I care for no man on earth, and no man on earth cares for me.
In a word, it was impossible for me to separate her, in the past or in the present, from the innermost life of my life.
When the last autumn of Dickens's life was over, he continued to work through his final winter and into spring. This is how all of us writers give away the days and years and decades of our lives in exchange for stacks of paper with scratches and squiggles on them. And when Death calls, how many of us would trade all those pages, all that squandered lifetime-worth of painfully achieved scratches and squiggles, for just one more day, one more fully lived and experienced day? And what price would we writers pay for that one extra day spent with those we ignored while we were locked away scratching and squiggling in our arrogant years of solipsistic isolation? Would we trade all those pages for a single hour? Or all of our books for one real minute?
The day before the Queen's Ball, Father had a visitor--a very young girl with literary aspirations, someone Lord Lytton had recommended visit Father and sent over–and while Father was explaining to her the enjoyment he was having in writing this Drood book for serialisation, this upstart of a girl had the temerity to ask, 'But suppose you died before all the book was written?' [...] He spoke very softly in his kindest voice and said to her, 'One can only work on, you know--work while it is day.
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:25-26)