimentality of the scene only succeeds in stimulating a gag reflex. And of all the final foolish words, of all the wooly-headed nonsense, "Live, and be happy, and make others so." Good advice if the world were populated with saints; if it were always possible to "be happy" ourselves while simultaneously "making others so;" and if happiness were the most noble goal in life.


Romany
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:18:53 AM
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With you one hundred percent, MTC.

This is one exception, I think, where the quote sounds much better when it stands alone. In context it is indeed part of that 'cloying sentimentality' which 'succeeds in stimulating a gag reflex'!
thar
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 4:37:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
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The second part tends to automatically follow the first (if you are really being truly happy, not just a selfish ass). The second without the first is masochism!

(first being happy, second making others happy - I forgot the first part of the quote)
Hupomone
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:43:13 PM
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Joined: 9/10/2009
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Location: United States
Good, simple advice, though it could probably go without saying. We're all pretty good at seeking personal happiness, whether it's noble or not. Heck, I'd get sentimental too if I was going to be eliminated unjustly.
jcbarros
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 2:47:07 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
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Don,t worry, be... whatever you like.
Verbatim
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 8:12:03 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/3/2012
Posts: 2,250
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Daemon wrote:
Live, and be happy, and make others so.

Mary Shelley (1797-1851)


She lived an intense life, two years on the lam having eloped with a married man even before she would turn seventeen.
How dearly Mary paid for any happiness she may have wrestled out of her living?
Bully_rus
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 11:49:49 PM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Path full of disappointment and therefore particularly torturous.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:01:45 AM
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Verbatim,

You're right: considering the times in which she lived, Mary did live an exceptional life. Yet, I have never seen her as a sad or tragic figure, have you? I always imagine that whole 'gang' as the original 'Hippies' - scornful of the values and stifling morality of the day; excited about their own ideas, hopeful of changing the world, and even the experimenting with drugs and how they impacted on their lives and works. Just like those long-haired idealists of the 'Sixties and 'Seventies.
Verbatim
Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:29:35 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/3/2012
Posts: 2,250
Neurons: 249,307
Romany wrote:
Verbatim,

You're right: considering the times in which she lived, Mary did live an exceptional life. Yet, I have never seen her as a sad or tragic figure, have you? I always imagine that whole 'gang' as the original 'Hippies' - scornful of the values and stifling morality of the day; excited about their own ideas, hopeful of changing the world, and even the experimenting with drugs and how they impacted on their lives and works. Just like those long-haired idealists of the 'Sixties and 'Seventies.


Sad or tragic figure, no. On the contrary, lively and exuberant. But there was a price to pay for the intensity of feeling and living. Happiness has a price.

Perhaps Victor Frankenstein and his "creature" were tragic though, in their own aspirations.
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