Work of each individual contributes to a totality and so becomes undying part of a totality. That totality is human life. Past and present and to come forms a tapestry that has been in existence now for many tens and thousands of years. And has been growing more elaborate, and on the whole more beautiful.
At the moment when the robots advanced toward you and Lady Vasilia expressed her savage pleasure, my positronic pathway pattern re-formed in an anomalous fashion. For a moment, I thought of you--as a human being--and I reacted accordingly. ? ?That was wrong." ?I know that. And yet--and yet, if it were to happen again, I believe the same anomalous change would take place again.? Daneel said, ?It is strange, but hearing you put it so, I find myself feeling you did the proper thing. If the situation were reversed, I almost think that I, too, would--would do the same--that I would think of you as a--a human being.? Daneel, hesitantly and slowly, put out his hand and Giskard looked at it uncertainly. Then, very slowly, he put out his own hand. The fingertips almost touched and then, little by little, each took the other?s hand and clasped it--almost as though they were the friends they called each other.
You are still here? It is time for you to go. I have told you what I meant to tell you.? ?I do not wish to go, Partner Elijah.? ?You must. I cannot hold off death any longer. I am tired--desperately tired. I want to die. It is time.? ?May I not wait while you live?? ?I don?t wish it. If I die while you watch, it may affect you badly despite all my words. Go now. That is an--order. I will allow you to be a robot if you wish but, in that case, you must follow my orders. You cannot save my life by anything you can do, so there is nothing to come ahead of Second Law. Go!? Baley?s finger pointed feebly and he said, ?Good-bye, friend Daneel. ? Daneel turned slowly, following Baley?s orders with unprecedented difficulty. ?Good-bye, Partner--? He paused and then said, with a faint hoarseness, ?Good-bye, friend Elijah.
Baley felt abashed. He said, "You do not resent the situation in which you may be forced to give up your existence for me?" "It is my programming, Partner Elijah," said Daneel in a voice that seemed to soften, "yet somehow it seems to me that, even were it not for my programming, saving you makes the loss of my own existence seem quite trivial in comparison." Baley could not resist this. He held out his hand and closed it on Daneel's with a fierce grip. "Thank you, Partner Daneel, but please do not allow it to happen. I do not wish the loss of your existence. The preservation of my own would be inadequate compensation, it seems to me." And Baley was amazed to discover that he really meant it. He was faintly horrified to realize that he would be ready to risk his life for a robot. --No, not for a robot. For Daneel.
I cannot say what I feel in any human sense, Partner Elijah. I can say, however, that the sight of you seems to make my thoughts flow more easily, and the gravitational pull on my body seems to assault my senses with lesser insistence, and that there are other changes I can identify. I imagine that what I sense corresponds in a rough way to what it is that you may sense when you feel pleasure." Baley nodded. "Whatever it is you sense when you see me, old partner, that makes it seem preferable to the state in which you are when you don't see me, suits me well--if you follow my meaning."
Do you know what it is to play a part? To split your personality deliberately for twenty-four hours a day? Even when with friends? Even when alone, so that you will never forget inadvertently? To be a dilettante? To be eternally amused? To be of no account? To be so effete and faintly ridiculous that you have convinced all who know you of your own worthlessness? All so that your life may be safe even though it means it has become barely worth living. But even so, once in a while I can fight them.
Old men tend to forget what thought was like in their youth; they forget the quickness of the mental jump, the daring of the youthful intuition, the agility of the fresh insight. They become accustomed to the more plodding varieties of reason, and because this is more than made up by the accumulation of experience, old men think themselves wiser than the young.
All right, Schwartz, tackle my mind now. Go as deep as you want. I was born on Baronn in the Sirius Sector. I lived my life in an atmosphere of anti-Terrestrialism in the formative years, so I can't help what flaws and follies lie at the roots of my subconscious. But look on the surface and tell me if, in my adult years, I have not fought bigotry in myself. Not in others; that would be easy. But in myself, and as hard as I could.