chapter  25
8 Pages

Chapter XIII

In the midst of these reflections another thought, which had not before struck me, occurred to my mind. I exult, said I, and reasonably, over the impotence of my persecutor. Is not that impotence greater than I have yet imagined? I say, he may cut off my existence, but cannot disturb my serenity. It is true: my mind, the clearness of my spirit, the firmness of my temper, are beyond his reach; is not my life equally so, if I please? What are the material obstacles that man never subdued? What is the undertaking so arduous that by some has not been accomplished? And, if by others, why not by me? Had they stronger motives than I? Was existence more variously / endeared to them, or had they more numerous methods by which to animate and adorn it? Many of those who have exerted most perseverance and intrepidity were obviously my inferiors in that respect. Why should not I be as daring as they? Adamant a and steel have a ductility like water to a mind sufficiently bold and contemplative. The mind is 293 [its own place;] and is endowed with powers that might enable it to laugh at the tyrant’s vigilance. I passed and repassed these ideas in my mind; and, heated with the contemplation, I said, No, I will not die!