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  • They have got to live a man's life, pushing all these things before them, and get on as well as they can.
  • You've been to Australia, haven't you?
  • Alex was romantic enough to understand the sentimental significance of the home she had inherited.
  • But what about a reasoned belief based on a balanced look at both history and current reality that leads you to be optimistic?
  • She shook her head to clear it.
  • I wish to meet our Sorcerer.
  • He has no time to be anything but a machine.
  • Next to Washington he was the greatest American.
  • Analysts declared each successive generation might be "the first to have a lower standard of living than their parents."
  • "Halt!" he cried to the men who were with him.
  • Hey, someone has to discover penicillin—it might as well be me.
  • She has refused to evacuate Malta.
  • "I shall be delighted to meet them," said the prince.
  • In addition to the assistance from the renters, the money finally gave her an income of her own, and the token independence that went with it.
  • My daughter is coming for me to take me there.
  • If there are, they are liable to be glass oats!
  • With one hand the little boy clung to his sister's arm, and with the other he held his primer.
  • I go up in a balloon, usually, to draw the crowds to the circus.
  • In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference.
  • Her heart was starting to flutter.
  • Two children, brother and sister, were on their way to school.
  • If you have an unwavering commitment to an idea that all things will be good all the time, then that is irrational.
  • There, too, after a fit of temper, I went to find comfort and to hide my hot face in the cool leaves and grass.
  • Their mouths were open for the food they were expecting their mother to give them.
  • Alex was supposed to be sterile, but they had been wrong about that.
  • They even agreed to take care of the animals while Alex and Carmen took their first vacation.
  • Alex had provided the money to remodel the home, but insisted that it stay in her name only.
  • Swiftly they drew near to the flaming colored suns, and passed close beside them.
  • "We've got to come to the bottom some time," remarked Zeb, with a deep sigh.
  • These spires were like great spear-points, and if they tumbled upon one of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
  • 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 all preferred listening to speaking.
  • He reached her and turned, walking beside her as they started back up the hill to the house.
  • Have you come to take me to Hugson's Ranch?
  • "Yes; but we're used to such things in California," he replied.
  • Zeb shook the reins and urged him to go, but Jim was stubborn.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • But they continued to fall, all together, and the boy and girl had no difficulty in remaining upon the seat, just as they were before.
  • Then they turned bottom side up, and continued to roll slowly over until they were right side up again.
  • All this was so terrible and unreal that he could not understand it at all, and so had good reason to be afraid.
  • 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.
  • "None of us has had breakfast," said the boy; "and in a time of danger like this it's foolish to talk about eating."
  • But he did not wish the little girl to think him a coward, so he advanced slowly to the edge of the roof.
  • 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.
  • "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."
  • Dorothy was surprised to find how patient the people were, for her own little heart was beating rapidly with excitement.
  • 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.
  • "Who did you say it was?" whispered Zeb to the girl.
  • Sorry to have troubled you; but it couldn't be helped.
  • There sat the thorny Sorcerer in his chair of state, and when the Wizard saw him he began to laugh, uttering comical little chuckles.
  • Here is another person descended from the air to prove you were wrong.
  • I am delighted to find humbugs inside the earth, just the same as on top of it.
  • "You ought to join one," declared the little man seriously.
  • I belong to Bailum & Barney's Great Consolidated Shows--three rings in one tent and a menagerie on the side.
  • 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.
  • "That remains to be seen," said the other.
  • At a place where two roads crossed, they saw a tall gentleman coming to meet them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • How can he remember well his ignorance--which his growth requires--who has so often to use his knowledge?
  • What if the Smolensk people have offahd to waise militia for the Empewah?
  • Maybe he thought she would change her mind, but it wasn't going to happen.
  • Strolling down to the footbridge, she leaned on the railing.
  • Leaving her thoughts behind, she started up the hill to meet Alex.
  • "Hey Heidi," his warm baritone voice called to her.
  • The voice and words belonged to Josh, and yet he had been dead for more than two years.
  • No doubt it mattered to him.
  • Alex was doing everything in his power to provide her with all the experiences of a natural mother.
  • Slowly carrying the full cups into the living room, she handed one to Alex.
  • It should have arrived at Hugson's Siding at midnight, but it was already five o'clock and the gray dawn was breaking in the east when the little train slowly rumbled up to the open shed that served for the station-house.
  • As it came to a stop the conductor called out in a loud voice.
  • The little girl stood still to watch until the train had disappeared around a curve; then she turned to see where she was.
  • She walked toward it and found the horse tied to a tree and standing motionless, with its head hanging down almost to the ground.
  • Presently he woke up, rose to a sitting position and rubbed his eyes briskly.
  • I thought that was the best way to carry her.
  • We've been away for a long time, you know, and so we're anxious to get home again.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • "We're coming to something now," announced the horse.
  • But don't let us worry over such things, Zeb; we can't help ourselves just now, you know, and I've always been told it's foolish to borrow trouble.
  • "He eats enough to get fat, I'm sure," said the boy, gravely.
  • But I wish we could find a way to get to the ground.
  • That I am not prepared to say.
  • "Come to us, oh, Gwig!" called the man, in a loud voice.
  • "Why have you dared to intrude your unwelcome persons into the secluded Land of the Mangaboos?" he asked, sternly.
  • Let me see you equal the sorcery I am about to perform.
  • It was one of the things Gwig usually did to prove he was a sorcerer.
  • He took the hat and examined it carefully, returning it afterward to the Wizard.
  • The little man gave a bow to the silent throng that had watched him, and then the Prince said, in his cold, calm voice:
  • "Because I am going to stop your breath," was the reply.
  • "How long will it take you to stop my breath?" he asked.
  • I'm going to begin now.
  • 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.
  • But it took a good many years for them to grow as large and fine as they are now.
  • When they passed over a field of grass Jim immediately stretched down his head and began to nibble.
  • "A nice country this is," he grumbled, "where a respectable horse has to eat pink grass!"
  • By this time the party had reached a freshly plowed field, and the Prince said to Dorothy:
  • "He will sprout very soon," said the Prince, "and grow into a large bush, from which we shall in time be able to pick several very good sorcerers."
  • 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.
  • I've been picked over six years, but our family is known to be especially long lived.
  • We are quite solid inside our bodies, and have no need to eat, any more than does a potato.
  • She is the Ruler destined to be my successor, for she is a Royal Princess.
  • I am in no hurry to resign my office and be planted, you may be sure.
  • "I'm sure the Princess is ready to be picked," asserted Dorothy, gazing hard at the beautiful girl on the bush.
  • "What are you going to do with us?" asked Zeb.
  • 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.
  • They have no right to be inside the earth at all.
  • "We didn't ask to come down here; we fell," said Dorothy.
  • He won't need to destroy ME, for if I don't get something to eat pretty soon I shall starve to death, and so save him the trouble.
  • "You don't need milk, Eureka," remarked Dorothy; "you are big enough now to eat any kind of food."
  • Follow me, please, to meet your doom.
  • The children, feeling sad and despondent, were about to follow him when the Wizard touched Dorothy softly on her shoulder.
  • She was not at all heavy, so the Wizard and Dorothy managed to lift her gently to the ground.
  • Instantly the Princess turned and faced him, and when he saw that she was picked the Prince stood still and began to tremble.
  • Then all the people bowed low to her, and the Prince turned and walked away alone.
  • 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.
  • No one now seemed to pay any attention to the strangers, so Dorothy and Zeb and the Wizard let the train pass on and then wandered by themselves into the vegetable gardens.
  • They did not bother to cross the bridges over the brooks, but when they came to a stream they stepped high and walked in the air to the other side.
  • This was a very interesting experience to them.
  • "To be sure," answered the Wizard.
  • It would be dreadful to eat these dear little things.
  • "How did they happen to be so little?" asked Dorothy.
  • A sailor brought them to Los Angeles and I gave him nine tickets to the circus for them.
  • There are no cows here to give milk; or any mice, or even grasshoppers.
  • "Then I'll try to catch you some," said he.
  • The only bait he could find was a bright red blossom from a flower; but he knew fishes are easy to fool if anything bright attracts their attention, so he decided to try the blossom.
  • 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.
  • "Now let us go back to the city," suggested the Wizard.
  • They agreed to this plan, and when they reached the great square Jim drew the buggy into the big door of the domed hall.
  • But it's a place to stay, anyhow.
  • "What are those holes up there?" enquired the boy, pointing to some openings that appeared near the top of the dome.
  • "They look like doorways," said Dorothy; "only there are no stairs to get to them."
  • "Why, there seems to be no night at all in this country," Zeb replied.
  • 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.
  • So the Wizard went in to him.
  • But in the basket-car are some things I would like to keep with me.
  • Then the three held a counsel to decide what they should do next, but could think of no way to better their condition.
  • "The Princess is lovely to look at," continued Dorothy, thoughtfully; "but I don't care much for her, after all.
  • If there was any other place to go, I'd like to go there.
  • 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.
  • So they went down to greet the beautiful vegetable lady, who said to them:
  • "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.
  • Let us see your arts, and the sorceries you are able to perform.
  • The Wizard tried to think.
  • "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.
  • Everything the vines touched they crushed, and our adventurers were indeed thankful to have escaped being cast among them.
  • They knew the kitten, by this time, so they scampered over to where she lay beside Jim and commenced to frisk and play with her.
  • Suddenly they looked up to find the room filled with the silent, solemn-eyed Mangaboos.
  • Slowly but steadily the heartless Mangaboos drove them on, until they had passed through the city and the gardens and come to the broad plains leading to the mountain.
  • "What does all this mean, anyhow?" asked the horse, jumping to escape a thorn.
  • "Why, they are driving us toward the Black Pit, into which they threatened to cast us," replied the kitten.
  • 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.
  • But the foes were too many to be repulsed for long.
  • "We ought to have called him and Dorothy when we were first attacked," added Eureka.
  • But never mind; be brave, my friends, and I will go and tell our masters where you are, and get them to come to your rescue.
  • 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.
  • "Stop, I command you!" cried the Wizard, in an angry tone, and at once began pulling down the rocks to liberate Jim and the piglets.
  • 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:
  • The cavern did not come to an end, as they had expected it would, but slanted upward through the great glass mountain, running in a direction that promised to lead them to the side opposite the Mangaboo country.
  • The others agreed readily to this sensible suggestion, and at once the boy began to harness Jim to the buggy.
  • Jim stopped sometimes to rest, for the climb was rather steep and tiresome.
  • Jim hastened his lagging steps at this assurance of a quick relief from the dark passage.
  • We were lucky to get away from those dreadful vegetable people.
  • "It wouldn't be so bad," remarked the Wizard, gazing around him, "if we were obliged to live here always.
  • 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.
  • The door stood open and a table was set in the front room, with four chairs drawn up to it.
  • But not a single person appeared to be in the room.
  • 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.
  • Are you surprised that you are unable to see the people of Voe?
  • All the people I have ever met before were very plain to see.
  • "They walled us up in a mountain," continued the Wizard; "but we found there was a tunnel through to this side, so we came here.
  • We have seen no people since we arrived, so we came to this house to enquire our way.
  • "But we do not wish to intrude, I assure you," the Wizard hastened to say.
  • You are welcome to what we have.
  • As he spoke the voice came so near to Zeb that he jumped back in alarm.
  • "He draws the buggy you see fastened to him, and we ride in the buggy instead of walking," she explained.
  • The dama-fruit is the most delicious thing that grows, and when it makes us invisible the bears cannot find us to eat us up.
  • The strangers took their seats at the table willingly enough, for they were all hungry and the platters were now heaped with good things to eat.
  • 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.
  • "We don't want to get invis'ble," answered the girl.
  • We who live here much prefer to be invisible; for we can still hug and kiss one another, and are quite safe from the bears.
  • "And we do not have to be so particular about our dress," remarked the man.
  • "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."
  • When Dorothy gently touched her nose and ears and lips they seemed to be well and delicately formed.
  • But the fishes that swim in our brooks we can see, and often we catch them to eat.
  • "It occurs to me you have a great deal to make you happy, even while invisible," remarked the Wizard.
  • 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.
  • To her surprise an unseen hand clutched her and held her suspended in the air.
  • "Does it hurt to be invisible?" she asked.
  • "I don't know," Dorothy answered; "but it would hurt me dre'fully to lose you."
  • 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.
  • Even if we should come to unpleasant places on our way it is necessary, in order to reach the earth's surface, to keep moving on toward it.
  • Our greatest Champion, Overman-Anu, once climbed the spiral stairway and fought nine days with the Gargoyles before he could escape them and come back; but he could never be induced to describe the dreadful creatures, and soon afterward a bear caught him and ate him up.
  • "True," he replied; "and in my satchel are other useful things to fight with."
  • But they were in great numbers, and the Champion could not shout much because he had to save his breath for fighting.
  • "Very good," said the Wizard; "we can all yell better than we can fight, so we ought to defeat the Gargoyles."
  • "But tell me," said Dorothy, "how did such a brave Champion happen to let the bears eat him?
  • 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.
  • About noon they stopped to allow Jim to rest in the shade of a pretty orchard.
  • "How CAN we 'scape?" asked Dorothy, nervously, for an unseen danger is always the hardest to face.
  • "You must take to the river," was the reply.
  • "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.
  • He had nearly finished this last task when a low growling was suddenly heard and the horse began to jump around and kick viciously with his heels.
  • As the little Wizard turned to follow them he felt a hot breath against his cheek and heard a low, fierce growl.
  • On the river, however, the adventurers seemed to be perfectly safe.
  • Dorothy and the buggy had floated slowly down stream with the current of the water, and the others made haste to join her.
  • "I think we'd better stick to the river, after this," said Dorothy.
  • "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."
  • Zeb hitched Jim to the buggy again, and the horse trotted along and drew them rapidly over the smooth water.
  • 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.
  • "You'll have to make a dash, Jim," said the Wizard, "and run as fast as you can go."
  • 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.
  • Directly facing the place where Jim had stopped was an arched opening leading to a broad stairway.
  • These steps lead to the Land of the Gargoyles.
  • Still, I don't care to drag any passengers.
  • You'll all have to walk.
  • It's the only way to get out of the Valley of Voe.
  • So they began to ascend the stairs, Dorothy and the Wizard first, Jim next, drawing the buggy, and then Zeb to watch that nothing happened to the harness.
  • The light was dim, and soon they mounted into total darkness, so that the Wizard was obliged to get out his lanterns to light the way.
  • 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.
  • The old horse panted a little, and had to stop often to get his breath.
  • At such times they were all glad to wait for him, for continually climbing up stairs is sure to make one's legs ache.
  • The opening in the mountain was on the side opposite to the Valley of Voe, and our travellers looked out upon a strange scene.
  • Mortals who stand upon the earth and look up at the sky cannot often distinguish these forms, but our friends were now so near to the clouds that they observed the dainty fairies very clearly.
  • "To be sure," said the other.
  • "This," said the man, taking up a box and handling it gently, "contains twelve dozen rustles--enough to last any lady a year.
  • They are invaluable to make flags flutter on a still day, when there is no wind.
  • It did her good to see how the braided man's eyes sparkled when he received this treasure.
  • It is a sad story, but if you will try to restrain your tears I will tell you about it.
  • That made an extraordinary long hole, as you may imagine, and reached far down into the earth; and, as I leaned over it to try to see to the bottom, I lost my balance and tumbled in.
  • So they politely bade him good day, and went back to the outer cavern to resume their journey.
  • Another breathless climb brought our adventurers to a third landing where there was a rift in the mountain.
  • But the travellers were obliged to rest, and while they were sitting on the rocky floor the Wizard felt in his pocket and brought out the nine tiny piglets.
  • To his delight they were now plainly visible, which proved that they had passed beyond the influence of the magical Valley of Voe.
  • "It seems we were mistaken," declared a third, looking at the kitten timorously, "no one with such murderous desires should belong to our party, I'm sure."
  • There are certain things proper for a kitten to eat; but I never heard of a kitten eating a pig, under ANY cir'stances.
  • They are no bigger than mice, and I'm sure mice are proper for me to eat.
  • The kitten looked at the horse thoughtfully, as if trying to decide whether he meant it or not.
  • You haven't many teeth left, Jim, but the few you have are sharp enough to make me shudder.
  • I'd like to get home again, I'm sure.
  • No one replied to this, because they found they needed all their breath for the climb.
  • The stairs had become narrower and Zeb and the Wizard often had to help Jim pull the buggy from one step to another, or keep it from jamming against the rocky walls.
  • Then he halted, ducked down and began to back up, so that he nearly fell with the buggy onto the others.
  • I've taken a look at this place, and it's no fit country for real creatures to go to.
  • "Never mind; we can't turn back," said Dorothy; "and we don't intend to stay there, anyhow."
  • 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.
  • There was no sound to be heard anywhere throughout the country.
  • "There's going to be trouble, I'm sure," remarked the horse.
  • There's going to be trouble, and my sword isn't stout enough to cut up those wooden bodies--so I shall have to get out my revolvers.
  • He got his satchel from the buggy and, opening it, took out two deadly looking revolvers that made the children shrink back in alarm just to look at.
  • They have no weapons to hurt us with.
  • It's every man's duty to do the best he knows how; and I'm going to do it.
  • But the noise and clatter seemed as dreadful to them as Jim's heels, for all who were able swiftly turned and flew away to a great distance.
  • "Those wooden things are impossible to hurt," he said, "and all the damage Jim has done to them is to knock a few splinters from their noses and ears.
  • "No," returned Dorothy, stoutly, "it won't do to go back, for then we would never get home.
  • But the Gargoyles were clever enough not to attack the horse the next time.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 creatures had sense enough to reason that way, and the only mistake they made was in supposing the earth people were unable to overcome such ordinary difficulties.
  • When Eureka's captor had thrown the kitten after the others the last Gargoyle silently disappeared, leaving our friends to breathe freely once more.
  • "Oh, I don't know," purred Eureka, smoothing her ruffled fur with her paw; "we didn't manage to hurt anybody, and nobody managed to hurt us."
  • "They are probably keeping us for some ceremony," the Wizard answered, reflectively; "but there is no doubt they intend to kill us as dead as possible in a short time."
  • 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.
  • From their platform a stair descended into the house, and the children and the Wizard explored it after lighting a lantern to show them the way.
  • 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.
  • They all looked around, but the kitten was no place to be seen.
  • No; she just dug her claws into the wood and climbed down the sides of this house to the ground.
  • To climb means to go up.
  • To climb means to go up.
  • "To 'climb down' is sometimes used as a figure of speech," remarked the Wizard.
  • The Wizard had listened intently to what Eureka had 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.
  • "But how would it help us to be able to fly?" questioned the girl.
  • "Come here," said the little man, and took her to one of the corners of the building.
  • "Where does it lead to?" she asked.
  • So, if we had the wings, and could escape the Gargoyles, we might fly to that rock and be saved.
  • Now, Eureka, you'll have to show me the way to those wings.
  • "I'm not going to drop a pin," said Zeb.
  • 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.
  • Then the line was let down again for Zeb to climb up by.
  • He put the harness together again and hitched Jim to the buggy.
  • 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.
  • So the prisoners resolved to leave their prison at once.
  • 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.
  • Our friends had a good start and were able to maintain it, for with their eight wings they could go just as fast as could the Gargoyles.
  • 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.
  • Then he poured over them all the kerosene oil that was left in his oil-can, and lighting a match set fire to the pile.
  • 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.
  • Inside the archway were several doors, leading to different rooms built into the mountain, and Zeb and the Wizard lifted these wooden doors from their hinges and tossed them all on the flames.
  • "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.
  • But come, my children; let us explore the mountain and discover which way we must go in order to escape from this cavern, which is getting to be almost as hot as a bake-oven.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Then a sudden turn brought them to a narrow gallery where the buggy could not pass.
  • It carried their baggage and was useful to ride in wherever there were good roads, and since it had accompanied them so far in their travels they felt it their duty to preserve it.
  • "Probably the Gargoyles are still busy trying to put out the fire," returned the Wizard.
  • 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.
  • These were motionless at first, but soon began to flicker more brightly and to sway slowly from side to side and then up and down.
  • "What sort of place is this?" asked the boy, trying to see more clearly through the gloom.
  • We hope to grow to be dragons some day, but just now we're only dragonettes.
  • "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.
  • To be sure, when we can get them.
  • But they've been very scarce for a few years and we usually have to be content with elephants or buffaloes, answered the creature, in a regretful tone.
  • Quite young, I grieve to say; and all of my brothers and sisters that you see here are practically my own age.
  • "No?" drawled the dragonette; "it seems to me very babyish."
  • Mother usually knows what she is about, but she made a mistake this time; for you are sure to escape us unless you come too near, and you probably won't do that.
  • We don't wish to be eaten by such awful beasts.
  • "Permit me to say," returned the dragonette, "that you are rather impolite to call us names, knowing that we cannot resent your insults.
  • If it isn't I'll have to stand it, that's all.
  • "It occurs to me," said the Wizard, "that we ought to get out of this place before the mother dragon comes back."
  • Will you kindly tell us which way your mother went to get on top the earth?
  • "That is not a fair question to ask us," declared another dragonette.
  • For, if we told you truly, you might escape us altogether; and if we told you an untruth we would be naughty and deserve to be punished.
  • 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.
  • They heard a crunching, grinding sound, a loud snap, and the turn-table came to a stop with its broadest surface shutting off the path from which they had come.
  • "Never mind," said Zeb, "we don't want to get back, anyhow."
  • "It is possible," agreed the Wizard, "if this proves to be the path she usually takes.
  • "Then we're all right," said the girl, "for if the dragon went the other way she can't poss'bly get to us now."
  • But there is another thing to consider.
  • The mother dragon probably knows the road to the earth's surface, and if she went the other way then we have come the wrong way, said the Wizard, thoughtfully.
  • "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.
  • It's enough to have your pedigree flung in your face by those saucy dragonettes.
  • The lanterns were beginning to grow dim, and the Wizard poured the remaining oil from one into the other, so that the one light would last longer.
  • It wouldn't be possible for even me to get up to that crack--or through it if I got there.
  • "And there is no way to go back," added Zeb, with a low whistle of perplexity.
  • "I was sure it would come to this, in the end," remarked the old cab-horse.
  • Folks don't fall into the middle of the earth and then get back again to tell of their adventures--not in real life.
  • And the whole thing has been unnatural because that cat and I are both able to talk your language, and to understand the words you say.
  • Don't forget them, for I may have to eat them, after all.
  • 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.
  • "I could if I happened to be a real wizard," returned the master sadly.
  • Our friend Oz is merely a humbug wizard, for he once proved it to me.
  • But he can't wiz a single thing if he hasn't the tools and machinery to work with.
  • "I don't believe we'll realize anything, when it comes to that," remarked Dorothy, who had been deep in thought.
  • She's a friend of mine, for I met her in the Land of Ev, not long ago, and went to Oz with her.
  • Yes. The first time I went to Oz I found you there, ruling the Emerald City.
  • After you went up in a balloon, and escaped us, I got back to Kansas by means of a pair of magical silver shoes.
  • They once belonged to the Wicked Witch.
  • "No, and I'm not anxious to begin," said Eureka.
  • "Couldn't you manage to hold me in your arms?" asked the cab-horse.
  • All I need do is to wish you with me, and there you'll be--safe in the royal palace!
  • You're sure to like Billina, when you know her, asserted Dorothy.
  • "Then we must wait for half an hour," she continued; "but it won't take long, after that, to carry us all to the Emerald City."
  • Princess Ozma once brought him to life with a witch-powder, when she was a boy.
  • Dorothy did not reply to that.
  • "Nothing seems to happen," said Zeb, doubtfully.
  • The cab-horse gave a nervous start and Zeb began to rub his eyes to make sure he was not asleep.
  • 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.
  • But I'm afraid you cannot rule the Emerald City, as you used to, because we now have a beautiful Princess whom everyone loves dearly.
  • The Wizard turned to look at him.
  • "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."
  • "But I assure you, my good people, that I do not wish to rule the Emerald City," he added, earnestly.
  • "In that case you are very welcome!" cried all the servants, and it pleased the Wizard to note the respect with which the royal retainers bowed before him.
  • But she has ordered me to make you welcome and to show you to your apartments.
  • "What's to become of me?" asked the horse, uneasily.
  • It perplexed even Jellia Jamb, for a time, to know what to do with the animal.
  • This mollified Jim a little, and after some thought the green maiden decided to give the cab-horse a room in the palace, such a big building having many rooms that were seldom in use.
  • 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.
  • Then Jellia said to the Wizard:
  • He knew the way to it, and a servant followed him, carrying his satchel.
  • Zeb was also escorted to a room--so grand and beautiful that he almost feared to sit in the chairs or lie upon the bed, lest he might dim their splendor.
  • 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.
  • But Dorothy sprang up and ran to seize her friend's hand drawing him impulsively toward the lovely Princess, who smiled most graciously upon her guest.
  • 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.
  • Also I began to make balloon ascensions.
  • One day my balloon ran away with me and brought me across the deserts to this beautiful country.
  • "Now I begin to understand," said the Princess, smiling.
  • Over this Land I ruled in peace for many years, until I grew old and longed to see my native city once again.
  • After many adventures I reached Omaha, only to find that all my old friends were dead or had moved away.
  • "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.
  • Many years before you came here this Land was united under one Ruler, as it is now, and the Ruler's name was always 'Oz,' which means in our language 'Great and Good'; or, if the Ruler happened to be a woman, her name was always 'Ozma.'
  • One wicked witch named Mombi stole him and carried him away, keeping him as a prisoner.
  • That was why the people were so glad to see you, and why they thought from your initials that you were their rightful ruler.
  • "We owe a great deal to the Wonderful Wizard," continued the Princess, "for it was you who built this splendid Emerald City."
  • So, as you are now too old to wander abroad and work in a circus, I offer you a home here as long as you live.
  • It meant a good deal to him to secure a home like this.
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • But the little girl gave the angry kitten such a severe cuff that it jumped down again without daring to scratch.
  • Is that the way to treat my friends?
  • "You have queer friends, seems to me," replied the kitten, in a surly tone.
  • "Seems to me the same way," said Billina, scornfully, "if that beastly cat is one of them."
  • "I'm glad to hear that," said the Wizard.
  • "Ah," said the Wizard; "I'm pleased to meet so distinguished a personage."
  • Then they told him dinner would be served directly and he replied that they could not serve it too quickly to suit his convenience.
  • Is there nothing that is decent to eat in this palace?
  • "Highness!" repeated Jim, who was unused to such titles.
  • 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.
  • But a rickety wooden thing like you has no right to be alive.
  • Ozma sprinkled me with a magic powder, and I just had to live.
  • "It is not necessary for me to eat," observed the Sawhorse.
  • "I have no need to breathe," returned the other.
  • "Oh, I cannot hope ever to be like you," sighed the Sawhorse.
  • But I am glad to meet a last a Real Horse.
  • To be called beautiful was a novelty in his experience.
  • "How did you happen to be shod with gold?" he asked.
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Hearing these words Jim resolved to conquer his alarm.
  • "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."
  • If he thought to frighten the striped beast by such language he was mistaken.
  • "He's a vegetarian," remarked the Tiger, as the horse began to munch the clover.
  • If I could eat grass I would not need a conscience, for nothing could then tempt me to devour babies and lambs.
  • Just then Dorothy, who had risen early and heard the voices of the animals, ran out to greet her old friends.
  • "Yes, I am," she answered, looking all around to see where the voice came from.
  • 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.
  • But here comes Ozma; so I'd better hush up, for the Princess doesn't like me to chatter since she changed her name from Tip to Ozma.
  • After breakfast Ozma announced that she had ordered a holiday to be observed throughout the Emerald City, in honor of her visitors.
  • In the afternoon there were to be games and races.
  • 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.
  • The first thing the little humbug did was to produce a tiny white piglet from underneath his hat and pretend to pull it apart, making two.
  • 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.
  • In the afternoon they all went to a great field outside the city gates where the games were to be held.
  • There was a beautiful canopy for Ozma and her guests to sit under and watch the people run races and jump and wrestle.
  • But although the Munchkin was hardly tall enough to come to Zeb's shoulder he was so strong and clever that he laid the boy three times on his back with apparent ease.
  • This made Zeb laugh, in turn, and the boy felt comforted to find that Ozma laughed as merrily at her weeping subject as she had at him.
  • "That is what we are trying to find out," remarked the Scarecrow.
  • The object of a race is to see who can win it--or at least that is what my excellent brains think.
  • I only wish there was a real horse here for me to race with.
  • "I suppose I ought to give the wooden dummy a good start of me," growled Jim.
  • I was wrong to kick the Sawhorse, and I am sorry I became angry at him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Please go to my boudoir, Jellia, and get the white piglet I left on the dressing-table.
  • I want to play with it.
  • Hearing this, Dorothy and the Wizard exchanged startled glances, for they remembered how often Eureka had longed to eat a piglet.
  • "Come, Ozma," she said, anxiously; "let us go ourselves to search for the piglet."
  • 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.
  • When they returned to the others the Princess said:
  • Go and get my kitten, please, Jellia, and we'll hear what she has to say about it.
  • She threatened to scratch my eyes out if I touched her.
  • So Dorothy ran to her room and found the kitten under the bed.
  • You must go to Princess Ozma.
  • She wants to talk to you.
  • Dorothy carried her in her arms back to where the others sat in grieved and thoughtful silence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "There ought to be several animals on the jury," said Ozma, "because animals understand each other better than we people understand them.
  • The Wizard, when he returned to his own room, was exceedingly thoughtful.
  • So I intend to prove the kitten's innocence by a trick.
  • At three o'clock the Throne Room was crowded with citizens, men, women and children being eager to witness the great trial.
  • At her right sat the queerly assorted Jury--animals, animated dummies and people--all gravely prepared to listen to what was said.
  • When I get my thoughts arranged in good order I do not like to have anything upset them or throw them into confusion.
  • "The criminal who now sits before the court licking her paws," resumed the Woggle-Bug, "has long desired to unlawfully eat the fat piglet, which was no bigger than a mouse.
  • And finally she made a wicked plan to satisfy her depraved appetite for pork.
  • "Your Highness," cried the Woggle-Bug, appealing to Ozma, "have I a mind's eye, or haven't I?"
  • And we know the thing is true, because since the time of that interview there is no piglet to be found anywhere.
  • Prisoner, what have you to say for yourself?
  • "Why, that's for you to find out," replied Eureka.
  • If you can prove I'm guilty, I'll be willing to die nine times, but a mind's eye is no proof, because the Woggle-Bug has no mind to see with.
  • Respected Jury and dearly beloved Ozma, I pray you not to judge this feline prisoner unfeelingly.
  • "I'm trying to defend you," remonstrated the Tin Woodman.
  • Tell them it would be foolish for me to eat the piglet, because I had sense enough to know it would raise a row if I did.
  • But don't try to make out I'm too innocent to eat a fat piglet if I could do it and not be found out.
  • I myself, not being built to eat, have no personal experience in such matters.
  • As for the jury, the members whispered to each other for a few minutes before they appointed their spokesperson.
  • "Your Highness," said he, "see how easy it is for a jury to be mistaken.
  • If you hadn't happened to find the piglet, Eureka would surely have been executed.
  • "I refuse to be free," cried the kitten, in a sharp voice, "unless the Wizard can do his trick with eight piglets.
  • "The piglet that belonged to the Princess wore an emerald collar," said Eureka, loudly enough for all to hear.
  • I will confess that I intended to eat the little pig for my breakfast; so I crept into the room where it was kept while the Princess was dressing and hid myself under a chair.
  • There was no way to get the creature out without breaking the vase, so the Tin Woodman smashed it with his axe and set the little prisoner free.
  • Then the crowd cheered lustily and Dorothy hugged the kitten in her arms and told her how delighted she was to know that she was innocent.
  • 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.
  • The next evening after the trial the little girl begged Ozma to allow her to look in the enchanted picture, and the Princess readily consented.
  • "Really," said the girl, anxiously, "I must get back as soon as poss'ble to my own folks."
  • 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.
  • So, if you can find a way to fix it, we'll be much obliged to you.
  • Tomorrow morning I'll go to Kansas and you can go to Californy.
  • 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.
  • "But Uncle Henry and Aunt Em need me to help them," she added, "so I can't ever be very long away from the farm in Kansas."
  • Then Zeb brought out Jim, all harnessed to the buggy, and took his seat.
  • I think this is the loveliest country in the world; but not being fairies Jim and I feel we ought to be where we belong--and that's at the ranch.
  • All were surprised to find that he was not with them.
  • "I stopped a minute to give those birds to their mother," he answered.
  • They were glad to see Mr. Harris, for he was the minister.
  • "Yes, I will try to learn it," said Edward.
  • The speech was not hard to learn, and Edward soon knew every word of it.
  • When the time came for him to speak, his mother and the minister were both there to hear him.
  • He pronounced every word plainly, as though he were talking to his schoolmates.
  • Would you like to read his speech?
  • And now, my friends, please to excuse My lisping and my stammers; I, for this once, have done my best, And so--I'll make my manners.
  • He grew up to become a famous man and one of our greatest orators.
  • Then, on Friday those who have done the best may stand up and read their compositions to the school.
  • Then try to tell what it is, what it is like, what it is good for, and what is done with it.
  • That is the way to write a composition.
  • Quite close to the barn was a garden.
  • "Well, I know what that is," he said to himself; and he wrote the word _turnip_ on his slate.
  • Then he tried to tell what it was like, what it was good for, and what was done with it.
  • As soon as it was read to the school, he rubbed it off the slate, and it was forgotten.
  • Perhaps you would like to read those funny verses.
  • Mr. Finney and his wife Both sat down to sup; And they ate, and they ate, They ate the turnip up.
  • He wrote "The Village Blacksmith," "The Children's Hour," and many other beautiful pieces which you will like to read and remember.
  • So you must be careful not to spend these foolishly.
  • He held them in his hand, and showed them to the boy.
  • "Well, it's a bargain," said the boy; and he gave the whistle to Benjamin, and took the pennies.
  • One of his brothers asked to see the whistle.
  • He threw it upon the floor and began to cry.
  • The lesson you have learned to-day is never to pay too dear for a whistle.
  • Benjamin Franklin lived to be a very old man, but he never forgot that lesson.
  • He was a great thinker and a great doer, and with Washington he helped to make our country free.
  • 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.
  • He drove these to the pastures on the hills and watched them day after day while they fed on the short green grass.
  • He would drive them from place to place as his master wished.
  • 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 Sirrah managed to get the three scattered divisions together?
  • How had he managed to drive all the frightened little animals into this place of safety?
  • Long afterward James Hogg said, "I never felt so grateful to any creature below the sun as I did to Sirrah that morning."
  • By some means, however, he learned to read; and after that he loved nothing so much as a good book.
  • There were no libraries near him, and it was hard for him to get books.
  • But he was anxious to learn.
  • He loved poetry and soon began to write poems of his own.
  • Where the mowers mow the cleanest, Where the hay lies thick and greenest, There to trace the homeward bee, That's the way for Billy and me.
  • Why the boys should drive away, Little maidens from their play, Or love to banter and fight so well, That's the thing I never could tell.
  • But this I know, I love to play In the meadow, among the hay-- Up the water, and o'er the lea, That's the way for Billy and me.
  • One day a poet whose name was Thalibi [Footnote: Thal i'bi.] came to the caliph and recited a long poem.
  • The poet wished very much to please the caliph.
  • Then he said, Listen now to my second word of wisdom.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He gave these to a shepherd and ordered him to bring them up among his sheep, far from the homes of men.
  • He took the children far away to a green valley where his flocks were feeding.
  • The shepherd led them gently back to the hut and gave them their usual supper of bread and milk.
  • After that, whenever the children were hungry, they cried out, "Becos! becos! becos!" till the shepherd gave them something to eat.
  • Some time later, the shepherd went to the city and told the king that the children had learned to speak one word, but how or from whom, he did not know.
  • The caliph wished you to amuse him with pleasant thoughts, and you have filled his mind with melancholy.
  • He has seen me in my blindness, and is trying to open my eyes.
  • The king had sent them there to make the people obey his unjust laws.
  • He sends soldiers among us to take away our liberty.
  • They wished to be ready to defend themselves, if the soldiers should try to do them harm.
  • When the king's soldiers heard about this powder, they made up their minds to go out and get it for themselves.
  • He was ready to serve his country in any way that he could.
  • One day a friend of his who lived in Boston came to see him.
  • He came very quietly and secretly, to escape the soldiers.
  • "I have something to tell you," he said.
  • Some of the king's soldiers are going to Concord to get the powder that is there.
  • They are getting ready to start this very night.
  • Watch, and as soon as the soldiers are ready to start, hang a lantern in the tower of the old North Church.
  • If they are to cross the river, hang two.
  • As soon as I see the light, I will mount my horse and ride out to give the alarm.
  • He was beginning to feel tired.
  • He spoke to his horse.
  • He was ready to mount.
  • The redcoats are coming, they said to each other.
  • The king's soldiers were surprised to find everybody awake along the road.
  • They were glad enough to march back without it.
  • He was very proud to think of this, and he wished that he might grow up to be like them.
  • "How I should like to meet that wolf," said little Gilbert.
  • 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.
  • "Now for the wolf!" he said to himself.
  • Soon he came to a wilder place.
  • There the bushes were very close together and the pathway came to an end.
  • He could see a green open space just beyond; and then the woods seemed to be thicker and darker.
  • Then I will jump out and throw my arms around its neck and choke it to death.
