It is the iron rule in our days, to require an object and a purpose in life. It makes us all parts of a complicated scheme of progress, which can only result in our arrival at a colder and drearier region than we were born in. It insists upon everybody’s adding somewhat (a mite, perhaps, but earned by incessant effort) to an accumulated pile of usefulness, of which the only use will be, to burthen our posterity with even heavier thoughts and more inordinate labour than our own. No life now wanders like an unfettered stream; there is a mill-wheel for the thinnest rivulet to turn. We go all wrong, by too strenuous a resolution to go all right.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Marble Faun”