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Of Sentence Examples

  • "Of course not," said Dorothy.
  • Certainly she had been under a lot of stress.
  • The houses of the city were all made of glass, so clear and transparent that one could look through the walls as easily as through a window.
  • Did Alex think of her that way?
  • She glanced up at his face, but it gave no clue of his mood.
  • Then all three of them laughed heartily.
  • He reached the edge of the tall roof, stepped one foot out into the air, and walked into space as calmly as if he were on firm ground.
  • Very likely he has stopped to take care of them.
  • These spires were like great spear-points, and if they tumbled upon one of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
  • Was it greedy to want one of their own as well?
  • It was the first time she thought of Katie that way.
  • Are you down here taking inventory or doing a lot of thinking?
  • He was head of the house - the one who made final decisions.
  • Alex was doing everything in his power to provide her with all the experiences of a natural mother.
  • If anything could take her mind off the worry of surrogacy, he could.
  • Her sigh was a mixture of contentment and relief.
  • "Are you afraid of getting fired?" she asked with a grin.
  • But then, she hadn't approved of his drinking or the way he treated Lori either.
  • He was respectful of her concerns, but they didn't see eye-to-eye on any of it - except the fact that they both wanted another child.
  • "Goodness!" she cried, grasping the iron rail of the seat.
  • The central and largest one was white, and reminded her of the sun.
  • Around it were arranged, like the five points of a star, the other five brilliant balls; one being rose colored, one violet, one yellow, one blue and one orange.
  • They began to wonder if there were no people to inhabit this magnificent city of the inner world.
  • The four lawyers rode along, one behind another; for the pathway was narrow, and the mud on each side of it was deep.
  • It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life.
  • A middle-aged man, handsome and virile, in the uniform of a retired naval officer, was speaking in one of the rooms, and a small crowd was pressing round him.
  • Pierre pushed his way into the middle of the group, listened, and convinced himself that the man was indeed a liberal, but of views quite different from his own.
  • The naval officer spoke in a particularly sonorous, musical, and aristocratic baritone voice, pleasantly swallowing his r's and generally slurring his consonants: the voice of a man calling out to his servant, Heah!
  • It was indicative of dissipation and the exercise of authority.
  • If the noble awistocwacy of the pwovince of Moscow thinks fit, it can show its loyalty to our sov'weign the Empewah in other ways.
  • Have we fo'gotten the waising of the militia in the yeah 'seven?
  • The nobility don't gwudge theah lives--evewy one of us will go and bwing in more wecwuits, and the sov'weign" (that was the way he referred to the Emperor) "need only say the word and we'll all die fo' him!" added the orator with animation.
  • He hardened his heart against the senator who was introducing this set and narrow attitude into the deliberations of the nobility.
  • "I think that before discussing these questions," Pierre continued, "we should ask the Emperor--most respectfully ask His Majesty--to let us know the number of our troops and the position in which our army and our forces now are, and then..."
  • He parked the truck in front of the house and headed down the hill.
  • If Alex knew that, he gave no indication - and she had no intention of telling him.
  • Once the fire of passion was gone, it was embarrassing.
  • He stood and tossed the last bite into his mouth, washing it down with the last of his milk.
  • That served another purpose when the conversation turned to the possibility of another child.
  • That was when Mary decided to relieve her mind of a troubling thought.
  • First of all, I married Alex because I love him.
  • Just about time I think the two of you are making progress, something like this comes up.
  • Alex got a relief when the conversation turned to something else and stayed there for the rest of the evening.
  • Alex chuckled and relinquished the remainder of the waltz to him.
  • He wouldn't have approved - of that she was certain.
  • The balmy weather of Thanksgiving Day had given way to a frosty day after.
  • As she peered through the soft gray light not a house of any sort was visible near the station, nor was any person in sight; but after a while the child discovered a horse and buggy standing near a group of trees a short distance away.
  • She could count his ribs easily where they showed through the skin of his body, and his head was long and seemed altogether too big for him, as if it did not fit.
  • His tail was short and scraggly, and his harness had been broken in many places and fastened together again with cords and bits of wire.
  • "Of course," he answered.
  • Jumping out of the buggy he put Dorothy's suit-case under the seat and her bird-cage on the floor in front.
  • Dorothy thought he just wiggled one of his drooping ears, but that was all.
  • "But Jim knows his business all right--don't you, Jim?" patting the long nose of the animal.
  • "We had a lot of earthquakes," said Dorothy.
  • There was a breath of danger in the very air, and every few moments the earth would shake violently.
  • Jim's ears were standing erect upon his head and every muscle of his big body was tense as he trotted toward home.
  • He was not going very fast, but on his flanks specks of foam began to appear and at times he would tremble like a leaf.
  • With a wild neigh of terror the animal fell bodily into the pit, drawing the buggy and its occupants after him.
  • Dorothy grabbed fast hold of the buggy top and the boy did the same.
  • The top of the buggy caught the air like a parachute or an umbrella filled with wind, and held them back so that they floated downward with a gentle motion that was not so very disagreeable to bear.
  • The worst thing was their terror of reaching the bottom of this great crack in the earth, and the natural fear that sudden death was about to overtake them at any moment.
  • Crash after crash echoed far above their heads, as the earth came together where it had split, and stones and chunks of clay rattled around them on every side.
  • How long this state of things continued Dorothy could not even guess, she was so greatly bewildered.
  • With this thought in mind the girl took heart and leaned her head over the side of the buggy to see where the strange light was coming from.
  • Dorothy was too dazed to say much, but she watched one of Jim's big ears turn to violet and the other to rose, and wondered that his tail should be yellow and his body striped with blue and orange like the stripes of a zebra.
  • Dorothy had a green streak through the center of her face where the blue and yellow lights came together, and her appearance seemed to add to his fright.
  • Just then the buggy tipped slowly over upon its side, the body of the horse tipping also.
  • "Of course," growled the horse, "and then we shall be sorry it happened."
  • We are somewhere in the middle of the earth, and the chances are we'll reach the other side of it before long.
  • At this they both put their heads over the side of the buggy and looked down.
  • Here and there were groups of houses that seemed made of clear glass, because they sparkled so brightly.
  • They seemed to be falling right into the middle of a big city which had many tall buildings with glass domes and sharp-pointed spires.
  • What's going to become of us now?
  • The roof beside them had a great hole smashed through it, and pieces of glass were lying scattered in every direction.
  • But not a sound had broken the stillness since the strangers had arrived, except that of their own voices.
  • He was not a very large man, but was well formed and had a beautiful face--calm and serene as the face of a fine portrait.
  • The man had taken a step or two across the glass roof before he noticed the presence of the strangers; but then he stopped abruptly.
  • The girl, greatly astonished, ran to lean over the edge of the roof, and saw the man walking rapidly through the air toward the ground.
  • Soon he reached the street and disappeared through a glass doorway into one of the glass buildings.
  • "Yes; but it's lots of fun, if it IS strange," remarked the small voice of the kitten, and Dorothy turned to find her pet walking in the air a foot or so away from the edge of the roof.
  • "Of course; can't you see?" and again the kitten wandered into the air and back to the edge of the roof.
  • "Of course; can't you see?" and again the kitten wandered into the air and back to the edge of the roof.
  • "None of us has had breakfast," said the boy; "and in a time of danger like this it's foolish to talk about eating."
  • I can see plenty of nice gardens and fields down below us, at the edge of this city.
  • But he did not wish the little girl to think him a coward, so he advanced slowly to the edge of the roof.
  • Dorothy kept hold of his hand and followed him, and soon they were both walking through the air, with the kitten frisking beside them.
  • So, with a snort and a neigh and a whisk of his short tail he trotted off the roof into the air and at once began floating downward to the street.
  • It's a shaking of the earth.
  • "The Rain of Stones has done much damage to our city," he said, "and we shall hold you responsible for it unless you can prove your innocence."
  • As the horse ambled along, drawing the buggy, the people of the glass city made way for them and formed a procession in their rear.
  • There was even a thorn upon the tip of his nose and he looked so funny that Dorothy laughed when she saw him.
  • "Why have you dared to intrude your unwelcome persons into the secluded Land of the Mangaboos?" he asked, sternly.
  • "Why did you wickedly and viciously send the Rain of Stones to crack and break our houses?" he continued.
  • We only know that yesterday came a Rain of Stones upon us, which did much damage and injured some of our people.
  • "By the way," said the man with the star, looking steadily at the Sorcerer, "you told us yesterday that there would not be a second Rain of Stones.
  • This second one was a Rain of People-and-Horse-and-Buggy.
  • Immediately the Prince and all of his people flocked out of the hall into the street, that they might see what was about to happen.
  • Dorothy and Zeb jumped out of the buggy and ran after them, but the Sorcerer remained calmly in his throne.
  • Gradually the balloon grew bigger, which was proof that it was settling down upon the Land of the Mangaboos.
  • A balloon meant to her some other arrival from the surface of the earth, and she hoped it would be some one able to assist her and Zeb out of their difficulties.
  • Then a little man jumped out of the basket, took off his tall hat, and bowed very gracefully to the crowd of Mangaboos around him.
  • It's the wonderful Wizard of Oz.
  • Haven't you heard of him?
  • I had let so much gas out of my balloon that I could not rise again, and in a few minutes the earth closed over my head.
  • This child, who is from the crust of the earth, like yourself, called you a Wizard.
  • "Nonsense!" said the little man, turning red--although just then a ray of violet sunlight was on his round face.
  • So he followed the Prince into the great domed hall, and Dorothy and Zeb came after them, while the throng of people trooped in also.
  • There sat the thorny Sorcerer in his chair of state, and when the Wizard saw him he began to laugh, uttering comical little chuckles.
  • I am delighted to find humbugs inside the earth, just the same as on top of it.
  • But I've just had the bad luck to come out of the sky, skip the solid earth, and land lower down than I intended.
  • It isn't everybody who gets a chance to see your Land of the Gabazoos.
  • Oh, I'm a Wizard; you may be sure of that.
  • He waved a thorny hand and at once the tinkling of bells was heard, playing sweet music.
  • It was one of the things Gwig usually did to prove he was a sorcerer.
  • The Wizard reached out, caught the wee creature in his hand, and holding its head between one thumb and finger and its tail between the other thumb and finger he pulled it apart, each of the two parts becoming a whole and separate piglet in an instant.
  • He placed one upon the floor, so that it could run around, and pulled apart the other, making three piglets in all; and then one of these was pulled apart, making four piglets.
  • "Now," said the Wizard of Oz, "having created something from nothing, I will make something nothing again."
  • With this he caught up two of the piglets and pushed them together, so that the two were one.
  • And so, one by one, the nine tiny piglets were pushed together until but a single one of the creatures remained.
  • By the time he had attached a handle to this sword he was having much trouble to breathe, as the charm of the Sorcerer was beginning to take effect.
  • "Of course," said the Prince.
  • People on top of the earth are all meat.
  • There were paths through these gardens, and over some of the brooks were ornamental glass bridges.
  • Dorothy and Zeb now got out of the buggy and walked beside the Prince, so that they might see and examine the flowers and plants better.
  • "Of course," he replied.
  • When they passed over a field of grass Jim immediately stretched down his head and began to nibble.
  • As a matter of fact, I'm eating rainbow grass.
  • If they give me plenty of it I'll not complain about its color.
  • Do not all people grow upon bushes where you came from, on the outside of the earth?
  • Inside the hedge they came upon row after row of large and handsome plants with broad leaves gracefully curving until their points nearly reached the ground.
  • In the center of each plant grew a daintily dressed Mangaboo, for the clothing of all these creatures grew upon them and was attached to their bodies.
  • On some of the bushes might be seen a bud, a blossom, a baby, a half-grown person and a ripe one; but even those ready to pluck were motionless and silent, as if devoid of life.
  • "That depends upon the care we take of ourselves," he replied.
  • He led them within another but smaller circle of hedge, where grew one large and beautiful bush.
  • "This," said he, "is the Royal Bush of the Mangaboos.
  • All of our Princes and Rulers have grown upon this one bush from time immemorial.
  • I think I shall keep this Wizard until a new Sorcerer is ready to pick, for he seems quite skillful and may be of use to us.
  • "You don't need milk, Eureka," remarked Dorothy; "you are big enough now to eat any kind of food."
  • But I noticed some strawberries growing in one of the gardens, and some melons in another place.
  • The words of the cold and moist vegetable Prince were not very comforting, and as he spoke them he turned away and left the enclosure.
  • The beautiful creature passed her hands over her eyes an instant, tucked in a stray lock of hair that had become disarranged, and after a look around the garden made those present a gracious bow and said, in a sweet but even toned voice:
  • "Give me the Star of Royalty!" she commanded.
  • Slowly he took the shining star from his own brow and placed it upon that of the Princess.
  • What became of him afterward our friends never knew.
  • The people of Mangaboo now formed themselves into a procession and marched toward the glass city to escort their new ruler to her palace and to perform those ceremonies proper to the occasion.
  • "Of course it is," returned Dorothy promptly.
  • In the vegetable gardens they found the strawberries and melons, and several other unknown but delicious fruits, of which they ate heartily.
  • In the strict sense of the word I am not a Wizard, but only a humbug.
  • "The Wizard of Oz has always been a humbug," agreed Dorothy.
  • But the pulling of them apart and pushing them together again was only a sleight-of-hand trick.
  • "May I eat one of them?" asked the kitten, in a pleading voice.
  • "I should say so!" grunted another of the piglets, looking uneasily at the kitten; "cats are cruel things."
  • "They are from the Island of Teenty-Weent," said the Wizard, "where everything is small because it's a small island.
  • There is no reason, that I can see, why they may not exist in the waters of this strange country.
  • Then the Wizard bent a pin for a hook and took a long piece of string from his pocket for a fish-line.
  • "Cats are dreadful creatures!" said one of them.
  • Then she happened to remember that in a corner of her suit-case were one or two crackers that were left over from her luncheon on the train, and she went to the buggy and brought them.
  • Eureka stuck up her nose at such food, but the tiny piglets squealed delightedly at the sight of the crackers and ate them up in a jiffy.
  • That is, if Jim has had enough of the pink grass.
  • They agreed to this plan, and when they reached the great square Jim drew the buggy into the big door of the domed hall.
  • "What are those holes up there?" enquired the boy, pointing to some openings that appeared near the top of the dome.
  • Then the boy returned to one of the upper rooms, and in spite of the hardness of the glass bench was soon deep in slumberland.
  • The little man, having had a good sleep, felt rested and refreshed, and looking through the glass partition of the room he saw Zeb sitting up on his bench and yawning.
  • I wish you would go and fetch my satchel, two lanterns, and a can of kerosene oil that is under the seat.
  • Then the three held a counsel to decide what they should do next, but could think of no way to better their condition.
  • They're cold and flabby, like cabbages, in spite of their prettiness.
  • Just then they heard the big voice of Jim the cab-horse calling to them, and going to the doorway leading to the dome they found the Princess and a throng of her people had entered the House of the Sorcerer.
  • "Oh, you cannot go away, of course; so you must be destroyed," was the answer.
  • "We shall throw you three people into the Garden of the Twining Vines," said the Princess, "and they will soon crush you and devour your bodies to make themselves grow bigger.
  • Then our country will be rid of all its unwelcome visitors.
  • I have heard of this wonderful magic.
  • But it accomplishes nothing of value.
  • Then he jointed together the blades of his sword and balanced it very skillfully upon the end of his nose.
  • Just then his eye fell upon the lanterns and the can of kerosene oil which Zeb had brought from the car of his balloon, and he got a clever idea from those commonplace things.
  • So he placed Dorothy upon one side of him and the boy upon the other and set a lantern upon each of their heads.
  • Next the Wizard poured a pool of oil from the can upon the glass floor, where it covered quite a broad surface.
  • When he lighted the oil a hundred tongues of flame shot up, and the effect was really imposing.
  • "Now, Princess," exclaimed the Wizard, "those of your advisors who wished to throw us into the Garden of Clinging Vines must step within this circle of light.
  • The advisors of the Princess did not like this test; but she commanded them to step into the flame and one by one they did so, and were scorched so badly that the air was soon filled with an odor like that of baked potatoes.
  • Some of the Mangaboos fell down and had to be dragged from the fire, and all were so withered that it would be necessary to plant them at once.
  • Once they came near to the enclosed Garden of the Clinging Vines, and walking high into the air looked down upon it with much interest.
  • They saw a mass of tough green vines all matted together and writhing and twisting around like a nest of great snakes.
  • "Don't be rough!" he would call out, if Eureka knocked over one of the round, fat piglets with her paw; but the pigs never minded, and enjoyed the sport very greatly.
  • Here were more of the vegetable people with thorns, and silently they urged the now frightened creatures down the street.
  • An instant later he suddenly backed toward the crowd of Mangaboos and kicked out his hind legs as hard as he could.
  • A dozen of them smashed together and tumbled to the ground, and seeing his success Jim kicked again and again, charging into the vegetable crowd, knocking them in all directions and sending the others scattering to escape his iron heels.
  • Eureka helped him by flying into the faces of the enemy and scratching and biting furiously, and the kitten ruined so many vegetable complexions that the Mangaboos feared her as much as they did the horse.
  • Half way up the steep was a yawning cave, black as night beyond the point where the rainbow rays of the colored suns reached into it.
  • It will be about the end of our adventures, I guess.
  • "If the Wizard was here," said one of the piglets, sobbing bitterly, "he would not see us suffer so."
  • The mouth of the hole was nearly filled up now, but the kitten gave a leap through the remaining opening and at once scampered up into the air.
  • The Mangaboos saw her escape, and several of them caught up their thorns and gave chase, mounting through the air after her.
  • So she ran along over their heads until she had left them far behind and below and had come to the city and the House of the Sorcerer.
  • Before long they neared the Black Pit, where a busy swarm of Mangaboos, headed by their Princess, was engaged in piling up glass rocks before the entrance.
  • At once the Mangaboos began piling up the rocks of glass again, and as the little man realized that they were all about to be entombed in the mountain he said to the children:
  • Zeb struck a match and lighted one of the lanterns.
  • The sides of the tunnel showed before them like the inside of a long spy-glass, and the floor became more level.
  • Jim hastened his lagging steps at this assurance of a quick relief from the dark passage.
  • It was all laid out into lovely lawns and gardens, with pebble paths leading through them and groves of beautiful and stately trees dotting the landscape here and there.
  • Alluring brooks of crystal water flowed sparkling between their flower-strewn banks, while scattered over the valley were dozens of the quaintest and most picturesque cottages our travelers had ever beheld.
  • None of them were in clusters, such as villages or towns, but each had ample grounds of its own, with orchards and gardens surrounding it.
  • The second and even more singular fact was the absence of any inhabitant of this splendid place.
  • "Isn't it fine?" cried Dorothy, in a joyous voice, as she sprang out of the buggy and let Eureka run frolicking over the velvety grass.
  • They heard the sudden twittering of a bird, but could not find the creature anywhere.
  • Presently they came to a low plant which had broad, spreading leaves, in the center of which grew a single fruit about as large as a peach.
  • "We can see you," said another of the piglets.
  • "It was fine, Dorothy," called one of the piglets.
  • "We'll eat all we can find of them," said another.
  • If we come across another of the strange fruit we must avoid it.
  • On the table were plates, knives and forks, and dishes of bread, meat and fruits.
  • A peal of merry laughter answered her, and the knives and forks fell to the plates with a clatter.
  • One of the chairs pushed back from the table, and this was so astonishing and mysterious that Dorothy was almost tempted to run away in fright.
  • "Here are strangers, mama!" cried the shrill and childish voice of some unseen person.
  • "Of course," replied the man's voice.
  • Are you surprised that you are unable to see the people of Voe?
  • "We belong upon the face of the earth," explained the Wizard, "but recently, during an earthquake, we fell down a crack and landed in the Country of the Mangaboos."
  • I've heard of them.
  • It is the Valley of Voe.
  • "He draws the buggy you see fastened to him, and we ride in the buggy instead of walking," she explained.
  • "That is the one evil of our country," answered the invisible man.
  • Many large and fierce bears roam in the Valley of Voe, and when they can catch any of us they eat us up; but as they cannot see us, we seldom get caught.
  • Yes; for they eat of the dama-fruit, as we all do, and that keeps them from being seen by any eye, whether human or animal.
  • In front of each place was a plate bearing one of the delicious dama-fruit, and the perfume that rose from these was so enticing and sweet that they were sorely tempted to eat of them and become invisible.
  • "But I make you wash it, every time I think of it," said the mother; "for it stands to reason your face is dirty, Ianu, whether I can see it or not."
  • "Come here, please--Ianu and your sister--and let me feel of you," she requested.
  • The children were inclined to be frightened by the sight of the small animal, which reminded them of the bears; but Dorothy reassured them by explaining that Eureka was a pet and could do no harm even if she wished to.
  • She placed a plate of food upon the floor and the kitten ate greedily.
  • As for reaching the top of the earth, I have never heard that it is possible to do that, and if you succeeded in getting there you would probably fall off.
  • "The Valley of Voe is certainly a charming place," resumed the Wizard; "but we cannot be contented in any other land than our own, for long."
  • They now bade farewell to the kind but unseen people of the cottage, and after the man had called their attention to a high, pyramid-shaped mountain on the opposite side of the Valley, and told them how to travel in order to reach it, they again started upon their journey.
  • They followed the course of a broad stream and passed several more pretty cottages; but of course they saw no one, nor did any one speak to them.
  • Fruits and flowers grew plentifully all about, and there were many of the delicious damas that the people of Voe were so fond of.
  • About noon they stopped to allow Jim to rest in the shade of a pretty orchard.
  • The owner of the unseen voice laughed lightly and said:
  • "Oh, there is no need of that," said the voice, which from its gentle tones seemed to belong to a young girl.
  • You are strangers in the Valley of Voe, and do not seem to know our ways; so I will try to save you.
  • It is a secret the bears do not know, and we people of Voe usually walk upon the water when we travel, and so escape our enemies.
  • "Thank you!" cried the Wizard, joyfully, and at once rubbed a leaf upon the soles of Dorothy's shoes and then upon his own.
  • As soon as he trotted out upon the surface of the river he found himself safe from pursuit, and Zeb was already running across the water toward Dorothy.
  • The third time that he thrust out the weapon there was a loud roar and a fall, and suddenly at his feet appeared the form of a great red bear, which was nearly as big as the horse and much stronger and fiercer.
  • Dorothy and the buggy had floated slowly down stream with the current of the water, and the others made haste to join her.
  • The Wizard opened his satchel and got out some sticking-plaster with which he mended the cuts Jim had received from the claws of the bears.
  • "That is true," agreed the Wizard, "and as the river seems to be flowing in the direction of the Pyramid Mountain it will be the easiest way for us to travel."
  • Once a little fish swam too near the surface, and the kitten grabbed it in her mouth and ate it up as quick as a wink; but Dorothy cautioned her to be careful what she ate in this valley of enchantments, and no more fishes were careless enough to swim within reach.
  • All three got into the buggy and Zeb picked up the reins, though Jim needed no guidance of any sort.
  • His boney legs moved so fast they could scarcely be seen, and the Wizard clung fast to the seat and yelled "Whoa!" at the top of his voice.
  • Dorothy nearly went with them, but she was holding fast to the iron rail of the seat, and that saved her.
  • At the foot of the stairs was a sign reading:
  • These steps lead to the Land of the Gargoyles.
  • It's the only way to get out of the Valley of Voe.
  • But this enabled them to proceed steadily until they came to a landing where there was a rift in the side of the mountain that let in both light and air.
  • Looking through this opening they could see the Valley of Voe lying far below them, the cottages seeming like toy houses from that distance.
  • Here one side of the mountain had a great hole in it, like the mouth of a cavern, and the stairs stopped at the near edge of the floor and commenced ascending again at the opposite edge.
  • The opening in the mountain was on the side opposite to the Valley of Voe, and our travellers looked out upon a strange scene.
  • Below them was a vast space, at the bottom of which was a black sea with rolling billows, through which little tongues of flame constantly shot up.
  • Just above them, and almost on a level with their platform, were banks of rolling clouds which constantly shifted position and changed color.
  • "Of course," replied Dorothy, softly.
  • If I should squeeze one, there wouldn't be anything left of it.
  • These birds were of enormous size, and reminded Zeb of the rocs he had read about in the Arabian Nights.
  • They had fierce eyes and sharp talons and beaks, and the children hoped none of them would venture into the cavern.
  • Well, I make Assorted Flutters for flags and bunting, and a superior grade of Rustles for ladies' silk gowns.
  • May we examine some of these articles?
  • Here, on a broad shelf, were several card-board boxes of various sizes, each tied with cotton cord.
  • "Why did you leave the surface of the earth?" enquired the Wizard.
  • On peering out all they could see was rolling banks of clouds, so thick that they obscured all else.
  • To his delight they were now plainly visible, which proved that they had passed beyond the influence of the magical Valley of Voe.
  • Please, Mr. Wizard, may I eat just one of the fat little piglets?
  • You'd never miss ONE of them, I'm sure!
  • "And we trusted you so!" said another of the nine, reproachfully.
  • There are certain things proper for a kitten to eat; but I never heard of a kitten eating a pig, under ANY cir'stances.
  • "And that's just what I shall do if you don't let those little balls of pork alone," said Jim, glaring at the kitten with his round, big eyes.
  • "No one can love a person he's afraid of," asserted Dorothy.
  • "The Country of the Gurgles can't be far from the top of the earth," remarked Dorothy.
  • Jim, who was in advance, saw the last stair before him and stuck his head above the rocky sides of the stairway.
  • "The Country of the Gargoyles is all wooden!" exclaimed Zeb; and so it was.
  • The ground was sawdust and the pebbles scattered around were hard knots from trees, worn smooth in course of time.
  • The patches of grass were splinters of wood, and where neither grass nor sawdust showed was a solid wooden flooring.
  • Wooden birds fluttered among the trees and wooden cows were browsing upon the wooden grass; but the most amazing things of all were the wooden people--the creatures known as Gargoyles.
  • These were very numerous, for the place was thickly inhabited, and a large group of the queer people clustered near, gazing sharply upon the strangers who had emerged from the long spiral stairway.
  • The Gargoyles were very small of stature, being less than three feet in height.
  • Others had flat noses, protruding eyes, and ears that were shaped like those of an elephant.
  • The tops of their heads had no hair, but were carved into a variety of fantastic shapes, some having a row of points or balls around the top, others designs resembling flowers or vegetables, and still others having squares that looked like waffles cut criss-cross on their heads.
  • They made no sounds at all, either in flying or trying to speak, and they conversed mainly by means of quick signals made with their wooden fingers or lips.
  • The group of these queer creatures which was discovered clustered near the stairs at first remained staring and motionless, glaring with evil eyes at the intruders who had so suddenly appeared in their land.
  • "Each of their arms is a wooden club," answered the little man, "and I'm sure the creatures mean mischief, by the looks of their eyes.
  • The horse had especially attracted their notice, because it was the biggest and strangest creature they had ever seen; so it became the center of their first attack.
  • Crack! crash! bang! went his iron-shod hoofs against the wooden bodies of the Gargoyles, and they were battered right and left with such force that they scattered like straws in the wind.
  • The noise, of course.
  • They advanced in a great swarm, having been joined by many more of their kind, and they flew straight over Jim's head to where the others were standing.
  • The Wizard raised one of his revolvers and fired into the throng of his enemies, and the shot resounded like a clap of thunder in that silent place.
  • Some of the wooden beings fell flat upon the ground, where they quivered and trembled in every limb; but most of them managed to wheel and escape again to a distance.
  • Zeb ran and picked up one of the Gargoyles that lay nearest to him.
  • The top of its head was carved into a crown and the Wizard's bullet had struck it exactly in the left eye, which was a hard wooden knot.
  • Then a few of them advanced until another shot from the Wizard's revolver made them retreat.
  • "I'll use the king," said the boy, and pulled his prisoner out of the buggy.
  • When the next company of Gargoyles advanced, our adventurers began yelling as if they had gone mad.
  • This daunted the enemy for a time, but the defenders were soon out of breath.
  • Dorothy was captured in the same way, and numbers of the Gargoyles clung to Jim's legs, so weighting him down that the poor beast was helpless.
  • The houses of this city had many corners, being square and six-sided and eight-sided.
  • To one of these houses which had neither doors nor windows, but only one broad opening far up underneath the roof, the prisoners were brought by their captors.
  • The space underneath the roof, where they stood, permitted them to see on all sides of the tall building, and they looked with much curiosity at the city spread out beneath them.
  • Everything visible was made of wood, and the scene seemed stiff and extremely unnatural.
  • Several stories of empty rooms rewarded their search, but nothing more; so after a time they came back to the platform again.
  • Looking out, they could see into some of the houses near them, where there were open windows in abundance, and were able to mark the forms of the wooden Gargoyles moving about in their dwellings.
  • "This seems to be their time of rest," observed the Wizard.
  • All people need rest, even if they are made of wood, and as there is no night here they select a certain time of the day in which to sleep or doze.
  • No; she just dug her claws into the wood and climbed down the sides of this house to the ground.
  • "To 'climb down' is sometimes used as a figure of speech," remarked the Wizard.
  • "Well, this was a figure of a cat," said Jim, "and she WENT down, anyhow, whether she climbed or crept."
  • "No they won't," said the voice of the kitten, and Eureka herself crawled over the edge of the platform and sat down quietly upon the floor.
  • "I wish we had some of those loose wings," he said.
  • If the Gargoyles can unhook the wings then the power to fly lies in the wings themselves, and not in the wooden bodies of the people who wear them.
  • "Come here," said the little man, and took her to one of the corners of the building.
  • He had fastened one end of the strap to a wheel of the buggy, and now he let the line dangle over the side of the house.
  • Eureka clung with her claws to the wooden side of the house and let herself down easily.
  • Then together they crept away to enter the low doorway of a neighboring dwelling.
  • Eureka quickly followed him, and soon they were all standing together upon the platform, with eight of the much prized wooden wings beside them.
  • The boy was no longer sleepy, but full of energy and excitement.
  • Then, with the Wizard's help, he tried to fasten some of the wings to the old cab-horse.
  • However, the Wizard went once more to his satchel--which seemed to contain a surprising variety of odds and ends--and brought out a spool of strong wire, by means of which they managed to fasten four of the wings to Jim's harness, two near his head and two near his tail.
  • These preparations had not consumed a great deal of time, but the sleeping Gargoyles were beginning to wake up and move around, and soon some of them would be hunting for their missing wings.
  • The girl sat in the middle of the seat, with Zeb and the Wizard on each side of her.
  • "Some of them are crooked," objected the horse.
  • Dorothy was a little anxious about the success of their trip, for the way Jim arched his long neck and spread out his bony legs as he fluttered and floundered through the air was enough to make anybody nervous.
  • All the way to the great rock the wooden people followed them, and when Jim finally alighted at the mouth of the cavern the pursuers were still some distance away.
  • The flames leaped up at once and the bonfire began to smoke and roar and crackle just as the great army of wooden Gargoyles arrived.
  • "That will prove a barrier for some time to come," said the little man, smiling pleasantly all over his wrinkled face at the success of their stratagem.
  • To their disappointment there was within this mountain no regular flight of steps by means of which they could mount to the earth's surface.
  • A sort of inclined tunnel led upward for a way, and they found the floor of it both rough and steep.
  • Sometimes they had to climb over heaps of loose rock, where Jim could scarcely drag the buggy.
  • At such times Dorothy, Zeb and the Wizard all pushed behind, and lifted the wheels over the roughest places; so they managed, by dint of hard work, to keep going.
  • "What sort of place is this?" asked the boy, trying to see more clearly through the gloom.
  • They are in little pockets all around the edge of this cavern.
  • Hearing these words our friends turned in the direction of the sound, and the Wizard held his lanterns so that their light would flood one of the little pockets in the rock.
  • "No," answered the owner of the big yellow eyes which were blinking at them so steadily; "you are wrong about that.
  • "Young dragons, of course; but we are not allowed to call ourselves real dragons until we get our full growth," was the reply.
  • She has gone up to the top of the earth to hunt for our dinner.
  • Quite young, I grieve to say; and all of my brothers and sisters that you see here are practically my own age.
  • Mother's about two thousand years old; but she carelessly lost track of her age a few centuries ago and skipped several hundreds.
  • She's a little fussy, you know, and afraid of growing old, being a widow and still in her prime.
  • Oh, she is sometimes gone for several weeks on her hunting trips, and if we were not tied we would crawl all over the mountain and fight with each other and get into a lot of mischief.
  • The heads of the dragonettes were as big as barrels and covered with hard, greenish scales that glittered brightly under the light of the lanterns.
  • "It occurs to me," said the Wizard, "that we ought to get out of this place before the mother dragon comes back."
  • This rock was separate from the rest of the mountain and was in motion, turning slowly around and around as if upon a pivot.
  • This appeared so unexpectedly that they were unprepared to take advantage of it at first, and allowed the rocky wall to swing around again before they had decided to pass over.
  • But they knew now that there was a means of escape and so waited patiently until the path appeared for the second time.
  • The children and the Wizard rushed across the moving rock and sprang into the passage beyond, landing safely though a little out of breath.
  • "I'm not so sure of that," returned Dorothy.
  • Of course not, my dear.
  • "Very. Unless this passage also leads to the top of the earth," said Zeb.
  • For my part, if we manage to get out of here I'll be glad it isn't the way the dragon goes.
  • That meant that their world--the real world--was not very far away, and that the succession of perilous adventures they had encountered had at last brought them near the earth's surface, which meant home to them.
  • "And there is no way to go back," added Zeb, with a low whistle of perplexity.
  • Folks don't fall into the middle of the earth and then get back again to tell of their adventures--not in real life.
  • "I've heard animals talk before," said Dorothy, "and no harm came of it."
  • "Were you ever before shut up in a cave, far under the earth, with no way of getting out?" enquired the horse, seriously.
  • But don't you lose heart, Jim, for I'm sure this isn't the end of our story, by any means.
  • So he sat down upon the floor of the cave, brought the piglets out one by one, and allowed them to run around as much as they pleased.
  • The Wizard told them of the misfortune that had overtaken the wanderers.
  • "Nonsense!" cried several of the piglets, together.
  • "The girl that rules the marvelous Land of Oz," was the reply.
  • She's a friend of mine, for I met her in the Land of Ev, not long ago, and went to Oz with her.
  • After you went up in a balloon, and escaped us, I got back to Kansas by means of a pair of magical silver shoes.
  • Of course; in just a jiffy.
  • "Do you mean that Princess Ozma will see this cave in her enchanted picture, and see all of us here, and what we are doing?" demanded Zeb.
  • "Of course; when it is four o'clock," she replied, with a laugh at his startled expression.
  • That's it, exactly; by means of the Magic Belt.
  • "Of course they would!" declared Dorothy.
  • They are still proud of their former Wizard, and often speak of you kindly.
  • No; she's a yellow hen, and a great friend of mine.
  • There had been no sound of any kind and no warning.
  • "I believe we will soon follow her," announced the Wizard, in a tone of great relief; "for I know something about the magic of the fairyland that is called the Land of Oz.
  • For they were in the streets of a beautiful emerald-green city, bathed in a grateful green light that was especially pleasing to their eyes, and surrounded by merry faced people in gorgeous green-and-gold costumes of many extraordinary designs.
  • "Gid-dap!" cried the boy, and at the word Jim slowly trotted into the courtyard and drew the buggy along the jewelled driveway to the great entrance of the royal palace.
  • "Yes," said the soldier; "but I shaved them off long ago, and since then I have risen from a private to be the Chief General of the Royal Armies."
  • His fame had not been forgotten in the Land of Oz, by any means.
  • "She is with the Princess Ozma, in the private rooms of the palace," replied Jellia Jamb.
  • "What's to become of me?" asked the horse, uneasily.
  • He had seen considerable of life in the cities in his younger days, and knew that this regal palace was no place for him.
  • So Zeb unharnessed Jim, and several of the servants then led the horse around to the rear, where they selected a nice large apartment that he could have all to himself.
  • In the closets he discovered many fancy costumes of rich velvets and brocades, and one of the attendants told him to dress himself in any of the clothes that pleased him and to be prepared to dine with the Princess and Dorothy in an hour's time.
  • Taken altogether, it was a dreadfully long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name.
  • I used to call myself a Wizard, and do tricks of ventriloquism.
  • Throwing my voice into any object I pleased, to make it appear that the object was speaking instead of me.
  • "That is quite a history," said Ozma; "but there is a little more history about the Land of Oz that you do not seem to understand--perhaps for the reason that no one ever told it you.
  • One wicked witch named Mombi stole him and carried him away, keeping him as a prisoner.
  • Then the Witches divided up the kingdom, and ruled the four parts of it until you came here.
  • But I escaped from her and am now the Ruler of my people.
  • "But you ruled it wisely and well for many years," said she, "and made the people proud of your magical art.
  • You shall be the Official Wizard of my kingdom, and be treated with every respect and consideration.
  • "And that is the safest kind of a Wizard to have," replied Ozma, promptly.
  • I have sent messengers to summon all of Dorothy's old friends to meet her and give her welcome, and they ought to arrive very soon, now.
  • The Wizard was also most heartily welcomed by the straw man, who was an important personage in the Land of Oz.
  • "How are your brains?" enquired the little humbug, as he grasped the soft, stuffed hands of his old friend.
  • But Ozma soon conquered her, with the help of Glinda the Good, and after that I went to live with Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman.
  • I live on the fat of the land--don't I, Ozma?
  • Around Billina's neck was a string of beautiful pearls, and on her legs were bracelets of emeralds.
  • She nestled herself comfortably in Dorothy's lap until the kitten gave a snarl of jealous anger and leaped up with a sharp claw fiercely bared to strike Billina a blow.
  • "How horrid of you, Eureka!" cried Dorothy.
  • "Seems to me the same way," said Billina, scornfully, "if that beastly cat is one of them."
  • I won't have any quarrelling in the Land of Oz, I can tell you!
  • And now the Tin Woodman arrived, his body most beautifully nickle-plated, so that it shone splendidly in the brilliant light of the room.
  • The Tin Woodman loved Dorothy most tenderly, and welcomed with joy the return of the little old Wizard.
  • I was afraid it would get moldy in that tin body of yours.
  • But there is any quantity of oatmeal, which we often cook for breakfast.
  • They soon mixed a tub of oatmeal with a little water, and Jim ate it with much relish.
  • Then the servants heaped a lot of rugs upon the floor and the old horse slept on the softest bed he had ever known in his life.
  • The ends of the wooden legs were shod with plates of solid gold, and the saddle of the Princess Ozma, which was of red leather set with sparkling diamonds, was strapped to the clumsy body.
  • Jim's eyes stuck out as much as those of the Sawhorse, and he stared at the creature with his ears erect and his long head drawn back until it rested against his arched neck.
  • For goodness sake, what sort of a being are you?
  • "I do not doubt it," the Sawhorse observed, with a tone of pride.
  • I know I'm not much account; but I'm the only horse in all the Land of Oz, so they treat me with great respect.
  • Oh, not a real one, of course.
  • But I'm a splendid imitation of one.
  • You do not know the relief of brushing away a fly that has bitten you, nor the delight of eating delicious food, nor the satisfaction of drawing a long breath of fresh, pure air.
  • Your chief fault, my friend, is in being made of wood, and that I suppose you cannot help.
  • Real horses, like myself, are made of flesh and blood and bones.
  • The cab-horse was about to reply when suddenly he gave a start and a neigh of terror and stood trembling like a leaf.
  • Jim was in the act of plunging down the path to escape when the Sawhorse cried out:
  • This, noble Horse, is my friend the Cowardly Lion, who is the valiant King of the Forest, but at the same time a faithful vassal of Princess Ozma.
  • And this is the Hungry Tiger, the terror of the jungle, who longs to devour fat babies but is prevented by his conscience from doing so.
  • These royal beasts are both warm friends of little Dorothy and have come to the Emerald City this morning to welcome her to our fairyland.
  • "That is doubtless a matter of taste," returned the Lion.
  • "I'm glad of that," said Jim; "for I, also, have a conscience, and it tells me not to crush in your skull with a blow of my powerful hoof."
  • So let us cease this talk of skull crushing and converse upon more pleasant subjects.
  • Just then Dorothy, who had risen early and heard the voices of the animals, ran out to greet her old friends.
  • "What brought you back?" was the next question, and Dorothy's eye rested on an antlered head hanging on the wall just over the fireplace, and caught its lips in the act of moving.
  • I was then for a time the Head of the finest Flying Machine that was ever known to exist, and we did many wonderful things.
  • "That I have forgotten," replied the Gump's Head, "and I do not think it is of much importance.
  • Just then the girlish Ruler of Oz opened the door and greeted Dorothy with a good-morning kiss.
  • After breakfast Ozma announced that she had ordered a holiday to be observed throughout the Emerald City, in honor of her visitors.
  • First came the Imperial Cornet Band of Oz, dressed in emerald velvet uniforms with slashes of pea-green satin and buttons of immense cut emeralds.
  • The colors represented the four countries of Oz, and the green star the Emerald City.
  • Just behind the royal standard-bearers came the Princess Ozma in her royal chariot, which was of gold encrusted with emeralds and diamonds set in exquisite designs.
  • Tik-tok moved by clockwork, and was made all of burnished copper.
  • Then came Professor Woggle-Bug, with a group of students from the Royal College of Scientific Athletics.
  • The boys wore long hair and striped sweaters and yelled their college yell every other step they took, to the great satisfaction of the populace, which was glad to have this evidence that their lungs were in good condition.
  • The brilliantly polished Tin Woodman marched next, at the head of the Royal Army of Oz which consisted of twenty-eight officers, from Generals down to Captains.
  • Jim and the buggy followed, the old cab-horse being driven by Zeb while the Wizard stood up on the seat and bowed his bald head right and left in answer to the cheers of the people, who crowded thick about him.
  • This act he repeated until all of the nine tiny piglets were visible, and they were so glad to get out of his pocket that they ran around in a very lively manner.
  • When he had made them all disappear again Ozma declared she was sorry they were gone, for she wanted one of them to pet and play with.
  • There was enough material there to enable him to prepare several new tricks which he had learned from some of the jugglers in the circus, and he had passed part of the night in getting them ready.
  • They applauded all his tricks and at the end of the performance begged him earnestly not to go away again and leave them.
  • "Of course not," added Jim, with a touch of scorn; "those little wooden legs of yours are not half as long as my own."
  • "Of course not," added Jim, with a touch of scorn; "those little wooden legs of yours are not half as long as my own."
  • The object of a race is to see who can win it--or at least that is what my excellent brains think.
  • "I suppose I ought to give the wooden dummy a good start of me," growled Jim.
  • He has won the race, and won it fairly; but what can a horse of flesh do against a tireless beast of wood?
  • Hearing this apology the Tiger and the Lion stopped lashing their tails and retreated with dignified steps to the side of the Princess.
  • There was more applause at this, and then Ozma had the jewelled saddle replaced upon the Sawhorse and herself rode the victor back to the city at the head of the grand procession.
  • "I ought to be a fairy," grumbled Jim, as he slowly drew the buggy home; "for to be just an ordinary horse in a fairy country is to be of no account whatever.
  • "It's lucky we got here, though," said the boy; and Jim thought of the dark cave, and agreed with him.
  • Several days of festivity and merry-making followed, for such old friends did not often meet and there was much to be told and talked over between them, and many amusements to be enjoyed in this delightful country.
  • "I have hunted in every part of the room," the maid replied.
  • So the two went to the dressing-room of the Princess and searched carefully in every corner and among the vases and baskets and ornaments that stood about the pretty boudoir.
  • But not a trace could they find of the tiny creature they sought.
  • I'm not afraid of Ozma--or anyone else.
  • The piglet is gone, and you ran out of the room when Jellia opened the door.
  • So, if you are innocent, Eureka, you must tell the Princess how you came to be in her room, and what has become of the piglet.
  • "That's none of my business," growled the kitten.
  • Carry this cat away to prison, and keep her in safe confinement until she is tried by law for the crime of murder.
  • So the Captain-General took Eureka from the arms of the now weeping Dorothy and in spite of the kitten's snarls and scratches carried it away to prison.
  • He drew from his inside pocket one of the eight tiny piglets that were remaining and continued:
  • Princess Ozma, dressed in her most splendid robes of state, sat in the magnificent emerald throne, with her jewelled sceptre in her hand and her sparkling coronet upon her fair brow.
  • Behind her throne stood the twenty-eight officers of her army and many officials of the royal household.
  • "Your Royal Highness and Fellow Citizens," he began; "the small cat you see a prisoner before you is accused of the crime of first murdering and then eating our esteemed Ruler's fat piglet--or else first eating and then murdering it.
  • "Is this a trial of thoughts, or of kittens?" demanded the Woggle-Bug.
  • Of course; how else could I see it?
  • And we know the thing is true, because since the time of that interview there is no piglet to be found anywhere.
  • (Here Eureka bared her sharp claws and scratched at the bars of the cage.)
  • Would such a gentle animal be guilty of eating a fellow creature?
  • As the Princess held the white piglet in her arms and stroked its soft hair she said: Let Eureka out of the cage, for she is no longer a prisoner, but our good friend.
  • "In a room of the palace," he answered.
  • At this everyone in the Throne Room suddenly became quiet, and the kitten continued, in a calm, mocking tone of voice:
  • Instead of keeping still, so I could eat him comfortably, he trembled so with fear that he fell off the table into a big vase that was standing on the floor.
  • At first the piglet stuck in the neck of the vase and I thought I should get him, after all, but he wriggled himself through and fell down into the deep bottom part--and I suppose he's there yet.
  • When he returned the Princess looked down the narrow neck of the big ornament and discovered her lost piglet, just as Eureka had said she would.
  • And now, the trial being over, the good citizens of the Emerald City scattered to their homes, well content with the day's amusement.
  • Eureka was much surprised to find herself in disgrace; but she was, in spite of the fact that she had not eaten the piglet.
  • Dorothy was herself anxious to get home, so she promised Eureka they would not stay in the Land of Oz much longer.
  • Zeb also wanted to see his home, and although he did not find anyone morning for him, the sight of Hugson's Ranch in the picture made him long to get back there.
  • Then Dorothy wound up Tik-tok and he danced a jig to amuse the company, after which the Yellow Hen related some of her adventures with the Nome King in the Land of Ev.
  • The Princess served delicious refreshments to those who were in the habit of eating, and when Dorothy's bed time arrived the company separated after exchanging many friendly sentiments.
  • Next morning they all assembled for the final parting, and many of the officials and courtiers came to look upon the impressive ceremonies.
  • "Where is she?" asked Zeb, rather bewildered by the suddenness of it.
  • Just ahead of them were the gates of Hugson's Ranch, and Uncle Hugson now came out and stood with uplifted arms and wide open mouth, staring in amazement.
  • The storm has blown two of the little ones out of the nest.
  • Suddenly he stopped at the foot of a tree.
  • "I cannot think of leaving these little things here to be trampled upon," said the general.
  • He lifted the nest gently and put it in a safe place in the forks of the tree.
  • And in it were some odd little pictures, which he never grew tired of looking at.
  • They stopped by the side of the road and made their manners.
  • Then he took from his pocket a sheet of paper on which some verses were written.
  • The speech was not hard to learn, and Edward soon knew every word of it.
  • He grew up to become a famous man and one of our greatest orators.
  • Some of the children were pleased, and some were not.
  • Some of them thought that "Home" was a good subject.
  • He was the best loved of all our poets.
  • Yes, all of them.
  • One of his brothers asked to see the whistle.
  • It was his business to take care of the sheep which belonged to a rich landholder by the Ettrick Water.
  • Sometimes he had several hundreds of lambs to look after.
  • Sometimes he would take care of the whole flock while the shepherd was resting or eating his dinner.
  • One dark night James Hogg was on the hilltop with a flock of seven hundred lambs.
  • Some of them ran towards the east, some towards the west, and some towards the south.
  • The shepherd soon lost sight of them in the darkness.
  • At last James Hogg said, "It's of no use; all we can do is to go home and tell the master that we have lost his whole flock."
  • They had walked a mile or two towards home, when they came to the edge of a narrow and deep ravine.
  • They counted them and were surprised to find that not one lamb of the great flock of seven hundred was missing.
  • How had he managed to drive all the frightened little animals into this place of safety?
  • While watching his flocks, he spent much of his time in reading.
  • He loved poetry and soon began to write poems of his own.
  • The name of James Hogg became known all over Scotland.
  • He was often called the Ettrick Shepherd, because he was the keeper of sheep near the Ettrick Water.
  • Many of his poems are still read and loved by children as well as by grown up men and women.
  • Al Mansur loved poetry and was fond of hearing poets repeat their own verses.
  • "Which would you rather have" asked the caliph, "three hundred pieces of gold, or three wise sayings from my lips?"
  • Then he said, Listen now to my second word of wisdom.
  • Keep the third piece of wisdom for your own use, and let me have the gold.
  • Then he ordered his treasurer to pay the poet five hundred pieces of gold; for, indeed, the poem which he had recited was wonderfully fine.
  • He was the builder of a famous and beautiful city called Bagdad.
  • Thousands of years ago the greatest country, in the world was Egypt.
  • It was a beautiful land lying on both sides of the wonderful river Nile.
  • In it were many great cities; and from one end of it to the other there were broad fields of grain and fine pastures for sheep and cattle.
  • The people of Egypt were very proud; for they believed that they were the first and oldest of all nations.
  • All the people of the world were once Egyptians.
  • He tried first one plan and then another; but none of them proved anything at all.
  • He sent out among the poor people of the city and found two little babies who had never heard a word spoken.
  • He gave these to a shepherd and ordered him to bring them up among his sheep, far from the homes of men.
  • The shepherd led them gently back to the hut and gave them their usual supper of bread and milk.
  • Then the king called one of the wisest scholars in Egypt and asked him what the word meant.
  • This was an odd way of proving something, for, as every one can readily see, it proved nothing.
  • The feast was held in the grandest room of the palace.
  • All the noblest men of Persia [Footnote: Per'sia.] and Arabia [Footnote: A ra'bi a.] were there.
  • Then one of the officers, who was sitting near the poet, cried out: Stop!
  • Haroun-al-Raschid (Aaron the Just) was the greatest of all the caliphs of Bagdad.
  • Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
  • Listen, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
  • There were thousands of English soldiers in Boston.
  • These soldiers guarded the streets of the town; they would not let any one go out or come in without their leave.
  • If the people of Boston must fight for their liberty, we will help them.
  • These men were not afraid of the king's soldiers.
  • Some of them camped in Charlestown, [Footnote: Charles'town.] a village near Boston.
  • From the hills of Charlestown they could watch and see what the king's soldiers were doing.
  • One day a friend of his who lived in Boston came to see him.
  • Some of the king's soldiers are going to Concord to get the powder that is there.
  • I will stir up all the farmers between here and Concord, and those fellows will have a hot time of it.
  • Watch, and as soon as the soldiers are ready to start, hang a lantern in the tower of the old North Church.
  • The town seemed very still; but now and then he could hear the beating of a drum or the shouting of some soldier.
  • The moon rose, and by its light he could see the dim form of the church tower, far away.
  • Then another light flashed clear and bright by the side of the first one.
  • They could not see the speeding horse, but they heard the clatter of its hoofs far down the road, and they understood the cry, "Up! up! and defend yourselves!"
  • This, in history, is called the Battle of Lexington.
  • He was very proud to think of this, and he wished that he might grow up to be like them.
  • Men said that it was a very large wolf and that it had killed some of the farmers' sheep.
  • The mother sat down in the shade of a tree and began to read in a new book which she had bought the day before.
  • Then I will drag it out of the bushes and call mamma to come and see it.
  • He could see its shadow as he peeped out through the clusters of leaves.
  • How proud mamma will be of her brave boy!
  • He was the friend of Washington.
  • His name is remembered in our country as that of a brave and noble man.
  • "She killed three of my lambs last night," said the one whose name was David Brown.
  • They say she has a family of young wolves up there; and that is why she kills so many lambs.
  • We must put an end to this killing of lambs.
  • They tracked the beast to the mouth of a cave, far up on the hills.
  • Then he tied a rope around his waist and said to his friends, Take hold of the other end, boys.
  • At last he saw something in the darkness that looked like two balls of fire.
  • He knew that these were the eyes of the wolf.
  • There was not a sound inside of the cave.
  • There were no balls of fire to be seen now.
  • When the Revolutionary War began he was one of the first to hurry to Boston to help the people defend themselves against the British soldiers.
  • He became famous as one of the bravest and best of the generals who fought to make our country free.
  • To- day will decide whether Richard or Henry shall be king of England.
  • From a bar of iron he made four horseshoes.
  • Far away, at the other side of the field, King Richard saw his men falling back.
  • He was hardly halfway across the stony field when one of the horse's shoes flew off.
  • Henry became king of England.
  • For the want of a nail the shoe was lost; For the want of a shoe the horse was lost; For the want of a horse the battle was lost; For the failure of battle the kingdom was lost;-- And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
  • Richard the Third was one of England's worst kings.
  • Henry, the Duke of Richmond, made war upon him and defeated him in a great battle.
  • Instead of a trunk for his clothing, he carried a pair of saddlebags.
  • Instead of sitting at his ease in a parlor car, he went jolting along through mud and mire, exposed to wind and weather.
  • One day some men were sitting by the door of a hotel in Baltimore.
  • "There comes old Farmer Mossback," said one of the men, laughing.
  • "Oh, any kind of a place will suit him," answered the landlord.
  • He's one of those country fellows who can sleep in the haymow and eat with the horses.
  • Now, Mr. Boyle was a sporting neighbor who spent a good deal of time in shooting.
  • He was a great admirer of Dean Swift, and took pleasure in sending him presents of game.
  • The Dean took the rabbit and went out of the house.
  • And, by and by, I might become the captain of a ship.
  • George's brothers knew the master of a trading ship who was getting ready to sail to England.
  • He saw the kind faces of those whom he loved.
  • Who has not heard of George Washington?
  • He has been called the Father of his Country.
  • One day a traveler was walking through a part of Italy where a great many sheep were pasturing.
  • Near the top of a hill he saw a little shepherd boy who was lying on the ground while a flock of sheep and lambs were grazing around him.
  • It was the picture of a sheep, and it was drawn so well that the stranger was filled with astonishment.
  • My father works in the field, and I take care of the sheep.
  • I would teach you how to draw pictures of sheep and horses, and even of men, said the stranger.
  • The stranger's name was Cimabue.[Footnote: Cimabue (_pro_. she ma boo'a).] He was the most famous painter of the time.
  • His pictures were known and admired in every city of Italy.
  • In the city of Florence [Footnote: Flor'ence.] little Giotto saw some of the finest pictures in the world.
  • One day Cimabue was painting the picture of a man's face.
  • It was a good place for a fly, and I never thought of spoiling your picture.
  • "There are few men who can draw so good a picture of a fly," he said.
  • This happened six hundred years ago, in the city of Florence in Italy.
  • At one time he painted the picture of some fruit which was so real that the birds flew down and pecked at it.
  • This made him very proud of his skill.
  • There was another famous artist whose name was Parrhasius. When he heard of the boast which Zeuxis had made, he said to himself, "I will see what I can do."
  • It was that of a boy carrying a basket of ripe red cherries.
  • When he hung this painting outside of his door, some birds flew down and tried to carry the cherries away.
  • Suddenly the door was thrown open and the Queen of Sheba came in.
  • The wreaths were so nearly alike that none of those who were with the king could point out any difference.
  • "One of these wreaths." said the queen, "is made of flowers plucked from your garden.
  • The other is made of artificial flowers, shaped and colored by a skillful artist.
  • Not one of the bees so much as looked at those in her left hand.
  • So she told Benjamin to stay in the house and take care of his baby sister till she came back.
  • Then he thought what a pretty picture might be made of his sister's sweet face and little hands.
  • He had no pencil, but there was a piece of black charcoal on the hearth.
  • So busy was he with the drawing that he did not think of anything else.
  • "It's only a picture of the baby, mother," he said.
  • A picture of the baby!
  • It may be that the hand of the Lord is in this.
  • Several weeks afterward, there came a visitor to the home of the Wests.
  • And the words of the old minister came true.
  • The pictures of Benjamin West made him famous.
  • He was eight years old when he heard about the ride of Paul Revere and the famous fight at Lexington.
  • The king's soldiers were sent into every part of the country.
  • "I am going to help drive those red-coated British out of the country," he said to his mother.
