“Old Bill” Suggests—
When a man of militant mind is debarred from active pursuits he either falls into decay or turns his energy to thinking.
Vauvenargues, who died in Paris in 1747, was of the latter group. His writing, inclined to the stoic school, shows the effect of the pain that forced him to retire from the army with broken health at the age of 27 and also the clarity that made Voltaire his friend.
“Great men essay enterprises because they think them great and fools because they think them easy,” he once commented.
Most of the easy jobs in this world have been absorbed long ago. The problem is to find something that is useful; that its accomplishment is difficult in only an incident.