There is no greater sorrow than to recall a happy time in the midst of wretchedness.
(Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), Italian poet. "Inferno," cto. 5, l. 121-3, The Divine Comedy (1321).
spoken by Francesca da Rimini. This thought appears in Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, bk. 2 (6th century).)
There is a down-and-outness under true knowledge and a childlike happy arising from it.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 19, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
(Cesare Beccaria (1735-1794), Italian jurist, philosopher. On Crimes and Punishments, Introduction (1764).
Thomas Carlyle attributes a similar utterance to Charles de Montesquieu, in History of Frederick the Great (1858-1865) bk. 16, ch. 1: "Happy the people whose annals are blank in history-books!")