  • He was not afraid of anything.
  • The slim, tall boy seemed to grow taller, as he answered, "I'll not be the servant of any Englishman that ever lived."
  • He was elected to Congress, he was chosen judge of the supreme court of Tennessee, he was appointed general in the army, and lastly he was for eight years the president of the United States.
  • But our neighbor, Johnson, is sending the nag to Exeter for the use of a lady who is to ride back with me.
  • He does me a favor by allowing you to ride on the animal, and I do him a favor by taking care of it.
  • Then the master thought of a plan.
  • The next one that whispers must come out and stand in the middle of the floor.
  • Then all became very good and very careful, for no one wished to be standing at the time of dismissal.
  • Now Lucy was the pet of the school.
  • Then, suddenly, an awkward half-grown boy who sat right in front of the master's desk turned squarely around and whispered to Tommy Jones, three desks away.
  • The pictures were painted by hand, and some of them were very beautiful.
  • They thought more of hunting and fighting than of learning.
  • "But the best part of it is the story which it tells," said their mother.
  • Now I have a mind to give this book to one of you
  • His mother unlocked her cabinet and took the precious volume from its place of safe keeping.
  • Who lives on the other side of the world?
  • When eight years of age he was the best scholar at the famous school at Harrow.
  • He became one of the most famous scholars in the world.
  • He was noted for his great knowledge, the most of which he had obtained from books.
  • Although his father was a king, Cyrus was brought up like the son of a common man.
  • Cyrus was so tall and strong and handsome that his grandfather was very proud of him.
  • The tables were to be laden with all kinds of food.
  • The feast is ready, but no one has come to partake of it.
  • And the rest he divided among the young women who took care of his mother.
  • The king's cupbearer, Sarcas, was very much offended because he was not given a share of the feast.
  • He saw that Cyrus had a will of his own, and this pleased him very much.
  • He was dressed in the rich uniform of the cupbearer, and he came forward with much dignity and grace.
  • He carried a white napkin upon his arm, and held the cup of wine very daintily with three of his fingers.
  • It is the rule and custom of the cupbearer to pour out a little of the wine and taste it before handing the cup to me.
  • After the guests had drunk quite a little of it, they began to talk foolishly and sing loudly; and some of them went to sleep.
  • When Cyrus became a man, he succeeded his father as king of Persia; he also succeeded his grandfather Astyages as king of Media.
  • He was a very wise and powerful ruler, and he made his country the greatest of any that was then known.
  • There was a caliph of Persia whose name was Al Mamoun. He had two sons whom he wished to become honest and noble men.
  • One day, after lesson hours, Al Farra rose to go out of the house.
  • The two boys ran for the teacher's shoes, and each claimed the honor of carrying them to him.
  • When the caliph heard of this he sent for Al Farra and asked him, "Who is the most honored of men?"
  • The teacher answered, "I know of no man who is more honored than yourself."
  • It is the man who rose to go out, and two young princes contended for the honor of giving him his shoes but at last agreed that each should offer him one.
  • I hope that I shall never do anything to make them careless of their duties.
  • They did nothing that was beneath the dignity of princes.
  • This was one of their first lessons at home and at school.
  • So it was arranged that the boy should travel with a small company of merchants who were going to the same place.
  • Some of the men rode on camels, some on horses.
  • Suddenly, towards evening, a band of robbers swooped down upon them.
  • "Well, boy, what have you got?" asked one of the robbers, as he pulled Otanes from his horse.
  • "Forty pieces of gold" answered the lad.
  • He had never heard of a boy with so much money as that.
  • You can't make me believe that, said the robber; and he hurried away to rob one of the rich merchants.
  • At length the chief of the band called to Otanes and said, "Young fellow, have you anything worth taking?"
  • Otanes answered, I have already told two of your men that I have forty pieces of gold in my hat.
  • He thought of the number of times that he himself had been a coward.
  • Mount your horse, and my own men will ride with you and see that you reach the end of your journey in safety.
  • Otanes, in time, became one of the famous men of his country.
  • He was the advisor and friend of two of the kings who succeeded Cyrus.
  • He plundered cities, he burned towns, he destroyed thousands of lives.
  • At last, far in the East, he came to a land of which he had never heard.
  • The shah, or ruler of these people, went out to meet Alexander and welcome him to their country.
  • I came to learn the customs of your people.
  • "Well, it is this way," answered the man: "I bought a piece of ground from this neighbor of mine, and paid him a fair price for it.
  • Yesterday, when I was digging in it, I found a box full of gold and jewels.
  • "Yes, a young man of promise," was the answer.
  • He had given them a great deal of trouble, and they wished to destroy him.
  • It was very deep, and there was no way to climb out of it.
  • So a party of soldiers led him up into the mountain and placed him on the edge of the yawning hole in the rocks.
  • Some of the Greeks said that an eagle caught him in her beak and carried him unharmed to the bottom.
  • I think that he must have fallen upon some bushes and vines that grew in some parts of the chasm.
  • He groped around in the dim light, but could not find any way of escape.
  • Something was moving among the rocks at the bottom of the chasm.
  • At last he saw a ray of light far ahead of him.
  • He let go of the fox, and it ran out.
  • Some days after this the Spartans heard strange news: "Aristomenes is again at the head of the Greek army."
  • Did you ever hear of King Charles the Twelfth, of Sweden?
  • One day he was in the midst of a great battle.
  • He called to one of his officers and bade him sit down and write a short order for him.
  • The officer began to write, but just as he finished the first word, a bomb came through the roof of the house and struck the floor close by him.
  • One day, to the great joy of all, some ships arrived from another country.
  • The rulers of the city met to decide what should be done with the corn.
  • But one of the rulers was not willing to do this.
  • When the people heard about this speech of the rich man, Coriolanus, they were very angry.
  • They did not kill him, but they drove him out of the city and bade him never return.
  • Coriolanus made his way to the city of Antium, [Footnote: Antium (_pro._ an'shi um).] which was not far from Rome.
  • The people of Antium were enemies of the Romans and had often been at war with them.
  • So they welcomed Coriolanus very kindly and made him the general of their army.
  • Soon, at the head of a very great army, he marched toward the city which had once been his home.
  • The rude soldiers of Antium overran all the country around Rome.
  • The Romans answered, We must have time to think of this matter.
  • Give us a few days to learn what sort of laws you will make for us, and then we will say whether we can submit to them or not.
  • There seemed to be no way to escape the anger of this furious man.
  • Behind them followed a long procession of the women of Rome.
  • Then he commanded his army to march back to the city of Antium.
  • The king of Corinth was his friend.
  • The people of Corinth never grew tired of praising his sweet music.
  • The ship was driven far out of her course.
  • Many days passed before they came in sight of land.
  • When they heard that Arion had a large sum of money with him they began to make plans to get it.
  • But they had made up their minds to get rid of him.
  • Then he sang a wonderful song, so sweet, so lively, so touching, that many of the sailors were moved to tears.
  • What news can you give me concerning my friend Arion, the sweetest of all musicians?
  • He has a mind to spend the rest of his life in that country.
  • Old story-tellers say that he alighted on the back of a large fish, called a dolphin, which had been charmed by his music and was swimming near the ship.
  • Then, full of joy, the musician hastened to Corinth, not stopping even to change his dress.
  • The name of Arion is still remembered as that of a most wonderful musician.
  • He lived more than seven hundred years ago in a quaint little town of Italy.
  • His name was Francis, and because of his goodness, all men now call him St. Francis.
  • He spoke of the birds as his little brothers of the air, and he could never bear to see them harmed.
  • At Christmas time he scattered crumbs of bread under the trees, so that the tiny creatures could feast and be happy.
  • Once when a boy gave him a pair of doves which he had snared, St. Francis had a nest made for them, and the mother bird laid her eggs in it.
  • By and by, the eggs hatched, and a nestful of young doves grew up.
  • They were so tame that they sat on the shoulders of St. Francis and ate from his hand.
  • And many other stories are told of this man's great love and pity for the timid creatures which lived in the fields and woods.
  • You toil not, neither do you spin, yet God takes care of you and your little ones.
  • And when he had blessed them, all began to sing; and the whole forest was filled with sweetness and joy because of their wonderful melodies.
  • When Aesop was about twenty years old his master lost a great deal of money and was obliged to sell his slaves.
  • A number of bundles were made up for them to carry.
  • Some of these bundles contained the things they would need on the road; some contained clothing; and some contained goods which the master would sell in the city.
  • There is one for each of you.
  • And before the end of the journey Aesop had nothing to carry, while the other slaves were groaning under their heavy loads.
  • As the slaves stood before him he asked each one to tell what kind of work he could do.
  • So each one boasted of his skill in doing some sort of labor.
  • One was a fine gardener; another could take care of horses; a third was a good cook; a fourth could manage a household.
  • This answer pleased the rich man so well that he bought Aesop at once, and took him to his home on the island of Samos.
  • They saw that all these fables taught some great truth, and they wondered how Aesop could have thought of them.
  • Many other stories are told of this wonderful slave.
  • Each one told of some plan by which to keep out of her way.
  • "Now which of you will hang this bell on the Cat's neck?" said the old gray Mouse.
  • Listen, and I will tell you of the famous dark day in Connecticut.
  • There was not a breath of wind to stir the young leaves on the trees.
  • Then, about the middle of the day, it began to grow dark.
  • The women wept, and some of the men prayed.
  • "The end of the world has come!" cried some; and they ran about in the darkness.
  • In the old statehouse, the wise men of Connecticut were sitting.
  • "It is the day of the Lord." said one.
  • I do not know whether the end of the world has come or not.
  • Then with his strong face aglow in their feeble light, he made a speech in favor of a law to help poor fishermen.
  • The people of Connecticut still remember Abraham Davenport, because he was a wise judge and a brave lawmaker.
  • The innkeeper spoke of the weather, of the roads, of the crops, of politics.
  • He had not gone farther than to the end of the innkeeper's field, when to his surprise he found that the road forked.
  • He called to him:--"My friend, which of these roads shall I travel to go to Lynchburg?"
  • He went far out of his way and lost much time, all on account of his surliness.
  • John Randolph, of Roanoke, lived in Virginia one hundred years ago.
  • He was a member of Congress for many years, and was noted for his odd manners and strong self- will.
  • Once his ship was sailing in the great Pacific Ocean, It was four hundred miles from the coast of South America.
  • The very next day they came in sight of a little green island.
  • There were groves of trees near the shore, and high hills beyond them.
  • "What is the name of this island?" asked Selkirk.
  • Then four of the sailors rowed him to the shore and left him there.
  • Then Selkirk set to work to make the best of things.
  • There were pigs and goats on the island, and plenty of fish could be caught from the shore.
  • So there was always plenty of food.
  • I will try to make friends instead of enemies.
  • When he reached Scotland everybody was eager to hear him tell of his adventures, and he soon found himself famous.
  • When Daniel Defoe heard how Selkirk had lived alone on the island of Juan Fernandez, he said to himself: Here is something worth telling about.
  • So he sat down and wrote a wonderful story, which he called "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe."
  • Every boy has heard of Robinson Crusoe.
  • He talked with some of the sailors.
  • He could not think of anything else.
  • He built a house of some sticks and vines.
  • It was Carl's duty to sit outside of the king's bedroom and be ready to serve him at any time.
  • The king was about to waken him roughly, when he saw a piece of paper on the floor beside him.
  • I know how you must have been overwearied with long hours of watching.
  • You may send the gold pieces to your mother with my compliments; and tell her that the king will take care of both her and you.
  • What boy or girl has not heard the story of King Robert Brace and the spider?
  • I will tell you another story of the same brave and famous king.
  • Many of his best friends had been killed or captured.
  • The woman answered, "All travelers are welcome for the sake of one; and you are welcome"
  • He is the rightful lord of this country.
  • They heard the tramping of horses and the voices of a number of men.
  • "I saw two hundred of them in the village below us," said one of his officers.
  • They are resting there for the night and have no fear of danger from us.
  • Soon he became the real king and ruler of all Scotland,
  • But at last his army was beaten; his men were scattered; and Tamerlane fled alone from the field of battle.
  • One day he was lying under a tree, thinking of his misfortunes.
  • The ant was carrying a grain of wheat as large as itself.
  • As Tamerlane looked, he saw that there was a hole in the tree only a little way above, and that this was the home of the ant.
  • But it still held on to the grain of wheat.
  • A second time it tried to carry its load up the rough trunk of the tree, and a second time it failed.
  • Of what other story does this remind you?
  • "I will take one of those turkeys," he said.
  • "Who is that polite old gentleman who carried my turkey for me?" he asked of the market man.
  • That is John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • He is one of the greatest men in our country, was the answer.
  • What sort of lesson?
  • When they wanted to move the boat from one place to another they had to pole it; that is, they pushed against a long pole, the lower end of which reached the bottom of the stream.
  • "This is slow work, Robert," said the older of the boys as they were poling up the river to a new fishing place.
  • I think there ought to be some better way of moving a boat.
  • After a great deal of tinkering and trying, they did succeed in making two paddle wheels.
  • They fastened each of these wheels to the end of an iron rod which they passed through the boat from side to side.
  • "Oh, I have thought of that," said Robert.
  • He took something like an oarlock from his pocket and fastened it to the stern of the boat; then with a paddle which worked in this oarlock one of the boys could guide the boat while the other turned the paddle wheels.
  • "I wonder why we didn't think of something like that long ago," said his father.
  • He is now remembered and honored as the inventor of the steamboat.
  • There was once a caliph of Cordova whose name was Al Mansour.
  • The caliph was so well pleased with these jewels that he bought them and paid the merchant a large sum of money.
  • The merchant put the gold in a bag of purple silk which he tied to his belt underneath his long cloak.
  • He put the bag of money on top of them and then leaped into the water.
  • He jumped out of the water and shouted again.
  • The next morning the caliph called ten of his officers before him.
  • Do you know of any person who was once poor but who has lately and suddenly become well-to-do?
  • Most of the old men answered that they did not know of any such person.
  • A few said that there was one man in their neighborhood who seemed to have had some sort of good luck.
  • At sight of his lost treasure, the merchant began to dance and shout for joy.
  • The gardener answered: A year ago, as I was spading in my garden, I saw something fall at the foot of a palm tree.
  • I ran to pick it up and was surprised to find that it was a bag full of bright gold pieces.
  • "It was this way," said the gardener: "I looked at the gold pieces, and then thought of my own great necessities.
  • My wife and children were suffering from the want of food and clothing.
  • But, as I came to your palace this morning, I kept saying to myself, 'When our lord Al Mansour learns just how it was that I borrowed the gold, I have no doubt that in his kindness of heart he will forgive me the debt.'
  • He took the bag of money and handed it to the merchant.
  • Saying this, he ordered that ten gold pieces be given to the merchant in place of those that were lacking.
  • The land around it was rugged, with only a few fields in the midst of a vast forest.
  • It was a place where good people, and timid, helpless people could find shelter in time of war.
  • One cold night in winter the serving men of the abbey were gathered in the great kitchen.
  • Out of doors the wind was blowing.
  • The men heard it as it whistled through the trees and rattled the doors of the abbey.
  • "Yes, a song! a song!" shouted some of the others.
  • The woodman stirred the fire until the flames leaped high and the sparks flew out of the roof hole.
  • He sang of war, and of bold rough deeds, and of love and sorrow.
  • The woodman sang of the wild forest; the plowman sang of the fields; the shepherd sang of his sheep; and those who listened forgot about the storm and the cold weather.
  • At last, just as the blacksmith was in the midst of a stirring song, he rose quietly and went out into the darkness.
  • Inside of the great kitchen, beside the fire, the men were shouting and laughing; for the blacksmith had finished his song, and it was very pleasing.
  • "Caedmon, the keeper of the cows," answered the chief cook.
  • All around him were the cows of the abbey, some chewing their cuds, and others like their master quietly sleeping.
  • "Sing of the creation," was the answer.
  • At length, others of the servants heard him, and were entranced by his wonderful song.
  • And one ran quickly and told the good abbess, or mistress of the abbey, what strange thing had happened.
  • So Caedmon was led into the great hall of the abbey.
  • And all of the sweet-faced sisters and other women of the place listened while he sang again the wonderful song of the creation.
  • And Caedmon, the poor cowherd of the abbey, was the first great poet of England.
  • It was the wish of his father and mother that every day of his life should be a day of perfect happiness.
  • He had never seen nor heard of sorrow or sickness or poverty.
  • Everything that was evil or disagreeable had been carefully kept out of his sight.
  • He knew only of those things that give joy and health and peace.
  • But one day after he had become a man, he said: Tell me about the great world which, you say, lies outside of these palace walls.
  • "Then to-morrow I will go out and see some of those things," he said.
  • The next morning, Gautama sat in his carriage and rode out from the palace into one of the streets of the city.
  • Is he some new kind of man?
  • They passed out into the open country and saw the cottages of the poor people.
  • By the door of one of these a sick man was lying upon a couch, helpless and pale.
  • "Why is that man lying there at this time of day?" asked the prince.
  • Soon they saw a company of men toiling by the roadside.
  • "Most of the people in the world are poor," said the coachman.
  • And to this day, millions of people remember and honor the name of Gautama, as that of the great lover of men.
  • At one end of the room there was a big fireplace, where the mother did the cooking.
  • And in the middle was a rough table with benches around it instead of chairs.
  • He might be seen every day with a bag of charcoal on his back, carrying it to some of his customers.
  • Sometimes he carried three or four bags to the palace where the little king of France lived with his mother.
  • I thought of the big fire in the queen's kitchen, and knew that the cook would never allow a half-drowned child to be carried into that fine place.
  • Then I thought of our own warm little house, and how snug we could make him until he came to his senses again.
  • The father cut slices from a loaf of brown bread.
  • "Of course she will be glad to know that," said the boy; "but she has no time to bother about me to-night."
  • "Mine gives me fine clothes and plenty of money to spend," said the stranger.
  • Before Mrs. Jacquot could open it, some one called out, "Is this the house of Jacquot, the charcoal man?"
  • They were all dressed very finely, and some of them carried swords.
  • A tall man who wore a long red cloak seemed to be the leader of the company.
  • "Well," said the soldier, "about two hours ago I was on guard at the gate of the queen's park.
  • He had just noticed that the king was wearing poor Charlot's Sunday suit instead of his own.
  • "Think what your mother would say if she saw you in the clothes of a poor man's son." said the cardinal.
  • Think of what all the fine ladies would say.
  • Louis the Fourteenth became king of France when he was only five years old.
  • One day King Henry the Fourth of France was hunting in a large forest.
  • As he came out of the forest he saw a little boy by the roadside, who seemed to be watching for some one.
  • "They say that King Henry always has a number of men with him," said the boy; "how shall I know which is he?"
  • Soon they came into the main road where a number of the king's men were waiting.
  • One morning, long ago, a merchant of Miletus [Footnote: Mile'tus.] was walking along the seashore.
  • "Well, I will give three pieces of silver for all that are in the net," answered the merchant.
  • Be they many or few, you may have all for three pieces of silver.
  • In a few minutes the big net was pulled up out of the water.
  • Then one of the fishermen said, "Let us ask the governor about it and do as he shall bid us."
  • People from all parts of the world sent to it, to tell it their troubles and get its advice.
  • Give not the merchant nor the fishermen the prize; But give it to that one who is wisest of the wise.
  • So the governor called two of his trusted officers and told them to carry the tripod to Priene and offer it to Bias.
  • Tell the wise man why you bring it, and repeat to him the words of the oracle.
  • I am not the wisest of the wise.
  • The name of Pittacus was known all over the world.
  • The people of his country had made him their king; but as soon as he had made good laws for them he gave up his crown.
  • One of his mottoes was this: "Whatever you do, do it well."
  • Give not the merchant nor the fishermen the prize; But give it to that one who is wisest of the wise.
  • "It is well," said he, "that neither a merchant nor a fisherman shall have it; for such men think only of their business and care really nothing for beauty."
  • "We agree with you," said the messengers; "and we present the prize to you because you are the wisest of the wise."
  • I should be delighted to own so beautiful a piece of workmanship, but I know I am not worthy.
  • He is the handsomest and strongest of men, and I believe he is the wisest also.
  • The messengers went on until they came at last to the island of Rhodes.
  • They told him that it was not for sale, but that it was to be given to the wisest of the wise.
  • Everybody had heard of Periander, king of Corinth.
  • Some had heard of his great learning, and others had heard of his selfishness and cruelty.
  • Do I look like the wisest of the wise?
  • They had never heard of Chilon, for his name was hardly known outside of his own country.
  • The oracle at Delphi has ordered that it shall be given to the wisest of wise men, and for that reason we have brought it to you.
  • He was the chief ruler of that great city.
  • All the people whom they saw spoke in praise of his wisdom.
  • "We have offered the prize to each one of them," said the messengers, "and each one has refused it."
  • Carry it to Delphi and leave it there in the Temple of Apollo; for Apollo is the fountain of wisdom, the wisest of the wise.
  • The famous men of whom I have told you in this story are commonly called the Seven Wise Men of Greece.
  • But all along, they believed they would ultimately prevail—and not just win the war, but also do something epic that would change the course of history for all time.
  • It is a simple premise and yet, at the same time, an article of faith—a faith that the future would be better than the past.
  • The speech he gave in September 1962, announcing that goal, spent a good amount of time justifying the expense and explaining the urgency.
  • Think of the optimism!
  • And this man was saying we were going to the moon in a rocket ship made of metals we hadn't even invented.
  • They may have missed on specifics (such as each of us owning a personal jet pack and a flying car) but in general were dead-on.
  • Through some perfect storm of wars, downturns, and disasters, the once-sunny outlook turned dark.
  • Analysts declared each successive generation might be "the first to have a lower standard of living than their parents."
  • Scarcity was the new watchword as the focus turned to all the problems of the future, not all the possibilities.
  • I see how human ingenuity and new technologies have eliminated previously insoluble problems once we stand back and let free markets do what they do best: direct the allocation of capital to find a solution.
  • I also see the pace of problem solving—and change in general—accelerating at an astonishing rate.
  • There is no hieroglyph for the word "progress" because the very idea of progress didn't exist.
  • Very little would change in this seventy-year stretch of life.
  • Most people haven't even tried because we cannot reasonably imagine a way by which we can be rid of them.
  • There is no reason any of them have to be.
  • In the end, our fundamental challenge is to become better individuals, and technology offers little help on that front; it is up to each one of us to solve that for ourselves.
  • I am also a historian with a full understanding of how poverty, disease, ignorance, famine, and war have dominated life on this planet.
  • Could you have foreseen that the advent of a technology called "air conditioning" in homes would alter the social fabric of the nation?
  • And because of this, we would therefore lose the inevitable relationships that naturally formed?
  • That this democratization of information and opinion would lead to vigorous debate and encourage a young monk to question the church?
  • First, in the magnitude of what it claims, and second, in the degree to which it differs from what pessimists predict.
  • This viewpoint seems reasonable because it is largely consistent with our everyday experience of life.
  • A wild-eyed, crazed techno-optimist of the nineteenth century concluded that in fifty years there would be a telephone in every town in America.
  • The second methodology error that futurists often commit is the exact opposite of the first.
  • Bad science fiction plots, speculating on futures which could not really happen, are the worst examples of this.
  • A third way to predict the future that I believe is reliable rejects both the slavish following of the straight line and the purely speculative approach.
  • It seemed as if no one saw that coming because, frankly, no one could conceive of it happening.
  • History is full of radical breaks with the past that only seem to have come out of nowhere but were, in fact, predictable.
  • It repeats itself because it is the record of the choices of people.
  • When we look at this record of the choices of people, we see a wide range of behaviors.
  • At the very least, history can clearly show the range of outcomes that are likely.
  • When new technology comes out, we generally understand it in terms of what it displaces.
  • This is not a shortcoming of our imaginations but rather a simple reality.
  • When contemplating the future, our only point of reference is present reality.
  • Whether things in the future stay the same as they are today or change from what they are today, both are understood in terms of the current reality.
  • Because television was radio with pictures, the first television shows were simply men in suits standing in front of microphones reading the news.
  • It took a decade or two for the new medium to be seen in light of itself, not just in terms of what it displaced.
  • The 1920s to 1950s renderings of what people thought the future would look like are full of things like personal jetpacks and flying cars.
  • And I think that helps explain why no one quite foresaw the rise of the Internet: because it doesn't have an offline corollary of its own.
  • The future of cars?
  • This tendency to only be able to see new technology as an extension of the old is exactly the phenomena we have seen with the Internet.
  • Because its meaning has to be imputed, we have tended to describe it in terms of prior technologies—which, in many cases, understates its potential by many orders of magnitude.
  • My point is: While the Internet does all those things, it is not accurate to say the Internet is only any one of them.
  • The essence of my car is that it takes me places I want to go.
  • We are at the point, finally, where we are seeing uses of the Internet that have no offline corollary.
  • Think, for example, of Twitter.
  • The mark of these technologies is that they are greeted with universal skepticism at first.
  • That is because they seem so far out of the daily experience of most people that they cannot conceive of how or why they would use them.
  • But sometimes it is hard to tell them apart when we don't have an offline frame of reference.
  • All of us, through the choices we make.
  • When it comes to starting a new business, nothing that previously existed can rival the Internet in terms of both ease of entry and breadth of potential.
  • She reasons: When we think of social networks, we are individualistic in our approach.
  • We post pictures, the progress of our relationship, and people can follow our "us" page.
  • I can't think of anything offline to compare it to.
  • She gets web hosting set up for the princely sum of $30 a month.
  • She creates premium services on her site that cost just $9.95 a year that include a number of additional features and virtual goods.
  • A friend of hers who is a florist asks if she can advertise on the site.
  • Another friend tells her either member of the couple should be able to instantly remove the couple page when the relationship goes sour.
  • The choices we make to test options never before contemplated will tell us all kinds of new things about ourselves.
  • What is the significance of this?
  • Think about it this way: All the technology accumulated from the dawn of time to today has given us a certain amount of processing power.
  • I spend less time waiting for Excel to do a recalculation of my formulas today than I did on my 386 in the 1990s, even though my spreadsheets are thousands of times more complex.
  • I doubt you need me to prove these assertions—they are probably part of your daily experience.
  • But a single example will suffice to illustrate the whole.
  • At this point, if you follow my reasoning, we have established at least the possibility of a bright future.
  • From this period came some of humanity's greatest masterpieces, including St. Peter's Basilica, Da Vinci's Last Supper, Michelangelo's Pieta, and hundreds of other instantly recognizable artistic treasures.
  • Though it isn't so much a time as a state of mind, historians plot the Renaissance as moving around Europe for a couple of centuries.
  • When the conquest of the city seemed inevitable, a great "brain drain" of scholars, artists, teachers, theologians, and the wealthy emigrated to Western Europe, especially to Italy.
  • The arrival of these texts—as well as Byzantium's own architecture, science, and art—triggered a sensory and intellectual explosion, which became the cultural movement we now call the Renaissance.
  • Its reawakening of the arts derived chiefly from seeking to recapture something thought lost from a past Golden Age.
  • Only after the public grew weary of this did printers go off in search of completely new books, called novels to mark their newness.
  • Unquestionably, an extraordinary amount of talent was present during the Renaissance.
  • It was, however—and this is sure to earn me the wrath of many humanities professors—a time of surprisingly little originality.
  • But the Internet Renaissance dwarfs by a hundredfold, a thousandfold, the Renaissance of Europe.
  • In the Italian Renaissance, only a thin veneer of society's elites participated in the creation or ownership of the frescos, music, statues, and paintings; most were only passive observers.
  • In these early days of the Internet Renaissance, the number of great masters is in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds.
  • The amount of writing we are talking about is staggering.
  • As I write this, something like fifty million blogs and billions of blog posts are online.
  • Millions comment on movies, millions write reviews of products.
  • Uncounted millions more post questions in forums, and millions of answers are posted in response.
  • All forms of online media are exploding in a similar fashion.
  • The Internet has made distributing music easy and has unleashed an astonishing amount of new material.
  • This begs the question, "Is any of it any good, really?"
  • In fact, it's likelier that kids of that day were forbidden by proper parents from hanging out at the Globe Theater.
  • Now, of course, much of what is on YouTube is not art.
  • And in our Internet Renaissance, aren't we seeing an explosion of these same things at a spectacularly more massive scale?
  • Do I need to prove we have an explosion of technological progress dwarfing the wildest dreams of any age?
  • But the inventors of our age have put a billion transistors on an area the size of a postage stamp.
  • In the Italian Renaissance, people of wealth distinguished themselves by their altruistic endeavors.
  • On top of the common-good projects supported with our tax dollars, almost all of us—certainly not just the wealthy—have causes we support.
  • The Internet has allowed for the creation of thousands of new ways to give, both time and money.
  • Today, there are modern-day Da Vincis living in parts of the world where just surviving is a full-time occupation, powerless to develop the gifts they could offer the wider world.
  • Imagine a world where everyone on the planet has access to this expanded canvas of human expression that technology has created.
  • Imagine a thousand new arts, none of which are even invented yet, each with a thousand new great masters.
  • On the morning of June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo by nineteen-year-old assassin Gavrilo Princip.
  • World War II ushered in the age of nuclear weapons.
  • Its end led directly to the Cold War, which consumed inconceivable amounts of money and almost pushed the world to the brink of nuclear devastation.
  • He turned onto Franz Josef Street, where he was not supposed to have been, and drove right in front of a surprised Princip.
  • Princip seized the opportunity and fired into the open car at a range of five feet, killing them both.
  • A single bad bit of data.
  • A tiny piece of ignorance.
  • Maybe it was inevitable at that point that some spark would set off the powder keg of Europe.
  • Maybe a bad piece of information did lead to the deaths of millions.
  • It does so in orders of magnitude better than what came before it—libraries—but only better, not differently.
  • Now all of a sudden, ideas were persistent.
  • In fact, the book could survive for centuries, as could new perfect copies of the book, and thus the ideas could be distributed.
  • This led to the creation of large libraries all around the world—and this was a problem.
  • The most famous of these was the Oracle at Delphi.
  • The emissaries, who themselves did not know the correct answer, were to bring the replies of the oracles back to the king.
  • And Croesus was so amazed that he endowed the Oracle at Delphi with all kinds of gifts and planned to run all-important questions by this oracle.
  • Scholars today are pretty sure that in the case of Delphi, the oracle was inadvertently breathing gases that rose from the cave in which she sat.
  • Think of how the computer in the Star Trek universe was a purely factual machine.
  • We will finally be able to build an oracle, and we will use that tool, that collection of life experiences, to optimize our own lives.
  • Search engines have done a fabulous job tackling this problem, even given the vast, vast, amounts of information added to the Internet every day.
  • When I go to far-flung places, I often know little of local customs and, through ignorance, I have committed more than one faux pas.
  • I define wisdom as deriving a course of action from applying a value system to a situation.
  • By "the end of ignorance," I mean a world where everyone everywhere will be able to go through life making wise decisions based on near-perfect information.
  • More and more of your everyday life leaves such an echo.
  • Your credit card statement captures an accurate, albeit extremely abbreviated, record of your comings and goings.
  • Not just that you went to a certain address but that the address was a movie theater and—based on where you sat and that you ordered tickets online—you saw Episode VII of Star Wars.
  • Why would you want a record of this?
  • A complete Digital Echo of your life.
  • Schell regards sensors largely in terms of gameplay—but for our purposes, think of them passively logging your life.
  • The statement is not there because you want the log per se but because the logging of the actions is what documents how much you need to pay.
  • That said, if I had to pick one function I think the Internet will turn out to "be," it is this: The Internet will become a repository and a set of applications for storing the sum total of all life experiences of all people on earth.
  • It will be the collective memory and experience of the planet.
  • Well, that tells us something new about ourselves—in fact, a lot of things: the kinds of information we want to share, the kinds of information we want to consume, and the immediacy with which we want it all to occur.
  • I know the list of nefarious uses of the Internet—but on balance, we are building it for good purposes.
  • The Internet is full of sites that offer good to humanity and yield no profit for the people working on them.
  • The Open Directory Project—where fifty thousand editors try to organize the web into a directory of sites for no reward at all—comes instantly to mind.
  • Of course, Wikipedia is another textbook example where people toil for no payment, and anonymously as well.
  • All they gain is a sense of contributing.
  • People who take time out of their schedule to do something that helps just one person.
  • The open source movement and Creative Commons licensing are examples of people willing to share their intellectual labor to help others.
  • We are talking about a setting to your Digital Echo file that says, "Information that isn't tied to me personally can be contributed to pools of rolled-up data."
  • Of course, privacy protection will be key.
  • They will become part of the solution.
  • And they will see how this information will be used to better the lives of other people in very real ways.
  • Knowledge often consists of the rolled-up conclusions from many pieces of data.
  • Finally, when I use the word "wisdom," I am talking about applying a value system to knowledge to suggest a course of action.
  • Think about notable astronomers of centuries past, who collected their own data through years of careful observation.
  • Or early climatologists who made their own daily observations of precipitation and barometric pressure, interpreting as well as collecting readings.
  • Even today, the scientific method involves experimentation that almost always necessitates some amount of data collection.
  • Remember Eric Schmidt's statement that more information is created every two days than in all of human history prior to 2003?
  • In our modern age, people disagree not just in terms of values they apply to knowledge, but they disagree on actual pieces of knowledge.
  • These are not differences of values but disagreements in terms of knowledge.
  • This unique phenomenon will pass as we learn to cope with vast amounts of data.
  • We will be completely insulated from the collecting and researching of data so that we can focus entirely on turning data into knowledge.
  • This technological shift will have profound effects on the course of human history.
  • Instead of science proceeding at the slow speed of time, the only limit on its progress will be processor speed—and those two speeds hardly can be compared.
  • You could ask it, "What is the number of presidents of the United States born on Friday who have older sisters, multiplied by the number of wars lost by Bolivia?" and it could instantly give you an answer.
  • Up until now, we have thought of the Internet as a place to store information, and we have depended upon search engines to help us find it.
  • Or that a certain group of people who do a seemingly unrelated set of a dozen activities report levels of happiness higher than average?
  • Why are there fewer traffic jams in one certain city than in any other of its size?
  • The ability of science and technology to improve human life is known to us.
  • Simple measures of GNP and prosperity vastly underreport this.
  • And yet, by the coarse measures we use, in a sense we have the same level of prosperity because we both have cars.
  • GNP and "standard of living" measurements don't capture this.
  • To make my case that machines will bring about the end of ignorance, I begin with a company I admire: Amazon.com, the world's largest online retailer.
  • Since it debuted selling books in 1995, Amazon has expanded to sell all kinds of products.
  • When you look at a product on one of its web pages, Amazon suggests other products you might like as well.
  • Amazon even tells you what percentage of people buys each one.
  • Both of these sections offer tremendous value to the shopper.
  • The twenty-five years of experience really does make a difference.
  • That said, the suggestions of the twenty-five-year sales veteran wouldn't stand a chance against Amazon.
  • Of the twenty thousand sales he has made in his career, he probably remembers a few hundred distinctly and a few thousand vaguely.
  • Amazon remembers millions of transactions perfectly.
  • It took him most of his life to do this, and the value was engraved on his tombstone.
  • Machines can actually do a very limited palette of things.
  • So now that the task of remembering past purchases and using that information to suggest future purchases is completely transitioned to machines, it operates on a whole different scale.
  • CPU cycles have replaced the passing of time.
  • The database of associations will grow forever.
  • The machine will figure this out as it collects more data and incorporates more variables, and then experiments on people to see which combinations of factors work the best.
  • Because of Moore's Law, computers will get faster and storage will be cheaper.
  • Once that is achieved, the sort of event that will happen is: You will be online to order, say, a replacement water filter, and the suggestion engine will propose that along with the filter, you might like to buy ... a pogo stick.
  • He is well known because of an extraordinary practice.
  • And Jim never has met any of his dinner guests beforehand.
  • They are people who heard of his gatherings, contacted him, and said, "I want to come to your dinner party."
  • So when I knocked on the door of Jim's atelier and said, "Hey, I'm Byron Reese," he said, "Oh, Byron, come over here, I want you to meet this guy.
  • These guidebooks are lists of people who live in that area who would be willing to meet you for coffee.
  • Remember your Digital Echo file, that record of everything you do and say?
  • And if each of those billion people in turn shared a million of their life experiences, and you recorded them, you'd have an aggregate number of life experiences so large I had to look it up online.
  • Imagine what you could do with the combined learning of a quadrillion life experiences.
  • It would be the seminal accomplishment of humanity.
  • A recording of every cause and effect.
  • Back in the old days (the 1980s), you only had data—say, the Yellow Pages with its list of restaurants.
  • You were better off than before, in terms of making a knowledgeable decision.
  • But you still were working with the biased, anecdotal opinions of a few people not very like you.
  • In the future, something very much like the Amazon suggestion engine, but for all of life, will change that.
  • The system will weigh heavily the choices of people with Italian last names, and people who own restaurants—all these different factors, millions and millions of factors, all from the passively recorded life experiences of a billion people.
  • It will look at the size of your favorite restaurants, the prices of all the dishes.
  • It will build a table of all the words used by people like you who have reviewed those restaurants and will look for San Francisco restaurants described with the same words.
  • A day later, the system will ask, "Hey, what did you think of Tommaso's?"
  • Of course, the system only shapes decisions insofar as you take its guidance, which begs the question: Will people follow suggestions they may not fully understand?
  • Over time, we will feel that kind of confidence in this kind of system.
  • None of us has the time to do that—but in the future, with my system, wisdom will operate at processor speeds.
  • You may be thinking that choosing the right place to eat Italian food doesn't constitute wisdom in a King Solomon kind of way.
  • But I contend that only matters of degree separate it from the weightier matters we conventionally associate with wisdom.
  • How many of them have filed for unemployment since they graduated?
  • Every time you buy a book from Amazon, its employees use your data—information about what you did on their site in the privacy of your own home—to try to sell other people more products.
  • This gives me confidence that, in the wisdom-seeking systems of the future, people will be willing to share data to make the algorithms better.
  • These will be waters to navigate carefully, in order to make sure that the right to privacy, a cornerstone of a free society, is not destroyed.
  • But that has nothing to do with the anonymous sharing of data.
  • What will change is the amount of data that will be recorded, the speed of the processors, and the cost of storage and computation.
  • In some twentieth-century science fiction visions of the future, humans created friendly robot sidekicks with data storage capacity and computational speed the human brain lacked.
  • As we move toward that future, it is a great tragedy that the experiences of all the people of the past are lost to us.
  • We never will have the opportunity to learn from the details of their lives and the trillions upon trillions of trial-and-error learning that humankind has repeated again and again.
  • In the world of the future, the collective experience of everyone on the planet is recorded.
  • Millions of pieces of minutia per life, for billions of lives.
  • The amount of data stored is so vast that even if we put a number on it, it would be beyond our comprehension.
  • In almost all aspects of life, the application of this process will bring improvements.
  • When we consider the costs of all the wrong decisions ever made—a calculation I don't even know how to approach—we will think of it as a diminishing problem receding into the past.
  • In the future, every single person will have at his or her disposal the sum total of the life experience of everyone alive.
  • But in a world where great wisdom is available to everyone, the end of ignorance will be within our grasp.
  • And as with ignorance, we may already have much of the data we need to find solutions.
  • But at times in history, left-handedness was thought to be a malady in need of curing (and in some parts of the world still is).
  • Perhaps we all have such remarkable abilities but are impaired in a way—maybe the rest of us have a disease to which these savants are immune.
  • As we move out from that defined center, we come to disorders and disabilities—impairments of bodily systems that are brought about by injury, disease, or genetics.
  • Next would come all the various syndromes, which are sets of clinically recognizable symptoms that occur together without a known cause.
  • After these syndromes, we come to the entire spectrum of mental illnesses, from depression to paranoia.
  • And what do we say of aging itself?
  • A result of our actions?
  • A natural part of life?
  • Regarding disorders and disabilities: We should be able to repair, heal, or replace any part of the body not functioning at the level the person with the disability reasonably wishes it to.
  • By the end of disease, we accomplish all that the preceding paragraphs describe—the full spectrum of human ailments, vanquished from the globe.
  • Of all the celebrated accomplishments of science, I think none is more significant than the end of certain diseases, especially the scourge of polio.
  • Of all the celebrated accomplishments of science, I think none is more significant than the end of certain diseases, especially the scourge of polio.
  • In addition, images engraved in walls of what appear to be people infected with polio are found in Egypt dating back to at least 1400 BC.
  • In 1916, the number of cases just in New York City was reported to be nine thousand.
  • Infected children were removed to hospitals and the rest of the family was quarantined until they became noninfectious.
  • During his campaign and his time in office, the extent of the effect of his polio was kept from the public, but the fact he had the disease was commonly known.
  • Interestingly, political cartoons of the era, both for and against FDR, showed him unaffected by the disease.
  • And near the end of 1937, Roosevelt created the National Foundation for Infant Paralysis to join in the fight.
  • His call for a "march of dimes" was a play on "The March of Time," a well-known newsreel series.
  • The name and idea caught on, and by mid-January the biggest names of the day were promoting it on their shows: Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Rudy Vallee, to name but a few.
  • By the end of the four-month campaign, the White House would receive two million dimes.
  • A few years later, with the United States again at war, most of its top medical minds were engaged in the war effort.
  • On the research team of the eminent virologist Dr. Thomas Francis, who was working on a flu vaccine, was a young physician named Jonas Salk.
  • After the war, in 1947, Jonas Salk was offered his own laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
  • The disease struck people in childhood or in the prime of life.
  • One Gallup poll at the time said more people knew about the trial than knew the full name of the president.
  • Hundreds of thousands of cases were still, of course, in the rest of the world even three decades after Salk's breakthrough.
  • At present, there are about one hundred new cases reported per month around the world, infecting about the same number of people as die from lightning strikes.
  • Wars in that same period—the most destructive wars in all of history—took a fraction of that number.
  • That is the dreadful history of the final, and deadliest, century of smallpox.
  • In the eradication of smallpox, as in the near-elimination of polio, I find both fascinating lessons of history and enormous reason for hope.
  • Smallpox has been with us for thousands of years.
  • Around 430 BC, Athens, embroiled in the Second Peloponnesian War, endured three years of epidemics that wiped out a third of its inhabitants.
  • In the 800s, smallpox wiped out a third of Japan.
  • We read about it in vivid detail, from around the year 900, in the writings of the Persian physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi.
  • In the 1200s it killed a third of everyone in Iceland.
  • A practitioner took a scab from someone with a mild case, made an incision in the skin of a healthy person, and infected that person with the scab.
  • By the 1780s, though the procedure was certainly better than nothing, it still had a fair number of problems.
  • In 1796, he extracted fluid from the pox on the hand of a dairymaid named Sarah Nelmes—who had caught the condition from her cow Blossom—and injected the fluid into a cut in eight-year-old James Phipps's arm.
  • And Jenner had created this vaccine for smallpox without even understanding the basics of germ theory!
  • Although the technique of growing cowpox on cow hides would come, transporting it was difficult due to lack of refrigeration.
  • A stable vaccine was developed, our understanding of the disease expanded, and technology moved forward.
  • Ten years later, in Somalia, the last natural case of smallpox occurred.
  • We can draw lessons and encouragement from the histories of polio and smallpox, on several counts.
  • Smallpox affected the rich and the poor and it changed the course of history: It killed Queen Mary II of England in 1694, King Louis I of Spain in 1724, Emperor Peter II of Russia in 1730, and King Louis XV of France in 1774, and changed the succession to the thrones of nations a dozen more times.
  • We are most horrified by that which strikes closest to us and reminds us of our own mortality.
  • And then we come to Greece, the home of Hippocrates, the "Father of Modern Medicine," who left us not just the oath that bears his name but also a corpus of roughly sixty medical texts based on his teaching.
  • He created many of the medical terms we use today, such as acute, chronic, endemic, epidemic, paroxysm, and relapse.
  • He formalized the structure of medical inquiry as an independent science.
  • He laid out how doctors should conduct themselves professionally, how to record patient records, and even suggested matters of personal hygiene for physicians, right down to their fingernails.
  • Certainly some of the medical practices of the ancient world, such as bloodletting and the use of leeches, seem to us at least misguided and at worst, barbaric.
  • (The use of such practices continued into the scientific age: While Jenner was inoculating people with his new smallpox vaccine, doctors were draining half a gallon of blood from George Washington for his sore throat, a procedure that hastened his death.
  • And today's primary method for treating cancer is, in a way, very tenth century: Essentially, chemotherapy is a medical way of saying, Let's fill you so full of poison either you or the cancer dies.
  • When the ancients could not find these solutions, it was not for a lack of intelligence but for a lack of technology.
  • Many of the treatments of the ancient world had high degrees of efficacy, all obtained without access to any modern knowledge or equipment.
  • Had they had the technology of our day, I wonder what they could have accomplished.
  • In 1543, Andreas Vesalius published On the Fabric of the Human Body, which corrected errors from antiquity and advanced the medical sciences.
  • Louis Pasteur came along around this same time and proffered the germ theory of disease and a vaccine for rabies.
  • Second, will the pace of advance increase or decrease in the future?
  • If the magnitude and increasing complexity of these creations fails to impress you, the sheer quantity should suffice.
  • The number of medical patents issued in 2010 was more than fifty thousand, an all-time record—and it almost certainly will be broken next year, then the next, and again the next.
  • The number of pharmaceutical patents issued in 2010 was also more than fifty thousand—also an all-time record, and also likely to be broken again and again in the years to come.
  • The pace of innovation and accomplishment is already fast but will grow even faster.
  • Imagine a computer culling through this massive amount of data, inconceivably large, and pulling out patterns.
  • Then we see that only people in certain parts of the country are getting better.
  • Fluorescent lighting increases the body's production of saliva, which helps prevent cavities.
  • Not long from now, computers will systematically look through trillions upon trillions of pieces of data for these associations.
  • It is not to our discredit that machines can perform calculations so wondrously fast; rather it is to our credit that we conceived of and built such machines.
  • Say, for instance, you believe redheads cause more traffic accidents than those with other colors of hair.
  • So you make sure that if your population of redheads had a million people with a certain distribution of age, the distribution in your non-redhead sample is exactly the same.
  • That sends you down another line of thought.
  • And of the redheads themselves, are there factors among the clumsy ones that are different than the coordinated ones?
  • Is it actually that blue-eyed redheads have the same number of accidents as non-redheads, but brown-eyed redheads are even more clumsy, accident prone, and traffic hazards?
  • Why do all of this?
  • All kinds of anomalies are in the world.
  • I can, of course, see everything in it, or if I prefer, set the system to "minimum supplements" or "maximum supplements" and let the system decide.
  • In the future, we'll not only know if that is so, but why: Perhaps mental agility is a result of their extensive exposure to a chemical in pencil lead and newsprint that they got by doing all those puzzles.
  • The passage of time will grow the repository.
  • Once this ball gets rolling, it will speed up and, because of it, we will all wake up each morning with a little extra spring in our step and sparkle in our eye.
  • Once the promise of this world comes to be, new ways will be created to measure even more data.
  • It should know what the food on my fork weighs, run a chemical analysis of every bite I take, and log it in my Digital Echo file for my future reference.
  • Groups of people will do science this same way.
  • When the cost of recording all the data is zero, the cost of processing it is zero, and the cost of accessing it zero, then the many sciences, especially human health, will be democratized.
  • How much potential is there in millions of discoveries like that?
  • Finally, this system will not just solve for human illness, but all kinds of other problems as well.
  • We will be able to examine all kinds of social issues: Why are some areas poorer than others?
  • A record of all human activity, with anonymity safeguards in place, will allow us all to become part of the solution by putting our minds to work on the problems of the world.
  • In 1665, physicist Robert Hooke pointed a microscope at a piece of cork and noticed many small compartments he called "cells."
  • Technology allowed us to peer deeper into the mysteries of the miniscule.
  • He discovered the nucleus of the cell.
  • Better microscopes gave us more information, more ways to unlock the secrets of life.
  • In 1902, an American named Walter Sutton noticed that chromosomes duplicated themselves before cells divided so that each new cell had a full copy of the chromosomes.
  • But no one had any idea of the mechanism by which this could be achieved.
  • Then the scientific race of the century was on, with this goal: to figure out how DNA conveyed genetic information.
  • They accurately described the construction of DNA as a double helix and showed how its structure made replication both possible and reliable.
  • In every cell of your body except your red blood cells exists a copy of your DNA.
  • But we have a copy of it.
  • Today, for just a few hundred dollars, you can get a copy of your genome.
  • Of course, if you wanted to print it out and read it, the stack of paper would be many miles high.
  • Of course, if you wanted to print it out and read it, the stack of paper would be many miles high.
  • Those differences are part of what makes us unique.
  • Some chunks of your DNA do nothing useful (that we know of yet), but other chunks we call genes.
  • Every second, millions of cells die in your body and millions are born.
  • Each of those new cells has a new copy of your DNA.
  • TP53 makes a protein called p53 that is one of these quality control mechanisms.
  • Some of it is known, but the function of each of the thirty thousand genes has to be figured out one at a time.
  • How will all of this help us end disease?
  • A number of ways, I think.
  • Knowing this allowed for the creation of a drug called Imatinib, which inhibits this process.
  • We hear of treatments that work some percent of the time or we hear phrases like, "They are not responding to treatment."
  • Diseases are frequently diagnosed with broad terms based on a set of symptoms.
  • What we call "heart disease" will become hundreds of individual conditions each with its own cause and, hopefully, cure.
  • Fifth: We will understand correlations between lifestyle factors, quality of life, and genome.
  • For instance, have you ever seen one of those people on TV who is turning one hundred and says he ate bacon every day of his life?
  • My guess is that such people have some genetic factor protecting them against the adverse effects of bacon.
  • When we think of decoding the genome, we typically think in terms of the human genome.
  • But scientists have been busy sequencing all manner of things.
  • Additionally, we have deciphered the genome of diseases, from SARS to influenza.
  • Additionally, we will at some point in the not-too-distant future have enough biological understanding of the genome and enough computer horsepower to model complex interactions in the body.
  • However, new and improved cows are now able to make milk with more of these enzymes.
  • Now let's look at how the Internet will help end disease in a more traditional, suit-and-tie kind of way.
  • If you were a scientist in Jenner's time, your only form of communication was letter writing.
  • You knew little of what any other scientist was working on.
  • If you had access to a library, its stock of medical books and journals was very small.
  • You need to have a basic understanding of how things work in biology.
  • Difficulty of communication was still a barrier, and technology was still highly limited.
  • Today, an astonishing 77 percent of the people in the world have mobile devices and thus access to all kinds of better care via telemedicine.
  • Teams of scientists in different parts of the world can collaborate virtually.
  • The division of labor applied to science will yield substantial results.
  • When medical records leave the paper folders of the doctor's office and become highly standardized, more analysis can be done.
  • When "human testing" is done almost immediately, but within the safe confines of a CPU.
  • If the scientists of today had all I describe.
  • I did not ask the American Medical Association their opinion of this arrangement.
  • The power of the Internet and associated technologies we have so far described, combined with our new understanding of the genome, dooms disease to eventual extinction.
  • The additional possibility of access to all humans' Digital Echoes, to be studied for a million unnoticed causal correlations, will hasten the demise of disease as well and will increase quality of life and longevity.
  • Some suspect we can be made to be healthy and energetic to the age of one hundred thirty and that's it.
  • Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey maintains that aging is caused by seven underlying factors, each of which can, in theory, be countered.
  • The first mechanism is the creation of things, an old and familiar approach.
  • By taking a block of marble and carving a statue, or taking a handful of seed and growing a cornfield, you have combined your labor and know-how with something of little value and have created something of more value.
  • The second way to create wealth is through the division of labor and trade.
  • And it really is composed of two separate components that need to be understood in their own right.
  • One can imagine two children each with a bag of jelly beans.
  • You might remember the story of Kyle MacDonald who famously traded up from one red paperclip to a house, one small exchange at a time between July 2005 and July 2006.
  • This is a good thing because it means that high degrees of utility (the economists' word for "happiness") can be achieved with a wide variety of goods.
  • That means that as you get more of them, you value each new one less.
  • If you are in a desert dying of thirst, you value the first glass of water very highly, the second glass a bit less, and the 802nd not at all.
  • So when people have excess goods, they are able to trade those goods away for things they want and suffer less of a decrease in utility than the amount they are increasing in their trading partners.
  • It means I can trade you a good or service for an intermediate store of value known as money, and then trade that money to the person who actually has the goods I want.
  • So even if no new goods were created tomorrow, we could still vastly increase the wealth of the world by allocating existing goods differently.
  • Governments (and thieves, for that matter) reallocate wealth—but they do it by increasing the wealth of one party at the expense of another party.
  • Consider just a few of the mechanisms by which the Internet promotes trade that otherwise would not have occurred.
  • One form of trade is to exchange your labor for money.
  • The Internet has only touched the tip of the iceberg here.
  • Actually, the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
  • PayPal, Square, and the online use of credit cards.
  • The ability to instantly and, for a very low cost, reliably transfer money to anyone on the planet is a key ingredient in increasing the amount of trade that occurs online.
  • I am fascinated by credit cards and the fact that the entire free enterprise system relies on the honesty of almost all people.
  • If I get my credit card bill and call up and dispute a charge, the benefit of the doubt is given to me, that I am telling the truth.
  • Imagine if everyone frequently disputed charges: "I never got my order!" or "It wasn't what they promised it would be!" or "Yeah, I got a box in the mail, but it was full of rocks."
  • It would not take much of this for businesses to no longer take credit cards.
  • And yet they do, because fraud is a small part of the overall picture.
  • These stores are able to increase trade a number of ways.
  • They offer millions of products at good prices, delivered tomorrow if that is what I want.
  • They allow for easy return of merchandise that doesn't meet my expectations, decreasing my fear of making a bad purchasing decision.
  • Most of these people have other jobs and obligations, so without something like Etsy, they might not be able to enter into these trades.
  • One failure of the marketplace is the misattribution of the amount of utility an item will bring a person.
  • Often, a buying decision hinges on a piece of arcane information about a product that is difficult to locate.
  • To the extent that I get accurate information from other consumers of the product, I will tend to make better choices.
  • Smoother methods of communication.
  • The cost of interactive information exchange, such as asking questions about products you are contemplating purchasing, has fallen to nearly zero.
  • This is unprecedented in the history of commerce and could not be done without the Internet. 9.
  • With the rapid flow of information about businesses and their products, along with the ease of "checking up" on a vendor, good businesses will get more business and push out the bad ones.
  • The other is division of labor, worth discussing in some detail as it is an almost miraculous process.
  • By "make a car," I mean really make a car: dig iron ore out of the ground, smelt it to steel, wildcat for oil, find oil and refine it into gasoline, and so on.
  • In 1958, an American economist named Leonard Read wrote an essay called "I, Pencil," written from the pencil's point of view, about how no one on the planet knows how to make a pencil.
  • And yet pencils get made, more than a billion of them a year, and they are essentially given away.
  • It requires the labor of thousands to make a pencil, and yet they are so inexpensive as to be almost free.
  • It is because of the division of labor.
  • But if each of ten people specialized on just one-tenth of the task, they could together make 48,000, an increase in per-person productivity from one pin a day to 4,800 pins per day.
  • The second is through the division of labor and free trade.
  • Technology is simply the combining of other economic products in new ways.
  • These new methods are considered advances if what they produce is worth more than the cost of their parts.
  • For the foreseeable future, technological advance will drive the world of wealth creation—and it is capable of producing more wealth than everything that has come before it.
  • Given perfect information, frictionless markets, and other theoretical impossibilities, a finite amount of utility can be achieved in that way.
  • It may have some limit in theory, because there is an optimal arrangement of atoms in the universe; but for practical purposes, it has no limit.
  • This will bring vast amounts of new wealth onto the planet.
  • We won't talk at this point about the distribution of that wealth; that will come later.
  • To build a case for the end of poverty, we begin by discussing scarcity.
  • Economically, we understand the world around us in terms of scarcity.
  • As my professors told me the first day I started studying economics in college (and never tired of repeating), scarcity is the central underlying assumption of all economic theory.
  • There is a finite number of baseballs, beanbags, and balloons.
  • The theory of pricing means people who want items the most choose to buy those items instead of others they could buy.
  • You'd better scramble and get a chair even if it means elbowing little Timmy out of the way.
  • The notion of scarcity is so ingrained in us and so permeates the world today, it is difficult to imagine a world without it.
