After a time," said old Mathers disregarding me, "I mercifully perceived the errors of my ways and the unhappy destination I would reach unless I mended them. I retired from the world in order to try to comprehend it and to find out why it becomes more unsavoury as the years accumulate on a man's body. What do you think I discovered at the end of my meditations?" I felt pleased again. He was now questioning me. "What?" "That No is a better word than Yes," he replied.