I will lead you to it.
I'm so glad I have you.
In this book, I maintain the future will be without ignorance, disease, hunger, poverty, and war, and I support those assertions with history, data, and reason.
"I don't know," said Zeb, who was still confused.
I love you so much.
I have faith only in God and the lofty destiny of our adored monarch.
But I noticed some strawberries growing in one of the gardens, and some melons in another place.
Did I ever tell you that you're the most handsome man I've ever seen?
I didn't ask about his family tree.
I don't like him, she added in a tone admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows.
I can't imagine what he was thinking to hide a thing like that from you.
I wish you had called me.
I wish you could hear yourself talking.
But I thought when people got married...
I mean, that they didn't feel this way all the time.
"I stopped a minute to give those birds to their mother," he answered.
I also see the pace of problem solving—and change in general—accelerating at an astonishing rate.
I don't speak of Anatole, your youngest.
I never doubted the devotion of the Russian nobles, but today it has surpassed my expectations.
I thank you in the name of the Fatherland!
I never thought I could do it.
No, but I can't sit on the fence forever - and I do want another baby.
I meant... do I have time to fix you a hot lunch?
I don't know if he is actually trying to hide things, or simply doesn't know how to initiate the subject.
Just about time I think the two of you are making progress, something like this comes up.
"I am now," he responded sleepily.
"I was," she whispered.
"And I you," he said softly.
I would have helped.
I figured you could use the rest.
I just thought it would be fun for the man to tell the wife this for once.
I thought maybe by now you would have adjusted.
I hope you accept this by the time the baby is born.
But I guess if we have, it's no worse than having a child out of wedlock.
"I won't talk about it any more," she said cheerfully.
I want this baby as much as you do, Alex.
"I prefer," he said with a smile.
I have everything packed.
About noon, I guess.
I guess that's a good question.
I just want it to be healthy.
I already have a son and daughter.
Did I give Jonathan his fair share of attention?
I think he felt included because he was helping as much as we were.
"I wasn't thinking," she said.
I didn't know you felt that way.
It isn't one of those things you can talk through, I guess.
Maybe not, but it would have made a difference if I had known how you felt.
No, so I could get over it.
I should get rid of this and buy something a little more feminine.
I guess maybe hearing people talk... about their marriage.
Umm. Well, I think something like 50% of marriages fail - maybe more.
"I couldn't be here if it wasn't," she said.
I thought that was the best way to carry her.
"I named my kitten that because I found it," she explained.
Then it must have happened while I was asleep, he said thoughtfully.
I work as well as I sleep, he added, with a laugh.
Tomorrow Uncle Henry and I must start back for Kansas.
"Those were the first words I ever said," called out the horse, who had overheard them, "and I can't explain why I happened to speak then.
"First time I ever saw a pink cat," said Zeb.
"I can't see that it's wrong," remarked Jim, in his gruff tones.
"I don't know," answered the boy, looking around him curiously.
"I wouldn't dare try," he said.
"Eureka weights only about half a pound," replied the horse, in a scornful tone, "while I weigh about half a ton."
I can see plenty of nice gardens and fields down below us, at the edge of this city.
But I wish we could find a way to get to the ground.
I'm as hungry as the horse is, and I want my milk.
That I am not prepared to say.
Yes, my dear; I am Oz, the Great and Terrible.
I remember you very well.
I had let so much gas out of my balloon that I could not rise again, and in a few minutes the earth closed over my head.
I wish to meet our Sorcerer.
"I am never wrong," answered the Sorcerer.
I am delighted to find humbugs inside the earth, just the same as on top of it.
I belong to Bailum & Barney's Great Consolidated Shows--three rings in one tent and a menagerie on the side.
I go up in a balloon, usually, to draw the crowds to the circus.
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.
Let me see you equal the sorcery I am about to perform.
"Now," said the Wizard of Oz, "having created something from nothing, I will make something nothing again."
"Because I am going to stop your breath," was the reply.
I perceive that you are curiously constructed, and that if you cannot breathe you cannot keep alive.
Not that I ever hear of.
"I will show you," was the reply.
I am in no hurry to resign my office and be planted, you may be sure.
"That is a matter I have not quite decided upon," was the reply.
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.
"Phoo!" snarled the kitten; "I wouldn't touch the nasty things!"
"If I can get it," added Eureka.
"I did not know that you were ripe," answered the Prince, in a low voice.
I don't believe you are a Wizard at all!
In the strict sense of the word I am not a Wizard, but only a humbug.
"But I saw the little pigs with my own eyes!" exclaimed Zeb.
"So did I," purred the kitten.
"May I eat one of them?" asked the kitten, in a pleading voice.
"I should say so!" grunted another of the piglets, looking uneasily at the kitten; "cats are cruel things."
A sailor brought them to Los Angeles and I gave him nine tickets to the circus for them.
And if I can't eat the piglets you may as well plant me at once and raise catsup.
"I have an idea," said the Wizard, "that there are fishes in these brooks.
Do I like fish?
There is no reason, that I can see, why they may not exist in the waters of this strange country.
"If it had any bones, I ate them," replied the kitten, composedly, as it washed its face after the meal.
"I was very hungry," replied the kitten.
"I wonder if these people never sleep," said the girl.
But it is a long time since I have had any sleep, and I'm tired.
But in the basket-car are some things I would like to keep with me.
I wish you would go and fetch my satchel, two lanterns, and a can of kerosene oil that is under the seat.
There is nothing else that I care about.
"I don't like these veg'table people," said the little girl.
I agree with you.
"The Princess is lovely to look at," continued Dorothy, thoughtfully; "but I don't care much for her, after all.
"I don't know," she answered.
I am greater than any thorn-covered sorcerer that every grew in your garden.
I have heard of this wonderful magic.
It will be about the end of our adventures, I guess.
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.
"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.
"That's the way I feel about it," remarked Zeb, rubbing his wounds.
I didn't know this mountain was so tall.
But I didn't see them go; did you?
I only hope it wasn't poison.
"So I see, my dear," answered another voice, soft and womanly.
All the people I have ever met before were very plain to see.
"I could eat something," said Dorothy.
"So could I," added Zeb.
"But we do not wish to intrude, I assure you," the Wizard hastened to say.
"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."
"I don't know," Dorothy answered; "but it would hurt me dre'fully to lose you."
"Very well, I won't touch it," decided the kitten; "but you must keep it away from me, for the smell is very tempting."
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.
I do not know, young sir.
Oh, I guess Zeb could fight if he had to.
You are strangers in the Valley of Voe, and do not seem to know our ways; so I will try to save you.
"I think we'd better stick to the river, after this," said Dorothy.
"I--I'm 'fraid he's--he's running away!" gasped Dorothy.
Still, I don't care to drag any passengers.
If I should squeeze one, there wouldn't be anything left of it.
Once I lived on top the earth, but for many years I have had my factory in this spot--half way up Pyramid Mountain.
"I believe so, my lad," replied the braided man.
Well, I make Assorted Flutters for flags and bunting, and a superior grade of Rustles for ladies' silk gowns.
"I thought so," said the Wizard, with a sigh.
Once you have tried my goods I am sure you will never be without them.
"I have no money with me," said the Wizard, evasively.
"I do not want money," returned the braided man, "for I could not spend it in this deserted place if I had it.
But I would like very much a blue hair-ribbon.
You will notice my braids are tied with yellow, pink, brown, red, green, white and black; but I have no blue ribbons.
I could not help it.
It is a sad story, but if you will try to restrain your tears I will tell you about it.
Also I made pores for porous plasters and high-grade holes for doughnuts and buttons.
Finally, I invented a new Adjustable Post-hole, which I thought would make my fortune.
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.
Here, then, I made my home; and although it is a lonely place I amuse myself making rustles and flutters, and so get along very nicely.
"Yes," sighed Eureka; "and I also can see you again, and the sight makes me dreadfully hungry.
Please, Mr. Wizard, may I eat just one of the fat little piglets?
There are certain things proper for a kitten to eat; but I never heard of a kitten eating a pig, under ANY cir'stances.
"And that's just what I shall do if you don't let those little balls of pork alone," said Jim, glaring at the kitten with his round, big eyes.
So the piglets will be perfectly safe, hereafter, as far as I am concerned.
Unhitch those tugs, Zeb, and set me free from the buggy, so I can fight comfortably.
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.
"Wish I had an axe," said Zeb, who by now had unhitched the horse.
"That is what I advise," said the Wizard.
I haven't anything for you, Zeb.
"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."
"I feel sleepy myself," remarked Zeb, yawning.
"I wish we had some of those loose wings," he said.
"Yes; it's a good way off, but I can see it," she replied.
"Well, I'll climb up when I get back, then," said the boy, with a laugh.
"I will," said the boy, and let himself slide over the edge.
"Which wings must I flop first?" asked the cab-horse, undecidedly.
"I cannot imagine, I'm sure," answered the Wizard, also peering about.
"I simply can't describe 'em," answered the kitten, shuddering.
Quite young, I grieve to say; and all of my brothers and sisters that you see here are practically my own age.
If I remember rightly, we were sixty-six years old the day before yesterday.
"I should think she would be," agreed Dorothy.
It wouldn't be possible for even me to get up to that crack--or through it if I got there.
"I was sure it would come to this, in the end," remarked the old cab-horse.
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.
"I am," replied the little man.
"I could if I happened to be a real wizard," returned the master sadly.
"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.
"I remember those shoes," said the little man, nodding.
"No; I lost them somewhere in the air," explained the child.
"I won't die cheerfully!" protested the kitten.
All I need do is to wish you with me, and there you'll be--safe in the royal palace!
I wonder if they would treat me nicely if I went there again.
"I'm afraid I don't know the Hungry Tiger and Billina," said the Wizard, shaking his head.
"I believe we will soon follow her," announced the Wizard, in a tone of great relief; "for I know something about the magic of the fairyland that is called the Land of Oz.
"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.
"There are no stables here," said the Wizard, "unless some have been built since I went away."
It will seem like being at home again, for I lived in that room for many, many years.
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.
When a young man I ran away from home and joined a circus.
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.
I told them I was a Wizard, and showed them some easy tricks that amazed them; and when they saw the initials painted on the balloon they called me Oz.
"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.
But I escaped from her and am now the Ruler of my people.
I only bossed the job, as we say in Omaha.
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.
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.
I'm very certain, Oz, that you gave me the best brains in the world, for I can think with them day and night, when all other brains are fast asleep.
"How long did you rule the Emerald City, after I left here?" was the next question.
But Ozma soon conquered her, with the help of Glinda the Good, and after that I went to live with Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman.
I live on the fat of the land--don't I, Ozma?
I won't have any quarrelling in the Land of Oz, I can tell you!
It has made me many friends, I assure you, and it beats as kindly and lovingly today as it every did.
I was afraid it would get moldy in that tin body of yours.
But I don't doubt your word in the least.
"I do not doubt it," the Sawhorse observed, with a tone of pride.
I am considered quite unusual.
"I couldn't help it," returned the other, rather crestfallen.
Ozma sprinkled me with a magic powder, and I just had to live.
I know I'm not much account; but I'm the only horse in all the Land of Oz, so they treat me with great respect.
"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.
You are certainly the most beautiful creature I ever beheld.
Your chief fault, my friend, is in being made of wood, and that I suppose you cannot help.
"I can see the bones all right," replied the Sawhorse, "and they are admirable and distinct.
Also I can see the flesh.
"But I am never hurt," said the Sawhorse.
Once in a while I get broken up some, but I am easily repaired and put in good order again.
And I never feel a break or a splinter in the least.
We've had a good many adventures together, Ozma and I, and she likes me.
His joints, I notice, are swollen and overgrown, and he lacks flesh and is old in years.
"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 I could eat grass I would not need a conscience, for nothing could then tempt me to devour babies and lambs.
"Yes, I am," she answered, looking all around to see where the voice came from.
I thought you were stuffed.
"So I am," replied the head.
I was then for a time the Head of the finest Flying Machine that was ever known to exist, and we did many wonderful things.
"That I have forgotten," replied the Gump's Head, "and I do not think it is of much importance.
"Breakfast is served, dear," she said, "and I am hungry.
"It isn't that," said the Sawhorse, modestly; "but I never tire, and you do."
"I don't know, I'm sure," replied the Sawhorse.
"Once, when I was young," said Jim, "I was a race horse, and defeated all who dared run against me.
I was born in Kentucky, you know, where all the best and most aristocratic horses come from.
Why, I feel like a colt today, replied Jim.
I only wish there was a real horse here for me to race with.
I'd show the people a fine sight, I can tell you.
I merely said it wasn't fair.
"I suppose I ought to give the wooden dummy a good start of me," growled Jim.
I'll do the best I can.
"I beg your pardon, I'm sure," said Jim, meekly.
I was wrong to kick the Sawhorse, and I am sorry I became angry at him.
"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.
Please go to my boudoir, Jellia, and get the white piglet I left on the dressing-table.
I want to play with it.
"I have hunted in every part of the room," the maid replied.
"I don't b'lieve Eureka would do such a dreadful thing!" cried Dorothy, much distressed.
She threatened to scratch my eyes out if I touched her.
"I won't," answered the kitten, in a surly voice.
"I won't answer such a foolish question," asserted Eureka, with a snarl.
The fact is that I left my little pet in my dressing-room lying asleep upon the table; and you must have stolen in without my knowing it.
So I intend to prove the kitten's innocence by a trick.
When I get my thoughts arranged in good order I do not like to have anything upset them or throw them into confusion.
"Let the Public Accuser continue," called Ozma from her throne, "and I pray you do not interrupt him."
"Your Highness," cried the Woggle-Bug, appealing to Ozma, "have I a mind's eye, or haven't I?"
Of course; how else could I see it?
Respected Jury and dearly beloved Ozma, I pray you not to judge this feline prisoner unfeelingly.
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 imagine it would taste mighty good.
I myself, not being built to eat, have no personal experience in such matters.
But I remember that our great poet once said:
"I refuse to be free," cried the kitten, in a sharp voice, "unless the Wizard can do his trick with eight piglets.
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.
Instead of keeping still, so I could eat him comfortably, he trembled so with fear that he fell off the table into a big vase that was standing on the floor.
At first the piglet stuck in the neck of the vase and I thought I should get him, after all, but he wriggled himself through and fell down into the deep bottom part--and I suppose he's there yet.
"Really," said the girl, anxiously, "I must get back as soon as poss'ble to my own folks."
"This is a fine country, and I like all the people that live in it," he told Dorothy.
"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."
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.
It is a little speech that I have written for him.
"Yes, I will try to learn it," said Edward.
"Do so, my child," said the Minister; "and I hope that when you grow up you will become a wise man and a great orator."
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.
"Well, I know what that is," he said to himself; and he wrote the word _turnip_ on his slate.
I cannot give you any more.
"I wish I had that whistle," he said.
"I have some pennies," said Benjamin.
"See, mother," he said, "I have bought a whistle."
"You might have bought half a dozen such whistles with the money I gave you," said his mother.
"I really believe they are all here," said one.
Long afterward James Hogg said, "I never felt so grateful to any creature below the sun as I did to Sirrah that morning."
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.
What shall I do?
"Wait, and I will tell you," said the caliph; and he smiled again.
"I have something to tell you," he said.
They shall get no powder, if I can help it.
I will stir up all the farmers between here and Concord, and those fellows will have a hot time of it.
"I will do all that I can," said his friend.
As soon as I see the light, I will mount my horse and ride out to give the alarm.
I am with you, and I will not let anything hurt you.
"How I should like to meet that wolf," said little Gilbert.
Then I will jump out and throw my arms around its neck and choke it to death.
I will not cry out.
I will choke it with my strong arms.
Then I will drag it out of the bushes and call mamma to come and see it.
"She's been caught in a trap some time, I guess," said Putnam.
"I will fetch her out," said Israel Putnam.
When I jerk it, then pull me out as quickly as you can.
"I have only six nails," he said, "and it will take a little time to hammer out ten more."
I hear the trumpets now.
Yes, I think we may risk it.
The only place I could put you would be in the barn.
"Well, then," answered the stranger, "I will see what they can do for me at the Planters' Tavern, round the corner;" and he rode away.
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'.
"Mr. Jefferson," he said, "I have come to ask your pardon.
You were so bespattered with mud that I thought you were some old farmer.
"The next time he comes," said the Dean, "let me know, and I will go to the door."
I will go out and make believe that I am bringing him a present.
I will show you how a messenger ought to behave.
"I should like to be a sailor," said George Washington.
Then I could go to many strange lands and see many wonderful things.
And, by and by, I might become the captain of a ship.
Then he turned quickly and said, Mother, I have changed my mind.
I will stay at home and do as you wish.
Send word to the captain not to wait for me, for I have changed my mind.
I am not going to sea.
My father works in the field, and I take care of the sheep.
I would teach you how to draw pictures of sheep and horses, and even of men, said the stranger.
"I should like to learn to do that--oh, ever so much!" he answered.
But I must do as father says.
"I know that the lad can draw pictures wonderfully well," he said.
"I will leave it till morning," he said; "then the light will be better."
"I did it, master," he said.
It was a good place for a fly, and I never thought of spoiling your picture.
"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."
I deceived only the birds, but you have deceived me, a painter.
Well, I have here a puzzle which I think will test your wisdom.
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."
"Yes, mother," he said, "I will watch her every minute.
I won't let anything hurt her.
"I didn't learn," he answered.
I just did it.
I couldn't help but do it.
But I am afraid.
I don't know what to think.
"I am going to help drive those red-coated British out of the country," he said to his mother.
I am going to put you in the academy there.
But I don't want a sidesaddle.
"I understand," said Mr. Webster.
He does me a favor by allowing you to ride on the animal, and I do him a favor by taking care of it.
Boys, what did I tell you?
Girls, stop your whispering, I say.
I could not bear to see her punished.
Now I have a mind to give this book to one of you
"I will give it to the one who first learns to read in it" she answered.
"I am sure I would rather have a good bow with arrows" said Ethelred.
"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.
Now, Brother Felix says I can read almost as well as he.
"I want to know," he said; "I want to know everything."
Oh, mother, I would like to know everything.
Yes, mother, I will read and then I will know.
"I want to know; I want to know," he kept saying.
"I think I will give them to our friends," said Cyrus.
"Well, truly," said Cyrus, "I do not like him.
"I shall be glad to see what you can do," he said.
"Indeed, grandfather, I did not forget it," answered Cyrus.
For the other day, when you sat at dinner with your officers, I noticed that the wine made you act queerly.
I am afraid to drink anything that makes men act in that way.
The teacher answered, "I know of no man who is more honored than yourself."
I hope that I shall never do anything to make them careless of their duties.
Otanes answered, I have already told two of your men that I have forty pieces of gold in my hat.
"If I had answered your questions differently, I should have told a lie," said Otanes; "and none but cowards tell lies"
"It was not for gold that I came here," said Alexander.
I came to learn the customs of your people.
"Well, it is this way," answered the man: "I bought a piece of ground from this neighbor of mine, and paid him a fair price for it.
Yesterday, when I was digging in it, I found a box full of gold and jewels.
This treasure does not belong to me, for I bought only the ground; but when I offered it to my neighbor he refused it.
The second man then spoke up and said, It is true that I sold him the ground, but I did not reserve anything he might find in it.
"I have," answered the man, "--a beautiful girl."
I think that he must have fallen upon some bushes and vines that grew in some parts of the chasm.
"Yes, I see," said the king.
But what has the bomb to do with what I wish you to write?
Agree to obey the laws that I shall make for you.
Do this, or I will burn Rome and destroy all its people.
"I will give you thirty days to consider the matter," said Coriolanus.
Do as I say.
"Not I! not I!" said all the Mice together.
Listen, and I will tell you of the famous dark day in Connecticut.
"I move that we adjourn," said a third.
I do not know whether the end of the world has come or not.
But I am sure that it is my duty to stand at my post as long as I live.
"I only asked which way you intend to travel," said the man.
I have I paid you my bill?
Do I owe you anything more?
Then, I intend to travel the way I wish to go--do you understand?
He called to him:--"My friend, which of these roads shall I travel to go to Lynchburg?"
"I would rather live alone on a desert island than be a sailor on this ship," he said.
Give me a few common tools and some food, and I will do well enough, said the sailor.
Take me back, and I will give you no more trouble.
"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.
"Oh, I wish I could be a sailor!" he said.
"No, no, I am going to be a sailor; I am going to see the world" he said.
"I am not afraid" said Robinson Crusoe.
I am going to be a sailor and nothing else.
"I wonder what can have happened to the boy," he said; and he opened the door and looked out.
_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.
I thank you for it, and pray that God will bless you.
"I think you have been asleep," said the king.
It is true that I have been asleep, but I know nothing about this money.
I know how you must have been overwearied with long hours of watching.
I will tell you another story of the same brave and famous king.
He is now being hunted with hounds, but I hope soon to see him king over all Scotland.
"Since you love him so well," said the king, "I will tell you something.
I am Robert the Bruce.
"I saw two hundred of them in the village below us," said one of his officers.
I, too, will try, try again, till I succeed.
"I wish to get a fowl for to-morrow's dinner," he said.
"Ah! that is just what I want," said the old man.
"I will take one of those turkeys," he said.
"Shall I wrap it up for you?" asked the market man.
"I cannot do that," said the market man.
"Then how am I to get it home?" asked the young gentleman.
Who do you think I am?
"I live at Number 39, Blank Street," answered the young gentleman; "and my name is Johnson."
I happen to be going that way, and I will carry your turkey, if you will allow me.
"Here, my friend, what shall I pay you?" said the young gentleman.
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.
"Oh, I have a plan for making a boat move without poling it or rowing it," he answered.
His aunt laughed and said, "Well, I hope that you will succeed."
"Oh, I have thought of that," said Robert.
"Bob Fulton planned the whole thing," he said, "and I helped him make the paddles and put them on the boat."
"I wonder why we didn't think of something like that long ago," said his father.
"Yes, I wonder, too," said Christopher.
But I have met with such bad luck that I am forced to sell them.
I pray that you will look at them and take them at your own price.
The gardener answered: A year ago, as I was spading in my garden, I saw something fall at the foot of a palm tree.
I ran to pick it up and was surprised to find that it was a bag full of bright gold pieces.
"It was this way," said the gardener: "I looked at the gold pieces, and then thought of my own great necessities.
I had no shoes for my feet, no coat for my back.
So I took ten gold pieces from the many that were in the bag.
I meant only to borrow them.
With much hard labor and careful management I have saved only five little silver pieces.
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.'
If anything is lacking, I will pay it to you.
"There is nothing lacking," he said, "but the ten pieces he has told you about; and I will give him these as a reward."
"What shall I do when it comes my turn?" he said to himself.
I do not know any song.
My voice is harsh and I cannot sing.
"Oh, I cannot sing," answered the poor man."
I do not know any song; and my voice is harsh and unpleasant.
It was for this reason that I left my fellows in the abbey kitchen and came here to be alone.
"What shall I sing?" he asked.
It must be a beautiful and happy place; and I wish to know all about it.
"Then to-morrow I will go out and see some of those things," he said.
Is this the condition to which I must come?
"And is this the great, beautiful, happy world that I have been told about?" cried the prince.
I will spend all my life, and give all that I have, to lessen the distress and sorrow with which this world seems filled.
Then he said, "Your house is a very poor place, I think."
"I am sorry if you do not like it," said Jacquot.
But if I had not helped you, you would have been in a worse place.
"I will tell you," he said.
I had carried some charcoal to the queen's kitchen and was just starting home.
I took the shortest way through the little park behind the palace.
Well, as I was hurrying along, I heard a great splash, as though something had fallen into the pool by the fountain.
I looked and saw this little fellow struggling in the water.
I ran and pulled him out.
He was senseless; but I knew he wasn't drowned.
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.
So I took him in my arms and ran home as fast as I could.
I wonder who he is.
Yes, I think so, said Jacquot.
Mine makes the servants wait on me and do as I tell them.
"Don't tell him I am here," he said softly.
"Well," said the soldier, "about two hours ago I was on guard at the gate of the queen's park.
This charcoal man, whom I know very well, ran past me with a child in his arms.
I am sorry if I have given her trouble.
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.
I shall go when I please.
Oh, yes, I know she is anxious, and I will go.
But first I must thank these poor people.
I thank you for what you have done for me.
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.
I am looking for the king.
"They say that King Henry always has a number of men with him," said the boy; "how shall I know which is he?"
"Well, I will give three pieces of silver for all that are in the net," answered the merchant.
And so I have brought the prize to you, friend Thales.
"The oracle did not intend that I should have it," he said.
I am not the wisest of the wise.
I should be delighted to own so beautiful a piece of workmanship, but I know I am not worthy.
He is the handsomest and strongest of men, and I believe he is the wisest also.
He lives in Corinth, [Footnote: Cor'inth.] and his name is Periander. [Footnote: Per i an'der.] Carry the precious gift to him.
"I have heard all about that tripod," he said, "and I know why you are carrying it from one place to another.
"Ha! ha I" laughed Periander.
Do I look like the wisest of the wise?
I bid you carry it to him.
He is my worst enemy, and yet, I admire him as the wisest man in the world.
The famous men of whom I have told you in this story are commonly called the Seven Wise Men of Greece.
And as I look to the past and the present, I see two phenomena that especially drive my optimism.
But I can see a path.
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.
I love thinking about the future.
I earn my living by it.
I am also a historian with a full understanding of how poverty, disease, ignorance, famine, and war have dominated life on this planet.
I make the predictions in this book not to be sensational or controversial.
I make them because I believe I can back them up with convincing proofs and arguments.
I include them to point out that history is discontinuous.
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.
So would have I. So would have everyone.
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.
I submit that the Internet is not defined in that way because it is a technology without an implicit purpose.
And I think that helps explain why no one quite foresaw the rise of the Internet: because it doesn't have an offline corollary of its own.
The essence of my car is that it takes me places I want to go.
I have a page about me.
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 I do think we will see an end to any effective constraints relating to computers' ability to process data and transfer information.
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.
If I had an even faster computer than I have today, I could come up with really interesting questions to ask it.
As I write this, something like fifty million blogs and billions of blog posts are online.
There, I said it.
Now I will try to persuade you.
I can't tell you which clips will be watched in a century, but I'm certain that some will be.
Actually, I could make guesses, but they might well be spectacularly wrong and a guy doesn't want that haunting him ten years from now.
Do I need to prove we have an explosion of technological progress dwarfing the wildest dreams of any age?
I think it is bigger by "twenty hundred thousand times" (my favorite number used by Shakespeare.)
Now a billion or more can achieve that dream, and I foresee a time not far off when everyone on the planet can.
It will be a glorious time to be alive, and I believe my children will see it happen.
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.
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.
But even if I had a robot that knew everything, I couldn't really say, "Tell me every custom they have here" and be fully informed.
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.
I define wisdom as deriving a course of action from applying a value system to a situation.
And wisdom probably concludes, "I should not apply for this credit card."
And I think that is what the Internet will deliver.
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.
I can't really remember what won, though at the time, I thought it all very forward looking and exciting.
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.
I know the list of nefarious uses of the Internet—but on balance, we are building it for good purposes.
But as I watch how we are building and using the Internet, the one-on-one encounters impress me most.
Given that, I consider it highly likely that people will share their Digital Echo.
Probably anonymously, probably with certain controls—but I believe they will share it.
I think most people would.
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.
I think most people would.
Finally, when I use the word "wisdom," I am talking about applying a value system to knowledge to suggest a course of action.
I say "could" because I doubt they have all those databases loaded yet, but you get the idea.
I have the Internet.
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.
I daresay if you have purchased anything on Amazon, you have almost certainly, at some point, purchased an additional item Amazon suggested.
The salesperson offers, "I find that my customers who buy this suit almost always get wingtips."
When I watch a Terminator movie, I am rooting for the people, not the machines.
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.
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.
You need an answer to a basic question: "Where should I go for Italian food?"
But I contend that only matters of degree separate it from the weightier matters we conventionally associate with wisdom.