  • "It will try to bite me," he thought.
  • Then I will drag it out of the bushes and call mamma to come and see it.
  • The beast was very close to him now.
  • He planted his feet firmly and made ready to spring.
  • It did not try to bite or scratch.
  • It was only a pet calf that had come there to browse among the bushes.
  • He hurried back to the pathway, and then ran to his mother.
  • Tears were in his eyes; but he tried to look brave.
  • His lips quivered and he began to cry.
  • "Let us call the neighbors together and have a grand wolf hunt to- morrow," said Putnam.
  • We must put an end to this killing of lambs.
  • All the other men agreed to this, and they parted.
  • They tracked the beast to the mouth of a cave, far up on the hills.
  • But the wolf was too wise to show herself.
  • The opening to the cave was only a narrow hole between two rocks.
  • Then he tied a rope around his waist and said to his friends, Take hold of the other end, boys.
  • The wolf gave a low growl and made ready to meet him.
  • They feared that the wolf was upon him; but he wished only to get his gun.
  • It was no fun to be pulled over the sharp stones in that way; but it was better than to be bitten by the wolf.
  • Perhaps the wolf was waiting to spring upon him.
  • There were no balls of fire to be seen now.
  • Putnam stayed in the cave so long that his friends began to be alarmed.
  • 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.
  • "Shoe him quickly, for the king wishes to ride him to battle," said the groom who had brought him.
  • To- day will decide whether Richard or Henry shall be king of England.
  • These he hammered and shaped and fitted to the horse's feet.
  • Then he began to nail them on.
  • "I have only six nails," he said, "and it will take a little time to hammer out ten more."
  • So he quickly finished the shoeing, and the groom hurried to lead the horse to the king.
  • His enemy, Henry, who wished to be king, was pressing him hard.
  • So he spurred his horse to ride to their aid.
  • The horse stumbled, and his rider was thrown heavily to the ground.
  • If a man was obliged to go from one city to another, he often rode on horseback.
  • Instead of sitting at his ease in a parlor car, he went jolting along through mud and mire, exposed to wind and weather.
  • About an hour later, a well-dressed gentleman came into the hotel and said, "I wish to see Mr. Jefferson."
  • I met him as he rode into town, and he said that he intended to stop at this hotel.
  • I sent him round to the Planters'.
  • He shall have all the rooms in the house, and the ladies' parlor, too, I'll go right round to the Planters' and fetch him back.
  • So he went to the other hotel, where he found the vice president sitting with some friends in the parlor.
  • "Mr. Jefferson," he said, "I have come to ask your pardon.
  • If you'll come back to my house, you shall have the best room in it--yes, all the rooms if you wish.
  • The servant complained to her master.
  • "The next time he comes," said the Dean, "let me know, and I will go to the door."
  • The Dean went to the door.
  • "See here," said the Dean in a stern voice, "that is not the way to deliver a message here.
  • I will show you how a messenger ought to behave.
  • "I'll agree to that," said the man; and he stepped inside.
  • He walked up the street to the next block.
  • And the Dean also took the hint; for he always remembered to give the man a "tip" for his trouble.
  • "I should like to be a sailor," said George Washington.
  • Then I could go to many strange lands and see many wonderful things.
  • His older brothers were quite willing that he should go to sea.
  • George's brothers knew the master of a trading ship who was getting ready to sail to England.
  • He agreed to take the boy with him and teach him how to be a good sailor.
  • Do not let him go to sea.
  • But George had made up his mind to go.
  • He would not listen to anyone who tried to persuade him to stay at home.
  • At last the day came for the ship to sail.
  • A boat was at the landing, ready to take him on board.
  • The little chest that held his clothing had been carried down to the bank.
  • He began to feel very sad.
  • He knew that she did not wish him to go.
  • He could not bear to see her grief.
  • Send word to the captain not to wait for me, for I have changed my mind.
  • I am not going to sea.
  • He jumped to his feet and looked up at the kind gentleman.
  • They belong to the rich man who lives in the big white house there among the trees.
  • How would you like to live with me, Giotto?
  • I would teach you how to draw pictures of sheep and horses, and even of men, said the stranger.
  • "I should like to learn to do that--oh, ever so much!" he answered.
  • Bondone was surprised when Cimabue offered to take his little boy to Florence and teach him to be a great painter.
  • He does not like to do anything else.
  • He tried to brush it off, but it remained there.
  • He expected to be punished.
  • "I am the only man in the world who can paint a picture so true to life," he said.
  • 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."
  • So he painted a beautiful picture which seemed to be covered with a curtain.
  • Then he invited Zeuxis to come and see it.
  • When he hung this painting outside of his door, some birds flew down and tried to carry the cherries away.
  • For if the boy had been as well painted as the cherries, the birds would have been afraid to come near him.
  • Shall I show it to you?
  • "I have heard that you are the wisest man in the world," she said, "and surely this simple thing ought not to puzzle you."
  • The queen was standing quite near to it with the two wreaths still in her hands.
  • All eyes were turned to see why the king had said, "Open the window."
  • His father and mother were Quakers, and they did not think it was right to spend money for such things.
  • One day Benjamin's mother had to go to a neighbor's on some errand.
  • So she told Benjamin to stay in the house and take care of his baby sister till she came back.
  • He was glad to do this; for he loved the baby.
  • He began to feel a little lonesome.
  • He began to draw.
  • As often as he touched the charcoal to the smooth board, the picture grew.
  • "Benjamin, how did thee learn to draw such a picture?" she asked.
  • I don't know what to think.
  • Does thee suppose that it is very wrong for Benjamin to do such a thing?
  • Then he handed it back to his wife and said:--
  • Several weeks afterward, there came a visitor to the home of the Wests.
  • They told him how the lad was always trying to draw something.
  • Then he called little Benjamin to him.
  • "I am going to help drive those red-coated British out of the country," he said to his mother.
  • He was not old enough to be a soldier, but he could be a scout--and a good scout he was.
  • "Come with us," they said, "and we will teach you that the king's soldiers are not to be trifled with."
  • They took him to the British camp.
  • The slim, tall boy seemed to grow taller, as he answered, "I'll not be the servant of any Englishman that ever lived."
  • He drew his sword to hit the boy with its flat side.
  • Some other officers, who had seen the whole affair, cried out to the captain, Shame!
  • He deserves to be treated as a gentleman.
  • The British soldiers soon returned to Charleston, and he was allowed to go home.
  • 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.
  • He was not strong enough to work on the farm like his brothers; but he loved books and study.
  • He was very young when he was first sent to school.
  • His father hoped that Daniel would grow up to be a wise and famous man.
  • So it was decided that the boy should go to some school where he might be prepared for college.
  • You are going to Exeter with me.
  • "To Exeter, father!" said Daniel.
  • I am going to put you in the academy there.
  • Early in the morning two horses were brought to the door.
  • "Who is going to ride that nag?" asked Daniel.
  • 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.
  • But won't it look rather funny for me to ride to Exeter on a sidesaddle?
  • And so they set out on their journey to Exeter.
  • It took them two days to reach Exeter.
  • Yet there was something in his manner and voice that caused everybody to admire him.
  • Daniel Webster lived to become a famous orator and a great statesman.
  • Whenever his back was turned, they were sure to begin whispering to one another.
  • "Children," he said, "we are going to play a new game.
  • And so we will keep the game going till it is time for school to be dismissed.
  • First, Tommy Jones whispered to Billy Brown and was at once called out to stand on the floor.
  • Within less than two minutes, Billy saw Mary Green whispering, and she had to take his place.
  • Then all became very good and very careful, for no one wished to be standing at the time of dismissal.
  • The clock ticked loudly, and Tommy Jones, who was standing up for the fourth time, began to feel very uneasy.
  • Suddenly, to his great joy he saw little Lucy Martin lean over her desk and whisper to the girl in front of her.
  • He wished to escape the punishment, and so he called out, "Lucy Martin!" and went proudly to his seat.
  • Little Lucy had not meant to whisper.
  • There was something which she wished very much to know before going home, and so, without thinking, she had leaned over and whispered just three little words.
  • 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.
  • Everybody was astonished, for that boy was the best scholar in the school, and he had never been known to break a rule.
  • I could not bear to see her punished.
  • Elihu Burritt was a poor boy who was determined to learn.
  • A thousand years ago boys and girls did not learn to read.
  • Now I have a mind to give this book to one of you
  • "Will you give it to me, mother?" asked little Alfred.
  • "I will give it to the one who first learns to read in it" she answered.
  • "And I would rather have a young hawk that has been trained to hunt" said Ethelbert.
  • "If I were a priest or a monk" said Ethelbald, "I would learn to read.
  • But I am a prince, and it is foolish for princes to waste their time with such things.
  • "But I should like to know the story which this book tells," said Alfred.
  • "I asked the monk, Brother Felix, to teach me," said Alfred.
  • It was no easy thing to learn these letters and how they are put together to make words.
  • And Alfred did grow up to become the wisest and noblest king that England ever had.
  • "I want to know," he said; "I want to know everything."
  • At first his mother tried to answer all his questions.
  • But after he had learned to read, she taught him to look in books for that which he wished to know.
  • Oh, mother, I would like to know everything.
  • "I want to know; I want to know," he kept saying.
  • Read in order to become wise.
  • He knew how to work with his hands.
  • He learned to endure hunger and cold.
  • When Cyrus was twelve years old he went with his mother to Media to visit his grandfather.
  • He wished the lad to stay with him in Media.
  • One day King Astyages planned to make a great feast for the lad.
  • The tables were to be laden with all kinds of food.
  • There was to be music and dancing; and Cyrus was to invite as many guests as he chose.
  • The feast is ready, but no one has come to partake of it.
  • King Astyages did not know whether to be pleased or displeased.
  • "I think I will give them to our friends," said Cyrus.
  • So he gave one portion to the king's officer who had taught him to ride.
  • Another portion he gave to an old servant who waited upon his grandfather.
  • "Why didn't you give something to Sarcas?" he asked.
  • "I shall be glad to see what you can do," he said.
  • You would hardly have known the young prince when the time came for him to appear before his grandfather.
  • 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.
  • This you forgot to do.
  • 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.
  • You tried to dance and fell upon the floor.
  • I am afraid to drink anything that makes men act in that way.
  • He does not drink merely to be drinking.
  • He drinks to quench his thirst, and that is all.
  • There was a caliph of Persia whose name was Al Mamoun. He had two sons whom he wished to become honest and noble men.
  • So he employed a wise man whose name was Al Farra to be their teacher.
  • One day, after lesson hours, Al Farra rose to go out of the house.
  • The two boys saw him and ran to fetch his shoes.
  • The two boys ran for the teacher's shoes, and each claimed the honor of carrying them to him.
  • 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.
  • In Persia, when Cyrus the Great was king, boys were taught to tell the truth.
  • When Otanes was twelve years old, his parents wished to send him to a distant city to study in a famous school that was there.
  • So it was arranged that the boy should travel with a small company of merchants who were going to the same place.
  • You can't make me believe that, said the robber; and he hurried away to rob one of the rich merchants.
  • Soon another came up and said, "My boy, do you happen to have any gold about you?"
  • "You are a brave lad to be joking with robbers" said the man; and he also hurried on to a more promising field.
  • At length the chief of the band called to Otanes and said, "Young fellow, have you anything worth taking?"
  • "Why did you tell us where to find it?" he asked.
  • 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.
  • He led the great king to his palace and begged that he would dine with him.
  • I came to learn the customs of your people.
  • This treasure does not belong to me, for I bought only the ground; but when I offered it to my neighbor he refused it.
  • Then he said to the first man, "Have you a son?"
  • The shah turned to the second man: "Have you a daughter?"
  • Well, we should have thrown both men into prison, and the treasure would have been given to the king.
  • In those days, people had not learned to be kind to their enemies.
  • 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.
  • The Spartans said to one another, Let us throw this fellow into the rocky chasm.
  • "See the place to which we send all our enemies," they said.
  • No one knows how he escaped being dashed to pieces.
  • Some of the Greeks said that an eagle caught him in her beak and carried him unharmed to the bottom.
  • There was no place where he could set his foot to climb out.
  • He expected to die from starvation.
  • The frightened fox scampered away as fast as it could; and Aristomenes followed, clinging to its tail.
  • It was the sunlight streaming in at the entrance to the passage.
  • But soon the way became too narrow for his body to pass through.
  • Then with great labor he began to widen the passageway.
  • Here the rocks were smaller, and he soon loosened them enough to allow him to squeeze through.
  • 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.
  • He dropped the pen and sprang to his feet.
  • But what has the bomb to do with what I wish you to write?
  • 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.
  • Let it be a free gift to them from the city.
  • But one of the rulers was not willing to do this.
  • "These people are poor because they have been too lazy to work," he said.
  • Coriolanus made his way to the city of Antium, [Footnote: Antium (_pro._ an'shi um).] which was not far from Rome.
  • Coriolanus began at once to make ready for war against Rome.
  • He persuaded other towns near Antium to send their soldiers to help him.
  • Coriolanus pitched his camp quite near to the city.
  • "Surrender your city to me," said Coriolanus.
  • Agree to obey the laws that I shall make for you.
  • 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.
  • "I will give you thirty days to consider the matter," said Coriolanus.
  • Then he told them what laws he would require them to obey.
  • Coriolanus would not listen to them.
  • The next day, all the priests and learned men went out to beg for mercy.
  • It was ready to march upon the city and destroy it.
  • There seemed to be no way to escape the anger of this furious man.
  • The two noble women were willing to do all that they could to save their city.
  • So, leading his little children by the hand, they went out to meet Coriolanus.
  • For a long time his wife begged him to be merciful.
  • His little children clung to his knees and spoke loving words to him.
  • Then he commanded his army to march back to the city of Antium.
  • Rome was saved; but Coriolanus could never return to his home, his mother, his wife and children.
  • He was lost to them.
  • One summer he went over the sea to Italy; for his name was well known there, and many people wished to hear him sing.
  • At last, having become quite rich, he decided to go home.
  • There was a ship just ready to sail for Corinth, and the captain agreed to take him as a passenger.
  • When they heard that Arion had a large sum of money with him they began to make plans to get it.
  • "The easiest way," said the captain, "is to throw him overboard.
  • Then there will be no one to tell tales.
  • But they had made up their minds to get rid of him.
  • They feared to spare him lest he should report the matter to the king.
  • Allow me to sing to you my latest and best song.
  • The sailors agreed; for they were anxious to hear the musician whose songs were famous all over the world.
  • He took his stand on the forward deck, while the robber sailors stood in a half circle before him, anxious to listen to his song.
  • He touched his lyre and began to play the accompaniment.
  • Then he sang a wonderful song, so sweet, so lively, so touching, that many of the sailors were moved to tears.
  • And now they would have spared him; but he was true to his promise,-- as soon as the song was finished, he threw himself headlong into the sea.
  • In a short time they reached Corinth in safety, and the king sent an officer to bring the captain and his men to the palace.
  • He has a mind to spend the rest of his life in that country.
  • The dolphin carried him with great speed to the nearest shore.
  • Then, full of joy, the musician hastened to Corinth, not stopping even to change his dress.
  • He told his wonderful story to the king; but the king would not believe him.
  • They say that Arion, being a good swimmer, kept himself afloat until this ship happened to pass by and rescued him from the waves.
  • Very kind and loving was St. Francis--kind and loving not only to men but to all living things.
  • He spoke of the birds as his little brothers of the air, and he could never bear to see them harmed.
  • One day as he was walking among the trees the birds saw him and flew down to greet him.
  • They sang their sweetest songs to show how much they loved him.
  • Then, when they saw that he was about to speak, they nestled softly in the grass and listened.
  • Let me tell you something, my little brothers, my little sisters: You ought always to love God and praise Him.
  • He has given you wings with which to fly through the air.
  • He has given you the air in which to move and have homes.
  • He gives you the rivers and the brooks from which to drink.
  • He gives you the trees in which to build your nests.
  • They spread their wings and opened their mouths to show that they understood his words.
  • 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.
  • To do this, he had to take them to a large city where there was a slave market.
  • To do this, he had to take them to a large city where there was a slave market.
  • A number of bundles were made up for them to carry.
  • 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.
  • "Because, since these other slaves do everything, there is nothing left for me to perform," said Aesop.
  • 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.
  • Many great men were glad to call him their friend, and even kings asked his advice and were amused by his fables.
  • An old Cat was in a fair way to kill all the Mice in the barn.
  • One day the Mice met to talk about the great harm that she was doing them.
  • Each one told of some plan by which to keep out of her way.
  • Hang a bell to the Cat's neck.
  • "Good! good!" said all the other Mice; and one ran to get the bell.
  • And they scampered away to their holes.
  • 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.
  • A black cloud seemed to cover the earth.
  • The birds flew to their nests.
  • The chickens went to roost.
  • Then everybody began to feel frightened.
  • When the darkness came, they too began to be alarmed.
  • "No use to make laws," said another, "for they will never be needed."
  • But I am sure that it is my duty to stand at my post as long as I live.
  • Then with his strong face aglow in their feeble light, he made a speech in favor of a law to help poor fishermen.
  • And as he spoke, the other lawmakers listened in silence till the darkness began to fade and the sky grew bright again.
  • The poet Whittier has written a poem about him, which you will like to hear.
  • The road was strange to him, and he traveled very slowly.
  • In the morning a good breakfast was served, and then Mr. Randolph made ready to start on his journey.
  • His horse was led to the door, and a servant helped him to mount it.
  • "I only asked which way you intend to travel," said the man.
  • Then, I intend to travel the way I wish to go--do you understand?
  • He had not gone farther than to the end of the innkeeper's field, when to his surprise he found that the road forked.
  • There was no signboard to help him.
  • He called to him:--"My friend, which of these roads shall I travel to go to Lynchburg?"
  • Travel the way you wish to go.
  • For this reason many people were glad when he ran away from home and went to sea.
  • Then four of the sailors rowed him to the shore and left him there.
  • He began to see how foolish he had been; he thought how terrible it would be to live there without one friend, without one person to whom he could speak.
  • He called loudly to the sailors and to the captain.
  • The ship sailed away and was soon lost to sight.
  • Then Selkirk set to work to make the best of things.
  • He tried to make signals to them; he called as loudly as he could; but he was neither seen nor heard, and the ships came no nearer.
  • "If I ever have the good fortune to escape from this island," he said, "I will be kind and obliging to every one.
  • I will try to make friends instead of enemies.
  • Then, to his great joy, a ship came near and anchored in the little harbor.
  • He made himself known, and the captain willingly agreed to carry him back to his own country.
  • When he reached Scotland everybody was eager to hear him tell of his adventures, and he soon found himself famous.
  • He had written many stories which people at that time liked to read.
  • 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.
  • When only a child he liked to stand by the river and see the ships sailing past.
  • He thought how grand it would be to sail and sail on the wide blue sea.
  • He thought how pleasant it would be to visit strange countries and see strange peoples.
  • As he grew up, his father wished him to learn a trade.
  • "No, no, I am going to be a sailor; I am going to see the world" he said.
  • His mother said to him: A sailor's life is a hard life.
  • I am going to be a sailor and nothing else.
  • So, when he was eighteen years old, he ran away from his pleasant home and went to sea.
  • There is no time to play.
  • Every day there is much work to be done.
  • He swam to an island that was not far away.
  • He had only a dog and some cats to keep him company.
  • At last a ship happened to pass that way and Robinson was taken on board.
  • He was glad to go back to England to see his home and his friends once more.
  • Like other kings, he lived in a beautiful palace and had many officers and servants to wait upon him.
  • It was Carl's duty to sit outside of the king's bedroom and be ready to serve him at any time.
  • The next morning the king wished to send him on another errand.
  • He rang the little bell which was used to call the page, but no page answered.
  • "I wonder what can have happened to the boy," he said; and he opened the door and looked out.
  • The king was about to waken him roughly, when he saw a piece of paper on the floor beside him.
  • _Dearest Carl; You are a good boy to send me all your wages, for now I can pay the rent and buy some warm clothing for your little sister.
  • Be faithful to the king and do your duty._
  • The king went back to the room on tiptoe.
  • Carl awoke with a start, and came quickly to answer the call.
  • The boy stammered and did not know what to say.
  • He was frightened and ready to cry.
  • He put his hand in his pocket, and was surprised to find the gold pieces wrapped in his mother's letter.
  • Some one is trying to ruin me.
  • And people say that fortune comes to us in our sleep.
  • 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.
  • The king himself was obliged to hide in the wild woods while his foes hunted for him with hounds.
  • Late one evening he came to a little farmhouse in a lonely valley.
  • He is now being hunted with hounds, but I hope soon to see him king over all Scotland.
  • They were tall and strong young men, and they gladly promised to go with the king and help him.
  • The king sat down by the fire, and the woman hurried to get things ready for supper.
  • The door was thrown open and he saw a hundred brave men, all ready to give him aid.
  • He began to ask about his enemies who had been hunting him.
  • If you have a mind to make haste, we may surprise them.
  • And Robert the Bruce was never again obliged to hide in the woods or to run from savage hounds.
  • He was about to lose all hope.
  • "You are a brave fellow, Mr. Ant," he said; "but you have a heavy load to carry."
  • Just as he spoke, the ant lost its footing and fell to the ground.
  • 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.
  • In Richmond, Virginia, one Saturday morning, an old man went into the market to buy something.
  • "I wish to get a fowl for to-morrow's dinner," he said.
  • "Yes, here is your money," answered the young gentleman; "and send it to my house at once."
  • My errand boy is sick to- day, and there is no one else to send.
  • Besides, it is not our custom to deliver goods.
  • "Then how am I to get it home?" asked the young gentleman.
  • Fancy me carrying a turkey along the street! said the young gentleman; and he began to grow very angry.
  • I happen to be going that way, and I will carry your turkey, if you will allow me.
  • When they reached Mr. Johnson's house, the old man politely handed him the turkey and turned to go.
  • It was no trouble to me, and you are welcome.
  • He turned and walked briskly back to the market.
  • "Why did he offer to carry my turkey?" he asked.
  • "He wished to teach you a lesson," answered the market man.
  • He wished to teach you that no man should feel himself too fine to carry his own packages.
  • Judge Marshall carried the turkey simply because he wished to be kind and obliging.
  • 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.
  • "Well, I can make some oars," said Robert; "but I think there ought to be still another and a better way.
  • I am going to find such a way if I can.
  • They fastened each of these wheels to the end of an iron rod which they passed through the boat from side to side.
  • 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.
  • That night when Christopher went home he had a wonderful story to tell.
  • One day a strange merchant came to him with some diamonds and pearls which he had brought from beyond the sea.
  • The merchant put the gold in a bag of purple silk which he tied to his belt underneath his long cloak.
  • Then he set out on foot to walk to another city.
  • As the merchant was walking along, he came to a river that flowed gently between green and shady banks.
  • No doubt the bird had mistaken the purple silk for something good to eat.
  • But I have met with such bad luck that I am forced to sell them.
  • "Why, what has happened to you?" he asked.
  • "Why didn't you come to us before?" he asked.
  • We might have done something to help you.
  • "Ride at once to the Black Mountains," he said.
  • Find all the old men that live on the mountains or in the flat country around, and command them to appear before me one week from to-day.
  • Do you know of any person who was once poor but who has lately and suddenly become well-to-do?
  • A few said that there was one man in their neighborhood who seemed to have had some sort of good luck.
  • Both he and his family dressed well; they had plenty to eat; he had even bought a horse to help him carry his produce to market.
  • The caliph at once gave orders for the gardener to be brought before him the next day.
  • Before noon the next day the gardener was admitted to the palace.
  • As soon as he entered the hall the caliph went to meet him.
  • At sight of his lost treasure, the merchant began to dance and shout for joy.
  • "Tell us," said Al Mansour to the gardener, "tell us how you came to find that bag."
  • I ran to pick it up and was surprised to find that it was a bag full of bright gold pieces.
  • "Well, then," said the caliph, "why did you not return it to us at once?"
  • I meant only to borrow them.
  • 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.
  • If anything is lacking, I will pay it to you.
  • "No," said Al Mansour, "it is for me to reward the man as he deserves."
  • Saying this, he ordered that ten gold pieces be given to the merchant in place of those that were lacking.
  • It was so close to the sea that those who lived in it could hear the waves forever beating against the shore.
  • They were sitting around the fire and trying to keep themselves warm.
  • They drew up closer to the fire and felt thankful that they were safe from the raging storm.
  • Let us have a good old song that will help to keep us warm.
  • "We can all be minstrels to-night," said the chief cook.
  • "What shall I do when it comes my turn?" he said to himself.
  • So he sat there trembling and afraid; for he was a timid, bashful man and did not like to be noticed.
  • He went across the narrow yard to the sheds where the cattle were kept in stormy weather.
  • The singing in the kitchen was ended, the fire had burned low, and each man had gone to his place.
  • It was for this reason that I left my fellows in the abbey kitchen and came here to be alone.
  • Then Caedmon, with only the cows as his hearers, opened his mouth and began to sing.
  • So this prince grew up to be a young man, tall and fair and graceful.
  • It must be a beautiful and happy place; and I wish to know all about it.
  • In it there are numberless trees and flowers and rivers and waterfalls, and other things to make the heart glad.
  • "Then to-morrow I will go out and see some of those things," he said.
  • His parents and friends begged him not to go.
  • They told him that there were beautiful things at home--why go away to see other things less beautiful?
  • At first he did not see anything that disturbed him; for word had gone before him to remove from sight everything that might be displeasing or painful.
  • Is this the condition to which I must come?
  • "They are poor men, and they are working to improve the king's highway," was the answer.
  • I will spend all my life, and give all that I have, to lessen the distress and sorrow with which this world seems filled.
  • One night he left the beautiful palace which his father had given to him and went out into the world to do good and to help his fellow men.
  • And to this day, millions of people remember and honor the name of Gautama, as that of the great lover of men.
  • Jacquot's business was to sell charcoal to the rich people in the city.
  • 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.
  • The children were hungry and could hardly wait for their father to come.
  • "There is to be a great feast at the queen's palace to-night," said the mother."
  • Perhaps your father is waiting to help in the kitchen.
  • "What a beautiful child!" said the mother, as she hurried to do his bidding.
  • Then, being very comfortable, he began to grow stronger.
  • The color came back to his cheeks.
  • I had carried some charcoal to the queen's kitchen and was just starting home.
  • 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.
  • He seemed to feel quite well and strong.
  • Tell us who she is, and we will carry you to her.
  • She has other things to do, and no time to attend to me.
  • Your own mother, and no time to attend to her child?
  • But she has servants to attend to me.
  • The mother gave each a tin plate and a wooden spoon, and then helped them all to boiled beans.
  • "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.
  • The charcoal man and his wife listened to this little dispute, and said nothing.
  • A tall man who wore a long red cloak seemed to be the leader of the company.
  • He said to a soldier who stood at the door, "Tell your story again."
  • But really, I fell into the pool at the fountain, and this kind man brought me here to get me dry.
  • But I hope you are now ready to come home with us.
  • You shall have money to buy a larger house and to send your boys to school.
  • Here is my hand to kiss.
  • Then he turned to the cardinal and said, Now, I am ready.
  • Let them say what they please, I am not going to change my clothes.
  • As the little king went out, he turned at the door and called to Charlot.
  • "Come to the palace to-morrow," he said, "and you shall have your clothes.
  • Towards evening he told his men to ride home by the main road while he went by another way that was somewhat longer.
  • As he came out of the forest he saw a little boy by the roadside, who seemed to be watching for some one.
  • So I'm waiting to see him.
  • "My good men," he said, "how many fish do you expect to draw in this time?"
  • You were to have all the fish that happened to be in the net and nothing else.
  • They began to quarrel.
  • So they carried the tripod to the governor, and each told his story.
  • Now the oracle at Delphi was supposed to be very wise.
  • People from all parts of the world sent to it, to tell it their troubles and get its advice.
  • So the governor sent a messenger to Delphi to ask the oracle what should be done with the tripod.
  • Give not the merchant nor the fishermen the prize; But give it to that one who is wisest of the wise.
  • "The prize shall go to the man who deserves it most," he said.
  • Men come from every country to see him and learn from him.
  • We will give the prize to him.
  • So, with his own hands he carried the golden tripod to the little house where Thales lived.
  • And so I have brought the prize to you, friend Thales.
  • "To me!" said the astonished Thales.
  • Send the beautiful gift to him.
  • 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.
  • He taught that men ought to be kind even to their enemies.
  • He was a poor man and had no wish to be rich.
  • "It is better to be wise than wealthy," he said.
  • The messengers found him in his house talking to his friends and teaching them wisdom.
  • Give not the merchant nor the fishermen the prize; But give it to that one who is wisest of the wise.
  • "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.
  • "Then to whom shall we take it?" asked the messengers.
  • The messengers went on until they came at last to the island of Rhodes.
  • "Educate the children," he said; and for that reason his name is remembered to this day.
  • They told him that it was not for sale, but that it was to be given to the wisest of the wise.
  • He lives in Corinth, [Footnote: Cor'inth.] and his name is Periander. [Footnote: Per i an'der.] Carry the precious gift to him.
  • When he heard that some men had come to Corinth with a very costly golden tripod, he had them brought before him.
  • "I have heard all about that tripod," he said, "and I know why you are carrying it from one place to another.
  • Do you expect to find any man in Corinth who deserves so rich a gift?
  • To my mind he deserves the golden prize.
  • I bid you carry it to him.
  • They learned that Chilon was a very quiet man, that he never spoke about himself, and that he spent all his time in trying to make his country great and strong and happy.
  • Chilon was so busy that the messengers had to wait several days before they could see him.
  • At last they were allowed to go before him and state their business.
  • 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.
  • It is to him that you should have taken the tripod.
  • The messengers made due haste to carry the golden prize to Athens.
  • "We have offered the prize to each one of them," said the messengers, "and each one has refused it."
  • "Then there is only one other thing to be done," said Solon.
  • 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.
  • They lived more than two thousand years ago, and each one helped to make his country famous.
  • But I hope you will at least believe it to be possible.
  • As the nation grew, so did what came to be called the American Dream.
  • You may come to America and be poor, but if you work hard, your children will have a better life and a better opportunity.
  • And this man was saying we were going to the moon in a rocket ship made of metals we hadn't even invented.
  • Why should we expect that to change?
  • Scarcity was the new watchword as the focus turned to all the problems of the future, not all the possibilities.
  • And as I look to the past and the present, I see two phenomena that especially drive my optimism.
  • 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.
  • From that vantage point, if you had tried to look fifty years ahead to what the world would be like in the year 2500 BC, you would have expected very little change.
  • If you had looked ahead fifty years to 1240, you wouldn't have anticipated much change.
  • This book is about that future and what it is going to look like—how it will be a place glorious and spectacular beyond our wildest hopes.
  • There is no reason any of them have to be.
  • They exist simply because we have not had the means to solve them in the past.
  • To be perfectly clear, I am not saying the Internet and technology will solve every human ill.
  • 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.
  • But the five phenomena I chose to tackle in this book are among the great blights on humanity that I believe the Internet and technology will help solve.
  • That this democratization of information and opinion would lead to vigorous debate and encourage a young monk to question the church?
  • And that that same technology would allow his questions to be spread across Europe, thereby igniting the Protestant Reformation?
  • First, in the magnitude of what it claims, and second, in the degree to which it differs from what pessimists predict.
  • I make the predictions in this book not to be sensational or controversial.
  • The first error is to assert that history unfolds in a basically linear fashion, that there is a fundamental continuity between the past, present, and future.
  • I include them to point out that history is discontinuous.
  • These are easy to spot: They rely on huge conceptual leaps without a framework to support them.
  • 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.
  • History is full of radical breaks with the past that only seem to have come out of nowhere but were, in fact, predictable.
  • I don't use history to predict the future, like some talisman that lets me pick winning lottery numbers (don't I wish).
  • I don't dispute the cliché, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it."
  • However, I often have thought that a second sentence should follow: "Also, those who do know history are doomed to repeat it."
  • I refer to history extensively in these pages because I believe historical people are exactly like us, only in different circumstances.
  • The Internet is whatever we make it to be.
  • All corn used to be "corn on the cob" until canned corn came along.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • These, to me, are the most exciting companies to look at.
  • But sometimes it is hard to tell them apart when we don't have an offline frame of reference.
  • When you hear about a new company and your response is, "Why in the world would anyone want to do that?" it will be because there is no offline corollary.
  • And that leads us to a critical question: Who decides what we will make the Internet do?
  • 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.
  • I may be connected to other people, but still it is all about me.
  • I can't think of anything offline to compare it to.
  • But Linda decides to give it a try.
  • She hires a contract programmer in Russia for $3000 to code it and advertises on Craig's List for a designer who will work for some stock.
  • She wants to do business as a limited liability company, so she creates an LLC online for $200.
  • She researches credit card processors and decides to go with PayPal for now.
  • Linda thinks about this and decides she wants to keep it ad-free for now.
  • Linda gets the idea to call Facebook and see if she can advertise to people who change their status to "In a relationship."
  • This makes sense, so she spends her last $2000 in savings to buy ads.
  • Another friend tells her either member of the couple should be able to instantly remove the couple page when the relationship goes sour.
  • The answers to those questions are what define the Internet.
  • The choices we make to test options never before contemplated will tell us all kinds of new things about ourselves.
  • Plus, it's all about to speed way, way up.
  • It is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
  • The abstraction keeps moving forward, and the technology races to keep up.
  • 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.
  • But I do think we will see an end to any effective constraints relating to computers' ability to process data and transfer information.
  • This is going to have profound effects.
  • 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.
  • Filmmakers such as James Cameron and George Lucas used to talk about putting off film projects to wait for the computer technology to catch up to their visions.
  • Eventually we reach the point where the technology does everything we need it to do.
  • Early cars tried to be faster and faster, to break the 60 mph barrier.
  • If I had an even faster computer than I have today, I could come up with really interesting questions to ask it.
  • We don't need our computers to be infinitely fast, just a whole lot faster than they are today.
  • We don't need bandwidth to be instant, just nearly instant.
  • We don't need miniaturization to go to infinitely small, just really, really small.
  • Our ability to process data, move information, and make things small will progress to a point where they will not be gating factors ever again.
  • It is thought to have had its apex in Italy—in Venice, Florence, and Rome.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It must have been quite an exciting time to be alive.
  • It was, however—and this is sure to earn me the wrath of many humanities professors—a time of surprisingly little originality.
  • It turns out we all have a desire to be artists or philosophers or singers or photographers or commentators or reviewers.
  • We all desire to leave our stamp on the world.
  • We just lacked these means to do it before.
  • Now I will try to persuade you.
  • It's hard to know what later generations will deem to be art.
  • The rest was reduced to firewood long ago.
  • Who could argue there was ever a better time to start a business any time in the world?
  • Has there ever before been a time when business opportunity was more blind to color, gender, or creed?
  • Do I need to prove we have an explosion of technological progress dwarfing the wildest dreams of any age?
  • The Internet has allowed for the creation of thousands of new ways to give, both time and money.
  • This is not to the sixteenth-century Europeans' discredit or even to our credit.
  • People have always had the drive and the ability to build, create, discover, and explore.
  • We have a natural desire to make beautiful things and a bone-deep need to understand the world we live in and our place in it.
  • Before technology and prosperity, virtually everyone spent long hard days scraping together enough calories for themselves and their family to survive.
  • These few were given the tools to achieve their maximum potential, to live that dream.
  • 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.
  • But all that is about to change.
  • Imagine a world where everyone on the planet has access to this expanded canvas of human expression that technology has created.
  • Where everyone can live up to his or her maximum potential.
  • It will be a glorious time to be alive, and I believe my children will see it happen.
  • That movement helped a former lieutenant named Adolf Hitler come to power.
  • 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.
  • Maybe a bad piece of information did lead to the deaths of millions.
  • The Internet is not unique in solving for this access to information.
  • It would just take several hours as opposed to a few minutes.
  • To understand this problem, consider our relationship with knowledge over the centuries.
  • Long ago, before Gutenberg, if you wanted to know something, you had to memorize it.
  • It was like the Olympic torch in antiquity: All it took was one guy carrying the torch to slip in the mud and the entire chain was broken.
  • Via books, ideas became mobile—or as we would say today, went viral—spreading to other villages and other countries and to multiple places around the world simultaneously.
  • This led to the creation of large libraries all around the world—and this was a problem.
  • So he commissioned seven emissaries to go out to seven certain oracles around the world and on a predetermined day, let's say July 12, at a predetermined time, say 3:00 p.m.
  • Lydian time, they were to ask their respective oracle a question: "What is King Croesus doing right now?"
  • 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.
  • In any event, King Croesus had it in his mind to wage war against the Persians, so he asked the oracle: "Should I attack the Persians?"
  • I tell this story to make a comparison between modern times and the past.
  • 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 such as Google exist to solve this problem.
  • They try to connect the person who wants to know something to the thing that person wants to know.
  • Search engines have done a fabulous job tackling this problem, even given the vast, vast, amounts of information added to the Internet every day.
  • The reason for this is what I call "The You Don't Know What to Ask Problem."
  • I enjoy traveling, especially to very different places.
  • 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 would need the robot to be able to proactively offer suggestions.
  • "If only I had known," we often lament, in the widespread belief that to know everything would mean we would never make mistakes.
  • You have to have something more: wisdom.
  • I define wisdom as deriving a course of action from applying a value system to a situation.
  • So let's raise the bar to this lofty level.