  • For all practical purposes, we have an unlimited supply of air to breathe.
  • A problem arises because of the strong correlation between standard of living and energy consumption.
  • First, think of energy as the capacity to do work.
  • If you are a farmer and work alone, you can only plant as much land as you can personally plow. You can do just a couple of thousand calories of work a day, consuming only the energy produced by the food you ate.
  • Now, if you acquire an ox, a new source of energy, you can plow more.
  • An ongoing debate is whether a high amount of energy raises a nation or region's gross national product (GNP) or whether rising GNP increases the consumption of energy.
  • But the price of the tractor would have plummeted, for a constellation of reasons.
  • What we need to make its parts—iron ore to make steel, rubber to make tires, sand to make glass, petroleum to make plastics—is generally a few cents' worth of raw materials.
  • The cost derives from the application of huge amounts of energy, intelligence, and technology to obtain and process the raw materials: digging and smelting to create high-grade steel, harvesting and refining and molding to make rubber parts, and so on.
  • The point is that the cost of making almost everything is mostly energy and intellect, not raw materials.
  • Vastly more energy than we need pours down on this planet in the form of sunlight.
  • Think about this: Nearly four million exajoules of energy is absorbed by the earth's atmosphere, oceans, and land each year.
  • (An exajoule is roughly equivalent to a quadrillion BTUs or 174 million barrels of oil.)
  • Thunderstorms release tremendous amounts of energy.
  • Hurricanes release unimaginable amounts of power, as do earthquakes.
  • The wind in the upper atmosphere has extraordinary amounts of energy.
  • The earth has an enormous molten core that contains vast amounts of energy.
  • An energy crop could be a permanent forest of trees that convert sunlight to liquid fuel and deliver the fuel directly through their roots to a network of underground pipelines.
  • If these two advances could be combined, we would have a supply of solar energy that was cheap, abundant, and environmentally benign.
  • But these are questions of technology, not of scarcity, and technology is about to rocket forward.
  • I don't mean that in a motivational poster kind of way but in a literal sense: Failures (and what we learn from them) will help build the energy solutions for our future.
  • Was it some kind of rhetorical flourish, just words that sounded good?
  • I doubted that, as Feynman was precise in his usage of words.
  • He had died by the time I read that passage in one of his books, so I couldn't write him, as is my normal practice when an author's words puzzle me.
  • And like our example with energy, technology and human innovation could make other things that are now scarce—or that we think of now as scarce—not so at all.
  • However, locked up in ocean water—just suspended in ocean water—may be the equivalent of eight more such cubes.
  • And beyond that, billions more ounces of gold may be buried beneath the ocean floor.
  • We compute the maximum amount of food the world can produce by beginning with total acres of land considered arable, but that is based on assumptions about the future of technology and agriculture.
  • When we talk about it in terms of scarcity, we usually mean clean water in a certain location is scarce.
  • But that, too, is a function of present technology.
  • First, many things in the physical world that we think of as scarce are not really scarce, just presently beyond our ability to capture.
  • So they threw their sabots, a kind of clog shoe, into the machinery to break it—an act that gave us the word sabotage.
  • We'll look at their lives, and the social aspects of this change, in a coming chapter called "Left Behind."
  • First, let's consider the macroeconomic impact of this change—the effect it will have on the net economic status of the planet.
  • Both of these have political implications, and so it is with some hesitation I bring them up.
  • My purpose in this chapter will not be to persuade the reader of any political doctrine of trade; please apply your own political and social values as you see fit.
  • My purpose is to explain the net effect of free trade, technological advance, and outsourcing on the overall economic system of the planet.
  • The idea of free trade has divided people for as long as trade has existed.
  • But in spite of the relative economic displacement they all cause, free trade, outsourcing, and technological displacement all have a positive net effect on the economics of the planet.
  • Let's consider examples of how the effect is positive for some, negative for some, but the net is a gain in the overall wealth of the system.
  • A textbook example of this is Eli Whitney and the cotton gin.
  • The cotton gin cut the cost of removing seeds from cotton.
  • Even though this allowed cotton prices to plummet and demand for cotton to increase, some of those fifty people got laid off, no doubt shaking their fists at the infernal gin as they stormed off the property.
  • They are able to produce widgets for ten cents, putting the Dollar Widget Company (with its unfortunate name) out of business.
  • Lowering the cost of something is an increase in efficiency and an increase in the wealth of the overall system.
  • You might argue that since there is now a surplus of labor in Chad's neighborhood, the price of labor is lowered and Chad will only find work paying $9.75 an hour.
  • Consider two examples of this.
  • And say the net cost to society of having a gallon of polluted water dumped into the river—the cleanup cost, or the economic impact of the gallon of dirty water—is $10.
  • However, the company likely won't choose this outcome because the $10 cost of cleanup is not paid by the company but by society.
  • When businesses and people are made to consider the overall effects of their choices as opposed to only their individual effects, efficient outcomes occur.
  • This is one of the few areas in which government taxation actually leads to a more efficient outcome.
  • Calculating the actual, societal costs of fatty foods, alcohol, cars, pet ownership, mercury thermometers, air conditioning, solar panels, razor blades, jogging shoes, and ten thousand other things, and incorporating those costs in the prices as taxes would lead to a vastly more efficient allocation of resources.
  • If jump ropes or board games or ice cream turn out to have positive externalities—that is, if they help society—a subsidy could lower the prices of these items.
  • To some extent, we have this in the form of high taxes on cigarettes, which are seen to have negative externalities, and a home interest deduction on income taxes, as home ownership is viewed as having positive social good.
  • If the company pollutes, it should bear the cost of that pollution.
  • Say the second country requires the business to do none of those things.
  • But outsourcing to pollute, oppress workers, or have unsafe working conditions hurts the world's standard of living.
  • The minimum is either set by a minimum wage law or determined by the demand and supply of that labor.
  • This action makes the price of a burger go up by $1,000 and drops demand to zero.
  • The burger flippers don't add $1,000 of value.
  • Think of all the machines you use to do your job.
  • Who do you think makes more money: the one person who operates the cotton gin we discussed in the last chapter or one of the fifty people he replaced?
  • Machines could, in theory, do all kinds of jobs in the world.
  • I am not saying if you enjoy manual labor and being exhausted at the end of the day, you shouldn't do it.
  • If you like having sore muscles at the end of a day or working a job that requires little of your mental capacity so you can contemplate Nietzsche, hey, more power to you.
  • The minute we do, the people doing those jobs should become operators of the new machines—and get big raises because their productivity just shot way up.
  • If every job that could be done by a machine was done by a machine tomorrow, the standard of living of virtually everyone on the planet would rise.
  • The number of people who feel challenged by their work is depressingly low.
  • The number of people who want to be challenged by their work is encouragingly high.
  • And he will find he is capable of adding far more value than as a set of eyes watching a screen.
  • Have I convinced you that replacing people with machines frees people from the bondage of doing machine work?
  • The next chapter will explore how far this can go, how many of our daily tasks machines could assume.
  • The history of the world is a history of rising prosperity.
  • In parts of the world where these three ingredients exist, we have seen prosperity rise.
  • Conversely, in places where prosperity has not risen, lack of these ingredients plays a significant role.
  • The fact that an unprecedented number of earth's inhabitants today live in poverty is an indictment of governments, not a reflection of some underlying natural limit.
  • The prosperity of some does not require that others be poor.
  • In fact, the poverty of some limits the wealth of all.
  • However, there are limits to how much prosperity and efficiency the division of labor can create.
  • We are about to enter a world where robots do more and more of our work for us.
  • All the jobs that can, in theory, be done by machines—the jobs that I think suck the life force out of people—will in fact be done by machines.
  • To that extent, the contraption that automatically metes out the daily allotment of cat food for your pet is a robot.
  • As robotic technology advances, we are being forced to readjust our expectations of machines' capabilities.
  • We have fallen into the habit of anthropomorphizing computers and robots for a simple reason: The more we program them to do things that we presently do, the more we think of them as being like us.
  • Seeing Scooby-Doo in cartoons doesn't change our expectations of canine behavior because we have so much experience with real dogs.
  • But I know of no one who would want to have a conversation with a computer program pretending to be his dog.
  • But in terms of wanting to converse with robots at an emotional level, I just don't see it.
  • I might enjoy that kind of banter with a real person I will never meet, talking to me from a distant state.
  • They still have the hand-operated machine from the 1940s that was used to make the first Legos, but it is of course now a museum piece.
  • The field of nanotechnology brings even more advances.
  • Generally defined, nanotechnology is the field concerned with creating machines along the scale of a nanometer, a billionth of a meter.
  • Because nanites are so small, they require little in the way of raw materials, just a few molecules here and there.
  • Choose whichever of those you are comfortable with, but let me illustrate with a single example.
  • In the future, we will paint surfaces with substances full of nanites that will absorb sunlight and turn it into electricity, transforming any object we paint into a clean energy creator.
  • Paints that warn of overheating.
  • Smart creams that let your skin absorb an optimal amount of sunlight.
  • Or how about nanites that process each piece of trash in our garbage and turn it into something useful?
  • I branched off into this discussion of robots and nanites to give an idea of the kinds of massive gains in efficiency with declining costs.
  • This is almost the definition of wealth creation.
  • Over the course of history, the division of labor has increased human productivity immensely.
  • If we obtained this ten-thousand-fold increase simply by allowing specialization and dividing work up among people, then what astronomical gains will we achieve by outsourcing that work to robots capable of working with unimaginable precision at unimaginable speed?
  • Robots can perform thousands of operations flawlessly every minute.
  • These robots can be powered by computers capable of performing a billion calculations a second.
  • We can build these machines to do an incomprehensibly large range of tasks.
  • In the past, we simply had division of labor among people.
  • Now we can have something completely different: Division of labor between machines and people.
  • So, how many thousands of times more will this increase our productivity?
  • Before you commit to a number, think of this.
  • The pace of advancement in the field of robotics and nanotechnology roughly doubles every couple of years.
  • The report also cited a mid-1950s report that found 85 percent of economic growth was attributed to technological change in the period 1890 to 1950.
  • It had 4K of memory and cost my parents about $200.
  • Fifteen years later, I got a computer with 4,000K (or 4MB) of memory, one thousand times the memory of my trusty VIC-20.
  • It has 4,000,000K of memory—once again, a thousandfold increase over its predecessor.
  • This 4,000MB (or 4GB) of memory cost a bit more than $200.
  • So I saw, in real dollars, the cost of computer memory fall to one one-millionth of what it was thirty years ago.
  • That would be like the price of a Mercedes falling from $50,000 to a nickel.
  • Certainly the labor component of assembling the Mercedes could fall to nearly zero.
  • The second would be to argue that the cost of materials to build the Mercedes won't fall by a thousandfold.
  • Again, the materials to build the car are abundant; their cost is high because of technology deficiencies around retrieving and refining them, not an underlying rarity.
  • Finally, you might argue that fees paid as royalties to the owners of the intellectual property needed to build the Mercedes for $50 will not fall by a thousandfold.
  • And remember, it can be obtained both by a plummeting cost and an increasing value of the thing to you.
  • Yes, I see the cost of food falling a thousandfold.
  • When computers are in your clothes, medicine, eyeglasses, wallet, tires, walls, makeup, jewelry, cookware, tennis shoes, binoculars, and everything else you own, those things will do more than you can imagine—the stuff of science fiction.
  • Each of these wonders is coming, and a million more.
  • And each of these items will fall in price.
  • (Of course, I can't go buy a thousand cans for $2,000 and have them worth $10,000 to me.
  • At the margin, if I buy a can of Wolf Brand chili, I make $8.
  • It will analyze and record the nutritional content of your meal.
  • Yes, I know this sounds like one of those bad infomercials.
  • This is a form of wealth.
  • Of course they will be.
  • The house of the future won't just be better than the house you have today.
  • First of all, it will keep you safe.
  • It will know everyone who is supposed to be in the house and alert you when someone else is in the house (replacing the family dog of old in whom we never fully placed our trust).
  • It will verify the credentials of any service people who come by.
  • It will passively recognize you by recognizing your face or your voice or your breathing pattern or the pattern of your footsteps or, most likely, your scent.
  • In the future, the price of some things won't go down as much, if at all.
  • Anything that requires the unamplified direct labor of a person won't either, such as a personal trainer, a babysitter, or a masseuse.
  • Think of the shape of that curve and project it into the future.
  • Try to think of the advances we have seen so far in history as the very tip of the iceberg, a hint of what is possible, not even being within sight of what is possible.
  • It is only a whisper of the wonders we will build and the prosperity we will create.
  • Of course, I stand to be corrected on many of the specifics.
  • Of course, I stand to be corrected on many of the specifics.
  • My guess of the thousandfold increase in wealth is just that, a guess.
  • It is an attempt to capture the essence of the change, not the nominal value of the multiplier.
  • But let's say only 10 percent of industries will experience this thousandfold increase in productivity.
  • That means your $40,000 salary will have the purchasing power of a $4,000,000 salary today.
  • The overall economic output of the planet, GWP (gross world product), will rise dramatically in the years to come, but its distribution will be quite skewed.
  • This is because, as noted before, technology amplifies the productive effort of people.
  • If you already have a large amount of productivity, technology will amplify it.
  • But this is merely a footnote, an asterisk in the record book of humanity.
  • Given that inequalities in income are likely to grow, how I can I contend that we will see an end of poverty?
  • Let's address that by looking at two phenomena: the changing definitions of poverty over time, and the effect of a large gap between the incomes of the rich and poor.
  • In Beverly Hills, your poor neighbor might be one who had to buy the 14K-gold back scratcher instead of the diamond-encrusted platinum one everyone else is buying.
  • My relative definition of poverty is "the state of being unable to reliably purchase a bundle of goods that allow one to participate in the economic norms of one's society."
  • In 2009, in the United States of America, the poverty threshold for a single person under sixty-five was about $11,000 a year; the threshold for a family group of four, including two children, was about $22,000 a year.
  • This per-person threshold actually exceeds the average income of three-quarters of the countries on the planet, including Mexico, Russia, and Brazil, and is about 20 percent higher than the average income of the entire planet.
  • Think about that: Poverty in the United States is defined as higher than the average income of the planet.
  • By the government's calculation, about 40 percent of India's population, or half a billion people, are below that level.
  • This speaks to the fabulous wealth of this country and how our expectation of material possessions has risen so fast that we have redefined poverty to include what once were deemed luxury items.
  • When the poor believe the rich are beneficiaries of different legal status than the poor.
  • Finally, when the poor see their income shrink while the income of the rich rises, they will buy into the system less.
  • In one understanding of economic history, the rich get ahead, and the gap between them and the poor widens.
  • One is to hyperinflate currency, which is a massive transfer of wealth from creditors to debtors.
  • A second method of radical redistribution is to increase marginal tax rates to a point that is confiscatory.
  • The United Kingdom famously did this after World War II by raising marginal tax rates on earned income to more than 99 percent and, for some other kinds of income, to more than 100 percent.
  • The rich, of course, got very clever about where they earned and reported income.
  • A third radical method of redistribution is called land reform, which is actually a polite term for taking land from one person and giving it to another.
  • Now the Zimbabwean dollar has undergone four re-denominations (the process of shaving zeros off the currency to make a more manageable new currency.
  • Other methods of redistribution are even more direct.
  • Expropriation is an act that simultaneously violates two of the three ingredients for prosperity that I have enumerated: private property and rule of law.
  • Expropriation often is accompanied by infringements of the third ingredient, individual liberty, as well.
  • Sometimes the poor cut out the middleman of government entirely.
  • Such radical redistribution attempts are dangerous games, for the rich are creators of economic opportunity, not just for themselves, but as employers, for society.
  • Here I'll make a point which I believe to be a historic constant and to which we will be returning: If property rights of the rich are respected and tax rates, while high, still allow for indefinite gain, then the rich will keep producing.
  • One way that society keeps a lid on the powder keg of tension between the rich and poor is through the welfare state.
  • In its most basic form (which I'll discuss here for simplification's sake), it is a guarantee of a minimum income above the poverty line for every citizen.
  • We have surmised the future widening of the gap between the rich and poor, and looked at how that has played out in history.
  • Now let's look at the role of government, both philosophically and historically, which also changes over time.
  • If governments are created to protect the life, liberty, and property of their citizenry, what all does that entail?
  • This usually comes in the form of protecting their citizenry from crime.
  • This might be the adoption of commercial standards as well as the creation and operation of a civil court system and laws.
  • They develop methods for the accurate measuring and recording of boundaries of land as well as the sale thereof.
  • Some believe this is the beginning and end of the role of government.
  • Others more broadly interpret the concept of securing life, liberty, and property.
  • Didn't Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, believe the Constitution should be rewritten every twenty years so that no one was governed by a document they had no say in creating?
  • Government is the servant of the people, not the master.
  • Civility is the second casualty of political debate.
  • Instead, forget which is "right" for the moment and simply consider the flow of history, for better or worse.
  • As national income increases in a given country, the size of government as a portion of gross national product (GNP) rises and the range of services people expect the government to offer rises.
  • Direct payments are made to an increasing number of citizens and the size of those payments rise.
  • Then, as a nation grows wealthier, tax rates could fall in terms of percentages because the nation is making so much more money.
  • Whether you look at a single country over a span of time, or a group of countries at a specific point in history, the result is the same.
  • The higher the average income of the people (as expressed through per capita GNP), the higher the tax rate.
  • Roughly speaking, if you look at the poorest forty nations in the world, who have an average income per person of about $1,500 a year, their effective tax rates are about 20 percent.
  • In fact, we don't simply buy more government, but we give it a disproportionate amount of our increased income.
  • It is safe to say that more than a majority of people in rich nations feel this way.
  • The very well documented corn dole of ancient Rome is one of many cases.
  • After the death of Gracchus, a conservative government under Sulla withdrew the subsidy, but shortly afterward, in a period of great unrest, restored it, and two hundred thousand persons stood in line.
  • We've seen this: If you are running for president of the United States, merely using the words "freeze" and "Social Security" in the same sentence has the retirees of the nation heating up pots of tar and emptying their down pillows.
  • Three centuries later, it became a hereditary right and came with a daily ration of two pounds of bread ("Hey, you don't expect us to cook the free grain, do you?") and occasionally included meat, olive oil, and salt.
  • Like a TV star that doesn't scale back his expenses after his show is cancelled, these benefits expand, not contract, during periods of economic decline, for two main reasons.
  • No student of history would argue this point, regardless of his or her politics.
  • Well, on the one hand, you would be kind of cheesed-off.
  • After all, that's the government taking more than half of what you make.
  • But think of it this way: Before, you made $33,000 and paid 40 percent in taxes, so you were left with $20,000 in take-home pay.
  • If you want to eat a banana, then you have to create a banana-amount of wealth.
  • You have to do a banana-amount of work.
  • First, think of the concept of interest.
  • We understand that you can, in theory, save and save and save and then live off the interest of your savings forever.
  • Now, consider the child that lives off the interest payments of all the money her parents saved.
  • Some stocks reliably pay dividends, portions of a corporation's profits paid out in cash to its shareholders.
  • They used that money to buy part of Coca Cola in the form of common stock.
  • Each year a payment is made to each resident of Alaska.
  • This is simply returning to the people a portion of income from land that is publicly owned.
  • Because human ability is distributed unevenly and technology multiplies ability of the talented, the spread between the rich and poor will rise more and more.
  • Once technology allowed for the recording and sale of records, their income shot way up—they could use technology to magnify their ability.
  • Therefore millions of people were willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the software to make them more productive.
  • In a world of economic superabundance, people will no longer tolerate poverty.
  • It will be regarded as interest payments on the accumulated riches of one thousand years of technical and material progress.
  • It will be regarded as a dividend of the work of the one hundred prior generations that got the world to this point.
  • But it really is no different than me thinking it is my birthright to be able to have freedom of speech.
  • Somebody else—actually, a lot of somebody elses—worked really hard for a long time to build the United States and its freedoms.
  • Some become so wealthy, in fact, they can live off the interest (the productivity) of their assets, not just their own labor.
  • Is there a logical end to that—a physical or economic law of some kind that says only 10 percent or 20 percent or 30 percent of people can ever be this wealthy?
  • All it takes is so much wealth that it is self-sustaining—that the productivity of that wealth can support everyone.
  • In a world without abundance, socialism removes the one reliable creator of abundance—the individual profit motive—and that results in a lower standard of living for everyone.
  • We will know it is coming when we see the prices of more products fall while their quality increases.
  • As we start heading toward this world without want, there will be sizable disruptions in the normal fabric of life.
  • As we consider the lot of those left behind, it becomes clearer how the end of scarcity will have a profound impact on the world.
  • When I talk about this future, a future in which machines will do more and more of the work people do now, I always get some variant of the same question: What about the people who lose their jobs to machines and don't have any other skills?
  • First, I would contend that the size of this problem is substantially smaller than many people would guess.
  • Simply because only so many jobs can, in theory, be replaced by machines does not imply anything about the ability of the people now doing them.
  • Pretend there is a spectrum of jobs from the best in the world down to the worst and everyone agrees on the order.
  • But in describing that job spectrum, I never said anything about his absolute ability—I said only that he was at the bottom of the list relative to others.
  • Now, what if the bottom half of jobs disappeared and were replaced by robots who did them for almost free?
  • Well, wealth would expand dramatically, and the people who had those jobs before could get new and better jobs, such as managing the army of manure-toting robots.
  • Working in a factory required learning a whole different rhythm of life.
  • And yet, we know of no cases of mass "left behind-ness," of people unable to learn how to function in this environment.
  • Cars replaced horses; did the stable boys remain out of work?
  • The iceman delivered ice for your icebox until the electric freezer put him out of business.
  • Thousands and thousands of women were switchboard operators before direct dial phones were in use.
  • This idea that there are a finite number of jobs misses the point entirely of what makes a job.
  • However much value the labor can add to the thing is the amount of wage the person can earn.
  • Today we are on the cusp of a substantially more profound shift in work life.
  • It will be regarded as a human right—a dividend for being born a human being, your share of the inheritance that all the prior generations accumulated.
  • In the prosperous future, one group of people will rise to this challenge.
  • They will take advantage of the freedom from financial want that the modern age gives them and will focus on improving themselves and the world they live in.
  • We all know the stories of people who win the lottery—and let's face it, far too often no good comes of it.
  • But I am not talking about a state of affairs where overnight someone with a "machine job" gets unlimited wealth.
  • They dream of time off.
  • The idea of having to "earn a living" will be completely foreign to us.
  • And that meant, for too many of us, ditching what we loved to do and doing the work of a machine.
  • In fact, let's say his own mother considered donating the portrait he painted of her to Goodwill but decided not to because "the poor have enough problems already."
  • Instead, he gets a job monitoring security cameras, which pays $10 an hour—until, of course, he loses that job to Chang.
  • This is the state of much of humanity.
  • Everyone you know lives in the trailer park and they all have about the same level of income.
  • One day, a tornado comes, lifts up your trailer with everyone in it, flies it around the world to the poorest nation on earth, and drops it in the middle of the village.
  • Now all of a sudden your children are raised in what seems to everyone to be the lap of luxury.
  • I base that expectation in part on the fact that today, many of us already live in more comfort than the richest king in the world did two hundred years ago.
  • We control the temperature of our surroundings, eat food from around the world, and own possessions no king could have imagined.
  • People who live their lives following their passions seem more full of life and energy than anyone else.
  • Now, to address the challenge of getting there.
  • As we transition from one set of economic realities to another, there will be severe disruptions along the way.
  • Trade and the division of labor have given us vast amounts of wealth.
  • We live in a place and time where we own thousands of things we could not have made.
  • Social structures will change, and the purpose of education will be to learn to reason and find one's passion.
  • The free enterprise system—the greatest creator of wealth the world has known—will continue to produce the material gains we enjoy today and to reward most those who serve their fellow humans best.
  • As technology enters its explosive period of growth, with the Internet and associated technologies flourishing in a Moore's-Law-like manner, it will create immense amounts of wealth.
  • And if history is an accurate guide, that wealth will be partially redistributed to the poor—even the poorest of the poor, the bottom billion.
  • I know of no case in history that says otherwise.
  • I reasoned that if I could show how poverty will end, then of course hunger would end as well—how many rich people do you hear about going hungry?
  • By comparison, if a country has 99 percent of the people working in agriculture—if it is barely feeding itself, even with everyone working at that—then it is living at a subsistence level, the very definition of poverty.
  • In the modern age of communication and cheap transportation, food can be moved around the planet relatively easily.
  • Structural famine exists when enough food is technically on hand or able to be imported, but some portion of the population is economically separated from it.
  • This kind of hunger is common and generally is what has triggered food riots, now and in the past.
  • No government is involved in these organizations, which are instead driven by a combination of religious and civic motives.
  • Instead of piety being expressed simply in a multitude of unrelated individual acts, it expressed itself in group action.
  • I personally think the establishment of charitable organizations was driven by the same spirit that drove the creation of new businesses.
  • In a speech to the House of Representatives at this same time, Congressman Davy Crockett told the story of getting chewed out by a constituent for voting for a $20,000 emergency relief bill for the homeless in a city just wiped out by a fire.
  • This all began to change in the twentieth century for a variety of reasons.
  • Much change was due to the efforts of William Jennings Bryan, who received the Democratic Party nomination for president three times, in 1896, 1900, and 1908.
  • Barely a decade earlier, Cleveland, also a Democrat, had said essentially, "Look, the government shouldn't be helping the poor Texans; that's the role of charity."
  • And he used his decades of dominance on the national scene, as well as his fantastic oratorical ability, to advance that belief and essentially invent the Democratic Party we know today.
  • Then came World War I, which utilized these institutions and greatly expanded the size of the federal government.
  • The system had an office, Overseer of the Poor, in each of 1,500 parishes.
  • This abuse resulted in an overhaul of the system that sought to tie the poor to their original parish.
  • Since many of the poor were not able-bodied, the workhouses were not profitable institutions.
  • The system was revised in the 1830s because it was viewed as discouraging work by interfering with the laws of supply and demand relating to labor.
  • Rarely in history has a government wrested away a functioning, privately funded solution in favor of a government entitlement.
  • In discussing nutrition, not only is there little agreement on the nature of the solutions, there is often disagreement on the nature of the problems.
  • Why are people so quick to vilify those on the "other side" of the issue—and why do we even think in terms of sides?
  • It is almost impossible to execute a pure controlled study of anything relating to nutrition because there are simply too many variables to consider.
  • In addition, how food affects us unquestionably has a lot to do with genetic factors, and because everyone has a different genetic makeup, different foods affect each of us differently.
  • As we noted earlier, people no longer disagree simply about what values to apply to a set of facts—rather, they disagree as to the nature of the facts themselves.
  • Given so many different nutritional theories and viewpoints, most people base their own nutritional philosophies on a combination of two factors: personal experience and social/political worldview.
  • This makes a great deal of sense: If nutrition isn't governed by universal laws (as physics is) and instead affects different people differently, then the way you will know certain things is by learning through trial and error, through your own experience.
  • This approach, however, has a couple of downsides.
  • The second way people choose a nutritional theory is to develop it from their overall social and political understanding of the world.
  • Whether you are for the organic food movement or against it, for genetically modified crops or against them, for corporate farms or seed banks or raw food or anything else, is influenced significantly by your larger view of politics.
  • In areas of uncertainty, we form our opinions on the basis of assumptions in other parts of our life.
  • For instance, if you think large corporation are greedy and evil, then when you read about how large corporations produce low-nutrition food or are putting family farms out of business, you will believe it.
  • When you read somewhere else that food produced by large corporations saved millions of lives, you won't believe that.
  • Again, this is because without compelling, widely accepted facts, we use things we've learned from other parts of our lives to make our decisions.
  • The subtle interplay of everything involved in nutrition is vastly more complex than our minds are able to handle.
  • Computers, especially computers of the future, will have no trouble handling all the variables that influence nutrition, though there will be millions of them.
  • In the future, massive new amounts of information will begin to resolve the debate, instead of just adding noise to it as too often occurs today.
  • But in the future when we have more and better information, if it turns out that some of these methods are not net gains, we will know that and look elsewhere for solutions.
  • That's a quarter of all the hungry people in the world.
  • That's right: India is a net food exporter to the tune of US$6 billion a year.
  • Next comes China, with the second highest number of hungry people at 130.4 million.
  • Pakistan has the third largest number of hungry people with a total of 43.4 million.
  • Well, in the developed world, the percent of people needed to farm fell from more than 90 percent to today's 4 percent.
  • At the same time, the percent of income we individually have to spend on feeding ourselves plummeted as well.
  • Nations with high percentages of hungry citizens are not universally food exporters, and we will explore this more later.
  • It is most unlikely that this process of improvement will not continue in the future.
  • We all understand intuitively there is plenty of food in the world.
  • Just half a century ago, Americans on average spent more than 20 percent of their income on food.
  • I can go to Sam's Club and buy a twenty-pound bag of rice for $10 and a twenty-pound bag of pinto beans for $13.
  • These foodstuffs alone contain sixty thousand calories, or two thousand calories a day for a month, for a total of $30.
  • This is less than one-half of 1 percent of world GNP.
  • At one point, Tiger Woods got a dime for every box of Wheaties cereal with his photo on it, while the farmer was paid only a nickel for the wheat in that same box—and the farmer still made a profit.
  • Given these agricultural strengths, is there anyone who believes the United States alone couldn't produce an extra $365 billion worth of food, at full retail price, if there were a ready buyer for it?
  • After all, China grows more than three times the amount of food we do in the United States, with less land under cultivation.
  • To me, this makes the problem of hunger that much sadder in the present—to realize that the planet has enough food, just not enough generosity.
  • In the fat years, agricultural prices are pushed downward by the abundance, often below the cost of harvesting and transporting the crops.
  • Farmers need to have supplies of seed, fertilizer, tractors, and fuel.
  • All of these are sorely lacking in areas where hunger is most prevalent.
  • You can be a subsistence farmer and perhaps produce some excess, but given the prior observation about the fundamental volatility of farming, you will always be at risk of not producing enough.
  • In essence, they would become like Japan, which exports essentially no food, imports US$44 billion in food annually, but still enjoys a high standard of living.
  • Still others argue for a system of government price supports, incentives, and subsidies, as is found in the United States and Europe.
  • Regardless of who is "right," the harm comes if you try to do all these things at once.
  • If poor nations decide to pursue what I will call the Japan strategy, importing all their food and developing other industry, then they become huge fans of farm subsidies in other countries.
  • In that case, the subsidy goes straight from the taxpayer in the other country to the purchaser of the subsidized crop.
  • Heck, even Japan only recently allowed imports of rice and taxes the imports at 500 percent in order to protect their rice farmers.
  • Food security is a real issue, and nations that do not at least produce some kinds of food are at risk.
  • The cost of their imported food doubles, and I guarantee you the foreign-owned factory won't double wages as a result.
  • In societies where a large percentage of income is necessary just to buy food, having volatile food prices will mean hunger sooner or later, no matter how good the factory jobs are.
  • When few people own land and most people live in cities, it is quite common to have high degrees of hunger in a nation that is exporting food.
  • This is basically the situation in many of earth's chronically hungry countries.
  • But the problem, of course, was that food prices went up, the people went hungry, and riots ensued.
  • Those are only some of the most significant factors contributing to hunger in the world today.
  • It has a large number of landlocked nations without ports to access the international markets, both for imports and exports.
  • Crops native to Africa are not the staples of the world.
  • It means we have plenty of room for improvement.
  • We can still make plenty of progress.
  • The rate of innovation is increasing rapidly, though.
  • If you look back across the span of time, you see wood plows being used in 4000 BC, then irrigation five hundred years later.
  • A couple of centuries pass and improved harnesses come along.
  • A couple of hundred years later, we see the Romans doing crop rotation.
  • By the early twentieth century, most manufacturing of fertilizer had switched to the synthetic production of ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate.
  • The 2000s saw the rise of commercially viable seeds created by transgenesis, that is, the insertion of DNA from one species into another species.
  • First are the inefficiencies in the natural processes of agriculture.
  • Workers made $30 a month, $25 of which went to their parents.
  • Many of the people Borlaug worked with at this time were poor, even starving.
  • All of this left scars on me.
  • In the first ten years of attempting to make better hybrids, Borlaug's group made more than six thousand crossings of wheat.
  • Borlaug also promoted the process (which proved wildly successful) of having two wheat-growing seasons in Mexico, one in the highlands, then another in the valley regions.
  • In 1953, he developed a method to make strains of wheat highly resistant to a single form of rust.
  • To further enhance yield, at the same time Borlaug bred wheat strains with short, stubby stalks, which were able to better handle more weight of grain.
  • Based on this unprecedented success, samples of Borlaug's seeds were sent abroad.
  • In 1962, some of them were grown in India, and based on the results, Borlaug was invited to India.
  • Although Borlaug and company encountered many obstacles, they pressed on, planting seed at night illuminated by flashes of artillery fire.
  • Government buildings were converted into silos to hold the abundance, as other countries in the region placed orders for massive amounts of these seeds.
  • This was a guy from a small town in Iowa who failed his 1933 entrance exam to the University of Minnesota.
  • But if ever there was a textbook case of one guy making a difference, this is it.
  • By the time Norman Borlaug passed away in 2009 at the age of ninety-five, he had become one of only six people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • He basically followed old agriculture; he planted a lot of seed and hoped for rain.
  • All he could do was cross strains of wheat, much in the same fashion as Gregor Mendel did in the 1800s.
  • Plants themselves are pretty inefficient machines, at least from the standpoint of being good food sources for us.
  • From our point of view, the job of the plant is to convert sunlight into energy and store that energy in a tasty way; then when we eat the plant, we get that energy.
  • To deal in generalities, plants capture, on average, about 5 percent of the solar energy that falls on their leaves.
  • Additionally, of the energy the plant absorbs, it only stores one tenth of it in the potato or bean or whatever part we eat.
  • From our standpoint, the plant wastes all the rest of its energy on riotous living: growing roots and leaves, soaking up water, separating carbon molecules from oxygen ones.
  • We stick a bunch of seeds in the ground and then treat a thousand acres of corn pretty much as a single unit.
  • What if the farmer could give every stalk of corn individual attention and water and fertilize each one exactly when it was needed?
  • I mentioned Gregor Mendel, known as the father of genetics.
  • That range between the smallest pea plant and the largest is the full spectrum of what that plant can be.
  • (We see this same principle with different breeds of dogs.
  • To describe ending hunger in the future, I have only these tarnished terms of the present at my disposal.
  • And yet the future I envision is no more like what we have today than a state-of-the-art Volvo factory is like a nineteenth-century London sweatshop.
  • I ask the reader to resist the urge to pigeonhole me until the end of the section.
  • Remember the Warren Bennis quote I used earlier about the factory of the future having only one man and one dog?
  • The farm of the future will have neither.
  • Sensors can constantly monitor moisture levels in the soil, the size and color of the plants, air quality, nutrient levels in the soil, amount of sunlight, and hundreds of other variables.
  • The farm of the future will rotate crops automatically and decide which fields to leave fallow.
  • If the farm of the future plugs into the national grid, it will become part of the national food strategy and can be optimized for financial yield for the owners.
  • The system will see that just the right amounts of black-eyed peas, potatoes, and corn are grown.
  • The farm of today already has tractors that use GPS to make perfectly parallel rows with great precision.
  • By one estimate in 1820, 70 percent of Americans farmed.
  • Mechanization and automation—both of which are about to get a lot better.
  • I know this sounds awful to a lot of people.
  • Exportable technology can function around the world.
  • Because of its reliability, agriculture will become more like an exact science.
  • How do I reconcile my personal choices with my statement that the farm of the future is a good thing?
  • First, this future farm I describe is nothing like what I go out of my way to avoid today.
  • Recall my comparison of a nineteenth-century London factory to a factory that makes Volvos today.
  • This dairyman also makes some of the milk into cheese and we use a lot of that as well.
  • I am a huge fan of heritage meats.
  • Additionally, I am quite interested in the history of food.
  • I have an extensive library of very old recipe books, including several "autographs"—original, handwritten, unpublished, personal cookbooks—that date back to the early 1700s.
  • My favorite cookbook, Apicius, is a 1,500-year-old collection of recipes from ancient Rome.
  • Third, the day will come when the farm of the future will make a healthier, less expensive, more ecologically friendly, fresher, and better-tasting product.
  • The mass food industry of today cannot make this claim.
  • But when the farm of tomorrow delivers on this holistic promise, I think all people will embrace it.
  • Then Henry Ford came along, followed by a host of others, and cars got better and better while getting less and less expensive.
  • Plus, raising plants and animals takes a long time and is a lot of work to boot.
  • Both of these are hugely important parts of life, and I know of no one who would trade them away for a pill they swallow in the morning that gives them all their nutrition for the day.
  • That said, my "end hunger" case doesn't hang on the viability of GM crops.
  • Second, the real promise of GM crops will not necessarily come about from the food industry.
  • Think of it this way.
  • Fast food chains optimize for two of them: taste and price, at the expense of nutrition.
  • Other businesses in the food industry—say those pricey health foods you see at fancy grocery stores—optimize for taste and nutrition at the expense of price.
  • In a recent survey, only a quarter of Americans answered that question with a "yes."
  • The majority of processed food sold in the United States contains GMO.
  • Presently, labeling of GMO content isn't a requirement—and since labeling is a complex and controversial issue that has no bearing on my thesis, I will pass it by.
  • An example of that is a breed of cat called "Scottish Fold."
  • Susie had kittens, and two of them had folded ears as well.
  • A neighboring farmer and cat-lover, William Ross, perhaps hearing a distinct "ka-ching" in his head, got one of the kittens and teamed up with a geneticist and began a careful breeding program.
  • This is a form of genetic modification.
  • All manner of breeds of dogs, cats, cows, and horses are bred in similar ways.
  • Another method of genetic modification, called mutagenesis, dates to the early part of the twentieth century.
  • If the first order of genetic modification is deliberately keeping desirable mutations, then this is the second order: creating conditions for such genetic modifications to occur more rapidly.
  • Half the rice grown in California is a descendant of Calrose 76, created when gamma rays mutated some regular rice and the resulting mutant produced more grain and less spoilage.
  • Finally, we get to the fourth order of GMO: being able to splice genes from one species into another species, a process known as transgenesis.
  • UNICEF has said a program that gives children two large doses a year of vitamin A could all but eliminate VAD, although more frequent, smaller doses would be better.
  • Since rice is relied upon by so much of the world's poor, efforts here really can save lives.
  • By one count, rice is the principle source of calories for about half the planet.
  • Can you guess how many lives these two varieties of rice have already saved?
  • In much of Europe, because of deep fear and suspicion of GMO crops, their importation is forbidden.
  • This is exactly the kind of problem geneticists can sink their teeth into, so to speak, to make the protein in this grain digestible.
  • In late 2009, the entire genome of corn was decoded.
  • Me ordering a second helping of corn on the cob while dining at the Black Eyed Pea also increases demand for corn, but for doing so, I shouldn't stand trial for murder.
  • Wouldn't that be something: Plants that would convert nitrogen from the atmosphere directly into ammonia they could use or plants that gave off the odor of other plants that pests avoid?
  • (If that can be achieved, to my readers under age twelve, I hold out the possibility of Brussels sprouts that taste like chocolate.)
  • By taking this "Absolutely no GMOs" stance they completely remove themselves from the debate and as such have no voice in the discussion about what direction to take GM: what are safe testing practices, what factors will we optimize for, and the whole host of questions that face us on this, the eve of a momentous leap forward.
  • The possibilities of GMO go far beyond prettier corn or cheaper strawberries.
  • How about flowers that bloom in different colors when they are on top of land mines?
  • The Internet will greatly speed the research and, hopefully, the safety of GM foods.
  • The massive amounts of information in these decoded genomes can only be processed by computers.
  • The issues are difficult because fundamentally none of us knows the ultimate effects.
  • As we have reasoned, when the Internet and related technologies help bring an end to poverty, the end of poverty will largely solve the problem of hunger.
  • But the end of hunger also will be hastened by a host of Internet technologies that will dramatically change agriculture.
  • As noted previously, in the future much of what you do will leave a Digital Echo, a record of its occurrence, down to the very minutia of your life.
  • Part of this will be enabled by very cheap sensors embedded in the things you use.
  • Remember my earlier statement that a farmer treats a thousand acres of corn as a single entity because it is not cost effective to deal with each corn stalk separately?
  • Our eyes are capable of seeing only a narrow spectrum of light.
  • We cannot determine the chemical composition of soil simply by touching it.
  • The ultimate goal, I submit, is not to optimize just meter by meter but what I call "grape by grape," down to each individual piece of flora and fauna.
  • If this sounds absurd, at present it is—but in the future, the price of technologies to do this will fall to nearly zero.
  • Farming will be done on such a scale that thousands of experiments can be happening at any one time, putting a tiny fraction of the produce at risk.
  • Cheap sensors, cloud computing, self-teaching algorithms with feedback loops and sufficient cycles to test a large number of techniques.
  • The price of such hardware is in free fall.
  • The speed and quality of those algorithms will get ever better.
  • How would it not find its way to the poorest regions of the earth?
  • This has been a common situation throughout areas with high degrees of poverty and is certainly the case in Ethiopia.
  • Eleni is CEO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, which works like this: Farmers in Ethiopia bring their crops to any of two hundred market centers around the country.
  • Their produce is checked in to the warehouse and each farmer is issued a certificate corresponding to the amount of produce he brought.
  • This is made possible by technology and the Internet, which is used to connect buyers and sellers worldwide and bring information (world commodity prices) to the far reaches of the globe.
  • These are the kinds of solutions that will change the world.
  • The principle here is to agree to buy a certain amount of a commodity at a certain price from farmers in these countries.
  • The access to information that mobile phones are bringing virtually everywhere on the planet is helping people raise their standard of living and will do so even more dramatically in the years to come.
  • One of these is micro-lending, which directly connects the lender with the borrower and which the Internet has made appealingly easy and personal.
  • With the help of local agencies around the world that have experience in micro-loans, a would-be borrower—say, a fish seller in the Philippines—uploads a picture and an explanation of what she wants the loan for.
  • Since its founding in 2005, Kiva has loaned out nearly a quarter of a billion dollars and is repaid almost 99 percent of the time.
  • Micro-lending is not new; the idea of small loans to the entrepreneurial poor is centuries old.
  • But in the meantime, hunger will stay with us even in the world of plenty.
  • To think of the right to life as somehow different than a right to food is hard for me.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte made a comment along these lines when he stated, "Man is entitled by birthright to a share of the Earth's produce sufficient to fill the needs of his existence."
  • It was his view that "the attainment of human rights in the fullest sense cannot be achieved so long as hundreds of millions of poverty-stricken people lack the basic necessities for life."
  • I am going to take some of what you have and give it to someone else.
  • It would be a colossal mistake to assume some sort of collectivist or communistic solution to hunger in the world.
  • During the period 1958 to 1961, an initiative called "The Great Leap Forward" was intended to increase the production of grain and other agricultural products.
  • China pulled out all the stops, dividing its farmland into about twenty-five thousand collective farms with an average of five thousand households each.
  • Instead of earning money, members of the collectives earned work points (which, of course, everyone prefers to money).
  • During this three-year period, conveniently named by the Chinese "The Three Years of Natural Disasters," no one really knows how many people died; estimates range from fifteen million to a high of more than forty-five million.
  • And the great tragedy is: During these three years, China exported more than twelve million tons of grain along with a literal cornucopia of other agricultural products.
  • Their only concern was how to fulfill the delivery of grain.
  • It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.
  • And if that were not enough, he killed by starvation in the name of a program called—I kid you not—"The Super Great Leap Forward."
  • Inspired by the Chinese effort, he, too, tried to increase the agricultural production of his country by emptying the cities and sending everyone to work on the farms under brutal conditions.
  • Everyone, by contrast, would kiss the hand that fed them, regardless of how bloody it was.
  • But the cost is so negligible that no one thinks much of it.
  • Roosevelt went on to outline what he believed would be in this Second Bill of Rights: food, medicine, shelter, and so on.
  • But this is a misreading of both Roosevelt and history.
  • The Communist system eschewed political liberties in favor of economic ones.
  • He is raising the value of citizenship, not cheapening it.
  • While Jefferson's "all men are created equal" statement was not meant by him to include slaves, we have broadened the application of the principle and should continue to do so.
  • Roosevelt is saying that freedom itself cannot exist apart from some amount of economic liberty.
  • To elevate food to the status of a human right does not require government to administer it—far from it.
  • But what if everyone in the nation, rich and poor, were to be mailed a $2,000 food card annually, redeemable at the grocery store for any of several hundred nutritious foods?
  • But of course, I am not most worried about the United States.
  • I hope that someday the whole world has only this nation's level of problems.
  • Food in the United States is so inexpensive as a percentage of national income that it literally is a throwaway item.
  • If you knew someone who was a good business partner, was fun to hang out with, but let one of his children starve to death so that he could enjoy a higher standard of living, what would be your opinion of this person?
  • Is our nation so poor or so weak that we must resort to the ultimate in pragmatism and befriend nations in the name of commerce or prosperity or military security while turning a blind eye to the suffering of their people?
  • What would we have the centuries to come to say about us: That we were so eager to maximize our position of power and wealth that we turned a blind eye to injustice?
  • As people grow wealthier (as the whole world will), they typically spend more money on food, though it is less as a percentage of overall income.
  • We know all this is true because we see signs of it already.
  • The cost of food will fall to nearly zero as the number of farmers in the world falls to zero and food becomes as cheap as clean water.
  • Deciding to end hunger today saves the lives of millions, and we have the technology to do it.
  • Now, I'm faced with explaining why the past was full of war but somehow the future will not be.
  • Do not expect this to be a uniformly reassuring journey; it may be more of a roller-coaster ride with some rather bleak descents.
  • The chapter on civilization describes humanity's progress through the years and the importance of it.
  • The next chapter addresses the possibility of ending war.
  • Out of the blue, the cavalry comes to the rescue.
  • All right then, not the cavalry, but a marshaling of arguments and observations that will show how the end of war is inevitable, or nearly so.
  • I outline forty-five different ways this will happen—surely enough that even if you don't agree with them all, you will still have plenty of reason to be optimistic.
  • For they cut the cheeks of the males with a sword, so that before they receive the nourishment of milk they must learn to endure wounds.
  • On July 29, 1014, Byzantine emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army in the Battle of Kleidion.
  • They were tied into one hundred fifty lines of one hundred men each.
  • The Bulgarian king Samuel was so stricken by the sight of his mighty army staggering back home that he suffered a stroke and died two days later.
  • Eventually Spartacus and many of his followers were killed and six thousand of his fellow rebelling slaves were crucified, a slow and agonizing form of death.
  • I will spare my readers a description of this other than to say it is exactly what it sounds like.
  • In 106, the Roman Emperor Trajan celebrated his defeat over the Dacians by ordering 123 consecutive days of gladiatorial games in the Roman Coliseum.
  • They are not tales of aberrant individuals but of societal norms.
  • This is not a defense of our present age; we will come to our own report card soon enough.
  • Rather, it is an acknowledgement of progress made.
  • Although slavery still exists and the low price of slaves speaks to the low value of a human life, the legal institution of slavery is gone.
  • No longer can a person own another person and have the power of the state backing him up.
  • Yet in most parts of the world, emancipation came peacefully as the civilizing effects of culture transformed society.
  • In most parts of the world, women are no longer legally regarded as chattel.
  • While inequalities still exist around the world for women, the tide of history is flowing inexorably in favor of women's rights.
  • In many places, we have ended the legal discrimination of people based on race.
  • We have seen the end of hereditary monarchy.
  • As recently as 1900, most of the world was governed this way.
  • We no longer have public executions as a form of entertainment.
  • In many parts of the world, we have even outlawed the use of animals fighting as entertainment, such as cockfighting and dogfighting.
  • There was a period when intellectuals believed and spoke openly of the idea that the "breeding" of the "unfit" should be limited.
  • The end of "Off with his head."
  • Every day fewer places exist where a single person has legal right to end the life of another.
  • In the past, when the power of the state was absolute in many parts of the world, it was harder to argue that every person on the planet had rights no monarch or state could violate.
  • We call these rights "human rights" because they apply to every single person on the planet by virtue of simply being alive.
  • Even acknowledging that human rights exist is a great advance of civilization.
  • And that advance continues, as the group of rights so acknowledged keeps expanding.
  • The very fact that we have debated in recent years whether we can use torture to get information that will save lives is a sign of the effects of civilization.
  • Rules of evidence are widely known and honored.
  • Courts of law, not courts of justice.
  • Democracies are thereby prone to the majority abusing the rights of the minority.
  • Republics consist of codified laws that apply to everyone, regardless of public sentiment.
  • The United States is a republic, as even the Pledge of Allegiance says.
  • We use democracy as a method of selecting representatives.
  • In contrast, courts of law apply the law to everyone.
  • Courts of law are now the norm in the world, with laws being democratically established and widely published.
  • We have not only outlawed cruelty to animals, but increasingly, people care about the living conditions of even the animals they eat.
  • As clichéd as it is to complain about rising rates of crime, the statistics tell a different story.
  • In terms of murders per one hundred thousand inhabitants, England fell from roughly twenty-three in the 1300s to about one today.
  • Murder isn't the only form of violent crime that is falling.
  • They do this for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it often works.
  • As Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle once observed, "Man seldom, or rather never for a length of time and deliberately, rebels against anything that does not deserve rebelling against."
  • We have eliminated debtors prisons, developed the idea of "women and children first," stigmatized child labor, made accommodations for conscientious objectors, widely adopted freedom of speech and the press and freedom of assembly, and a hundred more.
  • We have created documents that enshrine our values as a method of articulating and preserving them.
  • These documents, products themselves of civilization, try to provide legal protections for the most elemental features of civilization.
  • No matter your view of history and cosmology, civilization is very young.
  • They made civilization in times of adversity and want, not in the relative luxury and stability we enjoy today.
  • War is the ultimate barbarism, the primitive belief that fighting determines who is right—but of course it doesn't.
  • By declaring a pretty broad range of things worth killing and dying for, we say that each of those is more precious to us than human life.
  • Of course, the people making that judgment call and the people doing the actual dying usually are not one and the same, and therein lies the problem.
  • President Dwight Eisenhower, lifelong military man and five-star general, had much to say on the waging of war.
  • Early in his presidency, in a 1953 address that would become known as his "Cross of Iron" speech, he declared, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
  • It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the houses of its children ...
  • This is not a way of life ...
  • Under the cloud of war, it is humanity hanging itself on a cross of iron.
  • After speaking about the economic costs of war, the burden it places on the economy, and the toll this takes on the people, Eisenhower closed by describing the peace proposals he was offering Russia and China.
  • Their aim, he said, was nothing less than "the lifting, from the backs and from the hearts of men, of their burden of arms and of fears, so that they may find before them a golden age of freedom and of peace."
  • So did de Tocqueville, touring nineteenth-century America, when he wrote that "All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it."
  • As Eisenhower's presidency neared an end, he spoke of war again, but less in terms of economic costs.
  • Nearly two terms of fighting the Cold War led him to conclude, as he put it, War in our time has become an anachronism.
  • A war which became general, as any limited action might, would only result in the virtual destruction of mankind.
  • The virtual destruction of mankind.
  • The ability of humanity to destroy is now exponentially higher.
  • A full-scale, no-holds-barred, nuclear-missiles-raining-down kind of world war would profoundly change the course of human history for all time.
  • It is certainly possible to conceive of a single day without war.
  • Well, there are a lot of reasons we don't get along.
  • This is not a section about hope, ideals, wishes, or the brotherhood of all mankind.
  • My aim is to show you how war will end and convince you that the end of war is inevitable.
  • This is not me fighting against the tide of history but being swept along with it.
  • The flow of history will naturally end war.
  • (Yes, I know that statement should earn the "Screamingly Obvious Statement of the Year Award," but bear with me.)
  • I define war as armed conflict occurring between nation-states or, in the case of civil wars, between factions within nation-states.
  • In our individual countries, sets of laws are created by the citizenry and are designed to protect life, liberty, and property.
  • These laws provide recourse in the event that one citizen infringes on the rights of another.
  • No such system of laws controls relations among nations, no significant world police force exists, and the world court system is very weak.
  • Nation-states allow groups of people to create governments that reflect their common values.
  • People in a small town in Alabama, a small city in Algeria, and a large city in Argentina all desire different forms of governments with different services.
  • Faceless government in a distant land is no one's idea of paradise.
  • Through the adoption of standardized treaties, they can enter into economic agreements, adopt the same weights and measures, and agree to honor the intellectual property of the others.
  • In these ways, they can be part of a larger world economy without sacrificing much autonomy.
  • We sensed we were witnessing something spectacular happening in the affairs of the world.
  • I had not heard anyone predict even the possibility of these two events before they came upon us, in what seemed the blink of an eye.
  • No one I knew of had ever seriously considered the possibility that without any conflict, treaty, war, or even a coin toss, the Soviet Union would simply vote itself into nonexistence in 1991.
  • Francis Fukuyama wrote a famous essay entitled "The End of History?" which became the catchphrase of the day.
  • Of course, politics being what it is, the Peace Dividend was spent a dozen times over by as many special interests who felt they were the most deserving of such an unexpected largess.
  • Of course, politics being what it is, the Peace Dividend was spent a dozen times over by as many special interests who felt they were the most deserving of such an unexpected largess.
  • So, when I tell you we will see the end of war, if you are over thirty-five years of age, you have every reason to roll your eyes and tell me you have seen this movie before and aren't up for the sequel.
  • Anyone projecting an end to the historical constant of war had better be ready to overcome no small amount of justified skepticism.
  • As long as these states were to share a currency, a military, provide for interstate trade, and have a single foreign policy, they could retain the economic advantages of being a large nation while maximizing individual liberty and self-determination.
  • When the leaders of nations decide war is the best choice, they should know better.
  • They are elected or appointed to protect the rights of the citizens, yet they become the agents of their death.
  • The demise of war, now that is inevitable.
  • In the 1968 book The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant calculated that, "In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war."
  • History has disappointingly few examples of weapons made by governments and never used.
  • But this politics of war have in fact worked this way repeated, across place and time.
  • As Frederick the Great observed almost two centuries earlier, "If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army."
  • Corporations are run by "officers," comprised of multiple "divisions," and set revenue "targets."
  • Just as there is no single cause of war, there will be no single way that war will end.
  • Lest I try the patience of my readers, I will offer, in no particular order, forty-three that seem most worthy.
  • As recently as the early twentieth century, relatively few careers existed in which young men of drive and ambition could distinguish themselves and leave a mark on the world.
  • In the 1960 version of the film, he was played by a thirty-one-year-old Laurence Harvey.
  • In the 2004 incarnation of the film, he was played by thirty-one-year-old Patrick Wilson.
  • George Armstrong Custer, of "Custer's Last Stand" fame, became a major general at twenty-four.
  • In the past, impetuous young men would drop out of college and run off to join the army.
  • Now they drop out of college and run off to start corporations.
  • Young boys compete with other boys in sports and races and tug-of-wars and, well, in everything, because that is simply how they are wired.
  • Military heroes of the last several centuries, such as the aforementioned Lafayette and Hamilton and Travis, were not bloodthirsty.
  • Today's new battlefield, the battlefield of the market, is much better.
  • The rising prosperity of wealthy nations and the emergence of more wealthy nations.
  • The increasing destructiveness of war.
  • It is not just that the price of weapons falls and that their destructive ability increases.
  • It is this combined with the fact that their targets, too, are worth more; the cost of rebuilding a modern city today dwarfs the cost of rebuilding that city fifty years ago.
  • The reasoning behind MAD was that if we can annihilate the Soviets or the Chinese and they in turn can annihilate us, then none of us will start a war.
  • It was the basis for the movie War Games in which the military's computer finally figures out it can't win in a nuclear launch scenario and says of such a war, Strange game.
  • Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is a contributing factor in any number of conflicts there.
  • There was a rising worldwide consumption of consumer goods.
  • While the previous two points focused at the macro level and the overall costs of war, I speak here of consumers' perspective on war.
  • We are used to non-rationed goods, unlimited food in grocery stores, and the overall widespread availability of inexpensive quality products.
  • More and more of the things we have, we "can't live without."
  • This isn't the final triumph of consumerism—nothing nearly that sinister.
  • Civilization and the division of labor have gotten ever better at creating and adding value, thereby making things we love.
