Everybody is guilty of mistakes and of serious mistakes, and the contemplation of these mistakes must darken, be it ever so little, the last years of existence. But it need not be fatal to a general satisfaction. Men and women may in the end be forced to admit: "I made a fool of myself," and still be fairly happy. But no one can possibly be satisfied, and therefore no one can in my sense be happy, who feels that in some affair he has failed to take up the challenge of life.
For a voice within him, which none else can hear, but which he cannot choke, will constantly be murmuring: "You lacked courage. You hadn't the pluck. You ran away."
And it is happier to be unhappy in the ordinary sense all one's life than to have to listen at the end to that dreadful interior verdict.