  • 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.
  • Or at least they will know the wise choice to make; whether they will choose it is another matter.
  • Pushing this to its logical extreme: What if everything you did was digitally remembered?
  • To avoid privacy issues at this point, let's stipulate that everything is recorded only for your future reference.
  • This would be very useful: No more struggling to remember what you promised the client you would deliver by Friday; you just look up the transcript.
  • No more trying to retrace your steps to find your car keys; you can see where you left them by checking your GPS system records.
  • 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.
  • When you last went to the dentist.
  • Everything you saw, that your eyeballs tracked to, how long you looked at it—and not just everything you ever looked at, but your physiological response.
  • 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.
  • A contest awhile back called for people to speculate what would be the best device to hook up to the Internet.
  • Now my expectations have changed so much that I'm annoyed everything isn't already connected to the Internet.
  • Remember the notion that the Internet wouldn't turn out to be only for one purpose—that while my car is clearly for taking me places, the Internet won't be for doing one single task, but many?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We are building the Internet to connect with each other better, to share information, to collaborate, to offer mutual support, and so on.
  • They will take time to write a great big forum post just for you, a total stranger they will never meet.
  • 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.
  • People who take time out of their schedule to do something that helps just one person.
  • We have a natural desire to want to help others.
  • The open source movement and Creative Commons licensing are examples of people willing to share their intellectual labor to help others.
  • Online, people are constantly thinking up new ways to share with others.
  • Certainly, you don't want the whole world to know where you were last night.
  • 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."
  • I think to the extent the data is not identifiable to a person and is only used to make suggestions to others, people will participate.
  • But let's say everyone had their device set to "broadcast my location but not my identity" constantly.
  • Would you contribute your anonymous location to a traffic speed optimization engine?
  • People will only contribute to the extent that their most personal information is protected.
  • They will contribute to the greater good.
  • And they will see how this information will be used to better the lives of other people in very real ways.
  • Finally, when I use the word "wisdom," I am talking about applying a value system to knowledge to suggest a course of action.
  • 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.
  • Does human activity cause the planet to warm?
  • This unique phenomenon will pass as we learn to cope with vast amounts of data.
  • More precisely, we will probably teach machines to teach themselves how to process it for us and surface findings to us.
  • Science's progress over the past few hundred years has been determined mainly by the relatively slow speed at which we were able to collect data.
  • A website called Wolfram Alpha is amazing to me, especially in its aspirations.
  • It is an answer engine, but one that attempts to answer questions that have never before been asked.
  • It is a safe bet that no one has ever asked that question before, and yet this system is designed to answer it.
  • 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 to continue with fictional cases: Why does gasoline made from oil refined at one refinery burn more efficiently?
  • In the past, a scientist began with a surmise or hunch and began gathering data to prove or disprove it.
  • What if the capability to see connections and even to have them detected was all there for us?
  • The ability of science and technology to improve human life is known to us.
  • 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.
  • They show complementary products to the one you are considering.
  • Both of these sections offer tremendous value to the shopper.
  • Well, obviously, Amazon is able to collect this data as they make sales.
  • Any time you can move data collection from humans to computers, you get vast improvements in efficiency.
  • Any time you can move data storage from brains to hard drives, you get vast improvements in efficiency.
  • Any time you can move data processing from intellects to CPUs, you get vast improvements in efficiency.
  • Two hundred years later, Ludolph van Ceulen calculated it to thirty-five digits.
  • It took him most of his life to do this, and the value was engraved on his tombstone.
  • Two hundred years later, William Rutherford thought he had calculated it to 208 digits but only got the first 152 correct, so we will give him credit that far.
  • Ten years later, in 1959, Francois Genuys used an IBM 704 and calculated pi to more than fifteen thousand digits in just four hours.
  • By 1973 it was calculated to more than a million digits, in 1983 more than ten million digits, in 1987 more than one hundred million digits, in 1989 more than one billion digits, and in 1997 more than fifty billion digits.
  • In 2009, pi was calculated to more than two trillion digits—in less than thirty hours.
  • 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.
  • Every sale from the point the robot was turned on to when the sun finally burns out will be perfectly remembered.
  • 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.
  • Armed with this data, it will suggest different products to me than to you.
  • Once we get the problem off our "to-do list" and stick it onto the computer's, we largely will be done.
  • 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.
  • A person could dedicate his life to understanding just one suggestion and never even get close.
  • No human could ever do this, for in these purely computational matters, machines are vastly superior to us, and always will be.
  • They might balk at getting on an airline flight flown by a computer and prefer having a pilot on board to take over if he "feels in his gut" that something is wrong (even if that feeling is the airport burrito he had for lunch).
  • To me, those stories feel a bit desperate.
  • Machines will never, in my opinion, be able to be creative.
  • And that is why, if we are to use the Internet and technology to end ignorance, we still need people like Jim Haynes.
  • Let me introduce you to him.
  • 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.
  • To him that is what seeing the world is about.
  • He once said he does all this because he wants to introduce everyone in the world to everyone else.
  • I like this goal, and I would like to do it as well, but in bits, not bites.
  • 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.
  • And from every experience they have had in their lives, we would be able to infer what was successful and what was not successful.
  • To use a simple example: You are in San Francisco.
  • You are not from there, and you want to go out for Italian food for dinner.
  • You need an answer to a basic question: "Where should I go for Italian food?"
  • You had no real knowledge and therefore no way to make a wise decision.
  • The system will also look for anything they've written publicly about this place (Yelp, Facebook, personal blog) and which superlatives they used to describe it.
  • And not just where do they go, but where is it that people drive the farthest to get to?
  • The system has data from all their GPS records and infers that to drive across town several times for a place is a stronger vote than eating at the corner restaurant.
  • And so we are interested in the Italian restaurants people drive across town repeatedly to frequent.
  • It will look at all this and a million other factors that would seem to be unrelated.
  • And my system will come back with a single answer, something like, You should go to Tommaso's on Kearny Street.
  • The traffic to get there is not bad.
  • What's more, the algorithms used to make that recommendation are self-learning and will improve their suggestions over time.
  • If it gets enough "meh" responses, the system knows it has to re-juggle all the stats and do it differently.
  • 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.
  • "Where should I go to college?" is a much bigger choice that people face.
  • Where did they go to college?
  • Where are people who are studying what you want to study going?
  • How many people similar to you went to that college and are now on antidepressants?
  • It will look at where they went to college and what the outcome was.
  • That brings us back to the need to share data—and to our online example with Amazon, and our offline example with our salesperson.
  • When the salesperson rings up your purchase, no one tells him he had better forget what shoes he sold you with that suit and not to use that information to advise any future clients.
  • 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.
  • Don't get me wrong: Privacy issues in the future will be thorny to work through.
  • 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.
  • The idea was that it would be great to make machines that behaved like us and, through that, we could harness their abilities.
  • 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.
  • All the things they tried and failed, or achieved, we have to redo.
  • But as we do them yet again and capture them, we finally can begin to develop a planet-wide memory system.
  • There are limits to this.
  • 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 past, knowing the wise thing to do was a power confined to a few.
  • What we do with it has yet to be written.
  • But in a world where great wisdom is available to everyone, the end of ignorance will be within our grasp.
  • The quest to end ignorance and the quest to end disease have two important similarities.
  • And as with ignorance, we may already have much of the data we need to find solutions.
  • To that definition, I would respectfully offer this qualification: I would say that disease has a well-defined center and very fuzzy edges.
  • Bubonic plague, to be sure, is a disease.
  • 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.
  • Now, back to the well-defined center.
  • 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.
  • After these syndromes, we come to the entire spectrum of mental illnesses, from depression to paranoia.
  • Now we are certainly on the fuzzy edges, a place where words, often fuzzy in their meanings, begin to fail us.
  • So where does that leave us in our quest to end disease?
  • All genetic conditions that one would reasonably wish to alter would also be altered.
  • 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.
  • Likewise for mental illnesses: We should be able to cure them to the extent the person in question would wish them to be.
  • Does this have to be the case?
  • Is it possible to tweak our genome to remove aging?
  • Is it possible to replace all our organs with freshly grown new ones created from our own cells?
  • I do not know and certainly don't want to try to prove to you that the future will be like that.
  • It was recognized as the flu, although records describe conditions which were highly likely to have been 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.
  • Parents were unable to leave their home to bury their child if the child died in the hospital.
  • And near the end of 1937, Roosevelt created the National Foundation for Infant Paralysis to join in the fight.
  • 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.
  • With a grant from the National Foundation for Infant Paralysis, he went to work on a polio vaccine.
  • Today, it is hard for us to imagine what that time was like.
  • It often left them partially paralyzed, in wheelchairs or iron lungs (a term that's now all but forgotten and will likely send younger readers to Wikipedia).
  • So if its person-to-person transmission can be interrupted, it truly can be eradicated from the planet.
  • In the century leading up to its extermination, smallpox killed about 500,000,000 people.
  • The second was that the disease clearly passed from person to person, though by what mechanism was not clear.
  • Sometimes they became infected with other illnesses, and variolation seemed to start entirely new epidemics.
  • An Englishwoman who saw the process in Turkey in the early 1700s brought it back to England, where it was proven to be effective.
  • An illness with no serious effects on humans, cowpox caused lesions on cows' udders which then could spread to dairymaids' hands.
  • Jenner reasoned that the pox contracted by dairymaids could be used to impart immunity to others.
  • Thanks to Jenner, Nelmes, Blossom, and Phipps (which sounds like a rather odd law firm), today we have the word "vaccine."
  • Cowpox was a localized condition, so fresh supplies were hard to get.
  • Although the technique of growing cowpox on cow hides would come, transporting it was difficult due to lack of refrigeration.
  • In 1958, with smallpox still killing two million people a year, the World Health Organization pledged to eradicate it.
  • First: It is possible to eliminate diseases.
  • How do we know these weren't the easiest diseases to eliminate?
  • 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.
  • Every day, we seem to be getting better at distributing medical resources and information.
  • Expect solutions in the future to come from countries you couldn't find on a map today.
  • The factors that enable us to solve for and eliminate disease are getting better all the time, like wind at our back, pushing us forward.
  • Read on to see how that momentum has built over time, and continues to build.
  • 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 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.
  • Many of the treatments of the ancient world had high degrees of efficacy, all obtained without access to any modern knowledge or equipment.
  • In the First World War, we learned to treat wounds by washing them with a germicide.
  • Pause here to take a breath.
  • If the magnitude and increasing complexity of these creations fails to impress you, the sheer quantity should suffice.
  • 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.
  • So they repackaged the drug under the name Zyban, and it is now prescribed to smokers wanting to shake the habit.
  • Its makers had not conceived bupropion hydrochloride as a drug to help people quit smoking.
  • I think it is likely that the answers to almost all our medical problems could be found in the data we may already be collecting.
  • 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.
  • This method will allow us to treat the entire world as a controlled experiment in retrospect.
  • The computer reveals that redheads go to the ER more often and break bones more often.
  • My guess is we won't have to absorb all this information.
  • 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.
  • Then we will come to understand the outliers better.
  • Why do some people live to 120?
  • I am eager to know.
  • 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.
  • Or maybe smart old people just direct that energy to crosswords and it is not the crosswords doing the job at all ...
  • We will know how to live our lives to best maximize any and all factors.
  • Successes will come, encouraging more data collection and more people to participate.
  • Once the promise of this world comes to be, new ways will be created to measure even more data.
  • Once we know how to use it, we will start logging it.
  • In such a world, everyone who wants to be a medical scientist can be.
  • Then that person might choose to publish those results and others could verify them.
  • Essentially, we will be able to run as many controlled experiments as we can imagine instantly and for no cost—and that will revolutionize medicine.
  • You won't have to go eat the other foods; the system will remember every meal you have had and will log your headaches.
  • Then, you will search to see if other people have this same problem.
  • You won't be able to identify the other people; you will simply see that 1600 other people seem to have this same corn dog issue.
  • You will then look to see what other factors they all have in common.
  • I am not saying the research scientist loses out to the florist in Akron, Ohio.
  • Can the system learn to predict crime targets?
  • 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.
  • Our challenge is to learn how to choose the plowshares, not to abandon metallurgy.
  • This was an electrifying discovery to the whole world.
  • Technology allowed us to peer deeper into the mysteries of the miniscule.
  • Better microscopes gave us more information, more ways to unlock the secrets of life.
  • Then in the 1940s, another American, Oswald Avery, was able to show, through an ingenious method, that the genetic information had to be carried by the DNA.
  • Then the scientific race of the century was on, with this goal: to figure out how DNA conveyed genetic information.
  • Code breakers and linguists were consulted, chemists and biologists patched up their differences and worked together, and scientific groups were formed to share information and theories.
  • In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick announced to the scientific world that they had solved the puzzle.
  • In every cell of your body except your red blood cells exists a copy of your DNA.
  • In fact, if you laid out all the DNA in your body, it would stretch from the sun to Pluto.
  • Of course, if you wanted to print it out and read it, the stack of paper would be many miles high.
  • Even identical twins, thought until recently to have identical DNA, actually have slightly different DNA.
  • They are essentially instructions on how to make proteins, which are what build and regulate your body.
  • With more than thirty thousand genes in your body, you can't expect them all to have cool names.
  • Some of it is known, but the function of each of the thirty thousand genes has to be figured out one at a time.
  • Then, people could start reporting all their medical issues—headaches, halitosis, heart disease—and we will begin to see commonalities between genes and conditions we do not generally regard as genetic.
  • By doing this, we will come to understand those conditions better and perhaps prevent them.
  • Third: We will learn what treatments not to use.
  • Due to genetic factors we will certainly learn about in the future, some drugs and treatments do not work on certain people.
  • We hear of treatments that work some percent of the time or we hear phrases like, "They are not responding to treatment."
  • In addition to knowing more about what will work, in the future we will also know more about what won't work.
  • Fourth: We will be able to define illnesses better.
  • However, I fully expect we will learn things about the opposite—what we may do, thanks to our genes.
  • But my guess is that we will be able to do this and even make existing "good" genes perform better.
  • Additionally, we have deciphered the genome of diseases, from SARS to influenza.
  • We cannot only see our enemy but have deconstructed it to its very core.
  • With all due respect to Nietzsche, we have looked long into the Abyss, but the Abyss has not looked back into us.
  • 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.
  • You would know before you received a treatment how likely it was to work for you—not merely how likely it was to work for the larger population, but for you.
  • How about modifying a flower to produce insulin?
  • However, new and improved cows are now able to make milk with more of these enzymes.
  • We will discuss the molecular machines called nanites—tiny, molecular-sized robots that will swim around in your body fighting disease, repairing damage, and alerting you to problems (and will likely dramatically increase the human lifespan).
  • 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.
  • This is powerful; it allows the best and brightest to collaborate easily.
  • 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.
  • As access becomes cheaper and better, and the whole world has mobile phones, more information can be delivered to people in remote parts of the world.
  • Distributed computing makes enormous computational problems affordable to solve.
  • Cloud computing and software frameworks such as Hadoop give unimagined computing power to the scientist on the most modest budget.
  • Computer software is constantly being created to allow scientists to model, visualize, prototype, and diagram.
  • Computers can connect to and control highly specialized scientific instruments, and equipment can be accessed remotely.
  • The division of labor applied to science will yield substantial results.
  • More data will come online, from satellite images to sensor readings.
  • After all, it was the doctor's job to keep you healthy, not to make money when you were sick.
  • In fact, if you stayed sick long enough in that culture, the doctor had to pay you!
  • 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.
  • To what length can the human lifespan be extended?
  • Some suspect we can be made to be healthy and energetic to the age of one hundred thirty and that's it.
  • Others contend, and feel they have science to support, that humans can live beyond five hundred.
  • He predicts that within twenty years, the first person to live to one thousand will be born.
  • If you take low-worth items or raw materials and apply labor to them to make something that has value, you have created wealth.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Both parties must win for the trade to occur.
  • Trading is able to create value for two reasons.
  • Going from zero to one puppy might increase your utility a great amount.
  • From one to two, a bit less.
  • 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 is safe to say that the man with seventeen puppies is creating more happiness by giving one each to sixteen friends than he is forgoing by his loss of puppies.
  • 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.
  • Everyone wins in trade, because goods are reallocated in a way that increases utility to all parties involved.
  • To the extent that the Internet is able to increase trade, it increases utility.
  • To the extent that the Internet is able to increase trade, it increases utility.
  • One form of trade is to exchange your labor for money.
  • 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.
  • Credit cards are able to work and charge low fees because almost all transactions are honest.
  • 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.
  • The vendor is usually made to "eat" the charge.
  • It would not take much of this for businesses to no longer take credit cards.
  • These stores are able to increase trade a number of ways.
  • Etsy allows people to trade their crafts, items they have made with their own hands and materials.
  • Most of these people have other jobs and obligations, so without something like Etsy, they might not be able to enter into these trades.
  • Additionally, online stores powered by Yahoo and Google and Amazon exist where small vendors can set up storefronts and sell to the world, as a hobby or a livelihood.
  • This has no offline corollary and is economically empowering to so many people. 5. eBay and reallocating existing goods. eBay is actually a little like direct trade.
  • I take things from my attic and my garage and sell them to people who value them more than I do.
  • This works toward maximizing the utility that item can bring to someone. eBay is not alone in this regard.
  • 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.
  • To the extent that I get accurate information from other consumers of the product, I will tend to make better choices.
  • The cost of interactive information exchange, such as asking questions about products you are contemplating purchasing, has fallen to nearly zero.
  • No matter where you live, if you have access to an Internet connection, you can host an online store and sell to the entire world.
  • This makes business a meritocracy and encourages business owners to focus on quality, service, and reputation since these are so easy for customers to check.
  • The pay per click (PPC) business is a way to advertise online to people who did a specific search in a search engine like Google or who are viewing content on a certain topic.
  • In the past, when most media was mass media, it was essential to create products with mass appeal.
  • For instance, I could hand carve bird calls and then advertise them only to people who are looking at online content about hand-carved bird calls or who search the Internet for information about hand-carved bird calls.
  • Imagine that you personally had to create everything you wanted to use.
  • 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.
  • From mining the clay to make the lead, to the lacquer applied to the pencil, to the rubber eraser, to the metal band holding the eraser to the yellow paint, no one person knows how to make a complete pencil.
  • It requires the labor of thousands to make a pencil, and yet they are so inexpensive as to be almost free.
  • When a person learns to do one job and specializes in that one job, she gets really good at it.
  • Smith says that if one man tried to make pins by himself, he might make one per day.
  • 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.
  • It doesn't matter that the person selling pencils doesn't know how the pencil is made; he only needs to know how to sell them.
  • And it doesn't matter that the person who paints the pencils doesn't know how the paint is made, for his job is to paint them.
  • Returning to the three ways wealth is created: The first is by making things.
  • You figure out how to make your widget from this new plastic.
  • Once someone knows how to make a factory that can produce 48,000 pins a day with ten people, someone else can figure out how to make one that makes 100,000 a day with five people.
  • Technology marches forward—perhaps not forever, but as close to forever as we can understand.
  • But for now, I want to leave you with a preposterous thought: In the future, a new Mercedes Benz will cost just $50.
  • To build a case for the end of poverty, we begin by discussing scarcity.
  • The theory of pricing means people who want items the most choose to buy those items instead of others they could buy.
  • Only it's not set to music.
  • 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.
  • First, think of energy as the capacity to do work.
  • If you are able to consume more energy, you can do more work and therefore create more.
  • Without energy to power these, prosperity plummets.
  • I suspect it is both; GNP rises, so we buy more energy, allowing GNP to rise so we can buy more energy.
  • The labor to build it is now robotic and powered by free energy.
  • 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.
  • But what if that energy cost fell to zero?
  • We just don't know how to capture it efficiently.
  • (An exajoule is roughly equivalent to a quadrillion BTUs or 174 million barrels of oil.)
  • So four million come to the earth and we only need to capture five hundred.
  • Everyone knows water evaporates, rises, then falls to the earth as rain—but no one can even guess how much energy could be captured from this if we only knew how.
  • We know how to power a clock with this energy but haven't yet cracked the code on doing it at scale.
  • All around the world, scientists are racing to create hot fusion reactors.
  • 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.
  • A genetically engineered tree that converts sunlight into fuel and then pumps the fuel through its roots to where it is needed.
  • A few such trees in the backyard behind your condo, cabin, or yurt would be enough to satisfy your power requirements.
  • What we don't know is how to capture it.
  • But these are questions of technology, not of scarcity, and technology is about to rocket forward.
  • One breakthrough is all it will take to change the world.
  • That is what we expect to be able to do, because it is theoretically possible in a hundred different ways.
  • So gold isn't scarce—only the gold we know how to recover is scarce.
  • Remember when Janis Joplin sang "Freedom's just another word for 'nothing left to lose'"?
  • Well, scarcity is just another word for "we don't know how to get it."
  • So hold these thoughts, as we will be returning to them.
  • 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.
  • He explained to me that with a lawnmower, one person would be able to do the job and eleven men would be unemployed.
  • As we envision a world where machines do more and more work that people used to do, our minds naturally turn to those who would be displaced by technological advance.
  • Technological advances that displace human workers are similar in effect to two other concepts with which we are very familiar in the modern age: outsourcing and free trade.
  • 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.
  • We have understandable emotional responses to all these situations.
  • 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.
  • We are sympathetic to the laid-off workers, but no one would suggest the cotton gin not be installed.
  • A competing company decides to make an up-front investment and build a new factory in a distant land, high in the mountains where residents who choose to live there have less economic opportunity.
  • They are able to produce widgets for ten cents, putting the Dollar Widget Company (with its unfortunate name) out of business.
  • His job is to push a button if he sees anything suspicious.
  • Worker Chang, located in China, is willing to do the same job, remotely, for a dollar an hour.
  • It is tempting to say that but entirely wrong.
  • He used to pay $10; now he pays one dollar.
  • But Chad merely stopped selling his labor to the employer for that price.
  • He still has his labor to sell and can go get a new job.
  • But I intend to show you how in the next chapter: Chad Gets a Better Job .
  • You would tend to buy the store brand and pocket the dollar.
  • So here is the situation: You are at the store deciding which ones to buy.
  • After all, why do you need to internalize them?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • And you could feel good about it; after all, you would be increasing efficiency, not merely acting as a leech to the system.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Say the second country requires the business to do none of those things.
  • The business looks at this new country and decides to move there because, from their standpoint, they can save costs and be more efficient.
  • Outsourcing a job to get it done more cheaply or building a machine to do it more cheaply is really the same.
  • Someday the computer program will lose its job, although I don't know to what.
  • Now, to explain why I think Chad will be getting a better job anyway.
  • It is capped at the value your labor adds to the goods or services you create.
  • Why would your employer pay you more than the value you are able to add?
  • Then they all agree to set the price per flip at $1,000.
  • This action makes the price of a burger go up by $1,000 and drops demand to zero.
  • Machines multiply our labor and increase our ability to do work.
  • Think of all the machines you use to do your job.
  • We only have people doing this work because we have not yet developed the technology to get machines to do it.
  • Any task that could be done a machine is, by definition, dehumanizing to a human being.
  • All people would have tools to make them more productive.
  • This leads me to my second italicized statement:
  • The number of people who want to be challenged by their work is encouragingly high.
  • How many people do you know who say their job stretches them to their maximum potential?
  • And that brings me to my final italicized point: The most underutilized resource in the universe is human potential.
  • Many tasks in life have to be done.
  • Frankly, no one wants to do them, so the only way to get people to do them is to pay them.
  • But what if a machine did everything people really don't want to do?
  • And the sooner we get machines to do the things they can do, freeing up people to do what they can do, the happier and wealthier we all will be.
  • Humanity augmented with technology will lead to ever-increasing productivity.
  • Everyone has to believe there are rules and that they apply to everyone.
  • No one will play the game if the rules only apply to one team. 2.
  • Once someone has something, no one should be able to take it from him or her.
  • Although nations create governments to establish such protections, history shows that all too often, governments fail to do so.
  • 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.
  • (Karel Capek, an acclaimed Czech playwright, coined the word to describe the mechanized workers in his play.)
  • The word is broad in its meaning and I use it in its broadest sense, as a mechanical device built to independently perform a task.
  • To that extent, the contraption that automatically metes out the daily allotment of cat food for your pet is a robot.
  • Depending on function, robots can come in all shapes and sizes, and I see no compelling reason to make them like humans.
  • As robotic technology advances, we are being forced to readjust our expectations of machines' capabilities.
  • What we should not try to do, in my opinion, is give them human traits.
  • 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.
  • It is altogether possible that many people would want to have conversations with their dogs mainly because they regard their dogs as sentient.
  • 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.
  • I'm not about to waste my best material on a machine!
  • Artificial surrogates for human companionship are always vastly inferior to the real thing; we crave connections with people, not machines.
  • No human can solder a billion transistors on a computer processor, so your computer needed a robot in order to be built.
  • 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.
  • I hesitate to start talking about nanotechnology for fear I will not be able to stop—the entire field is amazing to me!
  • To "go nano" is to directly manipulate reality at the atomic level.
  • To "go nano" is to directly manipulate reality at the atomic level.
  • We need no far-out scenarios to see how this will change the world.
  • Researchers also discovered the vaccine was able to restore normal blood sugar levels without using insulin.
  • And the principle at work in this technology could lead to a cure for other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • But let's move on to other jobs they can do outside our bodies.
  • Plus, they will be able to convert heat to electricity as well, so anything that heats up will become an energy source.
  • Windows that can't be broken and can switch from opaque to clear.
  • What I describe above is using a new technology to solve an existing problem.
  • As much as I would like to continue with speculations about molecular-sized machines, I have a larger thesis to prove.
  • 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.
  • If I had to put a number on it, I would say ten thousandfold.
  • 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?
  • Let that sink in: By dividing work up among people so they could specialize, we went from bows and arrows to Apollo moon missions.
  • We can build machines to specialize even further.
  • They can be connected to sensors whose sensitivity dwarfs anything a human can do.
  • We can build these machines to do an incomprehensibly large range of tasks.
  • Oh, and they change color if they detect structural weakness in the material to which they are affixed.
  • And they are so cheap as to nearly be free.
  • Before you commit to a number, think of this.
  • Everything we have talked about relating to the Internet and technology is coming to bear on robotics and nanotechnology.
  • These fields are about to explode with innovation and advancement.
  • 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.
  • I find this very easy to accept.
  • 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.
  • So a thousandfold increase in capacity at one-fortieth the cost is like the $50,000 Mercedes dropping to a buck and a quarter.
  • If the labor to build the Mercedes becomes completely robotic and computerized, then why won't we see that same increase in efficiency?
  • Certainly the labor component of assembling the Mercedes could fall to nearly zero.
  • One would argue that energy costs will remain high.
  • I think no matter what, energy costs will fall dramatically in the future, probably to near zero, because the economic incentives to unlock that technical puzzle are so overwhelming.
  • In the past two centuries with very little technology, we've come from whale oil and wood to solar and nuclear.
  • 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.
  • Technical breakthroughs in the future will come very rapidly, each one used to increase quality and lower costs in order to compete in an ever more competitive marketplace.
  • Innovating will become table stakes just to stay in business, and innovation will be used to lower prices, not to increase them.
  • Let's continue to explore how it may be radically different.
  • And remember, it can be obtained both by a plummeting cost and an increasing value of the thing to you.
  • Imagine when a five-cent computer in your shoe warns you that the way you are walking will lead to spine problems.
  • (Of course, I can't go buy a thousand cans for $2,000 and have them worth $10,000 to me.
  • As we discussed, the Law of Diminishing Returns states that each additional unit of a thing you get is worth a bit less to you than the ones you have already.
  • It is worth $50 to you.
  • This pan's nanite coating means to clean it, you just wipe it with a nanite rag that doesn't stain.
  • It alerts you when the food is about to start burning and needs stirring.
  • But surely a pan that warns you if your house is burning down or your food will kill you has to be worth $200 to you.
  • So, let's say on average the pan is worth $2,000 to everyone who uses it—all the way from the people who just think it is "cool" to the people who it saves from food poisoning to the people whose lives and houses it saves.
  • 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).
  • If you ask it to run your bath, it knows you like the water at 104 degrees.
  • Your house will not be "smart" insofar as it will not seem alive to you any more than your garage door opener or your web browser does.
  • We just want it all to work, to do what it is programmed to do.
  • This house will be cheaper to build than a house today and worth vastly more to you for all the cool things it does.
  • I would love to write more and more about this topic, about how things will get better and cheaper in the future.
  • I will be able to change their color.
  • Are you finding it hard to fathom by now how almost everything can get cheaper and better?
  • The best way to make a chair, known only by a few craftsmen, would be used to make all the chairs better.
  • Everything would be better made because the best way to make a thing could be multiplied across all occurrences of the thing.
  • 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.
  • That brings us back to the thousandfold increase in wealth, which the world will soon experience.
  • Of course, I stand to be corrected on many of the specifics.
  • It is an attempt to capture the essence of the change, not the nominal value of the multiplier.
  • How would it affect the world for everyone's buying power to increase a hundredfold?
  • 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.
  • A poor person with free access to the Internet at the library is wealthier than a poor person with free access to just a library.
  • Given that inequalities in income are likely to grow, how I can I contend that we will see an end of poverty?
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • However, if they are getting wealthier over time, even if the rich are getting wealthier faster, the poor will tend to accept the system more.
  • Beyond Robin Hood: Why radical approaches to wealth redistribution don't work History has witnessed numerous attempts, through radical methods, to raise up the poor by extracting wealth from the rich.
  • One is to hyperinflate currency, which is a massive transfer of wealth from creditors to debtors.
  • Creditors loan out money worth a lot, only to be repaid in money worth less.
  • Governments respond to that inflation by freezing prices.
  • When that happens, refusal to accept the currency is swiftly outlawed and punished harshly.
  • I referred to it as a dance, but it is a dance to economic death.
  • 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.
  • It was a calculated, deliberate move to wipe out the wealthy.
  • Families who owned great houses were able to keep them if they opened them to the public, acted as guides, and only lived in a small part of them.
  • 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.
  • When industries are taken without payment to the property owner, it has a certain legal term.
  • I beg to differ, but I am seldom consulted when such decisions are made.
  • Once a nation shows its willingness to seize foreign-owned property at will, foreign investors are reluctant to do business there again.
  • In no case did these methods and efforts secure a long-term solution to poverty.
  • If the poor remove rich people's incentives to produce economic gain, the rich, who behave somewhat rationally, will stop producing.
  • This is a straight shot to economic poverty for any country desperate enough to try it.
  • 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.
  • Cynics view this as the rich paying off the poor to keep them from revolting.
  • These payments, the cynics would argue, bribe the poor to back the system.
  • Although the poor may not believe that wealth is attainable for them, they do not want to rock the boat and risk disrupting the system that guarantees them at least some income.
  • The optimist would probably try to hug the cynic.
  • If governments are created to protect the life, liberty, and property of their citizenry, what all does that entail?
  • Once borders are secured, nations turn to social order.
  • They coin money in honest and accurate measures and allow this money to trade freely on open markets.
  • They would say, If government is obligated to protect its citizens from a foreign invader, then it is obligated to protect them from a criminal.
  • The more it grows, the more heavy-handed it becomes and the more it tramples the very rights it purports to protect.
  • You are right to quote Jefferson, but you chose the wrong quote.
  • 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.
  • That is all the government needs to tax to bring in the $300 per person per year.
  • It is safe to say that more than a majority of people in rich nations feel this way.
  • It seems that as national income rises, people choose to create larger governments that offer more entitlements and have more expansive powers.
  • In 58 BC, Clodius Pulcher ran on a "free grain for the poor" platform as he tried to become tribune.
  • He worked to apply a means test, pared the rolls back, then died; the rolls swelled again, and his successor again tried to bring them in line, but it was hard.
  • Once a benefit is established, it creates a constituency fiercely dedicated to defending it.
  • 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.
  • It seems that we can afford to spend more on government as income rises.
  • Let's say, to keep the math simple, they go up thirtyfold.
  • So, how much in taxes would you be willing to pay?
  • Why do we have to work for a living?
  • We have to work at jobs to create wealth because as we live our lives, we consume wealth.
  • 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.
  • Are those interest payments to the child "welfare?"
  • Most people would not term that welfare, which has become a loaded phrase associated with the state making a payment to individuals.
  • Some stocks reliably pay dividends, portions of a corporation's profits paid out in cash to its shareholders.
  • So let's say your parents bought Coca Cola stock their entire life, left it all to you, and you are able to live off the dividend payments of the stock.
  • They used that money to buy part of Coca Cola in the form of common stock.
  • It was theirs to do with as they pleased and they chose to give it to you.
  • 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.
  • They may have just moved to Alaska from another state.
  • They aren't responsible for the oil being in Alaska and do nothing to extract the oil from the earth.
  • I think that incomes will rise dramatically to many times what they presently are, in real dollars.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I enjoy those freedoms much like an interest payment or dividend, and I call it "my right" to free speech.
  • As civilization and technology advance, people begin to create more than they consume.
  • 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?
  • This world will gradually come to us.
  • Some people will have a hard time adjusting to the new reality.
  • 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?
  • The implication is always that some people are simply unable to do any job that a machine cannot do.
  • Pretend there is a spectrum of jobs from the best in the world down to the worst and everyone agrees on the order.
  • To the extent this world is a meritocracy, the most talented will be the movie star and the least talented will be hauling manure.
  • First, it would be tempting to assume the person hauling manure can only do that, and if that job disappeared he would have no useful skills.
  • 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.
  • If you were male and born on a farm, you were almost certainly going to be a farmer.
  • By the time you were fifteen, you learned everything you needed to know to be a good farmer.
  • By the time your sons were fifteen, they, too, knew everything they needed to know to be a farmer, and it all continued.
  • The farmers had to learn what it meant to be paid by the hour and to take instructions from supervisors; how to do a task and then the next day, learn a completely new task and do it instead.
  • And yet, we know of no cases of mass "left behind-ness," of people unable to learn how to function in this environment.
  • So these former farmers got jobs in factories, learned to repair equipment, solved problems, became line managers, suggested improvements to processes, and got paid for their effort.
  • Telegraph operators used to have to send every message by hand.
  • Young boys used to manually set up bowling pins after each frame.
  • Lamplighters used to light street lamps every night, before the accursed electricity came along.
  • People used to sweep the streets at night until a machine replaced them.
  • Jobs are created when someone starts a business that takes a thing, adds labor and technology to it, and makes a new thing.
  • However much value the labor can add to the thing is the amount of wage the person can earn.
  • If a million people lose their jobs to a machine, then entrepreneurs start businesses that hire those people to do other things.
  • We still have people in boring, dead-end jobs only because we haven't built a machine to do the work.
  • As I've already said, I believe we will be experiencing so much prosperity in the not-too-distant future that no one will have to work.
  • There will be so much wealth that a minimum income will be guaranteed to everyone.
  • In the prosperous future, one group of people will rise to this challenge.
  • Freed from worry about losing a job they do not enjoy, encouraged to follow their dreams and passions, I believe most will want to do just that.
  • If your job numbs your mind by day, why would anyone expect it to instantly come to life at night?
  • Imagine if all the people with boring, dead-end machine jobs were told they never had to work another day in their life at a job they did not like.
  • So yeah, if you told them to choose between working and not working, many would choose to relax.
  • The idea of having to "earn a living" will be completely foreign to us.
  • As children, we had all these things we liked to do that interested and excited us.
  • But as we grew up, reality set in that market forces did not allow those activities to pay enough to support us, so at some point we all figured out we had to "earn a living."
  • And that meant, for too many of us, ditching what we loved to do and doing the work of a machine.
  • It turns out that he loves to paint.
  • 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.
  • They have something they love and want to do, but if market forces are not such that they can support themselves doing that, they have to do something else.
  • In the future, all people will be able to follow their passions without regard for market forces.
  • Often when I discuss this idea with people, they bring up an objection I have come to call The Spoiled Rich Kid Problem.
  • 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.
  • Now everyone wants to be your friend.
  • Everyone wants to come in and enjoy your AC and play on your Wii.
  • Plus, we have powers formerly attributed to the ancient gods; we can fly, talk to people in other places, and see what is happening elsewhere.
  • 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.
  • For computations, we developed processes that required us to perform many intermediate, error-prone steps to achieve an answer.
  • As machines do ever more things that we used to do, we will have more choices for how we spend our time.
  • 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.
  • Jobs done by people will be only the ones that require uniquely human capabilities to do.
  • These jobs can be market jobs that have the potential to make a person vastly richer, creating more and more wealth on the planet.
  • Or these jobs can be divorced from economic realities, as the struggling painter or actor decides simply to do what he loves and live off the minimum income afforded by this planet-wide prosperity.
  • 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.
  • So the problem must be that we have stretched the planet past its ability to feed its inhabitants, right?
  • Weaponized famine occurs when hunger itself is used to gain a political or military end.
  • This would be the case in a besieged city or a nation using the food supply to keep its citizenry in check.
  • 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.
  • The poor, knowing there to be bread but being economically unable to get it, rioted.
  • After touring the United States for more than nine months in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville returned to his native France and penned the two-volume Democracy in America.
  • It is fascinating reading to this day because the things he notes about the American character are still very much with us.
  • He writes how in Europe when there is a problem, people turn to the government to solve it, but in America, they form what he calls "voluntary associations"—what we might term charities and nonprofits.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • After this came the Great Depression, which so overwhelmed the social support structures that Americans turned to the government for help and have never turned back.
