— Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Context: I have neither a fear, nor a presentiment, nor a hope of death. Why should I? With my hard constitution, and temperate mode of living, and unperilous occupations, I ought to, and probably shall remain above ground, till there is scarcely a black hair on my head. And yet I cannot continue in this condition! I have to remind myself to breathe — almost to remind my heart to beat! And it is like bending back a stiff spring — it is by compulsion that I do the slightest act, not prompted by one thought; and by compulsion that I notice anything alive or dead, which is not associated with one universal idea. I have a single wish, and my whole being and faculties are yearning to attain it. They have yearned towards it so long and so unwaveringly, that I’m convinced it will be reached — and soon — because it has devoured my existence. I am swallowed up in the anticipation of its fulfilment. My confessions have not relieved me — but they may account for some otherwise unaccountable phases of humour which I show. Oh, God! It's a long fight, I wish it were over!
Heathcliff (Ch. XXXIII).