"Where should I go to college?" is a much bigger choice that people face.
The future system I foresee will not be different in substance, but only in degree.
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.
To that definition, I would respectfully offer this qualification: I would say that disease has a well-defined center and very fuzzy edges.
But I stress the word "reasonably."
I do not know and certainly don't want to try to prove to you that the future will be like that.
So how about this instead: What if I can show you a future where everyone on the planet will live in good health as long as it is possible for their body to live?
Of all the celebrated accomplishments of science, I think none is more significant than the end of certain diseases, especially the scourge of polio.
As I was writing these words, my ten-year-old son came in and asked, "What are you doing?"
I replied, "Writing about polio," and he asked, "What is polio?"
In the eradication of smallpox, as in the near-elimination of polio, I find both fascinating lessons of history and enormous reason for hope.
Smallpox 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.
I think that is the case with polio and smallpox, which means they weren't eliminated because they were easy, but because they were awful.
Had they had the technology of our day, I wonder what they could have accomplished.
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.
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.
I am eager to know.
It should know what the food on my fork weighs, run a chemical analysis of every bite I take, and log it in my Digital Echo file for my future reference.
You could say, "When I eat corn dogs, I get a headache" and start studying that.
I am not saying the research scientist loses out to the florist in Akron, Ohio.
I take great comfort in this.
I believe in crowdsourcing—well, crowdsourcing cubed.
If you and I both had our DNA sequenced and compared the output, the information would be virtually identical.
A number of ways, I think.
However, I fully expect we will learn things about the opposite—what we may do, thanks to our genes.
That's what I call progress!
Twenty-five years ago, I had never seen a mobile phone.
If the scientists of today had all I describe.
I did not ask the American Medical Association their opinion of this arrangement.
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.
I am fascinated by credit cards and the fact that the entire free enterprise system relies on the honesty of almost all people.
If I get my credit card bill and call up and dispute a charge, the benefit of the doubt is given to me, that I am telling the truth.
Imagine if everyone frequently disputed charges: "I never got my order!" or "It wasn't what they promised it would be!" or "Yeah, I got a box in the mail, but it was full of rocks."
They offer millions of products at good prices, delivered tomorrow if that is what I want.
I take things from my attic and my garage and sell them to people who value them more than I do.
I buy something because I have certain assumptions about how much happiness it will bring me.
To the extent that I get accurate information from other consumers of the product, I will tend to make better choices.
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.
I have never so much as tasted a grub worm.
Not in one hundred lifetimes could I make a car.
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.
I could not in one hundred lifetimes make a working electric lamp, even knowing what I know now.
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.
But for now, I want to leave you with a preposterous thought: In the future, a new Mercedes Benz will cost just $50.
As my professors told me the first day I started studying economics in college (and never tired of repeating), scarcity is the central underlying assumption of all economic theory.
I suspect it is both; GNP rises, so we buy more energy, allowing GNP to rise so we can buy more energy.
I won't base my reasoning for how the Internet and technology will end poverty on this idea alone.
I don't mean that in a motivational poster kind of way but in a literal sense: Failures (and what we learn from them) will help build the energy solutions for our future.
And in that future, I believe the world can have—in fact, will have—plentiful, free, clean energy that will result in dramatically lower costs for everything, everywhere.
Why do I think this?
I doubted that, as Feynman was precise in his usage of words.
He had died by the time I read that passage in one of his books, so I couldn't write him, as is my normal practice when an author's words puzzle me.
I find they almost always answer.
Here is what I think he meant: If you could see a theoretical possibility for something in physics—"something that might be true"—then given enough time, you eventually could achieve it in reality.
I believe this is the case with energy.
I asked my guide why they didn't use a lawnmower.
(I answered, "They should get jobs at the factory that would make the lawnmowers; it would pay better.") Personal computers and the Internet have come under criticism in this regard.
I knew typesetters who said computers would never duplicate their quality; travel agents who said the Internet would never replace them, and whose stockbrokers reassured them this was true.
No one threw his shoe into the air conditioner, I assure you.)
Both of these have political implications, and so it is with some hesitation I bring them up.
But I intend to show you how in the next chapter: Chad Gets a Better Job .
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.
Any task that could be done a machine is, by definition, dehumanizing to a human being.
I am not saying if you enjoy manual labor and being exhausted at the end of the day, you shouldn't do it.
I am not saying if you love digging ditches, you should do something else.
I think most people want this.
I think a lot would.
Don't get me wrong: I love technology.
They make wonderful servants, but I think they have really terrible jobs.
Have I convinced you that replacing people with machines frees people from the bondage of doing machine work?
It is a profound thought and, I believe, an irrefutable one.
As I have pointed out, technology may in fact have limits, but we do not know what they are.
All the jobs that can, in theory, be done by machines—the jobs that I think suck the life force out of people—will in fact be done by machines.
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.
And when I say robots, I don't mean androids, which are people-shaped machines doing the work of people.
Depending on function, robots can come in all shapes and sizes, and I see no compelling reason to make them like humans.
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.
But that's because I would be sharing the experience with another human being, and human beings form connections with other human beings.
No matter how convincing the machine is, once I know it is a machine, I won't care about it anymore.
Recently, my ten-year-old son and I visited the factory in Denmark where Lego building blocks are made.
The robots I watched making Legos had no human operators because no human can keep up with them.
I hesitate to start talking about nanotechnology for fear I will not be able to stop—the entire field is amazing to me!
When we can build at the molecular level, we can build things I cannot imagine today.
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.
I could no more make a paperclip than I could make a Boeing 747.
I find this very easy to accept.
When I was thirteen in 1981, I got a Commodore VIC-20 computer.
Fifteen years later, I got a computer with 4,000K (or 4MB) of memory, one thousand times the memory of my trusty VIC-20.
Fifteen years after that, I got the computer on which I currently am typing.
So I saw, in real dollars, the cost of computer memory fall to one one-millionth of what it was thirty years ago.
I remember that in 1993 I needed a big hard drive at work and got a 1GB drive.
I have only three possible answers.
That could be true, but I don't think so, for reasons laid out in the chapter on scarcity.
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.
I think we will see commodity prices plummet in the coming years.
I doubt this, though.
I know that sounds preposterous—but only based on our assumptions that the future will be like the past.
Yes, I see the cost of food falling a thousandfold.
I think in the future, food will be free.
There is a chili I love called Wolf Brand chili.
So every time I buy a can, I make $8.
(Of course, I can't go buy a thousand cans for $2,000 and have them worth $10,000 to me.
At the margin, if I buy a can of Wolf Brand chili, I make $8.
Yes, I know this sounds like one of those bad infomercials.
As I observed a few pages ago in "Let Robots Be Robots," an intelligent system like this won't be creepy because we do not want it to be creepy.
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.
I will probably absorb vitamins through my skin as my shirt detects I need them.
Of course, I stand to be corrected on many of the specifics.
But I expect that technology and free enterprise will take us across a threshold where things formerly regarded as scarce will not be so any more.
Given that inequalities in income are likely to grow, how I can I contend that we will see an end of poverty?
I wish the whole world were like that!
I referred to it as a dance, but it is a dance to economic death.
Where I come from the term is "thievery," but believe it or not, they don't call it that.
I beg to differ, but I am seldom consulted when such decisions are made.
Expropriation is an act that simultaneously violates two of the three ingredients for prosperity that I have enumerated: private property and rule of law.
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.
Why do I say this ultimately bankrupts nations?
I do not think so.
Now, suppose I am right and incomes effectively rise dramatically.
That is something like what I expect will happen, but on a worldwide scale.
I don't think so.
I describe these three situations because each, in its own way, illustrates how I think the future will play out regarding income and wealth.
I think that incomes will rise dramatically to many times what they presently are, in real dollars.
I enjoy those freedoms much like an interest payment or dividend, and I call it "my right" to free speech.
When I talk about this future, a future in which machines will do more and more of the work people do now, I always get some variant of the same question: What about the people who lose their jobs to machines and don't have any other skills?
First, I would contend that the size of this problem is substantially smaller than many people would guess.
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.
Then along came the Industrial Revolution, and I am sure it all seemed very foreign.
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.
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.
I think most people around the world will seek personal excellence.
But I am not talking about a state of affairs where overnight someone with a "machine job" gets unlimited wealth.
Often when I discuss this idea with people, they bring up an objection I have come to call The Spoiled Rich Kid Problem.
I don't think so, and I'll explain why with another thought experiment.
Electricity (hmm, I guess the trailer was solar powered), a refrigerator, air conditioning.
I base that expectation in part on the fact that today, many of us already live in more comfort than the richest king in the world did two hundred years ago.
But we take it largely for granted—and I think that is just fine.
I know of no case in history that says otherwise.
I almost cut this entire section from the book.
I reasoned that if I could show how poverty will end, then of course hunger would end as well—how many rich people do you hear about going hungry?
I personally think the establishment of charitable organizations was driven by the same spirit that drove the creation of new businesses.
Then came World War I, which utilized these institutions and greatly expanded the size of the federal government.
I mean no offense.
I take no side other than to be against hunger.
There is undoubtedly a cause and effect between what we eat and our health, but I believe it is still poorly understood.
I am not only what I eat but am also what I do, what I drink, what I think about, and more.
Or, we gravitate toward anecdotes like, "I take my vitamin C every day and haven't had a cold in year."
I am glad you asked.
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.
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.
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.
The cost of their imported food doubles, and I guarantee you the foreign-owned factory won't double wages as a result.
And yet, I remain very optimistic.
(Well, I personally have not; I have regressed from this state.
I push the seed in the ground, water it, and wonder why nothing grew.
I think we are still at the donkey stage—and this is good news!
He later recalled, I saw how food changed them ...
I mentioned Gregor Mendel, known as the father of genetics.
I say we can improve things not by 20 or so percent, but by twenty times or more.
To describe ending hunger in the future, I have only these tarnished terms of the present at my disposal.
And yet the future I envision is no more like what we have today than a state-of-the-art Volvo factory is like a nineteenth-century London sweatshop.
When I use a term like factory farm, I am envisioning not what these things are now but what they will be.
I ask the reader to resist the urge to pigeonhole me until the end of the section.
Remember the Warren Bennis quote I used earlier about the factory of the future having only one man and one dog?
Why do I say this?
As I write this, it is down to 2 percent.
I know this sounds awful to a lot of people.
I consider this all good.
How do I reconcile my personal choices with my statement that the farm of the future is a good thing?
First, this future farm I describe is nothing like what I go out of my way to avoid today.
Second, some people will still want their food grown the old-fashioned way, just like how I buy heritage meats and heirloom seeds.
I have eaten food pretty much my whole life.
I grew up on a farm.
Until I was ten years old, my family lived in rural east Texas.
Every morning before I went to school I had chores to do, which began with mixing up the formula and feeding the calves.
We did our own canning, especially pickles, and I picked berries every summer so my mom could make jelly.
Today, I have a vegetable garden in my backyard.
Every week, I buy my milk from a small local dairy on the day it comes forth from the cow.
I buy my eggs from a farmer whose chickens roam free.
I buy my pecans from someone who picks and shells them himself.
And I go to any farmers market I happen across.
I abhor the conditions under which we commercially raise farm animals today.
I am a huge fan of heritage meats.
If you are not familiar with this whole issue, look into it; it is fascinating and, I think, important.
Additionally, I am quite interested in the history of food.
I have an extensive library of very old recipe books, including several "autographs"—original, handwritten, unpublished, personal cookbooks—that date back to the early 1700s.
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.
But when the farm of tomorrow delivers on this holistic promise, I think all people will embrace it.
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.
Both of these are hugely important parts of life, and I know of no one who would trade them away for a pill they swallow in the morning that gives them all their nutrition for the day.
I am certain this idea is going to take some time to get used to.
If I am ultimately proven wrong and the world rejects GM foods, we will still end hunger.
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.
Since one cannot have everything, seed makers invariably will make trade-offs that might be different than what I would make.
Presently, labeling of GMO content isn't a requirement—and since labeling is a complex and controversial issue that has no bearing on my thesis, I will pass it by.
Me ordering a second helping of corn on the cob while dining at the Black Eyed Pea also increases demand for corn, but for doing so, I shouldn't stand trial for murder.
(If that can be achieved, to my readers under age twelve, I hold out the possibility of Brussels sprouts that taste like chocolate.)
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.
I understand all the concerns.
So I am not saying objections and caution are not warranted.
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.
I know it sounds all futuristic and expensive now, but what if this technology falls to just a few dollars per acre?
I agree with them.
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.
Some might say something I consider even worse: It is inexcusable that some go hungry while you have so much.
I am going to take some of what you have and give it to someone else.
Eventually, I believe, food will be free.
I don't recall ever being in a department store, drinking from the water fountain, and having the staff look at me disapprovingly because I was running up the water bill.
I believe we will see the day when food is like that.
But of course, I am not most worried about the United States.
I hope that someday the whole world has only this nation's level of problems.
I do not think Americans would tolerate widespread, untreated hunger in this nation as long as it could afford otherwise.
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.
But in making the case that war can and will be ended, I have my work cut out for me.
I contend that it is.
Is that a distant bugle I hear?
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.
I know our world seems far from ending war.
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.
I offer them because they have something interesting in common.
I want to spend some time talking about civilization, but first I want to recount the progress that we have made through civilization.
I am not saying we have ended torture.
At a farmers' market I recently visited, one vendor boasted that all his chickens "retained their dignity throughout their life."
(I don't personally see how a chicken, in any situation, can have dignity.
But I get his point.)
It is through this civilizing process that I find hope we will end war.
I think it can.
To be clear: I am not a pacifist.
I do believe some ideals are worth fighting for and, by logical extension, worth killing for—but not many.
I feel we have set the bar way too low and in doing so have fundamentally cheapened life, everyone's life.
Albert Einstein reflected this when he famously said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
I am not posing a naïve, rhetorical question.
I will not advise getting in touch with our feelings or even group hugs.
I will not propose that we should "give peace a chance."
(Yes, I know that statement should earn the "Screamingly Obvious Statement of the Year Award," but bear with me.)
But I am making a case I believe I can defend and will begin by defining my terms.
I define war as armed conflict occurring between nation-states or, in the case of civil wars, between factions within nation-states.
Why do I say world government is not a good idea and nation-states are?
I won't speculate on what that size is, but it certainly is not a size 0.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, I was an undergraduate at Rice University.
I had not heard anyone predict even the possibility of these two events before they came upon us, in what seemed the blink of an eye.
No one I knew of had ever seriously considered the possibility that without any conflict, treaty, war, or even a coin toss, the Soviet Union would simply vote itself into nonexistence in 1991.
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.
After all, World War I was called The War to End War.
I can easily list a half-dozen reasons this goal will be difficult to achieve.
In this chapter, I offer forty-three developments, dynamics, and new realities I believe will work together to bring about an end to war.
When I first made this list, it had well over one hundred entries.
Lest I try the patience of my readers, I will offer, in no particular order, forty-three that seem most worthy.
Technically speaking, I have included a few that are not dependent on the Internet per se, but in which the Internet and technology plays some role.
We will begin with the economic factors I believe will help end war, eleven in all.
I find MAD a disturbing strategy and see problems with it.
I propose that peace will be maintained in the future by something I will call Mutually Assured Poverty, or MAP.
While the previous two points focused at the macro level and the overall costs of war, I speak here of consumers' perspective on war.
After reading this, I decided I concur.
I wouldn't give it up for a million dollars, just like I wouldn't sell my left arm for a million dollars.
I don't believe that.
What I am saying is that as more factors align toward peace, peace becomes ever more the better economic option.
I assume that virtually everyone working in defense industries believes they are serving their country and protecting freedom.
I, for one, would vote for peace.
The more I have a personal vested interest in your success, the better.
After World War I, as the Ottoman Empire collapsed, several new countries emerged.
I am not saying tthe world would be better if every country was the size of Liechtenstein.
I am saying that for small nations to be economically and politically viable is good news for peace.
Why do I recount these stories?
I don't think this is likely, though.
Very seldom is that, "I should go to war to force others to my will."
I include Twitter in this list as a larger idea, not only as the literal Twitter.com.
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.
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.
I realize in these pages I must seem very distrustful of government, but it is not really true.
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.
I don't think local customs and national characteristics will go away.
During World War I in the United States, fourteen states outlawed speaking German.
I mention these reprehensible actions to illustrate how language can divide us.
This list goes on, but I will spare you.
I have never met someone who returned from another country saying, Man, those guys are such jerks.
One might have expected to find YouTube making its cameo in the earlier "communication" section, but I deliberately moved it here.
I do not think the importance of YouTube lies in its role as a communication method nor as a fundamentally new means of distribution of media.
Now video is everywhere—on my phone, in my cab in New York, and in the elevator as I zoom to the fourteenth floor.
From the way I have written this, it is clear where my sympathies lie.
In World War I, in the Battle of the Somme, were over a million casualties, and the action advanced the Allied line just seven miles, or about two deaths for every inch of ground.
I hope that along the way you thought of a few I missed, a few trends or developments that lead toward peace.
I believe that increasingly, they will not.
War as the remedy will fall out of favor for the many reasons I outline above.
I mean, we know how we live and thus, how humans live.
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.
My memory is a big part of who I am and I have no desire to trade any of it away.
I think they would have said, That is kind of creepy.
I don't want that.
I see us today in a situation like those historical ones.
I love old cars.
I owe this passion to my high school friend Jason.
He taught me everything I know about old cars and why they are cool.
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.
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.
I don't think there is an extensible life-lesson here.
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.
As I review these points, none of them seem particularly like "stretches" to me.
I can list a few that might eliminate it and a few more that might delay it.
Such an attack could escalate into a widespread conflict, although I doubt it.
As I see it, the grandchildren of those who would strap bombs on themselves today will not be rushing to imitate their elders.
I think the future I describe is pretty secure.
I think the range of problems that technology can solve is confined to technological problems.
Four of the problems I address in this book—ignorance, disease, famine, and poverty—are purely technical problems.
Many technological problems I don't address in this book, but I believe technology will provide solutions for those also.
When confronted with any thorny societal problem, I apply the same basic thought process I used on the five topics of this book.
However, I don't think finding these solutions means an end to all our troubles.
I will end on that same topic.
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.
I hope that, after reading this far, you appreciate that for our age, this is no idle boast.
I think the technological leap beyond the next one will take us to the stars.
I look for the day when a billion planets are populated with a billion people each.
I think we will learn to conquer distance though a method of which we cannot yet conceive.
How can this future I describe not be ours?
I lived, up to the time of the illness that deprived me of my sight and hearing, in a tiny house consisting of a large square room and a small one, in which the servant slept.
There, too, after a fit of temper, I went to find comfort and to hide my hot face in the cool leaves and grass.
Never have I found in the greenhouses of the North such heart-satisfying roses as the climbing roses of my southern home.
They used to hang in long festoons from our porch, filling the whole air with their fragrance, untainted by any earthy smell; and in the early morning, washed in the dew, they felt so soft, so pure, I could not help wondering if they did not resemble the asphodels of God's garden.
Even after my illness I remembered one of the words I had learned in these early months.
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.
They tell me I walked the day I was a year old.
I slipped from my mother's lap and almost ran toward them.
There was great rejoicing in the family that morning, but no one, not even the doctor, knew that I should never see or hear again.
I fancy I still have confused recollections of that illness.
But during the first nineteen months of my life I had caught glimpses of broad, green fields, a luminous sky, trees and flowers which the darkness that followed could not wholly blot out.
I cannot recall what happened during the first months after my illness.
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.
Was it bread that I wanted?
Then I would imitate the acts of cutting the slices and buttering them.
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 understood a good deal of what was going on about me.
I knew by the way my mother and aunt dressed when they were going out, and I invariably begged to go with them.
One day some gentlemen called on my mother, and I felt the shutting of the front door and other sounds that indicated their arrival.
On a sudden thought I ran upstairs before any one could stop me, to put on my idea of a company dress.
Standing before the mirror, as I had seen others do, I anointed mine head with oil and covered my face thickly with powder.
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.
I had noticed that my mother and my friends did not use signs as I did when they wanted anything done, but talked with their mouths.
Sometimes I stood between two persons who were conversing and touched their lips.
I could not understand, and was vexed.
I moved my lips and gesticulated frantically without result.
This made me so angry at times that I kicked and screamed until I was exhausted.
But I cannot remember any instance in which this feeling prevented me from repeating the naughtiness when I failed to get what I wanted.
Martha Washington understood my signs, and I seldom had any difficulty in making her do just as I wished.
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.
I was quite ill afterward, and I wonder if retribution also overtook the turkey.
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 milkers would let me keep my hands on the cows while they milked, and I often got well switched by the cow for my curiosity.
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.
The younger child was blind--that was I--and the other was Martha Washington.
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.
I tried hard to teach her my sign language, but she was dull and inattentive.
I did not then know why Belle acted in this way; but I knew she was not doing as I wished.
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.
Except for my hands and hair I was not badly burned.
About this time I found out the use of a key.
One morning I locked my mother up in the pantry, where she was obliged to remain three hours, as the servants were in a detached part of the house.
This most naughty prank of mine convinced my parents that I must be taught as soon as possible.
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.
Months after I produced the key.
When I was about five years old we moved from the little vine-covered house to a large new one.
I was greatly puzzled to know what he was doing.
I imitated this action, even wearing his spectacles, thinking they might help solve the mystery.
But I did not find out the secret for several years.
Then I learned what those papers were, and that my father edited one of them.
He was a great hunter, I have been told, and a celebrated shot.
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.
I was in the North, enjoying the last beautiful days of the summer of 1896, when I heard the news of my father's death.
How shall I write of my mother?
For a long time I regarded my little sister as an intruder.
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.
At that time I had a much-petted, much-abused doll, which I afterward named Nancy.
She had a cradle, and I often spent an hour or more rocking her.
I guarded both doll and cradle with the most jealous care; but once I discovered my little sister sleeping peacefully in the cradle.
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.
Indeed, my friends and relatives sometimes doubted whether I could be taught.
I made friends with many people on the train.
My father made holes in these so that I could string them, and for a long time they kept me happy and contented.
Often when he went his rounds I clung to his coat tails while he collected and punched the tickets.
Curled up in a corner of the seat I amused myself for hours making funny little holes in bits of cardboard.
I pointed this out to everybody with provoking persistency, but no one seemed equal to the task of providing the doll with eyes.
I tumbled off the seat and searched under it until I found my aunt's cape, which was trimmed with large beads.
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.
The beads were sewed in the right place and I could not contain myself for joy; but immediately I lost all interest in the doll.
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.
He held me on his knee while I examined his watch, and he made it strike for me.
He understood my signs, and I knew it and loved him at once.
The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me.
It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old.
On the afternoon of that eventful day, I stood on the porch, dumb, expectant.
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.
I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding-line, and had no way of knowing how near the harbour was.
I felt approaching footsteps, I stretched out my hand as I supposed to my mother.
The little blind children at the Perkins Institution had sent it and Laura Bridgman had dressed it; but I did not know this until afterward.
Running downstairs to my mother I held up my hand and made the letters for doll.
I did not know that I was spelling a word or even that words existed; I was simply making my fingers go in monkey-like imitation.
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.
But my teacher had been with me several weeks before I understood that everything has a name.
I became impatient at her repeated attempts and, seizing the new doll, I dashed it upon the floor.
I was keenly delighted when I felt the fragments of the broken doll at my feet.
I had not loved the doll.
In the still, dark world in which I lived there was no strong sentiment or tenderness.
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.
She brought me my hat, and I knew I was going out into the warm sunshine.
I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions of her fingers.
I left the well-house eager to learn.
That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me.
On entering the door I remembered the doll I had broken.
I felt my way to the hearth and picked up the pieces.
I tried vainly to put them together.
Then my eyes filled with tears; for I realized what I had done, and for the first time I felt repentance and sorrow.
I learned a great many new words that day.
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 recall many incidents of the summer of 1887 that followed my soul's sudden awakening.
I did nothing but explore with my hands and learn the name of every object that I touched; and the more I handled things and learned their names and uses, the more joyous and confident grew my sense of kinship with the rest of the world.
I learned how the sun and the rain make to grow out of the ground every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, how birds build their nests and live and thrive from land to land, how the squirrel, the deer, the lion and every other creature finds food and shelter.
As my knowledge of things grew I felt more and more the delight of the world I was in.
Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand.
She linked my earliest thoughts with nature, and made me feel that "birds and flowers and I were happy peers."
But about this time I had an experience which taught me that nature is not always kind.
One day my teacher and I were returning from a long ramble.
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 knew it, it was the odour that always precedes a thunderstorm, and a nameless fear clutched at my heart.
I felt absolutely alone, cut off from my friends and the firm earth.
I remained still and expectant; a chilling terror crept over me.
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.
I crouched down in the fork of the tree.
I clung to her, trembling with joy to feel the earth under my feet once more.
I had learned a new lesson--that nature "wages open war against her children, and under softest touch hides treacherous claws."
After this experience it was a long time before I climbed another tree.
I started up and instinctively stretched out my hands.
I asked, and the next minute I recognized the odour of the mimosa blossoms.
I felt my way to the end of the garden, knowing that the mimosa tree was near the fence, at the turn of the path.
I had some difficulty in holding on, for the branches were very large and the bark hurt my hands.
I sat there for a long, long time, feeling like a fairy on a rosy cloud.
After that I spent many happy hours in my tree of paradise, thinking fair thoughts and dreaming bright dreams.
I had now the key to all language, and I was eager to learn to use it.
At first, when my teacher told me about a new thing I asked very few questions.
I remember the morning that I first asked the meaning of the word, "love."
This was before I knew many words.
I had found a few early violets in the garden and brought them to my teacher.
Her words puzzled me very much because I did not then understand anything unless I touched it.
I smelt the violets in her hand and asked, half in words, half in signs, a question which meant, "Is love the sweetness of flowers?"
I asked, pointing in the direction from which the heat came.
But Miss Sullivan shook her head, and I was greatly puzzled and disappointed.
I thought it strange that my teacher could not show me love.
A day or two afterward I was stringing beads of different sizes in symmetrical groups--two large beads, three small ones, and so on.
I had made many mistakes, and Miss Sullivan had pointed them out again and again with gentle patience.
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.
In a flash I knew that the word was the name of the process that was going on in my head.
For a long time I was still--I was not thinking of the beads in my lap, but trying to find a meaning for "love" in the light of this new idea.
Again I asked my teacher, "Is this not love?"
The beautiful truth burst upon my mind--I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.
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.
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.
As soon as I could spell a few words my teacher gave me slips of cardboard on which were printed words in raised letters.
I quickly learned that each printed word stood for an object, an act, or a quality.
One day, Miss Sullivan tells me, I pinned the word girl on my pinafore and stood in the wardrobe.
On the shelf I arranged the words, is, in, wardrobe.
My teacher and I played it for hours at a time.
I took my "Reader for Beginners" and hunted for the words I knew; when I found them my joy was like that of a game of hide-and-seek.
Of the time when I began to read connected stories I shall speak later.
For a long time I had no regular lessons.
Even when I studied most earnestly it seemed more like play than work.
I cannot explain the peculiar sympathy Miss Sullivan had with my pleasures and desires.
She went quickly over uninteresting details, and never nagged me with questions to see if I remembered the day-before-yesterday's lesson.
She introduced dry technicalities of science little by little, making every subject so real that I could not help remembering what she taught.
Sometimes I rose at dawn and stole into the garden while the heavy dew lay on the grass and flowers.
Oh, the delight with which I gathered up the fruit in my pinafore, pressed my face against the smooth cheeks of the apples, still warm from the sun, and skipped back to the house!
I built dams of pebbles, made islands and lakes, and dug river-beds, all for fun, and never dreamed that I was learning a lesson.
She made raised maps in clay, so that I could feel the mountain ridges and valleys, and follow with my fingers the devious course of rivers.
I liked this, too; but the division of the earth into zones and poles confused and teased my mind.
