“…if at this moment you and I, and all our companions, were not aboard these ships, in the midst of the sea, in this unknown solitude, in a condition as uncertain and risky as you please; what other situation in life would we find ourselves in? What would we be doing? How would we be spending these days? Do you think, more happily? Or would we not rather be in some greater trouble or anxiety, or else full of boredom? . . .Even if we gain no other benefit from this voyage, it seems to me that it is most profitable to us, in that for a while it keeps us free of boredom, renders life dear to us, and makes us value many things that we would not otherwise take into account.” -Giacomo Leopardi, The Moral Essays

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