We are like Orpheus, and true sentiment is our Eurydice with her touch on our shoulder; the spirits that follow are the sham-sentiments, the temptations to look back and pose. The music of our lyre is the love and thought we bring to our every-day life. Let us keep steadily on with the music, and lead our Eurydice right through Hades until we have her safely over the Lethe, and we know sentimentality only as a name.
There are very few persons who have not I had the experience of giving up a problem in mathematics late in the evening, and waking in the morning with the solution clear in their minds. That has been the experience of many, too, in real-life problems. If it were more common, a great amount of nervous strain might be saved.
There are big problems and little, real and imaginary; and some that are merely tired nerves. In problems, the useless nervous element often plays a large part. If the “problems” were dropped out of mind with sufferers from nervous prostration, their progress towards renewed health might be just twice as rapid. If they were met normally, many nervous men and women might be entirely saved from even a bowing acquaintance with nervous prostration. It is not a difficult matter, that of meeting a problem normally,—simply let it solve itself. In nine cases out of ten, if we leave it alone and live as if it were not, it will solve itself. It is at first a matter of continual surprise to see how surely this self-solution is the result of a wholesome ignoring both of little problems and big ones.
In the tenth case, where the problem must be faced at once, to face it and decide to the best of our ability is, of course, the only thing to do. But having decided, be sure that it ceases to be a problem. If we have made a mistake, it is simply a circumstance to guide us for similar problems to come.
All this is obvious; we know it, and have probably said it to ourselves dozens of times. If we are sufferers from nervous problems, we may have said it dozens upon dozens of times. The trouble is that we have said it and not acted upon it. When a problem will persist in worrying us, in pulling and dragging upon our nerves, an invitation to continue the worrying until it has worked itself out is a great help towards its solution or disappearance.