"of making books there is no end," complained the preacher; and did not perceive how highly he was praising letters as an occupation. there is no end, indeed, to making books or experiments, or to travel, or to gathering wealth. problem gives rise to problem. we may study for ever, and we are never as learned as we would. we have never made a statue worthy of our dreams. and when we have discovered a continent, or crossed a chain of mountains, it is only to find another ocean or another plain upon the further side. in the infinite universe there is room for our swiftest diligence and to spare. it is not like the works of carlyle, which can be read to an end. even in a corner of it, in a private park, or in the neighbourhood of a single hamlet, the weather and the seasons keep so deftly changing that although we walk there for a lifetime there will be always something new to startle and delight us.
a strange picture we make on our way to our chimaeras, ceaselessly marching, grudging ourselves the time for rest; indefatigable, adventurous pioneers. it is true that we shall never reach the goal; it is even more than probable that there is no such place; and if we lived for centuries and were endowed with the powers of a god, we should find ourselves not much nearer what we wanted at the end. o toiling hands of mortals! o unwearied feet, travelling ye know not whither! soon, soon, it seems to you, you must come forth on some conspicuous hilltop, and but a little way further, against the setting sun, descry the spires of el dorado. little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.