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Part V

Then, a bewildering smile paints the old man's face with a joyless gleam. You wonder at him, at his mind, at his eyes, at his speckled hands, his slacking skin. A life wasted? Wasted a life? You want to escape. Your life is withering away with his. And then he speaks. "Life is beautiful," he says. "With all her misery, ugliness, death, destruction, sorry, pity, drudgery, foolishness, sinfulness, folly... she's beautiful. What, then, is left for man than to love God, the giver of life, to love his fellow man, and to hate evil? If life has any meaning, whatsoever, it's this. Remember that every man will pass away, but the world still remains. It is incumbent upon each of us to make the best of our short, vane lives. To do any less is to reject the greatest gift we have ever received. Love and hate. That's all you need to do. Love God. Love one another. Hate evil. That's all." He shuts his eyes and falls asleep. But this can't be the end. Why all the buildup for such an anticlimax? It's all far too simple. Simple... it's all so very simple.

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