  • Penalty for vagrancy rose over the years from time served in stocks, to whipping, to branding, and then to death.
  • The thought was that the overseer, being local, would be able to separate the lazy from the truly needy.
  • This abuse resulted in an overhaul of the system that sought to tie the poor to their original parish.
  • Ultimately, workhouses would provide shelter to more than one hundred thousand paupers.
  • 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.
  • This involved making the poor wear prison uniforms and only providing enough food to avoid starvation.
  • The theory was that life in the workhouse had to be worse than life outside the workhouse, otherwise it would be overrun with the poor.
  • When the economy entered recession, the workhouse conditions had to be worsened more.
  • According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, more than 1.5 million 501(c) charitable organizations exist in the United States.
  • An important point to make here is this: Historically, the welfare state only emerges to solve problems that private charities either cannot or will not solve.
  • In other words, civil government steps in to take over roles traditionally provided by private charity only when charities no longer provide the service.
  • Governments create entitlements due to public demand for them, and public demand exists where the need is not filled.
  • But it is hard to deny the underlying need.
  • 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?
  • If this chapter angers the Right and Left, the Greens and Browns, the capitalists and socialists, the nutritionists and farmers, I apologize to all in advance.
  • I take no side other than to be against hunger.
  • 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.
  • Add to that how food itself is changing, our food choices change, our lifestyles change, and all along the way we are aging.
  • At every turn, this becomes more difficult to study.
  • 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.
  • And second, people are really bad at connecting cause and effect in their lives when it comes to things like this.
  • We tend to notice every time the expected effect is triggered by the cause, but may not notice all the times it isn't.
  • And that can be hard to hear.
  • The second way people choose a nutritional theory is to develop it from their overall social and political understanding of the world.
  • If you think "Western Medicine" is a business whose goal is to keep you sick to sell you medicines, you will tend to move away from genetically modified foods and favor organic.
  • If you love "Western medicine" and think all acupuncturists are "quacks," then you are not likely to heed (or even appreciate) your friend's well-meaning efforts to get you to drink your own urine for its health benefits.
  • 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.
  • So our ability to find cause and effect in that—and to really discern fact from fallacy, what's good from what's bad for us—is highly suspect.
  • This will produce extremely specific nutritional information for just you, will add years to your life, and will increase its quality as well.
  • 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.
  • Some methods and technologies that show promise to end famine are controversial.
  • We already produce more than enough food to feed the planet.
  • That's right: India is a net food exporter to the tune of US$6 billion a year.
  • 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.
  • My point here is that currently the planet is producing enough food to feed everyone on it.
  • 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.
  • The problem is that the poor don't have enough money to afford the food.
  • 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.
  • But in a real sense, it also makes the problem that much easier to solve in the future.
  • Bringing an end to poverty, then, will also help bring an end to hunger.
  • This leads to the proverbial "lean years" and "fat years."
  • In the lean years, harvests are small and farmers sometimes don't even produce enough to have surplus to sell.
  • Farmers need to have supplies of seed, fertilizer, tractors, and fuel.
  • They need to be able to irrigate without relying solely on rain.
  • To harvest their crops, they need equipment and suitable storage facilities.
  • They need trucks to transport their goods and roads to drive the trucks on.
  • They need markets to sell goods in and stable currencies.
  • Without this, it is impossible to farm at scale.
  • There is some debate as to whether the poor should even try to feed themselves.
  • Those who argue they should not say there is no way for poor countries to compete with mechanized Western farming and the extremely high yields it produces.
  • Instead, the poorest nations should simply resign themselves to importing their food from abroad and instead get jobs working in cities in factories.
  • Others say poor nations need to develop free markets in agriculture and strongly discourage government intervention.
  • Regardless of who is "right," the harm comes if you try to do all these things at once.
  • Going back and forth between these strategies is problematic, to say the least.
  • 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.
  • In that case, they have to compete with rich, high-tech, government-subsidized industries.
  • As nice as it would be for the Japan strategy to work in the developing world, I don't think these countries can count on it.
  • Heck, even Japan only recently allowed imports of rice and taxes the imports at 500 percent in order to protect their rice farmers.
  • Say the poor decide they cannot compete with a modern farm, so they move to the city and get a job at a factory.
  • 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.
  • During the Great Depression in the United States, many unemployed Americans simply left the city and went back to farm life, sometimes living with relatives.
  • 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.
  • The urban half clearly have no opportunity to farm.
  • 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.
  • Indigenous animals are not well-suited to be domesticated and assist in farming.
  • Crops native to Africa are not the staples of the world.
  • Ever since we've had agriculture, people have been employing technology to make it better.
  • By the early twentieth century, most manufacturing of fertilizer had switched to the synthetic production of ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate.
  • To consider the great opportunity we can find in these inefficiencies, let's begin by talking about Norman Borlaug.
  • To pay for his college education, Borlaug would periodically put his education on hold to find work.
  • To pay for his college education, Borlaug would periodically put his education on hold to find work.
  • Workers made $30 a month, $25 of which went to their parents.
  • Stakman had determined that immunity to these diseases, or at least resistance, could be bred into crops.
  • This Cooperative Wheat Research Production Program, in which Borlaug took part, aimed to boost Mexican wheat production.
  • In the first ten years of attempting to make better hybrids, Borlaug's group made more than six thousand crossings of wheat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Although there was cultural opposition in India to Borlaug's methods and seeds, the famine was so bad by 1965 that the government stepped in and urged the project forward.
  • 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.
  • 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 had no way to collaborate with scientists in other places, no Internet, and no library.
  • He would pollinate a wheat stalk, then cover it with a trash bag to prevent contamination by other plants.
  • 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.
  • What if you knew exactly what to plant, when to plant it, when to harvest it?
  • And then, the seeds we are using aren't anything to write home about, either.
  • Eventually, the pea was as large as its genetic potential allowed it to be.
  • All the seeds we have today have these inherent limits built into them that we still haven't figured out how to change.
  • We apply inefficient agricultural techniques to grow and harvest them, and then we inefficiently distribute them.
  • How much more should we be able to with the Internet, computers, and other technology?
  • To describe ending hunger in the future, I have only these tarnished terms of the present at my disposal.
  • I ask the reader to resist the urge to pigeonhole me until the end of the section.
  • Only the decision making is left to the farmer—but in the near future, the decision making will be done better by computers.
  • Computers can determine when to plant seed and even what to plant.
  • The farm of the future will rotate crops automatically and decide which fields to leave fallow.
  • The farm of today already has tractors that use GPS to make perfectly parallel rows with great precision.
  • By 1860, it was down to 60 percent; by 1920, 40 percent; by 1940, 20 percent; and by 1960, 6 percent.
  • As I write this, it is down to 2 percent.
  • By what logic would anyone assume it will not go to zero?
  • Mechanization and automation—both of which are about to get a lot better.
  • I know this sounds awful to a lot of people.
  • Instead, it is a large, open-air farm with a robot assigned to make each turnip be all that it can be.
  • Exportable technology can function around the world.
  • 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.
  • A traitor to the cause?
  • Every morning before I went to school I had chores to do, which began with mixing up the formula and feeding the calves.
  • We like these varieties and their tie to history.
  • And I go to any farmers market I happen across.
  • 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.
  • I write this to establish my bona fides as someone who truly cares about good food.
  • But I do not believe these technological leaps forward are a threat to good food.
  • I foresee a day when, on a Sunday afternoon, a family might drive (or actually be driven by their car) out to a farm to see where food comes from.
  • The proverbial "Little Timmy" will find it hard to believe that food isn't manufactured like electronics but grown like an animal.
  • Long term, we will be better off manufacturing our food as opposed to growing it.
  • Plus, raising plants and animals takes a long time and is a lot of work to boot.
  • I am certain this idea is going to take some time to get used to.
  • At times, it may be best to just enjoy the meal and not ask too many questions.
  • Food can be optimized according to three factors, broadly speaking: taste, price, and nutrition.
  • And we all know about those that optimize for cost and nutrition but the resulting food tastes awful; I have consumed enough wheatgrass to attest to this.
  • Similarly, seed makers are judged by the crops the seeds grow into—specifically, the yield and how long it takes to get it.
  • 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.
  • But again, this could happen in nature, so it is hard to see how we can object to this.
  • 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.
  • The law was a win for the environment.
  • Where transgenesis offers the most amazing possibilities is in GM foods because it allows plants to exceed their maximum genetic potential.
  • This is exactly the kind of problem geneticists can sink their teeth into, so to speak, to make the protein in this grain digestible.
  • GMO could make this a crop that Africa could easily use to feed itself, gain food independence, and maybe even export.
  • To sequence corn's genome took four years and cost US$30 million.
  • In any case, it seems better to me than irradiating corn, planting it, and hoping to hit a jackpot.
  • In any case, there are other ways to use genetic modification to get energy.
  • Venter's plan is to use bacteria to brew fuel, much like we brew beer today.
  • Don't limit it just to plants.
  • If you worry about gas emissions from cows contributing to climate change, lobby for a cow that doesn't have gas.
  • In 2006, a pig was genetically engineered to produce healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • (If that can be achieved, to my readers under age twelve, I hold out the possibility of Brussels sprouts that taste like chocolate.)
  • For environmentalist organizations like Greenpeace to be against GMO in all its forms under all conditions does nothing at all to serve them or the constituencies they purport to represent.
  • 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.
  • Weigh that against the certainty that nearly a billion people are hungry right now and I don't know why we would decline to acquire this knowledge.
  • We can empower people to feed themselves.
  • Collaboration, communication, access to information, and the other advantages that the Internet brings will all come to bear here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This same technology will allow farming to be much, much more efficient.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • And advances in drip irrigation, which itself isn't exactly new but is becoming far more widespread and ever more efficient, allows crops to be grown with massively less water.
  • In the not too distant future, tiny robots will detect pests on produce and emit a signal to shoo them away.
  • And fascinating new ways to transport foods will keep them significantly fresher.
  • Everything that happens to it will be recorded.
  • Different techniques could be applied to different plants side by side to constantly be refining agricultural processes.
  • Cheap sensors, cloud computing, self-teaching algorithms with feedback loops and sufficient cycles to test a large number of techniques.
  • That's all you need to optimize agriculture.
  • I know it sounds all futuristic and expensive now, but what if this technology falls to just a few dollars per acre?
  • How would it not find its way to the poorest regions of the earth?
  • 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.
  • It can sell produce abroad for better rates, give farmers predictability in pricing and flexibility on when to sell, and act as a storehouse against lean times in the future.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Idle computer time employed to solve the world's problems.
  • You can install Boinc software on your computer, choose a project you want your computer to work on when you are away from it, and maybe do your bit to change the world.
  • A leader can only afford to let her people go hungry when she doesn't answer to them.
  • The world is quickly moving to participatory government.
  • According to the Center for Systemic Peace's tally, the world went from just twenty democracies in 1946 to ninety-two in 2009.
  • Grass roots efforts to assist people in need.
  • If you decide to participate in the loan, you can kick in $25 or more.
  • Once the amount the fish seller requested is reached, the loan is funded and funds are transferred to her.
  • At some point, the loan is repaid to the local agency and your money comes back to you.
  • Micro-lending is not new; the idea of small loans to the entrepreneurial poor is centuries old.
  • There are those who would elevate the right to food as being a fundamental human right.
  • The word "unalienable" (or "inalienable"—they are interchangeable) means, "unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor."
  • You cannot give away your right to live.
  • You cannot sell to someone the right to kill you or hold you prisoner.
  • To think of the right to life as somehow different than a right to food is hard for me.
  • To think of the right to life as somehow different than a right to food is hard for me.
  • It is akin to saying you have a right to life but not a right to a heart.
  • I do not say this to advance any political doctrine.
  • I am not saying governments are supposed to feed the world or that food should be free.
  • 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."
  • Rights do not mean much, he reasoned, to those with an "empty stomach, shirtless back, roofless dwellings ... unemployment and poverty, no education or medical attention."
  • How do we respond to this?
  • What would we say to Borlaug if we met him in a cornfield and ended up discussing the world's problems over a beer somewhere?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • As people were dying in large numbers around them, officials did not think to save them.
  • Their only concern was how to fulfill the delivery of grain.
  • Yang also quotes Mao as saying in a 1959 meeting, When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death.
  • It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.
  • 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.
  • The hungrier people were ... the less likely they were to run away.
  • If people were permanently obsessed with food, all individual thought, all capacity to argue, even people's sex drive, would disappear.
  • Water isn't free; someone is paying a bill to purify the water that comes through that fountain.
  • Roosevelt went on to outline what he believed would be in this Second Bill of Rights: food, medicine, shelter, and so on.
  • The full quote runs: "Necessitous men are not, truly speaking, free men, but, to answer a present exigency, will submit to any terms that the crafty may impose upon them."
  • It would be tempting to characterize Roosevelt's remarks as socialistic.
  • The individual had no liberties, or at least very few, but in exchange was, in theory, entitled to certain economic rights.
  • 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.
  • To elevate food to the status of a human right does not require government to administer it—far from it.
  • 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?
  • To the conservatives, call it a tax rebate; to the liberals, an entitlement.
  • To the conservatives, call it a tax rebate; to the liberals, an entitlement.
  • In the United States, de Tocqueville's voluntary associations still do the job and anyone willing to make her way to a church or food pantry and say she is hungry will not leave empty handed.
  • 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?
  • Would you be proud to call him a friend?
  • 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?
  • We might pay a premium to support a family farm.
  • But over time, as incomes around the world rise, people will migrate more and more to products associated with social practices that match their own ideals.
  • We will learn to grow more crops in more places, and make great breakthroughs relating to our seeds and our systems.
  • As we understand our own genome better, we will know better how to eat in a way that is custom tailored for us.
  • 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.
  • All this will happen eventually, I believe, even if global hunger policy were not to change one iota.
  • But I also believe that hunger will end when we decide to end it, not only at the point when we are able to end it.
  • We could decide today to end it—by, well, simply deciding to.
  • We just don't want to badly enough.
  • Deciding to end hunger today saves the lives of millions, and we have the technology to do it.
  • Throughout this book, I've insisted the way to know the future is by studying the past.
  • Do not expect this to be a uniformly reassuring journey; it may be more of a roller-coaster ride with some rather bleak descents.
  • Maybe you will agree it to be possible, but after reading this chapter, you will likely think it is improbable.
  • Something akin to getting a date with Miss America: Sure, in theory, possible—but realistically, it ain't gonna happen.
  • The following chapter catalogs the difficulties inherent in trying to end war, which in the past brought misery and destruction and in the future could bring annihilation.
  • It's a pretty hopeless place to take a reader.
  • Out of the blue, the cavalry comes to the rescue.
  • 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.
  • He pulls up next to a farmer and asks the farmer how to get to a certain place.
  • My goal is to explain how we can all get there from here.
  • Jordanes, a Goth, wrote the following about the Huns in 551: They are beings who are cruel to their children on the very day they are born.
  • 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.
  • The implication is that any time they nursed, they felt pain as well, to learn at an early age that there is no pleasure to be had in life without pain.
  • The Third Servile War occurred in the Roman Republic from 73 BC to 71 BC.
  • They were lined up as far as the eye could see on the Apian Way, the main road through Rome, as a warning to other slaves who might consider rebellion.
  • I will spare my readers a description of this other than to say it is exactly what it sounds like.
  • I offer these stories not to demonstrate that people can be cruel.
  • The disturbing thing to realize is we would have been those people had we been born in those times.
  • I want to spend some time talking about civilization, but first I want to recount the progress that we have made through civilization.
  • This is not a defense of our present age; we will come to our own report card soon enough.
  • 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.
  • We no longer force prisoners to kill each other for our amusement.
  • People in power used to be able to order executions as capriciously as the queen did in Alice in Wonderland.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It is no longer legal for people to be secretly arrested, not charged, and left to rot in jail.
  • We have come to expect due process for all.
  • Trials are expected to be open and public.
  • The right to representation is spreading around the world.
  • 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.
  • In contrast, courts of law apply the law to everyone.
  • 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.
  • The Netherlands and Belgium fell from forty-seven in 1300s to about one today.
  • Scandinavia was at forty-six in the 1400s and has fallen to one today.
  • Germany and Switzerland fell from thirty-seven in the 1300s to about one today.
  • More and more, those wishing to change the status quo adopt this as their primary tactic.
  • Gradually, civilization seems to be learning this.
  • Maybe you think prisoners have it too easy serving time while their victims struggle to piece their lives back together.
  • It is true that there is much disagreement over how to achieve these ideals, but the fact remains we want a just society for all.
  • The point is that it is now illegal in every state, with Louisiana being the last to outlaw it in 2008.
  • The point is that he went to jail for it.
  • These documents, products themselves of civilization, try to provide legal protections for the most elemental features of civilization.
  • It is not surprising that we are taking awhile to get it right.
  • Then war can become obsolete, as foreign to us as slavery and public hangings.
  • We will see how this might come to pass—but first, let's ask whether it must.
  • After all, we have had war almost constantly throughout history and yet have still managed to progress.
  • To be clear: I am not a pacifist.
  • 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.
  • President Dwight Eisenhower, lifelong military man and five-star general, had much to say on the waging of war.
  • 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."
  • Journalist Brooks Atkinson, said: "After each war, there is a little less democracy left to save."
  • Nearly two terms of fighting the Cold War led him to conclude, as he put it, War in our time has become an anachronism.
  • The ability of humanity to destroy is now exponentially higher.
  • It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.
  • In the past, humanity has been able to sustain both wars and progress.
  • We know it is easier to destroy than to create.
  • Is it possible to end war?
  • But it is obvious to me that we can end war.
  • It is certainly possible to conceive of a single day without war.
  • It was a way for that generation to ask, Why is there war?
  • Why don't we just decide to stop?
  • Those asking it didn't offer a means for the world to escape from war.
  • It was a rhetorical question and, to those posing it, simply a wish—just another way to say, "Why can't we all just get along?"
  • My aim is to show you how war will end and convince you that the end of war is inevitable.
  • War occurs for a very simple reason: To some nations at some time, war is preferable to peace.
  • War occurs for a very simple reason: To some nations at some time, war is preferable to peace.
  • If it can be demonstrated that in the future, peace will always be preferable to all nations, then war will end.
  • In our individual countries, sets of laws are created by the citizenry and are designed to protect life, liberty, and property.
  • We have a police force and a court system to apply the laws equally to all.
  • The way to end war is not to set up some big world government or eliminate nation-states, which will always retain the right to take unilateral military action to defend themselves.
  • Nation-states allow groups of people to create governments that reflect their common values.
  • Accountability must be at as low a level as possible, so that if government officials mess up, they answer to constituents in their locality.
  • 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.
  • They can standardize in a thousand more ways to a world economy, while maintaining their values, traditions, and distinctions.
  • 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.
  • After all, World War I was called The War to End War.
  • 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.
  • To raise a child to adulthood requires your heart, energy, time, and wealth.
  • To raise a child to adulthood requires your heart, energy, time, and wealth.
  • Then someone else decides to send that child, at eighteen, to another land to kill people and to die?
  • Someone else decides to empty the cities and send all the young people to go fight in the war?
  • They are elected or appointed to protect the rights of the citizens, yet they become the agents of their death.
  • But not, to be sure, without obstacles.
  • I can easily list a half-dozen reasons this goal will be difficult to achieve.
  • Second, in the past, technological improvements did not decrease human beings' propensity to wage war; they only made people better at killing.
  • 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."
  • We do seem strangely drawn to war.
  • We raise children to play with war toys.
  • In this chapter, I offer forty-three developments, dynamics, and new realities I believe will work together to bring about an end to war.
  • Because military accomplishments were one way to do that, the military attracted the most ambitious young men eager to prove themselves—and "proving themselves" meant battle.
  • While military service was less important to securing work in commerce, that was not a particularly noteworthy occupation.
  • 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.
  • In the modern age, we have simply transferred the competition to a new arena: the business world.
  • They didn't enter war to satisfy a desire to kill and maim but to be victorious in the way their society rewarded.
  • The wealthier a nation gets, the more it stands to lose in war, and the less marginal utility it gains in conquest.
  • If you have everything you have ever wanted, you have less to gain and more to lose by invading your neighbor.
  • Because it is cheaper to destroy than create, advances in technology increase our ability to destroy.
  • One can only assume it would be substantially more if it were to be leveled with a nuclear device.
  • This has to be a serious deterrent to Japan (as an example).
  • The only winning move is not to play.
  • It is hard to see how all-out war turns a profit for anyone in any scenario.
  • The seventeenth-century Spanish writer Baltasar Gracián once offered this advice: "Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose."
  • We are used to non-rationed goods, unlimited food in grocery stores, and the overall widespread availability of inexpensive quality products.
  • That makes us all de facto millionaires, and very committed to remaining so.
  • Because we value them, we are reluctant to give them up without a really good reason.
  • This is not to say that if another Pearl Harbor or another 9/11 occurred, people in any country wouldn't rise to the occasion and make great sacrifices if needed.
  • They have no economic advantage in going to war.
  • This is not to say that businesses are so materialistic they will favor a war to get a government contract.
  • But let's adopt the cynic's view for a moment and assume people in these corporations are chiefly concerned about their financial benefit, not about human suffering, when it comes to war.
  • If the nation goes to war, the military would need more C2000s, right?
  • (Not to mention the fact that, if the stuff all hits the fan, widget factories like yours would almost certainly be marked with bull's-eyes on the enemy's aerial bombing maps.)
  • 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.
  • It is yet another major disincentive to war—and we are only six items into our list!
  • It is a pacific system, operating to cordialize mankind, by rendering nations, as well as individuals, useful to each other.
  • Centuries ago, North America saw a shortage of small coins, so large ones were cut into bits to circulate as small change.
  • In the modern age, money is once again represented by bits, but a different kind altogether: Money went from gold to paper and is now digital.
  • In addition to that, many Americans own stock in other countries through their retirement savings.
  • 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.
  • It is bad in that it allows a few to harm the many.
  • The weak can now do substantial harm to the strong.
  • 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 bully will now be more inclined to leave the kid alone.
  • Now, let's move on to the political factors that will cause war to cease.
  • To him, it is a chess game, not personal combat.)
  • While kings claimed they ruled by a divine right, dictators claimed their right to rule through might.
  • The theory is that democracies do not go to war with other democracies.
  • If you think about it, it is hard to come up with an exception.
  • In World War II, the United States went to war with Germany, Italy, and Japan, a trio of undemocratic countries.
  • But all in all, the theory seems to hold.
  • It is unprecedented for so many nations to change their form of government so quickly and peacefully.
  • This led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia on July 28, 1914.
  • Russia, obligated by treaty to defend Serbia, mobilized its army.
  • Germany, an ally of Austria-Hungary, was obligated by treaty to defend it.
  • It took one week for a localized event to escalate to world war.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • People can come together and choose a form of government suitable to them.
  • Tiny countries willing to engage in free trade with their neighbors can prosper.
  • I am saying that for small nations to be economically and politically viable is good news for peace.
  • 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.
  • They expected the king to choose one border or another, not create his own compromise border.
  • Tensions mounted all through the 1830s as militias were raised on both sides in what later came to be known as the Aroostook War, even though there was never actually a war or casualties.
  • Is it OK to dump nuclear waste in the ocean?
  • It is a willing agreement to a set of values and procedures, and a standard of conduct.
  • The demise of war will be hastened when every impulse to war is regarded, at least initially, with a healthy measure of distrust.
  • 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.
  • Now, to drunk driving.
  • In a fine Alfred Hitchcock movie called Notorious, the troubled character played by Ingrid Bergman gets very drunk at a party and asks Cary Grant to come for a drive.
  • We need to stigmatize war in the same fashion.
  • As Alfred Einstein once observed, "Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war."
  • While the right thing to do is never to drive drunk, be a smoker, or be a racist, occasionally war is the right thing to do.
  • The day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, civilization had to be defended.
  • Thanks to the burgeoning of technology and social media, public opinion is the most powerful political force in the world today.
  • But maybe as a civilization, we have to talk out loud to figure out where we stand, to make progress.
  • Well, here we are, not quite halfway through our list of ways the Internet, technology, and civilization will come together to end war.
  • Poor communication leads to war.
  • This was done in large part because the two powers came so close to going to war over the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • In the absence of efficient communication, potential belligerents are left to impute the worst possible motives to the unexplained actions of others.
  • First, the web promotes access to information, a huge force for peace.
  • Second, in addition to facts, the web has become the face of almost all organizations of the planet.
  • It gives everyone a chance to make her case and be heard.
  • 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.
  • Plus it promotes empathy, the ability to see the other guy's viewpoint.
  • Third, the web acts as a feedback loop in that it allows all people to say what is on their minds.
  • Very seldom is that, "I should go to war to force others to my will."
  • 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.
  • It is inefficient because I must know to follow people in order to receive their updates, and that knowing spreads haphazardly.
  • 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.
  • Already, we get a glimpse of what is to come.
  • More precisely, it catalogues and tracks them and then allows you to communicate with them easily.
  • They may not bump into them very often in what we call "everyday life" but do know them well enough to friend them.
  • We tend to regard information that comes to us through our friend network as more authentic and reliable than information we receive from traditional media.
  • Also, simply having a Facebook friend in Albania will tend to make you more interested in the events of Albania.
  • 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.
  • Organizations have encouraged "pen pals for peace" exchanges—but such efforts tend to be limited in scale, and if there is one thing Facebook has, it is scale.
  • Friedman goes on to point out that almost anywhere in the world today, it would be impossible to get away with this fraud.
  • 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.
  • It is necessary to protect life, liberty, and property.
  • However, practically speaking, it sometimes has a corrupting influence on those whom it empowers to act for the state.
  • If this happens, the government becomes an agent that works against the very ideals it purports to protect.
  • Practically speaking, governments often act as if their first duty is to protect the government, not the people.
  • Thus, governments are very sensitive to criticism and to challenges to their authority.
  • Free elections can be threatening as well, literally to their livelihoods.
  • More information leads to more peace, unless you want to argue that ignorance is more peaceful.
  • 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.
  • According to Portio Research7.8 trillion SMS messages were sent in 2011, and it is expected that 2012's number will come in at ten trillion.
  • They were men of ideas who were forced by circumstance to become soldiers.
  • We have seen it most recently and most profoundly in the Arab Spring, where the motto we see again and again is Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam, or "The people want to bring down the regime."
  • People want to be free.
  • Free people establish governments to protect their rights.
  • Those rights lead to prosperity and security, and wars serve no use.
  • 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.
  • In point #29, we described how peace is served when mobile devices allow people to organize and communicate in a widely distributed fashion.
  • All of this means examples of atrocities by the government or by the mob are increasingly likely to be documented and publicized.
  • The Internet is still able to be "turned off" by despotic rulers.
  • Two interesting government programs are under way in the United States, according to a June 2011 article in The New York Times.
  • The effort includes secretive projects to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries, the paper reported.
  • Enabling people to communicate in a method with which their governments cannot interfere is a force for freedom and peace.
  • I know this is a controversial forecast, and to many people a very depressing one, but I think it is both inevitable and good.
  • 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.
  • To be successful in the world, for a while both English and one's native tongue will be requirements.
  • But English seems to have taken hold, thanks to the Internet.
  • 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.
  • I mention these reprehensible actions to illustrate how language can divide us.
  • Honestly, if we all spoke the same language today, would you want to change that?
  • Computers will be able to reproduce them at will and hobbyists will still study them.
  • As difficult as it might be to "let go," this is good for peace.
  • 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.
  • In 2006, roughly a billion people had access to the Internet.
  • If it were a person, it still couldn't even order a beer to toast itself for all it has done in such a short time.
  • Educated people seem to pose more of a threat to autocrats.
  • It is to this end that we want to educate you ...
  • In 1966, Mao Zedong closed the universities in China and sent their students and professors to the country to farm.
  • This all leads to more peaceful states.
  • A shift in power to the young.
  • With money, you can buy machinery or hire workers to do your work.
  • Young people, who would be expected to do the dying if another war came, are generally more determined to keep the peace than their elders.
  • 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.
  • American universities are thought by many to be among the best in the world.
  • 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.
  • When you have visited a place, you will find it harder to advocate its destruction.
  • Here is a fact to get your head around: In 1980, about seven million Americans had a passport.
  • More people using passports to travel internationally will increase understanding and help reduce touch points that could lead to war.
  • We should totally go to war with them.
  • The United States contributes much to this, including its movies, products such as iPhones, and websites such as Google, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon, and eBay.
  • And, of course, American fast food is the food the world loves to say it hates.
  • It isn't just that we can communicate better but that we actually relate to each other better.
  • One might have expected to find YouTube making its cameo in the earlier "communication" section, but I deliberately moved it here.
  • 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.
  • Now video is everywhere—on my phone, in my cab in New York, and in the elevator as I zoom to the fourteenth floor.
  • Now, on a regular basis, videos appear which bring to life something that would otherwise be merely an ill-formed image in our minds.
  • Instead of reading words on a page and trying to imagine a concept, we can see it, as the old expression goes, in Technicolor.
  • YouTube's contribution to world peace is not simply to add empathy to current events, although that would be enough.
  • You view it as your duty to protest when people who do not hold to those values gain power.
  • They view the opposition by others to the actions of their country as treason, or at least, inexplicably self-destructive.
  • But we do not have to rely solely on those.
  • This civilizing process seems to be picking up steam.
  • The social reformer of the past is depicted as a dour spinster wielding an axe to break barrels of "Demon Rum."
  • Can you imagine the public reaction to that today: A quarter of a million people killed or wounded in a single day?
  • We seem to have lost our stomach for these kinds of losses.
  • There are pros and cons to this, to be sure, but overall, this has increased our empathy.
  • It has increased our desire for peace and our unwillingness to wage war.
  • But the critical question is, will they resort to war to resolve them?
  • People will always try to get other people to do what they want them to.
  • This is how our Founding Fathers intended our nation to behave: To try to achieve our foreign policy aims through negotiation and, if that failed, through economic sanctions.
  • This is how our Founding Fathers intended our nation to behave: To try to achieve our foreign policy aims through negotiation and, if that failed, through economic sanctions.
  • Anything different doesn't seem as human to us and we instinctively recoil from it.
  • My answer to that begins in the past, in the time of William Shakespeare.
  • We don't find ourselves endlessly returning to their work again and again.
  • 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.
  • In Othello is a character named Iago, an evil man who never does anything illegal himself but is always planting ideas in other people's minds, to get them to do his dirty work.
  • He convinces Othello that Desdemona, Othello's wife, is unfaithful to him.
  • Macbeth is the story of a ruthless wife, Lady Macbeth, who persuades her husband to murder the king and take his throne.
  • King Lear is about a father who has three daughters—two who flatter him, but a third who speaks honestly and bluntly to him because she loves him.
  • Infuriated, the king disowns the honest daughter and gives the kingdom to the two deceptive daughters.
  • Hold that thought, as we will return to it.
  • But first we must go further back, from Shakespeare at the end of the sixteenth century to Plato around 370 BC.
  • He told Simonides he was only going to pay him half the fee and if he wanted the other half, he should collect it from Castor and Pollux.
  • He went to the door but didn't see anyone so went outside to look for them.
  • Two millennia later, it is fair to assume that humans are still capable of this kind of memory.
  • But with rare exceptions, we simply don't train our brains to do this particular task.
  • My memory is a big part of who I am and I have no desire to trade any of it away.
  • Augustine records that this idea blew his mind (or words to that effect).
  • Processing aurally was familiar to Augustine while reading silently was revelatory, so noteworthy that he wrote it in his autobiography.
  • That is just so alien to me.
  • 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.
  • And it will come at no cost to our humanity.
  • I owe this passion to my high school friend Jason.
  • So it was natural that to earn extra money, Jason and I would buy cool, old cars we found in junkyards for a few hundred dollars apiece.
  • We would recite it to each other like a Homeric epic.
  • 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.
  • Oddly, it still seemed reasonable even as we coasted through three red lights to get home.
  • It also seemed perfectly reasonable to take the 1962 Nash Metropolitan for a spin around the block, even though it didn't have brakes either.
  • The problem for us was always that it is easier to get a car running than it is to fix the brakes.
  • It just happens to be the case with old cars.
  • From those adventures, though, I did learn (the hard way) to think ahead about what could possibly go wrong.
  • Though the world foreseen in this book may seem far away to you, I believe it will be achieved—and once achieved, that it will grow in stability over time.
  • My grandmother used to say, "There is many a slip between cup and lip."
  • Then we will list the things that might derail us on the way to that future.
  • So let's review my key points to see if they are compelling.
  • 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.
  • Wealth and society encourage civilization, which is advantageous to everyone.
  • 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.
  • That is to say, wealth creation is about to skyrocket.
  • 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 diseases because they individually want to cure them.
  • Once they become more educated, they are better able to participate in the modern economy.
  • 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.
  • Their ability to inflict carnage will rise in the future.
  • The government operating in its correct role is instrumental to civilization.
  • Love it or hate it, this seems to be where we are going.
  • Instead, you have to find small things over which to argue, like whether the capital gains tax should be raised.
  • 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.
  • Our republic has prospered because it fiercely protected life, liberty, and property, and must continue to do so.
  • Other than cataclysm, asymmetrical attack, or government gone wild, we have little to worry about.
  • "Big Whale Oil" couldn't stop the move to kerosene.
  • 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.
  • A term, "techno-utopian," is often applied to people who believe a technology will bring about a perfect world.
  • I think the range of problems that technology can solve is confined to technological problems.
  • Is there possibly a solution to it?
  • If the answers to those questions are affirmative, then making assumptions about increasing rates of technological progress is very reasonable.
  • However, I don't think finding these solutions means an end to all our troubles.
  • But a world without want and without disease, a world with opportunity for all, is a world where getting along—even when we don't see eye to eye—is going to be a good bit easier.
  • This book is a call to action, not complacency.
  • My goal is not to convince people that the world will be perfect in the future.
  • Rather, I aim to show that the world will be what we make it to be.
  • As a historian, I know it has been the vanity of every age to think it represents a high point in history.
  • Everything is about to change.
  • I think the technological leap beyond the next one will take us to the stars.
  • After all, we live in a universe that looks like it has plenty of room for us to expand into.
  • I think we will learn to conquer distance though a method of which we cannot yet conceive.
  • But we will see it begin to take shape and will know that we were there the moment the world changed.
  • He married Lucy Helen Everett, who belonged to the same family of Everetts as Edward Everett and Dr. Edward Everett Hale.
  • After the war was over the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
  • It is a custom in the South to build a small house near the homestead as an annex to be used on occasion.
  • 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.
  • It was the word "water," and I continued to make some sound for that word after all other speech was lost.
  • I ceased making the sound "wah-wah" only when I learned to spell the word.
  • The impulse gone, I fell down and cried for her to take me up in her arms.
  • I only know that I sat in my mother's lap or clung to her dress as she went about her household duties.
  • My hands felt every object and observed every motion, and in this way I learned to know many things.
  • Soon I felt the need of some communication with others and began to make crude signs.
  • If I wanted my mother to make ice-cream for dinner I made the sign for working the freezer and shivered, indicating cold.
  • I always knew when she wished me to bring her something, and I would run upstairs or anywhere else she indicated.
  • Indeed, I owe to her loving wisdom all that was bright and good in my long night.
  • I knew by the way my mother and aunt dressed when they were going out, and I invariably begged to go with them.
  • On a sudden thought I ran upstairs before any one could stop me, to put on my idea of a company dress.
  • Thus attired I went down to help entertain the company.
  • I do not remember when I first realized that I was different from other people; but I knew it before my teacher came to me.
  • But I cannot remember any instance in which this feeling prevented me from repeating the naughtiness when I failed to get what I wanted.
  • I was strong, active, indifferent to consequences.
  • I knew my own mind well enough and always had my own way, even if I had to fight tooth and nail for it.
  • 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.
  • When we were fortunate enough to find a nest I never allowed her to carry the eggs home, making her understand by emphatic signs that she might fall and break them.
  • 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.
  • They allowed us to grind the spices, pick over the raisins and lick the stirring spoons.
  • 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.
  • Belle, our dog, my other companion, was old and lazy and liked to sleep by the open fire rather than to romp with me.
  • I tried hard to teach her my sign language, but she was dull and inattentive.
  • One day I happened to spill water on my apron, and I spread it out to dry before the fire which was flickering on the sitting-room hearth.
  • The apron did not dry quickly enough to suit me, so I drew nearer and threw it right over the hot ashes.
  • I made a terrified noise that brought Viny, my old nurse, to the rescue.
  • 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.
  • After my teacher, Miss Sullivan, came to me, I sought an early opportunity to lock her in her room.
  • I could not be induced to tell where the key was.
  • My father was obliged to get a ladder and take Miss Sullivan out through the window--much to my delight.
  • When I was about five years old we moved from the little vine-covered house to a large new one.
  • 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.
  • I was greatly puzzled to know what he was doing.
  • My father was most loving and indulgent, devoted to his home, seldom leaving us, except in the hunting season.
  • Next to his family he loved his dogs and gun.
  • His hospitality was great, almost to a fault, and he seldom came home without bringing a guest.
  • His special pride was the big garden where, it was said, he raised the finest watermelons and strawberries in the county; and to me he brought the first ripe grapes and the choicest berries.
  • I remember his caressing touch as he led me from tree to tree, from vine to vine, and his eager delight in whatever pleased me.
  • She is so near to me that it almost seems indelicate to speak of her.