  • Since war historically has interrupted the flow of consumer goods, and would do so even more in our present interconnected world, preserving our hard-earned possessions provides an additional disincentive to war.
  • The decline in the economic benefits of war for businesses.
  • American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well.
  • In World War II, for instance, the Singer Corporation, of sewing-machine fame, made handguns for the war effort.
  • Public opinion is ever more in the peace camp because the vast majority of the economy doesn't benefit financially in times of war.
  • Imagine you are a defense contractor on top of the world.
  • Now, there is talk of war.
  • You are already on top of the world, remember?
  • Even if you don't accept this, try to accept that war is financially disadvantageous to 99 percent of the business owners in the country and that this is new and meaningful.
  • This is simply another form of trade, so some might accuse me of double counting some of my forty-three reasons war will end.
  • Centuries ago, North America saw a shortage of small coins, so large ones were cut into bits to circulate as small change.
  • Because of this, "two bits" is still slang for twenty-five cents in the United States.
  • Electronic transfers mean the money of a government, business, or individual might be anywhere at any time.
  • At the end of their day, the loan is repaid with a slight bit of interest.
  • Huge numbers of foreigners own American stocks and debt instruments.
  • It used to be that if you conquered another nation, your soldiers became looters and the military got to haul off everything of value in the country.
  • If you visit Rome and make your way to the Forum, nearby you will see the Arch of Titus.
  • More wealth is digital, to be sure, but immeasurably more wealth is tied up in the intricacies of society itself.
  • Think of a large city anywhere.
  • Is the value of the city just the value of the buildings, cars, furniture, and other physical items in the city?
  • In warfare, asymmetry is where something very small can do a huge amount of damage.
  • In the affairs of nations, large and powerful ones long have imposed their wills on the small and weak ones.
  • If the weak nation will not willingly do the bidding of the strong one, then it is made to.
  • In one sense, it's a peaceful world: The bully insists on the lunch money of the small kid, who has no recourse but to capitulate.
  • The benefits of asymmetry happen when the small kid gets a Taser.
  • Roughly a quarter of the way through our list of factors that will end war, we have reached the end of the economic ones.
  • As true as that was in Jefferson's time, our age has amplified all of it: both the miseries war can produce and the blessings peace can produce.
  • The end of monarchies.
  • Monarchies—the most prevalent form of government in human history—are disproportionately warlike for a number of reasons.
  • (Of course, when a king proves himself through battle, he is not risking his life but the lives of thousands of his subjects.
  • (Of course, when a king proves himself through battle, he is not risking his life but the lives of thousands of his subjects.
  • Notable examples exist, but the flow of history in this regard has rendered its verdict.
  • The end of dictators.
  • For many of the same reasons as monarchies, dictatorships are inherently warlike.
  • The way they secure their positions is through the ruthless application of violence.
  • Dictators, in short, are the scourge of the earth.
  • Or, they were the scourge of the earth.
  • The number of dictatorships is falling.
  • Not only are we eliminating historically warlike forms of government, we are replacing them with peaceful ones, namely democracy.
  • In World War II, the United States went to war with Germany, Italy, and Japan, a trio of undemocratic countries.
  • It is unprecedented for so many nations to change their form of government so quickly and peacefully.
  • The decline of military alliances and the rise of economic ones.
  • That should have been the end of it, right?
  • Germany, an ally of Austria-Hungary, was obligated by treaty to defend it.
  • Germany viewed the Russian mobilization as an act of war and therefore declared war on Russia.
  • By the end of the month, Japan, bound by treaty with Great Britain, declared war on Germany.
  • It all happened because of military pacts in which an attack on one party was viewed as an attack on all.
  • It is a relic of a different age.
  • Almost three-quarters of all defense spending occurs within NATO countries, meaning the alliance is largely the only military show in town.
  • Unless one can somehow imagine NATO countries going to war with each other, such as Belgium invading the United Kingdom, it is hard to see how "world wars" could escalate outside of NATO member countries.
  • If NATO is responsible for the bulk of the world's military spending and NATO no longer has the stomach for full-on war with modern states, then large-scale war seems less likely.
  • We could go on here and talk about other military powers and alliances, but the simple fact is that large countries are less willing to risk war in defense of small ones.
  • This has come about as we have left a polarized world behind us and the importance of military alliances has fallen.
  • The increased economic viability of smaller countries.
  • This is exactly the sort of thinking that makes nation-states useful.
  • People can come together and choose a form of government suitable to them.
  • The fact that small nations can adopt standard treaties, laws, currencies, and international practices of larger countries means that a small economic unit can be viable.
  • It has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world, almost no crime, and no public or foreign debt.
  • I am not saying tthe world would be better if every country was the size of Liechtenstein.
  • In the treaty, language describing the border between the United States and Canada, still part of Great Britain, included this:
  • From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St. Croix River to the highlands; along the said highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence ...
  • Once this became known, the question was submitted for arbitration to the king of the Netherlands, who ruled the St. John River to be the border.
  • The border issue was finally resolved by the Webster-Ashburton treaty of 1842.
  • As the number of touch points with other countries rises, so must our shared understanding of acceptable conduct.
  • What about extradition, if a citizen of one country visits another and breaks the local law?
  • Ever more accurate sensors can track the contents of ocean water or assess food safety.
  • Voluntary acceptance of shared practices is not a surrender of autonomy.
  • It is a willing agreement to a set of values and procedures, and a standard of conduct.
  • By making expectations explicit and public, these agreements reduce the number of sparks that can set off the powder keg of war.
  • Increasing rates of distrust of government.
  • The demise of war will be hastened when every impulse to war is regarded, at least initially, with a healthy measure of distrust.
  • The rise of public opinion as the most powerful political force in the world.
  • Every part of every restaurant was a smoking section.
  • Next, entire cities banned smoking in all indoor public places, contending a private business's right to allow smoking was trumped by the dangers of exposing patrons to secondhand smoke.
  • Thanks to the burgeoning of technology and social media, public opinion is the most powerful political force in the world today.
  • It can be a jumble of voices: politicians and corporations, celebrities, religious figures, and opinion leaders, a million conversations in a single room.
  • Some might argue this is not in and of itself a force for peace.
  • After all, public opinion may just as easily be stirred up in favor of war as against it.
  • Well, here we are, not quite halfway through our list of ways the Internet, technology, and civilization will come together to end war.
  • Two examples: the Battle of New Orleans, fought after the treaty ending the War of 1812 was signed; and the Battle of Palmito Ranch, fought a month after the Civil War ended.
  • In the absence of efficient communication, potential belligerents are left to impute the worst possible motives to the unexplained actions of others.
  • This is starkly different than if violence breaks out in a distant, unreal place where the only flow of information is from official sources.
  • Second, in addition to facts, the web has become the face of almost all organizations of the planet.
  • When everyone, and every nation, and every organization, and every movement all have a presence on the web, they can be understood in terms of it.
  • It is the ultimate manifestation of the marketplace of ideas; the more people who proffer their ideas to the world, the better the outcome will be for us all.
  • The idea is the power of short, instant messages broadcast to interested crowds.
  • Twitter.com is unquestionably the most efficient way in the history of humanity to send a single idea, invitation, complaint, or observation to the world.
  • I have no doubt there are all kinds of things in the Twitterverse that I want to know about, but I only find the ones that I first knew to look for.
  • Twitter is profound, and it unquestionably furthers peace because it promotes the interests of the many against the interests of the few.
  • After all, it has connected hundreds of millions of people and shows no sign of stopping until everyone is connected.
  • Before it is all over, the number of Facebook accounts will exceed the number of people on the planet.
  • Already, we get a glimpse of what is to come.
  • Facebook expands your number of weak ties.
  • Most Facebook users have people of other ethnicities and national origin as Facebook friends.
  • Thus one's Facebook friends may be more diverse in all sorts of ways than one's "actual" friends.
  • This is not a particularly new idea, similar to the phenomenon of getting to know and care about "pen pals" in far-flung places by exchanging postal-mail letters.
  • I mention FactCheck and Snopes as two examples of the many enterprises on the Internet that subject every government utterance to scrutiny in something approximating real time.
  • Publishing was expensive, and by the time news of the lie came out, days or weeks had passed.
  • I realize in these pages I must seem very distrustful of government, but it is not really true.
  • Government is a great achievement of civilization.
  • Frequently, this includes individual liberty and freedom of expression.
  • In the sorting through of the facts from a multiplicity of new sources, truth can be determined.
  • Even in autocratic regimes, truth has a way of seeping in—which means today's dwindling crop of dictators has a serious problem.
  • They need the Internet, mobile phones, computers, and the other accoutrements of the modern age for the wealth they bring.
  • But along with wealth, these technologies bring information and thereby sow the seeds of their undoing.
  • O'Neill observed that scrutiny of government had become so intense that officials never could have gotten away with that—and he was writing in the late 1980s.
  • Fast-forward a couple of decades, and the Internet has done vastly more than O'Neill could have imagined to promote open information about government.
  • In O'Neill's day, getting a copy of the federal budget meant writing away and buying a hefty paper copy.
  • They were men of ideas who were forced by circumstance to become soldiers.
  • Their revolution was not made up of a bunch of hotheads with torches and pitchforks.
  • Around the world, more than a billion mobile devices that both take and send photographs are currently in use, spread even to the poorest parts of the globe.
  • We saw the results of this in the 2009 Iranian protests, when these devices captured and relayed powerful, real-time images of events.
  • All of this means examples of atrocities by the government or by the mob are increasingly likely to be documented and publicized.
  • The article also describes a second project where a group of young entrepreneurs who look as if they could be in a garage band are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype 'Internet in a suitcase.'
  • The end of language barriers.
  • Imagine if today everyone spoke one language and I said that in the future we will speak hundreds of different languages and not be able to understand each other.
  • Everyone in the future will learn English because it will be the language of the Internet and thus the language of the world and commerce.
  • And if everyone you know speaks English and it is the language of the world, commerce, the Internet, and success, what will be the primary language you teach your children?
  • Long before English became the lingua franca of the Internet age, the world has wanted a common language.
  • French became the language of diplomacy and international affairs.
  • Wars have often been the result of misunderstandings brought about by language.
  • It is easy to be suspicious of the person who speaks in some strange tongue.
  • In Montana, where 10 percent of residents spoke German and another 10 percent were of German descent, ministers weren't allowed to preach in German to congregants who understood no English, and one town publicly burned German textbooks, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
  • It seems fitting to end this part of the list—ways that information and communication will help end war—by noting that every day, every moment, more and more people have access to the Internet.
  • As of the end of 2012, the Internet has more than two billion users.
  • By 2020, it is estimated that five billion people will be online, representing two-thirds the population of the planet.
  • Every other metric is still climbing: data throughput, mobile phone usage, messages sent, websites created, amount of information online, data transfer speed, and CPU speed.
  • We are more than three-quarters of the way through our forty-three steps toward world peace.
  • The final ten cover a range of topics that don't fit neatly elsewhere.
  • Educated people seem to pose more of a threat to autocrats.
  • In Russia, Joseph Stalin had thousands of writers, intellectuals, and scientists arrested and put into concentration camps.
  • And of course the Nazis were ardent book burners themselves.
  • The future German man will not just be a man of books, but a man of character.
  • On the other end of the education spectrum, college degrees are up: A recent Harvard University study reports that 6.7 percent of the world has a college degree, up from 5.9 percent in 2000.
  • This is because, like technology, money also multiplies the labor of man.
  • A record 15 percent—about one out of every seven—of new marriages in 2008 landed in the 'Marrying Out' category.
  • This is a force for peace, as more and more people have family members in more than one culture and share the interests of more than one nationality.
  • If your father is American and your mother Chinese, you will have a different understanding of differences between those countries, and, on balance, will be less amenable to war between those nations.
  • Being educated in the United States has long been a mark of distinction for the elites of other nations.
  • But the notion of "elites" is broadening, as is the number of non-Americans who study in the United States.
  • According to Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, The United States continues to host more international students than any other country in the world.
  • In addition, more than one billion of the world's seven billion people visited a country other than their own in 2011.
  • More than 70 percent of the British have passports, as do 50 percent of Canadians and 25 percent of Japanese.
  • This gave people a shared set of cultural references.
  • And, of course, American fast food is the food the world loves to say it hates.
  • Italian exotic cars are the daydreams of much of the world.
  • This is a force for peace—to the extent that as we share the same set of cultural references, we understand each other better.
  • I do not think the importance of YouTube lies in its role as a communication method nor as a fundamentally new means of distribution of media.
  • In an era when cameras were cumbersome and the number of channels on TV could be counted on one hand with enough fingers left over to snap, very little video of any kind was seen.
  • We don't simply have more video screens; we now have an infinitude of broadcasters.
  • The range of subject matter on YouTube is as incomprehensibly large as the range in quality.
  • Instead of reading words on a page and trying to imagine a concept, we can see it, as the old expression goes, in Technicolor.
  • Now, instead of just intellectually engaging with the news, we feel the government brutality, we experience the war, we are electrified by the demonstrations, and we are horrified at the suffering.
  • Nationalism, in my use of the term, is being an uncritical fan of your country.
  • It is the same spirit that makes people fanatical about a certain sports team, regardless of the players or the score.
  • They view the opposition by others to the actions of their country as treason, or at least, inexplicably self-destructive.
  • But the decline of nationalism is a force for peace.
  • The continuing advancement of civilization.
  • The social reformer of the past is depicted as a dour spinster wielding an axe to break barrels of "Demon Rum."
  • The population at that time was a tenth of what it is today.
  • So if a battle today were similarly costly, the proportional number of casualties would be 230,000.
  • Can you imagine the public reaction to that today: A quarter of a million people killed or wounded in a single day?
  • In World War I, in the Battle of the Somme, were over a million casualties, and the action advanced the Allied line just seven miles, or about two deaths for every inch of ground.
  • Another million people were lost in the Battle of Verdun.
  • We seem to have lost our stomach for these kinds of losses.
  • This is the present reality in a world defined by the ease of communication.
  • I hope that along the way you thought of a few I missed, a few trends or developments that lead toward peace.
  • War as the remedy will fall out of favor for the many reasons I outline above.
  • The world is happiest when this process is one of persuasion, goodwill, reason, logic, and negotiation.
  • Whether it is the notion of manufacturing meat or having the computer tell you what you should order at the restaurant, you may have cringed and thought, "Man, that's kind of creepy."
  • Anything that looks too much like The Matrix movies or The Terminator movies is just, well, kind of creepy.
  • So let's address it head-on: In this world of the future, do we lose our humanity?
  • My answer to that begins in the past, in the time of William Shakespeare.
  • His plays run in every major city in the English-speaking world, and Hollywood makes movies of them—good movies!
  • Baz Luhrmann's hip version of Romeo + Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
  • All kinds of artists have come and gone in the last four centuries, popular in their time but forgotten now.
  • All these things are the same today as they were in Shakespeare's time, and because of that, his stories are still very relevant to us.
  • Under the terms of the definition I offered earlier, that makes Shakespeare the epitome of art—that is, something that continues to speak to future generations.
  • Othello ends up killing the virtuous Desdemona out of jealousy.
  • Macbeth is the story of a ruthless wife, Lady Macbeth, who persuades her husband to murder the king and take his throne.
  • It is a tale of ambition and then of guilt.
  • But first we must go further back, from Shakespeare at the end of the sixteenth century to Plato around 370 BC.
  • You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding.
  • Simonides of Ceos was.
  • While Simonides was outside, the roof of the house caved in and killed everyone.
  • The implication was that Castor and Pollux, knowing of the imminent collapse of the roof, had come calling with the purpose of saving Simonides's life as their payment for the poem.
  • That's what interests me about this story (which may or may not be purely true): What Simonides did—recalling the names and locations of everyone at a large banquet—is described as entirely possible and an enviable, practical skill.
  • Two millennia later, it is fair to assume that humans are still capable of this kind of memory.
  • My memory is a big part of who I am and I have no desire to trade any of it away.
  • I think they would have said, That is kind of creepy.
  • In the second case, the technique of reading without vocalizing allowed for faster reading and a new, visual way to process verbal information—again, a net gain.
  • So in the present and future, when a technology comes along that represents such a change—that saves details of our activities with which to advise us later, or has us speaking to machines as if they were creatures—it will simply be more of the same.
  • It turns out that, even when doing what you love, both passion and profit matter—but that particular piece of wisdom came later with age.
  • As we approached the end of the flawless narrative, one of us would invariably ask sardonically (but never sarcastically), "What could possibly go wrong?"
  • I remember in autumn of '87 thinking it was perfectly reasonable to take the red 1964 Corvair convertible for a test drive, despite its lack of functioning brakes.
  • The title of Ralph Nader's book was right: That car was Unsafe at Any Speed, at least with the master cylinder removed.
  • At that point, the iffy parts of human history are behind us and it is blue skies and clean sailing ahead.
  • First, we will list the basics of my thesis about the future.
  • Technology brings about economic wealth through improved production, facilitation of trade, and promoting the division of labor.
  • So technology supports quality of life (from vaccines to Volvos) and generates wealth.
  • Think of how a few thousand years of human civilization got us to a certain amount of computational power.
  • Through all of this, we can end war by making it a worse choice than the status quo for everyone. 3.
  • Disease is a problem of technology; thus, its solution will be technological.
  • The availability and propagation of cheap sensors, cheap storage, and cheap computational cycles will allow humanity to develop a collective memory of the activities and outcomes of everyone on the planet.
  • Instead of relearning things over the course of centuries, people will be able to learn from the choices others have made.
  • As I review these points, none of them seem particularly like "stretches" to me.
  • Moore's Law works because many thousands of people compete with each other to drive technology forward.
  • The economy makes new machines that replace manual labor because many thousands of people are paid very well to do so.
  • Thousands of people research alternative energy because a breakthrough will change the world and make fortunes.
  • Thousands of people research diseases because they individually want to cure them.
  • We are a tiny dot of life suspended in a nearly infinite universe.
  • The ability of a few people to do a massive amount of damage rises as civilization becomes more complex and destructive power increases.
  • In spite of the massive benefits civilization offers to every person in every station of life, a crazy few will always see it very differently.
  • As troubling as this thought is, equally troubling would be the response of the country so attacked.
  • Prosperity requires civil liberties, prosperity thrives under lower taxes, and prosperity shrivels as wars disrupt the free flow of labor and capital.
  • Anyone who loves civilization necessarily appreciates the role of government in protecting liberties.
  • Any given nation usually has a large amount of homogeneity.
  • Having said all of that, government should certainly be watched with a suspicious eye, for it could conceivably delay or derail our ascent to the next golden age.
  • It can lessen its enforcement of private property rights.
  • And most damaging, it can wage war and thereby siphon off wealth, technology, and the lives of its citizens.
  • They could put all their competitors out of business.
  • The benefits of civilization—from wealth to individual liberty and self-determination, from better health to safety and peace—all outweigh what its proponents can offer.
  • As I see it, the grandchildren of those who would strap bombs on themselves today will not be rushing to imitate their elders.
  • I think the range of problems that technology can solve is confined to technological problems.
  • Four of the problems I address in this book—ignorance, disease, famine, and poverty—are purely technical problems.
  • And war is a by-product of several technical problems.
  • When confronted with any thorny societal problem, I apply the same basic thought process I used on the five topics of this book.
  • Are we moving in the direction of the solution now?
  • If the answers to those questions are affirmative, then making assumptions about increasing rates of technological progress is very reasonable.
  • As a historian, I know it has been the vanity of every age to think it represents a high point in history.
  • We live at a defining moment for humanity, as the compounding effects of technology and civilization reach an inflection point.
  • After all, we live in a universe that looks like it has plenty of room for us to expand into.
  • Today, all of our eggs are in a lone planetary basket, Earth.
  • I think we will learn to conquer distance though a method of which we cannot yet conceive.
  • So, far from reaching that point the pessimists foretold—where we have exhausted the meager resources of earth and find ourselves dwindling away—something entirely different is happening.
  • It is consistent with all we know of the past, which is progress and prosperity.
  • No, quite the opposite: We live in what can only be termed the Age of Change.
  • A few impressions stand out vividly from the first years of my life; but "the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest."
  • My grandfather, Caspar Keller's son, "entered" large tracts of land in Alabama and finally settled there.
  • When the Civil War broke out, he fought on the side of the South and became a brigadier-general.
  • He married Lucy Helen Everett, who belonged to the same family of Everetts as Edward Everett and Dr. Edward Everett Hale.
  • I lived, up to the time of the illness that deprived me of my sight and hearing, in a tiny house consisting of a large square room and a small one, in which the servant slept.
  • The little porch was hidden from view by a screen of yellow roses and Southern smilax.
  • It was the favourite haunt of humming-birds and bees.
  • Its old-fashioned garden was the paradise of my childhood.
  • Even in the days before my teacher came, I used to feel along the square stiff boxwood hedges, and, guided by the sense of smell would find the first violets and lilies.
  • There, too, after a fit of temper, I went to find comfort and to hide my hot face in the cool leaves and grass.
  • Never have I found in the greenhouses of the North such heart-satisfying roses as the climbing roses of my southern home.
  • They used to hang in long festoons from our porch, filling the whole air with their fragrance, untainted by any earthy smell; and in the early morning, washed in the dew, they felt so soft, so pure, I could not help wondering if they did not resemble the asphodels of God's garden.
  • The beginning of my life was simple and much like every other little life.
  • There was the usual amount of discussion as to a name for me.
  • But in the excitement of carrying me to church my father lost the name on the way, very naturally, since it was one in which he had declined to have a part.
  • I am told that while I was still in long dresses I showed many signs of an eager, self-asserting disposition.
  • Even after my illness I remembered one of the words I had learned in these early months.
  • One brief spring, musical with the song of robin and mocking-bird, one summer rich in fruit and roses, one autumn of gold and crimson sped by and left their gifts at the feet of an eager, delighted child.
  • They called it acute congestion of the stomach and brain.
  • I fancy I still have confused recollections of that illness.
  • But during the first nineteen months of my life I had caught glimpses of broad, green fields, a luminous sky, trees and flowers which the darkness that followed could not wholly blot out.
  • Soon I felt the need of some communication with others and began to make crude signs.
  • A shake of the head meant "No" and a nod, "Yes," a pull meant "Come" and a push, "Go."
  • Then I would imitate the acts of cutting the slices and buttering them.
  • I understood a good deal of what was going on about me.
  • One day some gentlemen called on my mother, and I felt the shutting of the front door and other sounds that indicated their arrival.
  • On a sudden thought I ran upstairs before any one could stop me, to put on my idea of a company dress.
  • Many of them were so tame that they would eat from my hand and let me feel them.
  • Inspired, perhaps, by Master Gobbler's success, we carried off to the woodpile a cake which the cook had just frosted, and ate every bit of it.
  • The guinea-fowl likes to hide her nest in out-of-the-way places, and it was one of my greatest delights to hunt for the eggs in the long grass.
  • The sheds where the corn was stored, the stable where the horses were kept, and the yard where the cows were milked morning and evening were unfailing sources of interest to Martha and me.
  • Of course I did not know what it was all about, but I enjoyed the pleasant odours that filled the house and the tidbits that were given to Martha Washington and me to keep us quiet.
  • One was black as ebony, with little bunches of fuzzy hair tied with shoestrings sticking out all over her head like corkscrews.
  • We were busy cutting out paper dolls; but we soon wearied of this amusement, and after cutting up our shoestrings and clipping all the leaves off the honeysuckle that were within reach, I turned my attention to Martha's corkscrews.
  • Thinking that turn and turn about is fair play, she seized the scissors and cut off one of my curls, and would have cut them all off but for my mother's timely interference.
  • Many incidents of those early years are fixed in my memory, isolated, but clear and distinct, making the sense of that silent, aimless, dayless life all the more intense.
  • About this time I found out the use of a key.
  • One morning I locked my mother up in the pantry, where she was obliged to remain three hours, as the servants were in a detached part of the house.
  • This most naughty prank of mine convinced my parents that I must be taught as soon as possible.
  • The family consisted of my father and mother, two older half-brothers, and, afterward, a little sister, Mildred.
  • My earliest distinct recollection of my father is making my way through great drifts of newspapers to his side and finding him alone, holding a sheet of paper before his face.
  • Then I learned what those papers were, and that my father edited one of them.
  • I was in the North, enjoying the last beautiful days of the summer of 1896, when I heard the news of my father's death.
  • He had had a short illness, there had been a brief time of acute suffering, then all was over.
  • How shall I write of my mother?
  • She is so near to me that it almost seems indelicate to speak of her.
  • She was, alas, the helpless victim of my outbursts of temper and of affection, so that she became much the worse for wear.
  • The few signs I used became less and less adequate, and my failures to make myself understood were invariably followed by outbursts of passion.
  • If my mother happened to be near I crept into her arms, too miserable even to remember the cause of the tempest.
  • After awhile the need of some means of communication became so urgent that these outbursts occurred daily, sometimes hourly.
  • We lived a long way from any school for the blind or the deaf, and it seemed unlikely that any one would come to such an out-of-the-way place as Tuscumbia to teach a child who was both deaf and blind.
  • His methods had probably died with him; and if they had not, how was a little girl in a far-off town in Alabama to receive the benefit of them?
  • One lady gave me a box of shells.
  • Curled up in a corner of the seat I amused myself for hours making funny little holes in bits of cardboard.
  • My aunt made me a big doll out of towels.
  • It was the most comical shapeless thing, this improvised doll, with no nose, mouth, ears or eyes--nothing that even the imagination of a child could convert into a face.
  • Curiously enough, the absence of eyes struck me more than all the other defects put together.
  • I pointed this out to everybody with provoking persistency, but no one seemed equal to the task of providing the doll with eyes.
  • During the whole trip I did not have one fit of temper, there were so many things to keep my mind and fingers busy.
  • This was in the summer of 1886.
  • It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old.
  • On the afternoon of that eventful day, I stood on the porch, dumb, expectant.
  • The afternoon sun penetrated the mass of honeysuckle that covered the porch, and fell on my upturned face.
  • I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding-line, and had no way of knowing how near the harbour was.
  • "Light! give me light!" was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.
  • I was keenly delighted when I felt the fragments of the broken doll at my feet.
  • I felt my teacher sweep the fragments to one side of the hearth, and I had a sense of satisfaction that the cause of my discomfort was removed.
  • We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered.
  • I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers.
  • I recall many incidents of the summer of 1887 that followed my soul's sudden awakening.
  • I did nothing but explore with my hands and learn the name of every object that I touched; and the more I handled things and learned their names and uses, the more joyous and confident grew my sense of kinship with the rest of the world.
  • I learned how the sun and the rain make to grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, how birds build their nests and live and thrive from land to land, how the squirrel, the deer, the lion and every other creature finds food and shelter.
  • As my knowledge of things grew I felt more and more the delight of the world I was in.
  • Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand.
  • I knew the sky was black, because all the heat, which meant light to me, had died out of the atmosphere.
  • There was a moment of sinister silence, then a multitudinous stirring of the leaves.
  • I crouched down in the fork of the tree.
  • It was the sweet allurement of the mimosa tree in full bloom that finally overcame my fears.
  • It seemed as if the spirit of spring had passed through the summer-house.
  • I asked, and the next minute I recognized the odour of the mimosa blossoms.
  • I felt my way to the end of the garden, knowing that the mimosa tree was near the fence, at the turn of the path.
  • Its delicate blossoms shrank from the slightest earthly touch; it seemed as if a tree of paradise had been transplanted to earth.
  • After that I spent many happy hours in my tree of paradise, thinking fair thoughts and dreaming bright dreams.
  • I remember the morning that I first asked the meaning of the word, "love."
  • I smelt the violets in her hand and asked, half in words, half in signs, a question which meant, "Is love the sweetness of flowers?"
  • A day or two afterward I was stringing beads of different sizes in symmetrical groups--two large beads, three small ones, and so on.
  • In a flash I knew that the word was the name of the process that was going on in my head.
  • For a long time I was still--I was not thinking of the beads in my lap, but trying to find a meaning for "love" in the light of this new idea.
  • The beautiful truth burst upon my mind--I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.
  • From the beginning of my education Miss Sullivan made it a practice to speak to me as she would speak to any hearing child; the only difference was that she spelled the sentences into my hand instead of speaking them.
  • If I did not know the words and idioms necessary to express my thoughts she supplied them, even suggesting conversation when I was unable to keep up my end of the dialogue.
  • The conversation he hears in his home stimulates his mind and suggests topics and calls forth the spontaneous expression of his own thoughts.
  • This natural exchange of ideas is denied to the deaf child.
  • My teacher, realizing this, determined to supply the kinds of stimulus I lacked.
  • The deaf and the blind find it very difficult to acquire the amenities of conversation.
  • How much more this difficulty must be augmented in the case of those who are both deaf and blind!
  • As soon as I could spell a few words my teacher gave me slips of cardboard on which were printed words in raised letters.
  • I took my "Reader for Beginners" and hunted for the words I knew; when I found them my joy was like that of a game of hide-and-seek.
  • Of the time when I began to read connected stories I shall speak later.
  • What many children think of with dread, as a painful plodding through grammar, hard sums and harder definitions, is to-day one of my most precious memories.
  • Perhaps it was the result of long association with the blind.
  • She introduced dry technicalities of science little by little, making every subject so real that I could not help remembering what she taught.
  • We read and studied out of doors, preferring the sunlit woods to the house.
  • All my early lessons have in them the breath of the woods--the fine, resinous odour of pine needles, blended with the perfume of wild grapes.
  • The loveliness of things taught me all their use.
  • Few know what joy it is to feel the roses pressing softly into the hand, or the beautiful motion of the lilies as they sway in the morning breeze.
  • Another favourite haunt of mine was the orchard, where the fruit ripened early in July.
  • Oh, the delight with which I gathered up the fruit in my pinafore, pressed my face against the smooth cheeks of the apples, still warm from the sun, and skipped back to the house!
  • I built dams of pebbles, made islands and lakes, and dug river-beds, all for fun, and never dreamed that I was learning a lesson.
  • She made raised maps in clay, so that I could feel the mountain ridges and valleys, and follow with my fingers the devious course of rivers.
  • I liked this, too; but the division of the earth into zones and poles confused and teased my mind.
  • The illustrative strings and the orange stick representing the poles seemed so real that even to this day the mere mention of temperate zone suggests a series of twine circles; and I believe that if any one should set about it he could convince me that white bears actually climb the North Pole.
  • From the first I was not interested in the science of numbers.
  • These were the keys which unlocked the treasures of the antediluvian world for me.
  • After I had learned a great many interesting things about the life and habits of the children of the sea--how in the midst of dashing waves the little polyps build the beautiful coral isles of the Pacific, and the foraminifera have made the chalk-hills of many a land--my teacher read me "The Chambered Nautilus," and showed me that the shell-building process of the mollusks is symbolical of the development of the mind.
  • Again, it was the growth of a plant that furnished the text for a lesson.
  • Very soon the green, pointed buds showed signs of opening.
  • Once there were eleven tadpoles in a glass globe set in a window full of plants.
  • The only sign of life was a slight wriggling of his tail.
  • He had made his leap, he had seen the great world, and was content to stay in his pretty glass house under the big fuchsia tree until he attained the dignity of froghood.
  • Then he went to live in the leafy pool at the end of the garden, where he made the summer nights musical with his quaint love-song.
  • At the beginning I was only a little mass of possibilities.
  • When she came, everything about me breathed of love and joy and was full of meaning.
  • It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful.
  • My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her.
  • How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell.
  • I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers.
  • All the best of me belongs to her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch.
  • My friends did all they could to excite my curiosity by hints and half-spelled sentences which they pretended to break off in the nick of time.
  • Miss Sullivan and I kept up a game of guessing which taught me more about the use of language than any set lessons could have done.
  • It was a moment of supreme happiness.
  • In the pleasure of doing this, I did not stop to look at my own gifts; but when I was ready for them, my impatience for the real Christmas to begin almost got beyond control.
  • I found surprises, not in the stocking only, but on the table, on all the chairs, at the door, on the very window-sill; indeed, I could hardly walk without stumbling on a bit of Christmas wrapped up in tissue paper.
  • But when my teacher presented me with a canary, my cup of happiness overflowed.
  • Little Tim was so tame that he would hop on my finger and eat candied cherries out of my hand.
  • Miss Sullivan taught me to take all the care of my new pet.
  • Every morning after breakfast I prepared his bath, made his cage clean and sweet, filled his cups with fresh seed and water from the well-house, and hung a spray of chickweed in his swing.
  • I was no longer a restless, excitable little creature, requiring the attention of everybody on the train to keep me amused.
  • On the seat opposite me sat my big rag doll, Nancy, in a new gingham dress and a beruffled sunbonnet, looking at me out of two bead eyes.
  • She was covered with dirt – the remains of mud pies I had compelled her to eat, although she had never shown any special liking for them.
  • When I next saw her she was a formless heap of cotton, which I should not have recognized at all except for the two bead eyes which looked out at me reproachfully.
  • But they were so happy and contented that I lost all sense of pain in the pleasure of their companionship.
  • I could not quite convince myself that there was much world left, for I regarded Boston as the beginning and the end of creation.
  • The story of the brave men who had fought on the spot where we stood excited me greatly.
  • How full of life and motion it was!
  • But the rumble of the machinery made me think it was thundering, and I began to cry, because I feared if it rained we should not be able to have our picnic out of doors.
  • I could touch it, and perhaps that made the coming of the Pilgrims and their toils and great deeds seem more real to me.
  • I have often held in my hand a little model of the Plymouth Rock which a kind gentleman gave me at Pilgrim Hall, and I have fingered its curves, the split in the centre and the embossed figures "1620," and turned over in my mind all that I knew about the wonderful story of the Pilgrims.
  • How my childish imagination glowed with the splendour of their enterprise!
  • I thought they desired the freedom of their fellow men as well as their own.
  • I was keenly surprised and disappointed years later to learn of their acts of persecution that make us tingle with shame, even while we glory in the courage and energy that gave us our "Country Beautiful."
  • I saw him many times after that, and he was always a good friend to me; indeed, I was thinking of him when I called Boston "the City of Kind Hearts."
  • I was delighted, for my mind was full of the prospective joys and of the wonderful stories I had heard about the sea.
  • My most vivid recollection of that summer is the ocean.
  • The buoyant motion of the water filled me with an exquisite, quivering joy.
  • Suddenly my ecstasy gave place to terror; for my foot struck against a rock and the next instant there was a rush of water over my head.
  • At last, however, the sea, as if weary of its new toy, threw me back on the shore, and in another instant I was clasped in my teacher's arms.
  • Oh, the comfort of the long, tender embrace!
  • After I had recovered from my first experience in the water, I thought it great fun to sit on a big rock in my bathing-suit and feel wave after wave dash against the rock, sending up a shower of spray which quite covered me.
  • The breakers would swoop back to gather themselves for a mightier leap, and I clung to the rock, tense, fascinated, as I felt the dash and roar of the rushing sea!
  • The tang of the untainted, fresh and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought, and the shells and pebbles and the seaweed with tiny living creatures attached to it never lost their fascination for me.
  • I felt of him and thought it very strange that he should carry his house on his back.
  • In the autumn I returned to my Southern home with a heart full of joyous memories.
  • It seems to have been the beginning of everything.
  • The treasures of a new, beautiful world were laid at my feet, and I took in pleasure and information at every turn.
  • I was never still a moment; my life was as full of motion as those little insects that crowd a whole existence into one brief day.
  • The opening was filled with ferns which completely covered the beds of limestone and in places hid the streams.
  • The rest of the mountain was thickly wooded.
  • Here were great oaks and splendid evergreens with trunks like mossy pillars, from the branches of which hung garlands of ivy and mistletoe, and persimmon trees, the odour of which pervaded every nook and corner of the wood--an illusive, fragrant something that made the heart glad.
  • In places the wild muscadine and scuppernong vines stretched from tree to tree, making arbours which were always full of butterflies and buzzing insects.
  • It was delightful to lose ourselves in the green hollows of that tangled wood in the late afternoon, and to smell the cool, delicious odours that came up from the earth at the close of day.
  • Our cottage was a sort of rough camp, beautifully situated on the top of the mountain among oaks and pines.
  • The small rooms were arranged on each side of a long open hall.
  • We lived on the piazza most of the time--there we worked, ate and played.
  • "To-morrow to the chase!" was their good-night shout as the circle of merry friends broke up for the night.
  • The men slept in the hall outside our door, and I could feel the deep breathing of the dogs and the hunters as they lay on their improvised beds.
  • At dawn I was awakened by the smell of coffee, the rattling of guns, and the heavy footsteps of the men as they strode about, promising themselves the greatest luck of the season.
  • I could also feel the stamping of the horses, which they had ridden out from town and hitched under the trees, where they stood all night, neighing loudly, impatient to be off.
  • A fire was kindled at the bottom of a deep hole in the ground, big sticks were laid crosswise at the top, and meat was hung from them and turned on spits.
  • The savoury odour of the meat made me hungry long before the tables were set.
  • I spent many of my happiest hours on his back.
  • We always returned to the cottage with armfuls of laurel, goldenrod, ferns and gorgeous swamp-flowers such as grow only in the South.
  • We also went nutting, and I helped them open the chestnut burrs and break the shells of hickory-nuts and walnuts--the big, sweet walnuts!
  • At the foot of the mountain there was a railroad, and the children watched the trains whiz by.
  • The earth seemed benumbed by his icy touch, and the very spirits of the trees had withdrawn to their roots, and there, curled up in the dark, lay fast asleep.
  • The withered grass and the bushes were transformed into a forest of icicles.
  • We rushed out-of-doors to feel the first few tiny flakes descending.
  • A snowy night closed upon the world, and in the morning one could scarcely recognize a feature of the landscape.
  • All the roads were hidden, not a single landmark was visible, only a waste of snow with trees rising out of it.
  • But during the night the fury of the wind increased to such a degree that it thrilled us with a vague terror.
  • The rafters creaked and strained, and the branches of the trees surrounding the house rattled and beat against the windows, as the winds rioted up and down the country.
  • On the third day after the beginning of the storm the snow ceased.
  • There was no odour of pine-needles.
  • The rays of the sun fell upon the trees, so that the twigs sparkled like diamonds and dropped in showers when we touched them.
  • In places the shore of the lake rises abruptly from the water's edge.
  • It was in the spring of 1890 that I learned to speak.
  • I used to make noises, keeping one hand on my throat while the other hand felt the movements of my lips.
  • I used to sit in my mother's lap all day long and keep my hands on her face because it amused me to feel the motions of her lips; and I moved my lips, too, although I had forgotten what talking was.
  • One who is entirely dependent upon the manual alphabet has always a sense of restraint, of narrowness.
  • This feeling began to agitate me with a vexing, forward-reaching sense of a lack that should be filled.
  • But I persisted, and an accident soon occurred which resulted in the breaking down of this great barrier--I heard the story of Ragnhild Kaata.
  • This lovely, sweet-natured lady offered to teach me herself, and we began the twenty-sixth of March, 1890.
  • Miss Fuller's method was this: she passed my hand lightly over her face, and let me feel the position of her tongue and lips when she made a sound.
  • As I talked, happy thoughts fluttered up out of my words that might perhaps have struggled in vain to escape my fingers.
  • I had learned only the elements of speech.
  • Nor is it true that, after I had learned these elements, I did the rest of the work myself.
  • All teachers of the deaf know what this means, and only they can at all appreciate the peculiar difficulties with which I had to contend.
  • In reading my teacher's lips I was wholly dependent on my fingers: I had to use the sense of touch in catching the vibrations of the throat, the movements of the mouth and the expression of the face; and often this sense was at fault.
  • I could not be despondent while I anticipated the delight of talking to my mother and reading her responses from her lips.
  • It astonished me to find how much easier it is to talk than to spell with the fingers, and I discarded the manual alphabet as a medium of communication on my part; but Miss Sullivan and a few friends still use it in speaking to me, for it is more convenient and more rapid than lip-reading.
  • Just here, perhaps, I had better explain our use of the manual alphabet, which seems to puzzle people who do not know us.
  • I place my hand on the hand of the speaker so lightly as not to impede its movements.
  • The position of the hand is as easy to feel as it is to see.
  • Constant practice makes the fingers very flexible, and some of my friends spell rapidly--about as fast as an expert writes on a typewriter.
  • The mere spelling is, of course, no more a conscious act than it is in writing.
  • At last the happiest of happy moments arrived.
  • I had made my homeward journey, talking constantly to Miss Sullivan, not for the sake of talking, but determined to improve to the last minute.
  • The winter of 1892 was darkened by the one cloud in my childhood's bright sky.
  • A little story called "The Frost King," which I wrote and sent to Mr. Anagnos, of the Perkins Institution for the Blind, was at the root of the trouble.
  • My thoughts flowed easily; I felt a sense of joy in the composition.
  • Now, if words and images come to me without effort, it is a pretty sure sign that they are not the offspring of my own mind, but stray waifs that I regretfully dismiss.
  • At that time I eagerly absorbed everything I read without a thought of authorship, and even now I cannot be quite sure of the boundary line between my ideas and those I find in books.
  • I suppose that is because so many of my impressions come to me through the medium of others' eyes and ears.
  • This question surprised me very much; for I had not the faintest recollection of having had it read to me.
  • Mr. Anagnos was delighted with "The Frost King," and published it in one of the Perkins Institution reports.
  • This was the pinnacle of my happiness, from which I was in a little while dashed to earth.
  • No child ever drank deeper of the cup of bitterness than I did.
  • I was to be Ceres in a kind of masque given by the blind girls.
  • How well I remember the graceful draperies that enfolded me, the bright autumn leaves that wreathed my head, and the fruit and grain at my feet and in my hands, and beneath all the piety of the masque the oppressive sense of coming ill that made my heart heavy.
  • Something I said made her think she detected in my words a confession that I did remember Miss Canby's story of "The Frost Fairies," and she laid her conclusions before Mr. Anagnos, although I had told her most emphatically that she was mistaken.
  • He believed, or at least suspected, that Miss Sullivan and I had deliberately stolen the bright thoughts of another and imposed them on him to win his admiration.
  • I was brought before a court of investigation composed of the teachers and officers of the Institution, and Miss Sullivan was asked to leave me.
  • But the angel of forgetfulness has gathered up and carried away much of the misery and all the bitterness of those sad days.
  • Miss Sullivan had never heard of "The Frost Fairies" or of the book in which it was published.
  • One thing is certain, the language was ineffaceably stamped upon my brain, though for a long time no one knew it, least of all myself.
  • But the fact remains that Miss Canby's story was read to me once, and that long after I had forgotten it, it came back to me so naturally that I never suspected that it was the child of another mind.
  • Miss Canby herself wrote kindly, "Some day you will write a great story out of your own head, that will be a comfort and help to many."
  • I have never played with words again for the mere pleasure of the game.
  • For a long time, when I wrote a letter, even to my mother, I was seized with a sudden feeling of terror, and I would spell the sentences over and over, to make sure that I had not read them in a book.
  • I have read "The Frost Fairies" since, also the letters I wrote in which I used other ideas of Miss Canby's.
  • I find in one of them, a letter to Mr. Anagnos, dated September 29, 1891, words and sentiments exactly like those of the book.
  • I represent my teacher as saying to me of the golden autumn leaves, "Yes, they are beautiful enough to comfort us for the flight of summer"--an idea direct from Miss Canby's story.
  • This habit of assimilating what pleased me and giving it out again as my own appears in much of my early correspondence and my first attempts at writing.
  • In a composition which I wrote about the old cities of Greece and Italy, I borrowed my glowing descriptions, with variations, from sources I have forgotten.
  • Mr. Anagnos, in speaking of my composition on the cities, has said, "These ideas are poetic in their essence."
  • But I do not understand how he ever thought a blind and deaf child of eleven could have invented them.
  • It shows me that I could express my appreciation of beautiful and poetic ideas in clear and animated language.
  • It is only after years of this sort of practice that even great men have learned to marshal the legion of words which come thronging through every byway of the mind.
  • It is certain that I cannot always distinguish my own thoughts from those I read, because what I read becomes the very substance and texture of my mind.
  • Likewise my compositions are made up of crude notions of my own, inlaid with the brighter thoughts and riper opinions of the authors I have read.
  • It seems to me that the great difficulty of writing is to make the language of the educated mind express our confused ideas, half feelings, half thoughts, when we are little more than bundles of instinctive tendencies.
  • So this sad experience may have done me good and set me thinking on some of the problems of composition.
  • My only regret is that it resulted in the loss of one of my dearest friends, Mr. Anagnos.
  • Since the publication of "The Story of My Life" in the Ladies' Home Journal, Mr. Anagnos has made a statement, in a letter to Mr. Macy, that at the time of the "Frost King" matter, he believed I was innocent.
  • He says, the court of investigation before which I was brought consisted of eight people: four blind, four seeing persons.
  • Nor did I know the details of the investigation.
  • I never knew even the names of the members of the "court" who did not speak to me.
  • No one knew of these fears except my teacher.
  • At other times, in the midst of a paragraph I was writing, I said to myself, "Suppose it should be found that all this was written by some one long ago!"
  • It was with the hope of restoring my self-confidence that she persuaded me to write for the Youth's Companion a brief account of my life.
  • Up to the time of the "Frost King" episode, I had lived the unconscious life of a little child; now my thoughts were turned inward, and I beheld things invisible.
  • The chief events of the year 1893 were my trip to Washington during the inauguration of President Cleveland, and visits to Niagara and the World's Fair.
  • It seems strange to many people that I should be impressed by the wonders and beauties of Niagara.
  • Every day in imagination I made a trip round the world, and I saw many wonders from the uttermost parts of the earth--marvels of invention, treasuries of industry and skill and all the activities of human life actually passed under my finger tips.
  • It seemed like the "Arabian Nights," it was crammed so full of novelty and interest.
  • At a little distance from this ship there was a model of the Santa Maria, which I also examined.
  • Mr. Higinbotham, President of the World's Fair, kindly gave me permission to touch the exhibits, and with an eagerness as insatiable as that with which Pizarro seized the treasures of Peru, I took in the glories of the Fair with my fingers.
  • It was a sort of tangible kaleidoscope, this white city of the West.
  • At the Cape of Good Hope exhibit, I learned much about the processes of mining diamonds.
  • Dr. Bell went everywhere with us and in his own delightful way described to me the objects of greatest interest.
  • From these relics I learned more about the progress of man than I have heard or read since.
  • I read the histories of Greece, Rome and the United States.
  • I also gave considerable time to the improvement of my speech.
  • Miss Sullivan and I were at that time in Hulton, Pennsylvania, visiting the family of Mr. William Wade.
  • Mr. Irons, a neighbour of theirs, was a good Latin scholar; it was arranged that I should study under him.
  • I remember him as a man of rare, sweet nature and of wide experience.
  • I had read many books before, but never from a critical point of view.
  • I learned for the first time to know an author, to recognize his style as I recognize the clasp of a friend's hand.
  • Before the end of the first year I read "Wilhelm Tell" with the greatest delight.
  • Indeed, I think I made more progress in German than in any of my other studies.
  • I still regarded arithmetic as a system of pitfalls.
  • I hung about the dangerous frontier of "guess," avoiding with infinite trouble to myself and others the broad valley of reason.
  • I remember especially the walks we all took together every day in Central Park, the only part of the city that was congenial to me.
  • I never lost a jot of my delight in this great park.
  • In the spring we made excursions to various places of interest.
  • We sailed on the Hudson River and wandered about on its green banks, of which Bryant loved to sing.
  • I liked the simple, wild grandeur of the palisades.
  • Among the places I visited were West Point, Tarrytown, the home of Washington Irving, where I walked through "Sleepy Hollow."
  • The teachers at the Wright-Humason School were always planning how they might give the pupils every advantage that those who hear enjoy--how they might make much of few tendencies and passive memories in the cases of the little ones--and lead them out of the cramping circumstances in which their lives were set.
  • Before I left New York, these bright days were darkened by the greatest sorrow that I have ever borne, except the death of my father.
  • Mr. John P. Spaulding, of Boston, died in February, 1896.
  • The thought of going to college took root in my heart and became an earnest desire, which impelled me to enter into competition for a degree with seeing and hearing girls, in the face of the strong opposition of many true and wise friends.
  • This was the nearest approach I could get to Harvard and to the fulfillment of my childish declaration.
  • Of course my instructors had had no experience in teaching any but normal pupils, and my only means of conversing with them was reading their lips.
  • Of course my instructors had had no experience in teaching any but normal pupils, and my only means of conversing with them was reading their lips.
  • In spite, however, of these advantages, there were serious drawbacks to my progress.
  • The tedium of that work is hard to conceive.
  • I took the greatest delight in these German books, especially Schiller's wonderful lyrics, the history of Frederick the Great's magnificent achievements and the account of Goethe's life.
  • Mr. Gilman instructed me part of the year in English literature.
  • We read together, "As You Like It," Burke's "Speech on Conciliation with America," and Macaulay's "Life of Samuel Johnson."
  • My mind stirred with the stirring times, and the characters round which the life of two contending nations centred seemed to move right before me.
  • I wondered more and more, while Burke's masterly speech rolled on in mighty surges of eloquence, how it was that King George and his ministers could have turned a deaf ear to his warning prophecy of our victory and their humiliation.
  • I thought how strange it was that such precious seeds of truth and wisdom should have fallen among the tares of ignorance and corruption.
  • In a different way Macaulay's "Life of Samuel Johnson" was interesting.
  • At the Cambridge school, for the first time in my life, I enjoyed the companionship of seeing and hearing girls of my own age.
  • I lived with several others in one of the pleasant houses connected with the school, the house where Mr. Howells used to live, and we all had the advantage of home life.
  • Some of the girls learned to speak to me, so that Miss Sullivan did not have to repeat their conversation.
  • Perhaps an explanation of the method that was in use when I took my examinations will not be amiss here.
  • It was thought advisable for me to have my examinations in a room by myself, because the noise of the typewriter might disturb the other girls.
  • Mr. Gilman read all the papers to me by means of the manual alphabet.
  • I wish to say here that I have not had this advantage since in any of my examinations.
  • In that case I correct only such mistakes as I can recall in the few minutes allowed, and make notes of these corrections at the end of my paper.
  • In the finals, no one read my work over to me, and in the preliminaries I offered subjects with some of which I was in a measure familiar before my work in the Cambridge school; for at the beginning of the year I had passed examinations in English, History, French and German, which Mr. Gilman gave me from previous Harvard papers.
  • This encouraged me greatly, and I sped on to the end of the ordeal with a light heart and a steady hand.
  • I could not follow with my eyes the geometrical figures drawn on the blackboard, and my only means of getting a clear idea of them was to make them on a cushion with straight and curved wires, which had bent and pointed ends.
  • The geometrical diagrams were particularly vexing because I could not see the relation of the different parts to one another, even on the cushion.
  • It was not until Mr. Keith taught me that I had a clear idea of mathematics.
  • Just before the books came, Mr. Gilman had begun to remonstrate with Miss Sullivan on the ground that I was working too hard, and in spite of my earnest protestations, he reduced the number of my recitations.
  • At the beginning we had agreed that I should, if necessary, take five years to prepare for college, but at the end of the first year the success of my examinations showed Miss Sullivan, Miss Harbaugh (Mr.
  • On the seventeenth of November I was not very well, and did not go to school.
  • In the end the difference of opinion between Mr. Gilman and Miss Sullivan resulted in my mother's withdrawing my sister Mildred and me from the Cambridge school.
  • Miss Sullivan and I spent the rest of the winter with our friends, the Chamberlins in Wrentham, twenty-five miles from Boston.
  • For eight months Mr. Keith gave me lessons five times a week, in periods of about an hour.
  • My tutor had plenty of time to explain what I did not understand, so I got on faster and did better work than I ever did in school.
  • I still found more difficulty in mastering problems in mathematics than I did in any other of my studies.
  • He kept my mind alert and eager, and trained it to reason clearly, and to seek conclusions calmly and logically, instead of jumping wildly into space and arriving nowhere.
  • He was always gentle and forbearing, no matter how dull I might be, and believe me, my stupidity would often have exhausted the patience of Job.
  • The college authorities did not allow Miss Sullivan to read the examination papers to me; so Mr. Eugene C. Vining, one of the instructors at the Perkins Institution for the Blind, was employed to copy the papers for me in American braille.
  • Two days before the examinations, Mr. Vining sent me a braille copy of one of the old Harvard papers in algebra.
  • I received another paper and a table of signs by return mail, and I set to work to learn the notation.
  • But on the night before the algebra examination, while I was struggling over some very complicated examples, I could not tell the combinations of bracket, brace and radical.
  • Both Mr. Keith and I were distressed and full of forebodings for the morrow; but we went over to the college a little before the examination began, and had Mr. Vining explain more fully the American symbols.
  • The administrative board of Radcliffe did not realize how difficult they were making my examinations, nor did they understand the peculiar difficulties I had to surmount.
  • But if they unintentionally placed obstacles in my way, I have the consolation of knowing that I overcame them all.
  • It was a day full of interest for me.
  • I had taken to heart the words of the wise Roman who said, "To be banished from Rome is but to live outside of Rome."
  • In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another.
  • The lecture-halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and the wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom.
  • Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day."
  • The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time.
  • When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books and imagination--outside with the whispering pines.
  • In the French course I read some of the works of Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Alfred de Musset and Sainte-Beuve, and in the German those of Goethe and Schiller.
  • The lectures are spelled into my hand as rapidly as possible, and much of the individuality of the lecturer is lost to me in the effort to keep in the race.
  • The words rush through my hand like hounds in pursuit of a hare which they often miss.
  • Usually I jot down what I can remember of them when I get home.
  • I have tried many machines, and I find the Hammond is the best adapted to the peculiar needs of my work.
  • With this machine movable type shuttles can be used, and one can have several shuttles, each with a different set of characters--Greek, French, or mathematical, according to the kind of writing one wishes to do on the typewriter.
  • One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.
  • Last year, my second year at Radcliffe, I studied English composition, the Bible as English composition, the governments of America and Europe, the Odes of Horace, and Latin comedy.
  • Many scholars forget, it seems to me, that our enjoyment of the great works of literature depends more upon the depth of our sympathy than upon our understanding.
  • The trouble is that very few of their laborious explanations stick in the memory.
  • It is impossible, I think, to read in one day four or five different books in different languages and treating of widely different subjects, and not lose sight of the very ends for which one reads.
  • But the examinations are the chief bugbears of my college life.
  • It is most perplexing and exasperating that just at the moment when you need your memory and a nice sense of discrimination, these faculties take to themselves wings and fly away.
  • Give a brief account of Huss and his work.
  • You ransack your budget of historic facts much as you would hunt for a bit of silk in a rag-bag.
  • You are sure it is somewhere in your mind near the top--you saw it there the other day when you were looking up the beginnings of the Reformation.
  • In desperation you seize the budget and dump everything out, and there in a corner is your man, serenely brooding on his own private thought, unconscious of the catastrophe which he has brought upon you.
  • It comes over me that in the last two or three pages of this chapter I have used figures which will turn the laugh against me.
  • While my days at Radcliffe were still in the future, they were encircled with a halo of romance, which they have lost; but in the transition from romantic to actual I have learned many things I should never have known had I not tried the experiment.
  • One of them is the precious science of patience, which teaches us that we should take our education as we would take a walk in the country, leisurely, our minds hospitably open to impressions of every sort.
  • Such knowledge floods the soul unseen with a soundless tidal wave of deepening thought.
  • Indeed, books have meant so much more in my education than in that of others, that I shall go back to the time when I began to read.
  • I read my first connected story in May, 1887, when I was seven years old, and from that day to this I have devoured everything in the shape of a printed page that has come within the reach of my hungry finger tips.
  • As I have said, I did not study regularly during the early years of my education; nor did I read according to rule.
  • At first I had only a few books in raised print--"readers" for beginners, a collection of stories for children, and a book about the earth called "Our World."
  • I was permitted to spend a part of each day in the Institution library, and to wander from bookcase to bookcase, and take down whatever book my fingers lighted upon.
  • The words themselves fascinated me; but I took no conscious account of what I read.
  • One day my teacher found me in a corner of the library poring over the pages of "The Scarlet Letter."
  • I remember she asked me if I liked little Pearl, and explained some of the words that had puzzled me.
  • The name of the story was "Little Lord Fauntleroy," and she promised to read it to me the following summer.
  • But we did not begin the story until August; the first few weeks of my stay at the seashore were so full of discoveries and excitement that I forgot the very existence of books.
