I remembered something I've heard from time to time all my life, namely that the last thought we think before we go to sleep is important because it is amalgamated into the subconscious. I'd read it recently in a magazine and a short time later heard an inspirational counselor on television, expounding it, say, "Dwell on some worth-while or uplifting thought as you drop off. Maybe just a line of poetry. I once lulled myself to sleep with the phrase, 'the darling buds of May.' The sheer beauty of a line like that, taken over the brink with us, can't help permeating us with its moral or aesthetic merit."
While lying in bed, waiting to fall into the arms of Morpheus (or into his hands, rather, as I prefer to think of it, and you would, too, if you had some of my dreams) I remembered the counselor's suggestion and acted on it. Composing myself between the sheets, I set my mind to the task of selecting something to dwell on. I fetched up with several possibilities, famous sayings and fragments of poetry and one thing and another, but discarded them all for various reasons not suited to meditation, too flippant, etc. Among them was "Say not the struggle nought availeth," which I felt to be rousing rather than mesmeric in its effect. A capital thought to get up with, say, and face the new day. For some reason, I recalled Samuel Johnson's "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," and also that it was he who first said Hell was paved with good intentions. Neither of these seemed quite right for the purpose at hand; one did not want anything "trenchant". I could see that this method was not as easy as it sounded. Then suddenly there swam into my mind a line of poetry that I found as felicitous as the TV counselor apparently had the fragment from Shakespeare.