“Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.”
“I tore off my mask so as not to lose one of her tears… and she did not run away!…and she did not die!… She remained alive, weeping over me, weeping with me. We cried together! I have tasted all the happiness the world can offer.”
I know you all, and will awhile uphold The unyoked humour of your idleness. Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondered at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But when they seldom come, they wished-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off And pay the debt I never promisèd, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes; And like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault, Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I’ll so offend to make offence a skill, Redeeming time when men think least I will.
You see, the secret I know is this. All of history is driven by the lion. We drag the poor zebra, kicking and braying, staining the earth with its cheap blood. History doesn’t remember us fondly, but then history is written by the zebra for the zebra.
Presume not that I am the thing I was; For God doth know, so shall the world perceive, That I have turn’d away my former self; So will I those that kept me company. When thou dost hear I am as I have been, Approach me, and thou shalt be as thou wast, The tutor and the feeder of my riots: Till then, I banish thee, on pain of death, As I have done the rest of my misleaders, Not to come near our person by ten mile.