  • When she returned almost the first thing we did was to begin the story of "Little Lord Fauntleroy."
  • As we hastened through the long grass toward the hammock, the grasshoppers swarmed about us and fastened themselves on our clothes, and I remember that my teacher insisted upon picking them all off before we sat down, which seemed to me an unnecessary waste of time.
  • The air was balmy, with a tang of the sea in it.
  • When her fingers were too tired to spell another word, I had for the first time a keen sense of my deprivations.
  • I took the book in my hands and tried to feel the letters with an intensity of longing that I can never forget.
  • From "Little Lord Fauntleroy" I date the beginning of my true interest in books.
  • I read them in the intervals between study and play with an ever-deepening sense of pleasure.
  • They laid their treasures at my feet, and I accepted them as we accept the sunshine and the love of our friends.
  • I loved "Little Women" because it gave me a sense of kinship with girls and boys who could see and hear.
  • Circumscribed as my life was in so many ways, I had to look between the covers of books for news of the world that lay outside my own.
  • Later I read the book again in French, and I found that, in spite of the vivid word-pictures, and the wonderful mastery of language, I liked it no better.
  • The highest chords he strikes are those of reason and self-love.
  • I feel a genuine interest in the animals themselves, because they are real animals and not caricatures of men.
  • My mind opened naturally and joyously to a conception of antiquity.
  • God can dumbness keep While Sin creeps grinning through His house of Time.
  • I was familiar with the story of Troy before I read it in the original, and consequently I had little difficulty in making the Greek words surrender their treasures after I had passed the borderland of grammar.
  • My physical limitations are forgotten--my world lies upward, the length and the breadth and the sweep of the heavens are mine!
  • I read it as much as possible without the help of notes or dictionary, and I always like to translate the episodes that please me especially.
  • One could have traveled round the word many times while I trudged my weary way through the labyrinthine mazes of grammars and dictionaries, or fell into those dreadful pitfalls called examinations, set by schools and colleges for the confusion of those who seek after knowledge.
  • Although she did not think I should understand, she began to spell into my hand the story of Joseph and his brothers.
  • The unusual language and repetition made the story seem unreal.
  • But how shall I speak of the glories I have since discovered in the Bible?
  • Still there is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end.
  • I do not think that the knowledge which I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention.
  • There is something impressive, awful, in the simplicity and terrible directness of the book of Esther.
  • The story of Ruth, too--how Oriental it is!
  • Yet how different is the life of these simple country folks from that of the Persian capital!
  • Her beautiful, unselfish spirit shines out like a bright star in the night of a dark and cruel age.
  • I do not remember a time since I have been capable of loving books that I have not loved Shakespeare.
  • One reading was sufficient to stamp every detail of the story upon my memory forever.
  • It seems strange that my first reading of Shakespeare should have left me so many unpleasant memories.
  • The bright, gentle, fanciful plays--the ones I like best now--appear not to have impressed me at first, perhaps because they reflected the habitual sunshine and gaiety of a child's life.
  • I have since read Shakespeare's plays many times and know parts of them by heart, but I cannot tell which of them I like best.
  • The first book that gave me any real sense of the value of history was Swinton's "World History," which I received on my thirteenth birthday.
  • Though I believe it is no longer considered valid, yet I have kept it ever since as one of my treasures.
  • Then, too, there is in German literature a fine reserve which I like; but its chief glory is the recognition I find in it of the redeeming potency of woman's self-sacrificing love.
  • Of all the French writers that I have read, I like Moliere and Racine best.
  • I admire Victor Hugo – I appreciate his genius, his brilliancy, his romanticism; though he is not one of my literary passions.
  • No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book-friends.
  • More than once in the course of my story I have referred to my love of the country and out-of-door sports.
  • Of course, I cannot guide the boat very well.
  • It is fun to try to steer by the scent of watergrasses and lilies, and of bushes that grow on the shore.
  • I have had the same strange sensation even in the heart of the city.
  • It is like the kiss of warm lips on my face.
  • In the summer of 1901 I visited Nova Scotia, and had opportunities such as I had not enjoyed before to make the acquaintance of the ocean.
  • And at night what soothing, wondrous hours we spent in the shadow of the great, silent men-of-war.
  • The memory of it is a joy forever.
  • Hundreds of little sail-boats swung to and fro close by, and the sea was calm.
  • Our hearts beat fast, and our hands trembled with excitement, not fear, for we had the hearts of vikings, and we knew that our skipper was master of the situation.
  • As they passed us, the large craft and the gunboats in the harbour saluted and the seamen shouted applause for the master of the only little sail-boat that ventured out into the storm.
  • Last summer I spent in one of the loveliest nooks of one of the most charming villages in New England.
  • Wrentham, Massachusetts, is associated with nearly all of my joys and sorrows.
  • I remember with deepest gratitude the kindness of these dear friends and the happy days I spent with them.
  • The sweet companionship of their children meant much to me.
  • The prattle of the little ones and their pleasure in the stories I told them of elf and gnome, of hero and wily bear, are pleasant things to remember.
  • Mr. Chamberlin initiated me into the mysteries of tree and wild-flower, until with the little ear of love I heard the flow of sap in the oak, and saw the sun glint from leaf to leaf.
  • Thus it is that Even as the roots, shut in the darksome earth, Share in the tree-top's joyance, and conceive Of sunshine and wide air and winged things, By sympathy of nature, so do I gave evidence of things unseen.
  • Thus it is that Even as the roots, shut in the darksome earth, Share in the tree-top's joyance, and conceive Of sunshine and wide air and winged things, By sympathy of nature, so do I gave evidence of things unseen.
  • This inherited capacity is a sort of sixth sense--a soul-sense which sees, hears, feels, all in one.
  • One of them, a splendid oak, is the special pride of my heart.
  • As soon as my examinations were over, Miss Sullivan and I hastened to this green nook, where we have a little cottage on one of the three lakes for which Wrentham is famous.
  • Here the long, sunny days were mine, and all thoughts of work and college and the noisy city were thrust into the background.
  • In Wrentham we caught echoes of what was happening in the world--war, alliance, social conflict.
  • We heard of the cruel, unnecessary fighting in the far-away Pacific, and learned of the struggles going on between capital and labour.
  • We knew that beyond the border of our Eden men were making history by the sweat of their brows when they might better make a holiday.
  • It is impossible not to think of all this when I return to the country after a year of work in town.
  • It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face and the springy motion of my iron steed.
  • At present the lord of my affections is one of these bull terriers.
  • I love their affectionate ways and the eloquent wag of their tails.
  • When a rainy day keeps me indoors, I amuse myself after the manner of other girls.
  • The chessmen are of two sizes, the white larger than the black, so that I have no trouble in following my opponent's maneuvers by moving my hands lightly over the board after a play.
  • If I happen to be all alone and in an idle mood, I play a game of solitaire, of which I am very fond.
  • I use playing cards marked in the upper right-hand corner with braille symbols which indicate the value of the card.
  • Of course the little ones cannot spell on their fingers; but I manage to read their lips.
  • A burst of childish laughter greets my blunder, and the pantomime begins all over again.
  • Museums and art stores are also sources of pleasure and inspiration.
  • I feel in Diana's posture the grace and freedom of the forest and the spirit that tames the mountain lion and subdues the fiercest passions.
  • My soul delights in the repose and gracious curves of the Venus; and in Barre's bronzes the secrets of the jungle are revealed to me.
  • A medallion of Homer hangs on the wall of my study, conveniently low, so that I can easily reach it and touch the beautiful, sad face with loving reverence.
  • In imagination I can hear Homer singing, as with unsteady, hesitating steps he gropes his way from camp to camp--singing of life, of love, of war, of the splendid achievements of a noble race.
  • It was a wonderful, glorious song, and it won the blind poet an immortal crown, the admiration of all ages.
  • I should think the wonderful rhythmical flow of lines and curves could be more subtly felt than seen.
  • Be this as it may, I know that I can feel the heart-throbs of the ancient Greeks in their marble gods and goddesses.
  • I enjoy having a play described to me while it is being acted on the stage far more than reading it, because then it seems as if I were living in the midst of stirring events.
  • In the king's face, which he wore as a mask, there was a remoteness and inaccessibility of grief which I shall never forget.
  • I had often read the story, but I had never felt the charm of Rip's slow, quaint, kind ways as I did in the play.
  • I have a picture of old Rip in my fingers which they will never lose.
  • After the play Miss Sullivan took me to see him behind the scenes, and I felt of his curious garb and his flowing hair and beard.
  • Mr. Jefferson let me touch his face so that I could imagine how he looked on waking from that strange sleep of twenty years, and he showed me how poor old Rip staggered to his feet.
  • Once while I was calling on him in Boston he acted the most striking parts of "The Rivals" for me.
  • Then they rose to fight the duel, and I followed the swift thrusts and parries of the swords and the waverings of poor Bob as his courage oozed out at his finger ends.
  • Then the great actor gave his coat a hitch and his mouth a twitch, and in an instant I was in the village of Falling Water and felt Schneider's shaggy head against my knee.
  • Mr. Jefferson recited the best dialogues of "Rip Van Winkle," in which the tear came close upon the smile.
  • Of course, I have no sense whatever of dramatic action, and could make only random guesses; but with masterful art he suited the action to the word.
  • Of course, I have no sense whatever of dramatic action, and could make only random guesses; but with masterful art he suited the action to the word.
  • I shall never forget the ripple of alternating joy and woe that ran through that beautiful little play, or the wonderful child who acted it.
  • Is it not true, then, that my life with all its limitations touches at many points the life of the World Beautiful?
  • Sometimes, it is true, a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist as I sit alone and wait at life's shut gate.
  • Some of them would be found written in our literature and dear to the hearts of many, while others would be wholly unknown to most of my readers.
  • Those are red-letter days in our lives when we meet people who thrill us like a fine poem, people whose handshake is brimful of unspoken sympathy, and whose sweet, rich natures impart to our eager, impatient spirits a wonderful restfulness which, in its essence, is divine.
  • The perplexities, irritations and worries that have absorbed us pass like unpleasant dreams, and we wake to see with new eyes and hear with new ears the beauty and harmony of God's real world.
  • I suppose the calls of the stupid and curious, especially of newspaper reporters, are always inopportune.
  • The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me.
  • The touch of some hands is an impertinence.
  • I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm.
  • I count it one of the sweetest privileges of my life to have known and conversed with many men of genius.
  • As a child I loved to sit on his knee and clasp his great hand with one of mine, while Miss Sullivan spelled into the other his beautiful words about God and the spiritual world.
  • My spirit could not reach up to his, but he gave me a real sense of joy in life, and I never left him without carrying away a fine thought that grew in beauty and depth of meaning as I grew.
  • Love your Heavenly Father with your whole heart and soul, love every child of God as much as ever you can, and remember that the possibilities of good are greater than the possibilities of evil; and you have the key to Heaven.
  • Bishop Brooks taught me no special creed or dogma; but he impressed upon my mind two great ideas--the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and made me feel that these truths underlie all creeds and forms of worship.
  • In spite of the lapse of years, they seem so close to me that I should not think it strange if at any moment they should clasp my hand and speak words of endearment as they used to before they went away.
  • Since Bishop Brooks died I have read the Bible through; also some philosophical works on religion, among them Swedenborg's "Heaven and Hell" and Drummond's "Ascent of Man," and I have found no creed or system more soul-satisfying than Bishop Brooks's creed of love.
  • I knew Mr. Henry Drummond, and the memory of his strong, warm hand-clasp is like a benediction.
  • He was the most sympathetic of companions.
  • "And listening to the murmur of the River Charles," I suggested.
  • There was an odour of print and leather in the room which told me that it was full of books, and I stretched out my hand instinctively to find them.
  • My fingers lighted upon a beautiful volume of Tennyson's poems, and when Miss Sullivan told me what it was I began to recite:
  • He had a book of his poems in raised print from which I read "In School Days."
  • I also recited "Laus Deo," and as I spoke the concluding verses, he placed in my hands a statue of a slave from whose crouching figure the fetters were falling, even as they fell from Peter's limbs when the angel led him forth out of prison.
  • Dr. Edward Everett Hale is one of my very oldest friends.
  • He has filled the old skins of dogma with the new wine of love, and shown men what it is to believe, live and be free.
  • What he has taught we have seen beautifully expressed in his own life--love of country, kindness to the least of his brethren, and a sincere desire to live upward and onward.
  • Here in Dr. Bell's laboratory, or in the fields on the shore of the great Bras d'Or, I have spent many delightful hours listening to what he had to tell me about his experiments, and helping him fly kites by means of which he expects to discover the laws that shall govern the future air-ship.
  • Dr. Bell is proficient in many fields of science, and has the art of making every subject he touches interesting, even the most abstruse theories.
  • Most of them I met first in the house of my good friend, Mr. Laurence Hutton.
  • One does not need to read "A Boy I Knew" to understand him--the most generous, sweet-natured boy I ever knew, a good friend in all sorts of weather, who traces the footprints of love in the life of dogs as well as in that of his fellowmen.
  • When I find my work particularly difficult and discouraging, she writes me letters that make me feel glad and brave; for she is one of those from whom we learn that one painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.
  • Mr. Hutton introduced me to many of his literary friends, greatest of whom are Mr. William Dean Howells and Mark Twain.
  • I also knew Mr. Charles Dudley Warner, the most delightful of story-tellers and the most beloved friend, whose sympathy was so broad that it may be truly said of him, he loved all living things and his neighbour as himself.
  • Once Mr. Warner brought to see me the dear poet of the woodlands--Mr.
  • They were all gentle and sympathetic and I felt the charm of their manner as much as I had felt the brilliancy of their essays and poems.
  • I was like little Ascanius, who followed with unequal steps the heroic strides of Aeneas on his march toward mighty destinies.
  • I read from Mark Twain's lips one or two of his good stories.
  • He has his own way of thinking, saying and doing everything.
  • I feel the twinkle of his eye in his handshake.
  • I received from them gifts that have the gentle concurrence of the heart, books containing their own thoughts, soul-illumined letters, and photographs that I love to have described again and again.
  • One is Mrs. William Thaw, of Pittsburgh, whom I have often visited in her home, Lyndhurst.
  • Thus it is that my friends have made the story of my life.
  • Helen Keller's letters are important, not only as a supplementary story of her life, but as a demonstration of her growth in thought and expression--the growth which in itself has made her distinguished.
  • The best passages are those in which she talks about herself, and gives her world in terms of her experience of it.
  • Those are passages of which one would ask for more.
  • One cause for the excellence of her letters is the great number of them.
  • Many of those written before 1892 were published in the reports of the Perkins Institution for the Blind.
  • From the letters after the year 1892 I have culled in the spirit of one making an anthology, choosing the passages best in style and most important from the point of view of biography.
  • Except for two or three important letters of 1901, these selections cease with the year 1900.
  • By the following September Helen shows improvement in fulness of construction and more extended relations of thought.
  • By the beginning of the next year her idioms are firmer.
  • More adjectives appear, including adjectives of colour.
  • She wrote on the blackboard the names of all the gentlemen present.
  • While at Memphis she went over one of the large Mississippi steamers.
  • This morning Lucien Thompson sent me a beautiful bouquet of violets and crocuses and jonquils.
  • I found box of candy in Mr. Grave's pocket.
  • "Uncle Morrie" of the next letter is Mr. Morrison Heady, of Normandy, Kentucky, who lost his sight and hearing when he was a boy.
  • He is the author of some commendable verses.
  • In this account of the picnic we get an illuminating glimpse of Miss Sullivan's skill in teaching her pupil during play hours.
  • Toward the end of May Mrs. Keller, Helen, and Miss Sullivan started for Boston.
  • Early in July she went to Brewster, Massachusetts, and spent the rest of the summer.
  • I hope she will not eat too many of the delicious fruit for they will make her very ill.
  • I hope Harry will not be afraid of my pony.
  • I am very happy to write to you because I think of you and love you.
  • Poor people were not happy for their hearts were full of sad thoughts because they did not know much about America.
  • One day there was a great shout on the ship for the people saw the land and they were full of joy because they had reached a new country safely.
  • It was in this way that she learned to use correctly words of sound and vision which express ideas outside of her experience.
  • I shall not be afraid of Fauntleroy's great dog Dougal.
  • Do you like to look out of your window, and see little stars?
  • The engine-bell tells the passengers that they are coming to a station, and it tells the people to keep out of the way.
  • It made me feel very sad to leave Boston and I missed all of my friends greatly, but of course I was glad to get back to my lovely home once more.
  • All of my dear little friends came to see me.
  • I should like to send a kiss to Vittorio, the little prince of Naples, but teacher says she is afraid you will not remember so many messages.
  • I think of them every day and I love them dearly in my heart.
  • Like a good many of Helen Keller's early letters, this to her French teacher is her re-phrasing of a story.
  • It shows how much the gift of writing is, in the early stages of its development, the gift of mimicry.
  • One sits on the twig of a tree, just beneath our window, and he fills the air with his glad songs.
  • During the summer Miss Sullivan was away from Helen for three months and a half, the first separation of teacher and pupil.
  • I am sitting on the piazza, and my little white pigeon is perched on the back of my chair, watching me write.
  • The air is sweet with the perfume of jasmines, heliotropes and roses.
  • It is getting warm here now, so father is going to take us to the Quarry on the 20th of August.
  • What was the name of the little boy who fell in love with the beautiful star?
  • I will take very good care of him, and not let him fall and hurt himself.
  • We had some of them for supper, and they were very nice.
  • Sometimes, when mother does not know it, she goes out into the vineyard, and gets her apron full of delicious grapes.
  • It was a picture of a mill, near a beautiful brook.
  • There were eight pigeons on the roof of the house, and a great dog on the step.
  • You must not be afraid of them.
  • They cannot come out of the picture to harm you.
  • Give father and mother a great deal of love and many hugs and kisses for me.
  • "Browns" is a lapse of the pencil for "brown eyes."
  • Yesterday the Countess of Meath came again to see me.
  • She gave me a beautiful bunch of violets.
  • I made all of the gifts myself, excepting father's handkerchief.
  • I think of my beautiful home every day.
  • I am going to have a Christmas tree in the parlor and teacher will hang all of my gifts upon it.
  • All of the girls have gone home to spend Christmas.
  • A few days ago I received a little box of English violets from Lady Meath.
  • This, the first of Helen's letters to Dr. Holmes, written soon after a visit to him, he published in "Over the Teacups." [Atlantic Monthly, May, 1890]
  • They do not make honey for us, like the bees, but many of them are as beautiful as the flowers they light upon, and they always delight the hearts of little children.
  • They live a gay life, flitting from flower to flower, sipping the drops of honeydew, without a thought for the morrow.
  • I did not know then what she was doing, for I was quite ignorant of all things.
  • All of my friends will be so surprised and glad.
  • I was very, very sad to part with all of my friends in Boston, but I was so eager to see my baby sister I could hardly wait for the train to take me home.
  • I am always happy and so was Little Lord Fauntleroy, but dear Little Jakey's life was full of sadness.
  • I can almost think I see you with your father and mother and little sister, with all the brightness of the beautiful country about you, and it makes me very glad to know how glad you are.
  • It is from the power of love which is in our own hearts.
  • Love is at the soul of everything.
  • We like to think that the sunshine and the winds and the trees are able to love in some way of their own, for it would make us know that they were happy if we knew that they could love.
  • And so God who is the greatest and happiest of all beings is the most loving too.
  • I told you that I was very happy because of your happiness.
  • And He is happier than any of us because He is greater than any of us, and also because He not merely SEES your happiness as we do, but He also MADE it.
  • And we are always most glad of what we not merely see our friends enjoy, but of what we give them to enjoy.
  • He wants that most of all.
  • A great deal of the trouble that is in the world is medicine which is very bad to take, but which it is good to take because it makes us better.
  • And Jesus, who is His Son, but is nearer to Him than all of us His other Children, came into the world on purpose to tell us all about our Father's Love.
  • All this is what you are to think of and to understand more and more as you grow older.
  • Think of it now, and let it make every blessing brighter because your dear Father sends it to you.
  • I shall be there by the middle of September.
  • I am very much delighted to hear of your new acquisition--that you "talk with your mouth" as well as with your fingers.
  • The tongue is so serviceable a member (taking all sorts of shapes, just as is wanted),--the teeth, the lips, the roof of the mouth, all ready to help, and so heap up the sound of the voice into the solid bits which we call consonants, and make room for the curiously shaped breathings which we call vowels!
  • I am surprised at the mastery of language which your letter shows.
  • Just think of an army of blind people, with guns and cannon!
  • Think of the poor drummers!
  • Of what use would they and their drumsticks be?
  • You are spared the pain of many sights and sounds, which you are only too happy in escaping.
  • Then think how much kindness you are sure of as long as you live.
  • Everybody will feel an interest in dear little Helen; everybody will want to do something for her; and, if she becomes an ancient, gray-haired woman, she is still sure of being thoughtfully cared for.
  • It does great credit, not only to you, but to your instructors, who have so broken down the walls that seemed to shut you in that now your outlook seems more bright and cheerful than that of many seeing and hearing children.
  • It makes me very happy to know that I have kind and loving friends in the far-away State of Maine.
  • I did not imagine, when I studied about the forests of Maine, that a strong and beautiful ship would go sailing all over the world, carrying wood from those rich forests, to build pleasant homes and schools and churches in distant countries.
  • Please tell the brave sailors, who have charge of the HELEN KELLER, that little Helen who stays at home will often think of them with loving thoughts.
  • The grass was as green as though it was springtime, and the golden ears of corn gathered together in heaps in the great fields looked very pretty.
  • I hope your Christmas Day will be a very happy one and that the New Year will be full of brightness and joy for you and every one.
  • I had two or three hundred others and thine was one of the most welcome of all.
  • Of course the sun did not shine, but we had great open wood fires in the rooms, which were all very sweet with roses and other flowers, which were sent to me from distant friends; and fruits of all kinds from California and other places.
  • Of course the sun did not shine, but we had great open wood fires in the rooms, which were all very sweet with roses and other flowers, which were sent to me from distant friends; and fruits of all kinds from California and other places.
  • Tommy Stringer, who appears in several of the following letters, became blind and deaf when he was four years old.
  • His mother was dead and his father was too poor to take care of him.
  • He was admitted to the kindergarten on the sixth of April.
  • My Dear Friend, Mr. Krehl:--I have just heard, through Mr. Wade, of your kind offer to buy me a gentle dog, and I want to thank you for the kind thought.
  • I have begun to read "Enoch Arden," and I know several of the great poet's poems by heart.
  • Once the Earl of Meath came to see me, and he told me that the queen was much beloved by her people, because of her gentleness and wisdom.
  • His parents are too poor to pay to have the little fellow sent to school; so, instead of giving me a dog, the gentlemen are going to help make Tommy's life as bright and joyous as mine.
  • I love every word of "Spring" and "Spring Has Come."
  • I have chosen this paper because I want the spray of violets in the corner to tell you of my grateful love.
  • If you do come, you will want to ask the kind people of Boston to help brighten Tommy's whole life.
  • Tomorrow April will hide her tears and blushes beneath the flowers of lovely May.
  • Please think of me always as your loving little sister, HELEN KELLER.
  • It is very beautiful to think that you can tell so many people of the heavenly Father's tender love for all His children even when they are not gentle and noble as He wishes them to be.
  • I hope too, that Bishop Brooks' whole life will be as rich in happiness as the month of May is full of blossoms and singing birds.
  • Before a teacher was found for Tommy and while he was still in the care of Helen and Miss Sullivan, a reception was held for him at the kindergarten.
  • All of these she answered herself, and she made public acknowledgment in letters to the newspapers.
  • This letter is to the editor of the Boston Herald, enclosing a complete list of the subscribers.
  • He has found out that doors have locks, and that little sticks and bits of paper can be got into the key-hole quite easily; but he does not seem very eager to get them out after they are in.
  • Then I knew that you had not forgotten the dear little child, for the gift brought with it the thought of tender sympathy.
  • I tried to imagine my gentle poet when he was a school-boy, and I wondered if it was in Andover he learned the songs of the birds and the secrets of the shy little woodland children.
  • I am sure his heart was always full of music, and in God's beautiful world he must have heard love's sweet replying.
  • It is Sunday morning, and while I sit here in the library writing this letter you are teaching hundreds of people some of the grand and beautiful things about their heavenly Father.
  • There is a hiatus of several months in the letters, caused by the depressing effect on Helen and Miss Sullivan of the "Frost King" episode.
  • An analysis of the case has been made elsewhere, and Miss Keller has written her account of it.
  • I enjoyed every word of it and wished that it was longer.
  • I laughed when you spoke of old Neptune's wild moods.
  • Perhaps the Old Sea God as he lay asleep upon the shore, heard the soft music of growing things--the stir of life in the earth's bosom, and his stormy heart was angry, because he knew that his and Winter's reign was almost at an end.
  • But lo! the lovely maiden only smiles more sweetly, and breathes upon the icy battlements of her enemies, and in a moment they vanish, and the glad Earth gives her a royal welcome.
  • Now, dear friend, Please accept these few words because of the love that is linked with them.
  • We guide the pencil with the right hand, and feel carefully with the forefinger of the left hand to see that we shape and space the letters correctly.
  • In May, 1892, Helen gave a tea in aid of the kindergarten for the blind.
  • Of course we must not give it up.
  • I will see you to-morrow and then we can make the rest of our plans.
  • You remember teacher and I told you Sunday that I wanted to have a little tea in aid of the kindergarten.
  • This wonderful world with all its sunlight and beauty was hidden from me, and I had never dreamed of its loveliness.
  • But teacher came to me and taught my little fingers to use the beautiful key that has unlocked the door of my dark prison and set my spirit free.
  • At the end of June Miss Sullivan and Helen went home to Tuscumbia.
  • My dear Carrie--You are to look upon it as a most positive proof of my love that I write to you to-day.
  • Nevertheless, I must tell you that we are alive,--that we reached home safely, and that we speak of you daily, and enjoy your interesting letters very much.
  • Everything was fresh and spring-like, and we stayed out of doors all day.
  • I was greatly amused at the idea of your writing the square hand.
  • It was a lovely cape crocheted, for me, by an old gentleman, seventy-five years of age.
  • I have loved you for a long time, but I did not think you had ever heard of me until your sweet message came.
  • Please accept them with the love and good wishes of your friend, HELEN KELLER.
  • Before I left Boston, I was asked to write a sketch of my life for the Youth's Companion.
  • It is because my books are full of the riches of which Mr. Ruskin speaks that I love them so dearly.
  • I often think of the pleasant time we had all together in Boston last spring.
  • I love all living things,--I suppose everyone does; but of course I cannot have a menagerie.
  • I do try to think that he is still near, very near; but sometimes the thought that he is not here, that I shall not see him when I go to Boston,--that he is gone,--rushes over my soul like a great wave of sorrow.
  • In reading this letter about Niagara one should remember that Miss Keller knows distance and shape, and that the size of Niagara is within her experience after she has explored it, crossed the bridge and gone down in the elevator.
  • Especially important are such details as her feeling the rush of the water by putting her hand on the window.
  • Some of them asked odd questions.
  • But of course, it is not alone for their bright colors that we love the flowers....
  • But after a minute I answered that beauty was a form of goodness--and he went away.
  • When the reception was over we went back to the hotel and teacher slept quite unconscious of the surprise which was in store for her.
  • This was the surprise--I was to have the pleasure of taking my dear teacher to see Niagara Falls!...
  • The next morning the sun rose bright and warm, and we got up quickly for our hearts were full of pleasant expectation....
  • You can never imagine how I felt when I stood in the presence of Niagara until you have the same mysterious sensations yourself.
  • I suppose you feel so, too, when you gaze up to the stars in the stillness of the night, do you not?...
  • Within two miles of the Falls is a wonderful suspension bridge.
  • It is thrown across the gorge at a height of two hundred and fifty-eight feet above the water and is supported on each bank by towers of solid rock, which are eight hundred feet apart.
  • His beautiful word-pictures made us feel as if we were sitting in the shadow of San Marco, dreaming, or sailing upon the moonlit canal....
  • You see, none of my friends describe things to me so vividly and so beautifully as he does....
  • The President of the Exposition gave her this letter:
  • TO THE CHIEFS OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICERS IN CHARGE OF BUILDINGS AND EXHIBITS
  • GENTLEMEN--The bearer, Miss Helen Keller, accompanied by Miss Sullivan, is desirous of making a complete inspection of the Exposition in all Departments.
  • Nearly all of the exhibitors seemed perfectly willing to let me touch the most delicate things, and they were very nice about explaining everything to me.
  • Dr. Bell went with us himself to the electrical building, and showed us some of the historical telephones.
  • At the Woman's building we met the Princess Maria Schaovskoy of Russia, and a beautiful Syrian lady.
  • Japan must indeed be a paradise for children to judge from the great number of playthings which are manufactured there.
  • The queer-looking Japanese musical instruments, and their beautiful works of art were interesting.
  • Once, while we were out on the water, the sun went down over the rim of the earth, and threw a soft, rosy light over the White City, making it look more than ever like Dreamland....
  • Of course, we visited the Midway Plaisance.
  • I went into the streets of Cairo, and rode on the camel.
  • In the spring of 1893 a club was started in Tuscumbia, of which Mrs. Keller was president, to establish a public library.
  • Our quiet mountain home was especially attractive and restful after the excitement and fatigue of our visit to the World's Fair.
  • We enjoyed the beauty and solitude of the hills more than ever.
  • At present there is no library of any sort in the town.
  • My mother and several of my friends said they would help me with the establishment of a public library.
  • But in the meantime the club has rented a little room in a central part of the town, and the books which we already have are free to all. 3.
  • Only a few of my kind friends in Boston know anything about the library.
  • I did not like to trouble them while I was trying to get money for poor little Tommy, for of course it was more important that he should be educated than that my people should have books to read. 4.
  • It is a very interesting souvenir of Columbus, and of the Fair White City; but I cannot imagine what discoveries I have made,--I mean new discoveries.
  • We are all discoverers in one sense, being born quite ignorant of all things; but I hardly think that is what she meant.
  • I shall prize the little book always, not only for its own value; but because of its associations with you.
  • They spent the rest of the spring reading and studying.
  • In the fall Helen and Miss Sullivan entered the Wright-Humason School in New York, which makes a special of lip-reading and voice-culture.
  • The experiment was interesting, but of course came to little.
  • Last Saturday our kind teachers planned a delightful trip to Bedloe's Island to see Bartholdi's great statue of Liberty enlightening the world....
  • Liberty is a gigantic figure of a woman in Greek draperies, holding in her right hand a torch....
  • A spiral stairway leads from the base of this pedestal to the torch.
  • Think what a joy it would be to all of my friends to hear me speak naturally!!
  • They permitted themselves startling liberties when any one caressed them, crowding themselves almost into one's arms and helping themselves without ceremony to kisses, apparently unconscious of the impropriety of their conduct.
  • The two distinguished authors were very gentle and kind, and I could not tell which of them I loved best.
  • I might have seen Mrs. Wiggin, the sweet author of "Birds' Christmas Carol," but she had a dangerous cough and could not come.
  • Our friends were greatly surprised to see us, as they had not expected us before the last of this month.
  • After we had had our breakfast, Teacher asked one of the train-men in the station if the New York train was made up.
  • He has lately had several books printed in England for me, "Old Mortality," "The Castle of Otranto" and "King of No-land."...
  • The next two letters were written just after the death of Mr. John P. Spaulding.
  • It was so hard to lose him, he was the best and kindest of friends, and I do not know what we shall do without him....
  • We went to a poultry-show... and the man there kindly permitted us to feel of the birds.
  • We met Mr. Warner, the writer, Mr. Mabie, the editor of the Outlook and other pleasant people.
  • Mr. Warner and Mr. Burroughs, the great lover of nature, came to see us a few days after, and we had a delightful talk with them.
  • As I sit by the window writing to you, it is so lovely to have the soft, cool breezes fan my cheek and to feel that the hard work of last year is over!
  • Mr. Howes has probably given you a full account of our doings.
  • We think of you so, so often! and our hearts go out to you in tenderest sympathy; and you know better than this poor letter can tell you how happy we always are to have you with us!
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin celebrated the 17th of June by giving a picnic to their literary friends.
  • There were about forty persons present, all of whom were writers and publishers.
  • Our friend, Mr. Alden, the editor of Harper's was there, and of course we enjoyed his society very much....
  • I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities.
  • My heart is too full of sadness to dwell upon the happiness the summer has brought me.
  • On the first of October Miss Keller entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, of which Mr. Arthur Gilman is Principal.
  • But what I consider my crown of success is the happiness and pleasure that my victory has brought dear Teacher.
  • Then the interference of Mr. Gilman resulted in Mrs. Keller's withdrawing Miss Helen and her sister, Miss Mildred, from the school.
  • What an inexpressible joy it will be to read about Achilles, and Ulysses, and Andromache and Athene, and the rest of my old friends in their own glorious language!
  • If it is true that the violin is the most perfect of musical instruments, then Greek is the violin of human thought.
  • Every morning, before lesson-time, we all go out to the steep hill on the northern shore of the lake near the house, and coast for an hour or so.
  • Some one balances the toboggan on the very crest of the hill, while we get on, and when we are ready, off we dash down the side of the hill in a headlong rush, and, leaping a projection, plunge into a snow-drift and go swimming far across the pond at a tremendous rate!...
  • Besides, I have been told that "sociables" cost more than other kinds of bicycles.
  • But the weather and the scenery were so beautiful, and it was such fun to go scooting over the smoother part of the road, I didn't mind the mishaps in the least.
  • Poor Teacher has had her hands full, attending to movers, and express-men, and all sorts of people.
  • The "Iliad" is beautiful with all the truth, and grace and simplicity of a wonderfully childlike people while the "Aeneid" is more stately and reserved.
  • Somehow, after the great fields and pastures and lofty pine-groves of the country, they seem shut-in and conventional.
  • They are like the people whom they see every day, who prefer the crowded, noisy city to the quiet and freedom of the country.
  • I cannot help wishing sometimes that I could have some of the fun that other girls have.
  • But, as you know, my heart is usually brimful of happiness.
  • I think Mr. Keith is a wonderful teacher, and I feel very grateful to him for having made me see the beauty of Mathematics.
  • Of course you have read about the "Gordon Memorial College," which the English people are to erect at Khartoum.
  • Would a college at Havana not be the noblest and most enduring monument that could be raised to the brave men of the "Maine," as well as a source of infinite good to all concerned?
  • In it there would be no suggestion of hatred or revenge, nor a trace of the old-time belief that might makes right.
  • On the other hand, it would be a pledge to the world that we intend to stand by our declaration of war, and give Cuba to the Cubans, as soon as we have fitted them to assume the duties and responsibilities of a self-governing people....
  • She had previously obtained permission from General Loring, Supt. of the Museum, for me to touch the statues, especially those which represented my old friends in the "Iliad" and "Aeneid."
  • She looked as if she had just risen from the foam of the sea, and her loveliness was like a strain of heavenly music.
  • General Loring kindly showed me a copy of one of the wonderful bronze doors of the Baptistry of Florence, and I felt of the graceful pillars, resting on the backs of fierce lions.
  • So you see, I had a foretaste of the pleasure which I hope some day to have of visiting Florence.
  • My friend said, she would sometime show me the copies of the marbles brought away by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon.
  • But somehow, I should prefer to see the originals in the place where Genius meant them to remain, not only as a hymn of praise to the gods, but also as a monument of the glory of Greece.
  • I already have the seventh and eighth books of the "Aeneid" and one book of the "Iliad," all of which is most fortunate, as I have come almost to the end of my embossed text-books.
  • Why, only a little while ago people thought it quite impossible to teach the deaf-blind anything; but no sooner was it proved possible than hundreds of kind, sympathetic hearts were fired with the desire to help them, and now we see how many of those poor, unfortunate persons are being taught to see the beauty and reality of life.
  • Love always finds its way to an imprisoned soul, and leads it out into the world of freedom and intelligence!
  • As to the two-handed alphabet, I think it is much easier for those who have sight than the manual alphabet; for most of the letters look like the large capitals in books; but I think when it comes to teaching a deaf-blind person to spell, the manual alphabet is much more convenient, and less conspicuous....
  • I feel as if I ought to give up the idea of going to college altogether: for not all the knowledge in the world could make me happy, if obtained at such a cost.
  • I would like so much to show him in some way how deeply I appreciate all that he is doing for me, and I cannot think of anything better to do.
  • It is a wonderful exhibition of portraits, they say.
  • I have at least the satisfaction of seeing them through the eyes of my friends, which is a real pleasure.
  • I think I shall enjoy the "Odyssey" most of all.
  • The "Iliad" tells of almost nothing but war, and one sometimes wearies of the clash of spears and the din of battle; but the "Odyssey" tells of nobler courage--the courage of a soul sore tried, but steadfast to the end.
  • We shall all live together in a small cottage on one of the lakes at Wrentham, while my dear teacher takes a much needed rest.
  • She has not had a vacation for twelve years, think of it, and all that time she has been the sunshine of my life.
  • Now her eyes are troubling her a great deal, and we all think she ought to be relieved, for a while, of every care and responsibility.
  • It seemed to show spontaneity and great sweetness of character.
  • Well, I must confess, I do not like the sign-language, and I do not think it would be of much use to the deaf-blind.
  • On the whole, if they cannot be taught articulation, the manual alphabet seems the best and most convenient means of communication.
  • She spins, and does a great deal of fancy work, and reads, and leads a pleasant, useful life.
  • I cannot make out anything written in my hand, so you see, Ragnhild has got ahead of me in some things.
  • But I must confess, I had a hard time on the second day of my examinations.
  • They would not allow Teacher to read any of the papers to me; so the papers were copied for me in braille.
  • Of course they did not realize how difficult and perplexing they were making the examinations for me.
  • How could they--they can see and hear, and I suppose they could not understand matters from my point of view....
  • She said I had already shown the world that I could do the college work, by passing all my examinations successfully, in spite of many obstacles.
  • She showed me how very foolish it would be for me to pursue a four years' course of study at Radcliffe, simply to be like other girls, when I might better be cultivating whatever ability I had for writing.
  • She said she did not consider a degree of any real value, but thought it was much more desirable to do something original than to waste one's energies only for a degree.
  • But, while we were discussing plans for the winter, a suggestion which Dr. Hale had made long ago flashed across Teacher's mind--that I might take courses somewhat like those offered at Radcliffe, under the instruction of the professors in these courses.
  • Ignorance seems to be at the bottom of all these contradictions.
  • On the 29th and 30th of June, 1899, I took my examinations for Radcliffe College.
  • The college authorities would not permit Miss Sullivan to read the examination papers to me; so Mr. Eugene C. Vining, one of the instructors at the Perkins Institution for the Blind, was employed to copy the papers for me in braille.
  • But, when I took up Algebra, I had a harder time still--I was terribly handicapped by my imperfect knowledge of the notation.
  • Perhaps, if you would send a copy of this to the head of the Cambridge School, it might enlighten his mind on a few subjects, on which he seems to be in total darkness just now....
  • Mr. Keith comes every afternoon at four o'clock, and gives me a "friendly lift" over the rough stretches of road, over which every student must go.
  • The other is woollen, and of a very pretty green.
  • The waist is trimmed with pink and green brocaded velvet, and white lace, I think, and has double reefers on the front, tucked and trimmed with velvet, and also a row of tiny white buttons.
  • Her other dress is purple, trimmed with purple velvet, and the waist has a collar of cream lace.
  • We could hear the yells of the boys and the cheers of the lookers-on as plainly in our room as if we had been on the field.
  • There were about twenty-five thousand people at the game, and, when we went out, the noise was so terrific, we nearly jumped out of our skins, thinking it was the din of war, and not of a football game that we heard.
  • But, in spite of all their wild efforts, neither side was scored, and we all laughed and said, "Oh, well now the pot can't call the kettle black!"...
  • We are enjoying every moment of our visit, every one is so good to us.
  • We have seen many of our old friends, and made some new ones.
  • The thought of their gentle courtesy and genuine kindness brings a warm glow of joy and gratitude to my heart.
  • I stood in the middle of the church, where the vibrations from the great organ were strongest, and I felt the mighty waves of sound beat against me, as the great billows beat against a little ship at sea.
  • I am now the proud owner of about fifteen new books, which we ordered from Louisville.
  • Perhaps next week I shall have some more books, "The Tempest," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and possibly some selections from Green's history of England.
  • You know a student's life is of necessity somewhat circumscribed and narrow and crowds out almost everything that is not in books....
  • TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE ACADEMIC BOARD OF RADCLIFFE COLLEGE 138 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Mass., May 5, 1900.
  • In college I should wish to continue most, if not all of these subjects.
  • In college she, or possibly in some subjects some one else, would of necessity be with me in the lecture-room and at recitations.
  • TO MR. JOHN HITZ 14 Coolidge Ave., Cambridge, Nov. 26, 1900. ...--has already communicated with you in regard to her and my plan of establishing an institution for deaf and blind children.
  • My friends thought we might have one or two pupils in our own home, thereby securing to me the advantage of being helpful to others without any of the disadvantages of a large school.
  • They were very kind; but I could not help feeling that they spoke more from a business than a humanitarian point of view.
  • Still I could not shut my eyes to the force and weight of their arguments, and I saw plainly that I must abandon--'s scheme as impracticable.
  • At the same time Dr. Bell added that I could rest content and fight my way through Radcliffe in competition with seeing and hearing girls, while the great desire of my heart was being fulfilled.
  • We clapped our hands and shouted;--went away beaming with pleasure, and Teacher and I felt more light of heart than we had for sometime.
  • I'm enjoying my work even more than I expected to, which is another way of saying that I'm glad I came.
  • Perhaps I shall take up these studies later; but I've said goodbye to Mathematics forever, and I assure you, I was delighted to see the last of those horrid goblins!
  • There's no great hurry, and I want to get as much as possible out of my studies.
  • Many of my friends would be well pleased if I would take two or even one course a year, but I rather object to spending the rest of my life in college....
  • Last October I heard of an unusually bright little girl in Texas.
  • She has never been taught; but they say she can sew and likes to help others in this sort of work.
  • Her sense of smell is wonderful.
  • Miss Watkins, the lady who has charge of her wrote me a most interesting letter.
  • She could not even walk and had very little use of her hands.
  • But Miss Watkins seems to be just the kind of teacher she needs.
  • She said Katie was very sweet indeed, but sadly in need of proper instruction.
  • He is a great, strong boy now, and he will soon need a man to take care of him; he is really too big for a lady to manage.
  • Please do not think either of these very unpleasant thoughts.
  • Now, however, I see the folly of attempting to hitch one's wagon to a star with harness that does not belong to it.
  • I have always accepted other peoples experiences and observations as a matter of course.
  • It is pale blue, trimmed with chiffon of the same color.
  • I have had a letter from Mrs. Thaw with regard to the possibility of doing something for these children.
  • TO MR. WILLIAM WADE Cambridge, February 2, 1901. ...By the way, have you any specimens of English braille especially printed for those who have lost their sight late in life or have fingers hardened by long toil, so that their touch is less sensitive than that of other blind people?
  • It is evident that the blind should have a good magazine, not a special magazine for the blind, but one of our best monthlies, printed in embossed letters.
  • I trust that the effort of The Great Round World to bring light to those who sit in darkness will receive the encouragement and support it so richly deserves.
  • But why should not the friends of the blind assist The Great Round World, if necessary?
  • The Indiana was the largest and finest ship in the Harbor, and we felt very proud of her.
  • On one of them I noticed that the strings were of wire, and having had some experience in bead work, I said I thought they would break.
  • TO DR. EDWARD EVERETT HALE [Read by Dr. Hale at the celebration of the centenary of Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, at Tremont Temple, Boston, Nov. 11, 1901.] Cambridge, Nov. 10, 1901.
  • If he had not taken upon himself the responsibility of Laura Bridgman's education and led her out of the pit of Acheron back to her human inheritance, should I be a sophomore at Radcliffe College to-day--who can say?
  • Words are powerless to describe the desolation of that prison-house, or the joy of the soul that is delivered out of its captivity.
  • Thanks to our friend and helper, our world lies upward; the length and breadth and sweep of the heavens are ours!
  • It was written out of my heart, and perhaps that is why it met a sympathetic response in other hearts.
  • I will ask Dr. Hale to lend me the letter, so that I can make a copy of it for you.
  • It is fitting that Miss Keller's "Story of My Life" should appear at this time.
  • He quoted the passages in which she explains that college is not the "universal Athens" she had hoped to find, and cited the cases of other remarkable persons whose college life had proved disappointing.
  • But it is to be remembered that Miss Keller has written many things in her autobiography for the fun of writing them, and the disillusion, which the writer of the editorial took seriously, is in great part humorous.
  • In her account of her early education Miss Keller is not giving a scientifically accurate record of her life, nor even of the important events.
  • She cannot know in detail how she was taught, and her memory of her childhood is in some cases an idealized memory of what she has learned later from her teacher and others.
  • She is less able to recall events of fifteen years ago than most of us are to recollect our childhood.
  • When Miss Keller puts her work in typewritten form, she cannot refer to it again unless some one reads it to her by means of the manual alphabet.
  • Last July, when she had finished under great pressure of work her final chapter, she set to work to rewrite the whole story.
  • Miss Sullivan, who is an excellent critic, made suggestions at many points in the course of composition and revision.
  • As a matter of fact, most of the advice she has received and heeded has led to excisions rather than to additions.
  • The book is Miss Keller's and is final proof of her independent power.
  • Mark Twain has said that the two most interesting characters of the nineteenth century are Napoleon and Helen Keller.
  • When Miss Keller speaks, her face is animated and expresses all the modes of her thought--the expressions that make the features eloquent and give speech half its meaning.
  • When she is talking with an intimate friend, however, her hand goes quickly to her friend's face to see, as she says, "the twist of the mouth."
  • In this way she is able to get the meaning of those half sentences which we complete unconsciously from the tone of the voice or the twinkle of the eye.
  • Her memory of people is remarkable.
  • Skill in the use of words and her habit of playing with them make her ready with mots and epigrams.
  • When she met Dr. Furness, the Shakespearean scholar, he warned her not to let the college professors tell her too many assumed facts about the life of Shakespeare; all we know, he said, is that Shakespeare was baptized, married, and died.
  • Miss Keller's humour is that deeper kind of humour which is courage.
  • Her life has been a series of attempts to do whatever other people do, and to do it as well.
  • Moreover, Miss Sullivan does not see why Miss Keller should be subjected to the investigation of the scientist, and has not herself made many experiments.
  • When a psychologist asked her if Miss Keller spelled on her fingers in her sleep, Miss Sullivan replied that she did not think it worth while to sit up and watch, such matters were of so little consequence.
  • Miss Keller likes to be part of the company.
  • Her enjoyment of music, however, is very genuine, for she has a tactile recognition of sound when the waves of air beat against her.
  • But she seems to feel the pulsation of the air itself.
  • The vibration of the air as the organ notes swelled made her sway in answer.
  • It is amusing to read in one of the magazines of 1895 that Miss Keller "has a just and intelligent appreciation of different composers from having literally felt their music, Schumann being her favourite."
  • Miss Keller's effort to reach out and meet other people on their own intellectual ground has kept her informed of daily affairs.
  • She is a good talker on the little occasional affairs of life.
  • When she is out walking she often stops suddenly, attracted by the odour of a bit of shrubbery.
  • She reaches out and touches the leaves, and the world of growing things is hers, as truly as it is ours, to enjoy while she holds the leaves in her fingers and smells the blossoms, and to remember when the walk is done.
  • When she is in a new place, especially an interesting place like Niagara, whoever accompanies her--usually, of course, Miss Sullivan--is kept busy giving her an idea of visible details.
  • Miss Sullivan, who knows her pupil's mind, selects from the passing landscape essential elements, which give a certain clearness to Miss Keller's imagined view of an outer world that to our eyes is confused and overloaded with particulars.
  • A comparative experience drawn from written descriptions and from her teacher's words has kept her free from errors in her use of terms of sound and vision.
  • True, her view of life is highly coloured and full of poetic exaggeration; the universe, as she sees it, is no doubt a little better than it really is.
  • Many of the detached incidents and facts of our daily life pass around and over her unobserved; but she has enough detailed acquaintance with the world to keep her view of it from being essentially defective.
  • Most that she knows at first hand comes from her sense of touch.
  • Laura Bridgman could tell minute shades of difference in the size of thread, and made beautiful lace.
  • She recognizes the subject and general intention of a statuette six inches high.
  • Anything shallower than a half-inch bas-relief is a blank to her, so far as it expresses an idea of beauty.
  • Large statues, of which she can feel the sweep of line with her whole hand, she knows in their higher esthetic value.
  • She suggests herself that she can know them better than we do, because she can get the true dimensions and appreciate more immediately the solid nature of a sculptured figure.
  • When she was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston she stood on a step-ladder and let both hands play over the statues.
  • When she felt a bas-relief of dancing girls she asked, "Where are the singers?"
  • The lips of the singer were closed.
  • It is, however, in her daily life that one can best measure the delicacy of her senses and her manual skill.
  • She seems to have very little sense of direction.
  • Most blind people are aided by the sense of sound, so that a fair comparison is hard to make, except with other deaf-blind persons.
  • She has practised no single constructive craft which would call for the use of her hands.
  • He says that she did pretty well and managed to make, after models, some conventional designs of the outlines of leaves and rosettes.
  • She keeps the relative position of the keys by an occasional touch of the little finger on the outer edge of the board.
  • Miss Keller's reading of the manual alphabet by her sense of touch seems to cause some perplexity.
  • Most dictionaries contain an engraving of the manual letters.
  • The deaf person with sight looks at the fingers of his companion, but it is also possible to feel them.
  • Miss Keller puts her fingers lightly over the hand of one who is talking to her and gets the words as rapidly as they can be spelled.
  • As she explains, she is not conscious of the single letters or of separate words.
  • Miss Sullivan and others who live constantly with the deaf can spell very rapidly--fast enough to get a slow lecture, not fast enough to get every word of a rapid speaker.
  • If more people knew this, and the friends and relatives of deaf children learned the manual alphabet at once the deaf all over the world would be happier and better educated.
  • Miss Keller reads by means of embossed print or the various kinds of braille.
  • These letters are of simple, square, angular design.
  • The small letters are about three-sixteenths of an inch high, and are raised from the page the thickness of the thumbnail.
  • The books are large, about the size of a volume of an encyclopedia.
  • Green's "Short History of the English People" is in six large volumes.
  • The time that one of Miss Keller's friends realizes most strongly that she is blind is when he comes on her suddenly in the dark and hears the rustle of her fingers across the page.
  • The facsimile on page xv [omitted from etext] gives an idea of how the raised dots look.
  • Braille is especially useful in making single manuscript copies of books.
  • Miss Keller does not as a rule read very fast, but she reads deliberately, not so much because she feels the words less quickly than we see then, as because it is one of her habits of mind to do things thoroughly and well.
  • When a passage interests her, or she needs to remember it for some future use, she flutters it off swiftly on the fingers of her right hand.
  • When she is walking up or down the hall or along the veranda, her hands go flying along beside her like a confusion of birds' wings.
  • For Miss Keller to spell a sentence in the manual alphabet impresses it on her mind just as we learn a thing from having heard it many times and can call back the memory of its sound.
  • Like every deaf or blind person, Miss Keller depends on her sense of smell to an unusual degree.
  • The sense of smell has fallen into disrepute, and a deaf person is reluctant to speak of it.
  • The question of a special "sixth sense," such as people have ascribed. to Miss Keller, is a delicate one.
  • This much is certain, she cannot have any sense that other people may not have, and the existence of a special sense is not evident to her or to any one who knows her.
  • Miss Keller is distinctly not a singular proof of occult and mysterious theories, and any attempt to explain her in that way fails to reckon with her normality.
  • She does not, it would seem, prove the existence of spirit without matter, or of innate ideas, or of immortality, or anything else that any other human being does not prove.
  • Philosophers have tried to find out what was her conception of abstract ideas before she learned language.
  • If she had any conception, there is no way of discovering it now; for she cannot remember, and obviously there was no record at the time.
  • She had no conception of God before she heard the word "God," as her comments very clearly show.
  • Her sense of time is excellent, but whether it would have developed as a special faculty cannot be known, for she has had a watch since she was seven years old.
  • They are, I think, the only ones of their kind in America.
  • The point of this gold indicator bends over the edge of the case, round which are set eleven raised points--the stem forms the twelfth.
  • It should be said that any double-case watch with the crystal removed serves well enough for a blind person whose touch is sufficiently delicate to feel the position of the hands and not disturb or injure them.
  • The finer traits of Miss Keller's character are so well known that one needs not say much about them.
  • Now that she has grown up, nobody thinks of being less frank with her than with any other intelligent young woman.
  • She has not even learned that exhibition on which so many pride themselves, of 'righteous indignation.'
  • It was said of old time, 'Lord forgive them, they know not what they do!'
  • She is in love with noble things, with noble thoughts, and with the characters of noble men and women.
  • Miss Sullivan writes in a letter of 1891:
  • Yesterday I read to her the story of 'Macbeth,' as told by Charles and Mary Lamb.
  • Of the real world she knows more of the good and less of the evil than most people seem to know.
  • Of the real world she knows more of the good and less of the evil than most people seem to know.
  • "Toleration," she said once, when she was visiting her friend Mrs. Laurence Hutton, "is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle."
  • She has a large, generous sympathy and absolute fairness of temper.
  • Her sympathy is of the swift and ministering sort which, fortunately, she has found so often in other people.
  • She was intensely pro-Boer and wrote a strong argument in favour of Boer independence.
  • When she was told of the surrender of the brave little people, her face clouded and she was silent a few minutes.
  • Then she asked clear, penetrating questions about the terms of the surrender, and began to discuss them.
  • Both Mr. Gilman and Mr. Keith, the teachers who prepared her for college, were struck by her power of constructive reasoning; and she was excellent in pure mathematics, though she seems never to have enjoyed it much.
  • The names of Laura Bridgman and Helen Keller will always be linked together, and it is necessary to understand what Dr. Howe did for his pupil before one comes to an account of Miss Sullivan's work.
  • For Dr. Howe is the great pioneer on whose work that of Miss Sullivan and other teachers of the deaf-blind immediately depends.
  • He was a great philanthropist, interested especially in the education of all defectives, the feeble-minded, the blind, and the deaf.
  • As head of the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, he heard of Laura Bridgman and had her brought to the Institution on October 4, 1837.
  • At the age of twenty-six months scarlet fever left her without sight or hearing.
  • She also lost her sense of smell and taste.
  • Dr. Howe was an experimental scientist and had in him the spirit of New England transcendentalism with its large faith and large charities.
  • His plan was to teach Laura by means of raised types.
  • His success convinced him that language can be conveyed through type to the mind of the blind-deaf child, who, before education, is in the state of the baby who has not learned to prattle; indeed, is in a much worse state, for the brain has grown in years without natural nourishment.
  • After Laura's education had progressed for two months with the use only of raised letters, Dr. Howe sent one of his teachers to learn the manual alphabet from a deaf-mute.
  • She taught it to Laura, and from that time on the manual alphabet was the means of communicating with her.
  • After the first year or two Dr. Howe did not teach Laura Bridgman himself, but gave her over to other teachers, who under his direction carried on the work of teaching her language.
  • Too much cannot be said in praise of Dr. Howe's work.
  • He never forgot to keep his records of Laura Bridgman in the fashion of one who works in a laboratory.
  • From a scientific standpoint it is unfortunate that it was impossible to keep such a complete record of Helen Keller's development.
  • Laura always remained an object of curious study.
  • Helen Keller became so rapidly a distinctive personality that she kept her teacher in a breathless race to meet the needs of her pupil, with no time or strength to make a scientific study.
  • Miss Sullivan knew at the beginning that Helen Keller would be more interesting and successful than Laura Bridgman, and she expresses in one of her letters the need of keeping notes.
  • But neither temperament nor training allowed her to make her pupil the object of any experiment or observation which did not help in the child's development.
  • The explanation of the fact was unimportant compared to the fact itself and the need of hurrying on.
  • When she first wrote from Tuscumbia to Mr. Michael Anagnos, Dr. Howes son-in-law and his successor as Director of the Perkins Institution, about her work with her pupil, the Boston papers began at once to publish exaggerated accounts of Helen Keller.
  • Then it is amusing to read of the elaborate preparation I underwent to fit me for the great task my friends entrusted to me.
