<His voice grew soft, and a confiding note came into it. ‘Do you know, I sometimes catch myself wishing that I, too, were blind to the facts of life and only knew its fancies and illusions. They’re wrong, all wrong, of course, and contrary to reason; but in the face of them my reason tells me, wrong and most wrong, that to dream and live illusions gives greater delight. And after all, delight is the wage for living. Without delight, living is a worthless act. To labour at living and be unpaid is worse than to be dead. He who delights the most lives the most, and your dreams and unrealities are less disturbing to you and more gratifying than are my facts to me.’
He shook his head slowly, pondering.
‘I often doubt, I often doubt, the worthwhileness of reason. Dreams must be more substantial and satisfying. Emotional delight is more filling and lasting than intellectual delight; and, besides, you pay for your moments of intellectual delight by having the blues. Emotional delight is followed by no more than jaded senses which speedily recuperate. I envy you, I envy you.’
He stopped abruptly, and then on his lips formed one of his strange quizzical smiles, as he added:
‘It’s from my brain I envy you, take notice, and not from my heart. My reason dictates it. The envy is an intellectual product. I am like a sober man looking upon drunken men, and, weary, wishing he, too were drunk.’
‘Or like a wise man looking upon fools and wishing he, too, were a fool,’ I laughed.
‘Quite so,’ he said. ‘You are a blessed, bankrupt pair of fools. You have no facts in your pocketbook.’>
Jack London, The Sea Wolf, 211