From “Conclusio ad Diversos,” the final chapter of Notes on a Cellar-Book, George Saintsbury (1920):
As one looks back over such a life there are many things that one regards with thankfulness. It is good to have walked by oneself five hundred miles in twenty days and one pair of boots (never needing the cobbler till the very last day) without any training and with a fairly heavy knapsack. It is good to have seen something on this and many other occasions, sometimes alone, sometimes in company, of the secret of the sea and the lessons of the land from Scilly to Skye; from the Land’s End to Dover; from the Nore to the Moray Firth; from Dartmoor to Lochaber; and from the Weald of Sussex to those Northumbrian lakes that lie, lonely and rather uncanny, under the Roman Wall. It is good to have attended evening chapel at Oxford, then gone up to town and danced all night (the maximum of dances with the minimum of partners), returning next morning and attending chapel again. It is good to have prevented an editor, some time before Pigott caught the Times, from engaging in negotiations with that ingenious person as he had intended to do; and to have actually silenced a Radical canvasser. It it good to have been always like-minded with the old and not the modern law of England, to the effect that ‘collective bargaining’ can never be anything but collective bullying. It is good to have read Walz’s Rhetores Graeci, and the Grand Cyrus, and nearly all the English poets that anybody ever heard of; also to find The Earthly Paradise, at a twentieth reading in 1920, as delightful as it was at a first in 1868. It is good to have heard Sims Reeves flood St. James Hall with ‘Adelaida’ til you felt as if you were being drowned, not in a bath but in an ocean of malmsey; and to have descanted on the beauties of your first Burne-Jones, without knowing that a half-puzzled, half-amused don stood behind you. Many other things past, and some present, have been and are—for anything, once more, that has been is—good.
But I do not feel the slightest shame in ranking as good likewise and very good, those voyages to the Oracle of the Bottle and those obediences to its utterance, taken literally as well as allegorically, which are partially chronicled here.