  • One paper has Helen demonstrating problems in geometry by means of her playing blocks.
  • In December, 1887, appeared the first report of the Director of the Perkins Institution, which deals with Helen Keller.
  • For this report Miss Sullivan prepared, in reluctant compliance with the request of Mr. Anagnos, an account of her work.
  • This with the extracts from her letters, scattered through the report, is the first valid source of information about Helen Keller.
  • Of this report Miss Sullivan wrote in a letter dated October 30, 1887:
  • Doubtless the work of the past few months does seem like a triumphal march to him; but then people seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.
  • As Mr. Anagnos was the head of a great institution, what he said had much more effect than the facts in Miss Sullivan's account on which he based his statements.
  • In a year after she first went to Helen Keller, Miss Sullivan found herself and her pupil the centre of a stupendous fiction.
  • There grew up a mass of controversial matter which it is amusing to read now.
  • Teachers of the deaf proved a priori that what Miss Sullivan had done could not be, and some discredit was reflected on her statements, because they were surrounded by the vague eloquence of Mr. Anagnos.
  • Although Miss Sullivan is still rather amused than distressed when some one, even one of her friends, makes mistakes in published articles about her and Miss Keller, still she sees that Miss Keller's book should include all the information that the teacher could at present furnish.
  • So she consented to the publication of extracts from letters which she wrote during the first year of her work with her pupil.
  • In these letters we have an almost weekly record of Miss Sullivan's work.
  • Some of the details she had forgotten, as she grew more and more to generalize.
  • But it is evident that in these letters she was making a clear analysis of what she was doing.
  • Miss Sullivan's talents are of the highest order.
  • It must be remembered that Miss Sullivan had to solve her problems unaided by previous experience or the assistance of any other teacher.
  • The impression that Miss Sullivan educated Helen Keller "under the direction of Mr. Anagnos" is erroneous.
  • Mr. Anagnos wrote in the report of the Perkins Institution, dated November 27, 1888: At my urgent request, Helen, accompanied by her mother and her teacher, came to the North in the last week of May, and spent several months with us as our guests....
  • We gladly allowed her to use freely our library of embossed books, our collection of stuffed animals, sea-shells, models of flowers and plants, and the rest of our apparatus for instructing the blind through the sense of touch.
  • But whether Helen stays at home or makes visits in other parts of the country, her education is always under the immediate direction and exclusive control of her teacher.
  • Some of her opinions Miss Sullivan would like to enlarge and revise.
  • The drive from the station to the house, a distance of one mile, was very lovely and restful.
  • She felt my face and dress and my bag, which she took out of my hand and tried to open.
  • Finding that there was, she turned to me, making the sign of turning a key and pointing to the bag.
  • She understood in a flash and ran downstairs to tell her mother, by means of emphatic signs, that there was some candy in a trunk for her.
  • Somehow I had expected to see a pale, delicate child--I suppose I got the idea from Dr. Howe's description of Laura Bridgman when she came to the Institution.
  • She has none of those nervous habits that are so noticeable and so distressing in blind children.
  • She is unresponsive and even impatient of caresses from any one except her mother.
  • Then it occurred to me that it was useless to continue the struggle--I must do something to turn the current of her thoughts.
  • I went downstairs and got some cake (she is very fond of sweets).
  • Of course she wanted it and tried to take it; but I spelled the word again and patted her hand.
  • I made the first row of vertical lines and let her feel it and notice that there were several rows of little holes.
  • The two letters "c-a," you see, had reminded her of Fridays "lesson"--not that she had any idea that cake was the name of the thing, but it was simply a matter of association, I suppose.
  • I shook my head and took them all off and made her feel of the two wooden beads and the one glass bead.
  • She persisted, and a contest of wills followed.
  • I forced her out of the chair and made her pick it up.
  • Since I wrote you, Helen and I have gone to live all by ourselves in a little garden-house about a quarter of a mile from her home, only a short distance from Ivy Green, the Keller homestead.
  • I very soon made up my mind that I could do nothing with Helen in the midst of the family, who have always allowed her to do exactly as she pleased.
  • If she ever failed to get what she wanted, it was because of her inability to make the vassals of her household understand what it was.
  • To get her to do the simplest thing, such as combing her hair or washing her hands or buttoning her boots, it was necessary to use force, and, of course, a distressing scene followed.
  • So they were all willing to give in for the sake of peace.
  • I had an idea that I could win the love and confidence of my little pupil by the same means that I should use if she could see and hear.
  • She accepted everything I did for her as a matter of course, and refused to be caressed, and there was no way of appealing to her affection or sympathy or childish love of approbation.
  • She would or she wouldn't, and there was an end of it.
  • After a long time Mrs. Keller said that she would think the matter over and see what Captain Keller thought of sending Helen away with me.
  • The little house is a genuine bit of paradise.
  • I finally succeeded in getting her on the bed and covered her up, and she lay curled up as near the edge of the bed as possible.
  • This lasted for several minutes; then this mood passed, and Nancy was thrown ruthlessly on the floor and pushed to one side, while a large, pink-cheeked, fuzzy-haired member of the family received the little mother's undivided attention.
  • She has learned three new words, and when I give her the objects, the names of which she has learned, she spells them unhesitatingly; but she seems glad when the lesson is over.
  • No doubt they were signs for the different members of the family at Ivy Green.
  • It seems that Mr. Anagnos had heard of Helen before he received Captain Keller's letter last summer.
  • Mr. Wilson, a teacher at Florence, and a friend of the Kellers', studied at Harvard the summer before and went to the Perkins Institution to learn if anything could be done for his friend's child.
  • The light of understanding has shone upon my little pupil's mind, and behold, all things are changed!
  • She is sitting by me as I write, her face serene and happy, crocheting a long red chain of Scotch wool.
  • She learned the stitch this week, and is very proud of the achievement.
  • When he succeeded in forming it to suit her, she patted him on his woolly head so vigorously that I thought some of his slips were intentional.
  • One day this week Captain Keller brought Belle, a setter of which he is very proud, to see us.
  • The back of the greatest obstacle in the path of progress is broken.
  • I think "no" and "yes," conveyed by a shake or a nod of my head, have become facts as apparent to her as hot and cold or as the difference between pain and pleasure.
  • And I don't intend that the lesson she has learned at the cost of so much pain and trouble shall be unlearned.
  • Of course, it is hard for them.
  • I took her plate away and started to take her out of the room.
  • Her father objected and said that no child of his should be deprived of his food on any account.
  • She had put the napkin under her chin, instead of pinning it at the back, as was her custom.
  • I thought I would try the effect of a little belated discipline.
  • Last week she made her doll an apron, and it was done as well as any child of her age could do it.
  • Sewing and crocheting are inventions of the devil, I think.
  • The hour from twelve to one is devoted to the learning of new words.
  • Later I join them, and we make the rounds of the outhouses.
  • After supper we go to my room and do all sorts of things until eight, when I undress the little woman and put her to bed.
  • Here is a list of the words.
  • When she wants to know the name of anything, she points to it and pats my hand.
  • Then it occurred to me that with the help of this new word I might succeed in straightening out the "mug-milk" difficulty.
  • The word coming so close upon the sensation of cold water rushing over her hand seemed to startle her.
  • All the way back to the house she was highly excited, and learned the name of every object she touched, so that in a few hours she had adDED THIRTY NEW WORDS TO HER VOCABULARY.
  • HERE ARE SOME OF THEM: DOOR, OPEN, SHUT, GIVE, GO, COME, and a great many more.
  • She has flitted from object to object, asking the name of everything and kissing me for very gladness.
  • Last night when I got in bed, she stole into my arms of her own accord and kissed me for the first time, and I thought my heart would burst, so full was it of joy.
  • Wherever we go, she asks eagerly for the names of things she has not learned at home.
  • The child comes into the world with the ability to learn, and he learns of himself, provided he is supplied with sufficient outward stimulus.
  • I shall assume that she has the normal child's capacity of assimilation and imitation.
  • Helen knows the meaning of more than a hundred words now, and learns new ones daily without the slightest suspicion that she is performing a most difficult feat.
  • We play a little game which I find most useful in developing the intellect, and which incidentally answers the purpose of a language lesson.
  • It is an adaptation of hide-the-thimble.
  • Finding no trace of the cracker there, she pointed to my stomach and spelled "eat," meaning, "Did you eat it?"
  • Helen went to the cradle and felt of Mildred's mouth and pointed to her own teeth.
  • Helen shook her head and spelled "Baby teeth--no, baby eat--no," meaning of course, "Baby cannot eat because she has no teeth."
  • I used my little stock of beads, cards and straws at first because I didn't know what else to do; but the need for them is past, for the present at any rate.
  • They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think.
  • Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots.
  • If she wanted a small object and was given a large one, she would shake her head and take up a tiny bit of the skin of one hand between the thumb and finger of the other.
  • If she wanted to indicate something large, she spread the fingers of both hands as wide as she could, and brought them together, as if to clasp a big ball.
  • She came tearing upstairs a few minutes ago in a state of great excitement.
  • My first thought was, one of the dogs has hurt Mildred; but Helen's beaming face set my fears at rest.
  • She led the way to the pump-house, and there in the corner was one of the setters with five dear little pups!
  • I knew she was thinking of Mildred, and I spelled, "One baby and five puppies."
  • After she had played with them a little while, the thought occurred to her that the puppies must have special names, like people, and she asked for the name of each pup.
  • She evidently thought mothers were more likely to know about babies of all sorts.
  • She noticed that one of the puppies was much smaller than the others, and she spelled "small," making the sign at the same time, and I said "very small."
  • She evidently understood that VERY was the name of the new thing that had come into her head; for all the way back to the house she used the word VERY correctly.
  • She is going through the house now, applying the new words to all kinds of objects.
  • Since I have abandoned the idea of regular lessons, I find that Helen learns much faster.
  • The weather is fine, and the air is full of the scent of strawberries.
  • Then we sit down under a tree, or in the shade of a bush, and talk about it.
  • The solitude of the place sets one dreaming.
  • This gratifies the child's love of approbation and keeps up her interest in things.
  • This is the basis of real intercourse.
  • She makes many mistakes, of course, twists words and phrases, puts the cart before the horse, and gets herself into hopeless tangles of nouns and verbs; but so does the hearing child.
  • I am sure these difficulties will take care of themselves.
  • It is a rare privilege to watch the birth, growth, and first feeble struggles of a living mind; this privilege is mine; and moreover, it is given me to rouse and guide this bright intelligence.
  • My mind is full of ideas; but I cannot get them into working shape.
  • You see, my mind is undisciplined, full of skips and jumps, and here and there a lot of things huddled together in dark corners.
  • I know that the education of this child will be the distinguishing event of my life, if I have the brains and perseverance to accomplish it.
  • Usually we take one of the little "Readers" up in a big tree near the house and spend an hour or two finding the words Helen already knows.
  • WE MAKE A SORT OF GAME OF IT and try to see who can find the words most quickly, Helen with her fingers, or I with my eyes, and she learns as many new words as I can explain with the help of those she knows.
  • WE MAKE A SORT OF GAME OF IT and try to see who can find the words most quickly, Helen with her fingers, or I with my eyes, and she learns as many new words as I can explain with the help of those she knows.
  • I can now tell her to go upstairs or down, out of doors or into the house, lock or unlock a door, take or bring objects, sit, stand, walk, run, lie, creep, roll, or climb.
  • One of Helen's old habits, that is strongest and hardest to correct, is a tendency to break things.
  • I made her go through the motion of knocking the doll's head on the table and spelled to her: No, no, Helen is naughty.
  • Then she carried the doll upstairs and put it on the top shelf of the wardrobe, and she has not touched it since.
  • I gave her my braille slate to play with, thinking that the mechanical pricking of holes in the paper would amuse her and rest her mind.
  • When I asked her about it in the morning, she said, "Book--cry," and completed her meaning by shaking and other signs of fear.
  • I am glad Mr. Anagnos thinks so highly of me as a teacher.
  • Besides the chickens, we have several other additions to the family--two calves, a colt, and a penful of funny little pigs.
  • After seeing the chicken come out of the egg, she asked: Did baby pig grow in egg?
  • Of course, I shall not overtax her brain.
  • We are bothered a good deal by people who assume the responsibility of the world when God is neglectful.
  • But so far nobody seems to have thought of chloroforming her, which is, I think, the only effective way of stopping the natural exercise of her faculties.
  • I am teaching Helen the square-hand letters as a sort of diversion.
  • I hope it will not occur to her to count the hairs of her head.
  • If she could see and hear, I suppose she would get rid of her superfluous energy in ways which would not, perhaps, tax her brain so much, although I suspect that the ordinary child takes his play pretty seriously.
  • The little fellow who whirls his "New York Flyer" round the nursery, making "horseshoe curves" undreamed of by less imaginative engineers, is concentrating his whole soul on his toy locomotive.
  • She was greatly amused, and began at once to find analogies between her movements and those of the plants.
  • She will be seven years old the twenty-seventh of this month.
  • The same day she had learned, at different times, the words: hOUSE, WEED, DUST, SWING, MOLASSES, FAST, SLOW, MAPLE-SUGAR and COUNTER, and she had not forgotten one of these last.
  • She can count to thirty very quickly, and can write seven of the square-hand letters and the words which can be made with them.
  • She enjoys punching holes in paper with the stiletto, and I supposed it was because she could examine the result of her work; but we watched her one day, and I was much surprised to find that she imagined she was writing a letter.
  • Unlike Laura Bridgman, she is fond of gentlemen, and we notice that she makes friends with a gentleman sooner than with a lady.
  • Helen resisted, and Viney tried to force it out of her hand, and I suspect that she slapped the child, or did something which caused this unusual outburst of temper.
  • It's the queerest thing I ever saw--a little bundle of fagots fastened together in the middle.
  • Her heart was full of trouble, and she wanted to talk about it.
  • She has now reached the question stage of her development.
  • I remember how unbearable I used to find the inquisitiveness of my friends' children; but I know now that these questions indicate the child's growing interest in the cause of things.
  • The "why?" is the DOOR THROUGH WHICH HE ENTERS THE WORLD OF REASON AND REFLECTION.
  • Of course she asks many questions that are not as intelligent as these.
  • Her mind isn't more logical than the minds of ordinary children.
  • The first evening she learned the names of all the people in the hotel, about twenty, I think.
  • The next morning we were astonished to find that she remembered all of them, and recognized every one she had met the night before.
  • She taught the young people the alphabet, and several of them learned to talk with her.
  • One of the girls taught her to dance the polka, and a little boy showed her his rabbits and spelled their names for her.
  • You see, I had to use words and images with which she was familiar through the sense of touch.
  • But it hardly seems possible that any mere words should convey to one who has never seen a mountain the faintest idea of its grandeur; and I don't see how any one is ever to know what impression she did receive, or the cause of her pleasure in what was told her about it.
  • All that we do know certainly is that she has a good memory and imagination and the faculty of association.
  • "New puppies," "new calves" and "new babies" keep Helen's interest in the why and wherefore of things at white heat.
  • From the beginning, I HAVE MADE IT A PRACTICE TO ANSWER ALL HELEN'S QUESTIONS TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY IN A WAY INTELLIGIBLE TO HER, and at the same time truthfully.
  • I decided that there was no reason, except my deplorable ignorance of the great facts that underlie our physical existence.
  • It was no doubt because of this ignorance that I rushed in where more experienced angels fear to tread.
  • There isn't a living soul in this part of the world to whom I can go for advice in this, or indeed, in any other educational difficulty.
  • I took Helen and my Botany, "How Plants Grow," up in the tree, where we often go to read and study, and I told her in simple words the story of plantlife.
  • I reminded her of the corn, beans and watermelon-seed she had planted in the spring, and told her that the tall corn in the garden, and the beans and watermelon vines had grown from those seeds.
  • I told her that she could call the egg the cradle of life.
  • I did, however, try to give her the idea that love is the great continuer of life.
  • But she was surprised that hot water should come out of the ground.
  • She wanted to know who made fire under the ground, and if it was like the fire in stoves, and if it burned the roots of plants and trees.
  • She was much pleased with the letter, and after she had asked all the questions she could think of, she took it to her mother, who was sewing in the hall, and read it to her.
  • He agreed with Mr. Anagnos that it was my duty to give others the benefit of my experience.
  • I kept a record of everything she said last week, and I found that she knows six hundred words.
  • She has the true language-impulse, and shows great fertility of resource in making the words at her command convey her meaning.
  • I wonder if she has any vague idea of colour--any reminiscent impression of light and sound.
  • It seems as if a child who could see and hear until her nineteenth month must retain some of her first impressions, though ever so faintly.
  • Helen talks a great deal about things that she cannot know of through the sense of touch.
  • But I seem to have lost the thread of my discourse.
  • "What colour is think?" was one of the restful questions she asked, as we swung to and fro in the hammock.
  • You see, she had an idea that the colour of our thoughts matched that of our skin.
  • I couldn't help laughing, for at that very moment Viney was shouting at the top of her voice:
  • She wrote it out of her own head, as the children say.
  • She has begun to use the pronouns of her own accord.
  • The rapid development of Helen's mind is beautiful to watch.
  • I doubt if any teacher ever had a work of such absorbing interest.
  • Now he wants a picture "of darling Helen and her illustrious teacher, to grace the pages of the forthcoming annual report."
  • Only those who are with her daily can realize the rapid advancement which she is making in the acquisition of language.
  • In her reports Miss Sullivan speaks of "lessons" as if they came in regular order.
  • This is the effect of putting it all in a summary.
  • Neither the length of the word nor the combination of letters seems to make any difference to the child.
  • At the end of August she knew 625 words.
  • This lesson was followed by one on words indicative of place-relations.
  • Very soon she learned the difference between ON and IN, though it was some time before she could use these words in sentences of her own.
  • In connection with this lesson she learned the names of the members of the family and the word IS.
  • "Helen is in wardrobe," "Mildred is in crib," "Box is on table," "Papa is on bed," are specimens of sentences constructed by her during the latter part of April.
  • Next came a lesson on words expressive of positive quality.
  • For the first lesson I had two balls, one made of worsted, large and soft, the other a bullet.
  • Taking the bullet she made her habitual sign for SMALL--that is, by pinching a little bit of the skin of one hand.
  • Then her attention was called to the hardness of the one ball and the softness of the other, and she learned SOFT and HARD.
  • A few minutes afterward she felt of her little sister's head and said to her mother, "Mildred's head is small and hard."
  • Next I tried to teach her the meaning of FAST and SLOW.
  • Next I turned to the first page of the primer and made her touch the word CAT, spelling it on my fingers at the same time.
  • About this time I sent a list of the words she knew to Mr. Anagnos, and he very kindly had them printed for her.
  • Her mother and I cut up several sheets of printed words so that she could arrange them into sentences.
  • Day after day she moved her pencil in the same tracks along the grooved paper, never for a moment expressing the least impatience or sense of fatigue.
  • She can add and subtract with great rapidity up to the sum of one hundred; and she knows the multiplication tables as far as the FIVES.
  • I wished her to make the groups of threes and supposed she would then have to count them in order to know what number fifteen threes would make.
  • On being told that she was white and that one of the servants was black, she concluded that all who occupied a similar menial position were of the same hue; and whenever I asked her the colour of a servant she would say "black."
  • When asked the colour of some one whose occupation she did not know she seemed bewildered, and finally said "blue."
  • On another occasion while walking with me she seemed conscious of the presence of her brother, although we were distant from him.
  • When walking or riding she often gives the names of the people we meet almost as soon as we recognize them.
  • We took Helen to the circus, and had "the time of our lives"!
  • She fed the elephants, and was allowed to climb up on the back of the largest, and sit in the lap of the "Oriental Princess," while the elephant marched majestically around the ring.
  • The keeper of the bears made one big black fellow stand on his hind legs and hold out his great paw to us, which Helen shook politely.
  • One cute little fellow stole her hair-ribbon, and another tried to snatch the flowers out of her hat.
  • One of the leopards licked her hands, and the man in charge of the giraffes lifted her up in his arms so that she could feel their ears and see how tall they were.
  • She also felt a Greek chariot, and the charioteer would have liked to take her round the ring; but she was afraid of "many swift horses."
  • Some of them cried, and the wild man of Borneo shrank from her sweet little face in terror.
  • I find it hard to realize that Christmas is almost here, in spite of the fact that Helen talks about nothing else.
  • She has made me repeat the story of little Red Riding Hood so often that I believe I could say it backward.
  • Of course I don't try to explain everything.
  • If I did, there would be no opportunity for the play of fancy.
  • Several little girls have learned to spell on their fingers and are very proud of the accomplishment.
  • My fingers and head ached; but Helen was as fresh and full of spirit as when we left home.
  • The Christmas season has furnished many lessons, and added scores of new words to Helen's vocabulary.
  • Constant repetition makes it easier to learn how to spell a word.
  • I SEE NO SENSE IN "FAKING" CONVERSATION FOR THE SAKE OF TEACHING LANGUAGE.
  • TALK SHOULD BE NATURAL AND HAVE FOR ITS OBJECT AN EXCHANGE OF IDEAS.
  • I HAVE TRIED FROM THE BEGINNING TO TALK NATURALLY TO HELEN AND TO TEACH HER TO TELL ME ONLY THINGS THAT INTEREST HER AND ASK QUESTIONS ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF FINDING OUT WHAT SHE WANTS TO KNOW.
  • Of course, she hung her stocking--two of them lest Santa Claus should forget one, and she lay awake for a long time and got up two or three times to see if anything had happened.
  • Of course, she hung her stocking--two of them lest Santa Claus should forget one, and she lay awake for a long time and got up two or three times to see if anything had happened.
  • The ring you sent her was in the toe of the stocking, and when I told her you gave it to Santa Claus for her, she said, "I do love Mrs. Hopkins."
  • My heart, too, was full of gratitude and solemn joy.
  • So far, her only knowledge of death is in connection with things to eat.
  • This morning she asked me the meaning of "carpenter," and the question furnished the text for the day's lesson.
  • I appreciate the kind things Mr. Anagnos has said about Helen and me; but his extravagant way of saying them rubs me the wrong way.
  • How ridiculous it is to say I had drunk so copiously of the noble spirit of Dr. Howe that I was fired with the desire to rescue from darkness and obscurity the little Alabamian!
  • I told her they were tulips; but of course she didn't understand the word-play.
  • I don't know what I should have done, had some of the young people not learned to talk with her.
  • Helen was petted and caressed enough to spoil an angel; but I do not think it is possible to spoil her, she is too unconscious of herself, and too loving.
  • Helen was greatly interested in the boat, and insisted on being shown every inch of it from the engine to the flag on the flagstaff.
  • Dr. Hale claims kinship with Helen, and seems very proud of his little cousin.
  • Dr. Bell writes that Helen's progress is without a parallel in the education of the deaf, or something like that and he says many nice things about her teacher.
  • Miss Ev. came up to help me make a list of words Helen has learned.
  • I had Helen begin a journal March 1st.[Most of this journal was lost.
  • She buried me under the pillows and then I grew very slow like tree out of ground.
  • The children were so pleased to see her at Sunday-school, they paid no attention to their teachers, but rushed out of their seats and surrounded us.
  • One of the ministers wished me to ask Helen, "What do ministers do?"
  • When it was time for the church service to begin, she was in such a state of excitement that I thought it best to take her away; but Captain Keller said, "No, she will be all right."
  • She hugged and kissed me, and the quiet-looking divine who sat on the other side of her.
  • I never was so glad to get out of a place as I was to leave that church!
  • I tried to hurry Helen out-of-doors, but she kept her arm extended, and every coat-tail she touched must needs turn round and give an account of the children he left at home, and receive kisses according to their number.
  • Everybody laughed at her antics, and you would have thought they were leaving a place of amusement rather than a church.
  • Captain Keller invited some of the ministers to dinner.
  • Finally she got up from the table and went through the motion of picking seaweed and shells, and splashing in the water, holding up her skirts higher than was proper under the circumstances.
  • Then she threw herself on the floor and began to swim so energetically that some of us thought we should be kicked out of our chairs!
  • When we reached Cincinnati, we found the place full of doctors.
  • Dr. Keller distributed the extracts from the report that Mr. Anagnos sent me, and he could have disposed of a thousand if he had had them.
  • Do you remember Dr. Garcelon, who was Governor of Maine several years ago?
  • He had never heard of "talking-gloves"; but I explained that she had seen a glove on which the alphabet was printed, and evidently thought they could be bought.
  • He asked me how I had taught Helen adjectives and the names of abstract ideas like goodness and happiness.
  • Why, it is as easy to teach the name of an idea, if it is clearly formulated in the child's mind, as to teach the name of an object.
  • This extract from one of Miss Sullivan's letters is added because it contains interesting casual opinions stimulated by observing the methods of others.
  • Two of the teachers knew the manual alphabet, and talked to her without an interpreter.
  • They were astonished at her command of language.
  • I was incredulous when he first told me the secret.
  • One of them pulled me by the sleeve and said, "Girl is blind."
  • Nobody thinks of making a hearing child say, "I have a pretty new dress," at the beginning.
  • Helen certainly derives great pleasure from the exercise of these senses.
  • On entering a greenhouse her countenance becomes radiant, and she will tell the names of the flowers with which she is familiar, by the sense of smell alone.
  • Her recollections of the sensations of smell are very vivid.
  • It frequently happens that the perfume of a flower or the flavour of a fruit recalls to her mind some happy event in home life, or a delightful birthday party.
  • Her sense of touch has sensibly increased during the year, and has gained in acuteness and delicacy.
  • She is able not only to distinguish with great accuracy the different undulations of the air and the vibrations of the floor made by various sounds and motions, and to recognize her friends and acquaintances the instant she touches their hands or clothing, but she also perceives the state of mind of those around her.
  • It is impossible for any one with whom Helen is conversing to be particularly happy or sad, and withhold the knowledge of this fact from her.
  • She responds quickly to the gentle pressure of affection, the pat of approval, the jerk of impatience, the firm motion of command, and to the many other variations of the almost infinite language of the feelings; and she has become so expert in interpreting this unconscious language of the emotions that she is often able to divine our very thoughts.
  • In my account of Helen last year, I mentioned several instances where she seemed to have called into use an inexplicable mental faculty; but it now seems to me, after carefully considering the matter, that this power may be explained by her perfect familiarity with the muscular variations of those with whom she comes into contact, caused by their emotions.
  • She has learned to connect certain movements of the body with anger, others with joy, and others still with sorrow.
  • Several experiments were tried, to determine positively whether or not she had any perception of sound.
  • All present were astonished when she appeared not only to hear a whistle, but also an ordinary tone of voice.
  • At my suggestion, one of the gentlemen took her hand, and the tests were repeated.
  • This time her countenance changed whenever she was spoken to, but there was not such a decided lighting up of the features as when I had held her hand.
  • She smelt of the flowers, but showed no desire to pluck them; and, when I gathered a few for her, she refused to have them pinned on her dress.
  • When her attention was drawn to a marble slab inscribed with the name FLORENCE in relief, she dropped upon the ground as though looking for something, then turned to me with a face full of trouble, and asked, "Were is poor little Florence?"
  • A letter written to her mother in the course of the following week gave an account of her impression in her own words:
  • Notwithstanding the activity of Helen's mind, she is a very natural child.
  • She is fond of fun and frolic, and loves dearly to be with other children.
  • Then it is beautiful to observe with what patience, sweetness, and perseverance Helen endeavours to bring the unruly fingers of her little friend into proper position.
  • She is very fond of children younger than herself, and a baby invariably calls forth all the motherly instincts of her nature.
  • She has a very sociable disposition, and delights in the companionship of those who can follow the rapid motions of her fingers; but if left alone she will amuse herself for hours at a time with her knitting or sewing.
  • She bends over her book with a look of intense interest, and as the forefinger of her left hand runs along the line, she spells out the words with the other hand; but often her motions are so rapid as to be unintelligible even to those accustomed to reading the swift and varied movements of her fingers.
  • Every shade of feeling finds expression through her mobile features.
  • Her behaviour is easy and natural, and it is charming because of its frankness and evident sincerity.
  • She is not conscious of any reason why she should be awkward; consequently, her movements are free and graceful.
  • She is very fond of all the living things at home, and she will not have them unkindly treated.
  • One morning she was greatly distressed by finding that one of the dogs had a block fastened to her collar.
  • Helen expressed a great deal of sympathy, and at every opportunity during the day she would find Pearl and carry the burden from place to place.
  • Sitting beside her in the car, I describe what I see from the window--hills and valleys and the rivers; cotton-fields and gardens in which strawberries, peaches, pears, melons, and vegetables are growing; herds of cows and horses feeding in broad meadows, and flocks of sheep on the hillside; the cities with their churches and schools, hotels and warehouses, and the occupations of the busy people.
  • In these early lessons I encouraged her in the use of different forms of expression for conveying the same idea.
  • This is especially true of her earlier lessons, when her knowledge of language was so slight as to make explanation impossible.
  • Soon after I became her teacher Helen broke her new doll, of which she was very fond.
  • While not confining myself to any special system of instruction, I have tried to add to her general information and intelligence, to enlarge her acquaintance with things around her, and to bring her into easy and natural relations with people.
  • He takes care of sixty little blind girls and seventy little blind boys.
  • I tried to describe to her the appearance of a camel; but, as we were not allowed to touch the animal, I feared that she did not get a correct idea of its shape.
  • I watched her for some time as she moved about, trying to take long strides in order to carry out the idea I had given her of a camel's gait.
  • In 1892 appeared the Perkins Institution report for 1891, containing a full account of Helen Keller, including many of her letters, exercises, and compositions.
  • From Miss Sullivan's part of this report I give her most important comments and such biographical matter as does not appear elsewhere in the present volume.
  • Of course, you cannot help it, and I love you just as well as if you were the most beautiful creature in the world.
  • I could see the way Ginger looked; all her beauty gone, her beautiful arched neck drooping, all the spirit gone out of her flashing eyes, all the playfulness gone out of her manner.
  • There were very few spots of sunshine in poor Ginger's life, and the sadnesses were so many!
  • This morning Helen was reading for the first time Bryant's poem, "Oh, mother of a mighty race!"
  • The gate, I suppose, is New York City, and Freedom is the great statue of Liberty.
  • She is at once transported into the midst of the events of a story.
  • She even enters into the spirit of battle; she says, "I think it is right for men to fight against wrongs and tyrants."
  • Here begins Miss Sullivan's connected account in the report of 1891:
  • But this advantage involves a corresponding disadvantage, the danger of unduly severe mental application.
  • After a time I became discouraged, and told her I was afraid she could not make it stand, but that I would build it for her; but she did not approve of this plan.
  • Until October, 1889, I had not deemed it best to confine Helen to any regular and systematic course of study.
  • She has made considerable progress in the study of arithmetic.
  • The intellectual improvement which Helen has made in the past two years is shown more clearly in her greater command of language and in her ability to recognize nicer shades of meaning in the use of words, than in any other branch of her education.
  • Some of these words have successive steps of meaning, beginning with what is simple and leading on to what is abstract.
  • Whenever any one asks me if she will understand this or that word I always reply: Never mind whether she understands each separate word of a sentence or not.
  • She will guess the meanings of the new words from their connection with others which are already intelligible to her.
  • She always reads such books as seeing and hearing children of her age read and enjoy.
  • Of course, in the beginning it was necessary that the things described should be familiar and interesting, and the English pure and simple.
  • The word THE she did not know, and of course she wished it explained.
  • When she had read the words of the second sentence, I showed her that there really was a mouse in the box.
  • She then moved her finger to the next line with an expression of eager interest.
  • The expression of the little girl's countenance showed that she was perplexed.
  • She was familiar with the words of the last sentence, and was delighted when allowed to act them out.
  • She ran her fingers along the lines, finding the words she knew and guessing at the meaning of others, in a way that would convince the most conservative of educators that a little deaf child, if given the opportunity, will learn to read as easily and naturally as ordinary children.
  • I am convinced that Helen's use of English is due largely to her familiarity with books.
  • The next lines are still more idiomatic, "When Suetonius left the country, they fell upon his troops and retook the island of Anglesea."
  • I have found it a convenient medium of communicating with Helen when she is at some distance from me, for it enables me to talk with her by tapping upon the floor with my foot.
  • In the case of Helen, as in that of Laura Bridgman, disappointment was inevitable.
  • It is impossible to isolate a child in the midst of society, so that he shall not be influenced by the beliefs of those with whom he associates.
  • Finally she one day demanded a name for the power, the existence of which she had already conceived in her own mind.
  • A. says God made me and every one out of sand; but it must be a joke.
  • I am made of flesh and blood and bone, am I not?
  • She had met with the expression Mother Nature in the course of her reading, and for a long time she was in the habit of ascribing to Mother Nature whatever she felt to be beyond the power of man to accomplish.
  • She would say, when speaking of the growth of a plant, "Mother Nature sends the sunshine and the rain to make the trees and the grass and the flowers grow."
  • She is the mother of everything; the flowers and trees and winds.
  • How does Mother Nature take care of the flowers?
  • She almost overwhelmed me with inquiries which were the natural outgrowth of her quickened intelligence.
  • Early in May she wrote on her tablet the following list of questions:
  • Little birds and chickens come out of eggs.
  • Can any one doubt after reading these questions that the child who was capable of asking them was also capable of understanding at least their elementary answers?
  • Without that degree of mental development and activity which perceives the necessity of superhuman creative power, no explanation of natural phenomena is possible.
  • But after a great deal of thought and study, I told her, men came to believe that all forces were manifestations of one power, and to that power they gave the name GOD.
  • I was compelled to evade her question, for I could not explain to her the mystery of a self-existent being.
  • Indeed, many of her eager questions would have puzzled a far wiser person than I am.
  • Here are some of them: "What did God make the new worlds out of?"
  • I told her that God was everywhere, and that she must not think of Him as a person, but as the life, the mind, the soul of everything.
  • The Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks has explained to her in a beautiful way the fatherhood of God.
  • I have already told her in simple language of the beautiful and helpful life of Jesus, and of His cruel death.
  • She thought the miracles of Jesus very strange.
  • When told of the instance in which Jesus raised the dead, she was much perplexed, saying, "I did not know life could come back into the dead body!"
  • "No one knows what the soul is like," I replied; "but we know that it is not the body, and it is that part of us which thinks and loves and hopes."
  • I then asked her, "Can you think of your soul as separate from your body?"
  • "Oh, yes!" she replied; "because last hour I was thinking very hard of Mr. Anagnos, and then my mind,"--then changing the word--"my soul was in Athens, but my body was here in the study."
  • I was obliged to confess that I did not know, but suggested that it might be on one of the stars.
  • She shrinks from the thought of death with evident dismay.
  • I said, "No; because, if there were no death, our world would soon be so crowded with living creatures that it would be impossible for any of them to live comfortably."
  • When her friend added that some of the pupils he had seen in Budapest had more than one hundred tunes in their heads, she said, laughing, "I think their heads must be very noisy."
  • Is it blind? she asked; for in her mind the idea of being led was associated with blindness.
  • The fact that sin exists, and that great misery results from it, dawned gradually upon her mind as she understood more and more clearly the lives and experiences of those around her.
  • The necessity of laws and penalties had to be explained to her.
  • One day she asked, "Does God take care of us all the time?"
  • Another time she was asking about the power and goodness of God.
  • At first, the words, phrases and sentences which she used in expressing her thoughts were all reproductions of what we had used in conversation with her, and which her memory had unconsciously retained.
  • And indeed, this is true of the language of all children.
  • Their language is the memory of the language they hear spoken in their homes.
  • Language grows out of life, out of its needs and experiences.
  • Good work in language presupposes and depends on a real knowledge of things.
  • During the first two years of her intellectual life, I required Helen to write very little.
  • Helen acquired language by practice and habit rather than by study of rules and definitions.
  • I believe every child has hidden away somewhere in his being noble capacities which may be quickened and developed if we go about it in the right way; but we shall never properly develop the higher natures of our little ones while we continue to fill their minds with the so-called rudiments.
  • Helen has had the best and purest models in language constantly presented to her, and her conversation and her writing are unconscious reproductions of what she has read.
  • Reading, I think, should be kept independent of the regular school exercises.
  • Children should be encouraged to read for the pure delight of it.
  • The attitude of the child toward his books should be that of unconscious receptivity.
  • It is true, the more sensitive and imaginative the mind is that receives the thought-pictures and images of literature, the more nicely the finest lines are reproduced.
  • Helen has the vitality of feeling, the freshness and eagerness of interest, and the spiritual insight of the artistic temperament, and naturally she has a more active and intense joy in life, simply as life, and in nature, books, and people than less gifted mortals.
  • Her mind is so filled with the beautiful thoughts and ideals of the great poets that nothing seems commonplace to her; for her imagination colours all life with its own rich hues.
  • There has been much discussion of such of Miss Sullivan's statements and explanations as have been published before.
  • Miss Keller's education, however, is so fundamentally a question of language teaching that it rather includes the problems of the deaf than limits itself to the deaf alone.
  • By experiment, by studying other children, Miss Sullivan came upon the practical way of teaching language by the natural method.
  • All day long in their play-time and work-time Miss Sullivan kept spelling into her pupil's hand, and by that Helen Keller absorbed words, just as the child in the cradle absorbs words by hearing thousands of them before he uses one and by associating the words with the occasion of their utterance.
  • Why not, says Miss Sullivan, make a language lesson out of what they were interested in?
  • Miss Sullivan never needlessly belittled her ideas or expressions to suit the supposed state of the child's intelligence.
  • True, single words do suggest and express ideas; the child may say simply "mamma" when he means "Where is mamma?" but he learns the expression of the ideas that relate to mamma--he learns language--by hearing complete sentences.
  • The manual alphabet was not the only means of presenting words to Helen Keller's fingers.
  • Books supplemented, perhaps equaled in importance the manual alphabet, as a means of teaching language.
  • Books are the storehouse of language, and any child, whether deaf or not, if he has his attention attracted in any way to printed pages, must learn.
  • When at the age of fourteen she had had but a few lessons in German, she read over the words of "Wilhelm Tell" and managed to get the story.
  • Of grammar she knew nothing and she cared nothing for it.
  • She got the language from the language itself, and this is, next to hearing the language spoken, the way for any one to get a foreign tongue, more vital and, in the end, easier than our schoolroom method of beginning with the grammar.
  • In the same way she played with Latin, learning not only from the lessons her first Latin teacher gave her, but from going over and over the words of a text, a game she played by herself.
  • Often I found her, when she had a little leisure, sitting in her favourite corner, in a chair whose arms supported the big volume prepared for the blind, and passing her finger slowly over the lines of Moliere's 'Le Medecin Malgre Lui,' chuckling to herself at the comical situations and humorous lines.
  • It was not a lesson, but only one of her recreations.
  • So Helen Keller's aptitude for language is her whole mental aptitude, turned to language because of its extraordinary value to her.
  • It is true that a teacher with ten times Miss Sullivan's genius could not have made a pupil so remarkable as Helen Keller out of a child born dull and mentally deficient.
  • And the fact remains that she was taught by a method of teaching language to the deaf the essential principles of which are clearly expressed in Miss Sullivan's letters, written while she was discovering the method and putting it successfully into practice.
  • And it can be applied by any teacher to any healthy deaf child, and in the broadest interpretation of the principles, can be applied to the teaching of language of all kinds to all children.
  • Miss Sullivan is a person of extraordinary power.
  • Her method might not succeed so completely in the hands of any one else.
  • Miss Sullivan's vigorous, original mind has lent much of its vitality to her pupil.
  • If Miss Keller is fond of language and not interested especially in mathematics, it is not surprising to find Miss Sullivan's interests very similar.
  • When Miss Sullivan went out in the barnyard and picked up a little chicken and talked to Helen about it, she was giving a kind of instruction impossible inside four walls, and impossible with more than one pupil at a time.
  • That is just what the teacher of the deaf child must be, a child ready to play and romp, and interested in all childish things.
  • Let me sum up a few of the elements that made Helen Keller what she is.
  • In the first place she had nineteen months' experience of sight and sound.
  • She had inherited vigour of body and mind.
  • Mrs. Keller writes me that before her illness Helen made signs for everything, and her mother thought this habit the cause of her slowness in learning to speak.
  • Her early rages were an unhappy expression of the natural force of character which instruction was to turn into trained and organized power.
  • Miss Sullivan's methods were so good that even without the practical result, any one would recognize the truth of the teacher's ideas.
  • Her speech lacks variety and modulation; it runs in a sing-song when she is reading aloud; and when she speaks with fair degree of loudness, it hovers about two or three middle tones.
  • Her voice has an aspirate quality; there seems always to be too much breath for the amount of tone.
  • Some of her notes are musical and charming.
  • This is like the effect of the slow dwelling on long words, not quite well managed, that one notices in a child who is telling a solemn story.
  • The principal thing that is lacking is sentence accent and variety in the inflection of phrases.
  • It would, I think, be hard to make her feel just how to pronounce DICTIONARY without her erring either toward DICTIONAYRY or DICTION'RY, and, of course the word is neither one nor the other.
  • For no system of marks in a lexicon can tell one how to pronounce a word.
  • The only way is to hear it, especially in a language like English which is so full of unspellable, suppressed vowels and quasi-vowels.
  • The wavering is caused by the absence of accent on FUL, for she pronounces FULL correctly.
  • Miss Keller will never be able, I believe, to speak loud without destroying the pleasant quality and the distinctness of her words, but she can do much to make her speech clearer.
  • Her friends grow accustomed to her speech and forget that it is different from that of any one else.
  • Children seldom have any difficulty in understanding her; which suggests that her deliberate measured speech is like theirs, before they come to the adult trick of running all the words of a phrase into one movement of the breath.
  • Miss Sullivan's account in her address at Chautauqua, in July, 1894, at the meeting of The American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf, is substantially like Miss Keller's in points of fact.
  • I made no effort to teach her to speak, because I regarded her inability to watch the lips of others as an insurmountable obstacle.
  • But there was satisfaction in seeing from day to day the evidence of growing mastery and the possibility of final success.
  • Teachers of the deaf often express surprise that Helen's speech is so good when she has not received any regular instruction in speech since the first few lessons given her by Miss Fuller.
  • The acquiring of speech by untaught deaf children is always slow and often painful.
  • In the very nature of things, articulation is an unsatisfactory means of education; while the use of the manual alphabet quickens and invigorates mental activity, since through it the deaf child is brought into close contact with the English language, and the highest and most abstract ideas may be conveyed to the mind readily and accurately.
  • She was already perfectly familiar with words and the construction of sentences, and had only mechanical difficulties to overcome.
  • Before describing the process of teaching Helen to speak, it may be well to state briefly to what extent she had used the vocal organs before she began to receive regular instruction in articulation.
  • When she was stricken down with the illness which resulted in her loss of sight and hearing, at the age of nineteen months, she was learning to talk.
  • The unmeaning babblings of the infant were becoming day by day conscious and voluntary signs of what she felt and thought.
  • Her pronunciation of this gradually became indistinct, and when I first knew her it was nothing more than a peculiar noise.
  • Her little hands felt every object and observed every movement of the persons about her, and she was quick to imitate these movements.
  • At the time when I became her teacher, she had made for herself upward of sixty signs, all of which were imitative and were readily understood by those who knew her.
  • It seems, however, that, while she was still suffering from severe pain, she noticed the movements of her mother's lips.
  • This was in imitation of her mother's crooning to the baby.
  • Occasionally she broke out into a merry laugh, and then she would reach out and touch the mouth of any one who happened to be near her, to see if he were laughing also.
  • She liked to feel the cat purr; and if by chance she felt a dog in the act of barking, she showed great pleasure.
  • The only words she had learned to pronounce with any degree of distinctness previous to March, 1890, were PAPA, MAMMA, BABY, SISTER.
  • These words she had caught without instruction from the lips of friends.
  • Enough appears in the accounts by Miss Keller's teacher to show the process by which she reads the lips with her fingers, the process by which she was taught to speak, and by which, of course, she can listen to conversation now.
  • It is a clumsy and unsatisfactory way of receiving communication, useless when Miss Sullivan or some one else who knows the manual alphabet is present to give Miss Keller the spoken words of others.
  • The ability to read the lips helps Miss Keller in getting corrections of her pronunciation from Miss Sullivan and others, just as it was the means of her learning to speak at all, but it is rather an accomplishment than a necessity.
  • If you knew all the joy I feel in being able to speak to you to-day, I think you would have some idea of the value of speech to the deaf, and you would understand why I want every little deaf child in all this great world to have an opportunity to learn to speak.
  • It seems very strange to me that there should be this difference of opinion; I cannot understand how any one interested in our education can fail to appreciate the satisfaction we feel in being able to express our thoughts in living words.
  • It brings me into closer and tenderer relationship with those I love, and makes it possible for me to enjoy the sweet companionship of a great many persons from whom I should be entirely cut off if I could not talk.
  • Of course, it was not easy at first to fly.
  • So I want to say to those who are trying to learn to speak and those who are teaching them: Be of good cheer.
  • Do not think of to-days failures, but of the success that may come to-morrow.
  • Any teacher of composition knows that he can bring his pupils to the point of writing without errors in syntax or in the choice of words.
  • No teacher could have made Helen Keller sensitive to the beauties of language and to the finer interplay of thought which demands expression in melodious word groupings.
  • At the same time the inborn gift of style can be starved or stimulated.
  • A child of the muses cannot write fine English unless fine English has been its nourishment.
  • If Miss Sullivan wrote fine English, the beauty of Helen Keller's style would, in part, be explicable at once.
  • Her service as a teacher of English is not to be measured by her own skill in composition.
  • After the first year or so of elementary work she met her pupil on equal terms, and they read and enjoyed good books together.
  • Any one who has tried to write knows what Miss Keller owes to the endless practice which Miss Sullivan demanded of her.
  • There is, moreover, a reason why Helen Keller writes good English, which lies in the very absence of sight and hearing.
  • The disadvantages of being deaf and blind were overcome and the advantages remained.
  • On the other hand, the peculiar value to her of language, which ordinary people take for granted as a necessary part of them like their right hand, made her think about language and love it.
  • Miss Keller has given her account of it, and the whole matter was discussed in the first Volta Bureau Souvenir from which I quote at length:
  • As we went in she repeated these words, 'Out of the cloud-folds of his garments Winter shakes the snow.'
  • I inquired of her where she had read this; she did not remember having read it, did not seem to know that she had learned it.
  • As I had never heard it, I inquired of several of my friends if they recalled the words; no one seemed to remember it.
  • The teachers at the Institution expressed the opinion that the description did not appear in any book in raised print in that library; but one lady, Miss Marrett, took upon herself the task of examining books of poems in ordinary type, and was rewarded by finding the following lines in one of Longfellow's minor poems, entitled 'Snowflakes':
  • 'Out of the bosom of the air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow.'
  • It would seem that Helen had learned and treasured the memory of this expression of the poet, and this morning in the snow-storm had found its application.
  • One warm, sunny day in early spring, when we were at the North, the balmy atmosphere appears to have brought to her mind the sentiment expressed by Longfellow in "Hiawatha," and she almost sings with the poet: "The ground was all aquiver with the stir of new life.
  • I thought of my own dear home.
  • About the same time, in a letter to a friend, in which she makes mention of her Southern home, she gives so close a reproduction from a poem by one of her favourite authors that I will give extracts from Helen's letter and from the poem itself:
  • In a letter to a friend at the Perkins Institution, dated May 17, 1889, she gives a reproduction from one of Hans Christian Andersen's stories, which I had read to her not long before.
  • The original story was read to her from a copy of "Andersen's Stories," published by Leavitt & Allen Bros., and may be found on p. 97 of Part I. in that volume.
  • Her admiration for the impressive explanations which Bishop Brooks has given her of the Fatherhood of God is well known.
  • In one of his letters, speaking of how God in every way tells us of His love, he says, "I think he writes it even upon the walls of the great house of nature which we live in, that he is our Father."
  • The next year at Andover she said: It seems to me the world is full of goodness, beauty, and love; and how grateful we must be to our heavenly Father, who has given us so much to enjoy!
  • His love and care are written all over the walls of nature.
  • The pages of the book she reads become to her like paintings, to which her imaginative powers give life and colour.
  • Helen's mind is so gifted by nature that she seems able to understand with only the faintest touch of explanation every possible variety of external relations.
  • In mentioning a visit to Lexington, Mass., she writes: As we rode along we could see the forest monarchs bend their proud forms to listen to the little children of the woodlands whispering their secrets.
  • This is shown in a little story she wrote in October last at the home of her parents in Tuscumbia, which she called "Autumn Leaves."
  • As we had never seen or heard of any such story as this before, we inquired of her where she read it; she replied, "I did not read it; it is my story for Mr. Anagnos's birthday."
  • As I had never read this story, or even heard of the book, I inquired of Helen if she knew anything about the matter, and found she did not.
  • She was utterly unable to recall either the name of the story or the book.
  • Careful examination was made of the books in raised print in the library of the Perkins Institution to learn if any extracts from this volume could be found there; but nothing was discovered.
  • Helen and I spent the summer of 1888 with Mrs. Hopkins at her home in Brewster, Mass., where she kindly relieved me a part of the time, of the care of Helen.
  • This became a difficult task, as her publishers in Philadelphia had retired from business many years ago; however, it was eventually discovered that her residence is at Wilmington, Delaware, and copies of the second edition of the book, 1889, were obtained from her.
  • She has since secured and forwarded to me a copy of the first edition.
  • Under date of February 24, 1892, after mentioning the order of the publication of the stories in the magazine, she writes:
  • Can you tell me in what paper the article appeared accusing Helen of plagiarism, and giving passages from both stories?
  • I shall love to hear of her reception of the book and how she likes the stories which are new to her.
  • I have now (March, 1892) read to Helen "The Frost Fairies," "The Rose Fairies," and a portion of "The Dew Fairies," but she is unable to throw any light on the matter.
  • I give below a portion of Miss Canby's story, "The Rose Fairies," and also Helen's letter to Mr. Anagnos containing her "dream," so that the likenesses and differences may be studied by those interested in the subject:
  • As he came in sight of the rose-bushes that grew near the side of the house, he suddenly clapped his hands, and with a little shout of joy stopped to look at them; they were all covered with lovely rosebuds.
  • Some were red, some white, and others pale pink, and they were just peeping out of the green leaves, as rosy-faced children peep out from their warm beds in wintertime before they are quite willing to get up.
  • Here the similarity in the language of the story to that in the letter ceases.
  • Teacher and all of your friends send you their love.
  • Every year Santa Claus takes a journey over the world in a sleigh drawn by a strong and rapid steed called "Rudolph."
  • But his most wonderful work is the painting of the trees, which look, after his task is done, as if they were covered with the brightest layers of gold and rubies; and are beautiful enough to comfort us for the flight of summer.
  • I will tell you how King Frost first thought of this kind work, for it is a strange story.
  • Well, one day King Frost was trying to think of some good that he could do with his treasure; and suddenly he concluded to send some of it to his kind neighbour, Santa Claus, to buy presents of food and clothing for the poor, that they might not suffer so much when King Winter went near their homes.
  • So he called together his merry little fairies, and showing them a number of jars and vases filled with gold and precious stones, told them to carry those carefully to the palace of Santa Claus, and give them to him with the compliments of King Frost.
  • "He will know how to make good use of the treasure," added Jack Frost; then he told the fairies not to loiter by the way, but to do his bidding quickly.
  • Still, for awhile, the frost fairies did not notice this strange occurrence, for they were down on the grass, so far below the tree-tops that the wonderful shower of treasure was a long time in reaching them; but at last one of them said, Hark!
  • Then looking more closely at the trees around, they saw that the treasure was all melting away, and that much of it was already spread over the leaves of the oak trees and maples, which were shining with their gorgeous dress of gold and bronze, crimson and emerald.
  • It was very beautiful; but the idle fairies were too much frightened at the mischief their disobedience had caused, to admire the beauty of the forest, and at once tried to hide themselves among the bushes, lest King Frost should come and punish them.
  • Of course, he soon noticed the brightness of the leaves, and discovered the cause, too, when he caught sight of the broken jars and vases from which the melted treasure was still dropping.
  • Of course, he soon noticed the brightness of the leaves, and discovered the cause, too, when he caught sight of the broken jars and vases from which the melted treasure was still dropping.
  • And when he came to the nut trees, and saw the shells left by the idle fairies and all the traces of their frolic, he knew exactly how they had acted, and that they had disobeyed him by playing and loitering on their way through the woods.
  • King Frost lives in a beautiful palace far to the North, in the land of perpetual snow.
  • At a little distance from the palace we might easily mistake it for a mountain whose peaks were mounting heavenward to receive the last kiss of the departing day.
  • Nothing could be more beautiful than the architecture of this ice-palace.
  • The walls are curiously constructed of massive blocks of ice which terminate in cliff-like towers.
  • The entrance to the palace is at the end of an arched recess, and it is guarded night and day by twelve soldierly-looking white Bears.
  • You must know that King Frost, like all other kings, has great treasures of gold and precious stones; but as he is a generous old monarch, he endeavours to make a right use of his riches.
  • I will tell you how King Frost happened to think of painting the leaves, for it is a strange story.
  • So he called together the merry little fairies of his household and, showing them the jars and vases containing his treasures, he bade them carry them to the palace of Santa Claus as quickly as they could.
  • At length every jar and vase was cracked or broken, and the precious stones they contained were melting, too, and running in little streams over the trees and bushes of the forest.
  • Then looking around more closely, they saw that much of the treasure was already melted, for the oaks and maples were arrayed in gorgeous dresses of gold and crimson and emerald.
  • It was very beautiful, but the disobedient fairies were too frightened to notice the beauty of the trees.
  • Their fears were well founded, for their long absence had alarmed the King, and he mounted North Wind and went out in search of his tardy couriers.
  • Of course, he had not gone far when he noticed the brightness of the leaves, and he quickly guessed the cause when he saw the broken jars from which the treasure was still dropping.
  • Of course, he had not gone far when he noticed the brightness of the leaves, and he quickly guessed the cause when he saw the broken jars from which the treasure was still dropping.
  • At first King Frost was very angry, and the fairies trembled and crouched lower in their hiding-places, and I do not know what might have happened to them if just then a party of boys and girls had not entered the wood.
  • My idle fairies and my fiery enemy have taught me a new way of doing good.
  • Another fact is of great significance in this connection.
  • Now Helen, in her letter of February, 1890 (quoted above), alludes to this story of Miss Canby's as a dream "WHICH I HAD A LONG TIME AGO WHEN I WAS A VERY LITTLE CHILD."
  • My heart was full of tears, for I love the beautiful truth with my whole heart and mind.
  • I do not feel that I can add anything more that will be of interest.
  • The following letter from Mr. Anagnos is reprinted from the American Annals of the Deaf, April, 1892:
  • Soon after its appearance in print I was pained to learn, through the Goodson Gazette, that a portion of the story (eight or nine passages) is either a reproduction or adaptation of Miss Margaret Canby's "Frost Fairies."
  • I hasten to assure you that Helen could not have received any idea of the story from any of her relations or friends here, none of whom can communicate with her readily enough to impress her with the details of a story of that character.
  • At my request, one of the teachers in the girls' department examined Helen in regard to the construction of the story.
  • I first tried to ascertain what had suggested to Helen's mind the particular fancies which made her story seem like a reproduction of one written by Miss Margaret Canby.
  • Helen told me that for a long time she had thought of Jack Frost as a king, because of the many treasures which he possessed.
  • Such rich treasures must be kept in a safe place, and so she had imagined them stored in jars and vases in one part of the royal palace.
  • In answer to my question she recited a part of the poem called 'Freaks of the Frost,' and she referred to a little piece about winter, in one of the school readers.
  • I have scarcely any doubt that Miss Canby's little book was read to Helen, by Mrs. Hopkins, in the summer of 1888.
  • But the child has no recollection whatever of this fact.
  • On Miss Sullivan's return to Brewster, she read to Helen the story of "Little Lord Fauntleroy," which she had purchased in Boston for the purpose.
  • She seems to have some idea of the difference between original composition and reproduction.
  • She did not know the meaning of the word "plagiarism" until quite recently, when it was explained to her.
  • Veracity is the strongest element of her character.
  • She could not keep back her tears, and the chief cause of her pain seemed to be the fear lest people should doubt her truthfulness.
  • She said, with great intensity of feeling, "I love the beautiful truth."
  • Director of the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind.
  • The episode had a deadening effect on Helen Keller and on Miss Sullivan, who feared that she had allowed the habit of imitation, which has in truth made Miss Keller a writer, to go too far.
