Gian-Carlo Rota is a writer of such crystal clear and beautiful prose, conveying the essence in an unconvoluted and direct manner. If your interests lie in the intersection of mathematics, science and technology and well written prose, I warmly recommend the book.
I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?
Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.
If Love’s a Sweet Passion, why does it torment?
If a Bitter, oh tell me whence comes my content?
Since I suffer with pleasure, why should I complain,
Or grieve at my Fate, when I know ’tis in vain?
Yet so pleasing the Pain, so soft is the Dart,
That at once it both wounds me, and tickles my Heart.
I press her Hand gently, look Languishing down,
And by Passionate Silence I make my Love known.
But oh! I’m Blest when so kind she does prove,
By some willing mistake to discover her Love.
When in striving to hide, she reveals all her Flame,
And our Eyes tell each other, what neither dares Name.
Ye Gentle Spirits of the Air, appear;
Prepare, and joyn your tender Voices here.
Cath, and repeat the Trembling Sounds anew,
Soft as her Sighs and sweet as pearly dew,
Run new Division, and such Measures keep,
As when you lull the God of Love asleep.
Beautifully sung by Sreevalson Menon