The illustrative strings and the orange stick representing the poles seemed so real that even to this day the mere mention of temperate zone suggests a series of twine circles; and I believe that if any one should set about it he could convince me that white bears actually climb the North Pole.
Arithmetic seems to have been the only study I did not like.
From the first I was not interested in the science of numbers.
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.
In this same leisurely manner I studied zoology and botany.
After I had learned a great many interesting things about the life and habits of the children of the sea--how in the midst of dashing waves the little polyps build the beautiful coral isles of the Pacific, and the foraminifera have made the chalk-hills of many a land--my teacher read me "The Chambered Nautilus," and showed me that the shell-building process of the mollusks is symbolical of the development of the mind.
I remember the eagerness with which I made discoveries about them.
At the beginning I was only a little mass of possibilities.
My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her.
How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell.
I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers.
Every one in the family prepared surprises for me, but what pleased me most, Miss Sullivan and I prepared surprises for everybody else.
Miss Sullivan and I kept up a game of guessing which taught me more about the use of language than any set lessons could have done.
I danced and capered round the tree in an ecstasy.
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.
At last I fell asleep with a new doll and a white bear in my arms.
Next morning it was I who waked the whole family with my first "Merry Christmas!"
I found surprises, not in the stocking only, but on the table, on all the chairs, at the door, on the very window-sill; indeed, I could hardly walk without stumbling on a bit of Christmas wrapped up in tissue paper.
Every morning after breakfast I prepared his bath, made his cage clean and sweet, filled his cups with fresh seed and water from the well-house, and hung a spray of chickweed in his swing.
One morning I left the cage on the window-seat while I went to fetch water for his bath.
When I returned I felt a big cat brush past me as I opened the door.
As if it were yesterday I remember the preparations, the departure with my teacher and my mother, the journey, and finally the arrival in Boston.
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.
When I next saw her she was a formless heap of cotton, which I should not have recognized at all except for the two bead eyes which looked out at me reproachfully.
We had scarcely arrived at the Perkins Institution for the Blind when I began to make friends with the little blind children.
Until then I had been like a foreigner speaking through an interpreter.
In the school where Laura Bridgman was taught I was in my own country.
I knew I could not see; but it did not seem possible that all the eager, loving children who gathered round me and joined heartily in my frolics were also 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.
But they were so happy and contented that I lost all sense of pain in the pleasure of their companionship.
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.
I could not quite convince myself that there was much world left, for I regarded Boston as the beginning and the end of creation.
While we were in Boston we visited Bunker Hill, and there I had my first lesson in history.
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 was more interested, I think, in the great rock on which the Pilgrims landed than in anything else in Plymouth.
I could touch it, and perhaps that made the coming of the Pilgrims and their toils and great deeds seem more real to me.
I have often held in my hand a little model of the Plymouth Rock which a kind gentleman gave me at Pilgrim Hall, and I have fingered its curves, the split in the centre and the embossed figures "1620," and turned over in my mind all that I knew about the wonderful story of the Pilgrims.
I idealized them as the bravest and most generous men that ever sought a home in a strange land.
I thought they desired the freedom of their fellow men as well as their own.
I was keenly surprised and disappointed years later to learn of their acts of persecution that make us tingle with shame, even while we glory in the courage and energy that gave us our "Country Beautiful."
Among the many friends I made in Boston were Mr. William Endicott and his daughter.
I also remember the beach, where for the first time I played in the sand.
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."
Just before the Perkins Institution closed for the summer, it was arranged that my teacher and I should spend our vacation at Brewster, on Cape Cod, with our dear friend, Mrs. Hopkins.
I was delighted, for my mind was full of the prospective joys and of the wonderful stories I had heard about the sea.
So my little heart leaped high with eager excitement when I knew that my wish was at last to be realized.
I felt the great billows rock and sink.
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.
At last, however, the sea, as if weary of its new toy, threw me back on the shore, and in another instant I was clasped in my teacher's arms.
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!
I could never stay long enough on the shore.
It was a great horseshoe crab--the first one I had ever seen.
I felt of him and thought it very strange that he should carry his house on his back.
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.
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.
The treasures of a new, beautiful world were laid at my feet, and I took in pleasure and information at every turn.
I lived myself into all things.
I was never still a moment; my life was as full of motion as those little insects that crowd a whole existence into one brief day.
I spent the autumn months with my family at our summer cottage, on a mountain about fourteen miles from Tuscumbia.
The men slept in the hall outside our door, and I could feel the deep breathing of the dogs and the hunters as they lay on their improvised beds.
At dawn I was awakened by the smell of coffee, the rattling of guns, and the heavy footsteps of the men as they strode about, promising themselves the greatest luck of the season.
I could also feel the stamping of the horses, which they had ridden out from town and hitched under the trees, where they stood all night, neighing loudly, impatient to be off.
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.
I spent many of my happiest hours on his back.
Sometimes I would go with Mildred and my little cousins to gather persimmons.
I did not eat them; but I loved their fragrance and enjoyed hunting for them in the leaves and grass.
We also went nutting, and I helped them open the chestnut burrs and break the shells of hickory-nuts and walnuts--the big, sweet walnuts!
I had never crossed it until one day Mildred, Miss Sullivan and I were lost in the woods, and wandered for hours without finding a path.
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.
I felt the hot breath from the engine on my face, and the smoke and ashes almost choked us.
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.
I recall my surprise on discovering that a mysterious hand had stripped the trees and bushes, leaving only here and there a wrinkled leaf.
I put on my cloak and hood and went out.
As the days wore on, the drifts gradually shrunk, but before they were wholly gone another storm came, so that I scarcely felt the earth under my feet once all winter.
It was in the spring of 1890 that I learned to speak.
I used to make noises, keeping one hand on my throat while the other hand felt the movements of my lips.
I 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.
I stopped using it only after I had learned to spell the word on my fingers.
My thoughts would often rise and beat up like birds against the wind, and I persisted in using my lips and voice.
But I persisted, and an accident soon occurred which resulted in the breaking down of this great barrier--I heard the story of Ragnhild Kaata.
Mrs. Lamson had scarcely finished telling me about this girl's success before I was on fire with eagerness.
I resolved that I, too, would learn to speak.
I shall never forget the surprise and delight I felt when I uttered my first connected sentence, "It is warm."
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.
As I talked, happy thoughts fluttered up out of my words that might perhaps have struggled in vain to escape my fingers.
But it must not be supposed that I could really talk in this short time.
I had learned only the elements of speech.
Nor is it true that, after I had learned these elements, I did the rest of the work myself.
All teachers of the deaf know what this means, and only they can at all appreciate the peculiar difficulties with which I had to contend.
In reading my teacher's lips I was wholly dependent on my fingers: I had to use the sense of touch in catching the vibrations of the throat, the movements of the mouth and the expression of the face; and often this sense was at fault.
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.
I place my hand on the hand of the speaker so lightly as not to impede its movements.
I do not feel each letter any more than you see each letter separately when you read.
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.
Almost before I knew it, the train stopped at the Tuscumbia station, and there on the platform stood the whole family.
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.
Joy deserted my heart, and for a long, long time I lived in doubt, anxiety and fear.
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.
My thoughts flowed easily; I felt a sense of joy in the composition.
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.
At that time I eagerly absorbed everything I read without a thought of authorship, and even now I cannot be quite sure of the boundary line between my ideas and those I find in books.
I suppose that is because so many of my impressions come to me through the medium of others' eyes and ears.
At dinner it was read to the assembled family, who were surprised that I could write so well.
Some one asked me if I had read it in a book.
This question surprised me very much; for I had not the faintest recollection of having had it read to me.
I spoke up and said, "Oh, no, it is my story, and I have written it for Mr. Anagnos."
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.
No child ever drank deeper of the cup of bitterness than I did.
I had disgraced myself; I had brought suspicion upon those I loved best.
I was to be Ceres in a kind of masque given by the blind girls.
How well I remember the graceful draperies that enfolded me, the bright autumn leaves that wreathed my head, and the fruit and grain at my feet and in my hands, and beneath all the piety of the masque the oppressive sense of coming ill that made my heart heavy.
Something I said made her think she detected in my words a confession that I did remember Miss Canby's story of "The Frost Fairies," and she laid her conclusions before Mr. Anagnos, although I had told her most emphatically that she was mistaken.
He believed, or at least suspected, that Miss Sullivan and I had deliberately stolen the bright thoughts of another and imposed them on him to win his admiration.
I was brought before a court of investigation composed of the teachers and officers of the Institution, and Miss Sullivan was asked to leave me.
As I lay in my bed that night, I wept as I hope few children have wept.
I felt so cold, I imagined I should die before morning, and the thought comforted 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.
I have never played with words again for the mere pleasure of the game.
For a long time, when I wrote a letter, even to my mother, I was seized with a sudden feeling of terror, and I would spell the sentences over and over, to make sure that I had not read them in a book.
I have read "The Frost Fairies" since, also the letters I wrote in which I used other ideas of Miss Canby's.
I find in one of them, a letter to Mr. Anagnos, dated September 29, 1891, words and sentiments exactly like those of the book.
At the time I was writing "The Frost King," and this letter, like many others, contains phrases which show that my mind was saturated with the story.
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.
In a composition which I wrote about the old cities of Greece and Italy, I borrowed my glowing descriptions, with variations, from sources I have forgotten.
But I do not understand how he ever thought a blind and deaf child of eleven could have invented them.
It shows me that I could express my appreciation of beautiful and poetic ideas in clear and animated language.
Everything I found in books that pleased me I retained in my memory, consciously or unconsciously, and adapted it.
It is certain that I cannot always distinguish my own thoughts from those I read, because what I read becomes the very substance and texture of my mind.
Likewise my compositions are made up of crude notions of my own, inlaid with the brighter thoughts and riper opinions of the authors I have read.
"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.
Since the publication of "The Story of My Life" in the Ladies' Home Journal, Mr. Anagnos has made a statement, in a letter to Mr. Macy, that at the time of the "Frost King" matter, he believed I was innocent.
He says, the court of investigation before which I was brought consisted of eight people: four blind, four seeing persons.
For two years he seems to have held the belief that Miss Sullivan and I were innocent.
Then he evidently retracted his favourable judgment, why I do not know.
Nor did I know the details of the investigation.
I never knew even the names of the members of the "court" who did not speak to me.
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.
The summer and winter following the "Frost King" incident I spent with my family in Alabama.
I recall with delight that home-going.
I was still excessively scrupulous about everything I wrote.
The thought that what I wrote might not be absolutely my own tormented 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!"
An impish fear clutched my hand, so that I could not write any more that day.
And even now I sometimes feel the same uneasiness and disquietude.
I was then twelve years old.
I wrote timidly, fearfully, but resolutely, urged on by my teacher, who knew that if I persevered, I should find my mental foothold again and get a grip on my faculties.
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.
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.
I cannot fathom or define their meaning any more than I can fathom or define love or religion or goodness.
I recall with unmixed delight those days when a thousand childish fancies became beautiful realities.
Every day in imagination I made a trip round the world, and I saw many wonders from the uttermost parts of the earth--marvels of invention, treasuries of industry and skill and all the activities of human life actually passed under my finger tips.
I liked to visit the Midway Plaisance.
I also went on board a Viking ship which lay a short distance from the little craft.
At a little distance from this ship there was a model of the Santa Maria, which I also examined.
Mr. Higinbotham, President of the World's Fair, kindly gave me permission to touch the exhibits, and with an eagerness as insatiable as that with which Pizarro seized the treasures of Peru, I took in the glories of the Fair with my fingers.
At the Cape of Good Hope exhibit, I learned much about the processes of mining diamonds.
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.
I searched in the washings for a diamond and found it myself--the only true diamond, they said, that was ever found in the United States.
From these relics I learned more about the progress of man than I have heard or read since.
Before October, 1893, I had studied various subjects by myself in a more or less desultory manner.
I read the histories of Greece, Rome and the United States.
I had a French grammar in raised print, and as I already knew some French, I often amused myself by composing in my head short exercises, using the new words as I came across them, and ignoring rules and other technicalities as much as possible.
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.
Miss Sullivan and I were at that time in Hulton, Pennsylvania, visiting the family of Mr. William Wade.
Mr. Irons, a neighbour of theirs, was a good Latin scholar; it was arranged that I should study under him.
I remember him as a man of rare, sweet nature and of wide experience.
He taught me Latin grammar principally; but he often helped me in arithmetic, which I found as troublesome as it was uninteresting.
I had read many books before, but never from a critical point of view.
I learned for the first time to know an author, to recognize his style as I recognize the clasp of a friend's hand.
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 went there in October, 1894, accompanied by Miss Sullivan.
Before the end of the first year I read "Wilhelm Tell" with the greatest delight.
Indeed, I think I made more progress in German than in any of my other studies.
I found French much more difficult.
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 could not read her lips easily; so my progress was much slower than in German.
I managed, however, to read "Le Medecin Malgre Lui" again.
It was very amusing but I did not like it nearly so well as "Wilhelm Tell."
My progress in lip-reading and speech was not what my teachers and I had hoped and expected it would be.
I still regarded arithmetic as a system of pitfalls.
I hung about the dangerous frontier of "guess," avoiding with infinite trouble to myself and others the broad valley of reason.
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.
I never lost a jot of my delight in this great park.
I liked the simple, wild grandeur of the palisades.
Among the places I visited were West Point, Tarrytown, the home of Washington Irving, where I walked through "Sleepy Hollow."
Before I left New York, these bright days were darkened by the greatest sorrow that I have ever borne, except the death of my father.
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.
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.
I had had, moreover, a good start in French, and received six months' instruction in Latin; but German was the subject with which I was most familiar.
For a while, indeed, I had to copy my Latin in braille, so that I could recite with the other girls.
I could not make notes in class or write exercises; but I wrote all my compositions and translations at home on my typewriter.
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.
I took the greatest delight in these German books, especially Schiller's wonderful lyrics, the history of Frederick the Great's magnificent achievements and the account of Goethe's life.
Burke's speech was more instructive than any other book on a political subject that I had ever read.
I wondered more and more, while Burke's masterly speech rolled on in mighty surges of eloquence, how it was that King George and his ministers could have turned a deaf ear to his warning prophecy of our victory and their humiliation.
I thought how strange it was that such precious seeds of truth and wisdom should have fallen among the tares of ignorance and corruption.
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.
At the Cambridge school, for the first time in my life, I enjoyed the companionship of seeing and hearing girls of my own age.
I lived with several others in one of the pleasant houses connected with the school, the house where Mr. Howells used to live, and we all had the advantage of home life.
The subjects I offered were Elementary and Advanced German, French, Latin, English, and Greek and Roman history, making nine hours in all.
I passed in everything, and received "honours" in German and English.
Perhaps an explanation of the method that was in use when I took my examinations will not be amiss here.
The first day I had German.
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.
The papers were difficult, and I felt very anxious as I wrote out my answers on the typewriter.
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 that case I correct only such mistakes as I can recall in the few minutes allowed, and make notes of these corrections at the end of my paper.
If I passed with higher credit in the preliminaries than in the finals, there are two reasons.
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.
But during the first few weeks I was confronted with unforeseen difficulties.
Mr. Gilman had agreed that that year I should study mathematics principally.
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.
The embossed books and other apparatus arrived, and I threw myself into the work with renewed confidence.
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.
It was not until Mr. Keith taught me that I had a clear idea of mathematics.
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.
Miss Sullivan and I spent the rest of the winter with our friends, the Chamberlins in Wrentham, twenty-five miles from 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.
I still found more difficulty in mastering problems in mathematics than I did in any other of my studies.
He was always gentle and forbearing, no matter how dull I might be, and believe me, my stupidity would often have exhausted the patience of Job.
The first day I had Elementary Greek and Advanced Latin, and the second day Geometry, Algebra and Advanced Greek.
I was sorely perplexed, and felt discouraged wasting much precious time, especially in algebra.
It is true that I was familiar with all literary braille in common use in this country--English, American, and New York Point; but the various signs and symbols in geometry and algebra in the three systems are very different, and I had used only the English braille in my algebra.
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.
But on the night before the algebra examination, while I was struggling over some very complicated examples, I could not tell the combinations of bracket, brace and radical.
Both Mr. Keith and I were distressed and full of forebodings for the morrow; but we went over to the college a little before the examination began, and had Mr. Vining explain more fully the American symbols.
But when I took up algebra I had a harder time still.
The signs, which I had so lately learned, and which I thought I knew, perplexed me.
Besides, I could not see what I wrote on my typewriter.
I had always done my work in braille or in my head.
Indeed, I am not sure now that I read all the signs correctly.
I found it very hard to keep my wits about me.
But I do not blame any one.
The administrative board of Radcliffe did not realize how difficult they were making my examinations, nor did they understand the peculiar difficulties I had to surmount.
But if they unintentionally placed obstacles in my way, I have the consolation of knowing that I overcame them all.
The struggle for admission to college was ended, and I could now enter Radcliffe whenever I pleased.
Before I entered college, however, it was thought best that I should study another year under Mr. Keith.
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 began my studies with eagerness.
Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things.
In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another.
The lecture-halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and the wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom.
If I have since learned differently, I am not going to tell anybody.
But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined.
Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college.
The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time.
In the French course I read some of the works of Corneille, Moliere, Racine, Alfred de Musset and Sainte-Beuve, and in the German those of Goethe and Schiller.
I am frequently asked how I overcome the peculiar conditions under which I work in college.
I cannot make notes during the lectures, because my hands are busy listening.
Usually I jot down what I can remember of them when I get home.
I use the Hammond typewriter.
I have tried many machines, and I find the Hammond is the best adapted to the peculiar needs of my work.
Without it, I doubt if I could go to college.
Consequently, I need more time to prepare my lessons than other girls.
The manual part takes longer, and I have perplexities which they have not.
One more effort and I reach the luminous cloud, the blue depths of the sky, the uplands of my desire.
Last year, my second year at Radcliffe, I studied English composition, the Bible as English composition, the governments of America and Europe, the Odes of Horace, and Latin comedy.
But college is not the universal Athens I thought it was.
Again and again I ask impatiently, "Why concern myself with these explanations and hypotheses?"
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 comes over me that in the last two or three pages of this chapter I have used figures which will turn the laugh against me.
While my days at Radcliffe were still in the future, they were encircled with a halo of romance, which they have lost; but in the transition from romantic to actual I have learned many things I should never have known had I not tried the experiment.
Indeed, books have meant so much more in my education than in that of others, that I shall go back to the time when I began to read.
I read my first connected story in May, 1887, when I was seven years old, and from that day to this I have devoured everything in the shape of a printed page that has come within the reach of my hungry finger tips.
As I have said, I did not study regularly during the early years of my education; nor did I read according to rule.
At first I had only a few books in raised print--"readers" for beginners, a collection of stories for children, and a book about the earth called "Our World."
I think that was all; but I read them over and over, until the words were so worn and pressed I could scarcely make them out.
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.
And read I did, whether I understood one word in ten or two words on a page.
The words themselves fascinated me; but I took no conscious account of what I read.
I was then about eight years old.
I remember she asked me if I liked little Pearl, and explained some of the words that had puzzled me.
Then she told me that she had a beautiful story about a little boy which she was sure I should like better than "The Scarlet Letter."
But we did not begin the story until August; the first few weeks of my stay at the seashore were so full of discoveries and excitement that I forgot the very existence of books.
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.
From "Little Lord Fauntleroy" I date the beginning of my true interest in books.
During the next two years I read many books at my home and on my visits to Boston.
I read them in the intervals between study and play with an ever-deepening sense of pleasure.
I did not study nor analyze them--I did not know whether they were well written or not; I never thought about style or authorship.
They laid their treasures at my feet, and I accepted them as we accept the sunshine and the love of our friends.
I loved "Little Women" because it gave me a sense of kinship with girls and boys who could see and hear.
Circumscribed as my life was in so many ways, I had to look between the covers of books for news of the world that lay outside my own.
I did not care especially for "The Pilgrim's Progress," which I think I did not finish, or for the "Fables."
I read La Fontaine's "Fables" first in an English translation, and enjoyed them only after a half-hearted fashion.
Later I read the book again in French, and I found that, in spite of the vivid word-pictures, and the wonderful mastery of language, I liked it no better.
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.
But I love "The Jungle Book" and "Wild Animals I Have Known."
I feel a genuine interest in the animals themselves, because they are real animals and not caricatures of men.
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.
I often wonder how
I was familiar with the story of Troy before I read it in the original, and consequently I had little difficulty in making the Greek words surrender their treasures after I had passed the borderland of grammar.
I read it as much as possible without the help of notes or dictionary, and I always like to translate the episodes that please me especially.
One could have traveled round the word many times while I trudged my weary way through the labyrinthine mazes of grammars and dictionaries, or fell into those dreadful pitfalls called examinations, set by schools and colleges for the confusion of those who seek after knowledge.
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.
The unusual language and repetition made the story seem unreal.
But how shall I speak of the glories I have since discovered in the Bible?
Still there is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end.
I do not think that the knowledge which I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention.
I do not remember a time since I have been capable of loving books that I have not loved Shakespeare.
I cannot tell exactly when I began Lamb's "Tales from Shakespeare"; but I know that I read them at first with a child's understanding and a child's wonder.
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 remember that I was sorry for them.
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.
I have since read Shakespeare's plays many times and know parts of them by heart, but I cannot tell which of them I like best.
Next to poetry I love history.
The first book that gave me any real sense of the value of history was Swinton's "World History," which I received on my thirteenth birthday.
Though I believe it is no longer considered valid, yet I have kept it ever since as one of my treasures.
In my college reading I have become somewhat familiar with French and German literature.
Then, too, there is in German literature a fine reserve which I like; but its chief glory is the recognition I find in it of the redeeming potency of woman's self-sacrificing love.
Of all the French writers that I have read, I like Moliere and Racine best.
I admire Victor Hugo – I appreciate his genius, his brilliancy, his romanticism; though he is not one of my literary passions.
I love Mark Twain--who does not?
I like Scott for his freshness, dash and large honesty.
Here I am not disfranchised.
I trust that my readers have not concluded from the preceding chapter on books that reading is my only pleasure; my pleasures and amusements are many and varied.
More than once in the course of my story I have referred to my love of the country and out-of-door sports.
Of course, I cannot guide the boat very well.
Sometimes, however, I go rowing without the rudder.
In the same manner I can also tell when I am pulling against the current.
I like to contend with wind and wave.
Whether it comes from the trees which have been heated by the sun, or from the water, I can never discover.
I have had the same strange sensation even in the heart of the city.
I have felt it on cold, stormy days and at night.
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.
Last summer I spent in one of the loveliest nooks of one of the most charming villages in New England.
I remember with deepest gratitude the kindness of these dear friends and the happy days I spent with them.
I joined in all their sports and rambles through the woods and frolics in the water.
The prattle of the little ones and their pleasure in the stories I told them of elf and gnome, of hero and wily bear, are pleasant things to remember.
Mr. Chamberlin initiated me into the mysteries of tree and wild-flower, until with the little ear of love I heard the flow of sap in the oak, and saw the sun glint from leaf to leaf.
Thus it is that Even as the roots, shut in the darksome earth, Share in the tree-top's joyance, and conceive Of sunshine and wide air and winged things, By sympathy of nature, so do I gave evidence of things unseen.
I have many tree friends in Wrentham.
I take all my other friends to see this king-tree.
I had another tree friend, gentle and more approachable than the great oak--a linden that grew in the dooryard at Red Farm.
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.
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.
I have had many dog friends--huge mastiffs, soft-eyed spaniels, wood-wise setters and honest, homely bull terriers.
My dog friends seem to understand my limitations, and always keep close beside me when I am alone.
I love their affectionate ways and the eloquent wag of their tails.
When a rainy day keeps me indoors, I amuse myself after the manner of other girls.
I have a special board on which I play these games.
The chessmen are of two sizes, the white larger than the black, so that I have no trouble in following my opponent's maneuvers by moving my hands lightly over the board after a play.
If I happen to be all alone and in an idle mood, I play a game of solitaire, of which I am very fond.
I use playing cards marked in the upper right-hand corner with braille symbols which indicate the value of the card.
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.
Sometimes I make a mistake and do the wrong thing.
I often tell them stories or teach them a game, and the winged hours depart and leave us good and happy.
I feel in Diana's posture the grace and freedom of the forest and the spirit that tames the mountain lion and subdues the fiercest passions.
A medallion of Homer hangs on the wall of my study, conveniently low, so that I can easily reach it and touch the beautiful, sad face with loving reverence.
In imagination I can hear Homer singing, as with unsteady, hesitating steps he gropes his way from camp to camp--singing of life, of love, of war, of the splendid achievements of a noble race.
I should think the wonderful rhythmical flow of lines and curves could be more subtly felt than seen.
Be this as it may, I know that I can feel the heart-throbs of the ancient Greeks in their marble gods and goddesses.
I enjoy having a play described to me while it is being acted on the stage far more than reading it, because then it seems as if I were living in the midst of stirring events.
In the king's face, which he wore as a mask, there was a remoteness and inaccessibility of grief which I shall never forget.
I also know Mr. Jefferson.
I am proud to count him among my friends.
I go to see him whenever I happen to be where he is acting.
The first time I saw him act was while at school in New York.
I had often read the story, but I had never felt the charm of Rip's slow, quaint, kind ways as I did in the play.
I have a picture of old Rip in my fingers which they will never lose.
After the play Miss Sullivan took me to see him behind the scenes, and I felt of his curious garb and his flowing hair and beard.
Mr. Jefferson let me touch his face so that I could imagine how he looked on waking from that strange sleep of twenty years, and he showed me how poor old Rip staggered to his feet.
I have also seen him in "The Rivals."
Once while I was calling on him in Boston he acted the most striking parts of "The Rivals" for me.
Then they rose to fight the duel, and I followed the swift thrusts and parries of the swords and the waverings of poor Bob as his courage oozed out at his finger ends.
Then the great actor gave his coat a hitch and his mouth a twitch, and in an instant I was in the village of Falling Water and felt Schneider's shaggy head against my knee.
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.
I shall never forget the ripple of alternating joy and woe that ran through that beautiful little play, or the wonderful child who acted it.
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.
Sometimes, it is true, a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist as I sit alone and wait at life's shut gate.
Beyond there is light, and music, and sweet companionship; but I may not enter.
I have often been asked, "Do not people bore you?"
I do not understand quite what that means.
I suppose the calls of the stupid and curious, especially of newspaper reporters, are always inopportune.
The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me.
I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm.
I have many far-off friends whom I have never seen.
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.
I heard him with a child's wonder and delight.
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.
In spite of the lapse of years, they seem so close to me that I should not think it strange if at any moment they should clasp my hand and speak words of endearment as they used to before they went away.
Since Bishop Brooks died I have read the Bible through; also some philosophical works on religion, among them Swedenborg's "Heaven and Hell" and Drummond's "Ascent of Man," and I have found no creed or system more soul-satisfying than Bishop Brooks's creed of love.
I knew Mr. Henry Drummond, and the memory of his strong, warm hand-clasp is like a benediction.
I remember well the first time I saw Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
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:
But I stopped suddenly.
I felt tears on my hand.
I had made my beloved poet weep, and I was greatly distressed.
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.
One beautiful summer day, not long after my meeting with Dr. Holmes, Miss Sullivan and I visited Whittier in his quiet home on the Merrimac.
He had a book of his poems in raised print from which I read "In School Days."
He was delighted that I could pronounce the words so well, and said that he had no difficulty in understanding me.
Then I asked many questions about the poem, and read his answers by placing my fingers on his lips.
He said he was the little boy in the poem, and that the girl's name was Sally, and more which I have forgotten.
I also recited "Laus Deo," and as I spoke the concluding verses, he placed in my hands a statue of a slave from whose crouching figure the fetters were falling, even as they fell from Peter's limbs when the angel led him forth out of prison.
I promised to visit him again the following summer, but he died before the promise was fulfilled.
I have known him since I was eight, and my love for him has increased with my years.