  • Of the sources of his vocabulary he is, for the most part, as unaware as he is of the moment when he ate the food which makes a bit of his thumbnail.
  • Of the sources of his vocabulary he is, for the most part, as unaware as he is of the moment when he ate the food which makes a bit of his thumbnail.
  • With most of us the contributions from different sources are blended, crossed and confused.
  • In this case Helen Keller held almost intact in her mind, unmixed with other ideas, the words of a story which at the time it was read to her she did not fully understand.
  • The importance of this cannot be overestimated.
  • The style of her version is in some respects even better than the style of Miss Canby's story.
  • Most people will feel the superior imaginative quality of Helen Keller's opening paragraph.
  • "Twelve soldierly-looking white bears" is a stroke of genius, and there is beauty of rhythm throughout the child's narrative.
  • It is original in the same way that a poet's version of an old story is original.
  • This little story calls into life all the questions of language and the philosophy of style.
  • All use of language is imitative, and one's style is made up of all other styles that one has met.
  • Words often make the thought, and the master of words will say things greater than are in him.
  • Writing of the moment when she learned that everything has a name, she says: We met the nurse carrying my little cousin; and teacher spelled 'baby.'
  • So the master of words is master of thoughts which the words create, and says things greater than he could otherwise know.
  • The man who can write stories thinks of stories to write.
  • The substance of thought is language, and language is the one thing to teach the deaf child and every other child.
  • Let him get language and he gets the very stuff that language is made of, the thought and the experience of his race.
  • The deaf child who has only the sign language of De l'Epee is an intellectual Philip Nolan, an alien from all races, and his thoughts are not the thoughts of an Englishman, or a Frenchman, or a Spaniard.
  • In the early years of her education she had only good things to read; some were, indeed, trivial and not excellent in style, but not one was positively bad in manner or substance.
  • When she came to retell the story in a fuller form, the echo was still in her mind of the phrases she had written nine years before.
  • In the cold, dreary month of February, when I was nineteen months old, I had a serious illness.
  • I still have confused memories of that illness.
  • They did not know for some time after my recovery that the cruel fever had taken my sight and hearing; taken all the light and music and gladness out of my little life.
  • After all, sight and hearing are but two of the beautiful blessings which God had given me.
  • The most precious, the most wonderful of His gifts was still mine.
  • When I was a little older I felt the need of some means of communication with those around me, and I began to make simple signs which my parents and friends readily understood; but it often happened that I was unable to express my thoughts intelligibly, and at such times I would give way to my angry feelings utterly....
  • At last she got up, gave me the mug, and led me out of the door to the pump-house.
  • That word startled my soul, and it awoke, full of the spirit of the morning, full of joyous, exultant song.
  • I was never still during the first glad days of my freedom.
  • A beautiful summer day had dawned, the day on which I was to make the acquaintance of a somber and mysterious friend.
  • I knew, too, it was immense! awful! and for a moment some of the sunshine seemed to have gone out of the day.
  • Then a strange, fearful sense of danger terrified me.
  • In the years when she was growing out of childhood, her style lost its early simplicity and became stiff and, as she says, "periwigged."
  • In these years the fear came many times to Miss Sullivan lest the success of the child was to cease with childhood.
  • Then came the work in college--original theme writing with new ideals of composition or at least new methods of suggesting those ideals.
  • Miss Keller began to get the better of her old friendly taskmaster, the phrase.
  • This book, her first mature experiment in writing, settles the question of her ability to write.
  • The style of the Bible is everywhere in Miss Keller's work, just as it is in the style of most great English writers.
  • Her vocabulary has all the phrases that other people use, and the explanation of it, and the reasonableness of it ought to be evident by this time.
  • There is no reason why she should strike from her vocabulary all words of sound and vision.
  • It is true, on the other hand, that in her descriptions, she is best from the point of view of art when she is faithful to her own sensations; and this is precisely true of all artists.
  • It seems worth while, however, to quote from some of her chance bits of writing, which are neither so informal as her letters nor so carefully composed as her story of her life.
  • These extracts are from her exercises in her course in composition, where she showed herself at the beginning of her college life quite without rival among her classmates.
  • She has an excellent 'ear' for the flow of sentences.
  • Yes, it is a tomb in which hope, joy and the power of acting nobly lie buried.
  • Every beautiful description, every deep thought glides insensibly into the same mournful chant of the brevity of life, of the slow decay and dissolution of all earthly things.
  • Beside the tomb sits a weary soul, rejoicing neither in the joys of the past nor in the possibilities of the future, but seeking consolation in forgetfulness.
  • If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.
  • Of course I do not refer to beautiful sentiments, but to the higher truths relating to everyday life.
  • To-day I took luncheon with the Freshman Class of Radcliffe.
  • For the first time since my entrance into Radcliffe I had the opportunity to make friends with all my classmates...
  • It surprises me to find that such an idea has crossed the mind of any one, especially of a highly gifted critic.
  • The very fact that the nineteenth century has not produced many authors whom the world may count among the greatest of all time does not in my opinion justify the remark, "There may come a time when people cease to write."
  • New experiences and events call forth new ideas and stir men to ask questions unthought of before, and seek a definite answer in the depths of human knowledge.
  • This is an age of workers, not of thinkers.
  • A little later, when the rush and heat of achievement relax, we can begin to expect the appearance of grand men to celebrate in glorious poetry and prose the deeds and triumphs of the last few centuries.
  • When all outside is cold and white, when the little children of the woodland are gone to their nurseries in the warm earth, and the empty nests on the bare trees fill with snow, my window-garden glows and smiles, making summer within while it is winter without.
  • It is wonderful to see flowers bloom in the midst of a snow-storm!
  • I have felt a bud "shyly doff her green hood and blossom with a silken burst of sound," while the icy fingers of the snow beat against the window-panes.
  • Beautiful flower, you have taught me to see a little way into the hidden heart of things.
  • I am not one of those on whom fortune deigns to smile.
  • My house is not resplendent with ivory and gold; nor is it adorned with marble arches, resting on graceful columns brought from the quarries of distant Africa.
  • My little Sabine farm is dear to me; for here I spend my happiest days, far from the noise and strife of the world.
  • Forgetful of the tomb, you lay the foundation of your palaces.
  • More even than this, in your wickedness you destroy the peaceful homes of your clients!
  • Without a touch of remorse you drive the father from his land, clasping to his bosom his household gods and his half-naked children.
  • Tantalus, too, great as he was above all mortals, went down to the kingdom of the dead, never to return.
  • Ah, the pranks that the nixies of Dreamland play on us while we sleep!
  • Methinks "they are jesters at the Court of Heaven."
  • They strut about on the stage of the play like they were very famous actors.
  • I rarely have dreams that are not in keeping with what I really think and feel, but one night my very nature seemed to change, and I stood in the eye of the world a mighty man and a terrible.
  • Naturally I love peace and hate war and all that pertains to war; I see nothing admirable in the ruthless career of Napoleon, save its finish.
  • I shall never forget how the fury of battle throbbed in my veins--it seemed as if the tumultuous beating of my heart would stop my breath.
  • I rode a fiery hunter--I can feel the impatient toss of his head now and the quiver that ran through him at the first roar of the cannon.
  • From the top of the hill where I stood I saw my army surging over a sunlit plain like angry breakers, and as they moved, I saw the green of fields, like the cool hollows between billows.
  • Trumpet answered trumpet above the steady beat of drums and the rhythm of marching feet.
  • I was very fond of bananas, and one night I dreamed that I found a long string of them in the dining-room, near the cupboard, all peeled and deliciously ripe, and all I had to do was to stand under the string and eat as long as I could eat.
  • Its warm touch seemed so like a human caress, I really thought it was a sentient being, capable of loving and protecting me.
  • Perhaps this was a confused recollection of the story I had heard not long before about Red Riding Hood.
  • Perhaps they are the ghosts of thoughts that once inhabited the mind of an ancestor.
  • What if in my waking hours a sound should ring through the silent halls of hearing?
  • What if a ray of light should flash through the darkened chambers of my soul?
  • Would the heart, overweighted with sudden joy, stop beating for very excess of happiness?
  • They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra's head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.
  • Who made them serfs of the soil?
  • Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt?
  • The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling.
  • Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath.
  • It is hard to have a Southern overseer; it is worse to have a Northern one; but worst of all when you are the slave-driver of yourself.
  • Talk of a divinity in man!
  • Self-emancipation even in the West Indian provinces of the fancy and imagination--what Wilberforce is there to bring that about?
  • Think, also, of the ladies of the land weaving toilet cushions against the last day, not to betray too green an interest in their fates!
  • The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
  • From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.
  • A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.
  • No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof.
  • One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living.
  • Some things are really necessaries of life in some circles, the most helpless and diseased, which in others are luxuries merely, and in others still are entirely unknown.
  • Hippocrates has even left directions how we should cut our nails; that is, even with the ends of the fingers, neither shorter nor longer.
  • The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles!
  • What distant and different beings in the various mansions of the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment!
  • We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour; ay, in all the worlds of the ages.
  • History, Poetry, Mythology!--I know of no reading of another's experience so startling and informing as this would be.
  • The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
  • We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere.
  • The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well-nigh incurable form of disease.
  • So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change.
  • When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men at length establish their lives on that basis.
  • Let us consider for a moment what most of the trouble and anxiety which I have referred to is about, and how much it is necessary that we be troubled, or at least careful.
  • To many creatures there is in this sense but one necessary of life, Food.
  • To the bison of the prairie it is a few inches of palatable grass, with water to drink; unless he seeks the Shelter of the forest or the mountain's shadow.
  • Man has invented, not only houses, but clothes and cooked food; and possibly from the accidental discovery of the warmth of fire, and the consequent use of it, at first a luxury, arose the present necessity to sit by it.
  • Is it impossible to combine the hardiness of these savages with the intellectualness of the civilized man?
  • Of course the vital heat is not to be confounded with fire; but so much for analogy.
  • The summer, in some climates, makes possible to man a sort of Elysian life.
  • Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
  • It is remarkable that we know so much of them as we do.
  • The same is true of the more modern reformers and benefactors of their race.
  • There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.
  • It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.
  • They make shift to live merely by conformity, practically as their fathers did, and are in no sense the progenitors of a noble race of men.
  • What is the nature of the luxury which enervates and destroys nations?
  • Are we sure that there is none of it in our own lives?
  • Surely not more warmth of the same kind, as more and richer food, larger and more splendid houses, finer and more abundant clothing, more numerous, incessant, and hotter fires, and the like.
  • There are some who complain most energetically and inconsolably of any, because they are, as they say, doing their duty.
  • If I should attempt to tell how I have desired to spend my life in years past, it would probably surprise those of my readers who are somewhat acquainted with its actual history; it would certainly astonish those who know nothing about it.
  • I will only hint at some of the enterprises which I have cherished.
  • No doubt, many of my townsmen have met me returning from this enterprise, farmers starting for Boston in the twilight, or woodchoppers going to their work.
  • It is true, I never assisted the sun materially in his rising, but, doubt not, it was of the last importance only to be present at it.
  • Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood.
  • I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth any one's while to buy them.
  • It is a labor to task the faculties of a man--such problems of profit and loss, of interest, of tare and tret, and gauging of all kinds in it, as demand a universal knowledge.
  • I have thought that Walden Pond would be a good place for business, not solely on account of the railroad and the ice trade; it offers advantages which it may not be good policy to divulge; it is a good port and a good foundation.
  • It is said that a flood-tide, with a westerly wind, and ice in the Neva, would sweep St. Petersburg from the face of the earth.
  • Let him who has work to do recollect that the object of clothing is, first, to retain the vital heat, and secondly, in this state of society, to cover nakedness, and he may judge how much of any necessary or important work may be accomplished without adding to his wardrobe.
  • Kings and queens who wear a suit but once, though made by some tailor or dressmaker to their majesties, cannot know the comfort of wearing a suit that fits.
  • Passing a cornfield the other day, close by a hat and coat on a stake, I recognized the owner of the farm.
  • I have heard of a dog that barked at every stranger who approached his master's premises with clothes on, but was easily quieted by a naked thief.
  • It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
  • Could you, in such a case, tell surely of any company of civilized men which belonged to the most respected class?
  • Beside, clothes introduced sewing, a kind of work which you may call endless; a woman's dress, at least, is never done.
  • I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
  • Our moulting season, like that of the fowls, must be a crisis in our lives.
  • Of what use this measuring of me if she does not measure my character, but only the breadth of my shoulders, as it were a peg to bang the coat on?
  • Of what use this measuring of me if she does not measure my character, but only the breadth of my shoulders, as it were a peg to bang the coat on?
  • I sometimes despair of getting anything quite simple and honest done in this world by the help of men.
  • On the whole, I think that it cannot be maintained that dressing has in this or any country risen to the dignity of an art.
  • We are amused at beholding the costume of Henry VIII, or Queen Elizabeth, as much as if it was that of the King and Queen of the Cannibal Islands.
  • It is only the serious eye peering from and the sincere life passed within it which restrain laughter and consecrate the costume of any people.
  • Let Harlequin be taken with a fit of the colic and his trappings will have to serve that mood too.
  • Of two patterns which differ only by a few threads more or less of a particular color, the one will be sold readily, the other lie on the shelf, though it frequently happens that after the lapse of a season the latter becomes the most fashionable.
  • Of two patterns which differ only by a few threads more or less of a particular color, the one will be sold readily, the other lie on the shelf, though it frequently happens that after the lapse of a season the latter becomes the most fashionable.
  • The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that corporations may be enriched.
  • Man wanted a home, a place of warmth, or comfort, first of warmth, then the warmth of the affections.
  • We may imagine a time when, in the infancy of the human race, some enterprising mortal crept into a hollow in a rock for shelter.
  • It was the natural yearning of that portion, any portion of our most primitive ancestor which still survived in us.
  • From the cave we have advanced to roofs of palm leaves, of bark and boughs, of linen woven and stretched, of grass and straw, of boards and shingles, of stones and tiles.
  • I have seen Penobscot Indians, in this town, living in tents of thin cotton cloth, while the snow was nearly a foot deep around them, and I thought that they would be glad to have it deeper to keep out the wind.
  • Many a man is harassed to death to pay the rent of a larger and more luxurious box who would not have frozen to death in such a box as this.
  • A comfortable house for a rude and hardy race, that lived mostly out of doors, was once made here almost entirely of such materials as Nature furnished ready to their hands.
  • The meaner sort are covered with mats which they make of a kind of bulrush, and are also indifferently tight and warm, but not so good as the former....
  • The Indians had advanced so far as to regulate the effect of the wind by a mat suspended over the hole in the roof and moved by a string.
  • In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter.
  • The rest pay an annual tax for this outside garment of all, become indispensable summer and winter, which would buy a village of Indian wigwams, but now helps to keep them poor as long as they live.
  • Behold all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
  • If you would know the history of these homesteads, inquire at the bank where they are mortgaged.
  • To get his shoestrings he speculates in herds of cattle.
  • And if the civilized man's pursuits are no worthier than the savage's, if he is employed the greater part of his life in obtaining gross necessaries and comforts merely, why should he have a better dwelling than the former?
  • The luxury of one class is counterbalanced by the indigence of another.
  • The myriads who built the pyramids to be the tombs of the Pharaohs were fed on garlic, and it may be were not decently buried themselves.
  • The mason who finishes the cornice of the palace returns at night perchance to a hut not so good as a wigwam.
  • Such too, to a greater or less extent, is the condition of the operatives of every denomination in England, which is the great workhouse of the world.
  • Or I could refer you to Ireland, which is marked as one of the white or enlightened spots on the map.
  • Yet I have no doubt that that people's rulers are as wise as the average of civilized rulers.
  • I hardly need refer now to the laborers in our Southern States who produce the staple exports of this country, and are themselves a staple production of the South.
  • Shall we always study to obtain more of these things, and not sometimes to be content with less?
  • When I think of the benefactors of the race, whom we have apotheosized as messengers from heaven, bearers of divine gifts to man, I do not see in my mind any retinue at their heels, any carload of fashionable furniture.
  • By the blushes of Aurora and the music of Memnon, what should be man's morning work in this world?
  • I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way.
  • But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.
  • We have adopted Christianity merely as an improved method of agri-culture.
  • The best works of art are the expression of man's struggle to free himself from this condition, but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher state to be forgotten.
  • There is actually no place in this village for a work of fine art, if any had come down to us, to stand, for our lives, our houses and streets, furnish no proper pedestal for it.
  • There is not a nail to hang a picture on, nor a shelf to receive the bust of a hero or a saint.
  • Are you one of the ninety-seven who fail, or the three who succeed?
  • In the course of three or four years, when the country became adapted to agriculture, they built themselves handsome houses, spending on them several thousands.
  • The owner of the axe, as he released his hold on it, said that it was the apple of his eye; but I returned it sharper than I received it.
  • They were pleasant spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain torpid began to stretch itself.
  • On the 1st of April it rained and melted the ice, and in the early part of the day, which was very foggy, I heard a stray goose groping about over the pond and cackling as if lost, or like the spirit of the fog.
  • Before I had done I was more the friend than the foe of the pine tree, though I had cut down some of them, having become better acquainted with it.
  • Sometimes a rambler in the wood was attracted by the sound of my axe, and we chatted pleasantly over the chips which I had made.
  • By the middle of April, for I made no haste in my work, but rather made the most of it, my house was framed and ready for the raising.
  • I had already bought the shanty of James Collins, an Irishman who worked on the Fitchburg Railroad, for boards.
  • It was of small dimensions, with a peaked cottage roof, and not much else to be seen, the dirt being raised five feet all around as if it were a compost heap.
  • She lighted a lamp to show me the inside of the roof and the walls, and also that the board floor extended under the bed, warning me not to step into the cellar, a sort of dust hole two feet deep.
  • In her own words, they were "good boards overhead, good boards all around, and a good window"--of two whole squares originally, only the cat had passed out that way lately.
  • He was there to represent spectatordom, and help make this seemingly insignificant event one with the removal of the gods of Troy.
  • I took particular pleasure in this breaking of ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an equable temperature.
  • Under the most splendid house in the city is still to be found the cellar where they store their roots as of old, and long after the superstructure has disappeared posterity remark its dent in the earth.
  • The house is still but a sort of porch at the entrance of a burrow.
  • At length, in the beginning of May, with the help of some of my acquaintances, rather to improve so good an occasion for neighborliness than from any necessity, I set up the frame of my house.
  • No man was ever more honored in the character of his raisers than I. They are destined, I trust, to assist at the raising of loftier structures one day.
  • There is some of the same fitness in a man's building his own house that there is in a bird's building its own nest.
  • Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter?
  • What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men?
  • It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man; it is as much the preacher, and the merchant, and the farmer.
  • Where is this division of labor to end? and what object does it finally serve?
  • All very well perhaps from his point of view, but only a little better than the common dilettantism.
  • What reasonable man ever supposed that ornaments were something outward and in the skin merely--that the tortoise got his spotted shell, or the shell-fish its mother-o'-pearl tints, by such a contract as the inhabitants of Broadway their Trinity Church?
  • But a man has no more to do with the style of architecture of his house than a tortoise with that of its shell: nor need the soldier be so idle as to try to paint the precise color of his virtue on his standard.
  • A great proportion of architectural ornaments are literally hollow, and a September gale would strip them off, like borrowed plumes, without injury to the substantials.
  • What if an equal ado were made about the ornaments of style in literature, and the architects of our bibles spent as much time about their cornices as the architects of our churches do?
  • It would signify somewhat, if, in any earnest sense, he slanted them and daubed it; but the spirit having departed out of the tenant, it is of a piece with constructing his own coffin--the architecture of the grave--and "carpenter" is but another name for "coffin-maker."
  • One man says, in his despair or indifference to life, take up a handful of the earth at your feet, and paint your house that color.
  • Is he thinking of his last and narrow house?
  • What an abundance of leisure he must have!
  • Why do you take up a handful of dirt?
  • Before winter I built a chimney, and shingled the sides of my house, which were already impervious to rain, with imperfect and sappy shingles made of the first slice of the log, whose edges I was obliged to straighten with a plane.
  • If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself; and my shortcomings and inconsistencies do not affect the truth of my statement.
  • Those conveniences which the student requires at Cambridge or elsewhere cost him or somebody else ten times as great a sacrifice of life as they would with proper management on both sides.
  • Tuition, for instance, is an important item in the term bill, while for the far more valuable education which he gets by associating with the most cultivated of his contemporaries no charge is made.
  • The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful.
  • "But," says one, "you do not mean that the students should go to work with their hands instead of their heads?"
  • How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?
  • I doubt if Flying Childers ever carried a peck of corn to mill.
  • Instead of going to Fitchburg, you will be working here the greater part of the day.
  • And so, if the railroad reached round the world, I think that I should keep ahead of you; and as for seeing the country and getting experience of that kind, I should have to cut your acquaintance altogether.
  • This spending of the best part of one's life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it reminds me of the Englishman who went to India to make a fortune first, in order that he might return to England and live the life of a poet.
  • I got out several cords of stumps in plowing, which supplied me with fuel for a long time, and left small circles of virgin mould, easily distinguishable through the summer by the greater luxuriance of the beans there.
  • The dead and for the most part unmerchantable wood behind my house, and the driftwood from the pond, have supplied the remainder of my fuel.
  • This never costs anything to speak of, unless you plant more than enough.
  • I got twelve bushels of beans, and eighteen bushels of potatoes, beside some peas and sweet corn.
  • I desire to speak impartially on this point, and as one not interested in the success or failure of the present economical and social arrangements.
  • I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment.
  • Man does some of his part of the exchange work in his six weeks of haying, and it is no boy's play.
  • Man thus not only works for the animal within him, but, for a symbol of this, he works for the animal without him.
  • It should not be by their architecture, but why not even by their power of abstract thought, that nations should seek to commemorate themselves?
  • How much more admirable the Bhagvat-Geeta than all the ruins of the East!
  • Towers and temples are the luxury of princes.
  • A simple and independent mind does not toil at the bidding of any prince.
  • Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave.
  • One piece of good sense would be more memorable than a monument as high as the moon.
  • The grandeur of Thebes was a vulgar grandeur.
  • As for the religion and love of art of the builders, it is much the same all the world over, whether the building be an Egyptian temple or the United States Bank.
  • The mainspring is vanity, assisted by the love of garlic and bread and butter.
  • Mr. Balcom, a promising young architect, designs it on the back of his Vitruvius, with hard pencil and ruler, and the job is let out to Dobson & Sons, stonecutters.
  • Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East--to know who built them.
  • Nothing was given me of which I have not rendered some account.
  • It was fit that I should live on rice, mainly, who love so well the philosophy of India.
  • To meet the objections of some inveterate cavillers, I may as well state, that if I dined out occasionally, as I always had done, and I trust shall have opportunities to do again, it was frequently to the detriment of my domestic arrangements.
  • I have made a satisfactory dinner, satisfactory on several accounts, simply off a dish of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) which I gathered in my cornfield, boiled and salted.
  • I give the Latin on account of the savoriness of the trivial name.
  • Even the little variety which I used was a yielding to the demands of appetite, and not of health.
  • Bread I at first made of pure Indian meal and salt, genuine hoe-cakes, which I baked before my fire out of doors on a shingle or the end of a stick of timber sawed off in building my house; but it was wont to get smoked and to have a piny flavor.
  • I tried flour also; but have at last found a mixture of rye and Indian meal most convenient and agreeable.
  • In cold weather it was no little amusement to bake several small loaves of this in succession, tending and turning them as carefully as an Egyptian his hatching eggs.
  • They were a real cereal fruit which I ripened, and they had to my senses a fragrance like that of other noble fruits, which I kept in as long as possible by wrapping them in cloths.
  • But I did not always use this staff of life.
  • Every New Englander might easily raise all his own breadstuffs in this land of rye and Indian corn, and not depend on distant and fluctuating markets for them.
  • For the most part the farmer gives to his cattle and hogs the grain of his own producing, and buys flour, which is at least no more wholesome, at a greater cost, at the store.
  • Finally, as for salt, that grossest of groceries, to obtain this might be a fit occasion for a visit to the seashore, or, if I did without it altogether, I should probably drink the less water.
  • But as it was, I considered that I enhanced the value of the land by squatting on it.
  • My furniture, part of which I made myself--and the rest cost me nothing of which I have not rendered an account--consisted of a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, a looking-glass three inches in diameter, a pair of tongs and andirons, a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan, a dipper, a wash-bowl, two knives and forks, three plates, one cup, one spoon, a jug for oil, a jug for molasses, and a japanned lamp.
  • There is a plenty of such chairs as I like best in the village garrets to be had for taking them away.
  • Thank God, I can sit and I can stand without the aid of a furniture warehouse.
  • What man but a philosopher would not be ashamed to see his furniture packed in a cart and going up country exposed to the light of heaven and the eyes of men, a beggarly account of empty boxes?
  • Indeed, the more you have of such things the poorer you are.
  • Each load looks as if it contained the contents of a dozen shanties; and if one shanty is poor, this is a dozen times as poor.
  • Pray, for what do we move ever but to get rid of our furniture, our exuviæ: at last to go from this world to another newly furnished, and leave this to be burned?
  • I think that the man is at a dead set who has got through a knot-hole or gateway where his sledge load of furniture cannot follow him.
  • I look upon England today as an old gentleman who is travelling with a great deal of baggage, trumpery which has accumulated from long housekeeping, which he has not the courage to burn; great trunk, little trunk, bandbox, and bundle.
  • The moon will not sour milk nor taint meat of mine, nor will the sun injure my furniture or fade my carpet; and if he is sometimes too warm a friend, I find it still better economy to retreat behind some curtain which nature has provided, than to add a single item to the details of housekeeping.
  • It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.
  • During this fast they abstain from the gratification of every appetite and passion whatever.
  • The Mexicans also practised a similar purification at the end of every fifty-two years, in the belief that it was time for the world to come to an end.
  • For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found that, by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living.
  • The whole of my winters, as well as most of my summers, I had free and clear for study.
  • As I did not teach for the good of my fellow-men, but simply for a livelihood, this was a failure.
  • I also dreamed that I might gather the wild herbs, or carry evergreens to such villagers as loved to be reminded of the woods, even to the city, by hay-cart loads.
  • But I have since learned that trade curses everything it handles; and though you trade in messages from heaven, the whole curse of trade attaches to the business.
  • The laborer's day ends with the going down of the sun, and he is then free to devote himself to his chosen pursuit, independent of his labor; but his employer, who speculates from month to month, has no respite from one end of the year to the other.
  • It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the sweat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I do.
  • One young man of my acquaintance, who has inherited some acres, told me that he thought he should live as I did, if he had the means.
  • If a man has faith, he will co-operate with equal faith everywhere; if he has not faith, he will continue to live like the rest of the world, whatever company he is joined to.
  • I heard it proposed lately that two young men should travel together over the world, the one without money, earning his means as he went, before the mast and behind the plow, the other carrying a bill of exchange in his pocket.
  • But all this is very selfish, I have heard some of my townsmen say.
  • I have made some sacrifices to a sense of duty, and among others have sacrificed this pleasure also.
  • While my townsmen and women are devoted in so many ways to the good of their fellows, I trust that one at least may be spared to other and less humane pursuits.
  • As for Doing-good, that is one of the professions which are full.
  • Probably I should not consciously and deliberately forsake my particular calling to do the good which society demands of me, to save the universe from annihilation; and I believe that a like but infinitely greater steadfastness elsewhere is all that now preserves it.
  • Men say, practically, Begin where you are and such as you are, without aiming mainly to become of more worth, and with kindness aforethought go about doing good.
  • Being superior to physical suffering, it sometimes chanced that they were superior to any consolation which the missionaries could offer; and the law to do as you would be done by fell with less persuasiveness on the ears of those who, for their part, did not care how they were done by, who loved their enemies after a new fashion, and came very near freely forgiving them all they did.
  • You boast of spending a tenth part of your income in charity; maybe you should spend the nine tenths so, and done with it.
  • Society recovers only a tenth part of the property then.
  • The kind uncles and aunts of the race are more esteemed than its true spiritual fathers and mothers.
  • Those plants of whose greenness withered we make herb tea for the sick serve but a humble use, and are most employed by quacks.
  • I want the flower and fruit of a man; that some fragrance be wafted over from him to me, and some ripeness flavor our intercourse.
  • This is a charity that hides a multitude of sins.
  • The philanthropist too often surrounds mankind with the remembrance of his own castoff griefs as an atmosphere, and calls it sympathy.
  • From what southern plains comes up the voice of wailing?
  • If anything ail a man, so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even--for that is the seat of sympathy--he forthwith sets about reforming--the world.
  • I never dreamed of any enormity greater than I have committed.
  • I believe that what so saddens the reformer is not his sympathy with his fellows in distress, but, though he be the holiest son of God, is his private ail.
  • If you should ever be betrayed into any of these philanthropies, do not let your left hand know what your right hand does, for it is not worth knowing.
  • There is nowhere recorded a simple and irrepressible satisfaction with the gift of life, any memorable praise of God.
  • Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become one of the worthies of the world.
  • At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house.
  • I have thus surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live.
  • This experience entitled me to be regarded as a sort of real-estate broker by my friends.
  • My imagination carried me so far that I even had the refusal of several farms--the refusal was all I wanted--but I never got my fingers burned by actual possession.
  • The nearest that I came to actual possession was when I bought the Hollowell place, and had begun to sort my seeds, and collected materials with which to make a wheelbarrow to carry it on or off with; but before the owner gave me a deed of it, his wife--every man has such a wife--changed her mind and wished to keep it, and he offered me ten dollars to release him.
  • I have frequently seen a poet withdraw, having enjoyed the most valuable part of a farm, while the crusty farmer supposed that he had got a few wild apples only.
  • I was in haste to buy it, before the proprietor finished getting out some rocks, cutting down the hollow apple trees, and grubbing up some young birches which had sprung up in the pasture, or, in short, had made any more of his improvements.
  • The present was my next experiment of this kind, which I purpose to describe more at length, for convenience putting the experience of two years into one.
  • To my imagination it retained throughout the day more or less of this auroral character, reminding me of a certain house on a mountain which I had visited a year before.
  • The morning wind forever blows, the poem of creation is uninterrupted; but few are the ears that hear it.
  • Olympus is but the outside of the earth everywhere.
  • This frame, so slightly clad, was a sort of crystallization around me, and reacted on the builder.
  • I did not need to go outdoors to take the air, for the atmosphere within had lost none of its freshness.
  • The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.
  • A lake like this is never smoother than at such a time; and the clear portion of the air above it being, shallow and darkened by clouds, the water, full of light and reflections, becomes a lower heaven itself so much the more important.
  • One value even of the smallest well is, that when you look into it you see that earth is not continent but insular.
  • The low shrub oak plateau to which the opposite shore arose stretched away toward the prairies of the West and the steppes of Tartary, affording ample room for all the roving families of men.
  • Both place and time were changed, and I dwelt nearer to those parts of the universe and to those eras in history which had most attracted me.
  • I discovered that my house actually had its site in such a withdrawn, but forever new and unprofaned, part of the universe.
  • What should we think of the shepherd's life if his flocks always wandered to higher pastures than his thoughts?
  • Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.
  • I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did.
  • They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tchingthang to this effect: "Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again."
  • I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame.
  • The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour.
  • Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night.
  • Poetry and art, and the fairest and most memorable of the actions of men, date from such an hour.
  • All poets and heroes, like Memnon, are the children of Aurora, and emit their music at sunrise.
  • It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men.
  • Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
  • I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
  • I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.
  • Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion.
  • Our life is like a German Confederacy, made up of petty states, with its boundary forever fluctuating, so that even a German cannot tell you how it is bounded at any moment.
  • And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon.
  • Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?
  • As for work, we haven't any of any consequence.
  • Hardly a man takes a half-hour's nap after dinner, but when he wakes he holds up his head and asks, "What's the news?" as if the rest of mankind had stood his sentinels.
  • "Pray tell me anything new that has happened to a man anywhere on this globe"--and he reads it over his coffee and rolls, that a man has had his eyes gouged out this morning on the Wachito River; never dreaming the while that he lives in the dark unfathomed mammoth cave of this world, and has but the rudiment of an eye himself.
  • If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter--we never need read of another.
  • Kieou-he-yu (great dignitary of the state of Wei) sent a man to Khoung-tseu to know his news.
  • The messenger answered with respect: My master desires to diminish the number of his faults, but he cannot come to the end of them.
  • One of his father's ministers having discovered him, revealed to him what he was, and the misconception of his character was removed, and he knew himself to be a prince.
  • If he should give us an account of the realities he beheld there, we should not recognize the place in his description.
  • Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man.
  • God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages.
  • Weather this danger and you are safe, for the rest of the way is down hill.
  • We will consider what kind of music they are like.
  • I know not the first letter of the alphabet.
  • The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way into the secret of things.
  • The oldest Egyptian or Hindoo philosopher raised a corner of the veil from the statue of the divinity; and still the trembling robe remains raised, and I gaze upon as fresh a glory as he did, since it was I in him that was then so bold, and it is he in me that now reviews the vision.
  • To be intoxicated by a single glass of wine; I have experienced this pleasure when I have drunk the liquor of the esoteric doctrines.
  • Yet I sustained myself by the prospect of such reading in future.
  • I read one or two shallow books of travel in the intervals of my work, till that employment made me ashamed of myself, and I asked where it was then that I lived.
  • The student may read Homer or Æschylus in the Greek without danger of dissipation or luxuriousness, for it implies that he in some measure emulate their heroes, and consecrate morning hours to their pages.
  • The modern cheap and fertile press, with all its translations, has done little to bring us nearer to the heroic writers of antiquity.
  • For what are the classics but the noblest recorded thoughts of man?
  • To read well, that is, to read true books in a true spirit, is a noble exercise, and one that will task the reader more than any exercise which the customs of the day esteem.
  • It requires a training such as the athletes underwent, the steady intention almost of the whole life to this object.
  • It is not enough even to be able to speak the language of that nation by which they are written, for there is a memorable interval between the spoken and the written language, the language heard and the language read.
  • The one is commonly transitory, a sound, a tongue, a dialect merely, almost brutish, and we learn it unconsciously, like the brutes, of our mothers.
  • The crowds of men who merely spoke the Greek and Latin tongues in the Middle Ages were not entitled by the accident of birth to read the works of genius written in those languages; for these were not written in that Greek or Latin which they knew, but in the select language of literature.
  • They had not learned the nobler dialects of Greece and Rome, but the very materials on which they were written were waste paper to them, and they prized instead a cheap contemporary literature.
  • But when the several nations of Europe had acquired distinct though rude written languages of their own, sufficient for the purposes of their rising literatures, then first learning revived, and scholars were enabled to discern from that remoteness the treasures of antiquity.
  • What the Roman and Grecian multitude could not hear, after the lapse of ages a few scholars read, and a few scholars only are still reading it.
  • However much we may admire the orator's occasional bursts of eloquence, the noblest written words are commonly as far behind or above the fleeting spoken language as the firmament with its stars is behind the clouds.
  • A written word is the choicest of relics.
  • It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art.
  • It is the work of art nearest to life itself.
  • It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips;--not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.
  • Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.
  • Books, the oldest and the best, stand naturally and rightfully on the shelves of every cottage.
  • They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them.
  • They only talk of forgetting them who never knew them.
  • There is a work in several volumes in our Circulating Library entitled "Little Reading," which I thought referred to a town of that name which I had not been to.
  • There are those who, like cormorants and ostriches, can digest all sorts of this, even after the fullest dinner of meats and vegetables, for they suffer nothing to be wasted.
  • The Skip of the Tip-Toe-Hop, a Romance of the Middle Ages, by the celebrated author of 'Tittle-Tol-Tan,' to appear in monthly parts; a great rush; don't all come together.
  • The result is dulness of sight, a stagnation of the vital circulations, and a general deliquium and sloughing off of all the intellectual faculties.
  • This sort of gingerbread is baked daily and more sedulously than pure wheat or rye-and-Indian in almost every oven, and finds a surer market.
  • I know a woodchopper, of middle age, who takes a French paper, not for news as he says, for he is above that, but to "keep himself in practice," he being a Canadian by birth; and when I ask him what he considers the best thing he can do in this world, he says, beside this, to keep up and add to his English.
  • One who has just come from reading perhaps one of the best English books will find how many with whom he can converse about it?
  • Or shall I hear the name of Plato and never read his book?
  • As if Plato were my townsman and I never saw him--my next neighbor and I never heard him speak or attended to the wisdom of his words.
  • We are underbred and low-lived and illiterate; and in this respect I confess I do not make any very broad distinction between the illiterateness of my townsman who cannot read at all and the illiterateness of him who has learned to read only what is for children and feeble intellects.
  • We should be as good as the worthies of antiquity, but partly by first knowing how good they were.
  • I do not wish to flatter my townsmen, nor to be flattered by them, for that will not advance either of us.
  • We have a comparatively decent system of common schools, schools for infants only; but excepting the half-starved Lyceum in the winter, and latterly the puny beginning of a library suggested by the State, no school for ourselves.
  • We spend more on almost any article of bodily aliment or ailment than on our mental aliment.
  • Cannot students be boarded here and get a liberal education under the skies of Concord?
  • In this country, the village should in some respects take the place of the nobleman of Europe.
  • It can spend money enough on such things as farmers and traders value, but it is thought Utopian to propose spending money for things which more intelligent men know to be of far more worth.
  • Let the reports of all the learned societies come to us, and we will see if they know anything.
  • Instead of noblemen, let us have noble villages of men.
  • There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the head or hands.
  • I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been.
  • I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works.
  • The day advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now it is evening, and nothing memorable is accomplished.
  • Instead of singing like the birds, I silently smiled at my incessant good fortune.
  • As the sparrow had its trill, sitting on the hickory before my door, so had I my chuckle or suppressed warble which he might hear out of my nest.
  • My days were not days of the week, bearing the stamp of any heathen deity, nor were they minced into hours and fretted by the ticking of a clock; for I lived like the Puri Indians, of whom it is said that "for yesterday, today, and tomorrow they have only one word, and they express the variety of meaning by pointing backward for yesterday forward for tomorrow, and overhead for the passing day."
  • I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel.
  • When my floor was dirty, I rose early, and, setting all my furniture out of doors on the grass, bed and bedstead making but one budget, dashed water on the floor, and sprinkled white sand from the pond on it, and then with a broom scrubbed it clean and white; and by the time the villagers had broken their fast the morning sun had dried my house sufficiently to allow me to move in again, and my meditations were almost uninterupted.
  • It was worth the while to see the sun shine on these things, and hear the free wind blow on them; so much more interesting most familiar objects look out of doors than in the house.
  • My house was on the side of a hill, immediately on the edge of the larger wood, in the midst of a young forest of pitch pines and hickories, and half a dozen rods from the pond, to which a narrow footpath led down the hill.
  • Near the end of May, the sand cherry (Cerasus pumila) adorned the sides of the path with its delicate flowers arranged in umbels cylindrically about its short stems, which last, in the fall, weighed down with good-sized and handsome cherries, fell over in wreaths like rays on every side.
  • I tasted them out of compliment to Nature, though they were scarcely palatable.
  • In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke the tender limbs.
  • He had never seen such a dull and out-of-the-way place; the folks were all gone off; why, you couldn't even hear the whistle!
  • The Fitchburg Railroad touches the pond about a hundred rods south of where I dwell.
  • I too would fain be a track-repairer somewhere in the orbit of the earth.
  • The whistle of the locomotive penetrates my woods summer and winter, sounding like the scream of a hawk sailing over some farmer's yard, informing me that many restless city merchants are arriving within the circle of the town, or adventurous country traders from the other side.
  • As they come under one horizon, they shout their warning to get off the track to the other, heard sometimes through the circles of two towns.
  • I watch the passage of the morning cars with the same feeling that I do the rising of the sun, which is hardly more regular.
  • Or perchance, at evening, I hear him in his stable blowing off the superfluous energy of the day, that he may calm his nerves and cool his liver and brain for a few hours of iron slumber.
  • The startings and arrivals of the cars are now the epochs in the village day.
  • There is something electrifying in the atmosphere of the former place.
  • There is no stopping to read the riot act, no firing over the heads of the mob, in this case.
  • (Let that be the name of your engine.)
  • Every path but your own is the path of fate.
  • This carload of torn sails is more legible and interesting now than if they should be wrought into paper and printed books.
  • Who can write so graphically the history of the storms they have weathered as these rents have done?
  • Here goes lumber from the Maine woods, which did not go out to sea in the last freshet, risen four dollars on the thousand because of what did go out or was split up; pine, spruce, cedar--first, second, third, and fourth qualities, so lately all of one quality, to wave over the bear, and moose, and caribou.
  • Next Spanish hides, with the tails still preserving their twist and the angle of elevation they had when the oxen that wore them were careering over the pampas of the Spanish Main--a type of all obstinacy, and evincing how almost hopeless and incurable are all constitutional vices.
  • I confess, that practically speaking, when I have learned a man's real disposition, I have no hopes of changing it for the better or worse in this state of existence.
  • Here is a hogshead of molasses or of brandy directed to John Smith, Cuttingsville, Vermont, some trader among the Green Mountains, who imports for the farmers near his clearing, and now perchance stands over his bulkhead and thinks of the last arrivals on the coast, how they may affect the price for him, telling his customers this moment, as he has told them twenty times before this morning, that he expects some by the next train of prime quality.
  • And hark! here comes the cattle-train bearing the cattle of a thousand hills, sheepcots, stables, and cow-yards in the air, drovers with their sticks, and shepherd boys in the midst of their flocks, all but the mountain pastures, whirled along like leaves blown from the mountains by the September gales.
  • The air is filled with the bleating of calves and sheep, and the hustling of oxen, as if a pastoral valley were going by.
  • A carload of drovers, too, in the midst, on a level with their droves now, their vocation gone, but still clinging to their useless sticks as their badge of office.
  • Methinks I hear them barking behind the Peterboro' Hills, or panting up the western slope of the Green Mountains.
  • For the rest of the long afternoon, perhaps, my meditations are interrupted only by the faint rattle of a carriage or team along the distant highway.
  • At a sufficient distance over the woods this sound acquires a certain vibratory hum, as if the pine needles in the horizon were the strings of a harp which it swept.
  • The echo is, to some extent, an original sound, and therein is the magic and charm of it.
  • It is new information and not merely a repetition of what was presented in the first chapter.
  • At evening, the distant lowing of some cow in the horizon beyond the woods sounded sweet and melodious, and at first I would mistake it for the voices of certain minstrels by whom I was sometimes serenaded, who might be straying over hill and dale; but soon I was not unpleasantly disappointed when it was prolonged into the cheap and natural music of the cow.
  • Regularly at half-past seven, in one part of the summer, after the evening train had gone by, the whip-poor-wills chanted their vespers for half an hour, sitting on a stump by my door, or upon the ridge-pole of the house.
  • They would begin to sing almost with as much precision as a clock, within five minutes of a particular time, referred to the setting of the sun, every evening.
  • They give me a new sense of the variety and capacity of that nature which is our common dwelling.
  • It reminded me of ghouls and idiots and insane howlings.
  • The note of this once wild Indian pheasant is certainly the most remarkable of any bird's, and if they could be naturalized without being domesticated, it would soon become the most famous sound in our woods, surpassing the clangor of the goose and the hooting of the owl; and then imagine the cackling of the hens to fill the pauses when their lords' clarions rested!
  • No wonder that man added this bird to his tame stock--to say nothing of the eggs and drumsticks.
  • To walk in a winter morning in a wood where these birds abounded, their native woods, and hear the wild cockerels crow on the trees, clear and shrill for miles over the resounding earth, drowning the feebler notes of other birds--think of it!
  • Who would not be early to rise, and rise earlier and earlier every successive day of his life, till he became unspeakably healthy, wealthy, and wise?
  • This foreign bird's note is celebrated by the poets of all countries along with the notes of their native songsters.
  • An old-fashioned man would have lost his senses or died of ennui before this.
  • A young forest growing up under your meadows, and wild sumachs and blackberry vines breaking through into your cellar; sturdy pitch pines rubbing and creaking against the shingles for want of room, their roots reaching quite under the house.
  • Instead of no path to the front-yard gate in the Great Snow--no gate--no front-yard--and no path to the civilized world.
  • I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself.
  • As I walk along the stony shore of the pond in my shirt-sleeves, though it is cool as well as cloudy and windy, and I see nothing special to attract me, all the elements are unusually congenial to me.
  • The bullfrogs trump to usher in the night, and the note of the whip-poor-will is borne on the rippling wind from over the water.
  • They are Nature's watchmen--links which connect the days of animated life.
  • They who come rarely to the woods take some little piece of the forest into their hands to play with by the way, which they leave, either intentionally or accidentally.
  • I could always tell if visitors had called in my absence, either by the bended twigs or grass, or the print of their shoes, and generally of what sex or age or quality they were by some slight trace left, as a flower dropped, or a bunch of grass plucked and thrown away, even as far off as the railroad, half a mile distant, or by the lingering odor of a cigar or pipe.
  • Nay, I was frequently notified of the passage of a traveller along the highway sixty rods off by the scent of his pipe.
  • My nearest neighbor is a mile distant, and no house is visible from any place but the hill-tops within half a mile of my own.
  • I have my horizon bounded by woods all to myself; a distant view of the railroad where it touches the pond on the one hand, and of the fence which skirts the woodland road on the other.
  • Though it prevents my hoeing them, it is of far more worth than my hoeing.
  • I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life.
  • But I was at the same time conscious of a slight insanity in my mood, and seemed to foresee my recovery.
  • How far apart, think you, dwell the two most distant inhabitants of yonder star, the breadth of whose disk cannot be appreciated by our instruments?
  • What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows and makes him solitary?
  • I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.
  • I one evening overtook one of my townsmen, who has accumulated what is called "a handsome property"--though I never got a fair view of it--on the Walden road, driving a pair of cattle to market, who inquired of me how I could bring my mind to give up so many of the comforts of life.
  • Any prospect of awakening or coming to life to a dead man makes indifferent all times and places.
  • We are the subjects of an experiment which is not a little interesting to me.
  • Confucius says truly, "Virtue does not remain as an abandoned orphan; it must of necessity have neighbors."
  • It was a kind of fiction, a work of the imagination only, so far as he was concerned.
  • I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.
  • The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge College is as solitary as a dervish in the desert.
  • We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are.
  • We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting tolerable and that we need not come to open war.
  • The value of a man is not in his skin, that we should touch him.
  • I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.
  • Let me suggest a few comparisons, that some one may convey an idea of my situation.
  • God is alone--but the devil, he is far from being alone; he sees a great deal of company; he is legion.
  • An elderly dame, too, dwells in my neighborhood, invisible to most persons, in whose odorous herb garden I love to stroll sometimes, gathering simples and listening to her fables; for she has a genius of unequalled fertility, and her memory runs back farther than mythology, and she can tell me the original of every fable, and on what fact every one is founded, for the incidents occurred when she was young.
  • Many of our houses, both public and private, with their almost innumerable apartments, their huge halls and their cellars for the storage of wines and other munitions of peace, appear to be extravagantly large for their inhabitants.
  • One inconvenience I sometimes experienced in so small a house, the difficulty of getting to a sufficient distance from my guest when we began to utter the big thoughts in big words.
  • The bullet of your thought must have overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head.
  • So easy is it, though many housekeepers doubt it, to establish new and better customs in the place of the old.
  • This meal only we had in two nights and a day; and had not one of us bought a partridge, we had taken our journey fasting.
  • Fearing that they would be light-headed for want of food and also sleep, owing to "the savages' barbarous singing, (for they use to sing themselves asleep,)" and that they might get home while they had strength to travel, they departed.
  • They had nothing to eat themselves, and they were wiser than to think that apologies could supply the place of food to their guests; so they drew their belts tighter and said nothing about it.
  • Another time when Winslow visited them, it being a season of plenty with them, there was no deficiency in this respect.
  • I had withdrawn so far within the great ocean of solitude, into which the rivers of society empty, that for the most part, so far as my needs were concerned, only the finest sediment was deposited around me.
  • Beside, there were wafted to me evidences of unexplored and uncultivated continents on the other side.
  • He, too, has heard of Homer, and, "if it were not for books," would "not know what to do rainy days," though perhaps he has not read one wholly through for many rainy seasons.
  • He has a great bundle of white oak bark under his arm for a sick man, gathered this Sunday morning.
  • Frequently he would leave his dinner in the bushes, when his dog had caught a woodchuck by the way, and go back a mile and a half to dress it and leave it in the cellar of the house where he boarded, after deliberating first for half an hour whether he could not sink it in the pond safely till nightfall--loving to dwell long upon these themes.
  • He cut his trees level and close to the ground, that the sprouts which came up afterward might be more vigorous and a sled might slide over the stumps; and instead of leaving a whole tree to support his corded wood, he would pare it away to a slender stake or splinter which you could break off with your hand at last.
  • Sometimes I saw him at his work in the woods, felling trees, and he would greet me with a laugh of inexpressible satisfaction, and a salutation in Canadian French, though he spoke English as well.
  • Such an exuberance of animal spirits had he that he sometimes tumbled down and rolled on the ground with laughter at anything which made him think and tickled him.
  • He was so simply and naturally humble--if he can be called humble who never aspires--that humility was no distinct quality in him, nor could he conceive of it.
  • If you told him that such a one was coming, he did as if he thought that anything so grand would expect nothing of himself, but take all the responsibility on itself, and let him be forgotten still.
  • He never heard the sound of praise.
  • I sometimes found the name of his native parish handsomely written in the snow by the highway, with the proper French accent, and knew that he had passed.
  • A townsman told me that when he met him sauntering through the village in his small close-fitting cap, and whistling to himself, he reminded him of a prince in disguise.
  • I loved to sound him on the various reforms of the day, and he never failed to look at them in the most simple and practical light.
  • He had never heard of such things before.
  • If an ox were his property, and he wished to get needles and thread at the store, he thought it would be inconvenient and impossible soon to go on mortgaging some portion of the creature each time to that amount.
  • May be the man you hoe with is inclined to race; then, by gorry, your mind must be there; you think of weeds.
  • If I suggested any improvement in his mode of life, he merely answered, without expressing any regret, that it was too late.
  • Many a traveller came out of his way to see me and the inside of my house, and, as an excuse for calling, asked for a glass of water.
  • Half-witted men from the almshouse and elsewhere came to see me; but I endeavored to make them exercise all the wit they had, and make their confessions to me; in such cases making wit the theme of our conversation; and so was compensated.
  • Indeed, I found some of them to be wiser than the so-called overseers of the poor and selectmen of the town, and thought it was time that the tables were turned.
  • And there he was to prove the truth of his words.
  • I did not know at first but it was the result of a wise policy.
  • It seemed that from such a basis of truth and frankness as the poor weak-headed pauper had laid, our intercourse might go forward to something better than the intercourse of sages.
  • I require of a visitor that he be not actually starving, though he may have the very best appetite in the world, however he got it.
  • Objects of charity are not guests.
  • Men of almost every degree of wit called on me in the migrating season.
  • I could not but notice some of the peculiarities of my visitors.
  • Men of business, even farmers, thought only of solitude and employment, and of the great distance at which I dwelt from something or other; and though they said that they loved a ramble in the woods occasionally, it was obvious that they did not.
  • What was the meaning of this so steady and self-respecting, this small Herculean labor, I knew not.
  • What shall I learn of beans or beans of me?
  • My enemies are worms, cool days, and most of all woodchucks.
  • The last have nibbled for me a quarter of an acre clean.
  • It is one of the oldest scenes stamped on my memory.
  • But labor of the hands, even when pursued to the verge of drudgery, is perhaps never the worst form of idleness.
  • But soon my homestead was out of their sight and thought.
  • It was the only open and cultivated field for a great distance on either side of the road, so they made the most of it; and sometimes the man in the field heard more of travellers' gossip and comment than was meant for his ear: "Beans so late! peas so late!"--for I continued to plant when others had begun to hoe--the ministerial husbandman had not suspected it.
  • And, by the way, who estimates the value of the crop which nature yields in the still wilder fields unimproved by man?
  • The crop of English hay is carefully weighed, the moisture calculated, the silicates and the potash; but in all dells and pond-holes in the woods and pastures and swamps grows a rich and various crop only unreaped by man.
  • Near at hand, upon the topmost spray of a birch, sings the brown thrasher--or red mavis, as some love to call him--all the morning, glad of your society, that would find out another farmer's field if yours were not here.
  • It was a cheap sort of top dressing in which I had entire faith.
  • As I drew a still fresher soil about the rows with my hoe, I disturbed the ashes of unchronicled nations who in primeval years lived under these heavens, and their small implements of war and hunting were brought to the light of this modern day.
  • The hawk is aerial brother of the wave which he sails over and surveys, those his perfect air-inflated wings answering to the elemental unfledged pinions of the sea.
  • Or sometimes I watched a pair of hen-hawks circling high in the sky, alternately soaring and descending, approaching, and leaving one another, as if they were the embodiment of my own thoughts.
  • When I paused to lean on my hoe, these sounds and sights I heard and saw anywhere in the row, a part of the inexhaustible entertainment which the country offers.
  • And when the sound died quite away, and the hum had ceased, and the most favorable breezes told no tale, I knew that they had got the last drone of them all safely into the Middlesex hive, and that now their minds were bent on the honey with which it was smeared.
  • I felt proud to know that the liberties of Massachusetts and of our fatherland were in such safe keeping; and as I turned to my hoeing again I was filled with an inexpressible confidence, and pursued my labor cheerfully with a calm trust in the future.
  • When there were several bands of musicians, it sounded as if all the village was a vast bellows and all the buildings expanded and collapsed alternately with a din.
  • But sometimes it was a really noble and inspiring strain that reached these woods, and the trumpet that sings of fame, and I felt as if I could spit a Mexican with a good relish--for why should we always stand for trifles?--and looked round for a woodchuck or a skunk to exercise my chivalry upon.
  • This was one of the great days; though the sky had from my clearing only the same everlastingly great look that it wears daily, and I saw no difference in it.
  • It was a singular experience that long acquaintance which I cultivated with beans, what with planting, and hoeing, and harvesting, and threshing, and picking over and selling them--the last was the hardest of all--I might add eating, for I did taste.
  • When they were growing, I used to hoe from five o'clock in the morning till noon, and commonly spent the rest of the day about other affairs.
  • Daily the beans saw me come to their rescue armed with a hoe, and thin the ranks of their enemies, filling up the trenches with weedy dead.
  • "The earth," he adds elsewhere, "especially if fresh, has a certain magnetism in it, by which it attracts the salt, power, or virtue (call it either) which gives it life, and is the logic of all the labor and stir we keep about it, to sustain us; all dungings and other sordid temperings being but the vicars succedaneous to this improvement."
  • I harvested twelve bushels of beans.
  • This is the result of my experience in raising beans: Plant the common small white bush bean about the first of June, in rows three feet by eighteen inches apart, being careful to select fresh round and unmixed seed.
  • Why concern ourselves so much about our beans for seed, and not be concerned at all about a new generation of men?
  • We should really be fed and cheered if when we met a man we were sure to see that some of the qualities which I have named, which we all prize more than those other productions, but which are for the most part broadcast and floating in the air, had taken root and grown in him.
  • They all reflect and absorb his rays alike, and the former make but a small part of the glorious picture which he beholds in his daily course.
  • What though I value the seed of these beans, and harvest that in the fall of the year?
  • After hoeing, or perhaps reading and writing, in the forenoon, I usually bathed again in the pond, swimming across one of its coves for a stint, and washed the dust of labor from my person, or smoothed out the last wrinkle which study had made, and for the afternoon was absolutely free.
  • As I walked in the woods to see the birds and squirrels, so I walked in the village to see the men and boys; instead of the wind among the pines I heard the carts rattle.
  • I hardly ever failed, when I rambled through the village, to see a row of such worthies, either sitting on a ladder sunning themselves, with their bodies inclined forward and their eyes glancing along the line this way and that, from time to time, with a voluptuous expression, or else leaning against a barn with their hands in their pockets, like caryatides, as if to prop it up.
  • They, being commonly out of doors, heard whatever was in the wind.
  • I observed that the vitals of the village were the grocery, the bar-room, the post-office, and the bank; and, as a necessary part of the machinery, they kept a bell, a big gun, and a fire-engine, at convenient places; and the houses were so arranged as to make the most of mankind, in lanes and fronting one another, so that every traveller had to run the gauntlet, and every man, woman, and child might get a lick at him.
