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All the morning the child ran about his field, smelling the sweet, tasting the sweet, plucking the bright and gay; and as he plucked and smelled and tasted, he found among the strawberries a dusky leaf that was bitter in his mouth. "What is this?" he asked of the Angel beside him; and the Angel said, "It is wormwood!"
"Pluck it all up!" cried the child. "It is bitter and hateful; I will have nought in my field but strawberries and roses."
And the Angel smiled, with folded hands.
Noon came, and afternoon, with long rays sloping westward; and the child walked in his field with slow and thoughtful steps. There were no flowers now in the grass, but everywhere a dusky leaf with dusky berries; and the air was full of the fragrance of them, sweet and yet bitter; bitter, yet oh, how sweet!
"What is this," the child asked, "that is bitter, and yet sweeter than aught else in the world?"
And the Angel said, "It is wormwood!"
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In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
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