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.
Most of them I met first in the house of my good friend, Mr. Laurence Hutton.
One does not need to read "A Boy I Knew" to understand him--the most generous, sweet-natured boy I ever knew, a good friend in all sorts of weather, who traces the footprints of love in the life of dogs as well as in that of his fellowmen.
Much that I hold sweetest, much that I hold most precious, I owe to her.
When I find my work particularly difficult and discouraging, she writes me letters that make me feel glad and brave; for she is one of those from whom we learn that one painful duty fulfilled makes the next plainer and easier.
I also met Mr. Richard Watson Gilder and Mr. Edmund Clarence Stedman.
I also knew Mr. Charles Dudley Warner, the most delightful of story-tellers and the most beloved friend, whose sympathy was so broad that it may be truly said of him, he loved all living things and his neighbour as himself.
They were all gentle and sympathetic and I felt the charm of their manner as much as I had felt the brilliancy of their essays and poems.
I 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.
I was like little Ascanius, who followed with unequal steps the heroic strides of Aeneas on his march toward mighty destinies.
I read from Mark Twain's lips one or two of his good stories.
I feel the twinkle of his eye in his handshake.
I received from them gifts that have the gentle concurrence of the heart, books containing their own thoughts, soul-illumined letters, and photographs that I love to have described again and again.
I shall mention only two other friends.
One is Mrs. William Thaw, of Pittsburgh, whom I have often visited in her home, Lyndhurst.
To the other friend I am also deeply indebted.
From the letters after the year 1892 I have culled in the spirit of one making an anthology, choosing the passages best in style and most important from the point of view of biography.
I have done nothing but select and cut.
I and teacher did go to church sunday mr. lane did read in book and talk Lady did play organ.
I did give man money in basket.
I will hug and kiss little blind girls mr. anagnos will come to see me.
I did read in my book about fox and box. fox can sit in the box.
I do like to read in my book. you do love me.
I do love you.
I and Father and aunt did go to see you in Washington.
I did play with your watch.
I do love you.
I saw doctor in Washington.
I can read stories in my book.
I will see little blind girls.
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.
I saw Miss Betty and her scholars.
I had a mug, and little bird and candy.
I had many lovely things for Christmas.
We did dance and play and eat nuts and candy and cakes and oranges and I did have fun with little boys and girls.
Mrs. Hopkins did send me lovely ring, I do love her and little blind girls.
I will nurse Nancy.
I went to Knoxville with father and aunt.
I do love good girls.
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.
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.
She is Nancy's sister and I am their mother.
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.
I do love Robert and teacher.
I found box of candy in Mr. Grave's pocket.
I am sorry for him.
Teacher and I went to walk in the yard, and I learned about how flowers and trees grow.
I will have fun with little blind girls.
I do love to run and hop and skip with Robert in bright warm sun.
I do read stories in my book about lions and tigers and bears.
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.
I help mother and teacher water them every night before supper.
I am tired now and I do want to go down stairs.
I send many kisses and hugs with letter.
I love you very dearly because you are my friend.
I hope she will not eat too many of the delicious fruit for they will make her very ill.
I hope Harry will not be afraid of my pony.
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.
Then I shall see lions and tigers and monkeys.
I will get a baby lion and a white monkey and a mild bear to bring home.
I had a very pleasant time at Brewster.
I went in bathing almost every day and Carrie and Frank and little Helen and I had fun.
I am not afraid to float now.
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.
I hope you think about me and love me because I am a good little child.
Teacher and I had a lovely time with many kind friends.
I was delighted to see my dear little friends and I hugged and kissed them.
Pony's name was Mollie and I had a nice ride on her back; I was not afraid, I hope my uncle will get me a dear little pony and a little cart very soon.
I played with many little girls and we had fun.
I rode on Carrie's tricicle and picked flowers and ate fruit and hopped and skipped and danced and went to ride.
I was born in America, and Mr. Anagnos was born in Greece.
Mr. Drew says little girls in China cannot talk on their fingers but I think when I go to China I will teach them.
I saw little Willie Swan in the car and he gave me a juicy pear.
What did I do when I was six years old?
I am very sorry that Eva and Bessie are sick.
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.
I read pretty stories in the book you sent me, about Charles and his boat, and Arthur and his dream, and Rosa and the sheep.
I have been in a large boat.
I will tell you a little story about Plymouth.
I am sorry for them because they cried much.
I am very sorry that poor little Peregrine is dead now.
I did see the rock in Plymouth and a little ship like the Mayflower and the cradle that dear little Peregrine slept in and many old things that came in the Mayflower.
Now I am very tired and I will rest.
I am sorry because they cannot see much.
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.
I shall wear my lovely cap and my new riding dress.
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 shall climb very high mountains in Norway and see much ice and snow.
I shall not be afraid of Fauntleroy's great dog Dougal.
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.
Now I am too tired to write more.
I am studying French and German and Latin and Greek.
Se agapo is Greek, and it means I love thee.
J'ai une bonne petite soeur is French, and it means I have a good little sister.
I will teach Mildred many languages when I come home.
My dear Mrs. Hopkins:-- I have just fed my dear little pigeon.
I named it Annie, for my teacher.
My rabbits are sleeping, too; and very soon I shall go to bed.
I hope you will come to see me soon, and stay a long time.
I have been reading in my book about astronomers.
I think the bell is an instrument, too.
I saw a very large bell at Wellesley.
The other day I broke my doll's head off; but that was not a dreadful accident, because dolls do not live and feel, like people.
I would like to have some clay.
I have been at home a great many weeks now.
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.
When she is older I will teach her many things if she is patient and obedient.
I hope I shall be courageous always.
I had many lovely presents given to me.
The other day I had a fine party.
The sun is shining brightly to-day and I hope we shall go to ride if the roads are dry.
I am very glad because I love the warm sunshine and the fragrant flowers.
I have four dolls now.
I have two tame pigeons and a tiny canary bird.
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 am very sorry that you are going so far away.
I would love to visit many beautiful cities with you.
I hope you will please write to me from all the cities you visit.
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.
When I am thirteen years old I shall visit them all myself.
I thank you very much for the beautiful story about Lord Fauntleroy, and so does teacher.
I am so glad that Eva is coming to stay with me this summer.
Mildred and I had our pictures taken while we were in Huntsville.
I will send you one.
I think of them every day and I love them dearly in my heart.
When you come home from Europe I hope you will be all well and very happy to get home again.
I will tell you what he did, and I think you will feel very sorry for the little child.
"I will stay with you," said she to the doll, although she was not at all courageous.
Have I done anything wrong?
I have laughed at the poor duck, with the red rag tied round its leg.
I hope the father punished the naughty little boy.
My Dear Miss Riley:--I wish you were here in the warm, sunny south today.
Little sister and I would take you out into the garden, and pick the delicious raspberries and a few strawberries for you.
I think you would enjoy hearing the mocking-birds sing.
But I am afraid you cannot come to Tuscumbia; so I will write to you, and send you a sweet kiss and my love.
I am sitting on the piazza, and my little white pigeon is perched on the back of my chair, watching me write.
I think we shall have a beautiful time out in the cool, pleasant woods.
I will write and tell you all the pleasant things we do.
I am so glad that Lester and Henry are good little infants.
I shall be delighted to have a typewriter.
Then I will take his soft chubby hand in mine, and go out in the bright sunshine with him.
I will take very good care of him, and not let him fall and hurt himself.
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.
I read in my books every day.
I love them very, very, very much.
I do want you to come back to me soon.
I miss you so very, very much.
I cannot know about many things, when my dear teacher is not here.
I send you five thousand kisses, and more love than I can tell.
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.
I go to school every day, and I learn many new things.
At eight I study arithmetic.
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.
At ten I study about the earth on which we all live.
At eleven I talk with teacher and at twelve I study zoology.
I do not know what I shall do in the afternoon yet.
My Dear Mr. Wade:--I have just received a letter from my mother, telling me that the beautiful mastiff puppy you sent me had arrived in Tuscumbia safely.
I hope she is not lonely and unhappy.
I think puppies can feel very home-sick, as well as little girls.
I should like to call her Lioness, for your dog.
I hope she will be very faithful, and brave, too.
I am studying in Boston, with my dear teacher.
I learn a great many new and wonderful things.
I study about the earth, and the animals, and I like arithmetic exceedingly.
I learn many new words, too.
EXCEEDINGLY is one that I learned yesterday.
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 study French, too.
I shall be happy to have a letter from you when you like to write to me.
Yesterday I read "In School Days" and "My Playmate," and I enjoyed them greatly.
I was very sorry that the poor little girl with the browns and the "tangled golden curls" died.
When I walk out in my garden I cannot see the beautiful flowers but I know that they are all around me; for is not the air sweet with their fragrance?
I know too that the tiny lily-bells are whispering pretty secrets to their companions else they would not look so happy.
I love you very dearly, because you have taught me so many lovely things about flowers, and birds, and people.
Now I must say, good-bye.
I hope [you] will enjoy the Thanksgiving very much.
When I visit England they want me to come to see them, and stay a few weeks.
I had a lovely letter from the poet Whittier.
I was delighted to receive the flowers from home.
Last week I visited a beautiful art store.
I saw a great many statues, and the gentleman gave me an angel.
Sunday I went to church on board a great warship.
I am very sorry for them.
Now I must close.
My dear Mother, Yesterday I sent you a little Christmas box.
I made all of the gifts myself, excepting father's handkerchief.
I hope you will like your watch-case, for it made me very happy to make it for you.
I imagine she will have fun with the little toy man.
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.
I think of my beautiful home every day.
I am going to have a Christmas tree in the parlor and teacher will hang all of my gifts upon it.
Teacher and I are the only babies left for Mrs. Hopkins to care for.
I have not been sick at all.
We will have great fun I am sure.
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.
He is delighted because I am here.
Now I must say, good-bye.
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.
I thank you very much for them.
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.
I told them all I knew about them.
A few days ago I received a little box of English violets from Lady Meath.
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.
I am reading a very sad story, called "Little Jakey."
I am studying about insects in zoology, and I have learned many things about butterflies.
She is a lovely baby, and I am sure you will love her.
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.
I think you are very kind and patient, and I love you very dearly.
My teacher told me Tuesday that you wanted to know how I came to wish to talk with my mouth.
I will tell you all about it, for I remember my thoughts perfectly.
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 what she was doing, for I was quite ignorant of all things.
I did not know then that it was very naughty to do so.
This good and happy news delighted me exceedingly, for then I was sure that I should learn also.
Now I am as happy as the little birds, because I can speak and perhaps I shall sing too.
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.
I am always happy and so was Little Lord Fauntleroy, but dear Little Jakey's life was full of sadness.
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 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.
I told you that I was very happy because of your happiness.
I am sure He is.
I love to tell you about God.
You will come back to Boston I hope soon after I do.
I shall be there by the middle of September.
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.
I wish I could see your little sister.
Your letter is charming, and I am greatly pleased with it.
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.
You have studied all this, I don't doubt, since you have practised vocal speaking.
I am surprised at the mastery of language which your letter shows.
My Dear, Kind Friends:--I thank you very, very much for naming your beautiful new ship for me.
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.
I hope the great ocean will love the new Helen, and let her sail over its blue waves peacefully.
I hope I shall see you and my beautiful namesake some time.
How I wish I could see you this lovely morning, and tell you all that has happened since I left home!
And my darling little sister, how I wish I could give her a hundred kisses!
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.
I was delighted to get there, though I was much disappointed because we did not arrive on Mr. Anagnos' birthday.
I was overjoyed to see my dearest and kindest friend once more.
I have it pinned to my dress.
I tell everybody the time when they ask me.
I have only seen Mr. Anagnos twice.
But I suppose he is very busy now.
How I wish I could see my own donkey and my dear Lioness!
What a nice time I shall have reading them!
I have already read Sara Crewe.
It is a very pretty story, and I will tell it to you some time.
At first I was very sorry when I found that the sun had hidden his shining face behind dull clouds, but afterwards I thought why he did it, and then I was happy.
If I were with you to-day I would give you eighty-three kisses, one for each year you have lived.
I wonder how many years there will be in eternity.
I am afraid I cannot think about so much time.
I received the letter which you wrote to me last summer, and I thank you for it.
I can hardly wait for the fun to begin!
I hope your Christmas Day will be a very happy one and that the New Year will be full of brightness and joy for you and every one.
My Dear Young Friend--I was very glad to have such a pleasant letter on my birthday.
I had two or three hundred others and thine was one of the most welcome of all.
I must tell thee about how the day passed at Oak Knoll.
I thank thee for all thy good wishes, and wish thee as many.
I am glad thee is at the Institution; it is an excellent place.
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.
My friends have told me about your great and magnificent city, and I have read a great deal that wise Englishmen have written.
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.
And now I want to tell you what the dog lovers in America are going to do.
I love every word of "Spring" and "Spring Has Come."
But when I read "Spring Has Come," lo!
I am not blind any longer, for I see with your eyes and hear with your ears.
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.
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.
I can hardly wait patiently for the time to come when I shall see my dear English friends, and their beautiful island home.
My favourite poet has written some lines about England which I love very much.
I think you will like them too, so I will try to write them for you.
I wonder if the May-days in England are as beautiful as they are here.
Now I must say good-bye.
I hope the glad news which you will tell them will make their hearts beat fast with joy and love.
I hope too, that Bishop Brooks' whole life will be as rich in happiness as the month of May is full of blossoms and singing birds.
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."
Then I knew that you had not forgotten the dear little child, for the gift brought with it the thought of tender sympathy.
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.
I am sure his heart was always full of music, and in God's beautiful world he must have heard love's sweet replying.
When I came home teacher read to me "The School-boy," for it is not in our print.
I enclose a ticket, hoping that you will come.
I hope our kind friend Dr. Ellis will come too, and take Tom in his arms.
Every day I find out something which makes me glad.
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?
It is Sunday morning, and while I sit here in the library writing this letter you are teaching hundreds of people some of the grand and beautiful things about their heavenly Father.
Teacher sends her kind remembrances, and I send you with my picture my dear love.
My dear Mr. Munsell, Surely I need not tell you that your letter was very welcome.
I enjoyed every word of it and wished that it was longer.
I laughed when you spoke of old Neptune's wild moods.
It is evident that something has displeased his Majesty but I cannot imagine what it can be.
But I must put away these idle fancies until we meet again.
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"?
I am glad Miss Eleanor is interested.
I will see you to-morrow and then we can make the rest of our plans.
You remember teacher and I told you Sunday that I wanted to have a little tea in aid of the kindergarten.
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.
The preparations for my tea are nearly completed, and I am looking forward joyfully to the event.
I know I shall not fail.
Kind people will not disappoint me, when they know that I plead for helpless little children who live in darkness and ignorance.
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.
This wonderful world with all its sunlight and beauty was hidden from me, and I had never dreamed of its loveliness.
My dear Carrie--You are to look upon it as a most positive proof of my love that I write to you to-day.
Nevertheless, I must tell you that we are alive,--that we reached home safely, and that we speak of you daily, and enjoy your interesting letters very much.
I had a beautiful visit at Hulton.
I rode horseback nearly every evening and once I rode five miles at a fast gallop.
I have a very pretty little cart now, and if it ever stops raining teacher and I are going to drive every evening.
I think it is Saxon.
Mildred is a sweet little sister and I am sure you would love her.
I thank you very much for your photograph.
I like to have my friends' pictures even though I cannot see them.
I was greatly amused at the idea of your writing the square hand.
I do not write on a Braille tablet, as you suppose, but on a grooved board like the piece which I enclose.
Please give my love to Miss Derby and tell her that I hope she gave my sweetest love to Baby Ruth.
I received several, and I do not know which was from you.
I had one gift which especially pleased me.
I am glad, very glad that such a kind, beautiful lady loves me.
I have loved you for a long time, but I did not think you had ever heard of me until your sweet message came.
Please kiss your dear little baby for me, and tell her I have a little brother nearly sixteen months old.
I named him myself after my dear friend Phillips Brooks.
I send you with this letter a pretty book which my teacher thinks will interest you, and my picture.
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.
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 enjoyed your dear letter so much!
I am always delighted when anyone writes me a beautiful thought which I can treasure in my memory forever.
It is because my books are full of the riches of which Mr. Ruskin speaks that I love them so dearly.
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.
I often think of the pleasant time we had all together in Boston last spring.
Now I am going to tell you a secret.
Then I shall see you, and dear Mr. Bell, and Elsie and Daisy again!
I love all living things,--I suppose everyone does; but of course I cannot have a menagerie.
I have a beautiful pony, and a large dog.
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.
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 lady seemed surprised that I loved flowers when I could not see their beautiful colors, and when I assured her I did love them, she said, "no doubt you feel the colors with your fingers."
I must confess I was puzzled at first.
But after a minute I answered that beauty was a form of goodness--and he went away.
Mr. Bell and I planned it together, and Mr. Bell made all the arrangements before we told teacher anything about it.
This was the surprise--I was to have the pleasure of taking my dear teacher to see Niagara Falls!...
The hotel was so near the river that I could feel it rushing past by putting my hand on the window.
You can never imagine how I felt when I stood in the presence of Niagara until you have the same mysterious sensations yourself.
I had the same feeling once before when I first stood by the great ocean and felt its waves beating against the shore.
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!"
Teacher said I was a little traitor.
But I do not think so.
I was only doing as the Canadians do, while I was in their country, and besides I honor England's good queen.
Oh, I do so hope and pray that I shall speak well some day!...
I hope when I visit Venice, as I surely shall some day, that Mr. Munsell will go with me.
A French gentleman, whose name I cannot remember, showed me the great French bronzes.
I believe they gave me more pleasure than anything else at the Fair: they were so lifelike and wonderful to my touch.
I saw the one through which Emperor Dom Pedro listened to the words, "To be, or not to be," at the Centennial.
I sat in King Ludwig's armchair and felt like a queen when Dr. Gillett remarked that I had many loyal subjects.
I liked them both very much.
I went to the Japanese department with Prof. Morse who is a well-known lecturer.
I never realized what a wonderful people the Japanese are until I saw their most interesting exhibit.
He invited me to visit his museum in Salem the next time I go to Boston.
I went into the streets of Cairo, and rode on the camel.
I wrote to my friends about the work and enlisted their sympathy.
I enjoy my lessons very much.
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.
That is why I thought about starting one.
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.
I do not know what books we have, but I think it is a miscellaneous (I think that is the word) collection....
It is a very interesting souvenir of Columbus, and of the Fair White City; but I cannot imagine what discoveries I have made,--I mean new discoveries.
We are all discoverers in one sense, being born quite ignorant of all things; but I hardly think that is what she meant.
I shall prize the little book always, not only for its own value; but because of its associations with you.
I also keep a diary.
I enjoy my singing lessons with Dr. Humason more than I can say.
I expect to take piano lessons sometime....
The ancient cannon, which look seaward, wear a very menacing expression; but I doubt if there is any unkindness in their rusty old hearts.
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.
I have lately read "Wilhelm Tell" by Schiller, and "The Lost Vestal."...
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!
The two distinguished authors were very gentle and kind, and I could not tell which of them I loved best.
I only wish you could have seen and heard him!
I think he is very handsome indeed....
I might have seen Mrs. Wiggin, the sweet author of "Birds' Christmas Carol," but she had a dangerous cough and could not come.
I was much disappointed not to see her, but I hope I shall have that pleasure some other time.
I thought her beauty angellic, and oh, what a clear, beautiful voice she had!
I have just finished reading "Ivanhoe."
It was very exciting; but I must say I did not enjoy it very much.
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....
They were so tame, they stood perfectly still when I handled them.
I saw great big turkeys, geese, guineas, ducks and many others.
I am sure you would like to know Mr. and Mrs. Hutton, they are so kind and interesting.
I can never tell you how much pleasure they have given us.
I hope we shall visit it some day.
Teacher has read me his lively stories about his boyhood, and I enjoyed them greatly.
I know it, and it makes me feel so happy, it has such sweet thoughts.
I read her lips almost exclusively, (she does not know the manual alphabet) and we get on quite well.
I have read "Le Medecin Malgre Lui," a very good French comedy by Moliere, with pleasure; and they say I speak French pretty well now, and German also.
But I try hard not to be discouraged.
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 and I spent nine days at Philadelphia.
Every one said I spoke very well and intelligibly.
We spent about three weeks in Boston, after leaving New York, and I need not tell you we had a most delightful time.
I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities.
But, however this may be, I cannot now write the letter which has lain in my thought for you so long.
He died last Saturday at my home in Tuscumbia, and I was not there.
Oh, dear friend, how shall I ever bear it!...
I know you want to hear how I like my school.
I do wish you could come and see for yourself what a beautiful school it is!
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.
But it is harder for Teacher than it is for me because the strain on her poor eyes is so great, and I cannot help worrying about them.
Sometimes it really seems as if the task which we have set ourselves were more than we can accomplish; but at other times I enjoy my work more than I can say.
But Johnson, and "The Plague" and everything else must wait a few minutes this afternoon, while I say, thank you, my dear Mrs. Hutton....
July 9, 1897. ...Teacher and I are going to spend the summer at Wrentham, Mass. with our friends, the Chamberlins.
I think you remember Mr. Chamberlin, the "Listener" in the Boston Transcript.
But I know you want to hear about my examinations.
The subjects I offered were elementary and advanced German, French, Latin, English, and Greek and Roman History.
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.
But what I consider my crown of success is the happiness and pleasure that my victory has brought dear Teacher.
Indeed, I feel that the success is hers more than mine; for she is my constant inspiration....
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the country.
I do think I could work all day long without feeling tired if they would let me.
Just think, I shall soon finish my grammar!
I think Greek is the loveliest language that I know anything about.
I find I get on faster, and do better work with Mr. Keith than I did in the classes at the Cambridge School, and I think it was well that I gave up that kind of work.
The truth is, I know very little about bicycles.
I have only ridden a "sociable," which is very different from the ordinary tandem.
Besides, I have been told that "sociables" cost more than other kinds of bicycles.
My teacher and other friends think I could ride a Columbia tandem in the country with perfect safety.
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....
This morning I rode over twelve miles on my tandem!
I rode on a rough road, and fell off three or four times, and am now awfully lame!
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!
So you can well imagine how strong and brown I am....
This is the first opportunity I have had to write to you since we came here last Monday.
I wish it were not such a bother to move, especially as we have to do it so often!...
I wish the Wrentham woods were round the corner!
But alas! they are not, and I shall have to content myself with a stroll in the Gardens.
Indeed, I doubt if they are on speaking terms with their country cousins!
Do you know, I cannot help feeling sorry for these trees with all their fashionable airs?
I do miss Red Farm and the dear ones there dreadfully; but I am not unhappy.
My teacher and I had a good laugh over the girls' frolic.
"Slim" would describe them, if they were anything like the saw-horses I have seen.
I cannot help wishing sometimes that I could have some of the fun that other girls have.
How quickly I should lock up all these mighty warriors, and hoary sages, and impossible heroes, who are now almost my only companions; and dance and sing and frolic like other girls!
But I must not waste my time wishing idle wishes; and after all my ancient friends are very wise and interesting, and I usually enjoy their society very much indeed.
December 22,  ...I suppose Mr. Keith writes you the work-a-day news.
You will be glad to hear that I enjoy Mathematics now.
Why, I can do long, complicated quadratic equations in my head quite easily, and it is great fun!
I think Mr. Keith is a wonderful teacher, and I feel very grateful to him for having made me see the beauty of Mathematics.
TO MR. JOHN HITZ 12 Newbury Street, Boston, February 3, 1899. ...I had an exceedingly interesting experience last Monday.
I also saw Apollo Belvidere.
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.
I almost cried, it was all so real and tragic.
General Loring kindly showed me a copy of one of the wonderful bronze doors of the Baptistry of Florence, and I felt of the graceful pillars, resting on the backs of fierce lions.
So you see, I had a foretaste of the pleasure which I hope some day to have of visiting Florence.
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.
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!
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.
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....
My teacher's eyes are no better: indeed, I think they grow more troublesome, though she is very brave and patient, and will not give up.
I feel as if I ought to give up the idea of going to college altogether: for not all the knowledge in the world could make me happy, if obtained at such a cost.
I 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!
However, I am glad that I am not debarred from all pleasure in the pictures.
I have at least the satisfaction of seeing them through the eyes of my friends, which is a real pleasure.
I have his "Jungle-Book" in raised print, and what a splendid, refreshing book it is!
I cannot help feeling as if I knew its gifted author.
I think I shall enjoy the "Odyssey" most of all.
I am working very hard just now.
But we shall not be quite separated; we shall see each other every day, I hope.
I really believe he knows more Latin and Greek Grammar than Cicero or Homer ever dreamed of!
Why, I should have to be a Cicero to talk like a Cicero!...
I was a good deal amused by what she said about history.
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.
The other day, I met a deaf Norwegian gentleman, who knows Ragnhild Kaata and her teacher very well, and we had a very interesting conversation about her.
I cannot make out anything written in my hand, so you see, Ragnhild has got ahead of me in some things.
I do hope I shall see her sometime...
TO MRS. LAURENCE HUTTON Wrentham, July 29, 1899. ...I passed in all the subjects I offered, and with credit in advanced Latin....
But I must confess, I had a hard time on the second day of my examinations.
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.
But you must not think I blame any one.
How could they--they can see and hear, and I suppose they could not understand matters from my point of view....
Thus far my summer has been sweeter than anything I can remember.
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 said I had already shown the world that I could do the college work, by passing all my examinations successfully, in spite of many obstacles.
She showed me how very foolish it would be for me to pursue a four years' course of study at Radcliffe, simply to be like other girls, when I might better be cultivating whatever ability I had for writing.
Her arguments seemed so wise and practical, that I could not but yield.
But, while we were discussing plans for the winter, a suggestion which Dr. Hale had made long ago flashed across Teacher's mind--that I might take courses somewhat like those offered at Radcliffe, under the instruction of the professors in these courses.
Why, you yourself seem to think that I taught you American braille, when you do not know a single letter in the system!
How I passed my Entrance Examinations for Radcliffe College.
On the 29th and 30th of June, 1899, I took my examinations for Radcliffe College.
The first day I had Elementary Greek and Advanced Latin, and the second day Geometry, Algebra and Advanced Greek.
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.
I was sorely perplexed, and felt quite discouraged, and wasted much precious time, especially in Algebra.
I had used it all through my school work, and never any other system.
But, when I took up Algebra, I had a harder time still--I was terribly handicapped by my imperfect knowledge of the notation.
The signs, which I had learned the day before, and which I thought I knew perfectly, confused me.
Now there is one more fact, which I wish to state very plainly, in regard to what Mr. Gilman wrote to you.
I never received any direct instruction in the Gilman School.
The waist is trimmed with pink and green brocaded velvet, and white lace, I think, and has double reefers on the front, tucked and trimmed with velvet, and also a row of tiny white buttons.
I have seen Dr. Greer too.
I love him more than ever.
We went to St. Bartholomew's Sunday, and I have not felt so much at home in a church since dear Bishop Brooks died.
I stood in the middle of the church, where the vibrations from the great organ were strongest, and I felt the mighty waves of sound beat against me, as the great billows beat against a little ship at sea.
In Latin, I am reading Horace's odes.
I do not think I have told you that my dear teacher is reading "The Faery Queen" to me.
I am afraid I find fault with the poem as much as I enjoy it.
I am now the proud owner of about fifteen new books, which we ordered from Louisville.
Perhaps next week I shall have some more books, "The Tempest," "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and possibly some selections from Green's history of England.
Am I not very fortunate?
I do believe I sleep on books every night!
In college I should wish to continue most, if not all of these subjects.
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.
They were very kind; but I could not help feeling that they spoke more from a business than a humanitarian point of view.
Still I could not shut my eyes to the force and weight of their arguments, and I saw plainly that I must abandon--'s scheme as impracticable.
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.
I had had misgivings on this point; but I could not see how we were to help it.