  • I knew that I had ceased to be my mother's only darling, and the thought filled me with jealousy.
  • She sat in my mother's lap constantly, where I used to sit, and seemed to take up all her care and time.
  • One day something happened which seemed to me to be adding insult to injury.
  • Meanwhile the desire to express myself grew.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • My parents at once determined to take me to Baltimore to see if anything could be done for my eyes.
  • Often when he went his rounds I clung to his coat tails while he collected and punched the tickets.
  • I pointed this out to everybody with provoking persistency, but no one seemed equal to the task of providing the doll with eyes.
  • I pulled two beads off and indicated to her that I wanted her to sew them on my doll.
  • She raised my hand to her eyes in a questioning way, and I nodded energetically.
  • During the whole trip I did not have one fit of temper, there were so many things to keep my mind and fingers busy.
  • Child as I was, I at once felt the tenderness and sympathy which endeared Dr. Bell to so many hearts, as his wonderful achievements enlist their admiration.
  • The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me.
  • I guessed vaguely from my mother's signs and from the hurrying to and fro in the house that something unusual was about to happen, so I went to the door and waited on the steps.
  • My fingers lingered almost unconsciously on the familiar leaves and blossoms which had just come forth to greet the sweet southern spring.
  • I felt approaching footsteps, I stretched out my hand as I supposed to my mother.
  • Running downstairs to my mother I held up my hand and made the letters for doll.
  • In the days that followed I learned to spell in this uncomprehending way a great many words, among them pin, hat, cup and a few verbs like sit, stand and walk.
  • In despair she had dropped the subject for the time, only to renew it at the first opportunity.
  • 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 left the well-house eager to learn.
  • Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought.
  • That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me.
  • I felt my way to the hearth and picked up the pieces.
  • I tried vainly to put them together.
  • I do not remember what they all were; but I do know that mother, father, sister, teacher were among them--words that were to make the world blossom for me, "like Aaron's rod, with flowers."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Two or three times we stopped to rest under a tree by the wayside.
  • The shade was grateful, and the tree was so easy to climb that with my teacher's assistance I was able to scramble to a seat in the branches.
  • I promised to keep still while she went to the house to fetch it.
  • I knew the sky was black, because all the heat, which meant light to me, had died out of the atmosphere.
  • I longed for my teacher's return; but above all things I wanted to get down from that tree.
  • A shiver ran through the tree, and the wind sent forth a blast that would have knocked me off had I not clung to the branch with might and main.
  • A wild impulse to jump seized me, but terror held me fast.
  • I clung to her, trembling with joy to feel the earth under my feet once more.
  • 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.
  • I had now the key to all language, and I was eager to learn to use it.
  • I had found a few early violets in the garden and brought them to my teacher.
  • It seemed to me that there could be nothing more beautiful than the sun, whose warmth makes all things grow.
  • Finally I noticed a very obvious error in the sequence and for an instant I concentrated my attention on the lesson and tried to think how I should have arranged the beads.
  • 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.
  • Without love you would not be happy or want to play.
  • 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.
  • This natural exchange of ideas is denied to the deaf child.
  • My teacher, realizing this, determined to supply the kinds of stimulus I lacked.
  • This she did by repeating to me as far as possible, verbatim, what she heard, and by showing me how I could take part in the conversation.
  • But it was a long time before I ventured to take the initiative, and still longer before I could find something appropriate to say at the right time.
  • The deaf and the blind find it very difficult to acquire the amenities of conversation.
  • From the printed slip it was but a step to the printed book.
  • 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.
  • Added to this she had a wonderful faculty for description.
  • She went quickly over uninteresting details, and never nagged me with questions to see if I remembered the day-before-yesterday's lesson.
  • We read and studied out of doors, preferring the sunlit woods to the house.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Our favourite walk was to Keller's Landing, an old tumbledown lumber-wharf on the Tennessee River, used during the Civil War to land soldiers.
  • 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.
  • Arithmetic seems to have been the only study I did not like.
  • Miss Sullivan tried to teach me to count by stringing beads in groups, and by arranging kintergarten straws I learned to add and subtract.
  • I never had patience to arrange more than five or six groups at a time.
  • It was great fun to plunge my hand into the bowl and feel the tadpoles frisk about, and to let them slip and slide between my fingers.
  • 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.
  • It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The first Christmas after Miss Sullivan came to Tuscumbia was a great event.
  • 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.
  • On Christmas Eve the Tuscumbia schoolchildren had their tree, to which they invited me.
  • When I learned that there was a gift for each child, I was delighted, and the kind people who had prepared the tree permitted me to hand the presents to the children.
  • 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 was persuaded, however, to content myself with the gifts from the tree and leave the others until morning.
  • That night, after I had hung my stocking, I lay awake a long time, pretending to be asleep and keeping alert to see what Santa Claus would do when he came.
  • Miss Sullivan taught me to take all the care of my new pet.
  • One morning I left the cage on the window-seat while I went to fetch water for his bath.
  • The next important event in my life was my visit to Boston, in May, 1888.
  • How different this journey was from the one I had made to Baltimore two years before!
  • I was no longer a restless, excitable little creature, requiring the attention of everybody on the train to keep me amused.
  • 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.
  • The laundress at the Perkins Institution secretly carried her off to give her a bath.
  • We had scarcely arrived at the Perkins Institution for the Blind when I began to make friends with the little blind children.
  • It delighted me inexpressibly to find that they knew the manual alphabet.
  • What joy to talk with other children in my own language!
  • It took me some time to appreciate the fact that my new friends were blind.
  • I remember the surprise and the pain I felt as I noticed that they placed their hands over mine when I talked to them and that they read books with their fingers.
  • One day spent with the blind children made me feel thoroughly at home in my new environment, and I looked eagerly from one pleasant experience to another as the days flew swiftly by.
  • The next day we went to Plymouth by water.
  • 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 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."
  • Their kindness to me was the seed from which many pleasant memories have since grown.
  • 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."
  • So my little heart leaped high with eager excitement when I knew that my wish was at last to be realized.
  • 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.
  • I thrust out my hands to grasp some support, I clutched at the water and at the seaweed which the waves tossed in my face.
  • The waves seemed to be playing a game with me, and tossed me from one to another in their wild frolic.
  • 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.
  • One day Miss Sullivan attracted my attention to a strange object which she had captured basking in the shallow water.
  • It suddenly occurred to me that he might make a delightful pet; so I seized him by the tail with both hands and carried him home.
  • This feat pleased me highly, as his body was very heavy, and it took all my strength to drag him half a mile.
  • But next morning I went to the trough, and lo, he had disappeared!
  • 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.
  • Three frolicsome little streams ran through it from springs in the rocks above, leaping here and tumbling there in laughing cascades wherever the rocks tried to bar their way.
  • 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.
  • "To-morrow to the chase!" was their good-night shout as the circle of merry friends broke up for the night.
  • "To-morrow to the chase!" was their good-night shout as the circle of merry friends broke up for the night.
  • 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.
  • I called him Black Beauty, as I had just read the book, and he resembled his namesake in every way, from his glossy black coat to the white star on his forehead.
  • Frequently we came upon impassable thickets which forced us to take a round about way.
  • We always returned to the cottage with armfuls of laurel, goldenrod, ferns and gorgeous swamp-flowers such as grow only in the South.
  • Sometimes I would go with Mildred and my little cousins to gather persimmons.
  • It was very difficult to walk over, the ties were wide apart and so narrow that one felt as if one were walking on knives.
  • I had to feel for the rails with my toe; but I was not afraid, and got on very well, until all at once there came a faint "puff, puff" from the distance.
  • As the train rumbled by, the trestle shook and swayed until I thought we should be dashed to the chasm below.
  • After my first visit to Boston, I spent almost every winter in the North.
  • Once I went on a visit to a New England village with its frozen lakes and vast snow fields.
  • 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.
  • All life seemed to have ebbed away, and even when the sun shone the day was
  • We rushed out-of-doors to feel the first few tiny flakes descending.
  • Hour by hour the flakes dropped silently, softly from their airy height to the earth, and the country became more and more level.
  • But during the night the fury of the wind increased to such a degree that it thrilled us with a vague terror.
  • Down these steep slopes we used to coast.
  • Plunging through drifts, leaping hollows, swooping down upon the lake, we would shoot across its gleaming surface to the opposite bank.
  • For one wild, glad moment we snapped the chain that binds us to earth, and joining hands with the winds we felt ourselves divine!
  • It was in the spring of 1890 that I learned to speak.
  • The impulse to utter audible sounds had always been strong within me.
  • I used to make noises, keeping one hand on my throat while the other hand felt the movements of my lips.
  • I was pleased with anything that made a noise and liked to feel the cat purr and the dog bark.
  • I also liked to keep my hand on a singer's throat, or on a piano when it was being played.
  • 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.
  • Even this became less and less intelligible until the time when Miss Sullivan began to teach me.
  • I stopped using it only after I had learned to spell the word on my fingers.
  • This feeling began to agitate me with a vexing, forward-reaching sense of a lack that should be filled.
  • Friends tried to discourage this tendency, fearing lest it would lead to disappointment.
  • I resolved that I, too, would learn to speak.
  • This lovely, sweet-natured lady offered to teach me herself, and we began the twenty-sixth of March, 1890.
  • Only such a one can appreciate the eagerness with which I talked to my toys, to stones, trees, birds and dumb animals, or the delight I felt when at my call Mildred ran to me or my dogs obeyed my commands.
  • It is an unspeakable boon to me to be able to speak in winged words that need no interpretation.
  • As I talked, happy thoughts fluttered up out of my words that might perhaps have struggled in vain to escape my fingers.
  • Even now she calls my attention every day to mispronounced words.
  • 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.
  • In such cases I was forced to repeat the words or sentences, sometimes for hours, until I felt the proper ring in my own voice.
  • Discouragement and weariness cast me down frequently; but the next moment the thought that I should soon be at home and show my loved ones what I had accomplished, spurred me on, and I eagerly looked forward to their pleasure in my achievement.
  • 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.
  • One who reads or talks to me spells with his hand, using the single-hand manual alphabet generally employed by the deaf.
  • 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.
  • When I had made speech my own, I could not wait to go home.
  • 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.
  • My eyes fill with tears now as I think how my mother pressed me close to her, speechless and trembling with delight, taking in every syllable that I spoke, while little Mildred seized my free hand and kissed it and danced, and my father expressed his pride and affection in a big silence.
  • 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.
  • I wrote the story when I was at home, the autumn after I had learned to speak.
  • I thought then that I was "making up a story," as children say, and I eagerly sat down to write it before the ideas should slip from me.
  • Words and images came tripping to my finger ends, and as I thought out sentence after sentence, I wrote them on my braille slate.
  • 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.
  • I suppose that is because so many of my impressions come to me through the medium of others' eyes and ears.
  • At dinner it was read to the assembled family, who were surprised that I could write so well.
  • Accordingly I copied the story and sent it to him for his birthday.
  • It was suggested that I should change the title from "Autumn Leaves" to "The Frost King," which I did.
  • I carried the little story to the post-office myself, feeling as if I were walking on air.
  • This was the pinnacle of my happiness, from which I was in a little while dashed to earth.
  • It was difficult to make me understand this; but when I did understand I was astonished and grieved.
  • At first Mr. Anagnos, though deeply troubled, seemed to believe me.
  • He was unusually tender and kind to me, and for a brief space the shadow lifted.
  • I was to be Ceres in a kind of masque given by the blind girls.
  • 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.
  • I think if this sorrow had come to me when I was older, it would have broken my spirit beyond repairing.
  • 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.
  • All the friends I loved best, except one, have remained my own to the present time.
  • 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."
  • 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 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.
  • The young writer, as Stevenson has said, instinctively tries to copy whatever seems most admirable, and he shifts his admiration with astonishing versatility.
  • 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 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.
  • Trying to write is very much like trying to put a Chinese puzzle together.
  • "There is no way to become original, except to be born so," says Stevenson, and although I may not be original, I hope sometime to outgrow my artificial, periwigged compositions.
  • Then, perhaps, my own thoughts and experiences will come to the surface.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Anagnos states that he cast his vote with those who were favourable to me.
  • For two years he seems to have held the belief that Miss Sullivan and I were innocent.
  • I never knew even the names of the members of the "court" who did not speak to me.
  • I was too excited to notice anything, too frightened to ask questions.
  • Indeed, I could scarcely think what I was saying, or what was being said to me.
  • 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.
  • We went to Niagara in March, 1893.
  • It is difficult to describe my emotions when I stood on the point which overhangs the American Falls and felt the air vibrate and the earth tremble.
  • It seems strange to many people that I should be impressed by the wonders and beauties of Niagara.
  • They are always asking: What does this beauty or that music mean to you?
  • What do they mean to you?
  • I liked to visit the Midway Plaisance.
  • 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.
  • Whenever it was possible, I touched the machinery while it was in motion, so as to get a clearer idea how the stones were weighed, cut, and polished.
  • Dr. Bell went everywhere with us and in his own delightful way described to me the objects of greatest interest.
  • In the electrical building we examined the telephones, autophones, phonographs, and other inventions, and he made me understand how it is possible to send a message on wires that mock space and outrun time, and, like Prometheus, to draw fire from the sky.
  • I even tried, without aid, to master the French pronunciation, as I found all the letters and sounds described in the book.
  • I also gave considerable time to the improvement of my speech.
  • I learned for the first time to know an author, to recognize his style as I recognize the clasp of a friend's hand.
  • At first I was rather unwilling to study Latin grammar.
  • I thought I might just as well describe my pet in order to know it--order, vertebrate; division, quadruped; class, mammalia; genus, felinus; species, cat; individual, Tabby.
  • I often amused myself by reading Latin passages, picking up words I understood and trying to make sense.
  • I have never ceased to enjoy this pastime.
  • I was just beginning to read Caesar's "Gallic War" when I went to my home in Alabama.
  • There it was arranged that I should go to the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York City.
  • I studied it with Madame Olivier, a French lady who did not know the manual alphabet, and who was obliged to give her instruction orally.
  • I managed, however, to read "Le Medecin Malgre Lui" again.
  • I hung about the dangerous frontier of "guess," avoiding with infinite trouble to myself and others the broad valley of reason.
  • When I was not guessing, I was jumping at conclusions, and this fault, in addition to my dullness, aggravated my difficulties more than was right or necessary.
  • The two years in New York were happy ones, and I look back to them with genuine pleasure.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Only those who knew and loved him best can understand what his friendship meant to me.
  • He, who made every one happy in a beautiful, unobtrusive way, was most kind and tender to Miss Sullivan and me.
  • In October, 1896, I entered the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, to be prepared for Radcliffe.
  • When asked why I would not go to Wellesley, I replied that there were only girls there.
  • 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.
  • When I left New York the idea had become a fixed purpose; and it was decided that I should go to Cambridge.
  • This was the nearest approach I could get to Harvard and to the fulfillment of my childish declaration.
  • In spite, however, of these advantages, there were serious drawbacks to my progress.
  • For a while, indeed, I had to copy my Latin in braille, so that I could recite with the other girls.
  • Each day Miss Sullivan went to the classes with me and spelled into my hand with infinite patience all that the teachers said.
  • In study hours she had to look up new words for me and read and reread notes and books I did not have in raised print.
  • The tedium of that work is hard to conceive.
  • But, though everybody was kind and ready to help us, there was only one hand that could turn drudgery into pleasure.
  • 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 rejoiced over all his successes, I shut my eyes to his faults, and wondered, not that he had them, but that they had not crushed or dwarfed his soul.
  • 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.
  • It makes me most happy to remember the hours we spent helping each other in study and sharing our recreation together.
  • He had to pass five hours at a time to have them counted.
  • The examination papers were given out at nine o'clock at Harvard and brought to Radcliffe by a special messenger.
  • 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.
  • A man was placed on guard at the door to prevent interruption.
  • Mr. Gilman sat beside me and read the paper through first, then sentence by sentence, while I repeated the words aloud, to make sure that I understood him perfectly.
  • Mr. Gilman spelled to me what I had written, and I made such changes as I thought necessary, and he inserted them.
  • I wish to say here that I have not had this advantage since in any of my examinations.
  • At Radcliffe no one reads the papers to me after they are written, and I have no opportunity to correct errors unless I finish before the time is up.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Gilman sent my written work to the examiners with a certificate that I, candidate No. 233, had written the papers.
  • I remember that the day the Latin paper was brought to us, Professor Schilling came in and informed me I had passed satisfactorily in German.
  • This encouraged me greatly, and I sped on to the end of the ordeal with a light heart and a steady hand.
  • The classes I was in were very large, and it was impossible for the teachers to give me special instruction.
  • 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.
  • Little by little, however, my difficulties began to disappear.
  • Algebra and geometry were the only studies that continued to defy my efforts to comprehend them.
  • As I have said before, I had no aptitude for mathematics; the different points were not explained to me as fully as I wished.
  • The geometrical diagrams were particularly vexing because I could not see the relation of the different parts to one another, even on the cushion.
  • I was beginning to overcome these difficulties when an event occurred which changed everything.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Gilman at first agreed to this; but when my tasks had become somewhat perplexing, he insisted that I was overworked, and that I should remain at his school three years longer.
  • I did not like his plan, for I wished to enter college with my class.
  • On the seventeenth of November I was not very well, and did not go to school.
  • From February to July, 1898, Mr. Keith came out to Wrentham twice a week, and taught me algebra, geometry, Greek and Latin.
  • In October, 1898, we returned to Boston.
  • He explained each time what I did not understand in the previous lesson, assigned new work, and took home with him the Greek exercises which I had written during the week on my typewriter, corrected them fully, and returned them to me.
  • I found it much easier and pleasanter to be taught by myself than to receive instruction in class.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Vining was a stranger to me, and could not communicate with me, except by writing braille.
  • The proctor was also a stranger, and did not attempt to communicate with me in any way.
  • The braille worked well enough in the languages, but when it came to geometry and algebra, difficulties arose.
  • To my dismay I found that it was in the American notation.
  • I sat down immediately and wrote to Mr. Vining, asking him to explain the signs.
  • I received another paper and a table of signs by return mail, and I set to work to learn the notation.
  • 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.
  • I found it very hard to keep my wits about me.
  • 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.
  • The struggle for admission to college was ended, and I could now enter Radcliffe whenever I pleased.
  • I had looked forward to it for years.
  • I knew that there were obstacles in the way; but I was eager to overcome them.
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things.
  • If I have since learned differently, I am not going to tell anybody.
  • Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college.
  • But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts.
  • One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Without it, I doubt if I could go to college.
  • Consequently, I need more time to prepare my lessons than other girls.
  • There one does not meet the great and the wise face to face; one does not even feel their living touch.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ah, here they are--the mixed metaphors mocking and strutting about before me, pointing to the bull in the china shop assailed by hailstones and the bugbears with pale looks, an unanalyzed species!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It was during my first visit to Boston that I really began to read in good earnest.
  • 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 name of the story was "Little Lord Fauntleroy," and she promised to read it to me the following summer.
  • Then my teacher went to visit some friends in Boston, leaving me for a short time.
  • 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.
  • Before we began the story Miss Sullivan explained to me the things that she knew I should not understand, and as we read on she explained the unfamiliar words.
  • 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.
  • During the next two years I read many books at my home and on my visits to Boston.
  • 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.
  • I do not know why it is, but stories in which animals are made to talk and act like human beings have never appealed to me very strongly.
  • Then, again, La Fontaine seldom, if ever, appeals to our highest moral sense.
  • My mind opened naturally and joyously to a conception of antiquity.
  • In my fancy the pagan gods and goddesses still walked on earth and talked face to face with men, and in my heart I secretly built shrines to those I loved best.
  • It is not necessary that one should be able to define every word and give it its principal parts and its grammatical position in the sentence in order to understand and appreciate a fine poem.
  • 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.
  • How easy it is to fly on paper wings!
  • From "Greek Heroes" to the Iliad was no day's journey, nor was it altogether pleasant.
  • I began to read the Bible long before I could understand it.
  • Although she did not think I should understand, she began to spell into my hand the story of Joseph and his brothers.
  • Somehow it failed to interest me.
  • The unusual language and repetition made the story seem unreal.
  • Curiously enough, it never occurred to me to call Greek patronymics "queer."
  • 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.
  • She knows her life is in his hands; there is no one to protect her from his wrath.
  • "Macbeth" seems to have impressed me most.
  • One reading was sufficient to stamp every detail of the story upon my memory forever.
  • I could see, absolutely see, the dagger and Lady Macbeth's little white hand--the dreadful stain was as real to me as to the grief-stricken queen.
  • Anger seized me, my fingers refused to move, I sat rigid for one long moment, the blood throbbing in my temples, and all the hatred that a child can feel concentrated in my heart.
  • I felt vaguely that they could not be good even if they wished to, because no one seemed willing to help them or to give them a fair chance.
  • Even now I cannot find it in my heart to condemn them utterly.
  • 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.
  • But, with all my love for Shakespeare, it is often weary work to read all the meanings into his lines which critics and commentators have given them.
  • Next to poetry I love history.
  • When he speaks, it is not to impress others, but because his heart would burst if he did not find an outlet for the thoughts that burn in his soul.
  • Earth's insufficiency Here grows to event.
  • They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.
  • More than once in the course of my story I have referred to my love of the country and out-of-door sports.
  • Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to take my friends out rowing when they visit me.
  • It is fun to try to steer by the scent of watergrasses and lilies, and of bushes that grow on the shore.
  • I like to contend with wind and wave.
  • A luminous warmth seems to enfold me.
  • 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.
  • What glorious sails we had to Bedford Basin, to McNabb's Island, to York Redoubt, and to the Northwest Arm!
  • We went in a sail-boat along with many others to watch the races.
  • Hundreds of little sail-boats swung to and fro close by, and the sea was calm.
  • Our little boat confronted the gale fearlessly; with sails spread and ropes taut, she seemed to sit upon the wind.
  • Tacking and jibbing, we wrestled with opposing winds that drove us from side to side with impetuous fury.
  • 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.
  • I take all my other friends to see this king-tree.
  • We went out to see the hero that had withstood so many tempests, and it wrung my heart to see him prostrate who had mightily striven and was now mightily fallen.
  • But I must not forget that I was going to write about last summer in particular.
  • 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.
  • They forget that my whole body is alive to the conditions about me.
  • The sun and the air are God's free gifts to all we say, but are they so?
  • Oh, would that men would leave the city, its splendour and its tumult and its gold, and return to wood and field and simple, honest living!
  • It is impossible not to think of all this when I return to the country after a year of work in town.
  • Next to a leisurely walk I enjoy a "spin" on my tandem bicycle.
  • It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face and the springy motion of my iron steed.
  • My dog friends seem to understand my limitations, and always keep close beside me when I am alone.
  • Each checker has a hole in the middle in which a brass knob can be placed to distinguish the king from the commons.
  • The jar made by shifting the men from one hole to another tells me when it is my turn.
  • If I happen to be all alone and in an idle mood, I play a game of solitaire, of which I am very fond.
  • If there are children around, nothing pleases me so much as to frolic with them.
  • I find even the smallest child excellent company, and I am glad to say that children usually like me.
  • Of course the little ones cannot spell on their fingers; but I manage to read their lips.
  • If I do not succeed they resort to dumb show.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Another pleasure, which comes more rarely than the others, is going to the theatre.
  • 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.
  • I am proud to count him among my friends.
  • I go to see him whenever I happen to be where he is acting.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He asked me to indicate as far as I could the gestures and action that should go with the lines.
  • 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 remember well the first time I went to the theatre.
  • Elsie Leslie, the little actress, was in Boston, and Miss Sullivan took me to see her in "The Prince and the Pauper."
  • After the play I was permitted to go behind the scenes and meet her in her royal costume.
  • I was only just learning to speak, and had previously repeated her name until I could say it perfectly.
  • Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
  • 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.
  • They are like people who when walking with you try to shorten their steps to suit yours; the hypocrisy in both cases is equally exasperating.
  • The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He knew so much and was so genial that it was impossible to feel dull in his presence.
  • He had invited Miss Sullivan and me to call on him one Sunday afternoon.
  • It was early in the spring, just after I had learned to speak.
  • "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 made me sit in his armchair, while he brought different interesting things for me to examine, and at his request I recited "The Chambered Nautilus," which was then my favorite poem.
  • After that I saw Dr. Holmes many times and learned to love the man as well as the poet.
  • Then he led me to the gate and kissed me tenderly on my forehead.
  • I promised to visit him again the following summer, but he died before the promise was fulfilled.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Much that I hold sweetest, much that I hold most precious, I owe to her.
  • Mr. Hutton introduced me to many of his literary friends, greatest of whom are Mr. William Dean Howells and Mark Twain.
  • Once Mr. Warner brought to see me the dear poet of the woodlands--Mr.
  • I could not keep pace with all these literary folk as they glanced from subject to subject and entered into deep dispute, or made conversation sparkle with epigrams and happy witticisms.
  • But they spoke many gracious words to me.
  • This reminds me that Dr. Hale used to give a personal touch to his letters to me by pricking his signature in braille.
  • 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.
  • She is always doing something to make some one happy, and her generosity and wise counsel have never failed my teacher and me in all the years we have known her.
  • To the other friend I am also deeply indebted.
  • Kind to every one, he goes about doing good, silent and unseen.
  • They are the exercises which have trained her to write.
  • To them and to a few friends with whom she is in closest sympathy she writes with intimate frankness whatever she is thinking about.
  • To them and to a few friends with whom she is in closest sympathy she writes with intimate frankness whatever she is thinking about.
  • So these selections from Miss Keller's correspondence are made with two purposes--to show her development and to preserve the most entertaining and significant passages from several hundred letters.
  • Miss Sullivan began to teach Helen Keller on March 3rd, 1887.
  • Twenty-five days later, while she was on a short visit away from home, she wrote to her mother.
  • I and teacher did go to church sunday mr. lane did read in book and talk Lady did play organ.
  • I will hug and kiss little blind girls mr. anagnos will come to see me.
  • I do like to read in my book. you do love me.
  • I and Father and aunt did go to see you in Washington.
  • This letter is to a school-mate at the Perkins Institution.
  • I hope Mr. Anagnos is coming to see me soon.
  • I will go to Boston in June and I will buy father gloves, and James nice collar, and Simpson cuffs.
  • Men do cut sheep's wool off with large shears, and send it to the mill.
  • Mother will buy me lovely new aprons and dress to take to Boston.
  • I went to Knoxville with father and aunt.
  • The next two letters mention her visit in January to her relatives in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • She was taken to the cotton exchange.
  • When she felt the maps and blackboards she asked, "Do men go to school?"
  • Teacher told me about kind gentleman I shall be glad to read pretty story I do read stories in my book about tigers and lions and sheep.
  • I am coming to Boston in June to see little blind girls and I will come to see you.
  • I went to Memphis to see grandmother and Aunt Nannie.
  • Father took us to see steamboat.
  • I do love to play with little sister.
  • Nancy was not a good child when I went to Memphis.
  • I will not write more to-day.
  • Nancy was a bad child when I went to Memphis she cried loud, I whipped her with a stick.
  • I love to play with little sister.
  • Teacher and I went to Memphis to see aunt Nannie and grandmother.
  • I went to see Robert and Mr. Graves and Mrs. Graves and little Natalie, and Mr. Farris and Mr. Mayo and Mary and everyone.
  • She does not want me to write more today.
  • Father took us to see steam boat it is like house.
  • Yates plowed yard today to plant grass.
  • Cousin Bell will come to see us Saturday.
  • Teacher and I went to walk in the yard, and I learned about how flowers and trees grow.
  • We will go to Boston in June.
  • Mr. Anagnos is coming to see me Monday.
  • I do love to run and hop and skip with Robert in bright warm sun.
  • I love to play with little sister, she is weak and small baby.
  • Robert will come to see me Sunday when sun shines and I will have fun with him.
  • I will come to Memphis again to see Mr. Farris and Mrs. Graves and Mr. Mayo and Mr. Graves.
  • I was very happy to receive pretty book and nice candy and two letters from you.
  • Friday teacher and I went to a picnic with little children.
  • They make a pleasant shade and the little birds love to swing to and fro and sing sweetly up in the trees.
  • Aunt Ev. has gone to Memphis.
  • Adeline is well and she can go to Cincinnati Monday with me.
  • I am tired now and I do want to go down stairs.
  • On May 26th they arrived in Boston and went to the Perkins Institution; here Helen met the little blind girls with whom she had corresponded the year before.
  • Early in July she went to Brewster, Massachusetts, and spent the rest of the summer.
  • My dear Miss Moore Are you very glad to receive a nice letter from your darling little friend?
  • She likes to sit in my little rocking-chair and put her kitty to sleep.
  • Would you like to see darling little Mildred?
  • Sometime will you please come to Alabama and visit me?
  • When I visit many strange countries my brother and Mildred will stay with grandmother because they will be too small to see a great many people and I think they would cry loud on the great rough ocean.
  • When Capt. Baker gets well he will take me in his big ship to Africa.
  • I will get a baby lion and a white monkey and a mild bear to bring home.
  • I am not afraid to float now.
  • We came to Boston last Thursday, and Mr. Anagnos was delighted to see me, and he hugged and kissed me.
  • The little girls are coming back to school next Wednesday.
  • Will you please tell Harry to write me a very long letter soon?
  • When you come to Tuscumbia to see me I hope my father will have many sweet apples and juicy peaches and fine pears and delicious grapes and large water melons.
  • Mrs. Freeman and Carrie and Ethel and Frank and Helen came to station to meet us in a huge carriage.
  • I was delighted to see my dear little friends and I hugged and kissed them.
  • Then we rode for a long time to see all the beautiful things in West Newton.
  • The horse's name was Prince and he was gentle and liked to trot very fast.
  • Clifton did not kiss me because he does not like to kiss little girls.
  • I rode on Carrie's tricicle and picked flowers and ate fruit and hopped and skipped and danced and went to ride.
  • Many ladies and gentlemen came to see us.
  • Mr. Drew says little girls in China cannot talk on their fingers but I think when I go to China I will teach them.
  • Chinese nurse came to see me, her name was Asu.
  • Conductors and engineers do get very tired and go home to rest.
  • Her visit to Plymouth was in July.
  • My dear uncle Morrie,--I think you will be very glad to receive a letter from your dear little friend Helen.
  • I am very happy to write to you because I think of you and love you.
  • Mother and teacher and Mrs. Hopkins and Mr. Anagnos and Mr. Rodocanachi and many other friends went to Plymouth to see many old things.
  • Many years ago there lived in England many good people, but the king and his friends were not kind and gentle and patient with good people, because the king did not like to have the people disobey him.
  • People did not like to go to church with the king; but they did like to build very nice little churches for themselves.
  • When they went to Holland they did not know anyone; and they could not know what the people were talking about because they did not know Dutch.
  • But soon they learned some Dutch words; but they loved their own language and they did not want little boys and girls to forget it and learn to talk funny Dutch.
  • So they said, We must go to a new country far away and build schools and houses and churches and make new cities.
  • Every day the people went upon deck to look out for land.
  • Even when she did not fully understand words or ideas, she liked to set them down as though she did.
  • It was in this way that she learned to use correctly words of sound and vision which express ideas outside of her experience.
  • Soon I shall go home to see my mother and my father and my dear good and sweet little sister.
  • I hope you will come to Alabama to visit me and I will take you to ride in my little cart and I think you will like to see me on my dear little pony's back.
  • If the sun shines brightly I will take you to see Leila and Eva and Bessie.
  • When I am thirteen years old I am going to travel in many strange and beautiful countries.
  • I hope Fauntleroy take me to see a very kind queen.
  • When I go to France I will take French.
  • I hope you will go with me to Athens to see the maid of Athens.
  • Will you please come to see me soon and take me to the theater?
  • Now I am too tired to write more.
  • My brother Simpson gave it to me last Sunday.
  • My puppy has had his supper and gone to bed.
  • My rabbits are sleeping, too; and very soon I shall go to bed.
  • Teacher is writing letters to her friends.
  • Mother and father and their friends have gone to see a huge furnace.
  • The furnace is to make iron.
  • Then it is all ready to be manufactured into engines, stoves, kettles and many other things.
  • Many years ago, before people came to live on the earth, great trees and tall grasses and huge ferns and all the beautiful flowers cover the earth.
  • I hope you will come to see me soon, and stay a long time.
  • Do you like to look out of your window, and see little stars?
  • A knife is an instrument to cut with.
  • They tell us when breakfast is ready, when to go to school, when it is time for church, and when there is a fire.
  • They tell people when to go to work, and when to go home and rest.
  • The engine-bell tells the passengers that they are coming to a station, and it tells the people to keep out of the way.
  • I would like to have some clay.
  • 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.
  • Sometimes she tries to spell very short words on her small [fingers] but she is too young to remember hard words.
  • My teacher says, if children learn to be patient and gentle while they are little, that when they grow to be young ladies and gentlemen they will not forget to be kind and loving and brave.
  • I had many lovely presents given to me.
  • All of my dear little friends came to see me.
  • The sun is shining brightly to-day and I hope we shall go to ride if the roads are dry.
  • A lady brought her to me from Paris.
  • I go to school every day I am studying reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and language.
  • My Dear Mr. Anagnos:--You cannot imagine how delighted I was to receive a letter from you last evening.
  • I would love to visit many beautiful cities with you.
  • I hope you will please write to me from all the cities you visit.
  • When you go to Holland please give my love to the lovely princess Wilhelmina.
  • 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 am so glad that Eva is coming to stay with me this summer.
  • Give Howard my love, and tell him to answer my letter.
  • When you come home from Europe I hope you will be all well and very happy to get home again.
  • Do not forget to give my love to Miss Calliope Kehayia and Mr. Francis Demetrios Kalopothakes.
  • Like a good many of Helen Keller's early letters, this to her French teacher is her re-phrasing of a story.
  • "I will stay with you," said she to the doll, although she was not at all courageous.
  • Already she began to see quite plainly the little elves in their tall pointed hats, dancing down the dusky alleys, and peeping from between the bushes, and they seemed to come nearer and nearer; and she stretched her hands up towards the tree in which the doll sat and they laughed, and pointed their fingers at her.
  • It hobbled, and that made me laugh; but it is wrong to laugh at the poor animals!
  • Shall you be very glad to see my teacher next Thursday?
  • She is going home to rest, but she will come back to me next autumn.
  • But I am afraid you cannot come to Tuscumbia; so I will write to you, and send you a sweet kiss and my love.
  • Grandmother is going to make me two new dresses.
  • Give my love to all the little girls, and tell them that Helen loves them very, very much.
  • Eva sends love to all.
  • Her little brown mate has flown away with the other birds; but Annie is not sad, for she likes to stay with me.
  • Fauntleroy is asleep upstairs, and Nancy is putting Lucy to bed.
  • Perhaps the mocking bird is singing them to sleep.
  • It is getting warm here now, so father is going to take us to the Quarry on the 20th of August.
  • Will you please send it to me?
  • I shall be delighted to have a typewriter.
  • I think she would like to put her two soft arms around your neck and hug you.
  • Sunday I went to church.
  • I love to go to church, because I like to see my friends.
  • Not far from the mill there was an old house, with many trees growing close to it.
  • I do want you to come back to me soon.
  • I am going to send you a birthday gift with this letter.
  • I hope it will please you very much, because it makes me happy to send it.
  • I think mother will be glad to make the dress for you, and when you wear it you will look as pretty as a rose.
  • They cannot come out of the picture to harm you.
  • I go to school every day, and I learn many new things.
  • At nine I go to the gymnasium with the little girls and we have great fun.
  • I wish you could be here to play three little squirrels, and two gentle doves, and to make a pretty nest for a dear little robin.
  • I should like to call her Lioness, for your dog.
  • I think she will laugh when I tell her she is a vertebrate, a mammal, a quadruped; and I shall be very sorry to tell her that she belongs to the order Carnivora.
  • I shall be happy to have a letter from you when you like to write to me.
  • It is very pleasant to live here in our beautiful world.
  • I know too that the tiny lily-bells are whispering pretty secrets to their companions else they would not look so happy.
  • To Mr. John Greenleaf Whittier.
  • Yesterday the Countess of Meath came again to see me.
  • The Earl said he should be delighted to visit Tuscumbia the next time he comes to America.
  • Lady Meath said she would like to see your flowers, and hear the mocking-birds sing.
  • When I visit England they want me to come to see them, and stay a few weeks.
  • They will take me to see the Queen.
  • Mr. Wade wants teacher and me to come and see him next spring.
  • Mr. Wilson came to call on us one Thursday.
  • I was delighted to receive the flowers from home.
  • Sunday I went to church on board a great warship.
  • They were very kind to me.
  • Tell father, please, to write to me.
  • I hope you will like your watch-case, for it made me very happy to make it for you.
  • If it is too warm in Tuscumbia for little sister to wear her pretty mittens, she can keep them because her sister made them for her.
  • Tell her to shake him, and then he will blow his trumpet.
  • I thank my dear kind father for sending me some money, to buy gifts for my friends.
  • I love to make everybody happy.
  • I should like to be at home on Christmas day.
  • Please do not forget to send me some pretty presents to hang on my tree.
  • 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.
  • Teacher and I are the only babies left for Mrs. Hopkins to care for.
  • Her throat was very sore and the doctor thought she would have to go away to the hospital, but she is better now.
  • Mr. and Miss Endicott came to see me, and I went to ride in the carriage.
  • They are going to give me a lovely present, but I cannot guess what it will be.
