I dream so much and I live so little, that sometimes I am only three years old. But, the next day I am three hundred, if the dream has been sombre. Isn’t it the same with you? Doesn’t it seem at moments, that you are beginning life without even knowing what it is, and at other times don’t you feel over you the weight of several thousands centuries, of which you have a vague remembrance and a sorrowful impression?

— George Sand, in a letter to Gustave Flaubert, 28 September 1866