  • Besides, there was a still more terrible standing invitation to call at every one of these houses, and company expected about these times.
  • For the most part I escaped wonderfully from these dangers, either by proceeding at once boldly and without deliberation to the goal, as is recommended to those who run the gauntlet, or by keeping my thoughts on high things, like Orpheus, who, "loudly singing the praises of the gods to his lyre, drowned the voices of the Sirens, and kept out of danger."
  • It was very pleasant, when I stayed late in town, to launch myself into the night, especially if it was dark and tempestuous, and set sail from some bright village parlor or lecture room, with a bag of rye or Indian meal upon my shoulder, for my snug harbor in the woods, having made all tight without and withdrawn under hatches with a merry crew of thoughts, leaving only my outer man at the helm, or even tying up the helm when it was plain sailing.
  • I have heard of many going astray even in the village streets, when the darkness was so thick that you could cut it with a knife, as the saying is.
  • By night, of course, the perplexity is infinitely greater.
  • In our most trivial walks, we are constantly, though unconsciously, steering like pilots by certain well-known beacons and headlands, and if we go beyond our usual course we still carry in our minds the bearing of some neighboring cape; and not till we are completely lost, or turned round--for a man needs only to be turned round once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost--do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of nature.
  • However, I was released the next day, obtained my mended shoe, and returned to the woods in season to get my dinner of huckleberries on Fair Haven Hill.
  • I never fastened my door night or day, though I was to be absent several days; not even when the next fall I spent a fortnight in the woods of Maine.
  • The virtues of a superior man are like the wind; the virtues of a common man are like the grass--the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends.
  • The fruits do not yield their true flavor to the purchaser of them, nor to him who raises them for the market.
  • If you would know the flavor of huckleberries, ask the cowboy or the partridge.
  • Once in a while we sat together on the pond, he at one end of the boat, and I at the other; but not many words passed between us, for he had grown deaf in his later years, but he occasionally hummed a psalm, which harmonized well enough with my philosophy.
  • Through this, whistling a tune, we took our way to the haunts of men again.
  • Sometimes, after staying in a village parlor till the family had all retired, I have returned to the woods, and, partly with a view to the next day's dinner, spent the hours of midnight fishing from a boat by moonlight, serenaded by owls and foxes, and hearing, from time to time, the creaking note of some unknown bird close at hand.
  • The surrounding hills rise abruptly from the water to the height of forty to eighty feet, though on the southeast and east they attain to about one hundred and one hundred and fifty feet respectively, within a quarter and a third of a mile.
  • In stormy weather they are sometimes of a dark slate-color.
  • Some consider blue "to be the color of pure water, whether liquid or solid."
  • But, looking directly down into our waters from a boat, they are seen to be of very different colors.
  • Walden is blue at one time and green at another, even from the same point of view.
  • Lying between the earth and the heavens, it partakes of the color of both.
  • Viewed from a hilltop it reflects the color of the sky; but near at hand it is of a yellowish tint next the shore where you can see the sand, then a light green, which gradually deepens to a uniform dark green in the body of the pond.
  • In some lights, viewed even from a hilltop, it is of a vivid green next the shore.
  • Such is the color of its iris.
  • This is that portion, also, where in the spring, the ice being warmed by the heat of the sun reflected from the bottom, and also transmitted through the earth, melts first and forms a narrow canal about the still frozen middle.
  • It is a vitreous greenish blue, as I remember it, like those patches of the winter sky seen through cloud vistas in the west before sundown.
  • Yet a single glass of its water held up to the light is as colorless as an equal quantity of air.
  • It is well known that a large plate of glass will have a green tint, owing, as the makers say, to its "body," but a small piece of the same will be colorless.
  • The water is so transparent that the bottom can easily be discerned at the depth of twenty-five or thirty feet.
  • Making another hole directly over it with an ice chisel which I had, and cutting down the longest birch which I could find in the neighborhood with my knife, I made a slip-noose, which I attached to its end, and, letting it down carefully, passed it over the knob of the handle, and drew it by a line along the birch, and so pulled the axe out again.
  • The shore is composed of a belt of smooth rounded white stones like paving-stones, excepting one or two short sand beaches, and is so steep that in many places a single leap will carry you into water over your head; and were it not for its remarkable transparency, that would be the last to be seen of its bottom till it rose on the opposite side.
  • Perhaps on that spring morning when Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden Walden Pond was already in existence, and even then breaking up in a gentle spring rain accompanied with mist and a southerly wind, and covered with myriads of ducks and geese, which had not heard of the fall, when still such pure lakes sufficed them.
  • It is a gem of the first water which Concord wears in her coronet.
  • Yet perchance the first who came to this well have left some trace of their footsteps.
  • This is particularly distinct to one standing on the middle of the pond in winter, just after a light snow has fallen, appearing as a clear undulating white line, unobscured by weeds and twigs, and very obvious a quarter of a mile off in many places where in summer it is hardly distinguishable close at hand.
  • The ornamented grounds of villas which will one day be built here may still preserve some trace of this.
  • By this fluctuation the pond asserts its title to a shore, and thus the shore is shorn, and the trees cannot hold it by right of possession.
  • These are the lips of the lake, on which no beard grows.
  • If the name was not derived from that of some English locality--Saffron Walden, for instance--one might suppose that it was called originally Walled-in Pond.
  • The temperature of the Boiling Spring the same day was 45º, or the warmest of any water tried, though it is the coldest that I know of in summer, when, beside, shallow and stagnant surface water is not mingled with it.
  • Moreover, in summer, Walden never becomes so warm as most water which is exposed to the sun, on account of its depth.
  • It was as good when a week old as the day it was dipped, and had no taste of the pump.
  • Whoever camps for a week in summer by the shore of a pond, needs only bury a pail of water a few feet deep in the shade of his camp to be independent of the luxury of ice.
  • Probably many ichthyologists would make new varieties of some of them.
  • There are also a clean race of frogs and tortoises, and a few mussels in it; muskrats and minks leave their traces about it, and occasionally a travelling mud-turtle visits it.
  • I have sometimes disturbed a fish hawk sitting on a white pine over the water; but I doubt if it is ever profaned by the wind of a gull, like Fair Haven.
  • You may see from a boat, in calm weather, near the sandy eastern shore, where the water is eight or ten feet deep, and also in some other parts of the pond, some circular heaps half a dozen feet in diameter by a foot in height, consisting of small stones less than a hen's egg in size, where all around is bare sand.
  • Perhaps they are the nests of the chivin.
  • The forest has never so good a setting, nor is so distinctly beautiful, as when seen from the middle of a small lake amid hills which rise from the water's edge; for the water in which it is reflected not only makes the best foreground in such a case, but, with its winding shore, the most natural and agreeable boundary to it.
  • There Nature has woven a natural selvage, and the eye rises by just gradations from the low shrubs of the shore to the highest trees.
  • There are few traces of man's hand to be seen.
  • It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.
  • Standing on the smooth sandy beach at the east end of the pond, in a calm September afternoon, when a slight haze makes the opposite shore-line indistinct, I have seen whence came the expression, "the glassy surface of a lake."
  • From a hilltop you can see a fish leap in almost any part; for not a pickerel or shiner picks an insect from this smooth surface but it manifestly disturbs the equilibrium of the whole lake.
  • The thrills of joy and thrills of pain are undistinguishable.
  • How peaceful the phenomena of the lake!
  • Again the works of man shine as in the spring.
  • Nothing so fair, so pure, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth.
  • A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air.
  • I see where the breeze dashes across it by the streaks or flakes of light.
  • In such transparent and seemingly bottomless water, reflecting the clouds, I seemed to be floating through the air as in a balloon, and their swimming impressed me as a kind of flight or hovering, as if they were a compact flock of birds passing just beneath my level on the right or left, their fins, like sails, set all around them.
  • At length the wind rose, the mist increased, and the waves began to run, and the perch leaped much higher than before, half out of water, a hundred black points, three inches long, at once above the surface.
  • But suddenly the dimples ceased, for they were produced by the perch, which the noise of my oars had seared into the depths, and I saw their schools dimly disappearing; so I spent a dry afternoon after all.
  • It was made of two white pine logs dug out and pinned together, and was cut off square at the ends.
  • He used to make a cable for his anchor of strips of hickory bark tied together.
  • When I first paddled a boat on Walden, it was completely surrounded by thick and lofty pine and oak woods, and in some of its coves grape-vines had run over the trees next the water and formed bowers under which a boat could pass.
  • The hills which form its shores are so steep, and the woods on them were then so high, that, as you looked down from the west end, it had the appearance of an amphitheatre for some land of sylvan spectacle.
  • Where is the country's champion, the Moore of Moore Hill, to meet him at the Deep Cut and thrust an avenging lance between the ribs of the bloated pest?
  • It is the work of a brave man surely, in whom there was no guile!
  • The engineer does not forget at night, or his nature does not, that he has beheld this vision of serenity and purity once at least during the day.
  • I have said that Walden has no visible inlet nor outlet, but it is on the one hand distantly and indirectly related to Flint's Pond, which is more elevated, by a chain of small ponds coming from that quarter, and on the other directly and manifestly to Concord River, which is lower, by a similar chain of ponds through which in some other geological period it may have flowed, and by a little digging, which God forbid, it can be made to flow thither again.
  • Flint's, or Sandy Pond, in Lincoln, our greatest lake and inland sea, lies about a mile east of Walden.
  • It was worth the while, if only to feel the wind blow on your cheek freely, and see the waves run, and remember the life of mariners.
  • Such is the poverty of our nomenclature.
  • A great grease-spot, redolent of manures and buttermilk!
  • Under a high state of cultivation, being manured with the hearts and brains of men!
  • No, no; if the fairest features of the landscape are to be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men alone.
  • Since the wood-cutters, and the railroad, and I myself have profaned Walden, perhaps the most attractive, if not the most beautiful, of all our lakes, the gem of the woods, is White Pond;--a poor name from its commonness, whether derived from the remarkable purity of its waters or the color of its sands.
  • In these as in other respects, however, it is a lesser twin of Walden.
  • It has the same stony shore, and its waters are of the same hue.
  • It was even supposed by some that the pond had sunk, and this was one of the primitive forest that formerly stood there.
  • In the spring of '49 I talked with the man who lives nearest the pond in Sudbury, who told me that it was he who got out this tree ten or fifteen years before.
  • He sawed a channel in the ice toward the shore, and hauled it over and along and out on to the ice with oxen; but, before he had gone far in his work, he was surprised to find that it was wrong end upward, with the stumps of the branches pointing down, and the small end firmly fastened in the sandy bottom.
  • He had some of it in his shed then.
  • There were marks of an axe and of woodpeckers on the butt.
  • Several pretty large logs may still be seen lying on the bottom, where, owing to the undulation of the surface, they look like huge water snakes in motion.
  • Instead of the white lily, which requires mud, or the common sweet flag, the blue flag (Iris versicolor) grows thinly in the pure water, rising from the stony bottom all around the shore, where it is visited by hummingbirds in June; and the color both of its bluish blades and its flowers and especially their reflections, is in singular harmony with the glaucous water.
  • White Pond and Walden are great crystals on the surface of the earth, Lakes of Light.
  • If they were permanently congealed, and small enough to be clutched, they would, perchance, be carried off by slaves, like precious stones, to adorn the heads of emperors; but being liquid, and ample, and secured to us and our successors forever, we disregard them, and run after the diamond of Kohinoor.
  • We never learned meanness of them.
  • The birds with their plumage and their notes are in harmony with the flowers, but what youth or maiden conspires with the wild luxuriant beauty of Nature?
  • Once it chanced that I stood in the very abutment of a rainbow's arch, which filled the lower stratum of the atmosphere, tinging the grass and leaves around, and dazzling me as if I looked through colored crystal.
  • It was a lake of rainbow light, in which, for a short while, I lived like a dolphin.
  • I thought of living there before I went to Walden.
  • It was one of those afternoons which seem indefinitely long before one, in which many events may happen, a large portion of our natural life, though it was already half spent when I started.
  • There we sat together under that part of the roof which leaked the least, while it showered and thundered without.
  • I had sat there many times of old before the ship was built that floated his family to America.
  • The chickens, which had also taken shelter here from the rain, stalked about the room like members of the family, too humanized, methought, to roast well.
  • But the only true America is that country where you are at liberty to pursue such a mode of life as may enable you to do without these, and where the state does not endeavor to compel you to sustain the slavery and war and other superfluous expenses which directly or indirectly result from the use of such things.
  • I should be glad if all the meadows on the earth were left in a wild state, if that were the consequence of men's beginning to redeem themselves.
  • Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth.
  • But he, poor man, disturbed only a couple of fins while I was catching a fair string, and he said it was his luck; but when we changed seats in the boat luck changed seats too.
  • The traveller on the prairie is naturally a hunter, on the head waters of the Missouri and Columbia a trapper, and at the Falls of St. Mary a fisherman.
  • We are most interested when science reports what those men already know practically or instinctively, for that alone is a true humanity, or account of human experience.
  • Almost every New England boy among my contemporaries shouldered a fowling-piece between the ages of ten and fourteen; and his hunting and fishing grounds were not limited, like the preserves of an English nobleman, but were more boundless even than those of a savage.
  • But already a change is taking place, owing, not to an increased humanity, but to an increased scarcity of game, for perhaps the hunter is the greatest friend of the animals hunted, not excepting the Humane Society.
  • I have actually fished from the same kind of necessity that the first fishers did.
  • I speak of fishing only now, for I had long felt differently about fowling, and sold my gun before I went to the woods.
  • There is a period in the history of the individual, as of the race, when the hunters are the "best men," as the Algonquins called them.
  • Such is oftenest the young man's introduction to the forest, and the most original part of himself.
  • The mass of men are still and always young in this respect.
  • Commonly they did not think that they were lucky, or well paid for their time, unless they got a long string of fish, though they had the opportunity of seeing the pond all the while.
  • I have found repeatedly, of late years, that I cannot fish without falling a little in self-respect.
  • It is a faint intimation, yet so are the first streaks of morning.
  • The repugnance to animal food is not the effect of experience, but is an instinct.
  • The abdomen under the wings of the butterfly still represents the larva.
  • The fruits eaten temperately need not make us ashamed of our appetites, nor interrupt the worthiest pursuits.
  • Most men would feel shame if caught preparing with their own hands precisely such a dinner, whether of animal or vegetable food, as is every day prepared for them by others.
  • The faintest assured objection which one healthy man feels will at length prevail over the arguments and customs of mankind.
  • The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening.
  • It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
  • I would fain keep sober always; and there are infinite degrees of drunkenness.
  • I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of a morning with a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dish of tea!
  • Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?
  • Perhaps these questions are entertained only in youth, as most believe of poetry.
  • In the music of the harp which trembles round the world it is the insisting on this which thrills us.
  • Though the youth at last grows indifferent, the laws of the universe are not indifferent, but are forever on the side of the most sensitive.
  • Many an irksome noise, go a long way off, is heard as music, a proud, sweet satire on the meanness of our lives.
  • We are conscious of an animal in us, which awakens in proportion as our higher nature slumbers.
  • I fear that it may enjoy a certain health of its own; that we may be well, yet not pure.
  • Who knows what sort of life would result if we had attained to purity?
  • Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it.
  • Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open.
  • They are but one appetite, and we only need to see a person do any one of these things to know how great a sensualist he is.
  • We have heard of this virtue, but we know not what it is.
  • In the student sensuality is a sluggish habit of mind.
  • I hesitate to say these things, but it is not because of the subject--I care not how obscene my words are--but because I cannot speak of them without betraying my impurity.
  • We discourse freely without shame of one form of sensuality, and are silent about another.
  • We are so degraded that we cannot speak simply of the necessary functions of human nature.
  • Every man is the builder of a temple, called his body, to the god he worships, after a style purely his own, nor can he get off by hammering marble instead.
  • It was a rather cool evening, and some of his neighbors were apprehending a frost.
  • He had not attended to the train of his thoughts long when he heard some one playing on a flute, and that sound harmonized with his mood.
  • It was no more than the scurf of his skin, which was constantly shuffled off.
  • But the notes of the flute came home to his ears out of a different sphere from that he worked in, and suggested work for certain faculties which slumbered in him.
  • Those same stars twinkle over other fields than these.--But how to come out of this condition and actually migrate thither?
  • Sometimes I had a companion in my fishing, who came through the village to my house from the other side of the town, and the catching of the dinner was as much a social exercise as the eating of it.
  • I have water from the spring, and a loaf of brown bread on the shelf.--Hark!
  • I hear a rustling of the leaves.
  • Is it some ill-fed village hound yielding to the instinct of the chase? or the lost pig which is said to be in these woods, whose tracks I saw after the rain?
  • There's nothing like it in old paintings, nothing like it in foreign lands--unless when we were off the coast of Spain.
  • I think that I am near the end of it.
  • I think that I may warrant you one worm to every three sods you turn up, if you look well in among the roots of the grass, as if you were weeding.
  • Or, if you choose to go farther, it will not be unwise, for I have found the increase of fair bait to be very nearly as the squares of the distances.
  • Methinks I was nearly in this frame of mind; the world lay about at this angle.
  • I was as near being resolved into the essence of things as ever I was in my life.
  • I will just try these three sentences of Confut-see; they may fetch that state about again.
  • Why has man just these species of animals for his neighbors; as if nothing but a mouse could have filled this crevice?
  • When I was building, one of these had its nest underneath the house, and before I had laid the second floor, and swept out the shavings, would come out regularly at lunch time and pick up the crumbs at my feet.
  • It could readily ascend the sides of the room by short impulses, like a squirrel, which it resembled in its motions.
  • At length, as I leaned with my elbow on the bench one day, it ran up my clothes, and along my sleeve, and round and round the paper which held my dinner, while I kept the latter close, and dodged and played at bopeep with it; and when at last I held still a piece of cheese between my thumb and finger, it came and nibbled it, sitting in my hand, and afterward cleaned its face and paws, like a fly, and walked away.
  • The parent will sometimes roll and spin round before you in such a dishabille, that you cannot, for a few moments, detect what kind of creature it is.
  • They are not callow like the young of most birds, but more perfectly developed and precocious even than chickens.
  • The remarkably adult yet innocent expression of their open and serene eyes is very memorable.
  • They suggest not merely the purity of infancy, but a wisdom clarified by experience.
  • It is remarkable how many creatures live wild and free though secret in the woods, and still sustain themselves in the neighborhood of towns, suspected by hunters only.
  • I had dug out the spring and made a well of clear gray water, where I could dip up a pailful without roiling it, and thither I went for this purpose almost every day in midsummer, when the pond was warmest.
  • Or I heard the peep of the young when I could not see the parent bird.
  • I was witness to events of a less peaceful character.
  • Looking farther, I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duellum, but a bellum, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black.
  • The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying, both red and black.
  • The more you think of it, the less the difference.
  • A similar engagement between great and small ants is recorded by Olaus Magnus, in which the small ones, being victorious, are said to have buried the bodies of their own soldiers, but left those of their giant enemies a prey to the birds.
  • This event happened previous to the expulsion of the tyrant Christiern the Second from Sweden.
  • The battle which I witnessed took place in the Presidency of Polk, five years before the passage of Webster's Fugitive-Slave Bill.
  • Once I was surprised to see a cat walking along the stony shore of the pond, for they rarely wander so far from home.
  • They gave me a pair of her "wings," which I keep still.
  • At rumor of his arrival all the Mill-dam sportsmen are on the alert, in gigs and on foot, two by two and three by three, with patent rifles and conical balls and spy-glasses.
  • Some station themselves on this side of the pond, some on that, for the poor bird cannot be omnipresent; if he dive here he must come up there.
  • But now the kind October wind rises, rustling the leaves and rippling the surface of the water, so that no loon can be heard or seen, though his foes sweep the pond with spy-glasses, and make the woods resound with their discharges.
  • When I went to get a pail of water early in the morning I frequently saw this stately bird sailing out of my cove within a few rods.
  • If I endeavored to overtake him in a boat, in order to see how he would manoeuvre, he would dive and be completely lost, so that I did not discover him again, sometimes, till the latter part of the day.
  • He manoeuvred so cunningly that I could not get within half a dozen rods of him.
  • He led me at once to the widest part of the pond, and could not be driven from it.
  • It was a pretty game, played on the smooth surface of the pond, a man against a loon.
  • Sometimes he would come up unexpectedly on the opposite side of me, having apparently passed directly under the boat.
  • I could commonly hear the splash of the water when he came up, and so also detected him.
  • I concluded that he laughed in derision of my efforts, confident of his own resources.
  • His white breast, the stillness of the air, and the smoothness of the water were all against him.
  • So butchers rake the tongues of bison out of the prairie grass, regardless of the torn and drooping plant.
  • The barberry's brilliant fruit was likewise food for my eyes merely; but I collected a small store of wild apples for coddling, which the proprietor and travellers had overlooked.
  • It was very exciting at that season to roam the then boundless chestnut woods of Lincoln--they now sleep their long sleep under the railroad--with a bag on my shoulder, and a stick to open burs with in my hand, for I did not always wait for the frost, amid the rustling of leaves and the loud reproofs of the red squirrels and the jays, whose half-consumed nuts I sometimes stole, for the burs which they had selected were sure to contain sound ones.
  • They grew also behind my house, and one large tree, which almost overshadowed it, was, when in flower, a bouquet which scented the whole neighborhood, but the squirrels and the jays got most of its fruit; the last coming in flocks early in the morning and picking the nuts out of the burs before they fell, I relinquished these trees to them and visited the more distant woods composed wholly of chestnut.
  • I had often since seen its crumpled red velvety blossom supported by the stems of other plants without knowing it to be the same.
  • It has a sweetish taste, much like that of a frost-bitten potato, and I found it better boiled than roasted.
  • Already, by the first of September, I had seen two or three small maples turned scarlet across the pond, beneath where the white stems of three aspens diverged, at the point of a promontory, next the water.
  • And gradually from week to week the character of each tree came out, and it admired itself reflected in the smooth mirror of the lake.
  • Each morning, when they were numbed with cold, I swept some of them out, but I did not trouble myself much to get rid of them; I even felt complimented by their regarding my house as a desirable shelter.
  • Like the wasps, before I finally went into winter quarters in November, I used to resort to the northeast side of Walden, which the sun, reflected from the pitch pine woods and the stony shore, made the fireside of the pond; it is so much pleasanter and wholesomer to be warmed by the sun while you can be, than by an artificial fire.
  • My bricks, being second-hand ones, required to be cleaned with a trowel, so that I learned more than usual of the qualities of bricks and trowels.
  • The mortar on them was fifty years old, and was said to be still growing harder; but this is one of those sayings which men love to repeat whether they are true or not.
  • Many of the villages of Mesopotamia are built of second-hand bricks of a very good quality, obtained from the ruins of Babylon, and the cement on them is older and probably harder still.
  • However that may be, I was struck by the peculiar toughness of the steel which bore so many violent blows without being worn out.
  • I lingered most about the fireplace, as the most vital part of the house.
  • He shared with me the labors of cooking.
  • This was toward the end of summer.
  • The north wind had already begun to cool the pond, though it took many weeks of steady blowing to accomplish it, it is so deep.
  • When I began to have a fire at evening, before I plastered my house, the chimney carried smoke particularly well, because of the numerous chinks between the boards.
  • All the attractions of a house were concentrated in one room; it was kitchen, chamber, parlor, and keeping-room; and whatever satisfaction parent or child, master or servant, derive from living in a house, I enjoyed it all.
  • Cato says, the master of a family (patremfamilias) must have in his rustic villa "cellam oleariam, vinariam, dolia multa, uti lubeat caritatem expectare, et rei, et virtuti, et gloriae erit," that is, "an oil and wine cellar, many casks, so that it may be pleasant to expect hard times; it will be for his advantage, and virtue, and glory."
  • I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each.
  • Nowadays the host does not admit you to his hearth, but has got the mason to build one for yourself somewhere in his alley, and hospitality is the art of keeping you at the greatest distance.
  • The dinner even is only the parable of a dinner, commonly.
  • I brought over some whiter and cleaner sand for this purpose from the opposite shore of the pond in a boat, a sort of conveyance which would have tempted me to go much farther if necessary.
  • In lathing I was pleased to be able to send home each nail with a single blow of the hammer, and it was my ambition to transfer the plaster from the board to the wall neatly and rapidly.
  • I remembered the story of a conceited fellow, who, in fine clothes, was wont to lounge about the village once, giving advice to workmen.
  • I was surprised to see how thirsty the bricks were which drank up all the moisture in my plaster before I had smoothed it, and how many pailfuls of water it takes to christen a new hearth.
  • I had the previous winter made a small quantity of lime by burning the shells of the Unio fluviatilis, which our river affords, for the sake of the experiment; so that I knew where my materials came from.
  • There are many furrows in the sand where some creature has travelled about and doubled on its tracks; and, for wrecks, it is strewn with the cases of caddis-worms made of minute grains of white quartz.
  • But the ice itself is the object of most interest, though you must improve the earliest opportunity to study it.
  • These bubbles are from an eightieth to an eighth of an inch in diameter, very clear and beautiful, and you see your face reflected in them through the ice.
  • There may be thirty or forty of them to a square inch.
  • One day when I came to the same place forty-eight hours afterward, I found that those large bubbles were still perfect, though an inch more of ice had formed, as I could see distinctly by the seam in the edge of a cake.
  • The beauty of the ice was gone, and it was too late to study the bottom.
  • The snow had already covered the ground since the 25th of November, and surrounded me suddenly with the scenery of winter.
  • My employment out of doors now was to collect the dead wood in the forest, bringing it in my hands or on my shoulders, or sometimes trailing a dead pine tree under each arm to my shed.
  • There was also the driftwood of the pond.
  • In the course of the summer I had discovered a raft of pitch pine logs with the bark on, pinned together by the Irish when the railroad was built.
  • I amused myself one winter day with sliding this piecemeal across the pond, nearly half a mile, skating behind with one end of a log fifteen feet long on my shoulder, and the other on the ice; or I tied several logs together with a birch withe, and then, with a longer birch or alder which had a hook at the end, dragged them across.
  • After all our discoveries and inventions no man will go by a pile of wood.
  • If they made their bows of it, we make our gun-stocks of it.
  • Michaux, more than thirty years ago, says that the price of wood for fuel in New York and Philadelphia "nearly equals, and sometimes exceeds, that of the best wood in Paris, though this immense capital annually requires more than three hundred thousand cords, and is surrounded to the distance of three hundred miles by cultivated plains."
  • In this town the price of wood rises almost steadily, and the only question is, how much higher it is to be this year than it was the last.
  • Mechanics and tradesmen who come in person to the forest on no other errand, are sure to attend the wood auction, and even pay a high price for the privilege of gleaning after the woodchopper.
  • It is now many years that men have resorted to the forest for fuel and the materials of the arts: the New Englander and the New Hollander, the Parisian and the Celt, the farmer and Robin Hood, Goody Blake and Harry Gill; in most parts of the world the prince and the peasant, the scholar and the savage, equally require still a few sticks from the forest to warm them and cook their food.
  • Every man looks at his wood-pile with a kind of affection.
  • I love to have mine before my window, and the more chips the better to remind me of my pleasing work.
  • I had an old axe which nobody claimed, with which by spells in winter days, on the sunny side of the house, I played about the stumps which I had got out of my bean-field.
  • A few pieces of fat pine were a great treasure.
  • It is interesting to remember how much of this food for fire is still concealed in the bowels of the earth.
  • Stumps thirty or forty years old, at least, will still be sound at the core, though the sapwood has all become vegetable mould, as appears by the scales of the thick bark forming a ring level with the earth four or five inches distant from the heart.
  • But commonly I kindled my fire with the dry leaves of the forest, which I had stored up in my shed before the snow came.
  • Hard green wood just cut, though I used but little of that, answered my purpose better than any other.
  • But my house occupied so sunny and sheltered a position, and its roof was so low, that I could afford to let the fire go out in the middle of almost any winter day.
  • Some of my friends spoke as if I was coming to the woods on purpose to freeze myself.
  • But the most luxuriously housed has little to boast of in this respect, nor need we trouble ourselves to speculate how the human race may be at last destroyed.
  • It will soon be forgotten, in these days of stoves, that we used to roast potatoes in the ashes, after the Indian fashion.
  • The laborer, looking into it at evening, purifies his thoughts of the dross and earthiness which they have accumulated during the day.
  • But I could no longer sit and look into the fire, and the pertinent words of a poet recurred to me with new force.
  • I weathered some merry snow-storms, and spent some cheerful winter evenings by my fireside, while the snow whirled wildly without, and even the hooting of the owl was hushed.
  • In some places, within my own remembrance, the pines would scrape both sides of a chaise at once, and women and children who were compelled to go this way to Lincoln alone and on foot did it with fear, and often ran a good part of the distance.
  • Where now firm open fields stretch from the village to the woods, it then ran through a maple swamp on a foundation of logs, the remnants of which, doubtless, still underlie the present dusty highway, from the Stratton, now the Alms-House Farm, to Brister's Hill.
  • East of my bean-field, across the road, lived Cato Ingraham, slave of Duncan Ingraham, Esquire, gentleman, of Concord village, who built his slave a house, and gave him permission to live in Walden Woods;--Cato, not Uticensis, but Concordiensis.
  • Cato's half-obliterated cellar-hole still remains, though known to few, being concealed from the traveller by a fringe of pines.
  • It is now filled with the smooth sumach (Rhus glabra), and one of the earliest species of goldenrod (Solidago stricta) grows there luxuriantly.
  • Here, by the very corner of my field, still nearer to town, Zilpha, a colored woman, had her little house, where she spun linen for the townsfolk, making the Walden Woods ring with her shrill singing, for she had a loud and notable voice.
  • At length, in the war of 1812, her dwelling was set on fire by English soldiers, prisoners on parole, when she was away, and her cat and dog and hens were all burned up together.
  • One old frequenter of these woods remembers, that as he passed her house one noon he heard her muttering to herself over her gurgling pot--"Ye are all bones, bones!"
  • Not long since I read his epitaph in the old Lincoln burying-ground, a little on one side, near the unmarked graves of some British grenadiers who fell in the retreat from Concord--where he is styled "Sippio Brister"--Scipio Africanus he had some title to be called--"a man of color," as if he were discolored.
  • Farther down the hill, on the left, on the old road in the woods, are marks of some homestead of the Stratton family; whose orchard once covered all the slope of Brister's Hill, but was long since killed out by pitch pines, excepting a few stumps, whose old roots furnish still the wild stocks of many a thrifty village tree.
  • It was about the size of mine.
  • I had just sunk my head on this when the bells rung fire, and in hot haste the engines rolled that way, led by a straggling troop of men and boys, and I among the foremost, for I had leaped the brook.
  • The very nearness of the fire but cooled our ardor.
  • It chanced that I walked that way across the fields the following night, about the same hour, and hearing a low moaning at this spot, I drew near in the dark, and discovered the only survivor of the family that I know, the heir of both its virtues and its vices, who alone was interested in this burning, lying on his stomach and looking over the cellar wall at the still smouldering cinders beneath, muttering to himself, as is his wont.
  • He gazed into the cellar from all sides and points of view by turns, always lying down to it, as if there was some treasure, which he remembered, concealed between the stones, where there was absolutely nothing but a heap of bricks and ashes.
  • I felt it, and still remark it almost daily in my walks, for by it hangs the history of a family.
  • Farther in the woods than any of these, where the road approaches nearest to the pond, Wyman the potter squatted, and furnished his townsmen with earthenware, and left descendants to succeed him.
  • One day in midsummer, when I was hoeing, a man who was carrying a load of pottery to market stopped his horse against my field and inquired concerning Wyman the younger.
  • He had long ago bought a potter's wheel of him, and wished to know what had become of him.
  • I had read of the potter's clay and wheel in Scripture, but it had never occurred to me that the pots we use were not such as had come down unbroken from those days, or grown on trees like gourds somewhere, and I was pleased to hear that so fictile an art was ever practiced in my neighborhood.
  • His trade here was that of a ditcher.
  • All I know of him is tragic.
  • He was a man of manners, like one who had seen the world, and was capable of more civil speech than you could well attend to.
  • He wore a greatcoat in midsummer, being affected with the trembling delirium, and his face was the color of carmine.
  • He died in the road at the foot of Brister's Hill shortly after I came to the woods, so that I have not remembered him as a neighbor.
  • His pipe lay broken on the hearth.
  • The skin of a woodchuck was freshly stretched upon the back of the house, a trophy of his last Waterloo; but no warm cap or mittens would he want more.
  • Sometimes the well dent is visible, where once a spring oozed; now dry and tearless grass; or it was covered deep--not to be discovered till some late day--with a flat stone under the sod, when the last of the race departed.
  • What a sorrowful act must that be--the covering up of wells! coincident with the opening of wells of tears.
  • But all I can learn of their conclusions amounts to just this, that "Cato and Brister pulled wool"; which is about as edifying as the history of more famous schools of philosophy.
  • The vivacious lilac still grows, unfolding its sweet-scented flowers each spring.
  • Little did the dusky children think that the puny slip with its two eyes only, which they stuck in the ground in the shadow of the house and daily watered, would root itself so, and outlive them, and house itself in the rear that shaded it, and grown man's garden and orchard, and tell their story faintly to the lone wanderer a half-century after they had grown up and died--blossoming as fair, and smelling as sweet, as in that first spring.
  • But this small village, germ of something more, why did it fail while Concord keeps its ground?
  • Might not the basket, stable-broom, mat-making, corn-parching, linen-spinning, and pottery business have thrived here, making the wilderness to blossom like the rose, and a numerous posterity have inherited the land of their fathers?
  • Deliver me from a city built on the site of a more ancient city, whose materials are ruins, whose gardens cemeteries.
  • But no friendly Indian concerned himself about me; nor needed he, for the master of the house was at home.
  • One afternoon I amused myself by watching a barred owl (Strix nebulosa) sitting on one of the lower dead limbs of a white pine, close to the trunk, in broad daylight, I standing within a rod of him.
  • I too felt a slumberous influence after watching him half an hour, as he sat thus with his eyes half open, like a cat, winged brother of the cat.
  • For I came to town still, like a friendly Indian, when the contents of the broad open fields were all piled up between the walls of the Walden road, and half an hour sufficed to obliterate the tracks of the last traveller.
  • Sometimes, notwithstanding the snow, when I returned from my walk at evening I crossed the deep tracks of a woodchopper leading from my door, and found his pile of whittlings on the hearth, and my house filled with the odor of his pipe.
  • We talked of rude and simple times, when men sat about large fires in cold, bracing weather, with clear heads; and when other dessert failed, we tried our teeth on many a nut which wise squirrels have long since abandoned, for those which have the thickest shells are commonly empty.
  • One of the last of the philosophers--Connecticut gave him to the world--he peddled first her wares, afterwards, as he declares, his brains.
  • I think that he must be the man of the most faith of any alive.
  • His words and attitude always suppose a better state of things than other men are acquainted with, and he will be the last man to be disappointed as the ages revolve.
  • But though comparatively disregarded now, when his day comes, laws unsuspected by most will take effect, and masters of families and rulers will come to him for advice.
  • A true friend of man; almost the only friend of human progress.
  • With his hospitable intellect he embraces children, beggars, insane, and scholars, and entertains the thought of all, adding to it commonly some breadth and elegance.
  • He is perhaps the sanest man and has the fewest crotchets of any I chance to know; the same yesterday and tomorrow.
  • Whichever way we turned, it seemed that the heavens and the earth had met together, since he enhanced the beauty of the landscape.
  • Having each some shingles of thought well dried, we sat and whittled them, trying our knives, and admiring the clear yellowish grain of the pumpkin pine.
  • We waded so gently and reverently, or we pulled together so smoothly, that the fishes of thought were not scared from the stream, nor feared any angler on the bank, but came and went grandly, like the clouds which float through the western sky, and the mother-o'-pearl flocks which sometimes form and dissolve there.
  • The Vishnu Purana says, "The house-holder is to remain at eventide in his courtyard as long as it takes to milk a cow, or longer if he pleases, to await the arrival of a guest."
  • I often performed this duty of hospitality, waited long enough to milk a whole herd of cows, but did not see the man approaching from the town.
  • When the ponds were firmly frozen, they afforded not only new and shorter routes to many points, but new views from their surfaces of the familiar landscape around them.
  • When I crossed Flint's Pond, after it was covered with snow, though I had often paddled about and skated over it, it was so unexpectedly wide and so strange that I could think of nothing but Baffin's Bay.
  • One night in the beginning of winter, before the pond froze over, about nine o'clock, I was startled by the loud honking of a goose, and, stepping to the door, heard the sound of their wings like a tempest in the woods as they flew low over my house.
  • What do you mean by alarming the citadel at this time of night consecrated to me?
  • It was one of the most thrilling discords I ever heard.
  • I also heard the whooping of the ice in the pond, my great bed-fellow in that part of Concord, as if it were restless in its bed and would fain turn over, were troubled with flatulency and had dreams; or I was waked by the cracking of the ground by the frost, as if some one had driven a team against my door, and in the morning would find a crack in the earth a quarter of a mile long and a third of an inch wide.
  • Usually the red squirrel (Sciurus Hudsonius) waked me in the dawn, coursing over the roof and up and down the sides of the house, as if sent out of the woods for this purpose.
  • A little flock of these titmice came daily to pick a dinner out of my woodpile, or the crumbs at my door, with faint flitting lisping notes, like the tinkling of icicles in the grass, or else with sprightly day day day, or more rarely, in spring-like days, a wiry summery phe-be from the woodside.
  • They were so familiar that at length one alighted on an armful of wood which I was carrying in, and pecked at the sticks without fear.
  • I used to start them in the open land also, where they had come out of the woods at sunset to "bud" the wild apple trees.
  • In dark winter mornings, or in short winter afternoons, I sometimes heard a pack of hounds threading all the woods with hounding cry and yelp, unable to resist the instinct of the chase, and the note of the hunting-horn at intervals, proving that man was in the rear.
  • They tell me that if the fox would remain in the bosom of the frozen earth he would be safe, or if he would run in a straight line away no foxhound could overtake him; but, having left his pursuers far behind, he stops to rest and listen till they come up, and when he runs he circles round to his old haunts, where the hunters await him.
  • Thus they circle until they fall upon the recent trail of a fox, for a wise hound will forsake everything else for this.
  • Late in the afternoon, as he was resting in the thick woods south of Walden, he heard the voice of the hounds far over toward Fair Haven still pursuing the fox; and on they came, their hounding cry which made all the woods ring sounding nearer and nearer, now from Well Meadow, now from the Baker Farm.
  • One man still preserves the horns of the last deer that was killed in this vicinity, and another has told me the particulars of the hunt in which his uncle was engaged.
  • At midnight, when there was a moon, I sometimes met with hounds in my path prowling about the woods, which would skulk out of my way, as if afraid, and stand silent amid the bushes till I had passed.
  • Squirrels and wild mice disputed for my store of nuts.
  • These trees were alive and apparently flourishing at midsummer, and many of them had grown a foot, though completely girdled; but after another winter such were without exception dead.
  • Sometimes in the twilight I alternately lost and recovered sight of one sitting motionless under my window.
  • It looked as if Nature no longer contained the breed of nobler bloods, but stood on her last toes.
  • The partridge and the rabbit are still sure to thrive, like true natives of the soil, whatever revolutions occur.
  • The snow lying deep on the earth dotted with young pines, and the very slope of the hill on which my house is placed, seemed to say, Forward!
  • The night veils without doubt a part of this glorious creation; but day comes to reveal to us this great work, which extends from earth even into the plains of the ether.
  • First I take an axe and pail and go in search of water, if that be not a dream.
  • Oh, he got worms out of rotten logs since the ground froze, and so he caught them.
  • The latter raises the moss and bark gently with his knife in search of insects; the former lays open logs to their core with his axe, and moss and bark fly far and wide.
  • The perch swallows the grub-worm, the pickerel swallows the perch, and the fisher-man swallows the pickerel; and so all the chinks in the scale of being are filled.
  • He would perhaps have placed alder branches over the narrow holes in the ice, which were four or five rods apart and an equal distance from the shore, and having fastened the end of the line to a stick to prevent its being pulled through, have passed the slack line over a twig of the alder, a foot or more above the ice, and tied a dry oak leaf to it, which, being pulled down, would show when he had a bite.
  • They, of course, are Walden all over and all through; are themselves small Waldens in the animal kingdom, Waldenses.
  • I never chanced to see its kind in any market; it would be the cynosure of all eyes there.
  • As I was desirous to recover the long lost bottom of Walden Pond, I surveyed it carefully, before the ice broke up, early in '46, with compass and chain and sounding line.
  • It is remarkable how long men will believe in the bottomlessness of a pond without taking the trouble to sound it.
  • Many have believed that Walden reached quite through to the other side of the globe.
  • This is a remarkable depth for so small an area; yet not an inch of it can be spared by the imagination.
  • Would it not react on the minds of men?
  • William Gilpin, who is so admirable in all that relates to landscapes, and usually so correct, standing at the head of Loch Fyne, in Scotland, which he describes as "a bay of salt water, sixty or seventy fathoms deep, four miles in breadth," and about fifty miles long, surrounded by mountains, observes, "If we could have seen it immediately after the diluvian crash, or whatever convulsion of nature occasioned it, before the waters gushed in, what a horrid chasm must it have appeared!
  • So high as heaved the tumid hills, so low Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep, Capacious bed of waters.
  • But if, using the shortest diameter of Loch Fyne, we apply these proportions to Walden, which, as we have seen, appears already in a vertical section only like a shallow plate, it will appear four times as shallow.
  • So much for the increased horrors of the chasm of Loch Fyne when emptied.
  • No doubt many a smiling valley with its stretching cornfields occupies exactly such a "horrid chasm," from which the waters have receded, though it requires the insight and the far sight of the geologist to convince the unsuspecting inhabitants of this fact.
  • The amount of it is, the imagination give it the least license, dives deeper and soars higher than Nature goes.
  • So, probably, the depth of the ocean will be found to be very inconsiderable compared with its breadth.
  • As I sounded through the ice I could determine the shape of the bottom with greater accuracy than is possible in surveying harbors which do not freeze over, and I was surprised at its general regularity.
  • Is not this the rule also for the height of mountains, regarded as the opposite of valleys?
  • In proportion as the mouth of the cove was wider compared with its length, the water over the bar was deeper compared with that in the basin.
  • In order to see how nearly I could guess, with this experience, at the deepest point in a pond, by observing the outlines of a surface and the character of its shores alone, I made a plan of White Pond, which contains about forty-one acres, and, like this, has no island in it, nor any visible inlet or outlet; and as the line of greatest breadth fell very near the line of least breadth, where two opposite capes approached each other and two opposite bays receded, I ventured to mark a point a short distance from the latter line, but still on the line of greatest length, as the deepest.
  • The deepest part was found to be within one hundred feet of this, still farther in the direction to which I had inclined, and was only one foot deeper, namely, sixty feet.
  • Of course, a stream running through, or an island in the pond, would make the problem much more complicated.
  • Our notions of law and harmony are commonly confined to those instances which we detect; but the harmony which results from a far greater number of seemingly conflicting, but really concurring, laws, which we have not detected, is still more wonderful.
  • The particular laws are as our points of view, as, to the traveller, a mountain outline varies with every step, and it has an infinite number of profiles, though absolutely but one form.
  • What I have observed of the pond is no less true in ethics.
  • It is the law of average.
  • Such a rule of the two diameters not only guides us toward the sun in the system and the heart in man, but draws lines through the length and breadth of the aggregate of a man's particular daily behaviors and waves of life into his coves and inlets, and where they intersect will be the height or depth of his character.
  • In our bodies, a bold projecting brow falls off to and indicates a corresponding depth of thought.
  • Also there is a bar across the entrance of our every cove, or particular inclination; each is our harbor for a season, in which we are detained and partially land-locked.
  • At the advent of each individual into this life, may we not suppose that such a bar has risen to the surface somewhere?
  • It is true, we are such poor navigators that our thoughts, for the most part, stand off and on upon a harborless coast, are conversant only with the bights of the bays of poesy, or steer for the public ports of entry, and go into the dry docks of science, where they merely refit for this world, and no natural currents concur to individualize them.
  • They also showed me in another place what they thought was a "leach-hole," through which the pond leaked out under a hill into a neighboring meadow, pushing me out on a cake of ice to see it.
  • It was a small cavity under ten feet of water; but I think that I can warrant the pond not to need soldering till they find a worse leak than that.
  • One has suggested, that if such a "leach-hole" should be found, its connection with the meadow, if any existed, might be proved by conveying some colored powder or sawdust to the mouth of the hole, and then putting a strainer over the spring in the meadow, which would catch some of the particles carried through by the current.
  • At one rod from the shore its greatest fluctuation, when observed by means of a level on land directed toward a graduated staff on the ice, was three quarters of an inch, though the ice appeared firmly attached to the shore.
  • Who knows but if our instruments were delicate enough we might detect an undulation in the crust of the earth?
  • When two legs of my level were on the shore and the third on the ice, and the sights were directed over the latter, a rise or fall of the ice of an almost infinitesimal amount made a difference of several feet on a tree across the pond.
  • This was somewhat like cutting a hole in the bottom of a ship to let the water out.
  • Sometimes, also, when the ice was covered with shallow puddles, I saw a double shadow of myself, one standing on the head of the other, one on the ice, the other on the trees or hillside.
  • He cuts and saws the solid pond, unroofs the house of fishes, and carts off their very element and air, held fast by chains and stakes like corded wood, through the favoring winter air, to wintry cellars, to underlie the summer there.
  • These ice-cutters are a merry race, full of jest and sport, and when I went among them they were wont to invite me to saw pit-fashion with them, I standing underneath.
  • I did not know whether they had come to sow a crop of winter rye, or some other kind of grain recently introduced from Iceland.
  • They said that a gentleman farmer, who was behind the scenes, wanted to double his money, which, as I understood, amounted to half a million already; but in order to cover each one of his dollars with another, he took off the only coat, ay, the skin itself, of Walden Pond in the midst of a hard winter.
  • They told me that in a good day they could get out a thousand tons, which was the yield of about one acre.
  • Deep ruts and "cradle-holes" were worn in the ice, as on terra firma, by the passage of the sleds over the same track, and the horses invariably ate their oats out of cakes of ice hollowed out like buckets.
  • This heap, made in the winter of '46-7 and estimated to contain ten thousand tons, was finally covered with hay and boards; and though it was unroofed the following July, and a part of it carried off, the rest remaining exposed to the sun, it stood over that summer and the next winter, and was not quite melted till September, 1848.
  • Like the water, the Walden ice, seen near at hand, has a green tint, but at a distance is beautifully blue, and you can easily tell it from the white ice of the river, or the merely greenish ice of some ponds, a quarter of a mile off.
  • Sometimes one of those great cakes slips from the ice-man's sled into the village street, and lies there for a week like a great emerald, an object of interest to all passers.
  • I have noticed that a portion of Walden which in the state of water was green will often, when frozen, appear from the same point of view blue.
  • Perhaps the blue color of water and ice is due to the light and air they contain, and the most transparent is the bluest.
  • Why is it that a bucket of water soon becomes putrid, but frozen remains sweet forever?
  • In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat-Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions.
  • The opening of large tracts by the ice-cutters commonly causes a pond to break up earlier; for the water, agitated by the wind, even in cold weather, wears away the surrounding ice.
  • But such was not the effect on Walden that year, for she had soon got a thick new garment to take the place of the old.
  • This pond has no stream passing through it to melt or wear away the ice.
  • I never knew it to open in the course of a winter, not excepting that of '52-3, which gave the ponds so severe a trial.
  • It commonly opens about the first of April, a week or ten days later than Flint's Pond and Fair Haven, beginning to melt on the north side and in the shallower parts where it began to freeze.
  • It indicates better than any water hereabouts the absolute progress of the season, being least affected by transient changes of temperature.
  • A severe cold of a few days' duration in March may very much retard the opening of the former ponds, while the temperature of Walden increases almost uninterruptedly.
  • A thermometer thrust into the middle of Walden on the 6th of March, 1847, stood at 32º, or freezing point; near the shore at 33º; in the middle of Flint's Pond, the same day, at 32º; at a dozen rods from the shore, in shallow water, under ice a foot thick, at 36º.
  • This difference of three and a half degrees between the temperature of the deep water and the shallow in the latter pond, and the fact that a great proportion of it is comparatively shallow, show why it should break up so much sooner than Walden.
  • So, also, every one who has waded about the shores of the pond in summer must have perceived how much warmer the water is close to the shore, where only three or four inches deep, than a little distance out, and on the surface where it is deep, than near the bottom.
  • Ice has its grain as well as wood, and when a cake begins to rot or "comb," that is, assume the appearance of honeycomb, whatever may be its position, the air cells are at right angles with what was the water surface.
  • The phenomena of the year take place every day in a pond on a small scale.
  • The day is an epitome of the year.
  • The cracking and booming of the ice indicate a change of temperature.
  • One pleasant morning after a cold night, February 24th, 1850, having gone to Flint's Pond to spend the day, I noticed with surprise, that when I struck the ice with the head of my axe, it resounded like a gong for many rods around, or as if I had struck on a tight drum-head.
  • In the right stage of the weather a pond fires its evening gun with great regularity.
  • The fishermen say that the "thundering of the pond" scares the fishes and prevents their biting.
  • The largest pond is as sensitive to atmospheric changes as the globule of mercury in its tube.
  • On the 13th of March, after I had heard the bluebird, song sparrow, and red-wing, the ice was still nearly a foot thick.
  • In 1845 Walden was first completely open on the 1st of April; in '46, the 25th of March; in '47, the 8th of April; in '51, the 28th of March; in '52, the 18th of April; in '53, the 23d of March; in '54, about the 7th of April.
  • So the alligator comes out of the mud with quakings of the earth.
  • It was a warm day, and he was surprised to see so great a body of ice remaining.
  • Not seeing any ducks, he hid his boat on the north or back side of an island in the pond, and then concealed himself in the bushes on the south side, to await them.
  • At length the sun's rays have attained the right angle, and warm winds blow up mist and rain and melt the snowbanks, and the sun, dispersing the mist, smiles on a checkered landscape of russet and white smoking with incense, through which the traveller picks his way from islet to islet, cheered by the music of a thousand tinkling rills and rivulets whose veins are filled with the blood of winter which they are bearing off.
  • The material was sand of every degree of fineness and of various rich colors, commonly mixed with a little clay.
  • Innumerable little streams overlap and interlace one with another, exhibiting a sort of hybrid product, which obeys half way the law of currents, and half way that of vegetation.
  • As it flows it takes the forms of sappy leaves or vines, making heaps of pulpy sprays a foot or more in depth, and resembling, as you look down on them, the laciniated, lobed, and imbricated thalluses of some lichens; or you are reminded of coral, of leopard's paws or birds' feet, of brains or lungs or bowels, and excrements of all kinds.
  • The various shades of the sand are singularly rich and agreeable, embracing the different iron colors, brown, gray, yellowish, and reddish.
  • The whole bank, which is from twenty to forty feet high, is sometimes overlaid with a mass of this kind of foliage, or sandy rupture, for a quarter of a mile on one or both sides, the produce of one spring day.
  • I feel as if I were nearer to the vitals of the globe, for this sandy overflow is something such a foliaceous mass as the vitals of the animal body.
  • You find thus in the very sands an anticipation of the vegetable leaf.
  • The feathers and wings of birds are still drier and thinner leaves.
  • Even ice begins with delicate crystal leaves, as if it had flowed into moulds which the fronds of waterplants have impressed on the watery mirror.
  • The whole tree itself is but one leaf, and rivers are still vaster leaves whose pulp is intervening earth, and towns and cities are the ova of insects in their axils.
  • It is wonderful how rapidly yet perfectly the sand organizes itself as it flows, using the best material its mass affords to form the sharp edges of its channel.
  • Such are the sources of rivers.
  • What is man but a mass of thawing clay?
  • The ball of the human finger is but a drop congealed.
  • The fingers and toes flow to their extent from the thawing mass of the body.
  • The ear may be regarded, fancifully, as a lichen, Umbilicaria, on the side of the head, with its lobe or drop.
  • The lip--labium, from labor (?)--laps or lapses from the sides of the cavernous mouth.
  • The chin is a still larger drop, the confluent dripping of the face.
  • The cheeks are a slide from the brows into the valley of the face, opposed and diffused by the cheek bones.
  • Thus it seemed that this one hillside illustrated the principle of all the operations of Nature.
  • The Maker of this earth but patented a leaf.
  • This is the frost coming out of the ground; this is Spring.
  • I know of nothing more purgative of winter fumes and indigestions.
  • These foliaceous heaps lie along the bank like the slag of a furnace, showing that Nature is "in full blast" within.
  • And not only it, but the institutions upon it are plastic like clay in the hands of the potter.
  • Many of the phenomena of Winter are suggestive of an inexpressible tenderness and fragile delicacy.
  • They were wholly deaf to my arguments, or failed to perceive their force, and fell into a strain of invective that was irresistible.
  • The first sparrow of spring!
  • The faint silvery warblings were heard over the partially bare and moist fields from the bluebird, the song sparrow, and the red-wing, as if the last flakes of winter tinkled as they fell!
  • The sinking sound of melting snow is heard in all dells, and the ice dissolves apace in the ponds.
  • It grows as steadily as the rill oozes out of the ground.
  • It is almost identical with that, for in the growing days of June, when the rills are dry, the grass-blades are their channels, and from year to year the herds drink at this perennial green stream, and the mower draws from it betimes their winter supply.
  • A great field of ice has cracked off from the main body.
  • How handsome the great sweeping curves in the edge of the ice, answering somewhat to those of the shore, but more regular!
  • It is glorious to behold this ribbon of water sparkling in the sun, the bare face of the pond full of glee and youth, as if it spoke the joy of the fishes within it, and of the sands on its shore.
  • Suddenly an influx of light filled my house, though the evening was at hand, and the clouds of winter still overhung it, and the eaves were dripping with sleety rain.
  • I heard a robin in the distance, the first I had heard for many a thousand years, methought, whose note I shall not forget for many a thousand more--the same sweet and powerful song as of yore.
  • You may tell by looking at any twig of the forest, ay, at your very wood-pile, whether its winter is past or not.
  • As it grew darker, I was startled by the honking of geese flying low over the woods, like weary travellers getting in late from Southern lakes, and indulging at last in unrestrained complaint and mutual consolation.
  • But when I stood on the shore they at once rose up with a great flapping of wings at the signal of their commander, and when they had got into rank circled about over my head, twenty-nine of them, and then steered straight to Canada, with a regular honk from the leader at intervals, trusting to break their fast in muddier pools.
  • A "plump" of ducks rose at the same time and took the route to the north in the wake of their noisier cousins.
  • For a week I heard the circling, groping clangor of some solitary goose in the foggy mornings, seeking its companion, and still peopling the woods with the sound of a larger life than they could sustain.
  • In almost all climes the tortoise and the frog are among the precursors and heralds of this season, and birds fly with song and glancing plumage, and plants spring and bloom, and winds blow, to correct this slight oscillation of the poles and preserve the equilibrium of nature.
  • As every season seems best to us in its turn, so the coming in of spring is like the creation of Cosmos out of Chaos and the realization of the Golden Age.
  • So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts.
  • Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.
  • In like manner the evil which one does in the interval of a day prevents the germs of virtues which began to spring up again from developing themselves and destroys them.
  • As soon as the breath of evening does not suffice longer to preserve them, then the nature of man does not differ much from that of the brute.
  • Men seeing the nature of this man like that of the brute, think that he has never possessed the innate faculty of reason.
  • Are those the true and natural sentiments of man?
  • Punishment and fear were not; nor were threatening words read On suspended brass; nor did the suppliant crowd fear The words of their judge; but were safe without an avenger.
  • This sight reminded me of falconry and what nobleness and poetry are associated with that sport.
  • The tenant of the air, it seemed related to the earth but by an egg hatched some time in the crevice of a crag;--or was its native nest made in the angle of a cloud, woven of the rainbow's trimmings and the sunset sky, and lined with some soft midsummer haze caught up from earth?
  • Beside this I got a rare mess of golden and silver and bright cupreous fishes, which looked like a string of jewels.
  • We can never have enough of nature.
  • With the liability to accident, we must see how little account is to be made of it.
  • On the third or fourt