  • I hope I have written my letter nicely, but it is very difficult to write on this paper and teacher is not here to give me better.
  • Give many kisses to little sister and much love to all.
  • I shall always keep them, and it will make me very happy to think that you found them, on that far away island, from which Columbus sailed to discover our dear country.
  • The little girls were delighted to see the lovely shells.
  • With loving greeting to the little cousins, and Mrs. Hale and a sweet kiss for yourself, From your little friend, HELEN A. KELLER.
  • 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]
  • I am sorry that you have no little children to play with you sometimes; but I think you are very happy with your books, and your many, many friends.
  • They live a gay life, flitting from flower to flower, sipping the drops of honeydew, without a thought for the morrow.
  • If my little sister comes to Boston next June, will you let me bring her to see you?
  • Now I must tell my gentle poet good-bye, for I have a letter to write home before I go to bed.
  • Last evening I went out in the yard and spoke to the moon.
  • Do you think the lovely moon was glad that I could speak to her?
  • I can hardly wait for June to come I am so eager to speak to her and to my precious little sister.
  • My teacher told me Tuesday that you wanted to know how I came to wish to talk with my mouth.
  • When I was a very little child I used to sit in my mother's lap all the time, because I was very timid, and did not like to be left by myself.
  • And I would keep my little hand on her face all the while, because it amused me to feel her face and lips move when she talked with people.
  • I did not know then that it was very naughty to do so.
  • When the Perkins Institution closed for the summer, Helen and Miss Sullivan went to Tuscumbia.
  • This was the first home-going after she had learned to "talk with her mouth."
  • 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.
  • But I tried very hard to be patient for teacher's sake.
  • Mildred has grown much taller and stronger than she was when I went to Boston, and she is the sweetest and dearest little child in the world.
  • My parents were delighted to hear me speak, and I was overjoyed to give them such a happy surprise.
  • I think it is so pleasant to make everybody happy.
  • Why does the dear Father in heaven think it best for us to have very great sorrow sometimes?
  • It makes me happy to know much about my loving Father, who is good and wise.
  • I hope you will write to your little friend when you have time.
  • I should like very much to see you to-day Is the sun very hot in Boston now? this afternoon if it is cool enough I shall take Mildred for a ride on my donkey.
  • My great dog Lioness goes with us when we ride to protect us.
  • My Dear Helen--I was very glad indeed to get your letter.
  • It has followed me across the ocean and found me in this magnificent great city which I should like to tell you all about if I could take time for it and make my letter long enough.
  • Some time when you come and see me in my study in Boston I shall be glad to talk to you about it all if you care to hear.
  • But now I want to tell you how glad I am that you are so happy and enjoying your home so very much.
  • 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.
  • I am glad also to know, from the questions which you ask me, what you are thinking about.
  • I do not see how we can help thinking about God when He is so good to us all the time.
  • Let me tell you how it seems to me that we come to know about our heavenly Father.
  • 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 the more we love the more near we are to God and His Love.
  • He gives it to you as the sun gives light and color to the rose.
  • But God does not only want us to be HAPPY; He wants us to be good.
  • 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.
  • I love to tell you about God.
  • 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.
  • And so He loved men Himself and though they were very cruel to Him and at last killed Him, He was willing to die for them because He loved them so.
  • 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.
  • You will come back to Boston I hope soon after I do.
  • I shall want you to tell me all about everything, and not forget the Donkey.
  • I send my kind remembrance to your father and mother, and to your teacher.
  • Do write to me soon again, directing your letter to Boston.
  • It gratifies me very much to find that you remember me so kindly.
  • I rejoice to know that you are well and happy.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • This letter was written to some gentlemen in Gardiner, Maine, who named a lumber vessel after her.
  • 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.
  • Helen and Miss Sullivan returned to the Perkins Institution early in November.
  • And my dear father, how he would like to hear about our journey!
  • But I cannot see you and talk to you, so I will write and tell you all that I can think of.
  • I am sorry to say that our train was delayed in several places, which made us late in reaching New York.
  • When we got to Jersey City at six o'clock Friday evening we were obliged to cross the Harlem River in a ferry-boat.
  • We went to bed and slept until morning.
  • I was delighted to get there, though I was much disappointed because we did not arrive on Mr. Anagnos' birthday.
  • We surprised our dear friends, however, for they did not expect us Saturday; but when the bell rung Miss Marrett guessed who was at the door, and Mrs. Hopkins jumped up from the breakfast table and ran to the door to meet us; she was indeed much astonished to see us.
  • After we had had some breakfast we went up to see Mr. Anagnos.
  • I was overjoyed to see my dearest and kindest friend once more.
  • I have it pinned to my dress.
  • Tell Mildred she must be kind to them for my sake.
  • Teacher is going to see if it can be fixed.
  • It is a very pretty story, and I will tell it to you some time.
  • With much love to father, Mildred, you and all the dear friends, lovingly your little daughter, HELEN A. KELLER.
  • This evening they are going to entertain their friends with readings from your poems and music.
  • The sun knows that you like to see the world covered with beautiful white snow and so he kept back all his brightness, and let the little crystals form in the sky.
  • If I were with you to-day I would give you eighty-three kisses, one for each year you have lived.
  • Eighty-three years seems very long to me.
  • Does it seem long to you?
  • I received the letter which you wrote to me last summer, and I thank you for it.
  • Teacher is well and sends her kind remembrance to you.
  • I can hardly wait for the fun to begin!
  • My Dear Young Friend--I was very glad to have such a pleasant letter on my birthday.
  • 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.
  • His mother was dead and his father was too poor to take care of him.
  • From here he was to be sent to an almshouse, for at that time there was no other place for him in Pennsylvania.
  • She wanted him brought to Boston, and when she was told that money would be needed to get him a teacher, she answered, "We will raise it."
  • She began to solicit contributions from her friends, and saved her pennies.
  • Helen asked that the contributions, which people were sending from all over America and England, be devoted to Tommy's education.
  • Turned to this new use, the fund grew fast, and Tommy was provided for.
  • 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.
  • It makes me very happy indeed to know that I have such dear friends in other lands.
  • I have read that the English and Americans are cousins; but I am sure it would be much truer to say that we are brothers and sisters.
  • I have begun to read "Enoch Arden," and I know several of the great poet's poems by heart.
  • I am eager to cross the ocean, for I want to see my English friends and their good and wise queen.
  • 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.
  • And now I want to tell you what the dog lovers in America are going to do.
  • They are going to send me some money for a poor little deaf and dumb and blind child.
  • 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 have chosen this paper because I want the spray of violets in the corner to tell you of my grateful love.
  • I want you to see baby Tom, the little blind and deaf and dumb child who has just come to our pretty garden.
  • If you do come, you will want to ask the kind people of Boston to help brighten Tommy's whole life.
  • It is very beautiful to think that people far away in England feel sorry for a little helpless child in America.
  • I used to think, when I read in my books about your great city, that when I visited it the people would be strangers to me, but now I feel differently.
  • It seems to me that all people who have loving, pitying hearts, are not strangers to each other.
  • I can hardly wait patiently for the time to come when I shall see my dear English friends, and their beautiful island home.
  • I think you will like them too, so I will try to write them for you.
  • You will be glad to hear that Tommy has a kind lady to teach him, and that he is a pretty, active little fellow.
  • He loves to climb much better than to spell, but that is because he does not know yet what a wonderful thing language is.
  • 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.
  • Helen wrote letters to the newspapers which brought many generous replies.
  • 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.
  • The contributions amounted to more than sixteen hundred dollars.
  • 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.
  • He loves to climb the bed-posts and unscrew the steam valves much better than to spell, but that is because he does not understand that words would help him to make new and interesting discoveries.
  • I hope that good people will continue to work for Tommy until his fund is completed, and education has brought light and music into his little life.
  • I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I was when Mr. Anagnos told me that you had sent him some money to help educate "Baby Tom."
  • I am very sorry to say that Tommy has not learned any words yet.
  • 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.
  • When I came home teacher read to me "The School-boy," for it is not in our print.
  • Did you know that the blind children are going to have their commencement exercises in Tremont Temple, next Tuesday afternoon?
  • We shall all be proud and happy to welcome our poet friend.
  • Yesterday I thought for the first time what a beautiful thing motion was, and it seemed to me that everything was trying to get near to God, does it seem that way to you?
  • When the Perkins Institution closed in June, Helen and her teacher went south to Tuscumbia, where they remained until December.
  • He has, in truth, behaved very strangely ever since we came to Brewster.
  • To St. Nicholas Dear St. Nicholas:
  • We have a grooved board which we put between the pages when we wish to write.
  • 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.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY South Boston, May 9, 1892.
  • My dear Miss Carrie:--I was much pleased to receive your kind letter.
  • Need I tell you that I was more than delighted to hear that you are really interested in the "tea"?
  • Please let Bishop Brooks know our plans, so that he may arrange to be with us.
  • I will see you to-morrow and then we can make the rest of our plans.
  • TO MR. JOHN P. SPAULDING South Boston, May 11th, 1892.
  • You remember teacher and I told you Sunday that I wanted to have a little tea in aid of the kindergarten.
  • We thought everything was arranged: but we found Monday that Mrs. Elliott would not be willing to let us invite more than fifty people, because Mrs. Howe's house is quite small.
  • Teacher said yesterday, that perhaps Mrs. Spaulding would be willing to let us have her beautiful house, and [I] thought I would ask you about it.
  • Do you think Mrs. Spaulding would help me, if I wrote to her?
  • I shall be so disappointed if my little plans fail, because I have wanted for a long time to do something for the poor little ones who are waiting to enter the kindergarten.
  • Please let me know what you think about the house, and try to forgive me for troubling you so much.
  • The preparations for my tea are nearly completed, and I am looking forward joyfully to the event.
  • I remember perfectly when my dear teacher came to me.
  • Then I was like the little blind children who are waiting to enter the kindergarten.
  • 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.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY Tuscumbia, Alabama, July 9th 1892.
  • My dear Carrie--You are to look upon it as a most positive proof of my love that I write to you to-day.
  • Sometimes we sat in the hammock, and teacher read to me.
  • Do you like to ride?
  • I have a very pretty little cart now, and if it ever stops raining teacher and I are going to drive every evening.
  • We expect to go to the mountains next week.
  • I like to have my friends' pictures even though I cannot see them.
  • Please give my love to Miss Derby and tell her that I hope she gave my sweetest love to Baby Ruth.
  • TO MR. JOHN HITZ Tuscumbia, Alabama, Dec. 19, 1892.
  • Teacher's eyes have been hurting her so that she could not write to any one, and I have been trying to fulfil a promise which I made last summer.
  • Before I left Boston, I was asked to write a sketch of my life for the Youth's Companion.
  • I had intended to write the sketch during my vacation: but I was not well, and I did not feel able to write even to my friends.
  • But when the bright, pleasant autumn days came, and I felt strong again I began to think about the sketch.
  • It was some time before I could plan it to suit me.
  • You see, it is not very pleasant to write all about one's self.
  • We received the Silent Worker which you sent, and I wrote right away to the editor to tell him that it was a mistake.
  • I hope you will write to me as often as you can.
  • Teacher and I are always delighted to hear from you.
  • I want to write to Mr. Bell and send him my picture.
  • I suppose he has been too busy to write to his little friend.
  • Now I am going to tell you a secret.
  • I would like to feel a parrot talk, it would be so much fun! but I would be pleased with, and love any little creature you send me.
  • I do try not to mourn his death too sadly.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Bell gave her a down pillow, which she held against her to increase the vibrations.
  • TO MRS. KATE ADAMS KELLER South Boston, April 13, 1893. ...Teacher, Mrs. Pratt and I very unexpectedly decided to take a journey with dear Dr. Bell Mr. Westervelt, a gentleman whom father met in Washington, has a school for the deaf in Rochester.
  • TO MRS. KATE ADAMS KELLER South Boston, April 13, 1893. ...Teacher, Mrs. Pratt and I very unexpectedly decided to take a journey with dear Dr. Bell Mr. Westervelt, a gentleman whom father met in Washington, has a school for the deaf in Rochester.
  • A gentleman asked me what BEAUTY meant to my mind.
  • 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!...
  • It seemed as if it were some living thing rushing on to some terrible fate.
  • I suppose you feel so, too, when you gaze up to the stars in the stillness of the night, do you not?...
  • When we crossed over to the Canadian side, I cried, "God save the Queen!"
  • You see, none of my friends describe things to me so vividly and so beautifully as he does....
  • Her visit to the World's Fair she described in a letter to Mr. John P. Spaulding, which was published in St. Nicholas, and is much like the following letter.
  • In a prefatory note which Miss Sullivan wrote for St. Nicholas, she says that people frequently said to her, "Helen sees more with her fingers than we do with our eyes."
  • TO THE CHIEFS OF THE DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICERS IN CHARGE OF BUILDINGS AND EXHIBITS
  • Please favour her with every facility to examine the exhibits in the several Departments, and extend to her such other courtesies as may be possible.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY Hulton, Penn., August 17, 1893.
  • ...Every one at the Fair was very kind to me...
  • 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.
  • I believe they gave me more pleasure than anything else at the Fair: they were so lifelike and wonderful to my touch.
  • Dr. Bell went with us himself to the electrical building, and showed us some of the historical telephones.
  • I saw the one through which Emperor Dom Pedro listened to the words, "To be, or not to be," at the Centennial.
  • I saw the one through which Emperor Dom Pedro listened to the words, "To be, or not to be," at the Centennial.
  • I went to the Japanese department with Prof. Morse who is a well-known lecturer.
  • Japan must indeed be a paradise for children to judge from the great number of playthings which are manufactured there.
  • He invited me to visit his museum in Salem the next time I go to Boston.
  • In the spring of 1893 a club was started in Tuscumbia, of which Mrs. Keller was president, to establish a public library.
  • I wrote to my friends about the work and enlisted their sympathy.
  • Several hundred books, including many fine ones, were sent to me in a short time, as well as money and encouragement.
  • Our quiet mountain home was especially attractive and restful after the excitement and fatigue of our visit to the World's Fair.
  • It is so pleasant to learn about new things.
  • Every day I find how little I know, but I do not feel discouraged since God has given me an eternity in which to learn more.
  • I used to say I did not like arithmetic very well, but now I have changed my mind.
  • I have only a few moments left in which to answer your questions about the "Helen Keller" Public Library.
  • My mother and several of my friends said they would help me with the establishment of a public library.
  • They have now about 100 books and about $55 in money, and a kind gentleman has given us land on which to erect a library building.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY Hulton, Penn., December 28, 1893. ...Please thank dear Miss Derby for me for the pretty shield which she sent me.
  • TO DR. EDWARD EVERETT HALE Hulton, Pennsylvania, January 14, [1894].
  • In February Helen and Miss Sullivan returned to Tuscumbia.
  • The "singing lessons" were to strengthen her voice.
  • The experiment was interesting, but of course came to little.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY The Wright-Humason School. 42 West 76th St. New York.
  • I expect to take piano lessons sometime....
  • Last Saturday our kind teachers planned a delightful trip to Bedloe's Island to see Bartholdi's great statue of Liberty enlightening the world....
  • A spiral stairway leads from the base of this pedestal to the torch.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY The Wright-Humason School.
  • Dr. Humason is still trying to improve my speech.
  • Oh, Carrie, how I should like to speak like other people!
  • I should be willing to work night and day if it could only be accomplished.
  • Think what a joy it would be to all of my friends to hear me speak naturally!!
  • ...You know our kind teachers take us to see everything which they think will interest us, and we learn a great deal in that delightful way.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Humason, Teacher, and I left the others at the Dog Show and went to a reception given by the "Metropolitan Club."...
  • TO MRS. KATE ADAMS KELLER New York, March 31, 1895. ...Teacher and I spent the afternoon at Mr. Hutton's, and had a most delightful time!...
  • I had known about them for a long time; but I had never thought that I should see them, and talk to them; and I can scarcely realize now that this great pleasure has been mine!
  • (If that is the way to spell the name.)
  • I was much disappointed not to see her, but I hope I shall have that pleasure some other time.
  • We also met Mr. Rogers... who kindly left his carriage to bring us home.
  • TO MRS. WILLIAM THAW New York, October 16, 1895.
  • Our friends were greatly surprised to see us, as they had not expected us before the last of this month.
  • We had to change cars at Philadelphia; but we did not mind it much.
  • He said no, it would not be called for about fifteen minutes; so we sat down to wait; but in a moment the man came back and asked Teacher if we would like to go to the train at once.
  • The last act affected us most deeply, and we all wept, wondering how the executioner could have the heart to tear the King from his loving wife's arms.
  • TO MISS CAROLINE DERBY New York, March 2nd, 1896. ...We miss dear King John sadly.
  • 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.
  • I am sure you would like to know Mr. and Mrs. Hutton, they are so kind and interesting.
  • 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.
  • But I try hard not to be discouraged.
  • TO MR. JOHN HITZ Brewster, Mass.
  • 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!
  • Teacher seems to feel benefitted by the change too; for she is already beginning to look like her dear old self.
  • We only need you, dear Mr. Hitz, to complete our happiness.
  • We will try to make you comfortable.
  • We had looked forward to seeing you there, and so we were greatly disappointed that you did not come.
  • 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!
  • We missed the Cape Cod train Friday morning, and so we came down to Provincetown in the steamer Longfellow.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin celebrated the 17th of June by giving a picnic to their literary friends.
  • Perhaps our guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown wiser, and learned how to use them rightly.
  • My heart is too full of sadness to dwell upon the happiness the summer has brought me.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON 37 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, Mass.
  • I know you want to hear how I like my school.
  • There are about a hundred girls, and they are all so bright and happy; it is a joy to be with them.
  • You will be glad to hear that I passed my examinations successfully.
  • They were the entrance examinations for Harvard College; so I feel pleased to think I could pass them.
  • This year is going to be a very busy one for Teacher and myself.
  • It is such a delight to be with the other girls, and do everything that they do.
  • TO MR. JOHN HITZ Wrentham, Mass.
  • July 9, 1897. ...Teacher and I are going to spend the summer at Wrentham, Mass. with our friends, the Chamberlins.
  • But I know you want to hear about my examinations.
  • It seems almost too good to be true, does it not?
  • All the time I was preparing for the great ordeal, I could not suppress an inward fear and trembling lest I should fail, and now it is an unspeakable relief to know that I have passed the examinations with credit.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON [Wrentham] May 29, 1898. ...My work goes on bravely.
  • On the other hand, when we learn a new word, it is the key to untold treasures....
  • TO CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER Wrentham, Mass., June 7, 1898.
  • I ride with a divided skirt, and so does my teacher; but it would be easier for her to mount a man's wheel than for me; so, if it could be arranged to have the ladies' seat behind, I think it would be better....
  • 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.
  • I have really learned to swim and dive--after a fashion!
  • It is almost no effort for me to row around the lake, no matter how heavy the load may be.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON 12 Newbury Street, Boston, October 23, 1898.
  • This is the first opportunity I have had to write to you since we came here last Monday.
  • Poor Teacher has had her hands full, attending to movers, and express-men, and all sorts of people.
  • I wish it were not such a bother to move, especially as we have to do it so often!...
  • He says he prefers to come here for the present.
  • But alas! they are not, and I shall have to content myself with a stroll in the Gardens.
  • They are like the people whom they see every day, who prefer the crowded, noisy city to the quiet and freedom of the country.
  • They look down pityingly on the country-folk, who have never had an opportunity "to see the great world."
  • Oh my! if they only realized their limitations, they would flee for their lives to the woods and fields.
  • TO MRS. WILLIAM THAW Boston, December 6th, 1898.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON 12 Newberry Street, Boston.
  • You will be glad to hear that I enjoy Mathematics now.
  • I think Mr. Keith is a wonderful teacher, and I feel very grateful to him for having made me see the beauty of Mathematics.
  • Next to my own dear teacher, he has done more than any one else to enrich and broaden my mind.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON 12 Newbury Street, Boston, January 17, 1899. ...Have you seen Kipling's "Dreaming True," or "Kitchener's School?"
  • 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?
  • 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....
  • TO MR. JOHN HITZ 12 Newbury Street, Boston, February 3, 1899. ...I had an exceedingly interesting experience last Monday.
  • A kind friend took me over in the morning to the Boston Art Museum.
  • 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."
  • I also saw poor Niobe with her youngest child clinging close to her while she implored the cruel goddess not to kill her last darling.
  • So you see, I had a foretaste of the pleasure which I hope some day to have of visiting Florence.
  • 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.
  • TO MR. WILLIAM WADE Boston, February 19th, 1899.
  • Why, bless you, I thought I wrote to you the day after the "Eclogues" arrived, and told you how glad I was to have them!
  • You will be glad to hear that the books from England are coming now.
  • 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.
  • It gives me great pleasure to hear how much is being done for the deaf-blind.
  • 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....
  • But it is most distressing to me to feel that she is sacrificing her sight for me.
  • 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.
  • She will not listen to me.
  • I have just had some pictures taken, and if they are good, I would like to send one to Mr. Rogers, if you think he would like to have it.
  • 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.
  • How I wish I had eyes to see them!
  • 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.
  • You will be glad to hear that my mother, and little sister and brother are coming north to spend this summer with me.
  • 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.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON [Boston] May 28th [1899]. ...We have had a hard day.
  • Cicero is splendid, but his orations are very difficult to translate.
  • Why, I should have to be a Cicero to talk like a Cicero!...
  • TO MR. WILLIAM WADE Wrentham, Mass., June 5, 1899. ...Linnie Haguewood's letter, which you sent me some weeks ago, interested me very much.
  • 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.
  • Why, I find it hard to understand them sometimes when they spell on their fingers.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON Wrentham, July 29, 1899. ...I passed in all the subjects I offered, and with credit in advanced Latin....
  • They would not allow Teacher to read any of the papers to me; so the papers were copied for me in braille.
  • Consequently, I did not do so well as I should have done, if Teacher had been allowed to read the Algebra and Geometry to me.
  • TO MRS. SAMUEL RICHARD FULLER Wrentham, October 20, 1899. ...I suppose it is time for me to tell you something about our plans for the winter.
  • TO MRS. SAMUEL RICHARD FULLER Wrentham, October 20, 1899. ...I suppose it is time for me to tell you something about our plans for the winter.
  • 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.
  • Miss Irwin seemed to have no objection to this proposal, and kindly offered to see the professors and find out if they would give me lessons.
  • Ignorance seems to be at the bottom of all these contradictions.
  • Why, you yourself seem to think that I taught you American braille, when you do not know a single letter in the system!
  • 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.
  • Mr. Vining was a perfect stranger to me, and could not communicate with me except by writing in braille.
  • The Proctor also was a stranger, and did not attempt to communicate with me in any way; and, as they were both unfamiliar with my speech, they could not readily understand what I said to them.
  • However, the braille worked well enough in the languages; but when it came to Geometry and Algebra, it was different.
  • Now there is one more fact, which I wish to state very plainly, in regard to what Mr. Gilman wrote to you.
  • Dear Frau Grote learned the manual alphabet, and used to teach me herself; but this was in private lessons, which were paid for by my friends.
  • In the German class Miss Sullivan interpreted to me as well as she could what the teacher said.
  • 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....
  • TO MISS MILDRED KELLER 138 Brattle Street, Cambridge, November 26, 1899. ...At last we are settled for the winter, and our work is going smoothly.
  • In French Teacher is reading "Columba" to me.
  • We are enjoying every moment of our visit, every one is so good to us.
  • We dined with the Rogers last Friday, and oh, they were so kind to us!
  • The thought of their gentle courtesy and genuine kindness brings a warm glow of joy and gratitude to my heart.
  • We went to St. Bartholomew's Sunday, and I have not felt so much at home in a church since dear Bishop Brooks died.
  • After the service he asked Mr. Warren, the organist to play for me.
  • TO MR. JOHN HITZ 138 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Feb. 3, 1900. ...My studies are more interesting than ever.
  • I do not think I have told you that my dear teacher is reading "The Faery Queen" to me.
  • 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.
  • Is it possible for the College to accommodate itself to these unprecedented conditions, so as to enable me to pursue my studies at Radcliffe?
  • My friends think it very strange that they should hesitate so long, especially when I have not asked them to simplify my work in the least, but only to modify it so as to meet the existing circumstances.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I considered this suggestion carefully, then I told Mr. Rhoades that I should be proud and glad to have wise friends to whom I could always turn for advice in all important matters.
  • Mrs. Hutton had already written to mother, asking her to telegraph if she was willing for me to have other advisers besides herself and Teacher.
  • This morning we received word that mother had given her consent to this arrangement.
  • I had had misgivings on this point; but I could not see how we were to help it.
  • Funds were to be raised for the teachers' lodgings and also for their salaries.
  • Radcliffe girls are always up to their ears in work.
  • I'm enjoying my work even more than I expected to, which is another way of saying that I'm glad I came.
  • I don't however intend to give up Latin and Greek entirely.
  • 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....
  • She has never been taught; but they say she can sew and likes to help others in this sort of work.
  • Why, when she enters a store, she will go straight to the showcases, and she can also distinguish her own things.
  • Her parents are very anxious indeed to find a teacher for her.
  • They have also written to Mr. Hitz about her.
  • She said that Maud was born deaf and lost her sight when she was only three months old, and that when she went to the Institution a few weeks ago, she was quite helpless.
  • When they tried to teach her to string beads, her little hands fell to her side.
  • I have written to her that when Maud learns to read, I shall have many stories to send her.
  • The dear, sweet little girl, it makes my heart ache to think how utterly she is cut off from all that is good and desirable in life.
  • But Miss Watkins seems to be just the kind of teacher she needs.
  • The latter wished to send her some books; but she could not find anything simple enough for her!
  • I was much surprised to hear all this; for I judged from your letters that Katie was a very precocious girl....
  • 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.
  • TO MR. CHARLES T. COPELAND December 20, 1900.
  • Now, however, I see the folly of attempting to hitch one's wagon to a star with harness that does not belong to it.
  • It never occurred to me that it might be worth while to make my own observations and describe the experiences peculiarly my own.
  • TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON 14 Coolidge Avenue, Cambridge, December 27, 1900. ...So you read about our class luncheon in the papers?
  • I only spoke a few words, as I did not know I was expected to speak until a few minutes before I was called upon.
  • I have worn it only once, but then I felt that Solomon in all his glory was not to be compared with me!
  • A gentleman in Philadelphia has just written to my teacher about a deaf and blind child in Paris, whose parents are Poles.
  • 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?
  • Why, it is the print that can be most readily adapted to many different languages.
  • The blind alone could not support it, but it would not take very much money to make up the additional expense.
  • To THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Cambridge, Feb. 16, 1901.
  • Gentlemen: I have only to-day found time to reply to your interesting letter.
  • A little bird had already sung the good news in my ear; but it was doubly pleasant to have it straight from you.
  • It would be splendid to have The Great Round World printed in "language that can be felt."
  • To be able to read for one's self what is being willed, thought and done in the world--the world in whose joys and sorrows, failures and successes one feels the keenest interest--that would indeed be a happiness too deep for words.
  • To be able to read for one's self what is being willed, thought and done in the world--the world in whose joys and sorrows, failures and successes one feels the keenest interest--that would indeed be a happiness too deep for words.
  • 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.
  • Surely there are hearts and hands ever ready to make it possible for generous intentions to be wrought into noble deeds.
  • When the Indiana visited Halifax, we were invited to go on board, and she sent her own launch for us.
  • He had just constructed a boat that could be propelled by a kite with the wind in its favor, and one day he tried experiments to see if he could steer the kite against the wind.
  • It began to pull and tug, and lo, the wires broke, and off went the great red dragon, and poor Dr. Bell stood looking forlornly after it.
  • 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!
  • I will ask Dr. Hale to lend me the letter, so that I can make a copy of it for you.
  • You see, I use a typewriter--it is my right hand man, so to speak.
  • Without it I do not see how I could go to college.
  • What is remarkable in her career is already accomplished, and whatever she may do in the future will be but a relatively slight addition to the success which distinguishes her now.
  • 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.
  • I ought to apologize to the reader and to Miss Keller for presuming to say what her subject matter is worth, but one more explanation is necessary.
  • She is less able to recall events of fifteen years ago than most of us are to recollect our childhood.
  • That is why her teacher's records may be found to differ in some particulars from Miss Keller's account.
  • The way in which Miss Keller wrote her story shows, as nothing else can show, the difficulties she had to overcome.
  • 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.
  • Long corrections she wrote out on her typewriter, with catch-words to indicate where they belonged.
  • She sat running her finger over the braille manuscript, stopping now and then to refer to the braille notes on which she had indicated her corrections, all the time reading aloud to verify the manuscript.
  • As a matter of fact, most of the advice she has received and heeded has led to excisions rather than to additions.
  • She seems to be more nervous than she really is, because she expresses more with her hands than do most English-speaking people.
  • Indeed, at one time it was believed that the best way for them to communicate was through systematized gestures, the sign language invented by the Abbe de l'Epee.
  • 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.
  • Some one asked her if she liked to study.
  • "Yes," she replied, "but I like to play also, and I feel sometimes as if I were a music box with all the play shut up inside me."
  • 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.
  • "Well," she replied, "he seems to have done all the essential things."
  • Finally Miss Keller told him to "fire both barrels."
  • Mr. Joseph Jefferson was once explaining to Miss Keller what the bumps on her head meant.
  • It was this same perseverance that made her go to college.
  • After she had passed her examinations and received her certificate of admission, she was advised by the Dean of Radcliffe and others not to go on.
  • Her life has been a series of attempts to do whatever other people do, and to do it as well.
  • Her success has been complete, for in trying to be like other people she has come most fully to be herself.
  • Her unwillingness to be beaten has developed her courage.
  • If she does not know the answer to a question, she guesses with mischievous assurance.
  • If it happens to be blue, and you tell her so triumphantly, she is likely to answer, Thank you.
  • 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.
  • In the same way her response to music is in part sympathetic, although she enjoys it for its own sake.
  • Music probably can mean little to her but beat and pulsation.
  • She cannot sing and she cannot play the piano, although, as some early experiments show, she could learn mechanically to beat out a tune on the keys.
  • But she seems to feel the pulsation of the air itself.
  • Sometimes she puts her hand on a singer's throat to feel the muscular thrill and contraction, and from this she gets genuine pleasure.
  • 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.
  • But every one who has met her has given his best ideas to her and she has taken them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If her companion does not give her enough details, Miss Keller asks questions until she has completed the view to her satisfaction.
  • She does not see with her eyes, but through the inner faculty to serve which eyes were given to us.
  • 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.
  • Miss Keller used to knit and crochet, but she has had better things to do.
  • She was slower than he expected her to be in identifying them by their relative weight and size.
  • Anything shallower than a half-inch bas-relief is a blank to her, so far as it expresses an idea of beauty.
  • 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.
  • He says that she did pretty well and managed to make, after models, some conventional designs of the outlines of leaves and rosettes.
  • Her manuscripts seldom contain typographical errors when she hands them to Miss Sullivan to read.
  • Miss Keller's reading of the manual alphabet by her sense of touch seems to cause some perplexity.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Miss Keller has a braille writer on which she keeps notes and writes letters to her blind friends.
  • They cost a great deal to publish and they have not a large enough sale to make them profitable to the publisher; but there are several institutions with special funds to pay for embossed 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.
  • Miss Keller talks to herself absent-mindedly in the manual alphabet.
  • 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.
  • To what extent she now identifies objects by their odour is hard to determine.
  • To what extent she now identifies objects by their odour is hard to determine.
  • 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.
  • Philosophers have tried to find out what was her conception of abstract ideas before she learned language.
  • 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.
  • No attempt is made by those around her either to preserve or to break her illusions.
  • The world to her is what her own mind is.
  • Yesterday I read to her the story of 'Macbeth,' as told by Charles and Mary Lamb.
  • After thinking a little while, she added, 'I think Shakespeare made it very terrible so that people would see how fearful it is to do wrong.'
  • Of the real world she knows more of the good and less of the evil than most people seem to know.
  • Once when some one asked her to define "love," she replied, "Why, bless you, that is easy; it is what everybody feels for everybody else."
  • "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."
  • Often, however, her sober ideas are not to be laughed at, for her earnestness carries her listeners with her.
  • 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.
  • In the diary that she kept at the Wright-Humason School in New York she wrote on October 18, 1894, "I find that I have four things to learn in my school life here, and indeed, in life--to think clearly without hurry or confusion, to love everybody sincerely, to act in everything with the highest motives, and to trust in dear God unhesitatingly."
  • It is now sixty-five years since Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe knew that he had made his way through Laura Bridgman's fingers to her intelligence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Science and faith together led him to try to make his way into the soul which he believed was born in Laura Bridgman as in every other human being.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In a letter dated April 10, 1887, only five weeks after she went to Helen Keller, she wrote to a friend:
  • How perfectly absurd to say that Helen is 'already talking fluently!'
  • Then it is amusing to read of the elaborate preparation I underwent to fit me for the great task my friends entrusted to me.
  • The truth is not wonderful enough to suit the newspapers; so they enlarge upon it and invent ridiculous embellishments.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • So she consented to the publication of extracts from letters which she wrote during the first year of her work with her pupil.
  • These letters were written to Mrs. Sophia C. Hopkins, the only person to whom Miss Sullivan ever wrote freely.
  • Some of the details she had forgotten, as she grew more and more to generalize.
  • Many people have thought that any attempt to find the principles in her method would be nothing but a later theory superimposed on Miss Sullivan's work.
  • When Captain Keller applied to the director for a teacher, Mr. Anagnos recommended her.
  • The only time she had to prepare herself for the work with her pupil was from August, 1886, when Captain Keller wrote, to February, 1887.
  • It was Dr. Howe who, by his work with Laura Bridgman, made Miss Sullivan's work possible: but it was Miss Sullivan who discovered the way to teach language to the deaf-blind.
  • It must be remembered that Miss Sullivan had to solve her problems unaided by previous experience or the assistance of any other teacher.
  • 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.
  • Some of her opinions Miss Sullivan would like to enlarge and revise.
  • That remains for her to do at another time.
  • The drive from the station to the house, a distance of one mile, was very lovely and restful.
  • I was surprised to find Mrs. Keller a very young-looking woman, not much older than myself, I should think.
  • I tried with all my might to control the eagerness that made me tremble so that I could hardly walk.
  • She felt my face and dress and my bag, which she took out of my hand and tried to open.
  • It did not open easily, and she felt carefully to see if there was a keyhole.
  • Finding that there was, she turned to me, making the sign of turning a key and pointing to the bag.
  • Her face flushed, and when her mother attempted to take the bag from her, she grew very angry.
  • Here I opened the bag, and she went through it eagerly, probably expecting to find something to eat.
  • Friends had probably brought her candy in their bags, and she expected to find some in mine.
  • I made her understand, by pointing to a trunk in the hall and to myself and nodding my head, that I had a trunk, and then made the sign that she had used for eating, and nodded again.
  • 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.
  • Her face is hard to describe.
  • She is very quick-tempered and wilful, and nobody, except her brother James, has attempted to control her.
  • I shall go rather slowly at first and try to win her love.
  • I shall not attempt to conquer her by force alone; but I shall insist on reasonable obedience from the start.
  • Her untaught, unsatisfied hands destroy whatever they touch because they do not know what else to do with things.
  • I thought it a good opportunity to teach her her first word.
  • Whenever anybody gives her anything, she points to it, then to herself, and nods her head.
  • She imitated them very well and pointed to the doll.
  • Then I took the doll, meaning to give it back to her when she had made the letters; but she thought I meant to take it from her, and in an instant she was in a temper, and tried to seize the doll.
  • I shook my head and tried to form the letters with her fingers; but she got more and more angry.
  • 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 let her go, but refused to give up the doll.
  • Of course she wanted it and tried to take it; but I spelled the word again and patted her hand.
  • She ran downstairs with it and could not be induced to return to my room all day.
  • Yesterday I gave her a sewing-card to do.
  • She began to work delightedly and finished the card in a few minutes, and did it very neatly indeed.
  • I made the signs that she had used when she wished me to go for the cake, and pushed her toward the door.
  • She decided to send me instead.
  • She was very troublesome when I began to write this morning.
  • Finally I remembered the kindergarten beads, and set her to work stringing them.
  • She nodded and began at once to fill the string with wooden beads.
  • She amused herself with the beads until dinner-time, bringing the strings to me now and then for my approval.
  • I had a lot to say, and couldn't stop to think how to express things neatly.
  • If you want to, you may read it to my friends.
  • Although I try very hard not to force issues, I find it very difficult to avoid them.
  • I locked the dining-room door, and proceeded to eat my breakfast, though the food almost choked me.
  • Helen was lying on the floor, kicking and screaming and trying to pull my chair from under me.
  • She kept this up for half an hour, then she got up to see what I was doing.
  • Then she went all round the table to see who was there, and finding no one but me, she seemed bewildered.
  • After a few minutes she came back to her place and began to eat her breakfast with her fingers.
  • Finding it locked, she began to kick and scream all over again.
  • Then I let her out into the warm sunshine and went up to my room and threw myself on the bed exhausted.
  • Don't worry; I'll do my best and leave the rest to whatever power manages that which we cannot.
  • 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.
  • As I began to teach her, I was beset by many difficulties.
  • 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.
  • 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 saw clearly that it was useless to try to teach her language or anything else until she learned to obey me.
  • As I wrote you, I meant to go slowly at first.
