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The Wonderful Augistine of Hippo

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4… My heart grew somber with grief, and wherever I looked I saw only death. My own country became a torment and my own home a grotesque abode of misery. All that we had done together was now a grim ordeal without him. My eyes searched everywhere for him, but he was not to be seen. I hated all the places we had known together, because he was not in them and they could no longer whisper to me “Here he comes!” as they would have done had he been alive but absent for a while. I had become a puzzle to myself, asking my soul again and again, “Why are you downcast? Why do you distress me?” But my soul had no answer to give….Tears alone were sweet to me, for in my heart’s desire they had taken the place of my friend.

6… I wondered that other men should live when he was dead, for I had loved him as though he would never die. Still more I wondered that he should die and I remain alive, for I was his second self. How well the poet put it when he called his friend the half of his soul! I felt that our two souls had been as one, living in two bodies, and life to me was fearful because I did not want to live with only half a soul. Perhaps this, too, is why I shrank from death, for fear that one whom I had loved so well might then be wholly dead.


7… What madness, to love a man as something more than human! What folly, to grumble at the lot man has to bear! I lived in a fever, convulsed with tears and sighs that allowed me neither rest nor peace of mind. My soul was a burden bruised and bleeding. It was tired of the man who carried it, but I found no place to set it down to rest.

8… the grief I felt for the loss of my friend had struck so easily into my inmost heart simply because I had poured out my soul upon him, like water upon sand, loving a man who was mortal as though he were never to die.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Confessions of Saint Augustine, Book IV (translated by: Unknown)

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