...imagine a number of men in chains and all condemned to death, where some are killed each day in the sight of the others... those who remain see their own fate in that of their fellows and wait their turn, looking at each other sorrowfully and without hope.
[This] is an image of the condition of man.
...here [on earth] is no lasting and real satisfaction, that our pleasures are only vanity, that our evils are infinite...that death, which threatens us every moment, must infallibly place us within a few years under the dreadful necessity of being forever either annihilated or unhappy.
- Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) from The Columbia World of Quotations. 1996.