At the same time Dr. Bell added that I could rest content and fight my way through Radcliffe in competition with seeing and hearing girls, while the great desire of my heart was being fulfilled.
We clapped our hands and shouted;--went away beaming with pleasure, and Teacher and I felt more light of heart than we had for sometime.
Yes, I am taking the regular college course for a degree.
I'm enjoying my work even more than I expected to, which is another way of saying that I'm glad I came.
I passed off my English and advanced French before I entered college, and I choose the courses I like best.
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....
Last October I heard of an unusually bright little girl in Texas.
Her name is Ruby Rice, and she is thirteen years old, I think.
I also know a child at the Institution for the Deaf in Mississippi.
I have written to her that when Maud learns to read, I shall have many stories to send her.
I was in New York not long ago and I saw Miss Rhoades, who told me that she had seen Katie McGirr.
I was much surprised to hear all this; for I judged from your letters that Katie was a very precocious girl....
A few days ago I met Tommy Stringer in the railroad station at Wrentham.
I am not discouraged, nor am I afraid.
Now, however, I see the folly of attempting to hitch one's wagon to a star with harness that does not belong to it.
I have always accepted other peoples experiences and observations as a matter of course.
How in the world do the papers find out everything, I wonder.
I am sure no reporter was present.
I had a splendid time; the toasts and speeches were great fun.
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.
Did I tell you in my last letter that I had a new dress, a real party dress with low neck and short sleeves and quite a train?
I have worn it only once, but then I felt that Solomon in all his glory was not to be compared with me!
I have had a letter from Mrs. Thaw with regard to the possibility of doing something for these children.
Gentlemen: I have only to-day found time to reply to your interesting letter.
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.
I was there and really helped him fly the kites.
On one of them I noticed that the strings were of wire, and having had some experience in bead work, I said I thought they would break.
After that he asked me if the strings were all right and changed them at once when I answered in the negative.
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?
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.
I write all my themes and examinations on it, even Greek.
I know you will be amused when I tell you that I am deeply interested in politics.
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.
"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."
"I never fight," she replied, "except against difficulties."
I am glad you know.
They are, I think, the only ones of their kind in America.
I believe she is the purest-minded human ever in existence....
Yesterday I read to her the story of 'Macbeth,' as told by Charles and Mary Lamb.
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."
Then it is amusing to read of the elaborate preparation I underwent to fit me for the great task my friends entrusted to me.
Indeed, I am heartily glad that I don't know all that is being said and written about Helen and myself.
I assure you I know quite enough.
Have you seen the paper I wrote for the 'report'?
I do not doubt that she derived from them much pleasure and not a little profit.
I have also italicized a few important passages.
...It was 6.30 when I reached Tuscumbia.
I found Mrs. Keller and Mr. James Keller waiting for me.
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.
As we approached the house I saw a child standing in the doorway, and Captain Keller said, There she is.
I attracted her attention by showing her my watch and letting her hold it in her hand.
Here I opened the bag, and she went through it eagerly, probably expecting to find something to eat.
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.
Somehow I had expected to see a pale, delicate child--I suppose I got the idea from Dr. Howe's description of Laura Bridgman when she came to the Institution.
She rarely smiles; indeed, I have seen her smile only once or twice since I came.
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.
I thought it a good opportunity to teach her her first word.
She looked puzzled and felt my hand, and I repeated the letters.
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.
I forced her into a chair and held her there until I was nearly exhausted.
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.
I went downstairs and got some cake (she is very fond of sweets).
Of course she wanted it and tried to take it; but I spelled the word again and patted her hand.
She made the letters rapidly, and I gave her the cake, which she ate in a great hurry, thinking, I suppose, that I might take it from her.
Then I showed her the doll and spelled the word again, holding the doll toward her as I held the cake.
Yesterday I gave her a sewing-card to do.
I made the first row of vertical lines and let her feel it and notice that there were several rows of little holes.
She made the "c-a," then stopped and thought, and making the sign for eating and pointing downward she pushed me toward the door, meaning that I must go downstairs for some cake.
The two letters "c-a," you see, had reminded her of Fridays "lesson"--not that she had any idea that cake was the name of the thing, but it was simply a matter of association, I suppose.
She follows with her hands every motion you make, and she knew that I was looking for the doll.
I made the signs that she had used when she wished me to go for the cake, and pushed her toward the door.
She had not finished the cake she was eating, and I took it away, indicating that if she brought the doll I would give her back the cake.
She was very troublesome when I began to write this morning.
Finally I remembered the kindergarten beads, and set her to work stringing them.
I shook my head and took them all off and made her feel of the two wooden beads and the one glass bead.
I took them off and showed her that the two wooden ones must go on first, then the glass bead.
I thought this very clever.
I know this letter is very carelessly written.
I had a lot to say, and couldn't stop to think how to express things neatly.
I had a battle royal with Helen this morning.
Although I try very hard not to force issues, I find it very difficult to avoid them.
This morning I would not let her put her hand in my plate.
I locked the dining-room door, and proceeded to eat my breakfast, though the food almost choked me.
She kept this up for half an hour, then she got up to see what I was doing.
I let her see that I was eating, but did not let her put her hand in the plate.
She pinched me, and I slapped her every time she did it.
I gave her a spoon, which she threw on the floor.
I forced her out of the chair and made her pick it up.
It was another hour before I succeeded in getting her napkin folded.
Then I let her out into the warm sunshine and went up to my room and threw myself on the bed exhausted.
I suppose I shall have many such battles with the little woman before she learns the only two essential things I can teach her, obedience and love.
I like Mrs. Keller very much.
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.
As I began to teach her, I was beset by many difficulties.
I couldn't coax her or compromise with her.
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.
I had an idea that I could win the love and confidence of my little pupil by the same means that I should use if she could see and hear.
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.
I hurried the preparations for our departure as much as possible, and here we are.
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.
I never saw such strength and endurance in a child.
But fortunately for us both, I am a little stronger, and quite as obstinate when I set out.
I finally succeeded in getting her on the bed and covered her up, and she lay curled up as near the edge of the bed as possible.
I don't think she has any special tenderness for them--I have never seen her caress them; but she dresses and undresses them many times during the day and handles them exactly as she has seen her mother and the nurse handle her baby sister.
I think, however, she will learn quickly enough by and by.
As I have said before, she is wonderfully bright and active and as quick as lightning in her movements.
She has learned three new words, and when I give her the objects, the names of which she has learned, she spells them unhesitatingly; but she seems glad when the lesson is over.
Helen evidently knew where she was as soon as she touched the boxwood hedges, and made many signs which I did not understand.
I have just heard something that surprised me very much.
She is sitting by me as I write, her face serene and happy, crocheting a long red chain of Scotch wool.
When I came, her movements were so insistent that one always felt there was something unnatural and almost weird about her.
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 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.
I imagine she has been rather roughly handled sometimes by her little mistress.
Helen and I came home yesterday.
I think "no" and "yes," conveyed by a shake or a nod of my head, have become facts as apparent to her as hot and cold or as the difference between pain and pleasure.
And I don't intend that the lesson she has learned at the cost of so much pain and trouble shall be unlearned.
I have told Captain and Mrs. Keller that they must not interfere with me in any way.
I realize that it hurts to see their afflicted little child punished and made to do things against her will.
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 was at her place when I came down.
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 thought I would try the effect of a little belated discipline.
I went back to the dining-room and got a napkin.
I showed her the napkin and pinned it round her neck, then tore it off and threw it on the floor and shook my head.
I repeated this performance several times.
I think she understood perfectly well; for she slapped her hand two or three times and shook her head.
I gave her an object, and she spelled the name (she knows twelve now).
I took this for a promise that if I gave her some cake she would be a good girl.
I gave her a larger piece than usual, and she chuckled and patted herself.
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.
Then I let her decide whether she will sew or knit or crochet.
But I am always glad when this work is over for the day.
Sewing and crocheting are inventions of the devil, I think.
Later I join them, and we make the rounds of the outhouses.
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.
On March 31st I found that Helen knew eighteen nouns and three verbs.
I must write you a line this morning because something very important has happened.
In a previous letter I think I wrote you that "mug" and "milk" had given Helen more trouble than all the rest.
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.
Last night when I got in bed, she stole into my arms of her own accord and kissed me for the first time, and I thought my heart would burst, so full was it of joy.
I see an improvement in Helen day to day, almost from hour to hour.
I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO TRY TO HAVE REGULAR LESSONS FOR THE PRESENT.
I sent Helen away and sat down to think.
I asked myself, "How does a normal child learn language?"
I have been observing Helen's little cousin lately.
If I say, "Where is baby's other ear?" she points it out correctly.
If I hand her a flower, and say, "Give it to mamma," she takes it to her mother.
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 assume that she has the normal child's capacity of assimilation and imitation.
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.
"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.
We play a little game which I find most useful in developing the intellect, and which incidentally answers the purpose of a language lesson.
I hide something, a ball or a spool, and we hunt for it.
Again, when I hid the spool, she looked for it in a little box not more than an inch long; and she very soon gave up the search.
This morning I hid a cracker.
No, I don't want any more kindergarten materials.
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.
She had signs for SMALL and LARGE long before I came to her.
The other day I substituted the words SMALL and LARGE for these signs, and she at once adopted the words and discarded the signs.
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."
I couldn't make out at first what it was all about.
Nothing would do but I must go somewhere with her to see something.
I taught her the word "puppy" and drew her hand over them all, while they sucked, and spelled "puppies."
I suppose her idea was "Baby eats much."
She pointed to each puppy, one after another, and to her five fingers, and I taught her the word FIVE.
I knew she was thinking of Mildred, and I spelled, "One baby and five puppies."
I told her to ask her father, and she said, "No--mother."
She noticed that one of the puppies was much smaller than the others, and she spelled "small," making the sign at the same time, and I said "very small."
Since I have abandoned the idea of regular lessons, I find that Helen learns much faster.
Indeed, I feel as if I had never seen anything until now, Helen finds so much to ask about along the way.
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."
I am sure these difficulties will take care of themselves.
I supply a word here and there, sometimes a sentence, and suggest something which she has omitted or forgotten.
If only I were better fitted for the great task!
I feel every day more and more inadequate.
My mind is full of ideas; but I cannot get them into working shape.
How I long to put it in order!
I need a teacher quite as much as Helen.
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.
I think I shall find them helpful.
WE MAKE A SORT OF GAME OF IT and try to see who can find the words most quickly, Helen with her fingers, or I with my eyes, and she learns as many new words as I can explain with the help of those she knows.
I can now tell her to go upstairs or down, out of doors or into the house, lock or unlock a door, take or bring objects, sit, stand, walk, run, lie, creep, roll, or climb.
The other day a friend brought her a new doll from Memphis, and I thought I would see if I could make Helen understand that she must not break it.
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.
I hear there is a deaf and blind child being educated at the Baltimore Institution.
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.
I had no idea she knew what a letter was.
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.
The other night when I went to bed, I found Helen sound asleep with a big book clasped tightly in her arms.
When I asked her about it in the morning, she said, "Book--cry," and completed her meaning by shaking and other signs of fear.
I taught her the word AFRAID, and she said: Helen is not afraid.
I told her that the book wasn't afraid, and must sleep in its case, and that "girl" mustn't read in bed.
I am glad Mr. Anagnos thinks so highly of me as a teacher.
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 cannot tell how I know these things.
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 cannot explain it; but when difficulties arise, I am not perplexed or doubtful.
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.
One day, when I wanted her to bring me some water, she said: Legs very tired.
I let her hold a shell in her hand, and feel the chicken "chip, chip."
Of course, I shall not overtax her brain.
But so far nobody seems to have thought of chloroforming her, which is, I think, the only effective way of stopping the natural exercise of her faculties.
I am teaching Helen the square-hand letters as a sort of diversion.
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.
If she could see and hear, I suppose she would get rid of her superfluous energy in ways which would not, perhaps, tax her brain so much, although I suspect that the ordinary child takes his play pretty seriously.
I said, "No, go and play with Nancy."
I asked what was the matter, and she said, "Much (many) teeth do make Nancy sick."
I happened to tell her the other day that the vine on the fence was a "creeper."
Helen held some worsted for me last night while I wound it.
In one lesson I taught her these words: BEDSTEAD, MATTRESS, SHEET, BLANKET, COMFORTER, SPREAD, PILLOW.
The next day I found that she remembered all but spread.
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.
I heard Helen screaming, and ran down to see what was the matter.
I found her in a terrible passion.
I had hoped this would never happen again.
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.
I held her hands firmly until she became more calm.
I said, "I cannot kiss naughty girl."
I said: You struck Viney and kicked her and hurt her.
You were very naughty, and I cannot kiss naughty girl.
I told her that she had better not talk about it any more, but think.
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.
At the dinner-table she was greatly disturbed because I didn't eat, and suggested that "Cook make tea for teacher."
But I told her that my heart was sad, and I didn't feel like eating.
She was very much excited when we went upstairs; so I tried to interest her in a curious insect called a stick-bug.
It's the queerest thing I ever saw--a little bundle of fagots fastened together in the middle.
I wouldn't believe it was alive until I saw it move.
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.
I had a letter from Laura Bridgman last Sunday.
I read the letter at the supper-table, and Mrs. Keller exclaimed: "My, Miss Annie, Helen writes almost as well as that now!"
The first evening she learned the names of all the people in the hotel, about twenty, I think.
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.
I hadn't used this expression.
I said, "The clouds touch the mountain softly, like beautiful flowers."
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.
I do wish things would stop being born!
These questions were sometimes asked under circumstances which rendered them embarrassing, and I made up my mind that something must be done.
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.
Why should I treat these questions differently?
I decided that there was no reason, except my deplorable ignorance of the great facts that underlie our physical existence.
It was no doubt because of this ignorance that I rushed in where more experienced angels fear to tread.
There isn't a living soul in this part of the world to whom I can go for advice in this, or indeed, in any other educational difficulty.
But in this case I don't think I made a mistake.
I took Helen and my Botany, "How Plants Grow," up in the tree, where we often go to read and study, and I told her in simple words the story of plantlife.
I reminded her of the corn, beans and watermelon-seed she had planted in the spring, and told her that the tall corn in the garden, and the beans and watermelon vines had grown from those seeds.
I made her understand that all life comes from an egg.
I told her that she could call the egg the cradle of life.
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.
It was amusing to see her hold it before her eyes and spell the sentences out on her fingers, just as I had done.
Mrs. Keller and I watched the nursery comedy from the door.
Mrs. Keller took the baby in her arms, and when we had succeeded in pacifying her, I asked Helen, "What did you do to baby?"
"I did tell baby, no, no, much (many) times," was Helen's reply.
I said, "Mildred doesn't understand your fingers, and we must be very gentle with her."
I do not wonder you were surprised to hear that I was going to write something for the report.
I kept a record of everything she said last week, and I found that she knows six hundred words.
I told her that her hair was brown, and she asked, "Is brown very pretty?"
I wonder if she has any vague idea of colour--any reminiscent impression of light and sound.
She likes to have me tell her what I see in pictures.
But I seem to have lost the thread of my discourse.
I told her that when we are happy our thoughts are bright, and when we are naughty they are sad.
I couldn't help laughing, for at that very moment Viney was shouting at the top of her voice:
I have two copies, and will send you one; but you mustn't show it to anybody.
I suppose the little girls enjoyed Helen's letter.
This morning I happened to say, "Helen will go upstairs."
I doubt if any teacher ever had a work of such absorbing interest.
I had two letters from Mr. Anagnos last week.
I told her that I could see things with my eyes, and that she could see them with her fingers.
One day I took her to the cistern.
For the first lesson I had two balls, one made of worsted, large and soft, the other a bullet.
I substituted the adjectives LARGE and SMALL for those signs.
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.
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.
Indeed, she was much displeased because I could not find her name in the book.
Just then I had no sentences in raised letters which she could understand; but she would sit for hours feeling each word in her book.
About this time I sent a list of the words she knew to Mr. Anagnos, and he very kindly had them printed for her.
Her mother and I cut up several sheets of printed words so that she could arrange them into sentences.
I then guided her hand to form the sentence, "Cat does drink milk."
As she had now learned to express her ideas on paper, I next taught her the braille system.
For a whole evening she will sit at the table writing whatever comes into her busy brain; and I seldom find any difficulty in reading what she has written.
She was working recently with the number forty, when I said to her, "Make twos."
Later I said, "Make fifteen threes and count."
I wished her to make the groups of threes and supposed she would then have to count them in order to know what number fifteen threes would make.
On being told that she was white and that one of the servants was black, she concluded that all who occupied a similar menial position were of the same hue; and whenever I asked her the colour of a servant she would say "black."
They were as gentle as kittens; but I told her they would get wild and fierce as they grew older.
She said to the keeper, "I will take the baby lions home and teach them to be mild."
I don't know who had the best time, the monkeys, Helen or the spectators.
In order to answer her questions, I have been obliged to read a great deal about animals.
At present I feel like a jungle on wheels!
I find it hard to realize that Christmas is almost here, in spite of the fact that Helen talks about nothing else.
Helen is as eager to have stories told her as any hearing child I ever knew.
She has made me repeat the story of little Red Riding Hood so often that I believe I could say it backward.
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.
I am teaching her little rhymes and verses, too.
I think, too, that they quicken all the child's faculties, because they stimulate the imagination.
Of course I don't try to explain everything.
If I did, there would be no opportunity for the play of fancy.
I do not think anyone can read, or talk for that matter, until he forgets words and sentences in the technical sense.
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.
Saturday the school-children had their tree, and I took Helen.
Sunday morning the ground was covered, and Helen and the cook's children and I played snowball.
It was the first snow I had seen here, and it made me a little homesick.
Constant repetition makes it easier to learn how to spell a word.
I SEE NO SENSE IN "FAKING" CONVERSATION FOR THE SAKE OF TEACHING LANGUAGE.
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.
When I told her that Santa Claus would not come until she was asleep, she shut her eyes and said, "He will think girl is asleep."
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."
When she saw the braille slate and paper, she said, "I will write many letters, and I will thank Santa Claus very much."
Helen asked, and added, "I will eat grandfather for dinner."
After talking about the various things that carpenters make, she asked me, "Did carpenter make me?" and before I could answer, she spelled quickly, "No, no, photographer made me in Sheffield."
I appreciate the kind things Mr. Anagnos has said about Helen and me; but his extravagant way of saying them rubs me the wrong way.
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 suppose you got Helen's letter.
I wanted her to write to her Uncle Frank this morning, but she objected.
I will write Uncle Frank braille letter.
I said, "But Uncle Frank cannot read braille."
"I will teach him," she said.
I explained that Uncle Frank was old, and couldn't learn braille easily.
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."
When I told her that Mildred's eyes were blue, she asked, "Are they like wee skies?"
I told her they were tulips; but of course she didn't understand the word-play.
I can't believe that the colour-impressions she received during the year and a half she could see and hear are entirely lost.
We had a splendid time in Memphis, but I didn't rest much.
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.
One day Helen said, "I must buy Nancy a very pretty hat."
I said, "Very well, we will go shopping this afternoon."
When we reached the shop, I asked her how much she would pay for Nancy's hat.
She answered promptly, "I will pay ten cents."
"I will buy some good candy to take to Tuscumbia," was her reply.
I did not have a chance to finish my letter yesterday.
I had Helen begin a journal March 1st.[Most of this journal was lost.
It's rather stupid business, I think.
I got up, washed my face and hands, combed my hair, picked three dew violets for Teacher and ate my breakfast.
After breakfast I played with dolls short.
I read in my book about large, fierce animals.
I do not love fierce animals.
I wrote letter to Uncle James.
I do not like sick.
Then I ate my dinner.
I had letter from Robert.
I will come to see you when the sun shines.
Robert and I will run and jump and hop and dance and swing and talk about birds and flowers and trees and grass and Jumbo and Pearl will go with us.
I am going to Memphis to see them soon, and they will hug and kiss me.
She buried me under the pillows and then I grew very slow like tree out of ground.
Now, I will go to bed.
Captain Keller said at breakfast this morning that he wished I would take Helen to church.
The Sunday-school was in session when we arrived, and I wish you could have seen the sensation Helen's entrance caused.
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.
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."
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.
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.
I think it is her joyous interest in everything and everybody.
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.
He had never heard of "talking-gloves"; but I explained that she had seen a glove on which the alphabet was printed, and evidently thought they could be bought.
I told him he could buy some gloves if he wished, and that I would have the alphabet stamped on them.
He asked me how I had taught Helen adjectives and the names of abstract ideas like goodness and happiness.
I was incredulous when he first told me the secret.
A little girl had written: I have a new dress.
A curly-headed little boy was writing: I have a large ball.
I like to kick my large ball.
I said: Why do you write those sentences on the board?
I asked her if the little girl who had written about the new dress was particularly pleased with her dress.
"No," she replied, "I think not; but children learn better if they write about things that concern them personally."
Nobody thinks of making a hearing child say, "I have a pretty new dress," at the beginning.
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.
On one occasion, while walking on the Common with her, I saw a police officer taking a man to the station-house.
I was then standing beside her, holding her hand.
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.
Even before I knew her, she had handled a dead chicken, or bird, or some other small animal.
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.
I evaded the question, but she persisted.
Then she added: I think she is very dead.
I put my little babies to sleep in Florence's little bed, and I take them to ride in her carriage.
She is never fretful or irritable, and I have never seen her impatient with her playmates because they failed to understand her.
Helen began to pull off the jacket, saying, "I must give it to a poor little strange girl."
Sitting beside her in the car, I describe what I see from the window--hills and valleys and the rivers; cotton-fields and gardens in which strawberries, peaches, pears, melons, and vegetables are growing; herds of cows and horses feeding in broad meadows, and flocks of sheep on the hillside; the cities with their churches and schools, hotels and warehouses, and the occupations of the busy people.
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 these early lessons I encouraged her in the use of different forms of expression for conveying the same idea.
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."
Soon after I became her teacher Helen broke her new doll, of which she was very fond.
I said to her, "Teacher is SORRY."
This morning teacher and I sat by the window and we saw a little boy walking on the sidewalk.
I do not know where he was going because he was a little strange boy.
I SUPPOSE he was going to take it to his mother.
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.
I was glad to hug and kiss him.
I do love them.
I will write little blind girls a letter to thank them.
I will make pretty clothes for Nancy and Adeline and Allie.
I will go to Cincinnati in May and buy another child.
Then I will have four children.
I slept with father, and Mildred slept with teacher.
I did learn about calm.
I read about birds.
I learned a song about spring.
Teacher and I went to ride on Tennessee River, in a boat.
I saw Mr. Wilson and James row with oars.
Boat did glide swiftly and I put hand in water and felt it flowing.
I caught fish with hook and line and pole.
I ate very small fish for supper.
I did read about cow and calf.
I am tired, and teacher does not want me to write more.
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.
When I asked her what she was doing, she replied, "I am a very funny camel."
From Miss Sullivan's part of this report I give her most important comments and such biographical matter as does not appear elsewhere in the present volume.
Of course, you cannot help it, and I love you just as well as if you were the most beautiful creature in the world.
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:
There was a hopeless look in the dull eye that I could not help noticing, and then, as I was thinking where I had seen that horse before, she looked full at me and said, 'Black Beauty, is that you?'
I could see the way Ginger looked; all her beauty gone, her beautiful arched neck drooping, all the spirit gone out of her flashing eyes, all the playfulness gone out of her manner.
I never knew before that there could be such a change in anything.
After a moment she added, mournfully, "I fear some people's lives are just like Ginger's."
I said to her, "Tell me, when you have read the poem through, who you think the mother is."
The gate, I suppose, is New York City, and Freedom is the great statue of Liberty.
After she had read "The Battlefield," by the same author, I asked her which verse she thought was the most beautiful.
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."
I said: "No. You cannot understand it yet."
She was quiet for a moment, and then asked, with spirit: How do you know that I cannot understand?
I have a good mind!
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.
After a time I became discouraged, and told her I was afraid she could not make it stand, but that I would build it for her; but she did not approve of this plan.
Until October, 1889, I had not deemed it best to confine Helen to any regular and systematic course of study.
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.
Once, when a question puzzled her very much, I suggested that we take a walk and then perhaps she would understand it.
She shook her head decidedly, and said: My enemies would think I was running away.
I must stay and conquer them now, and she did.
I regard my pupil as a free and active being, whose own spontaneous impulses must be my surest guide.
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.
Whenever any one asks me if she will understand this or that word I always reply: Never mind whether she understands each separate word of a sentence or not.
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.
When she had read the words of the second sentence, I showed her that there really was a mouse in the box.
Here I made the cat look at the mouse, and let Helen feel the cat.
I called her attention to the following line, and, although she knew only the three words, CAT, EAT and MOUSE, she caught the idea.
By signs she made me understand that she wished another story, and I gave her a book containing very short stories, written in the most elementary style.
I am convinced that Helen's use of English is due largely to her familiarity with books.
One day as we left the library I noticed that she appeared more serious than usual, and I asked the cause.
They tell me over and over what I want to know.
I asked what she thought that meant.
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.
"Were did I come from?" and "Where shall I go when I die?" were questions Helen asked when she was eight years old.
When I subsequently talked with her she said: I have something very funny to tell you.
I am made of flesh and blood and bone, am I not?
After a moment she went on: A. says God is everywhere, and that He is all love; but I do not think a person can be made out of love.
It made me laugh quite hard, for I know my father is Arthur Keller.
"I am thinking how very busy dear Mother Nature is in the springtime," she replied.
Later she said: I do not know if Mother Nature made me.
I think my mother got me from heaven, but I do not know where that place is.
I have never seen a plant-child!
But I cannot imagine who made Mother Nature, can you?
I love the beautiful spring, because the budding trees and the blossoming flowers and the tender green leaves fill my heart with joy.
I must go now to see my garden.
The daisies and the pansies will think I have forgotten them.
I wish to write about things I do not understand.
Where was I before I came to mother?
I never saw a child-plant.
I have seen them.
May I read the book called the Bible?
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.
Indeed, many of her eager questions would have puzzled a far wiser person than I am.
I told her that God was everywhere, and that she must not think of Him as a person, but as the life, the mind, the soul of everything.
I have already told her in simple language of the beautiful and helpful life of Jesus, and of His cruel death.
When told of the instance in which Jesus raised the dead, she was much perplexed, saying, "I did not know life could come back into the dead body!"
One day she said, sadly: I am blind and deaf.
That is why I cannot see God.
"No one knows what the soul is like," I replied; "but we know that it is not the body, and it is that part of us which thinks and loves and hopes."
I then asked her, "Can you think of your soul as separate from your body?"
"Oh, yes!" she replied; "because last hour I was thinking very hard of Mr. Anagnos, and then my mind,"--then changing the word--"my soul was in Athens, but my body was here in the study."
I explained to her that the soul, too, is invisible, or in other words, that it is without apparent form.
"But if I write what my soul thinks," she said, "then it will be visible, and the words will be its body."
A long time ago Helen said to me, "I would like to live sixteen hundred years."
I was obliged to confess that I did not know, but suggested that it might be on one of the stars.
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."
"But," said Helen, quickly, "I think God could make some more worlds as well as He made this one."
When her friend added that some of the pupils he had seen in Budapest had more than one hundred tunes in their heads, she said, laughing, "I think their heads must be very noisy."
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.
Too often, I think, children are required to write before they have anything to say.
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.
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.
Reading, I think, should be kept independent of the regular school exercises.
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.
I know that this idea will be vigorously combated by those who conduct schools for the deaf.
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.
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.
I am told that Miss Keller speaks better than most other deaf people.
I made no effort to teach her to speak, because I regarded her inability to watch the lips of others as an insurmountable obstacle.
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.
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.
I thought, however, that the advantage she would derive would not repay her for the time and labour that such an experiment would cost.
Her pronunciation of this gradually became indistinct, and when I first knew her it was nothing more than a peculiar noise.
At the time when I became her teacher, she had made for herself upward of sixty signs, all of which were imitative and were readily understood by those who knew her.