  • But I soon found that I was cut off from all the usual approaches to the child's heart.
  • 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.
  • I had a good, frank talk with Mrs. Keller, and explained to her how difficult it was going to be to do anything with Helen under the existing circumstances.
  • I told her that in my opinion the child ought to be separated from the family for a few weeks at least--that she must learn to depend on and obey me before I could make any headway.
  • There is a piazza in front, covered with vines that grow so luxuriantly that you have to part them to see the garden beyond.
  • She devoted herself to her dolls the first evening, and when it was bedtime she undressed very quietly, but when she felt me get into bed with her, she jumped out on the other side, and nothing that I could do would induce her to get in again.
  • But I was afraid she would take cold, and I insisted that she must go to bed.
  • She kept going to the door, as if she expected some one, and every now and then she would touch her cheek, which is her sign for her mother, and shake her head sadly.
  • She played with her dolls more than usual, and would have nothing to do with me.
  • It is amusing and pathetic to see Helen with her dolls.
  • 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.
  • Helen knows several words now, but has no idea how to use them, or that everything has a name.
  • You will be glad to hear that my experiment is working out finely.
  • 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.
  • He saw a gentleman whom he presumed to be the director, and told him about Helen.
  • Doesn't it seem strange that Mr. Anagnos never referred to this interview?
  • It now remains my pleasant task to direct and mould the beautiful intelligence that is beginning to stir in the child-soul.
  • Her father looks in at us morning and evening as he goes to and from his office, and sees her contentedly stringing her beads or making horizontal lines on her sewing-card, and exclaims, "How quiet she is!"
  • I have noticed also that she eats much less, a fact which troubles her father so much that he is anxious to get her home.
  • I don't agree with him; but I suppose we shall have to leave our little bower very soon.
  • When she spells "milk," she points to the mug, and when she spells "mug," she makes the sign for pouring or drinking, which shows that she has confused the words.
  • This pleased her very much and stimulated her ambition to excel Percy.
  • 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.
  • She usually feels the softest step and throws out her arms to ascertain if any one is near her.
  • Belle didn't seem very anxious to attract her attention.
  • Then Helen sat down by her and began to manipulate her claws.
  • 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.
  • They have promised to let me have a free hand and help me as much as possible.
  • I realize that it hurts to see their afflicted little child punished and made to do things against her will.
  • Only a few hours after my talk with Captain and Mrs. Keller (and they had agreed to everything), Helen took a notion that she wouldn't use her napkin at table.
  • I think she wanted to see what would happen.
  • I took her plate away and started to take her out of the room.
  • Helen didn't come up to my room after supper, and I didn't see her again until breakfast-time.
  • She called my attention to the new arrangement, and when I did not object she seemed pleased and patted herself.
  • I wondered if she was trying to "make up."
  • I went back to the dining-room and got a napkin.
  • Helen loves to dig and play in the dirt like any other child.
  • This morning she planted her doll and showed me that she expected her to grow as tall as I. You must see that she is very bright, but you have no idea how cunning she is.
  • She learned to knit very quickly, and is making a wash-cloth for her mother.
  • The hour from twelve to one is devoted to the learning of new words.
  • Often, when the weather is fine, we drive from four to six, or go to see her aunt at Ivy Green or her cousins in the town.
  • Helen's instincts are decidedly social; she likes to have people about her and to visit her friends, partly, I think, because they always have things she likes to eat.
  • 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.
  • Mrs. Keller wanted to get a nurse for her, but I concluded I'd rather be her nurse than look after a stupid, lazy negress.
  • She has learned that EVERYTHING HAS A NAME, AND THAT THE MANUAL ALPHABET IS THE KEY TO EVERYTHING SHE WANTS TO KNOW.
  • This morning, while she was washing, she wanted to know the name for "water."
  • 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.
  • We went out to the pump-house, and I made Helen hold her mug under the spout while I pumped.
  • The word coming so close upon the sensation of cold water rushing over her hand seemed to startle her.
  • Then she dropped on the ground and asked for its name and pointed to the pump and the trellis, and suddenly turning round she asked for my name.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • She has flitted from object to object, asking the name of everything and kissing me for very gladness.
  • I see an improvement in Helen day to day, almost from hour to hour.
  • She is anxious for her friends to spell, and eager to teach the letters to every one she meets.
  • I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO TRY TO HAVE REGULAR LESSONS FOR THE PRESENT.
  • I sent Helen away and sat down to think.
  • The child comes into the world with the ability to learn, and he learns of himself, provided he is supplied with sufficient outward stimulus.
  • He sees people do things, and he tries to do them.
  • BUT LONG BEFORE HE UTTERS HIS FIRST WORD, HE UNDERSTANDS WHAT IS SAID TO HIM.
  • In response to questions she points out prettily her nose, mouth, eye, chin, cheek, ear.
  • If I hand her a flower, and say, "Give it to mamma," she takes it to her mother.
  • She obeys many commands like these: "Come," "Kiss," "Go to papa," "Shut the door," "Give me the biscuit."
  • These observations have given me a clue to the method to be followed in teaching Helen language.I SHALL TALK INTO HER HAND AS WE TALK INTO THE BABY'S EARS.
  • I SHALL USE COMPLETE SENTENCES IN TALKING TO HER, and fill out the meaning with gestures and her descriptive signs when necessity requires it; but I shall not try to keep her mind fixed on any one thing.
  • I SHALL USE COMPLETE SENTENCES IN TALKING TO HER, and fill out the meaning with gestures and her descriptive signs when necessity requires it; but I shall not try to keep her mind fixed on any one thing.
  • I shall do all I can to interest and stimulate it, and wait for results.
  • She learns because she can't help it, just as the bird learns to fly.
  • "Go" means, "I want to go out."
  • But when I spell into her hand, "Give me some bread," she hands me the bread, or if I say, "Get your hat and we will go to walk," she obeys instantly.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily.
  • She had signs for SMALL and LARGE long before I came to her.
  • 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.
  • I can now tell her to bring me a large book or a small plate, to go upstairs slowly, to run fast and to walk quickly.
  • I told her to shut the door, and she added, "and lock."
  • She kept spelling "dog--baby" and pointing to her five fingers one after another, and sucking them.
  • Nothing would do but I must go somewhere with her to see something.
  • She led the way to the pump-house, and there in the corner was one of the setters with five dear little pups!
  • She screamed with glee when the little things squealed and squirmed in their efforts to get back to their mother, and spelled, "Baby--eat large."
  • She pointed to each puppy, one after another, and to her five fingers, and I taught her the word FIVE.
  • 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.
  • I told her to ask her father, and she said, "No--mother."
  • She evidently thought mothers were more likely to know about babies of all sorts.
  • 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.
  • Soon after, she began to vary her steps from large to small, and little mincing steps were "very small."
  • She is going through the house now, applying the new words to all kinds of objects.
  • It's only fair to the child, anyhow, and it saves you much unnecessary trouble.
  • We have begun to take long walks every morning, immediately after breakfast.
  • Indeed, I feel as if I had never seen anything until now, Helen finds so much to ask about along the way.
  • Every new word Helen learns seems to carry with it necessity for many more.
  • Keller's Landing was used during the war to land troops, but has long since gone to pieces, and is overgrown with moss and weeds.
  • Near the landing there is a beautiful little spring, which Helen calls "squirrel-cup," because I told her the squirrels came there to drink.
  • She has felt dead squirrels and rabbits and other wild animals, and is anxious to see a "walk-squirrel," which interpreted, means, I think, a "live squirrel."
  • We go home about dinner-time usually, and Helen is eager to tell her mother everything she has seen.
  • The impulse to tell is the important thing.
  • Helen is a wonderful child, so spontaneous and eager to learn.
  • 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.
  • How I long to put it in order!
  • Oh, if only there were some one to help me!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It would astonish you to see how many words she learns in an hour in this pleasant manner.
  • 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.
  • She is delighted with action-words; so it is no trouble at all to teach her verbs.
  • 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.
  • Please give my kind regards to Mr. Anagnos and let him see my letter, if you think best.
  • It is hard to know what to do with her.
  • The doctor says her mind is too active; but how are we to keep her from thinking?
  • She begins to spell the minute she wakes up in the morning, and continues all day long.
  • If I refuse to talk to her, she spells into her own hand, and apparently carries on the liveliest conversation with herself.
  • 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.
  • She has often gone with me to the post-office to mail letters, and I suppose I have repeated to her things I wrote to you.
  • She knew, too, that I sometimes write "letters to blind girls" on the slate; but I didn't suppose that she had any clear idea what a letter was.
  • I asked her what she had written to Frank.
  • Helen is almost as eager to read as she is to talk.
  • The other night when I went to bed, I found Helen sound asleep with a big book clasped tightly in her arms.
  • If, indeed, they apply to me even remotely, I do not see that I deserve any laudation on that account.
  • And right here I want to say something which is for your ears alone.
  • I know that she has remarkable powers, and I believe that I shall be able to develop and mould them.
  • I had no idea a short time ago how to go to work; I was feeling about in the dark; but somehow I know now, and I know that I know.
  • I shall write freely to you and tell you everything, on one condition: It is this: you must promise never to show my letters to any one.
  • Indeed, the Tophetic weather has reduced us all to a semi-liquid state.
  • When the sun got round to the window where she was sitting with her book, she got up impatiently and shut the window.
  • Sun must go to bed.
  • One day, when I wanted her to bring me some water, she said: Legs very tired.
  • The hen was very gentle, and made no objection to our investigations.
  • Besides the chickens, we have several other additions to the family--two calves, a colt, and a penful of funny little pigs.
  • You would be amused to see me hold a squealing pig in my arms, while Helen feels it all over, and asks countless questions--questions not easy to answer either.
  • 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.
  • It's queer how ready people always are with advice in any real or imaginary emergency, and no matter how many times experience has shown them to be wrong, they continue to set forth their opinions, as if they had received them from the Almighty!
  • It gives her something to do, and keeps her quiet, which I think is desirable while this enervating weather lasts.
  • I hope it will not occur to her to count the hairs of her head.
  • I happened to tell her the other day that the vine on the fence was a "creeper."
  • She was greatly amused, and began at once to find analogies between her movements and those of the plants.
  • We had a glorious thunder-tempest last night, and it's much cooler to-day.
  • She wanted to know if men were shooting in the sky when she felt the thunder, and if the trees and flowers drank all the rain.
  • My little pupil continues to manifest the same eagerness to learn as at first.
  • Her every waking moment is spent in the endeavour to satisfy her innate desire for knowledge, and her mind works so incessantly that we have feared for her health.
  • During our walks she keeps up a continual spelling, and delights to accompany it with actions such as skipping, hopping, jumping, running, walking fast, walking slow, and the like.
  • 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.
  • When she had finished the letter she carried it to her mother and spelled, "Frank letter," and gave it to her brother to take to the post-office.
  • She had been with me to take letters to the post-office.
  • She is always ready to share whatever she has with those about her, often keeping but very little for herself.
  • She discovered a hole in her boot the other morning, and, after breakfast, she went to her father and spelled, "Helen new boot Simpson (her brother) buggy store man."
  • I heard Helen screaming, and ran down to see what was the matter.
  • It seems Viney had attempted to take a glass, which Helen was filling with stones, fearing that she would break it.
  • 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.
  • When I took her hand she was trembling violently, and began to cry.
  • I asked what was the matter, and she spelled: "Viney--bad," and began to slap and kick her with renewed violence.
  • Later Helen came to my room, looking very sad, and wanted to kiss me.
  • She knew that I was much troubled, and would have liked to stay near me; but I thought it best for her to sit by herself.
  • She began to cry and sob and clung to me.
  • She was very much excited when we went upstairs; so I tried to interest her in a curious insect called a stick-bug.
  • Her heart was full of trouble, and she wanted to talk about it.
  • She was very willing to go, and let Viney kiss her, though she didn't return the caress.
  • 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.
  • Can flies know not to bite?
  • 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.
  • We had Helen's picture taken with a fuzzy, red-eyed little poodle, who got himself into my lady's good graces by tricks and cunning devices known only to dogs with an instinct for getting what they want.
  • She has talked incessantly since her return about what she did in Huntsville, and we notice a very decided improvement in her ability to use language.
  • She remembers all that I told her about it, and in telling her mother REPEATED THE VERY WORDS AND PHRASES I HAD USED IN DESCRIBING IT TO HER.
  • In conclusion she asked her mother if she should like to see "very high mountain and beautiful cloudcaps."
  • 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.
  • How did doctor know where to find baby?
  • Did Leila tell doctor to get very small new baby?
  • If it was natural for Helen to ask such questions, it was my duty to answer them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The only thing for me to do in a perplexity is to go ahead, and learn by making mistakes.
  • 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 had no difficulty in making it clear to her that if plants and animals didn't produce offspring after their kind, they would cease to exist, and everything in the world would soon die.
  • I did, however, try to give her the idea that love is the great continuer of life.
  • He invited her to come to see him at Hot Springs.
  • 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.
  • It was amusing to see her hold it before her eyes and spell the sentences out on her fingers, just as I had done.
  • Afterward she tried to read it to Belle (the dog) and Mildred.
  • Finally Belle got up, shook herself, and was about to walk away, when Helen caught her by the neck and forced her to lie down again.
  • I do not wonder you were surprised to hear that I was going to write something for the report.
  • He agreed with Mr. Anagnos that it was my duty to give others the benefit of my experience.
  • Besides, they said Helen's wonderful deliverance might be a boon to other afflicted children.
  • It's easy enough, however, to say Helen is wonderful, because she really is.
  • She found the word "brown" in her primer and wanted to know its meaning.
  • Helen was eager to know "more colour."
  • She likes to have me tell her what I see in pictures.
  • 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.
  • I have two copies, and will send you one; but you mustn't show it to anybody.
  • She talks a great deal about what she will do when she goes to Boston.
  • Helen wrote another letter to the little girls yesterday, and her father sent it to Mr. Anagnos.
  • Ask him to let you see it.
  • She has begun to use the pronouns of her own accord.
  • This morning I happened to say, "Helen will go upstairs."
  • Yesterday's perplexities are strangely simple to-day, and to-day's difficulties become to-morrow's pastime.
  • The rapid development of Helen's mind is beautiful to watch.
  • Now he wants a picture "of darling Helen and her illustrious teacher, to grace the pages of the forthcoming annual report."
  • You have probably read, ere this, Helen's second letter to the little girls.
  • She is also beginning to realize that she is not like other children.
  • One day I took her to the cistern.
  • Neither the length of the word nor the combination of letters seems to make any difference to the child.
  • 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.
  • I then said to her with the finger alphabet, "wind fast," or "wind slow," holding her hands and showing her how to do as I wished.
  • The next day, while exercising, she spelled to me, "Helen wind fast," and began to walk rapidly.
  • Then she said, "Helen wind slow," again suiting the action to the words.
  • I now thought it time to teach her to read printed words.
  • She moved her finger from one printed character to another as I formed each letter on my fingers.
  • 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.
  • Instantly she caught the idea, and asked me to find DOG and many other words.
  • About this time I sent a list of the words she knew to Mr. Anagnos, and he very kindly had them printed for her.
  • I then guided her hand to form the sentence, "Cat does drink milk."
  • She carried it to her mother, who spelled it to her.
  • As she had now learned to express her ideas on paper, I next taught her the braille system.
  • 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.
  • She was working recently with the number forty, when I said to her, "Make twos."
  • 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.
  • The flowers did not seem to give her pleasure, and she was very quiet while we stayed there.
  • We took Helen to the circus, and had "the time of our lives"!
  • The circus people were much interested in Helen, and did everything they could to make her first circus a memorable event.
  • 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.
  • She said to the keeper, "I will take the baby lions home and teach them to be mild."
  • 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.
  • She was greatly delighted with the monkeys and kept her hand on the star performer while he went through his tricks, and laughed heartily when he took off his hat to the audience.
  • One cute little fellow stole her hair-ribbon, and another tried to snatch the flowers out of her hat.
  • 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."
  • In order to answer her questions, I have been obliged to read a great deal about animals.
  • I find it hard to realize that Christmas is almost here, in spite of the fact that Helen talks about nothing else.
  • Helen has learned to tell the time at last, and her father is going to give her a watch for Christmas.
  • Helen is as eager to have stories told her as any hearing child I ever knew.
  • She likes stories that make her cry--I think we all do, it's so nice to feel sad when you've nothing particular to be sad about.
  • Of course I don't try to explain everything.
  • TOO MUCH EXPLANATION DIRECTS THE CHILD'S ATTENTION TO WORDS AND SENTENCES, SO THAT HE FAILS TO GET THE THOUGHT AS A WHOLE.
  • Helen is invited to all the children's entertainments, and I take her to as many as I can.
  • I want her to know children and to be with them as much as possible.
  • Several little girls have learned to spell on their fingers and are very proud of the accomplishment.
  • One little chap, about seven, was persuaded to learn the letters, and he spelled his name for Helen.
  • She was delighted, and showed her joy, by hugging and kissing him, much to his embarrassment.
  • She objected to its miscellaneous fruits and began to remove them, evidently thinking they were all meant for her.
  • It was not difficult, however, to make her understand that there was a present for each child, and to her great delight she was permitted to hand the gifts to the children.
  • She placed them in a chair, resisting all temptation to look at them until every child had received his gifts.
  • It was very sweet to see the children's eager interest in Helen, and their readiness to give her pleasure.
  • After dinner it began to snow, and we had a good frolic and an interesting lesson about the snow.
  • 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 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.
  • When I see that she is eager to tell me something, but is hampered because she does not know the words, I supply them and the necessary idioms, and we get along finely.
  • The child's eagerness and interest carry her over many obstacles that would be our undoing if we stopped to define and explain everything.
  • What would happen, do you think, if some one should try to measure our intelligence by our ability to define the commonest words we use?
  • It was touching and beautiful to see Helen enjoy her first Christmas.
  • 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."
  • She had a trunk and clothes for Nancy, and her comment was, "Now Nancy will go to party."
  • So far, her only knowledge of death is in connection with things to eat.
  • Why, for instance, does he take the trouble to ascribe motives to me that I never dreamed of?
  • 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 wanted her to write to her Uncle Frank this morning, but she objected.
  • In a flash she answered, "I think Uncle Frank is much (too) old to read very small letters."
  • Finally I persuaded her to write a few lines; but she broke her pencil six times before she finished it.
  • I said to her, "You are a naughty girl."
  • It was nothing but excitement from first to last--drives, luncheons, receptions, and all that they involve when you have an eager, tireless child like Helen on your hands.
  • I don't know what I should have done, had some of the young people not learned to talk with her.
  • But even then I can never have a quiet half hour to myself.
  • 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.
  • The stores in Memphis are very good, and I managed to spend all the money that I had with me.
  • "I will buy some good candy to take to Tuscumbia," was her reply.
  • 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.
  • I did not have a chance to finish my letter yesterday.
  • Miss Ev. came up to help me make a list of words Helen has learned.
  • She seems to like to tell all she knows.
  • I wrote letter to Uncle James.
  • After dinner father went to Birmingham on train far away.
  • He said Dear Helen, Robert was glad to get a letter from dear, sweet little Helen.
  • I will come to see you when the sun shines.
  • Mr. Mayo went to Duckhill and brought home many sweet flowers.
  • I am going to Memphis to see them soon, and they will hug and kiss me.
  • Thornton goes to school and gets his face dirty.
  • Now, I will go to bed.
  • Captain Keller said at breakfast this morning that he wished I would take Helen to church.
  • 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.
  • She seemed to think at first that the children all belonged to the visiting ministers; but soon she recognized some little friends among them, and I told her the ministers didn't bring their children with them.
  • One of the ministers wished me to ask Helen, "What do ministers do?"
  • She said, "They read and talk loud to people to be good."
  • 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."
  • It was impossible to keep Helen quiet.
  • He gave her his watch to play with; but that didn't keep her still.
  • She wanted to show it to the little boy in the seat behind us.
  • When the wine was passed to our neighbour, he was obliged to stand up to prevent her taking it away from him.
  • 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.
  • Captain Keller invited some of the ministers to dinner.
  • 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!
  • I wonder if the days seem as interminable to you as they do to me.
  • I think Mrs. Keller has definitely decided to go with us, but she will not stay all summer.
  • Do you realize that this is the last letter I shall write to you for a long, long time?
  • I am too happy to write letters; but I must tell you about our visit to Cincinnati.
  • Almost every one on the train was a physician, and Dr. Keller seemed to know them all.
  • She was delighted with the orchestra at the hotel, and whenever the music began she danced round the room, hugging and kissing every one she happened to touch.
  • Her happiness impressed all; nobody seemed to pity her.
  • Another said, "Damn me! but I'd give everything I own in the world to have that little girl always near me."
  • But I haven't time to write all the pleasant things people said--they would make a very large book, and the kind things they did for us would fill another volume.
  • He took us to drive one afternoon, and wanted to give Helen a doll; but she said: I do not like too many children.
  • "Some beautiful gloves to talk with," she answered.
  • 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.
  • It would indeed be a herculean task to teach the words if the ideas did not already exist in the child's mind.
  • If his experiences and observations hadn't led him to the concepts, SMALL, LARGE, GOOD, BAD, SWEET, SOUR, he would have nothing to attach the word-tags to.
  • It is not the word, but the capacity to experience the sensation that counts in his education.
  • Two of the teachers knew the manual alphabet, and talked to her without an interpreter.
  • I like to kick my large ball.
  • Wouldn't the children understand if you talked to them about Helen?
  • These children were older in years, it is true, than the baby who lisps, "Papa kiss baby--pretty," and fills out her meaning by pointing to her new dress; but their ability to understand and use language was no greater.
  • Miss Sullivan's second report brings the account down to October 1st, 1888.
  • 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.
  • Indeed, her whole body is so finely organized that she seems to use it as a medium for bringing herself into closer relations with her fellow creatures.
  • 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.
  • On one occasion, while walking on the Common with her, I saw a police officer taking a man to the station-house.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • At last it became necessary to kill him, and, when Helen next asked to go and see him, I told her that he was DEAD.
  • 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?"
  • Turning to my friend, she asked, "Did you cry loud for poor little Florence?"
  • As she continued to ask these distressing questions, we left the cemetery.
  • On her return to the house after her visit to the cemetery, she ran to the closet where these toys were kept, and carried them to my friend, saying, "They are poor little Florence's."
  • This was true, although we were at a loss to understand how she guessed it.
  • A letter written to her mother in the course of the following week gave an account of her impression in her own words:
  • I put my little babies to sleep in Florence's little bed, and I take them to ride in her carriage.
  • Doctor gave her medicine to make her well, but poor Florence did not get well.
  • She is fond of fun and frolic, and loves dearly to be with other children.
  • She is never fretful or irritable, and I have never seen her impatient with her playmates because they failed to understand her.
  • 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.
  • Helen began to pull off the jacket, saying, "I must give it to a poor little strange girl."
  • It is pleasant, too, to note her thoughtfulness for little children, and her readiness to yield to their whims.
  • 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.
  • When she is riding in the carriage she will not allow the driver to use the whip, because, she says, "poor horses will cry."
  • One morning she was greatly distressed by finding that one of the dogs had a block fastened to her collar.
  • We explained that it was done to keep Pearl from running away.
  • Her father wrote to her last summer that the birds and bees were eating all his grapes.
  • They like juicy fruit to eat as well as people, and they are hungry.
  • They are not very wrong to eat too many grapes because they do not know much.
  • Naturally, there was at first a strong tendency on her part to use only the important words in a sentence.
  • I got the milk to show her that she had used the correct word; but I did not let her drink it until she had, with my assistance, made a complete sentence, as "Give Helen some milk to drink."
  • In two or three months after I began to teach her she would say: "Helen wants to go to bed," or, "Helen is sleepy, and Helen will go to bed."
  • This is especially true of her earlier lessons, when her knowledge of language was so slight as to make explanation impossible.
  • She began to cry.
  • I said to her, "Teacher is SORRY."
  • It was raining very hard and he had a very large umbrella to keep off the rain-drops.
  • But PERHAPS his mother sent him to a store to buy something for dinner.
  • I SUPPOSE he was going to take it to his mother.
  • She continues to manifest the same eagerness to learn as at first.
  • It is never necessary to urge her to study.
  • Indeed, I am often obliged to coax her to leave an example or a composition.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Anagnos came to see me Thursday.
  • I was glad to hug and kiss him.
  • I will write little blind girls a letter to thank them.
  • I will go to Cincinnati in May and buy another child.
  • Mr. Wilson and Mr. Mitchell came to see us Sunday.
  • Mr. Anagnos went to Louisville Monday to see little blind children.
  • Mother went to Huntsville.
  • The warm winds blow The waters flow And robin dear, Is come to show That Spring is here.
  • Teacher and I went to ride on Tennessee River, in a boat.
  • The cow loves to eat grass as well as girl does bread and butter and milk.
  • She likes to skip and play, for she is happy when the sun is bright and warm.
  • Calf must not open mouth much to kiss.
  • I am tired, and teacher does not want me to write more.
  • In the autumn she went to a circus.
  • 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.
  • One day, while her pony and her donkey were standing side by side, Helen went from one to the other, examining them closely.
  • To show how quickly she perceives and associates ideas, I will give an instance which all who have read the book will be able to appreciate.
  • To show how quickly she perceives and associates ideas, I will give an instance which all who have read the book will be able to appreciate.
  • I was reading the following paragraph to her:
  • At this point Helen pressed my hand to stop me.
  • Later, when she was able to talk about it, she said: Poor Ginger!
  • I said to her, "Tell me, when you have read the poem through, who you think the mother is."
  • When she came to the line, "There's freedom at thy gates, and rest," she exclaimed: "It means America!
  • She even enters into the spirit of battle; she says, "I think it is right for men to fight against wrongs and tyrants."
  • I have never known her to be willing to leave a lesson when she felt that there was anything in it which she did not understand.
  • If I suggest her leaving a problem in arithmetic until the next day, she answers, "I think it will make my mind stronger to do it now."
  • Helen wanted me to tell her about it.
  • You must remember, dear teacher, that Greek parents were very particular with their children, and they used to let them listen to wise words, and I think they understood some of them.
  • I have found it best not to tell her that she cannot understand, because she is almost certain to become excited.
  • Not long ago I tried to show her how to build a tower with her blocks.
  • Until October, 1889, I had not deemed it best to confine Helen to any regular and systematic course of study.
  • Her mind works so rapidly, that it often happens, that when I give her an example she will give me the correct answer before I have time to write out the question.
  • 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.
  • I have always talked to Helen exactly as I would talk to a seeing and hearing child, and I have insisted that other people should do the same.
  • She will guess the meanings of the new words from their connection with others which are already intelligible to her.
  • In selecting books for Helen to read, I have never chosen them with reference to her deafness and blindness.
  • I remember distinctly when she first attempted to read a little story.
  • She had learned the printed letters, and for some time had amused herself by making simple sentences, using slips on which the words were printed in raised letters; but these sentences had no special relation to one another.
  • The cat would like to eat the mouse.
  • She then moved her finger to the next line with an expression of eager interest.
  • I called her attention to the following line, and, although she knew only the three words, CAT, EAT and MOUSE, she caught the idea.
  • When she read, "Do not let the cat get the mouse!" she recognized the negation in the sentence, and seemed to know that the cat must not get the mouse.
  • 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.
  • They tell me over and over what I want to know.
  • Whenever she meets any one who is familiar with this system, she is delighted to use it in conversation.
  • 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.
  • She feels the vibrations and understands what is said to her.
  • It was hoped that one so peculiarly endowed by nature as Helen, would, if left entirely to her own resources, throw some light upon such psychological questions as were not exhaustively investigated by Dr. Howe; but their hopes were not to be realized.
  • 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.
  • Children ask profound questions, but they often receive shallow answers, or, to speak more correctly, they are quieted by such answers.
  • When I subsequently talked with her she said: I have something very funny to tell you.
  • Here she examined her arm with evident satisfaction, laughing heartily to herself.
  • 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."
  • When asked why, she answered: Because she has so many children to take care of.
  • I must go now to see my garden.
  • After May, 1890, it was evident to me that she had reached a point where it was impossible to keep from her the religious beliefs held by those with whom she was in daily contact.
  • I wish to write about things I do not understand.
  • Where was I before I came to mother?
  • Throughout Helen's education I have invariably assumed that she can understand whatever it is desirable for her to know.
  • 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.
  • It is often necessary to remind her that there are infinitely many things that the wisest people in the world cannot explain.
  • The Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks has explained to her in a beautiful way the fatherhood of God.
  • The narrative affected her greatly when first she listened to it.
  • When she referred to our conversation again, it was to ask, "Why did not Jesus go away, so that His enemies could not find Him?"
  • When told that Jesus walked on the sea to meet His disciples, she said, decidedly, "It does not mean WALKED, it means SWAM."
  • At this moment another thought seemed to flash through her mind, and she added, "But Mr. Anagnos did not speak to my soul."
  • I explained to her that the soul, too, is invisible, or in other words, that it is without apparent form.
  • A long time ago Helen said to me, "I would like to live sixteen hundred years."
  • When asked if she would not like to live ALWAYS in a beautiful country called heaven, her first question was, "Where is heaven?"
  • I was obliged to confess that I did not know, but suggested that it might be on one of the stars.
  • It was more than a year before she alluded to the subject again, and when she did return to it, her questions were numerous and persistent.
  • At another time she asked, "Do you not think we would be very much happier always, if we did not have to die?"
  • 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."
  • The necessity of laws and penalties had to be explained to her.
  • To her pure soul all evil is equally unlovely.
  • I always tried to find out what interested her most, and made that the starting-point for the new lesson, whether it had any bearing on the lesson I had planned to teach or not.
  • During the first two years of her intellectual life, I required Helen to write very little.
  • In order to write one must have something to write about, and having something to write about requires some mental preparation.
  • Too often, I think, children are required to write before they have anything to say.
  • Teach them to think and read and talk without self-repression, and they will write because they cannot help it.
  • 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.
  • Let us lead them during the first years to find their greatest pleasure in Nature.
  • It may be true, as some maintain, that language cannot express to us much beyond what we have lived and experienced; but I have always observed that children manifest the greatest delight in the lofty, poetic language which we are too ready to think beyond their comprehension.
  • 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.
  • Children should be encouraged to read for the pure delight of it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Miss Sullivan never needlessly belittled her ideas or expressions to suit the supposed state of the child's intelligence.
  • She urged every one to speak to Helen naturally, to give her full sentences and intelligent ideas, never minding whether Helen understood or not.
  • 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.
  • By watching them, she learned to treat her pupil as nearly as possible like an ordinary child.
  • The manual alphabet was not the only means of presenting words to Helen Keller's fingers.
  • 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.
  • It is true rather that she has a special aptitude for thinking, and her leaning toward language is due to the fact that language to her meant life.
  • It was not a special subject, like geography or arithmetic, but her way to outward things.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • So Helen Keller's aptitude for language is her whole mental aptitude, turned to language because of its extraordinary value to her.
  • 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'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.
  • To have another Helen Keller there must be another Miss Sullivan.
  • And the one to do it is the parent or the special teacher, not the school.
  • To be sure, the deaf school is the only thing possible for children educated by the State.
  • But it is evident that precisely what the deaf child needs to be taught is what other children learn before they go to school at all.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • After the illness, when they were dependent on signs, Helen's tendency to gesture developed.
  • How far she could receive communications is hard to determine, but she knew much that was going on around her.
  • Her early rages were an unhappy expression of the natural force of character which instruction was to turn into trained and organized power.
  • It was, then, to a good subject that Miss Sullivan brought her devotion and intelligence, and fearless willingness to experiment.
  • Miss Keller's later education is easy to understand and needs no further explanation than she has given.
  • Her voice is low and pleasant to listen to.
  • Her voice has an aspirate quality; there seems always to be too much breath for the amount of tone.
  • When she is telling a child's story, or one with pathos in it, her voice runs into pretty slurs from one tone to another.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When she was at the Wright-Humason School in New York, Dr. Humason tried to improve her voice, not only her word pronunciation, but the voice itself, and gave her lessons in tone and vocal exercises.
  • It is hard to say whether or not Miss Keller's speech is easy to understand.
  • 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 Keller has told how she learned to speak.
  • 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.
  • How do the blind girls know what to say with their mouths?
  • Why do you not teach me to talk like them?
  • Do deaf children ever learn to speak?
  • I explained to her that some deaf children were taught to speak, but that they could see their teachers' mouths, and that that was a very great assistance to them.
  • But she interrupted me to say she was very sure she could feel my mouth very well.
  • She at once resolved to learn to speak, and from that day to this she has never wavered in that resolution.
  • From the first she was not content to be drilled in single sounds, but was impatient to pronounce words and sentences.
  • But, with all her eagerness and intelligence, learning to speak taxed her powers to the utmost.
  • But there was satisfaction in seeing from day to day the evidence of growing mastery and the possibility of final success.
  • I am hardly prepared to decide that question, or even give an opinion regarding it.
  • I believe that I have hardly begun yet to know what is possible.
  • I can only say in reply, "This is due to habitual imitation and practice! practice! practice!"
  • I knew that Laura Bridgman had shown the same intuitive desire to produce sounds, and had even learned to pronounce a few simple words, which she took great delight in using, and I did not doubt that Helen could accomplish as much as this.
  • 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.
  • She continued to exercise her vocal organs mechanically, as ordinary children do.
  • Her little hands felt every object and observed every movement of the persons about her, and she was quick to imitate these movements.
  • Failing to make herself understood, she would become violent.
  • 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.
  • She always liked to stand by the piano when some one was playing and singing.
  • She kept one hand on the singer's mouth, while the other rested on the piano, and she stood in this position as long as any one would sing to her, and afterward she would make a continuous sound which she called singing.
  • The only words she had learned to pronounce with any degree of distinctness previous to March, 1890, were PAPA, MAMMA, BABY, SISTER.
  • Hard consonants were, and indeed still are, very difficult for her to pronounce in connection with one another in the same word; she often suppresses the one and changes the other, and sometimes she replaces both by an analogous sound with soft aspiration.
  • 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.
  • Indeed, when some friend is trying to speak to Miss Keller, and the attempt is not proving successful, Miss Sullivan usually helps by spelling the lost words into Miss Keller's hand.
  • President Roosevelt had little difficulty last spring in making Miss Keller understand him, and especially requested Miss Sullivan not to spell into her hand.
  • 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.
  • It must be remembered that speech contributed in no way to her fundamental education, though without the ability to speak she could hardly have gone to higher schools and to college.
  • 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.
  • Why, I use speech constantly, and I cannot begin to tell you how much pleasure it gives me to do so.
  • I also discuss the political situation with my dear father, and we decide the most perplexing questions quite as satisfactorily to ourselves as if I could see and hear.
  • So you see what a blessing speech is to me.
  • 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.
  • One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
  • 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.
  • Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
  • 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.
  • Her service as a teacher of English is not to be measured by her own skill in composition.
  • The reason why she read to her pupil so many good books is due, in some measure, to the fact that she had so recently recovered her eyesight.
  • Any one who has tried to write knows what Miss Keller owes to the endless practice which Miss Sullivan demanded of her.
  • 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.
  • I refer to the "Frost King" episode, which I shall explain in detail.
  • She appeared to enjoy it very much indeed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • The pages of the book she reads become to her like paintings, to which her imaginative powers give life and colour.
  • The pictures the language paints on her memory appear to make an indelible impression; and many times, when an experience comes to her similar in character, the language starts forth with wonderful accuracy, like the reflection from a mirror.
  • 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.
  • She closes this letter with, "I must go to bed, for Morpheus has touched my eyelids with his golden wand."
  • Here again, I am unable to state where she acquired these expressions.
  • Helen wrote a little letter, and, enclosing the manuscript, forwarded both by mail to Mr. Anagnos for his birthday.
  • 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.
  • But as she was not able to find her copy, and applications for the volume at bookstores in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Albany, and other places resulted only in failure, search was instituted for the author herself.
  • She has since secured and forwarded to me a copy of the first edition.
  • I shall write to her in a short time.
  • I should like much to see it, and to obtain a few copies if possible.
  • The last made me realize the great disappointment to the dear child more than before.
  • Please give her my warm love, and tell her not to feel troubled about it any more.
  • No one shall be allowed to think it was anything wrong; and some day she will write a great, beautiful story or poem that will make many people happy.
  • Tell her there are a few bitter drops in every one's cup, and the only way is to take the bitter patiently, and the sweet thankfully.
  • 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:
  • He stood still a moment to look about him, and think what he should do first.
  • 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.
  • It makes me very happy to please you and my dear teacher.
  • I wonder if you would like to have me tell you a pretty dream which I had a long time ago when I was a very little child?
  • Teacher says it was a day-dream, and she thinks you would be delighted to hear it.
  • It was quite early, the sun had not been up very long; the birds were just beginning to sing joyously.
  • The fresh morning air blew gently in my face, as if to welcome me, and be my merry playmate, and the sun looked at me with a warm and tender smile.
  • Please give my love to your good Greek friends, and tell them that I shall come to Athens some day.
  • 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.
  • He has two neighbours, who live still farther north; one is King Winter, a cross and churlish old monarch, who is hard and cruel, and delights in making the poor suffer and weep; but the other neighbour is Santa Claus, a fine, good-natured, jolly old soul, who loves to do good, and who brings presents to the poor, and to nice little children at Christmas.
  • 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.
