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And she answered with a tender voice: "Let us be good friends."

--But what have I told you here, dear reader, that is not an event of yesterday or the day before. . . .

For time is infinite, but the things in time, the concrete bodies, are finite. They may indeed disperse into the smallest particles; but these particles, the atoms, have their determinate number, and the number of configurations that, all of themselves, are formed out of them is also determinate.

Now, however long a time may pass, according to the eternal laws governing the combinations of this eternal play of repetition, all configurations that have previously existed on this earth must yet meet, attract, repulse, kiss, and corrupt each other again. . . .

And thus it will happen one day that a man will be born again, just like me, and a woman be born, just like [you] -- only that it is to be hoped that the head of this man may contain a little less foolishness -- and in a better land they will meet and contemplate each other a long time; and finally the woman will give her hand to the man and say with a tender voice: "Let us be good friends."

{Heinrich Heine

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posted by Ian 9/08/2003 03:09:00 PM

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