The only signs which I think she may have invented were her signs for SMALL and LARGE.
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.
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.
I wonder if she remembers how eagerly and gladly they spread their wings and flew away.
So I want to say to those who are trying to learn to speak and those who are teaching them: Be of good cheer.
I refer to the "Frost King" episode, which I shall explain in detail.
Miss Keller has given her account of it, and the whole matter was discussed in the first Volta Bureau Souvenir from which I quote at length:
* In this paper Miss Sullivan says: During this winter (1891-92) I went with her into the yard while a light snow was falling, and let her feel the falling flakes.
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.
I thought of my own dear home.
I knew that in that sunny land spring had come in all its splendour.
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.
In one of his letters, speaking of how God in every way tells us of His love, he says, "I think he writes it even upon the walls of the great house of nature which we live in, that he is our Father."
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.
As we had never seen or heard of any such story as this before, we inquired of her where she read it; she replied, "I did not read it; it is my story for Mr. Anagnos's birthday."
As I had never read this story, or even heard of the book, I inquired of Helen if she knew anything about the matter, and found she did not.
Helen and I spent the summer of 1888 with Mrs. Hopkins at her home in Brewster, Mass., where she kindly relieved me a part of the time, of the care of Helen.
I shall write to her in a short time.
I should like much to see it, and to obtain a few copies if possible.
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:
I am sure we should love each other.
Teacher and I have just returned from our walk.
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?
One pleasant morning in the beautiful springtime, I thought I was sitting on the soft grass under my dear mother's window, looking very earnestly at the rose-bushes which were growing all around me.
I was a very happy little child with rosy cheeks, and large blue eyes, and the most beautiful golden ringlets you can imagine.
I clapped my chubby hands for joy when I saw that the rose-bushes were covered with lovely buds.
If you do, perhaps I will dream again for you some time.
I shall be so glad when you come home, for I greatly miss you.
Please give my love to your good Greek friends, and tell them that I shall come to Athens some day.
I will tell you how King Frost first thought of this kind work, for it is a strange story.
I believe it is raining; I certainly hear the falling drops.
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.
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.
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 am sure I never heard it.
My heart was full of tears, for I love the beautiful truth with my whole heart and mind.
I do not know what I shall do.
I never thought that people could make such mistakes.
I am perfectly sure I wrote the story myself.
'I thought everybody had the same thought about the leaves, but I do not know now.
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.'
I do not feel that I can add anything more that will be of interest.
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.
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.
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.
I asked Helen what stories she had read about Jack Frost.
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.
She said, with great intensity of feeling, "I love the beautiful truth."
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....
In the cold, dreary month of February, when I was nineteen months old, I had a serious illness.
I still have confused memories of that illness.
But the fever grew and flamed in my eyes, and for several days my kind physician thought I would die.
But early one morning the fever left me as mysteriously and unexpectedly as it had come, and I fell into a quiet sleep.
Then my parents knew I would live, and they were very happy.
But I was too young to realize what had happened.
When I awoke and found that all was dark and still, I suppose I thought it was night, and I must have wondered why day was so long coming.
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....
I learned a great many words that day.
I do not remember what they all were; but I do know that MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER and TEACHER were among them.
The next morning I awoke with joy in my heart.
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 was never still during the first glad days of my freedom.
I was continually spelling and acting out the words as I spelled them.
I would run, skip, jump and swing, no matter where I happened to be.
The morning after our arrival I awoke bright and early.
A beautiful summer day had dawned, the day on which I was to make the acquaintance of a somber and mysterious friend.
I got up, and dressed quickly and ran downstairs.
I met Teacher in the hall, and begged to be taken to the sea at once.
The beautiful, warm air was peculiarly fragrant, and I noticed it got cooler and fresher as we went on.
Suddenly we stopped, and I knew, without being told, the Sea was at my feet.
I knew, too, it was immense! awful! and for a moment some of the sunshine seemed to have gone out of the day.
But, unfortunately, I struck my foot on a rock and fell forward into the cold water.
I do not know whether the difference or the similarity in phrasing between the child's version and the woman's is the more remarkable.
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-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...
I have felt a bud "shyly doff her green hood and blossom with a silken burst of sound," while the icy fingers of the snow beat against the window-panes.
What secret power, I wonder, caused this blossoming miracle?
Now I understand that the darkness everywhere may hold possibilities better even than my hopes.
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.
I wake terror-stricken with the words ringing in my ears, "An answer or your life!"
I rarely have dreams that are not in keeping with what I really think and feel, but one night my very nature seemed to change, and I stood in the eye of the world a mighty man and a terrible.
Naturally I love peace and hate war and all that pertains to war; I see nothing admirable in the ruthless career of Napoleon, save its finish.
I shall never forget how the fury of battle throbbed in my veins--it seemed as if the tumultuous beating of my heart would stop my breath.
I rode a fiery hunter--I can feel the impatient toss of his head now and the quiver that ran through him at the first roar of the cannon.
From the top of the hill where I stood I saw my army surging over a sunlit plain like angry breakers, and as they moved, I saw the green of fields, like the cool hollows between billows.
I spurred my panting steed and waved my sword.
I plunged into the oncoming billows, as a strong swimmer dives into breakers, and struck, alas, 'tis true, the bedpost!
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.
I dreaded the darkness and loved the woodfire.
Its warm touch seemed so like a human caress, I really thought it was a sentient being, capable of loving and protecting me.
One cold winter night I was alone in my room.
Miss Sullivan had put out the light and gone away, thinking I was sound asleep.
Suddenly I felt my bed shake, and a wolf seemed to spring on me and snarl in my face.
It was only a dream, but I thought it real, and my heart sank within me.
I dared not scream, and I dared not stay in bed.
Perhaps this was a confused recollection of the story I had heard not long before about Red Riding Hood.
At all events, I slipped down from the bed and nestled close to the fire which had not flickered out.
The instant I felt its warmth I was reassured, and I sat a long time watching it climb higher and higher in shining waves.
Often when I dream, thoughts pass through my mind like cowled shadows, silent and remote, and disappear.
There are also rare and beautiful moments when I see and hear in Dreamland.
What would happen, I ask many and many a time.
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.
If I had remembered this it would have prevented some mistakes.
This was not the light in which I hoed them.
History, Poetry, Mythology!--I know of no reading of another's experience so startling and informing as this would be.
The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.
I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.
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.
When a man is warmed by the several modes which I have described, what does he want next?
If I should attempt to tell how I have desired to spend my life in years past, it would probably surprise those of my readers who are somewhat acquainted with its actual history; it would certainly astonish those who know nothing about it.
I will only hint at some of the enterprises which I have cherished.
I would gladly tell all that I know about it, and never paint "No Admittance" on my gate.
Many are the travellers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to.
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.
I have watered the red huckleberry, the sand cherry and the nettle-tree, the red pine and the black ash, the white grape and the yellow violet, which might have withered else in dry seasons.
My accounts, which I can swear to have kept faithfully, I have, indeed, never got audited, still less accepted, still less paid and settled.
However, I have not set my heart on that.
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.
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.
I sometimes try my acquaintances by such tests as this--Who could wear a patch, or two extra seams only, over the knee?
Passing a cornfield the other day, close by a hat and coat on a stake, I recognized the owner of the farm.
He was only a little more weather-beaten than when I saw him last.
I have heard of a dog that barked at every stranger who approached his master's premises with clothes on, but was easily quieted by a naked thief.
I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.
I sometimes despair of getting anything quite simple and honest done in this world by the help of men.
On the whole, I think that it cannot be maintained that dressing has in this or any country risen to the dignity of an art.
I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing.
The condition of the operatives is becoming every day more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind may be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that corporations may be enriched.
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.
Some I have seen, sixty or a hundred feet long and thirty feet broad....
In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter.
As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
I doubt if there are three such men in Concord.
I refer to the degraded poor, not now to the degraded rich.
Or I could refer you to Ireland, which is marked as one of the white or enlightened spots on the map.
Yet I have no doubt that that people's rulers are as wise as the average of civilized rulers.
I hardly need refer now to the laborers in our Southern States who produce the staple exports of this country, and are themselves a staple production of the South.
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!
How, then, could I have a furnished house?
I would rather sit in the open air, for no dust gathers on the grass, unless where man has broken ground.
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.
Answer me these questions, and then perhaps I may look at your bawbles and find them ornamental.
I speak understandingly on this subject, for I have made myself acquainted with it both theoretically and practically.
The owner of the axe, as he released his hold on it, said that it was the apple of his eye; but I returned it sharper than I received it.
On the 1st of April it rained and melted the ice, and in the early part of the day, which was very foggy, I heard a stray goose groping about over the pond and cackling as if lost, or like the spirit of the fog.
Each stick was carefully mortised or tenoned by its stump, for I had borrowed other tools by this time.
Before I had done I was more the friend than the foe of the pine tree, though I had cut down some of them, having become better acquainted with it.
Sometimes a rambler in the wood was attracted by the sound of my axe, and we chatted pleasantly over the chips which I had made.
By the middle of April, for I made no haste in my work, but rather made the most of it, my house was framed and ready for the raising.
I had already bought the shanty of James Collins, an Irishman who worked on the Fitchburg Railroad, for boards.
When I called to see it he was not at home.
I walked about the outside, at first unobserved from within, the window was so deep and high.
At six I passed him and his family on the road.
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.
One early thrush gave me a note or two as I drove along the woodland path.
I took particular pleasure in this breaking of ground, for in almost all latitudes men dig into the earth for an equable temperature.
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.
When you have got my ornaments ready, I will wear them.
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.
I have thus a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a large window on each side, two trap doors, one door at the end, and a brick fireplace opposite.
These are all the materials, excepting the timber, stones, and sand, which I claimed by squatter's right.
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.
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.
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.
I doubt if Flying Childers ever carried a peck of corn to mill.
I have learned that the swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot.
I say to my friend, Suppose we try who will get there first.
I remember when wages were sixty cents a day for laborers on this very road.
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.
I got out several cords of stumps in plowing, which supplied me with fuel for a long time, and left small circles of virgin mould, easily distinguishable through the summer by the greater luxuriance of the beans there.
I was obliged to hire a team and a man for the plowing, though I held the plow myself.
I got twelve bushels of beans, and eighteen bushels of potatoes, beside some peas and sweet corn.
I desire to speak impartially on this point, and as one not interested in the success or failure of the present economical and social arrangements.
I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked one, every moment.
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?
In Arcadia, when I was there, I did not see any hammering stone.
I love better to see stones in place.
I might possibly invent some excuse for them and him, but I have no time for it.
For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them--who were above such trifling.
Nothing was given me of which I have not rendered some account.
It was fit that I should live on rice, mainly, who love so well the philosophy of India.
To meet the objections of some inveterate cavillers, I may as well state, that if I dined out occasionally, as I always had done, and I trust shall have opportunities to do again, it was frequently to the detriment of my domestic arrangements.
I have made a satisfactory dinner, satisfactory on several accounts, simply off a dish of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) which I gathered in my cornfield, boiled and salted.
I give the Latin on account of the savoriness of the trivial name.
Even the little variety which I used was a yielding to the demands of appetite, and not of health.
Bread I at first made of pure Indian meal and salt, genuine hoe-cakes, which I baked before my fire out of doors on a shingle or the end of a stick of timber sawed off in building my house; but it was wont to get smoked and to have a piny flavor.
I tried flour also; but have at last found a mixture of rye and Indian meal most convenient and agreeable.
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 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.
But I did not always use this staff of life.
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.
But as it was, I considered that I enhanced the value of the land by squatting on it.
If they cannot understand that, they cannot understand much that I have to say.
My furniture, part of which I made myself--and the rest cost me nothing of which I have not rendered an account--consisted of a bed, a table, a desk, three chairs, a looking-glass three inches in diameter, a pair of tongs and andirons, a kettle, a skillet, and a frying-pan, a dipper, a wash-bowl, two knives and forks, three plates, one cup, one spoon, a jug for oil, a jug for molasses, and a japanned lamp.
There is a plenty of such chairs as I like best in the village garrets to be had for taking them away.
Thank God, I can sit and I can stand without the aid of a furniture warehouse.
I think that the man is at a dead set who has got through a knot-hole or gateway where his sledge load of furniture cannot follow him.
"But what shall I do with my furniture?"--My gay butterfly is entangled in a spider's web then.
I look upon England today as an old gentleman who is travelling with a great deal of baggage, trumpery which has accumulated from long housekeeping, which he has not the courage to burn; great trunk, little trunk, bandbox, and bundle.
The moon will not sour milk nor taint meat of mine, nor will the sun injure my furniture or fade my carpet; and if he is sometimes too warm a friend, I find it still better economy to retreat behind some curtain which nature has provided, than to add a single item to the details of housekeeping.
For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found that, by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living.
The whole of my winters, as well as most of my summers, I had free and clear for study.
As I did not teach for the good of my fellow-men, but simply for a livelihood, this was a failure.
I 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 was actually afraid that I might by that time be doing what is called a good business.
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.
It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the sweat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I do.
One young man of my acquaintance, who has inherited some acres, told me that he thought he should live as I did, if he had the means.
But for my part, I preferred the solitary dwelling.
I heard it proposed lately that two young men should travel together over the world, the one without money, earning his means as he went, before the mast and behind the plow, the other carrying a bill of exchange in his pocket.
But all this is very selfish, I have heard some of my townsmen say.
I confess that I have hitherto indulged very little in philanthropic enterprises.
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.
If I were to preach at all in this strain, I should say rather, Set about being good.
No--in this case I would rather suffer evil the natural way.
I can find you a Newfoundland dog that will do as much.
I do not value chiefly a man's uprightness and benevolence, which are, as it were, his stem and leaves.
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.
I never dreamed of any enormity greater than I have committed.
I never knew, and never shall know, a worse man than myself.
I believe that what so saddens the reformer is not his sympathy with his fellows in distress, but, though he be the holiest son of God, is his private ail.
I have thus surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live.
In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession, for all were to be bought, and I knew their price.
Wherever I sat, there I might live, and the landscape radiated from me accordingly.
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.
Well, there I might live, I said; and there I did live, for an hour, a summer and a winter life; saw how I could let the years run off, buffet the winter through, and see the spring come in.
My imagination carried me so far that I even had the refusal of several farms--the refusal was all I wanted--but I never got my fingers burned by actual possession.
The nearest that I came to actual possession was when I bought the Hollowell place, and had begun to sort my seeds, and collected materials with which to make a wheelbarrow to carry it on or off with; but before the owner gave me a deed of it, his wife--every man has such a wife--changed her mind and wished to keep it, and he offered me ten dollars to release him.
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 have frequently seen a poet withdraw, having enjoyed the most valuable part of a farm, while the crusty farmer supposed that he had got a few wild apples only.
I was in haste to buy it, before the proprietor finished getting out some rocks, cutting down the hollow apple trees, and grubbing up some young birches which had sprung up in the pasture, or, in short, had made any more of his improvements.
But it turned out as I have said.
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.
I think I shall not buy greedily, but go round and round it as long as I live, and be buried in it first, that it may please me the more at last.
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.
The upright white hewn studs and freshly planed door and window casings gave it a clean and airy look, especially in the morning, when its timbers were saturated with dew, so that I fancied that by noon some sweet gum would exude from them.
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.
I did not need to go outdoors to take the air, for the atmosphere within had lost none of its freshness.
It was not so much within doors as behind a door where I sat, even in the rainiest weather.
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.
That way I looked between and over the near green hills to some distant and higher ones in the horizon, tinged with blue.
But in other directions, even from this point, I could not see over or beyond the woods which surrounded me.
Though the view from my door was still more contracted, I did not feel crowded or confined in the least.
Both place and time were changed, and I dwelt nearer to those parts of the universe and to those eras in history which had most attracted me.
I discovered that my house actually had its site in such a withdrawn, but forever new and unprofaned, part of the universe.
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.
I got up early and bathed in the pond; that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things which I did.
I can understand that.
I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest dawn, when I was sitting with door and windows open, as I could be by any trumpet that ever sang of fame.
All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere.
Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.
I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.
How could I have looked him in the face?
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.
They are sound sleepers, I assure you.
For my part, I could easily do without the post-office.
I think that there are very few important communications made through it.
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.
And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.
I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.
I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars.
I cannot count one.
I know not the first letter of the alphabet.
I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is necessary.
I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it.
My instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their snout and fore paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills.
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.
The oldest Egyptian or Hindoo philosopher raised a corner of the veil from the statue of the divinity; and still the trembling robe remains raised, and I gaze upon as fresh a glory as he did, since it was I in him that was then so bold, and it is he in me that now reviews the vision.
To be intoxicated by a single glass of wine; I have experienced this pleasure when I have drunk the liquor of the esoteric doctrines.
I kept Homer's Iliad on my table through the summer, though I looked at his page only now and then.
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.
Yet I sustained myself by the prospect of such reading in future.
I read one or two shallow books of travel in the intervals of my work, till that employment made me ashamed of myself, and I asked where it was then that I lived.
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.
The next time the novelist rings the bell I will not stir though the meeting-house burn down.
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.
Or shall I hear the name of Plato and never read his book?
As if Plato were my townsman and I never saw him--my next neighbor and I never heard him speak or attended to the wisdom of his words.
We are underbred and low-lived and illiterate; and in this respect I confess I do not make any very broad distinction between the illiterateness of my townsman who cannot read at all and the illiterateness of him who has learned to read only what is for children and feeble intellects.
I do not wish to flatter my townsmen, nor to be flattered by them, for that will not advance either of us.
I did not read books the first summer; I hoed beans.
Nay, I often did better than this.
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.
I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been.
I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works.
For the most part, I minded not how the hours went.
Instead of singing like the birds, I silently smiled at my incessant good fortune.
As the sparrow had its trill, sitting on the hickory before my door, so had I my chuckle or suppressed warble which he might hear out of my nest.
My days were not days of the week, bearing the stamp of any heathen deity, nor were they minced into hours and fretted by the ticking of a clock; for I lived like the Puri Indians, of whom it is said that "for yesterday, today, and tomorrow they have only one word, and they express the variety of meaning by pointing backward for yesterday forward for tomorrow, and overhead for the passing day."
I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel.
When my floor was dirty, I rose early, and, setting all my furniture out of doors on the grass, bed and bedstead making but one budget, dashed water on the floor, and sprinkled white sand from the pond on it, and then with a broom scrubbed it clean and white; and by the time the villagers had broken their fast the morning sun had dried my house sufficiently to allow me to move in again, and my meditations were almost uninterupted.
It was 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.
I was sometimes tempted to stretch an awning over them and take my seat there.
I tasted them out of compliment to Nature, though they were scarcely palatable.
The sumach (Rhus glabra) grew luxuriantly about the house, pushing up through the embankment which I had made, and growing five or six feet the first season.
The Fitchburg Railroad touches the pond about a hundred rods south of where I dwell.
I too would fain be a track-repairer somewhere in the orbit of the earth.
I watch the passage of the morning cars with the same feeling that I do the rising of the sun, which is hardly more regular.
Or perchance, at evening, I hear him in his stable blowing off the superfluous energy of the day, that he may calm his nerves and cool his liver and brain for a few hours of iron slumber.
I see these men every day go about their business with more or less courage and content, doing more even than they suspect, and perchance better employed than they could have consciously devised.
I confess, that practically speaking, when I have learned a man's real disposition, I have no hopes of changing it for the better or worse in this state of existence.
Methinks I hear them barking behind the Peterboro' Hills, or panting up the western slope of the Green Mountains.
Sometimes, on Sundays, I heard the bells, the Lincoln, Acton, Bedford, or Concord bell, when the wind was favorable, a faint, sweet, and, as it were, natural melody, worth importing into the wilderness.
At evening, the distant lowing of some cow in the horizon beyond the woods sounded sweet and melodious, and at first I would mistake it for the voices of certain minstrels by whom I was sometimes serenaded, who might be straying over hill and dale; but soon I was not unpleasantly disappointed when it was prolonged into the cheap and natural music of the cow.
I had a rare opportunity to become acquainted with their habits.
Sometimes one would circle round and round me in the woods a few feet distant as if tethered by a string, when probably I was near its eggs.
I was also serenaded by a hooting owl.
I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature, a part of herself.
As I walk along the stony shore of the pond in my shirt-sleeves, though it is cool as well as cloudy and windy, and I see nothing special to attract me, all the elements are unusually congenial to me.
I could always tell if visitors had called in my absence, either by the bended twigs or grass, or the print of their shoes, and generally of what sex or age or quality they were by some slight trace left, as a flower dropped, or a bunch of grass plucked and thrown away, even as far off as the railroad, half a mile distant, or by the lingering odor of a cigar or pipe.
Nay, I was frequently notified of the passage of a traveller along the highway sixty rods off by the scent of his pipe.
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.
But for the most part it is as solitary where I live as on the prairies.
I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself.
I do not flatter myself, but if it be possible they flatter 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.
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.
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.
Why should I feel lonely? is not our planet in the Milky Way?
I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.
I one evening overtook one of my townsmen, who has accumulated what is called "a handsome property"--though I never got a fair view of it--on the Walden road, driving a pair of cattle to market, who inquired of me how I could bring my mind to give up so many of the comforts of life.
I answered that I was very sure I liked it passably well; I was not joking.
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.
I may be either the driftwood in the stream, or Indra in the sky looking down on it.
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.
I love to be alone.
It would be better if there were but one inhabitant to a square mile, as where I live.
I have a great deal of company in my house; especially in the morning, when nobody calls.
I am no more lonely than the loon in the pond that laughs so loud, or than Walden Pond itself.
What company has that lonely lake, I pray?
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.
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?
Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?
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.
I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond to a companion on the opposite side.
I think I shall never revisit those scenes.
As for lodging, it is true they were but poorly entertained, though what they found an inconvenience was no doubt intended for an honor; but as far as eating was concerned, I do not see how the Indians could have done better.
I had more visitors while I lived in the woods than at any other period in my life; I mean that I had some.
I had withdrawn so far within the great ocean of solitude, into which the rivers of society empty, that for the most part, so far as my needs were concerned, only the finest sediment was deposited around me.
"I suppose there's no harm in going after such a thing to-day," says he.
If working every day were not my trade, I could get all the meat I should want by hunting-pigeons, woodchucks, rabbits, partridges--by gosh!
I could get all I should want for a week in one day.
Sometimes I saw him at his work in the woods, felling trees, and he would greet me with a laugh of inexpressible satisfaction, and a salutation in Canadian French, though he spoke English as well.
I can enjoy myself well enough here chopping; I want no better sport.
I asked him once if he was not sometimes tired at night, after working all day; and he answered, with a sincere and serious look, "Gorrappit, I never was tired in my life."
I sometimes found the name of his native parish handsomely written in the snow by the highway, with the proper French accent, and knew that he had passed.
I asked him if he ever wished to write his thoughts.
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.
By George, I could talk all day!
I asked him once, when I had not seen him for many months, if he had got a new idea this summer.
"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.
He would sometimes ask me first on such occasions, if I had made any improvement.
If I suggested any improvement in his mode of life, he merely answered, without expressing any regret, that it was too late.
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.
It was the Lord's will, I suppose.
I have rarely met a fellowman on such promising ground--it was so simple and sincere and so true all that he said.
I did not know at first but it was the result of a wise policy.
I require of a visitor that he be not actually starving, though he may have the very best appetite in the world, however he got it.
Men who did not know when their visit had terminated, though I went about my business again, answering them from greater and greater remoteness.
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.
I could not but notice some of the peculiarities of my visitors.
Men of business, even farmers, thought only of solitude and employment, and of the great distance at which I dwelt from something or other; and though they said that they loved a ramble in the woods occasionally, it was obvious that they did not.
I had more cheering visitors than the last.
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.
What was the meaning of this so steady and self-respecting, this small Herculean labor, I knew not.
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.
But why should I raise them?
What shall I learn of beans or beans of me?
But what right had I to oust johnswort and the rest, and break up their ancient herb garden?
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.
Early in the morning I worked barefooted, dabbling like a plastic artist in the dewy and crumbling sand, but later in the day the sun blistered my feet.
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.
It was a cheap sort of top dressing in which I had entire faith.
As I drew a still fresher soil about the rows with my hoe, I disturbed the ashes of unchronicled nations who in primeval years lived under these heavens, and their small implements of war and hunting were brought to the light of this modern day.
Or sometimes I watched a pair of hen-hawks circling high in the sky, alternately soaring and descending, approaching, and leaving one another, as if they were the embodiment of my own thoughts.
When I paused to lean on my hoe, these sounds and sights I heard and saw anywhere in the row, a part of the inexhaustible entertainment which the country offers.
And when the sound died quite away, and the hum had ceased, and the most favorable breezes told no tale, I knew that they had got the last drone of them all safely into the Middlesex hive, and that now their minds were bent on the honey with which it was smeared.
I felt proud to know that the liberties of Massachusetts and of our fatherland were in such safe keeping; and as I turned to my hoeing again I was filled with an inexpressible confidence, and pursued my labor cheerfully with a calm trust in the future.
But sometimes it was a really noble and inspiring strain that reached these woods, and the trumpet that sings of fame, and I felt as if I could spit a Mexican with a good relish--for why should we always stand for trifles?--and looked round for a woodchuck or a skunk to exercise my chivalry upon.
This was one of the great days; though the sky had from my clearing only the same everlastingly great look that it wears daily, and I saw no difference in it.
It was a singular experience that long acquaintance which I cultivated with beans, what with planting, and hoeing, and harvesting, and threshing, and picking over and selling them--the last was the hardest of all--I might add eating, for I did taste.
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.
I harvested twelve bushels of beans.
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.
What though I value the seed of these beans, and harvest that in the fall of the year?
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.
After hoeing, or perhaps reading and writing, in the forenoon, I usually bathed again in the pond, swimming across one of its coves for a stint, and washed the dust of labor from my person, or smoothed out the last wrinkle which study had made, and for the afternoon was absolutely free.
As I walked in the woods to see the birds and squirrels, so I walked in the village to see the men and boys; instead of the wind among the pines I heard the carts rattle.
I went there frequently to observe their habits.
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.
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."
Sometimes I bolted suddenly, and nobody could tell my whereabouts, for I did not stand much about gracefulness, and never hesitated at a gap in a fence.
It was very pleasant, when I stayed late in town, to launch myself into the night, especially if it was dark and tempestuous, and set sail from some bright village parlor or lecture room, with a bag of rye or Indian meal upon my shoulder, for my snug harbor in the woods, having made all tight without and withdrawn under hatches with a merry crew of thoughts, leaving only my outer man at the helm, or even tying up the helm when it was plain sailing.
I had many a genial thought by the cabin fire "as I sailed."
I was never cast away nor distressed in any weather, though I encountered some severe storms.
I have heard of many going astray even in the village streets, when the darkness was so thick that you could cut it with a knife, as the saying is.
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 was never molested by any person but those who represented the State.
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.
Once in a while we sat together on the pond, he at one end of the boat, and I at the other; but not many words passed between us, for he had grown deaf in his later years, but he occasionally hummed a psalm, which harmonized well enough with my philosophy.
But now I had made my home by the shore.
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.
Thus I caught two fishes as it were with one hook.
I have seen our river, when, the landscape being covered with snow, both water and ice were almost as green as grass.
It is a vitreous greenish blue, as I remember it, like those patches of the winter sky seen through cloud vistas in the west before sundown.
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.
I can remember when it was a foot or two lower, and also when it was at least five feet higher, than when I lived by it.
I detect the paver.
For four months in the year its water is as cold as it is pure at all times; and I think that it is then as good as any, if not the best, in the town.
The temperature of the Boiling Spring the same day was 45º, or the warmest of any water tried, though it is the coldest that I know of in summer, when, beside, shallow and stagnant surface water is not mingled with it.
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.
Sometimes, when I pushed off my boat in the morning, I disturbed a great mud-turtle which had secreted himself under the boat in the night.
I have sometimes disturbed a fish hawk sitting on a white pine over the water; but I doubt if it is ever profaned by the wind of a gull, like Fair Haven.
