Miskatonic University Press

He knew the past, which is sometimes much worse


I’m rereading the Three Musketeers saga by Alexandre Dumas—one of the greatest of all works of literature—and just re-met a quote I wrote down when I first read it. It’s from chapter twenty-seven of Twenty Years After (Vingt ans après), and is about Urbain Grandier, but I’ll leave out his name to strengthen it:

“[He] was not a sorceror, but a learned man, which is quite another thing. He did not foretell the future. He knew the past, which is sometimes much worse.”

In the original, it reads:

“[Il] n’était pas un sorcier, c’était un savant, ce qui est tout autre chose. [Il] ne prédisait pas l’avenir. Il savait le passé, ce qui quelquefois est bien pis.”