I have sometimes amused myself by endeavouring to fancy what would be the fate of an individual gifted, or rather accursed, with an intellect very far superior to that of his race. Of course, he would be conscious of his superiority; nor could he help manifesting his consciousness. Thus he would make himself enemies at all points. And since his opinions and speculations would widely differ from those of all mankind – that he would be considered a madman is evident. How horrible painful such a condition! Hell could invent no greater torture than that of being charged with abnormal weakness on account of being abnormally strong.
This subject is a painful one indeed. That individuals have so soared above the plane of their race is scarcely to be questioned; but, in looking back through history for traces of their existence, we should pass over all biographies of "the good and the great," while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows.
If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own – the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple – a few plain words – "My Heart Laid Bare." But, this little book must be true to its title.
Now, is it not very singular that, with the rabid thirst for notoriety which distinguishes so many of mankind, so many, too, who care not a fig what is thought of them after death, there should not be found one man having sufficient hardihood to write this little book? To write, I say. There are ten thousand men who, if the book were once written, would laugh at the notion of being disturbed by its publication during their life, and who could not even conceive why they should object to its being published after their death. But to write it – there is the rub. No man dare write it. No man will ever dare write it. No man could write it, even if he dared. The paper would shrivel and blaze at every touch of the fiery pen.