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.
I have in my mind's eye the western, indented with deep bays, the bolder northern, and the beautifully scalloped southern shore, where successive capes overlap each other and suggest unexplored coves between.
Standing on the smooth sandy beach at the east end of the pond, in a calm September afternoon, when a slight haze makes the opposite shore-line indistinct, I have seen whence came the expression, "the glassy surface of a lake."
It is wonderful with what elaborateness this simple fact is advertised--this piscine murder will out--and from my distant perch I distinguish the circling undulations when they are half a dozen rods in diameter.
I see where the breeze dashes across it by the streaks or flakes of light.
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.
When I approached carelessly and alarmed them, they made a sudden splash and rippling with their tails, as if one had struck the water with a brushy bough, and instantly took refuge in the depths.
But suddenly the dimples ceased, for they were produced by the perch, which the noise of my oars had seared into the depths, and I saw their schools dimly disappearing; so I spent a dry afternoon after all.
When I first paddled a boat on Walden, it was completely surrounded by thick and lofty pine and oak woods, and in some of its coves grape-vines had run over the trees next the water and formed bowers under which a boat could pass.
I see by its face that it is visited by the same reflection; and I can almost say, Walden, is it you?
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.
Moreover, the waves, I suspect, do not so much construct as wear down a material which has already acquired consistency.
Since the wood-cutters, and the railroad, and I myself have profaned Walden, perhaps the most attractive, if not the most beautiful, of all our lakes, the gem of the woods, is White Pond;--a poor name from its commonness, whether derived from the remarkable purity of its waters or the color of its sands.
In the spring of '49 I talked with the man who lives nearest the pond in Sudbury, who told me that it was he who got out this tree ten or fifteen years before.
These were the shrines I visited both summer and winter.
Once it chanced that I stood in the very abutment of a rainbow's arch, which filled the lower stratum of the atmosphere, tinging the grass and leaves around, and dazzling me as if I looked through colored crystal.
It was a lake of rainbow light, in which, for a short while, I lived like a dolphin.
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.
I thought of living there before I went to Walden.
I "hooked" the apples, leaped the brook, and scared the musquash and the trout.
It was one of those afternoons which seem indefinitely long before one, in which many events may happen, a large portion of our natural life, though it was already half spent when I started.
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.
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.
The shower was now over, and a rainbow above the eastern woods promised a fair evening; so I took my departure.
I am not squeamish in such cases when manners are concerned.
But he, poor man, disturbed only a couple of fins while I was catching a fair string, and he said it was his luck; but when we changed seats in the boat luck changed seats too.
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.
It is good bait sometimes, I allow.
I love the wild not less than the good.
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.
Moreover, when at the pond, I wished sometimes to add fish to my fare for variety.
I have actually fished from the same kind of necessity that the first fishers did.
I speak of fishing only now, for I had long felt differently about fowling, and sold my gun before I went to the woods.
Not that I am less humane than others, but I did not perceive that my feelings were much affected.
I did not pity the fishes nor the worms.
I warn you, mothers, that my sympathies do not always make the usual phil-anthropic distinctions.
I have found repeatedly, of late years, that I cannot fish without falling a little in self-respect.
I have tried it again and again.
I think that I do not mistake.
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.
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.
I am satisfied that it is not.
It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
Yet, for my part, I was never unusually squeamish; I could sometimes eat a fried rat with a good relish, if it were necessary.
I would fain keep sober always; and there are infinite degrees of drunkenness.
I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man; wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of a morning with a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dish of tea!
Ah, how low I fall when I am tempted by them!
But to tell the truth, I find myself at present somewhat less particular in these respects.
The wonder is how they, how you and I, can live this slimy, beastly life, eating and drinking.
I fear that it may enjoy a certain health of its own; that we may be well, yet not pure.
If I knew so wise a man as could teach me purity I would go to seek him forthwith.
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.
Sometimes I had a companion in my fishing, who came through the village to my house from the other side of the town, and the catching of the dinner was as much a social exercise as the eating of it.
I wonder what the world is doing now.
I have not heard so much as a locust over the sweet-fern these three hours.
I wonder how much they have reaped.
I have water from the spring, and a loaf of brown bread on the shelf.--Hark!
I hear a rustling of the leaves.
Is it some ill-fed village hound yielding to the instinct of the chase? or the lost pig which is said to be in these woods, whose tracks I saw after the rain?
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.
It is the only trade I have learned.
I will go with you gladly soon, but I am just concluding a serious meditation.
I think that I am near the end of it.
I would advise you to set in the spade down yonder among the ground-nuts, where you see the johnswort waving.
I think that I may warrant you one worm to every three sods you turn up, if you look well in among the roots of the grass, as if you were weeding.
Or, if you choose to go farther, it will not be unwise, for I have found the increase of fair bait to be very nearly as the squares of the distances.
Methinks I was nearly in this frame of mind; the world lay about at this angle.
Shall I go to heaven or a-fishing?
If I should soon bring this meditation to an end, would another so sweet occasion be likely to offer?
I was as near being resolved into the essence of things as ever I was in my life.
If it would do any good, I would whistle for them.
My thoughts have left no track, and I cannot find the path again.
What was it that I was thinking of?
I will just try these three sentences of Confut-see; they may fetch that state about again.
I know not whether it was the dumps or a budding ecstasy.
When I was building, one of these had its nest underneath the house, and before I had laid the second floor, and swept out the shavings, would come out regularly at lunch time and pick up the crumbs at my feet.
At length, as I leaned with my elbow on the bench one day, it ran up my clothes, and along my sleeve, and round and round the paper which held my dinner, while I kept the latter close, and dodged and played at bopeep with it; and when at last I held still a piece of cheese between my thumb and finger, it came and nibbled it, sitting in my hand, and afterward cleaned its face and paws, like a fly, and walked away.
So perfect is this instinct, that once, when I had laid them on the leaves again, and one accidentally fell on its side, it was found with the rest in exactly the same position ten minutes afterward.
I formerly saw the raccoon in the woods behind where my house is built, and probably still heard their whinnering at night.
I had dug out the spring and made a well of clear gray water, where I could dip up a pailful without roiling it, and thither I went for this purpose almost every day in midsummer, when the pond was warmest.
Or I heard the peep of the young when I could not see the parent bird.
I was witness to events of a less peaceful character.
Looking farther, I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duellum, but a bellum, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black.
It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed, the only battle-field I ever trod while the battle was raging; internecine war; the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialists on the other.
I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other's embraces, in a little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noonday prepared to fight till the sun went down, or life went out.
I took up the chip on which the three I have particularly described were struggling, carried it into my house, and placed it under a tumbler on my window-sill, in order to see the issue.
I raised the glass, and he went off over the window-sill in that crippled state.
The battle which I witnessed took place in the Presidency of Polk, five years before the passage of Webster's Fugitive-Slave Bill.
Once I was surprised to see a cat walking along the stony shore of the pond, for they rarely wander so far from home.
Once, when berrying, I met with a cat with young kittens in the woods, quite wild, and they all, like their mother, had their backs up and were fiercely spitting at me.
They gave me a pair of her "wings," which I keep still.
In the fall the loon (Colymbus glacialis) came, as usual, to moult and bathe in the pond, making the woods ring with his wild laughter before I had risen.
When I went to get a pail of water early in the morning I frequently saw this stately bird sailing out of my cove within a few rods.
If I endeavored to overtake him in a boat, in order to see how he would manoeuvre, he would dive and be completely lost, so that I did not discover him again, sometimes, till the latter part of the day.
But I was more than a match for him on the surface.
I pursued with a paddle and he dived, but when he came up I was nearer than before.
He dived again, but I miscalculated the direction he would take, and we were fifty rods apart when he came to the surface this time, for I had helped to widen the interval; and again he laughed long and loud, and with more reason than before.
He manoeuvred so cunningly that I could not get within half a dozen rods of him.
While he was thinking one thing in his brain, I was endeavoring to divine his thought in mine.
I found that it was as well for me to rest on my oars and wait his reappearing as to endeavor to calculate where he would rise; for again and again, when I was straining my eyes over the surface one way, I would suddenly be startled by his unearthly laugh behind me.
He was indeed a silly loon, I thought.
I could commonly hear the splash of the water when he came up, and so also detected him.
I concluded that he laughed in derision of my efforts, confident of his own resources.
Though the sky was by this time overcast, the pond was so smooth that I could see where he broke the surface when I did not hear him.
In October I went a-graping to the river meadows, and loaded myself with clusters more precious for their beauty and fragrance than for food.
The barberry's brilliant fruit was likewise food for my eyes merely; but I collected a small store of wild apples for coddling, which the proprietor and travellers had overlooked.
When chestnuts were ripe I laid up half a bushel for winter.
It was very exciting at that season to roam the then boundless chestnut woods of Lincoln--they now sleep their long sleep under the railroad--with a bag on my shoulder, and a stick to open burs with in my hand, for I did not always wait for the frost, amid the rustling of leaves and the loud reproofs of the red squirrels and the jays, whose half-consumed nuts I sometimes stole, for the burs which they had selected were sure to contain sound ones.
Occasionally I climbed and shook the trees.
They grew also behind my house, and one large tree, which almost overshadowed it, was, when in flower, a bouquet which scented the whole neighborhood, but the squirrels and the jays got most of its fruit; the last coming in flocks early in the morning and picking the nuts out of the burs before they fell, I relinquished these trees to them and visited the more distant woods composed wholly of chestnut.
I had often since seen its crumpled red velvety blossom supported by the stems of other plants without knowing it to be the same.
It has a sweetish taste, much like that of a frost-bitten potato, and I found it better boiled than roasted.
Already, by the first of September, I had seen two or three small maples turned scarlet across the pond, beneath where the white stems of three aspens diverged, at the point of a promontory, next the water.
Each morning, when they were numbed with cold, I swept some of them out, but I did not trouble myself much to get rid of them; I even felt complimented by their regarding my house as a desirable shelter.
They never molested me seriously, though they bedded with me; and they gradually disappeared, into what crevices I do not know, avoiding winter and unspeakable cold.
Like the wasps, before I finally went into winter quarters in November, I used to resort to the northeast side of Walden, which the sun, reflected from the pitch pine woods and the stony shore, made the fireside of the pond; it is so much pleasanter and wholesomer to be warmed by the sun while you can be, than by an artificial fire.
I thus warmed myself by the still glowing embers which the summer, like a departed hunter, had left.
When I came to build my chimney I studied masonry.
My bricks, being second-hand ones, required to be cleaned with a trowel, so that I learned more than usual of the qualities of bricks and trowels.
However that may be, I was struck by the peculiar toughness of the steel which bore so many violent blows without being worn out.
I lingered most about the fireplace, as the most vital part of the house.
He brought his own knife, though I had two, and we used to scour them by thrusting them into the earth.
When I began to have a fire at evening, before I plastered my house, the chimney carried smoke particularly well, because of the numerous chinks between the boards.
My house never pleased my eye so much after it was plastered, though I was obliged to confess that it was more comfortable.
I now first began to inhabit my house, I may say, when I began to use it for warmth as well as shelter.
My dwelling was small, and I could hardly entertain an echo in it; but it seemed larger for being a single apartment and remote from neighbors.
All the attractions of a house were concentrated in one room; it was kitchen, chamber, parlor, and keeping-room; and whatever satisfaction parent or child, master or servant, derive from living in a house, I enjoyed it all.
I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each.
I did not plaster till it was freezing weather.
I brought over some whiter and cleaner sand for this purpose from the opposite shore of the pond in a boat, a sort of conveyance which would have tempted me to go much farther if necessary.
In lathing I was pleased to be able to send home each nail with a single blow of the hammer, and it was my ambition to transfer the plaster from the board to the wall neatly and rapidly.
I remembered the story of a conceited fellow, who, in fine clothes, was wont to lounge about the village once, giving advice to workmen.
I was surprised to see how thirsty the bricks were which drank up all the moisture in my plaster before I had smoothed it, and how many pailfuls of water it takes to christen a new hearth.
I had the previous winter made a small quantity of lime by burning the shells of the Unio fluviatilis, which our river affords, for the sake of the experiment; so that I knew where my materials came from.
I might have got good limestone within a mile or two and burned it myself, if I had cared to do so.
One day when I came to the same place forty-eight hours afterward, I found that those large bubbles were still perfect, though an inch more of ice had formed, as I could see distinctly by the seam in the edge of a cake.
Being curious to know what position my great bubbles occupied with regard to the new ice, I broke out a cake containing a middling sized one, and turned it bottom upward.
I sacrificed it to Vulcan, for it was past serving the god Terminus.
In the course of the summer I had discovered a raft of pitch pine logs with the bark on, pinned together by the Irish when the railroad was built.
This I hauled up partly on the shore.
I amused myself one winter day with sliding this piecemeal across the pond, nearly half a mile, skating behind with one end of a log fifteen feet long on my shoulder, and the other on the ice; or I tied several logs together with a birch withe, and then, with a longer birch or alder which had a hook at the end, dragged them across.
Though completely waterlogged and almost as heavy as lead, they not only burned long, but made a very hot fire; nay, I thought that they burned better for the soaking, as if the pitch, being confined by the water, burned longer, as in a lamp.
Neither could I do without them.
I love to have mine before my window, and the more chips the better to remind me of my pleasing work.
I had an old axe which nobody claimed, with which by spells in winter days, on the sunny side of the house, I played about the stumps which I had got out of my bean-field.
As my driver prophesied when I was plowing, they warmed me twice--once while I was splitting them, and again when they were on the fire, so that no fuel could give out more heat.
As for the axe, I was advised to get the village blacksmith to "jump" it; but I jumped him, and, putting a hickory helve from the woods into it, made it do.
In previous years I had often gone prospecting over some bare hillside, where a pitch pine wood had formerly stood, and got out the fat pine roots.
But commonly I kindled my fire with the dry leaves of the forest, which I had stored up in my shed before the snow came.
Hard green wood just cut, though I used but little of that, answered my purpose better than any other.
I sometimes left a good fire when I went to take a walk in a winter afternoon; and when I returned, three or four hours afterward, it would be still alive and glowing.
My house was not empty though I was gone.
It was as if I had left a cheerful housekeeper behind.
It was I and Fire that lived there; and commonly my housekeeper proved trustworthy.
But my house occupied so sunny and sheltered a position, and its roof was so low, that I could afford to let the fire go out in the middle of almost any winter day.
Some of my friends spoke as if I was coming to the woods on purpose to freeze myself.
The next winter I used a small cooking-stove for economy, since I did not own the forest; but it did not keep fire so well as the open fireplace.
The stove not only took up room and scented the house, but it concealed the fire, and I felt as if I had lost a companion.
But I could no longer sit and look into the fire, and the pertinent words of a poet recurred to me with new force.
I weathered some merry snow-storms, and spent some cheerful winter evenings by my fireside, while the snow whirled wildly without, and even the hooting of the owl was hushed.
For many weeks I met no one in my walks but those who came occasionally to cut wood and sled it to the village.
I have seen bricks amid the oak copse there.
Not long since I read his epitaph in the old Lincoln burying-ground, a little on one side, near the unmarked graves of some British grenadiers who fell in the retreat from Concord--where he is styled "Sippio Brister"--Scipio Africanus he had some title to be called--"a man of color," as if he were discolored.
It was set on fire by mischievous boys, one Election night, if I do not mistake.
I had just sunk my head on this when the bells rung fire, and in hot haste the engines rolled that way, led by a straggling troop of men and boys, and I among the foremost, for I had leaped the brook.
It chanced that I walked that way across the fields the following night, about the same hour, and hearing a low moaning at this spot, I drew near in the dark, and discovered the only survivor of the family that I know, the heir of both its virtues and its vices, who alone was interested in this burning, lying on his stomach and looking over the cellar wall at the still smouldering cinders beneath, muttering to himself, as is his wont.
I felt it, and still remark it almost daily in my walks, for by it hangs the history of a family.
One day in midsummer, when I was hoeing, a man who was carrying a load of pottery to market stopped his horse against my field and inquired concerning Wyman the younger.
I had read of the potter's clay and wheel in Scripture, but it had never occurred to me that the pots we use were not such as had come down unbroken from those days, or grown on trees like gourds somewhere, and I was pleased to hear that so fictile an art was ever practiced in my neighborhood.
If he had lived I should have made him fight his battles over again.
All I know of him is tragic.
He died in the road at the foot of Brister's Hill shortly after I came to the woods, so that I have not remembered him as a neighbor.
Before his house was pulled down, when his comrades avoided it as "an unlucky castle," I visited it.
But all I can learn of their conclusions amounts to just this, that "Cato and Brister pulled wool"; which is about as edifying as the history of more famous schools of philosophy.
I am not aware that any man has ever built on the spot which I occupy.
With such reminiscences I repeopled the woods and lulled myself asleep.
One afternoon I amused myself by watching a barred owl (Strix nebulosa) sitting on one of the lower dead limbs of a white pine, close to the trunk, in broad daylight, I standing within a rod of him.
He could hear me when I moved and cronched the snow with my feet, but could not plainly see me.
When I made most noise he would stretch out his neck, and erect his neck feathers, and open his eyes wide; but their lids soon fell again, and he began to nod.
I too felt a slumberous influence after watching him half an hour, as he sat thus with his eyes half open, like a cat, winged brother of the cat.
For I came to town still, like a friendly Indian, when the contents of the broad open fields were all piled up between the walls of the Walden road, and half an hour sufficed to obliterate the tracks of the last traveller.
Sometimes, notwithstanding the snow, when I returned from my walk at evening I crossed the deep tracks of a woodchopper leading from my door, and found his pile of whittlings on the hearth, and my house filled with the odor of his pipe.
I think that he must be the man of the most faith of any alive.
He is perhaps the sanest man and has the fewest crotchets of any I chance to know; the same yesterday and tomorrow.
I do not see how he can ever die; Nature cannot spare him.
There was one other with whom I had "solid seasons," long to be remembered, at his house in the village, and who looked in upon me from time to time; but I had no more for society there.
There too, as everywhere, I sometimes expected the Visitor who never comes.
I often performed this duty of hospitality, waited long enough to milk a whole herd of cows, but did not see the man approaching from the town.
When I crossed Flint's Pond, after it was covered with snow, though I had often paddled about and skated over it, it was so unexpectedly wide and so strange that I could think of nothing but Baffin's Bay.
I took this course when I went to lecture in Lincoln in the evening, travelling in no road and passing no house between my own hut and the lecture room.
One night in the beginning of winter, before the pond froze over, about nine o'clock, I was startled by the loud honking of a goose, and, stepping to the door, heard the sound of their wings like a tempest in the woods as they flew low over my house.
It was one of the most thrilling discords I ever heard.
I also heard the whooping of the ice in the pond, my great bed-fellow in that part of Concord, as if it were restless in its bed and would fain turn over, were troubled with flatulency and had dreams; or I was waked by the cracking of the ground by the frost, as if some one had driven a team against my door, and in the morning would find a crack in the earth a quarter of a mile long and a third of an inch wide.
They were manifestly thieves, and I had not much respect for them; but the squirrels, though at first shy, went to work as if they were taking what was their own.
They were so familiar that at length one alighted on an armful of wood which I was carrying in, and pecked at the sticks without fear.
I used to start them in the open land also, where they had come out of the woods at sunset to "bud" the wild apple trees.
I am glad that the partridge gets fed, at any rate.
In dark winter mornings, or in short winter afternoons, I sometimes heard a pack of hounds threading all the woods with hounding cry and yelp, unable to resist the instinct of the chase, and the note of the hunting-horn at intervals, proving that man was in the rear.
And perhaps at evening I see the hunters returning with a single brush trailing from their sleigh for a trophy, seeking their inn.
But I fear that he was not the wiser for all I told him, for every time I attempted to answer his questions he interrupted me by asking, "What do you do here?"
I remember well one gaunt Nimrod who would catch up a leaf by the roadside and play a strain on it wilder and more melodious, if my memory serves me, than any hunting-horn.
At midnight, when there was a moon, I sometimes met with hounds in my path prowling about the woods, which would skulk out of my way, as if afraid, and stand silent amid the bushes till I had passed.
One had her form under my house all winter, separated from me only by the flooring, and she startled me each morning by her hasty departure when I began to stir--thump, thump, thump, striking her head against the floor timbers in her hurry.
Sometimes in the twilight I alternately lost and recovered sight of one sitting motionless under my window.
When I opened my door in the evening, off they would go with a squeak and a bounce.
I awoke to an answered question, to Nature and daylight.
First I take an axe and pail and go in search of water, if that be not a dream.
Such a man has some right to fish, and I love to see nature carried out in him.
I never chanced to see its kind in any market; it would be the cynosure of all eyes there.
As I was desirous to recover the long lost bottom of Walden Pond, I surveyed it carefully, before the ice broke up, early in '46, with compass and chain and sounding line.
I have visited two such Bottomless Ponds in one walk in this neighborhood.
But I can assure my readers that Walden has a reasonably tight bottom at a not unreasonable, though at an unusual, depth.
I fathomed it easily with a cod-line and a stone weighing about a pound and a half, and could tell accurately when the stone left the bottom, by having to pull so much harder before the water got underneath to help me.
I am thankful that this pond was made deep and pure for a symbol.
A factory-owner, hearing what depth I had found, thought that it could not be true, for, judging from his acquaintance with dams, sand would not lie at so steep an angle.
As I sounded through the ice I could determine the shape of the bottom with greater accuracy than is possible in surveying harbors which do not freeze over, and I was surprised at its general regularity.
In order to see how nearly I could guess, with this experience, at the deepest point in a pond, by observing the outlines of a surface and the character of its shores alone, I made a plan of White Pond, which contains about forty-one acres, and, like this, has no island in it, nor any visible inlet or outlet; and as the line of greatest breadth fell very near the line of least breadth, where two opposite capes approached each other and two opposite bays receded, I ventured to mark a point a short distance from the latter line, but still on the line of greatest length, as the deepest.
The deepest part was found to be within one hundred feet of this, still farther in the direction to which I had inclined, and was only one foot deeper, namely, sixty feet.
What I have observed of the pond is no less true in ethics.
It was a small cavity under ten feet of water; but I think that I can warrant the pond not to need soldering till they find a worse leak than that.
While I was surveying, the ice, which was sixteen inches thick, undulated under a slight wind like water.
Sometimes, also, when the ice was covered with shallow puddles, I saw a double shadow of myself, one standing on the head of the other, one on the ice, the other on the trees or hillside.
These ice-cutters are a merry race, full of jest and sport, and when I went among them they were wont to invite me to saw pit-fashion with them, I standing underneath.
I did not know whether they had come to sow a crop of winter rye, or some other kind of grain recently introduced from Iceland.
They said that a gentleman farmer, who was behind the scenes, wanted to double his money, which, as I understood, amounted to half a million already; but in order to cover each one of his dollars with another, he took off the only coat, ay, the skin itself, of Walden Pond in the midst of a hard winter.
I have noticed that a portion of Walden which in the state of water was green will often, when frozen, appear from the same point of view blue.
Perhaps I shall hear a solitary loon laugh as he dives and plumes himself, or shall see a lonely fisher in his boat, like a floating leaf, beholding his form reflected in the waves, where lately a hundred men securely labored.
In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagvat-Geeta, since whose composition years of the gods have elapsed, and in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial; and I doubt if that philosophy is not to be referred to a previous state of existence, so remote is its sublimity from our conceptions.
I meet his servant come to draw water for his master, and our buckets as it were grate together in the same well.
I never knew it to open in the course of a winter, not excepting that of '52-3, which gave the ponds so severe a trial.
Also, as I have said, the bubbles themselves within the ice operate as burning-glasses to melt the ice beneath.
One pleasant morning after a cold night, February 24th, 1850, having gone to Flint's Pond to spend the day, I noticed with surprise, that when I struck the ice with the head of my axe, it resounded like a gong for many rods around, or as if I had struck on a tight drum-head.
The ice in the pond at length begins to be honeycombed, and I can set my heel in it as I walk.
Fogs and rains and warmer suns are gradually melting the snow; the days have grown sensibly longer; and I see how I shall get through the winter without adding to my wood-pile, for large fires are no longer necessary.
On the 13th of March, after I had heard the bluebird, song sparrow, and red-wing, the ice was still nearly a foot thick.
One year I went across the middle only five days before it disappeared entirely.
I feel as if I were nearer to the vitals of the globe, for this sandy overflow is something such a foliaceous mass as the vitals of the animal body.
I know of nothing more purgative of winter fumes and indigestions.
I hear a song sparrow singing from the bushes on the shore,--olit, olit, olit,--chip, chip, chip, che char,--che wiss, wiss, wiss.
But this spring it broke up more steadily, as I have said.
I heard a robin in the distance, the first I had heard for many a thousand years, methought, whose note I shall not forget for many a thousand more--the same sweet and powerful song as of yore.
If I could ever find the twig he sits upon!
I mean he; I mean the twig.
I knew that it would not rain any more.
As it grew darker, I was startled by the honking of geese flying low over the woods, like weary travellers getting in late from Southern lakes, and indulging at last in unrestrained complaint and mutual consolation.
So I came in, and shut the door, and passed my first spring night in the woods.
But when I stood on the shore they at once rose up with a great flapping of wings at the signal of their commander, and when they had got into rank circled about over my head, twenty-nine of them, and then steered straight to Canada, with a regular honk from the leader at intervals, trusting to break their fast in muddier pools.
For a week I heard the circling, groping clangor of some solitary goose in the foggy mornings, seeking its companion, and still peopling the woods with the sound of a larger life than they could sustain.
The Merlin it seemed to me it might be called: but I care not for its name.
It was the most ethereal flight I had ever witnessed.
Beside this I got a rare mess of golden and silver and bright cupreous fishes, which looked like a string of jewels.
On the third or fourth of May I saw a loon in the pond, and during the first week of the month I heard the whip-poor-will, the brown thrasher, the veery, the wood pewee, the chewink, and other birds.
I had heard the wood thrush long before.
I finally left Walden September 6th, 1847.
I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there.
Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.
I had not lived there a week before my feet wore a path from my door to the pond-side; and though it is five or six years since I trod it, it is still quite distinct.
It is true, I fear, that others may have fallen into it, and so helped to keep it open.
I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
"They pretend," as I hear, "that the verses of Kabir have four different senses; illusion, spirit, intellect, and the exoteric doctrine of the Vedas"; but in this part of the world it is considered a ground for complaint if a man's writings admit of more than one interpretation.
I do not suppose that I have attained to obscurity, but I should be proud if no more fatal fault were found with my pages on this score than was found with the Walden ice.
But why do I stay to mention these things?
I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
If I were confined to a corner of a garret all my days, like a spider, the world would be just as large to me while I had my thoughts about me.
I live in the angle of a leaden wall, into whose composition was poured a little alloy of bell-metal.
But presently the traveller's horse sank in up to the girths, and he observed to the boy, "I thought you said that this bog had a hard bottom."
I would not be one of those who will foolishly drive a nail into mere lath and plastering; such a deed would keep me awake nights.
I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.
I thought that there was no need of ice to freeze them.
They talked to me of the age of the wine and the fame of the vintage; but I thought of an older, a newer, and purer wine, of a more glorious vintage, which they had not got, and could not buy.
I called on the king, but he made me wait in his hall, and conducted like a man incapacitated for hospitality.
I should have done better had I called on him.
I need only suggest what kind of sermons are still listened to in the most enlightened countries.
The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine.
I see far inland the banks which the stream anciently washed, before science began to record its freshets.
I heartily accept the motto,--"That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically.
Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,--"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.
The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.
I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.
I cannot for an instant recognize that political organization as my government which is the slave's government also.
If I have unjustly wrested a plank from a drowning man, I must restore it to him though I drown myself.
I quarrel not with far-off foes, but with those who, near at home, co-operate with, and do the bidding of those far away, and without whom the latter would be harmless.
I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail.
I am willing to leave it to the majority.