  • The fairies promised obedience and soon started on their journey, dragging the great glass jars and vases along, as well as they could, and now and then grumbling a little at having such hard work to do, for they were idle fairies, and liked play better than work.
  • At last they reached a great forest, and, being quite tired, they decided to rest awhile and look for nuts before going any further.
  • 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.
  • Their fears were well founded, for their long absence had alarmed the king, and he had started out to look for his tardy servants, and just as they were all hidden, he came along slowly, looking on all sides for the fairies.
  • 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.
  • Their pleasure charmed away King Frost's anger, and he, too, began to admire the painted trees, and at last he said to himself, My treasures are not wasted if they make little children happy.
  • Then the fairies thanked him for his forgiveness, and promised to work very hard to please him; and the good-natured king took them all up in his arms, and carried them safely home to his palace.
  • 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.
  • What we had supposed to be peaks were in reality a thousand glittering spires.
  • 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.
  • The old King will welcome you kindly, for he loves children, and it is his chief delight to give them pleasure.
  • 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.
  • "I will send my treasures to Santa Claus," said the King to himself.
  • 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.
  • The fairies promised obedience, and were off in a twinkling, dragging the heavy jars and vases along after them as well as they could, now and then grumbling a little at having such a hard task, for they were idle fairies and loved to play better than to work.
  • After awhile they came to a great forest and, being tired and hungry, they thought they would rest a little and look for nuts before continuing their journey.
  • Then they began to wander merrily about searching for nuts, climbing trees, peeping curiously into the empty birds' nests, and playing hide and seek from behind the trees.
  • King Sun laughed softly to himself when the delicate jars began to melt and break.
  • It was very beautiful, but the disobedient fairies were too frightened to notice the beauty of the trees.
  • So they hid themselves among the bushes and waited silently for something to happen.
  • 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.
  • When the children saw the trees all aglow with brilliant colors they clapped their hands and shouted for joy, and immediately began to pick great bunches to take home.
  • Their pleasure banished the anger from King Frost's heart and the frown from his brow, and he, too, began to admire the painted trees.
  • He said to himself, My treasures are not wasted if they make little children happy.
  • 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."
  • This morning I took a bath, and when teacher came upstairs to comb my hair she told me some very sad news which made me unhappy all day.
  • I thought very much about the sad news when teacher went to the doctor's; she was not here at dinner and I missed her.'
  • 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 immediately instituted an inquiry to ascertain the facts in the case.
  • Her father, Captain Keller, wrote to me as follows on the subject:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • She could not remember that any one had ever read to her any stories about King Frost, but said she had talked with her teacher about Jack Frost and the wonderful things he did.
  • The only person that we supposed might possibly have read the story to Helen was her friend, Mrs. Hopkins, whom she was visiting at the time in Brewster.
  • I asked Miss Sullivan to go at once to see Mrs. Hopkins and ascertain the facts in the matter.
  • I have scarcely any doubt that Miss Canby's little book was read to Helen, by Mrs. Hopkins, in the summer of 1888.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It shows how the child-mind gathers into itself words it has heard, and how they lurk there ready to come out when the key that releases the spring is touched.
  • Surely the writer must become as a little child to see things like that.
  • The way to write good English is to read it and hear it.
  • Thus it is that any child may be taught to use correct English by not being allowed to read or hear any other kind.
  • The substance of thought is language, and language is the one thing to teach the deaf child and every other child.
  • 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.
  • "A new word opens its heart to me," she writes in a letter; and when she uses the word its heart is still open.
  • 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.
  • From the early sketch I take a few passages which seem to me, without making very much allowance for difference in time, almost as good as anything she has written since:
  • I discovered the true way to walk when I was a year old, and during the radiant summer days that followed I was never still a minute....
  • My mother sat beside my little bed and tried to soothe my feverish moans while in her troubled heart she prayed, "Father in Heaven, spare my baby's life!"
  • But I was too young to realize what had happened.
  • Soon even my childish voice was stilled, because I had ceased to hear any sound.
  • As soon as my strength returned, I began to take an interest in what the people around me were doing.
  • I would cling to my mother's dress as she went about her household duties, and my little hands felt every object and observed every motion, and in this way I learned a great many things.
  • 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.
  • Everything I touched seemed to quiver with life.
  • I was never angry after that because I understood what my friends said to me, and I was very busy learning many wonderful things.
  • I would run, skip, jump and swing, no matter where I happened to be.
  • A beautiful summer day had dawned, the day on which I was to make the acquaintance of a somber and mysterious friend.
  • I met Teacher in the hall, and begged to be taken to the sea at once.
  • As soon as breakfast was over we hurried off to the shore.
  • I knew, too, it was immense! awful! and for a moment some of the sunshine seemed to have gone out of the day.
  • There is no affectation about them, and as they come straight from your heart, so they go straight to mine.
  • In these years the fear came many times to Miss Sullivan lest the success of the child was to cease with childhood.
  • At times Miss Keller seemed to lack flexibility, her thoughts ran in set phrases which she seemed to have no power to revise or turn over in new ways.
  • 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.
  • Stevenson, whom Miss Sullivan likes and used to read to her pupil, is another marked influence.
  • 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.
  • Writing for other people, she should in many cases be true to outer fact rather than to her own experience.
  • In her style, as in what she writes about, we must concede to the artist what we deny to the autobiographer.
  • 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.
  • Miss Keller's autobiography contains almost everything that she ever intended to publish.
  • 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.
  • Of course I do not refer to beautiful sentiments, but to the higher truths relating to everyday life.
  • To be sure, I take the keenest interest in everything that concerns those who surround me; it is this very interest which makes it so difficult for me to carry on a conversation with some people who will not talk or say what they think, but I should not be sorry to find more friends ready to talk with me now and then about the wonderful things I read.
  • To be sure, I take the keenest interest in everything that concerns those who surround me; it is this very interest which makes it so difficult for me to carry on a conversation with some people who will not talk or say what they think, but I should not be sorry to find more friends ready to talk with me now and then about the wonderful things I read.
  • 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.
  • The song to-day is:
  • 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.
  • It is very interesting to watch a plant grow, it is like taking part in creation.
  • 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!
  • What mysterious force guided the seedling from the dark earth up to the light, through leaf and stem and bud, to glorious fulfilment in the perfect flower?
  • 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.
  • I am too grateful for all these blessings to wish for more from princes, or from the gods.
  • My little Sabine farm is dear to me; for here I spend my happiest days, far from the noise and strife of the world.
  • Without a touch of remorse you drive the father from his land, clasping to his bosom his household gods and his half-naked children.
  • You forget that death comes to the rich and the poor alike, and comes once for all; but remember, Acheron could not be bribed by gold to ferry the crafty Prometheus back to the sunlit world.
  • Tantalus, too, great as he was above all mortals, went down to the kingdom of the dead, never to return.
  • 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 would wake with a start or struggle frantically to escape from my tormentor.
  • 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.
  • Suddenly I felt my bed shake, and a wolf seemed to spring on me and snarl in my face.
  • At all events, I slipped down from the bed and nestled close to the fire which had not flickered out.
  • I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways.
  • Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt?
  • 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.
  • Look at the teamster on the highway, wending to market by day or night; does any divinity stir within him?
  • His highest duty to fodder and water his horses!
  • 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!
  • From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.
  • It is never too late to give up our prejudices.
  • They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose.
  • Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it.
  • Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
  • 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.
  • Nature is as well adapted to our weakness as to our strength.
  • So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change.
  • All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.
  • Confucius said, "To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • According to Liebig, man's body is a stove, and food the fuel which keeps up the internal combustion in the lungs.
  • Of course the vital heat is not to be confounded with fire; but so much for analogy.
  • The grand necessity, then, for our bodies, is to keep warm, to keep the vital heat in us.
  • 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.
  • With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.
  • Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live.
  • 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.
  • The soil, it appears, is suited to the seed, for it has sent its radicle downward, and it may now send its shoot upward also with confidence.
  • 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.
  • To anticipate, not the sunrise and the dawn merely, but, if possible, Nature herself!
  • 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.
  • So many autumn, ay, and winter days, spent outside the town, trying to hear what was in the wind, to hear and carry it express!
  • My accounts, which I can swear to have kept faithfully, I have, indeed, never got audited, still less accepted, still less paid and settled.
  • Not long since, a strolling Indian went to sell baskets at the house of a well-known lawyer in my neighborhood.
  • "Do you wish to buy any baskets?" he asked.
  • "What!" exclaimed the Indian as he went out the gate, "do you mean to starve us?"
  • 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.
  • I determined to go into business at once, and not wait to acquire the usual capital, using such slender means as I had already got.
  • 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.
  • As this business was to be entered into without the usual capital, it may not be easy to conjecture where those means, that will still be indispensable to every such undertaking, were to be obtained.
  • 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.
  • They are no better than wooden horses to hang the clean clothes on.
  • It would be easier for them to hobble to town with a broken leg than with a broken pantaloon.
  • Could you, in such a case, tell surely of any company of civilized men which belonged to the most respected class?
  • A man who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do, that has lain dusty in the garret for an indeterminate period.
  • But if my jacket and trousers, my hat and shoes, are fit to worship God in, they will do; will they not?
  • If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit?
  • All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.
  • The loon retires to solitary ponds to spend it.
  • 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?
  • Nevertheless, we will not forget that some Egyptian wheat was handed down to us by a mummy.
  • 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.
  • At present men make shift to wear what they can get.
  • Let Harlequin be taken with a fit of the colic and his trappings will have to serve that mood too.
  • Adam and Eve, according to the fable, wore the bower before other clothes.
  • Every child begins the world again, to some extent, and loves to stay outdoors, even in wet and cold.
  • Who does not remember the interest with which, when young, he looked at shelving rocks, or any approach to a cave?
  • 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.
  • At last, we know not what it is to live in the open air, and our lives are domestic in more senses than we think.
  • However, if one designs to construct a dwelling-house, it behooves him to exercise a little Yankee shrewdness, lest after all he find himself in a workhouse, a labyrinth without a clue, a museum, an almshouse, a prison, or a splendid mausoleum instead.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • But how happens it that he who is said to enjoy these things is so commonly a poor civilized man, while the savage, who has them not, is rich as a savage?
  • But perhaps a man is not required to bury himself.
  • As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
  • The man who has actually paid for his farm with labor on it is so rare that every neighbor can point to him.
  • To get his shoestrings he speculates in herds of cattle.
  • With consummate skill he has set his trap with a hair spring to catch comfort and independence, and then, as he turned away, got his own leg into it.
  • This is the reason he is poor; and for a similar reason we are all poor in respect to a thousand savage comforts, though surrounded by luxuries.
  • Granted that the majority are able at last either to own or hire the modern house with all its improvements.
  • It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.
  • 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.
  • I refer to the degraded poor, not now to the degraded rich.
  • It certainly is fair to look at that class by whose labor the works which distinguish this generation are accomplished.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • But to confine myself to those who are said to be in moderate circumstances.
  • 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.
  • Or what if I were to allow--would it not be a singular allowance?--that our furniture should be more complex than the Arab's, in proportion as we are morally and intellectually his superiors!
  • I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Without factitious support, man is sure to come to earth again beyond that distance.
  • 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.
  • With a little more wit we might use these materials so as to become richer than the richest now are, and make our civilization a blessing.
  • But to make haste to my own experiment.
  • 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.
  • When I called to see it he was not at home.
  • 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.
  • Mrs. C. came to the door and asked me to view it from the inside.
  • 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.
  • One large bundle held their all--bed, coffee-mill, looking-glass, hens--all but the cat; she took to the woods and became a wild cat, and, as I learned afterward, trod in a trap set for woodchucks, and so became a dead cat at last.
  • I took down this dwelling the same morning, drawing the nails, and removed it to the pond-side by small cartloads, spreading the boards on the grass there to bleach and warp back again in the sun.
  • He was there to represent spectatordom, and help make this seemingly insignificant event one with the removal of the gods of Troy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When it stormed before my bread was baked, I fixed a few boards over the fire, and sat under them to watch my loaf, and passed some pleasant hours in that way.
  • Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter?
  • What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men?
  • We belong to the community.
  • Where is this division of labor to end? and what object does it finally serve?
  • 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.
  • This man seemed to me to lean over the cornice, and timidly whisper his half truth to the rude occupants who really knew it better than he.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I will endeavor to speak a good word for the truth.
  • I think that it would be better than this, for the students, or those who desire to be benefited by it, even to lay the foundation themselves.
  • 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?"
  • I do not mean that exactly, but I mean something which he might think a good deal like that; I mean that they should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end.
  • How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?
  • Which would be most likely to cut his fingers?...
  • To my astonishment I was informed on leaving college that I had studied navigation!--why, if I had taken one turn down the harbor I should have known more about it.
  • Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.
  • They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York.
  • As if the main object were to talk fast and not to talk sensibly.
  • I doubt if Flying Childers ever carried a peck of corn to mill.
  • I say to my friend, Suppose we try who will get there first.
  • You will in the meanwhile have earned your fare, and arrive there some time tomorrow, or possibly this evening, if you are lucky enough to get a job in season.
  • 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.
  • Such is the universal law, which no man can ever outwit, and with regard to the railroad even we may say it is as broad as it is long.
  • 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.
  • The whole lot contains eleven acres, mostly growing up to pines and hickories, and was sold the preceding season for eight dollars and eight cents an acre.
  • One farmer said that it was "good for nothing but to raise cheeping squirrels on."
  • I was obliged to hire a team and a man for the plowing, though I held the plow myself.
  • This never costs anything to speak of, unless you plant more than enough.
  • The yellow corn and turnips were too late to come to anything.
  • 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.
  • However, I should never have broken a horse or bull and taken him to board for any work he might do for me, for fear I should become a horseman or a herdsman merely; and if society seems to be the gainer by so doing, are we certain that what is one man's gain is not another's loss, and that the stable-boy has equal cause with his master to be satisfied?
  • This town is said to have the largest houses for oxen, cows, and horses hereabouts, and it is not behindhand in its public buildings; but there are very few halls for free worship or free speech in this county.
  • It should not be by their architecture, but why not even by their power of abstract thought, that nations should seek to commemorate themselves?
  • Genius is not a retainer to any emperor, nor is its material silver, or gold, or marble, except to a trifling extent.
  • To what end, pray, is so much stone hammered?
  • Nations are possessed with an insane ambition to perpetuate the memory of themselves by the amount of hammered stone they leave.
  • What if equal pains were taken to smooth and polish their manners?
  • I love better to see stones in place.
  • 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.
  • When the thirty centuries begin to look down on it, mankind begin to look up at it.
  • Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East--to know who built them.
  • For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them--who were above such trifling.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • It is simpler and more respectable to omit it.
  • Man is an animal who more than any other can adapt himself to all climates and circumstances.
  • It would seem that I made it according to the recipe which Marcus Porcius Cato gave about two centuries before Christ.
  • Which I take to mean,--Make kneaded bread thus.
  • 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.
  • I do not learn that the Indians ever troubled themselves to go after it.
  • As for a habitat, if I were not permitted still to squat, I might purchase one acre at the same price for which the land I cultivated was sold--namely, eight dollars and eight cents.
  • If they cannot understand that, they cannot understand much that I have to say.
  • There is a plenty of such chairs as I like best in the village garrets to be had for taking them away.
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • It is the same as if all these traps were buckled to a man's belt, and he could not move over the rough country where our lines are cast without dragging them--dragging his trap.
  • The muskrat will gnaw his third leg off to be free.
  • Even those who seem for a long while not to have any, if you inquire more narrowly you will find have some stored in somebody's barn.
  • 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.
  • But perchance it would be wisest never to put one's paw into it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I have tried trade but I found that it would take ten years to get under way in that, and that then I should probably be on my way to the devil.
  • 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.
  • The youth may build or plant or sail, only let him not be hindered from doing that which he tells me he would like to do.
  • 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.
  • To co-operate in the highest as well as the lowest sense, means to get our living together.
  • To co-operate in the highest as well as the lowest sense, means to get our living together.
  • It was easy to see that they could not long be companions or co-operate, since one would not operate at all.
  • I have made some sacrifices to a sense of duty, and among others have sacrificed this pleasure also.
  • However, when I have thought to indulge myself in this respect, and lay their Heaven under an obligation by maintaining certain poor persons in all respects as comfortably as I maintain myself, and have even ventured so far as to make them the offer, they have one and all unhesitatingly preferred to remain poor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If I were to preach at all in this strain, I should say rather, Set about being good.
  • Howard was no doubt an exceedingly kind and worthy man in his way, and has his reward; but, comparatively speaking, what are a hundred Howards to us, if their philanthropy do not help us in our best estate, when we are most worthy to be helped?
  • 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.
  • If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them.
  • Some show their kindness to the poor by employing them in their kitchens.
  • A robust poor man, one sunny day here in Concord, praised a fellow-townsman to me, because, as he said, he was kind to the poor; meaning himself.
  • 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.
  • Under what latitudes reside the heathen to whom we would send light?
  • All health and success does me good, however far off and withdrawn it may appear; all disease and failure helps to make me sad and does me evil, however much sympathy it may have with me or I with it.
  • 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.
  • In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession, for all were to be bought, and I knew their price.
  • This experience entitled me to be regarded as a sort of real-estate broker by my friends.
  • I discovered many a site for a house not likely to be soon improved, which some might have thought too far from the village, but to my eyes the village was too far from it.
  • 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.
  • Now, to speak the truth, I had but ten cents in the world, and it surpassed my arithmetic to tell, if I was that man who had ten cents, or who had a farm, or ten dollars, or all together.
  • 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.
  • All that I could say, then, with respect to farming on a large scale--I have always cultivated a garden--was, that I had had my seeds ready.
  • I have no doubt that time discriminates between the good and the bad; and when at last I shall plant, I shall be less likely to be disappointed.
  • But I would say to my fellows, once for all, As long as possible live free and uncommitted.
  • It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or the county jail.
  • 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.
  • This was an airy and unplastered cabin, fit to entertain a travelling god, and where a goddess might trail her garments.
  • I did not need to go outdoors to take the air, for the atmosphere within had lost none of its freshness.
  • Such was not my abode, for I found myself suddenly neighbor to the birds; not by having imprisoned one, but having caged myself near them.
  • The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.
  • That way I looked between and over the near green hills to some distant and higher ones in the horizon, tinged with blue.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning.
  • Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep.
  • The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life.
  • To be awake is to be alive.
  • To be awake is to be alive.
  • It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do.
  • 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.
  • An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest.
  • If we do not get out sleepers, and forge rails, and devote days and nights to the work, but go to tinkering upon our lives to improve them, who will build railroads?
  • And if railroads are not built, how shall we get to heaven in season?
  • 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.
  • We are determined to be starved before we are hungry.
  • Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save nine tomorrow.
  • Some give directions to be waked every half-hour, doubtless for no other purpose; and then, to pay for it, they tell what they have dreamed.
  • "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.
  • To speak critically, I never received more than one or two letters in my life--I wrote this some years ago--that were worth the postage.
  • To a philosopher all news, as it is called, is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.
  • What news! how much more important to know what that is which was never old!
  • 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.
  • If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
  • If we respected only what is inevitable and has a right to be, music and poetry would resound along the streets.
  • Children, who play life, discern its true law and relations more clearly than men, who fail to live it worthily, but who think that they are wiser by experience, that is, by failure.
  • 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.
  • We think that that is which appears to be.
  • The universe constantly and obediently answers to our conceptions; whether we travel fast or slow, the track is laid for us.
  • I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary.
  • I think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining-rod and thin rising vapors I judge; and here I will begin to mine.
  • To be intoxicated by a single glass of wine; I have experienced this pleasure when I have drunk the liquor of the esoteric doctrines.
  • Incessant labor with my hands, at first, for I had my house to finish and my beans to hoe at the same time, made more study impossible.
  • 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.
  • They are the only oracles which are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most modern inquiry in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave.
  • We might as well omit to study Nature because she is old.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • It is the work of art nearest to life itself.
  • They have no cause of their own to plead, but while they enlighten and sustain the reader his common sense will not refuse them.
  • It will be soon enough to forget them when we have the learning and the genius which will enable us to attend to and appreciate them.
  • By such a pile we may hope to scale heaven at last.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This is about as much as the college-bred generally do or aspire to do, and they take an English paper for the purpose.
  • Or suppose he comes from reading a Greek or Latin classic in the original, whose praises are familiar even to the so-called illiterate; he will find nobody at all to speak to, but must keep silence about it.
  • 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.
  • I do not wish to flatter my townsmen, nor to be flattered by them, for that will not advance either of us.
  • We need to be provoked--goaded like oxen, as we are, into a trot.
  • It is time that we had uncommon schools, that we did not leave off our education when we begin to be men and women.
  • Shall the world be confined to one Paris or one Oxford forever?
  • Can we not hire some Abelard to lecture to us?
  • 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.
  • Why should we leave it to Harper & Brothers and Redding & Co. to select our reading?
  • New England can hire all the wise men in the world to come and teach her, and board them round the while, and not be provincial at all.
  • 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 love a broad margin to my life.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If we were always, indeed, getting our living, and regulating our lives according to the last and best mode we had learned, we should never be troubled with ennui.
  • Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour.
  • 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 pleasant to see my whole household effects out on the grass, making a little pile like a gypsy's pack, and my three-legged table, from which I did not remove the books and pen and ink, standing amid the pines and hickories.
  • They seemed glad to get out themselves, and as if unwilling to be brought in.
  • I was sometimes tempted to stretch an awning over them and take my seat there.
  • 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.
  • It looked as if this was the way these forms came to be transferred to our furniture, to tables, chairs, and bedsteads--because they once stood in their midst.
  • 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.
  • I tasted them out of compliment to Nature, though they were scarcely palatable.
  • Its broad pinnate tropical leaf was pleasant though strange to look on.
  • 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.
  • And here's your pay for them! screams the countryman's whistle; timber like long battering-rams going twenty miles an hour against the city's walls, and chairs enough to seat all the weary and heavy-laden that dwell within them.
  • With such huge and lumbering civility the country hands a chair to the city.
  • If the snow lies deep, they strap on his snowshoes, and, with the giant plow, plow a furrow from the mountains to the seaboard, in which the cars, like a following drill-barrow, sprinkle all the restless men and floating merchandise in the country for seed.
  • To do things "railroad fashion" is now the byword; and it is worth the while to be warned so often and so sincerely by any power to get off its track.
  • To do things "railroad fashion" is now the byword; and it is worth the while to be warned so often and so sincerely by any power to get off its track.
  • There is no stopping to read the riot act, no firing over the heads of the mob, in this case.
  • What recommends commerce to me is its enterprise and bravery.
  • It does not clasp its hands and pray to Jupiter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The echo is, to some extent, an original sound, and therein is the magic and charm of it.
  • 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.
  • I had a rare opportunity to become acquainted with their habits.
  • 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?
  • No yard! but unfenced nature reaching up to your very sills.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself.
  • Nothing can rightly compel a simple and brave man to a vulgar sadness.
  • If it should continue so long as to cause the seeds to rot in the ground and destroy the potatoes in the low lands, it would still be good for the grass on the uplands, and, being good for the grass, it would be good for me.
  • 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.
  • To be alone was something unpleasant.
  • But I was at the same time conscious of a slight insanity in my mood, and seemed to foresee my recovery.
  • In those driving northeast rains which tried the village houses so, when the maids stood ready with mop and pail in front entries to keep the deluge out, I sat behind my door in my little house, which was all entry, and thoroughly enjoyed its protection.
  • In one heavy thunder-shower the lightning struck a large pitch pine across the pond, making a very conspicuous and perfectly regular spiral groove from top to bottom, an inch or more deep, and four or five inches wide, as you would groove a walking-stick.
  • Men frequently say to me, "I should think you would feel lonesome down there, and want to be nearer to folks, rainy and snowy days and nights especially."
  • I am tempted to reply to such--This whole earth which we inhabit is but a point in space.
  • This which you put seems to me not to be the most important question.
  • I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.
  • What do we want most to dwell near to?
  • 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.
  • And so I went home to my bed, and left him to pick his way through the darkness and the mud to Brighton--or Bright-town--which place he would reach some time in the morning.
  • Any prospect of awakening or coming to life to a dead man makes indifferent all times and places.
  • The place where that may occur is always the same, and indescribably pleasant to all our senses.
  • For the most part we allow only outlying and transient circumstances to make our occasions.
  • Nearest to all things is that power which fashions their being.
  • Next to us the grandest laws are continually being executed.
  • Next to us is not the workman whom we have hired, with whom we love so well to talk, but the workman whose work we are.
  • We are the subjects of an experiment which is not a little interesting to me.
  • I may be affected by a theatrical exhibition; on the other hand, I may not be affected by an actual event which appears to concern me much more.
  • I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time.
  • To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating.
  • I love to be alone.
  • We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other.
  • 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.
  • It would be better if there were but one inhabitant to a square mile, as where I live.
  • So also, owing to bodily and mental health and strength, we may be continually cheered by a like but more normal and natural society, and come to know that we are never alone.
  • The sun is alone, except in thick weather, when there sometimes appear to be two, but one is a mock sun.
  • 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.
  • A ruddy and lusty old dame, who delights in all weathers and seasons, and is likely to outlive all her children yet.
  • 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.
  • You want room for your thoughts to get into sailing trim and run a course or two before they make their port.
  • Also, our sentences wanted room to unfold and form their columns in the interval.
  • I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond to a companion on the opposite side.
  • In my house we were so near that we could not begin to hear--we could not speak low enough to be heard; as when you throw two stones into calm water so near that they break each other's undulations.
  • As the conversation began to assume a loftier and grander tone, we gradually shoved our chairs farther apart till they touched the wall in opposite corners, and then commonly there was not room enough.
  • So easy is it, though many housekeepers doubt it, to establish new and better customs in the place of the old.
  • When the night arrived, to quote their own words--He laid us on the bed with himself and his wife, they at the one end and we at the other, it being only planks laid a foot from the ground and a thin mat upon them.
  • 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.
  • But fewer came to see me on trivial business.
  • 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.
  • "I suppose there's no harm in going after such a thing to-day," says he.
  • To him Homer was a great writer, though what his writing was about he did not know.
  • A more simple and natural man it would be hard to find.
  • Vice and disease, which cast such a sombre moral hue over the world, seemed to have hardly any existence for him.
  • He was about twenty-eight years old, and had left Canada and his father's house a dozen years before to work in the States, and earn money to buy a farm with at last, perhaps in his native country.
  • He came along early, crossing my bean-field, though without anxiety or haste to get to his work, such as Yankees exhibit.
  • He wasn't a-going to hurt himself.
  • 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.
  • In the winter he had a fire by which at noon he warmed his coffee in a kettle; and as he sat on a log to eat his dinner the chickadees would sometimes come round and alight on his arm and peck at the potato in his fingers; and he said that he "liked to have the little fellers about him."
  • He was so genuine and unsophisticated that no introduction would serve to introduce him, more than if you introduced a woodchuck to your neighbor.
  • He had got to find him out as you did.
  • Wiser men were demigods to him.
  • I asked him if he ever wished to write his thoughts.
  • It would have suggested many things to a philosopher to have dealings with him.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He could defend many institutions better than any philosopher, because, in describing them as they concerned him, he gave the true reason for their prevalence, and speculation had not suggested to him any other.
  • "Good Lord"--said he, "a man that has to work as I do, if he does not forget the ideas he has had, he will do well.
  • May be the man you hoe with is inclined to race; then, by gorry, your mind must be there; you think of weeds.
  • One man, perhaps, if he has got enough, will be satisfied to sit all day with his back to the fire and his belly to the table, by George!
  • Though he hesitated, and perhaps failed to express himself distinctly, he always had a presentable thought behind.
  • 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.
  • I told them that I drank at the pond, and pointed thither, offering to lend them a dipper.
  • 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.
  • With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole.
  • And there he was to prove the truth of his words.
  • He was a metaphysical puzzle to me.
  • 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.
  • One real runaway slave, among the rest, whom I helped to forward toward the north star.
  • I have too good a memory to make that necessary.
  • Girls and boys and young women generally seemed glad to be in the woods.
  • Children come a-berrying, railroad men taking a Sunday morning walk in clean shirts, fishermen and hunters, poets and philosophers; in short, all honest pilgrims, who came out to the woods for freedom's sake, and really left the village behind, I was ready to greet with--"Welcome, Englishmen! welcome, Englishmen!" for I had had communication with that race.
  • I came to love my rows, my beans, though so many more than I wanted.
  • They attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antaeus.
  • It is a fine broad leaf to look on.
  • But what right had I to oust johnswort and the rest, and break up their ancient herb garden?
  • Soon, however, the remaining beans will be too tough for them, and go forward to meet new foes.
  • When I was four years old, as I well remember, I was brought from Boston to this my native town, through these very woods and this field, to the pond.
  • And now to-night my flute has waked the echoes over that very water.
  • But labor of the hands, even when pursued to the verge of drudgery, is perhaps never the worst form of idleness.
  • 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.
  • Fellow-travellers as they rattled by compared it aloud with the fields which they had passed, so that I came to know how I stood in the agricultural world.
  • They were beans cheerfully returning to their wild and primitive state that I cultivated, and my hoe played the Ranz des Vaches for them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When my hoe tinkled against the stones, that music echoed to the woods and the sky, and was an accompaniment to my labor which yielded an instant and immeasurable crop.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I was determined to know beans.
  • 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.
  • That's Roman wormwood--that's pigweed--that's sorrel--that's piper-grass--have at him, chop him up, turn his roots upward to the sun, don't let him have a fibre in the shade, if you do he'll turn himself t' other side up and be as green as a leek in two days.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • I saw an old man the other day, to my astonishment, making the holes with a hoe for the seventieth time at least, and not for himself to lie down in!
  • 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.
  • We are wont to forget that the sun looks on our cultivated fields and on the prairies and forests without distinction.
  • This broad field which I have looked at so long looks not to me as the principal cultivator, but away from me to influences more genial to it, which water and make it green.
  • 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 went there frequently to observe their habits.
  • The village appeared to me a great news room; and on one side, to support it, as once at Redding & Company's on State Street, they kept nuts and raisins, or salt and meal and other groceries.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Signs were hung out on all sides to allure him; some to catch him by the appetite, as the tavern and victualling cellar; some by the fancy, as the dry goods store and the jeweller's; and others by the hair or the feet or the skirts, as the barber, the shoemaker, or the tailor.
  • 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.
  • They lived about a mile off through the woods, and were quite used to the route.
  • It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time.
  • Often in a snow-storm, even by day, one will come out upon a well-known road and yet find it impossible to tell which way leads to the village.
  • 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.
  • I had gone down to the woods for other purposes.
  • 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.
  • I am convinced, that if all men were to live as simply as I then did, thieving and robbery would be unknown.
  • The fruits do not yield their true flavor to the purchaser of them, nor to him who raises them for the market.
  • There is but one way to obtain it, yet few take that way.
  • It is a vulgar error to suppose that you have tasted huckleberries who never plucked them.
  • 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.
  • At length you slowly raise, pulling hand over hand, some horned pout squeaking and squirming to the upper air.
  • 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.
  • The sea, however, is said to be blue one day and green another without any perceptible change in the atmosphere.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 pond rises and falls, but whether regularly or not, and within what period, nobody knows, though, as usual, many pretend to know.
  • It is commonly higher in the winter and lower in the summer, though not corresponding to the general wet and dryness.
  • This same summer the pond has begun to fall again.
  • 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.
  • In the winter, all water which is exposed to the air is colder than springs and wells which are protected from it.
  • Moreover, in summer, Walden never becomes so warm as most water which is exposed to the sun, on account of its depth.
  • In the warmest weather I usually placed a pailful in my cellar, where it became cool in the night, and remained so during the day; though I also resorted to a spring in the neighborhood.
  • 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.
  • The specific name reticulatus would not apply to this; it should be guttatus rather.
  • They are similar to those found in rivers; but as there are no suckers nor lampreys here, I know not by what fish they could be made.
  • These lend a pleasing mystery to the bottom.
  • The trees have ample room to expand on the water side, and each sends forth its most vigorous branch in that direction.
  • 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.
  • In such a day, in September or October, Walden is a perfect forest mirror, set round with stones as precious to my eye as if fewer or rarer.
  • It is a mirror which no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding Nature continually repairs; no storms, no dust, can dim its surface ever fresh;--a mirror in which all impurity presented to it sinks, swept and dusted by the sun's hazy brush--this the light dust-cloth--which retains no breath that is breathed on it, but sends its own to float as clouds high above its surface, and be reflected in its bosom still.
  • Though I passed over it as gently as possible, the slight undulations produced by my boat extended almost as far as I could see, and gave a ribbed appearance to the reflections.
  • 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.
  • It was very clumsy, but lasted a great many years before it became water-logged and perhaps sank to the bottom.
  • He did not know whose it was; it belonged to the pond.
  • He used to make a cable for his anchor of strips of hickory bark tied together.
  • Sometimes it would come floating up to the shore; but when you went toward it, it would go back into deep water and disappear.
  • How can you expect the birds to sing when their groves are cut down?
  • 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?
  • Many men have been likened to it, but few deserve that honor.
  • He rounded this water with his hand, deepened and clarified it in his thought, and in his will bequeathed it to Concord.
  • Though seen but once, it helps to wash out State Street and the engine's soot.
  • 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.
  • It is much larger, being said to contain one hundred and ninety-seven acres, and is more fertile in fish; but it is comparatively shallow, and not remarkably pure.
  • 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.
  • It did not turn his mill, and it was no privilege to him to behold it.
  • Farmers are respectable and interesting to me in proportion as they are poor--poor farmers.
  • As if you were to raise your potatoes in the churchyard!
  • No, no; if the fairest features of the landscape are to be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men alone.
  • One who frequents it proposes to call it Virid Lake.
  • 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.
  • It was about a foot in diameter at the big end, and he had expected to get a good saw-log, but it was so rotten as to be fit only for fuel, if for that.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • They are too pure to have a market value; they contain no muck.
  • This was probably the same phenomenon to which I have referred, which is especially observed in the morning, but also at other times, and even by moonlight.
  • Beside, he tells us that he showed it to very few.
  • I thought of living there before I went to Walden.
  • The gods must be proud, thought I, with such forked flashes to rout a poor unarmed fisherman.
  • 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.
  • For I purposely talked to him as if he were a philosopher, or desired to be one.
  • 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.
  • A man will not need to study history to find out what is best for his own culture.
  • Grow wild according to thy nature, like these sedges and brakes, which will never become English bay.
  • Let the thunder rumble; what if it threaten ruin to farmers' crops?
  • Take shelter under the cloud, while they flee to carts and sheds.
  • Let not to get a living be thy trade, but thy sport.
  • Poor John Field!--I trust he does not read this, unless he will improve by it--thinking to live by some derivative old-country mode in this primitive new country--to catch perch with shiners.
  • The wildness and adventure that are in fishing still recommended it to me.
  • I like sometimes to take rank hold on life and spend my day more as the animals do.
  • Perhaps I have owed to this employment and to hunting, when quite young, my closest acquaintance with Nature.
  • They early introduce us to and detain us in scenery with which otherwise, at that age, we should have little acquaintance.
  • No wonder, then, that he did not oftener stay to play on the common.
  • 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.
  • Moreover, when at the pond, I wished sometimes to add fish to my fare for variety.
  • I speak of fishing only now, for I had long felt differently about fowling, and sold my gun before I went to the woods.
  • Such is oftenest the young man's introduction to the forest, and the most original part of himself.
  • Yet even they expect to go to heaven at last.
  • But I see that if I were to live in a wilderness I should again be tempted to become a fisher and hunter in earnest.
  • The repugnance to animal food is not the effect of experience, but is an instinct.
  • It appeared more beautiful to live low and fare hard in many respects; and though I never did so, I went far enough to please my imagination.
  • It is not worth the while to live by rich cookery.
  • This certainly suggests what change is to be made.
  • It may be vain to ask why the imagination will not be reconciled to flesh and fat.
  • All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself.
  • We easily come to doubt if they exist.
  • Of all ebriosity, who does not prefer to be intoxicated by the air he breathes?
  • But to tell the truth, I find myself at present somewhat less particular in these respects.
  • A puritan may go to his brown-bread crust with as gross an appetite as ever an alderman to his turtle.
  • He goes to the mill-pond, she to her preserve-pot.
  • Listen to every zephyr for some reproof, for it is surely there, and he is unfortunate who does not hear it.
  • Who knows what sort of life would result if we had attained to purity?
  • If I knew so wise a man as could teach me purity I would go to seek him forthwith.
  • 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 speak conformably to the rumor which we have heard.
  • Nature is hard to be overcome, but she must be overcome.
  • 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.
  • Nothing was too trivial for the Hindoo lawgiver, however offensive it may be to modern taste.
  • He teaches how to eat, drink, cohabit, void excrement and urine, and the like, elevating what is mean, and does not falsely excuse himself by calling these things trifles.
  • 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.
  • Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
  • Having bathed, he sat down to re-create his intellectual man.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A voice said to him--Why do you stay here and live this mean moiling life, when a glorious existence is possible for you?
  • 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.
  • The hands are coming in to boiled salt beef and cider and Indian bread.
  • And oh, the housekeeping! to keep bright the devil's door-knobs, and scour his tubs this bright day!
  • 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?
  • How do you like the world to-day?
  • That's the greatest thing I have seen to-day.
  • I thought, as I have my living to get, and have not eaten to-day, that I might go a-fishing.
  • Angleworms are rarely to be met with in th