But no: I find that the respectable man, so called, has immediately drifted from his position, and despairs of his country, when his country has more reason to despair of him.
If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders.
I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.
As for adopting the ways which the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways.
I have other affairs to attend to.
I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
I do not hesitate to say, that those who call themselves Abolitionists should at once effectually withdraw their support, both in person and property, from the government of Massachusetts, and not wait till they constitute a majority of one, before they suffer the right to prevail through them.
I think that it is enough if they have God on their side, without waiting for that other one.
I see this blood flowing now.
For my own part, I should not like to think that I ever rely on the protection of the State.
I should feel as if I were worth less in that case.
Some years ago, the State met me in behalf of the Church, and commanded me to pay a certain sum toward the support of a clergyman whose preaching my father attended, but never I myself.
I declined to pay.
I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster: for I was not the State's schoolmaster, but I supported myself by voluntary subscription.
I did not see why the lyceum should not present its tax-bill, and have the State to back its demand, as well as the Church.
This I gave to the town clerk; and he has it.
If I had known how to name them, I should then have signed off in detail from all the societies which I never signed on to; but I did not know where to find a complete list.
I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar.
I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax.
I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.
I was not born to be forced.
I will breathe after my own fashion.
They only can force me who obey a higher law than I. They force me to become like themselves.
I do not hear of men being forced to have this way or that by masses of men.
When I meet a government which says to me, "Your money or your life," why should I be in haste to give it my money?
It may be in a great strait, and not know what to do: I cannot help that.
I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society.
I am not the son of the engineer.
The prisoners in their shirt-sleeves were enjoying a chat and the evening air in the doorway, when I entered.
But the jailer said, "Come, boys, it is time to lock up"; and so they dispersed, and I heard the sound of their steps returning into the hollow apartments.
As near as I could discover, he had probably gone to bed in a barn when drunk, and smoked his pipe there; and so a barn was burnt.
I pumped my fellow-prisoner as dry as I could, for fear I should never see him again; but at length he showed me which was my bed, and left me to blow out the lamp.
It was like travelling into a far country, such as I had never expected to behold, to lie there for one night.
It seemed to me that I never had heard the town-clock strike before, nor the evening sounds of the village; for we slept with the windows open, which were inside the grating.
I was an involuntary spectator and auditor of whatever was done and said in the kitchen of the adjacent village-inn--a wholly new and rare experience to me.
I never had seen its institutions before.
When they called for the vessels again, I was green enough to return what bread I had left; but my comrade seized it, and said that I should lay that up for lunch or dinner.
My neighbors did not thus salute me, but first looked at me, and then at one another, as if I had returned from a long journey.
It is for no particular item in the tax-bill that I refuse to pay it.
I simply wish to refuse allegiance to the State, to withdraw and stand aloof from it effectually.
In fact, I quietly declare war with the State, after my fashion, though I will still make what use and get what advantage of her I can, as is usual in such cases.
But I think, again, This is no reason why I should do as they do, or permit others to suffer much greater pain of a different kind.
I do not wish to split hairs, to make fine distinctions, or set myself up as better than my neighbors.
I seek rather, I may say, even an excuse for conforming to the laws of the land.
I am but too ready to conform to them.
It is not many moments that I live under a government, even in this world.
I know of those whose serene and wise speculations on this theme would soon reveal the limits of his mind's range and hospitality.
"I have never made an effort," he says, "and never propose to make an effort; I have never countenanced an effort, and never mean to countenance an effort, to disturb the arrangement as originally made, by which the various States came into the Union."
It can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.
I confess all these festivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome.
They have decided that Buonaparte has burnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours.
Perhaps I don't understand things, but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war.
And I don't believe a word that Hardenburg says, or Haugwitz either.
"I shall be delighted to meet them," said the prince.
"I can't help it," said the prince.
Lavater would have said I lack the bump of paternity.
Don't joke; I mean to have a serious talk with you.
You know I did all a father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools.
If you were not a father there would be nothing I could reproach you with, said Anna Pavlovna, looking up pensively.
It is the cross I have to bear.
That is how I explain it to myself.
She has a brother; I think you know him, he married Lise Meinen lately.
She is rich and of good family and that's all I want.
"I have brought my work," said she in French, displaying her bag and addressing all present.
"Mind, Annette, I hope you have not played a wicked trick on me," she added, turning to her hostess.
Yes, I have heard of his scheme for perpetual peace, and it is very interesting but hardly feasible.
"Madame, I doubt my ability before such an audience," said he, smilingly inclining his head.
"I knew you would be here," replied Pierre.
I will come to supper with you.
May I? he added in a low voice so as not to disturb the vicomte who was continuing his story.
I can't remain any longer in Petersburg.
Tell me what news I may take back to my poor boy.
I have asked Golitsyn and he has refused.
This is what I expected from you--I knew your kindness!
No, I won't promise that.
I won't let you go!
Certainly; but about Kutuzov, I don't promise.
"I hope this will prove the last drop that will make the glass run over," Anna Pavlovna continued.
I think it will be difficult to return to the old regime.
"From what I have heard," said Pierre, blushing and breaking into the conversation, "almost all the aristocracy has already gone over to Bonaparte's side."
I do not know how far he was justified in saying so.
"Yes, if having obtained power, without availing himself of it to commit murder he had restored it to the rightful king, I should have called him a great man," remarked the vicomte.
I am not speaking of regicide, I am speaking about ideas.
"I should like," said the vicomte, "to ask how monsieur explains the 18th Brumaire; was not that an imposture?
I was told a charming Moscow story today and must treat you to it.
She said, 'Girl,' to the maid, 'put on a livery, get up behind the carriage, and come with me while I make some calls.'
"I rely on you, my dear," said Anna Pavlovna, also in a low tone.
"I am very glad I did not go to the ambassador's," said Prince Hippolyte "-so dull-.
"I am expecting you, Pierre," said the same voice, but gently and affectionately.
I pity the poor husband, that little officer who gives himself the airs of a monarch.
In my opinion perpetual peace is possible but--I do not know how to express it... not by a balance of political power....
I don't like either the one or the other.
I will agree to anything.
Write to me all about it, and I will help you in everything.
If it were a war for freedom I could understand it and should be the first to enter the army; but to help England and Austria against the greatest man in the world is not right.
I am going because the life I am leading here does not suit me!
And I am still arguing with your husband.
I can't understand why he wants to go to the war, replied Pierre, addressing the princess with none of the embarrassment so commonly shown by young men in their intercourse with young women.
"Ah, that is just what I tell him!" said she.
I don't understand it; I don't in the least understand why men can't live without wars.
The other day at the Apraksins' I heard a lady asking, 'Is that the famous Prince Andrew?'
Annette and I were speaking of how to arrange it.
I don't understand, said he.
"I still can't understand what you are afraid of," said Prince Andrew slowly, not taking his eyes off his wife.
No, Andrew, I must say you have changed.
I have long wanted to ask you, Andrew, why you have changed so to me?
What have I done to you?
I see it all!
"Lise, I beg you to desist," said Prince Andrew still more emphatically.
I assure you I myself have experienced... and so... because...
You are the first and only one to whom I mention this, because I like you.
"You don't understand why I say this," he continued, "but it is the whole story of life.
Drawing rooms, gossip, balls, vanity, and triviality--these are the enchanted circle I cannot escape from.
I am now going to the war, the greatest war there ever was, and I know nothing and am fit for nothing.
For the present I am free and am all right.
Only I haven't the least idea what I am to do; I wanted to consult you seriously.
I am fond of you, especially as you are the one live man among our whole set.
"I don't understand it," replied Prince Andrew.
Women who are comme il faut, that's a different matter; but the Kuragins' set of women, 'women and wine' I don't understand!
Leading such a life I can't decide or think properly about anything.
He asked me for tonight, but I won't go.
"I should like to go to Kuragin's," thought he.
"I bet a hundred on Stevens!" shouted one.
"I bet on Dolokhov!" cried a third.
"Go on, you must drink it all," said Anatole, giving Pierre the last glass, "or I won't let you go!"
"No, I won't," said Pierre, pushing Anatole aside, and he went up to the window.
Fifty imperials... that I will drink a whole bottle of rum without taking it from my mouth, sitting outside the window on this spot" (he stooped and pointed to the sloping ledge outside the window) "and without holding on to anything.
If anyone else does the same, I will pay him a hundred imperials.
I say, this is folly!
"If anyone comes meddling again," said he, emitting the words separately through his thin compressed lips, "I will throw him down there.
But mind you come to dinner or I shall be offended, ma chere!
On behalf of the whole family I beg you to come, mon cher!
"I am so sorry for the poor count," said the visitor.
I hope that here in Moscow no one will receive him, in spite of his money.
They wanted to introduce him to me, but I quite declined: I have my daughters to consider.
I think Pierre also is illegitimate.
I should think he has a score of them.
I have never seen a handsomer man.
I know it all very well for Prince Vasili told me himself.
I hear he has come on some inspection business, remarked the visitor.
I can just imagine what a funny figure that policeman cut!
I wish you many happy returns of your name day, said the visitor.
A daughter, I suppose?
"I have already told you, Papa," said his son, "that if you don't wish to let me go, I'll stay.
And what a voice she has; though she's my daughter, I tell the truth when I say she'll be a singer, a second Salomoni!
I have heard that it harms the voice to train it at that age.
Perhaps I spoil her, but really that seems the best plan.
With her elder sister I was stricter.
"Yes, I was brought up quite differently," remarked the handsome elder daughter, Countess Vera, with a smile.
I thought they would never go, said the countess, when she had seen her guests out.
Ah, I know what it is.
And I will prove it to you.
I don't like you to talk like that.
Well, then, I won't; only forgive me, Sonya!
I have something to tell you.
"Natasha," he said, "you know that I love you, but..."
Yes, I am, but please don't let us do like that....
In another four years... then I will ask for your hand.
"With you I will be quite frank," said Anna Mikhaylovna.
That's why I so value your friendship.
"If you had told me sooner, Mamma, I would have gone," she replied as she rose to go to her own room.
"How often have I asked you not to take my things?" she said.
"I should think not," said Vera, "because there can never be anything wrong in my behavior.
I have nothing to complain of.
"The unpleasant things were said to me," remarked Vera, "I said none to anyone."
Don't I know that at the rate we are living our means won't last long?
I couldn't possibly do it.
I don't mind what they think of me.
I have not seen him since we acted together at the Rumyantsovs' theatricals.
I expect he has forgotten me.
He said to me, 'I am sorry I can do so little for you, dear Princess.
But, Nataly, you know my love for my son: I would do anything for his happiness!
My wretched lawsuit takes all I have and makes no progress.
Would you believe it, I have literally not a penny and don't know how to equip Boris.
I need five hundred rubles, and have only one twenty-five-ruble note.
I shall not be able to equip him.
"I often think, though, perhaps it's a sin," said the princess, "that here lives Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov so rich, all alone... that tremendous fortune... and what is his life worth?
Still, I will take Boris and go to see him at once, and I shall speak to him straight out.
"If only I knew that anything besides humiliation would come of it..." answered her son coldly.
But I have promised and will do it for your sake.
"My friend," said Anna Mikhaylovna in gentle tones, addressing the hall porter, "I know Count Cyril Vladimirovich is very ill... that's why I have come...
I am a relation.
I shall not disturb him, my friend...
I only need see Prince Vasili Sergeevich: he is staying here, is he not?
"I know, I know," answered Prince Vasili in his monotonous voice.
I never could understand how Nataly made up her mind to marry that unlicked bear!
A perfectly absurd and stupid fellow, and a gambler too, I am told.
And I should so like to thank Uncle once for all his kindness to me and Boris.
I absolutely must see him, however painful it may be for me.
I am used to suffering.
I have come, and am at your service to help you nurse my uncle.
I imagine what you have gone through, and she sympathetically turned up her eyes.
I suppose he won't go? she continued, turning to the prince.
"On the contrary," replied the prince, who had plainly become depressed, "I shall be only too glad if you relieve me of that young man....
I recognize you only too well, too well.
Can I see him? asked Pierre, awkwardly as usual, but unabashed.
Can I see the count?
Pierre stood looking at the sisters; then he bowed and said: Then I will go to my rooms.
You will let me know when I can see him.
He sent for Pierre and said to him: My dear fellow, if you are going to behave here as you did in Petersburg, you will end very badly; that is all I have to say to you.
I have come with my mother to see the count, but it seems he is not well.
Only fancy, I didn't know you at first.
I am Boris, son of Princess Anna Mikhaylovna Drubetskaya.
I never knew any Madame Jacquot.
Oh dear, what am I thinking about?
I think the expedition is quite feasible.
I know nothing about it and have not thought about it.
Everybody is wondering to whom the count will leave his fortune, though he may perhaps outlive us all, as I sincerely hope he will...
But I just wish to say, to avoid misunderstandings, that you are quite mistaken if you reckon me or my mother among such people.
Do you suppose I... who could think?...
I know very well...
I am glad I have spoken out fully.
I always make it a rule to speak out.
Well, what answer am I to take?
"No, but I say," said Pierre, calming down, "you are a wonderful fellow!
I could not have done it myself, I should not have had the courage, but it's splendid.
I am very glad to have made your acquaintance.
I am sorry for him as a man, but what can one do?
"It is dreadful, dreadful!" she was saying, "but cost me what it may I shall do my duty.
I will come and spend the night.
I can't think why his nieces put it off.
"I don't understand, Mamma--what is his attitude to Pierre?" asked the son.
"I am very sorry, ma'am," answered the maid.
The thousand rubles I paid for Taras were not ill- spent.
Well, you see, Count, I want some money.
I want a great deal, Count!
I want five hundred rubles, and taking out her cambric handkerchief she began wiping her husband's waistcoat.
"This is what I want, my dear fellow," said the count to the deferential young man who had entered.
That's a thing I hate!
But I am in great need of this sum.
No, Peter Nikolaevich; I only want to show that in the cavalry the advantages are far less than in the infantry.
You have been in Paris recently, I believe?
I suppose it's very interesting.
"Well, you old sinner," she went on, turning to the count who was kissing her hand, "you're feeling dull in Moscow, I daresay?
I know she's a scamp of a girl, but I like her.
"Well, I suppose it is time we were at table?" said Marya Dmitrievna.
He has stopped Austria's cackle and I fear it will be our turn next.
*(4) I just ask you that.
I have four sons in the army but still I don't fret.
"You won't ask," Natasha's little brother was saying; "I know you won't ask!"
"I will," replied Natasha.
I have asked, whispered Natasha to her little brother and to Pierre, glancing at him again.
I don't like ice cream.
What kind?" she almost screamed; "I want to know!"
"Nicholas is going away in a week's time, his... papers... have come... he told me himself... but still I should not cry," and she showed a paper she held in her hand--with the verses Nicholas had written, "still, I should not cry, but you can't... no one can understand... what a soul he has!"
God is my witness," and she made the sign of the cross, "I love her so much, and all of you, only Vera...
What have I done to her?
Yes, these verses Nicholas wrote himself and I copied some others, and she found them on my table and said she'd show them to Mamma, and that I was ungrateful, and that Mamma would never allow him to marry me, but that he'll marry Julie.
Natasha, what have I done to deserve it?...
I don't quite remember how, but don't you remember that it could all be arranged and how nice it all was?
You know I have told him all about it.
I feel so happy!
A day or two, then bliss unspoilt, But oh! till then I cannot live!...
I hear the count no longer recognizes anyone.
I knew someone who received that sacrament seven times.
I am so terrified.
"You have made the place warm, I must say," he remarked.
"I thought perhaps something had happened," she said with her unchanging stonily severe expression; and, sitting down opposite the prince, she prepared to listen.
I wished to get a nap, mon cousin, but I can't.
"And I?" he said; "do you think it is easier for me?
I love you all, like children of my own, as you know.
I know, I know how hard it is for you to talk or think of such matters.
Do you know I have sent for Pierre?
"I can tell you more," continued Prince Vasili, seizing her hand, "that letter was written, though it was not sent, and the Emperor knew of it.
"My dear Princess Catherine Semenovna," began Prince Vasili impatiently, "I came here not to wrangle with you, but to talk about your interests as with a kinswoman, a good, kind, true relation.
I never wanted anything and I don't now.
I don't want anything, Prince.
Yes, I knew it long ago but had forgotten.
Yes, I was a fool!
I still believed in people, loved them, and sacrificed myself.
I know who has been intriguing!
I know your excellent heart.
No, I have a wicked heart.
"I know your heart," repeated the prince.
I value your friendship and wish you to have as good an opinion of me.
I came simply to help him and you.
Now I see it all!
I know who has been intriguing--I know! cried the princess.
It's that protege of yours, that sweet Princess Drubetskaya, that Anna Mikhaylovna whom I would not take for a housemaid... the infamous, vile woman!
Last winter she wheedled herself in here and told the count such vile, disgraceful things about us, especially about Sophie--I can't repeat them--that it made the count quite ill and he would not see us for a whole fortnight.
Yes; if I have a sin, a great sin, it is hatred of that vile woman! almost shrieked the princess, now quite changed.
But I will give her a piece of my mind.
"Ah, my friend!" she said, touching his arm as she had done her son's when speaking to him that afternoon, "believe me I suffer no less than you do, but be a man!"
"But really, hadn't I better go away?" he asked, looking kindly at her over his spectacles.
I have loved you like a son from the first.
I shall not forget your interests.
I will look after your interests, said she in reply to his look, and went still faster along the passage.
I can't bear the sight of that woman.
"I don't even know what is in this paper," said the younger of the two ladies, addressing Prince Vasili and pointing to an inlaid portfolio she held in her hand.
All I know is that his real will is in his writing table, and this is a paper he has forgotten....
"I know, my dear, kind princess," said Anna Mikhaylovna, seizing the portfolio so firmly that it was plain she would not let go easily.
Dear princess, I beg and implore you, have some pity on him!
I think he will not be out of place in a family consultation; is it not so, Prince?
Come, let go I tell you.
Let go, I tell you!
I will take the responsibility.
I myself will go and ask him, I!... does that satisfy you?
Come, I will go with you.
I know you well enough to be sure that this will not turn your head, but it imposes duties on you, and you must be a man.
I hope, my dear friend, you will carry out your father's wish?
"The third, I said the third!" cried the prince abruptly, pushing the letter away, and leaning his elbows on the table he drew toward him the exercise book containing geometrical figures.
I don't want to have you like our silly ladies.
I don't interfere with anyone's belief...
I have looked at it.
I will confess to you, dear Mary, that in spite of his extreme youth his departure for the army was a great grief to me.
This young man, of whom I spoke to you last summer, is so noble-minded and full of that real youthfulness which one seldom finds nowadays among our old men of twenty and, particularly, he is so frank and has so much heart.
Someday I will tell you about our parting and all that was said then.
As for the past two years people have amused themselves by finding husbands for me (most of whom I don't even know), the matchmaking chronicles of Moscow now speak of me as the future Countess Bezukhova.
But you will understand that I have no desire for the post.
I don't know what you will think of it, but I consider it my duty to let you know of it.
That is all I have been able to find out about him.
Read the mystical book I am sending you; it has an enormous success here.
I embrace you as I love you.
What then should I say, if I dared complain, I who am deprived of all who are dear to me?
Why do you suppose that I should look severely on your affection for that young man?
On such matters I am only severe with myself.
I understand such feelings in others, and if never having felt them I cannot approve of them, neither do I condemn them.
I cannot agree with you about Pierre, whom I knew as a child.
He always seemed to me to have an excellent heart, and that is the quality I value most in people.
I pity Prince Vasili but am still more sorry for Pierre.
If I were asked what I desire most on earth, it would be to be poorer than the poorest beggar.
I never could understand the fondness some people have for confusing their minds by dwelling on mystical books that merely awaken their doubts and excite their imagination, giving them a bent for exaggeration quite contrary to Christian simplicity.
In regard to this project of marriage for me, I will tell you, dear sweet friend, that I look on marriage as a divine institution to which we must conform.
However painful it may be to me, should the Almighty lay the duties of wife and mother upon me I shall try to perform them as faithfully as I can, without disquieting myself by examining my feelings toward him whom He may give me for husband.
I have had a letter from my brother, who announces his speedy arrival at Bald Hills with his wife.
My father talks of nothing but marches and countermarches, things of which I understand nothing; and the day before yesterday during my daily walk through the village I witnessed a heartrending scene....
I have already dispatched mine.
I have written to my poor mother, said the smiling Mademoiselle Bourienne rapidly, in her pleasant mellow tones and with guttural r's.
"Ah, dear friend," replied Princess Mary, "I have asked you never to warn me of the humor my father is in.
I do not allow myself to judge him and would not have others do so.
I must let her know.
"I dreamed last night..."--"You were not expecting us?..."
"I knew the princess at once," put in Mademoiselle Bourienne.
"And I had no idea!..." exclaimed Princess Mary.
Ah, Andrew, I did not see you.
Though I don't know what your opinion will be, answered the princess joyfully.
"Yes, Father, I have come to you and brought my wife who is pregnant," said Prince Andrew, following every movement of his father's face with an eager and respectful look.
You know me: I am busy from morning till night and abstemious, so of course I am well.
Why, I have not yet had time to settle down!
I am glad to have her.
While you and I never thought much of him.
Michael Ivanovich did not at all know when "you and I" had said such things about Bonaparte, but understanding that he was wanted as a peg on which to hang the prince's favorite topic, he looked inquiringly at the young prince, wondering what would follow.
No, lad, either you fellows have all lost your wits, or I have outlived mine.
I don't sleep at night.
I have grown so fond of her.
I don't want any other life, and can't, for I know no other.
But think, Andrew: for a young society woman to be buried in the country during the best years of her life, all alone--for Papa is always busy, and I... well, you know what poor resources I have for entertaining a woman used to the best society.
"I don't like your Mademoiselle Bourienne at all," said Prince Andrew.
To tell the truth, I don't need her, and she's even in my way.
You know I always was a savage, and now am even more so.
I like being alone....
To be quite frank, Mary, I expect Father's character sometimes makes things trying for you, doesn't it?
"He always was rather harsh; and now I should think he's getting very trying," said Prince Andrew, apparently speaking lightly of their father in order to puzzle or test his sister.
And I am so contented and happy with him.
I only wish you were all as happy as I am.
I will tell you the truth, Andrew... is Father's way of treating religious subjects.
I don't understand how a man of his immense intellect can fail to see what is as clear as day, and can go so far astray.
But even in this I can see lately a shade of improvement.
Andrew..." she said timidly after a moment's silence, "I have a great favor to ask of you."
I know you are just like Father.
Andrew, I bless you with this icon and you must promise me you will never take it off.
As I was saying to you, Andrew, be kind and generous as you always used to be.
I do not think I have complained of my wife to you, Masha, or blamed her.
I have said nothing to you, but you have already been talked to.
And I am sorry for that, he went on.
Know this, Masha: I can't reproach, have not reproached, and never shall reproach my wife with anything, and I cannot reproach myself with anything in regard to her; and that always will be so in whatever circumstances I may be placed.
But why this is so I don't know...
Let us go to her, I must say good-by.
I thought you were in your room, she said, for some reason blushing and dropping her eyes.
I am ashamed as it is to leave her on your hands...
"I know that no one can help if nature does not do her work," said Prince Andrew, evidently confused.
I know that out of a million cases only one goes wrong, but it is her fancy and mine.
"I don't understand!" said Prince Andrew.
Don't be afraid; I won't tell anyone, but you know it yourself.
I will do everything.
Give this letter to Michael Ilarionovich. * I have written that he should make use of you in proper places and not keep you long as an adjutant: a bad position!
Tell him I remember and like him.
I shall probably die before you.
Here are some jottings for you to read when I am gone.
"I will do it all, Father," he said.
"Remember this, Prince Andrew, if they kill you it will hurt me, your old father..." he paused unexpectedly, and then in a querulous voice suddenly shrieked: "but if I hear that you have not behaved like a son of Nicholas Bolkonski, I shall be ashamed!"
"I also wanted to ask you," continued Prince Andrew, "if I'm killed and if I have a son, do not let him be taken away from you--as I said yesterday... let him grow up with you....
However, I think the regiment is not a bad one, eh?
In an hour's time, I should say.
I don't know, General....
What?" he added with renewed irritation, "I beg you to dress your men decently."
"I request you to have the goodness to change your coat," he said as he turned away.
I hope this will be a lesson to you.
The Emperor is gracious, and I shan't forget you if you deserve well.
"One thing I ask of your excellency," Dolokhov said in his firm, ringing, deliberate voice.
I ask an opportunity to atone for my fault and prove my devotion to His Majesty the Emperor and to Russia!
I am the first to apologize, you know me!
And tell Mr. Dolokhov that I won't forget him--he may be quite easy.
"I will, your excellency," said Timokhin, showing by his smile that he understood his commander's wish.
I thank you all!
I suppose they polish him up as they do the guns.
I am as you see.
I was attached; I'm on duty.
"I say, come round some evening and we'll have a game of faro!" said Zherkov.
I won't drink and won't play till I get reinstated.
If I want anything, I won't beg--I'll take it!
Well, never mind; I only...
"All I can say, General," said he with a pleasant elegance of expression and intonation that obliged one to listen to each deliberately spoken word.
I should long ago have joined the archduke.
And Kutuzov smiled in a way that seemed to say, You are quite at liberty not to believe me and I don't even care whether you do or not, but you have no grounds for telling me so.
I consider myself fortunate to have such a subordinate by me.
I am ordered to write a memorandum explaining why we are not advancing.
Whom shall I announce?
"Your excellency," said he in German, stepping forward and addressing the Austrian general, "I have the honor to congratulate you."
I have the honor to congratulate you.
I only congratulated them, said Zherkov.
I know by now, if he wins he comes back early to brag about it, but if he stays out till morning it means he's lost and will come back in a rage.
"Well, I am taking it off," replied Lavrushka's voice.
I lost yesterday like a damned fool! cried Denisov, not pronouncing his r's.
I knew it, replied a piping voice, and Lieutenant Telyanin, a small officer of the same squadron, entered the room.
"I saw you riding this morning..." he added.
I don't like that fellow, he said, regardless of the quartermaster's presence.
Rostov shrugged his shoulders as much as to say: "Nor do I, but what's one to do?" and, having given his order, he returned to Telyanin.
I only came round to ask Denisov about yesterday's order.
"I want to teach this young man how to shoe a horse," said Telyanin.
"Please, Denisov, let me lend you some: I have some, you know," said Rostov, blushing.
"Don't like bowwowing from my own fellows, I don't," growled Denisov.
Really I have some, Rostov repeated.
No, I tell you.
Dear me, can I have forgotten?
No, I remember thinking that you kept it under your head like a treasure, said Rostov.
I put it just here.
I haven't been in the room.
"No, if I hadn't thought of it being a treasure," said Rostov, "but I remember putting it there."
"I must have that purse, I tell you," shouted Denisov, shaking his orderly by the shoulders and knocking him against the wall.
"Denisov, let him alone, I know who has taken it," said Rostov, going toward the door without raising his eyes.
You are mad, I tell you.
I won't allow it.
"I know who has taken it," repeated Rostov in an unsteady voice, and went to the door.
"And I tell you, don't you dahe to do it!" shouted Denisov, rushing at the cadet to restrain him.
"I know it and shall prove it," said Rostov.
I have an old father and mother!...
"And I tell you, Rostov, that you must apologize to the colonel!" said a tall, grizzly-haired staff captain, with enormous mustaches and many wrinkles on his large features, to Rostov who was crimson with excitement.
"I will allow no one to call me a liar!" cried Rostov.
He told me I lied, and I told him he lied.
Perhaps I ought not to have spoken before them, but I am not a diplomatist.
He did not shut me up, he said I was telling an untruth.
"I did not expect this of you," said the staff captain seriously and severely.
Am I not right, Denisov?
You may take offense or not but I always stick to mother truth.
I... for me... for the honor of the regiment I'd...
"I tell you," shouted Denisov, "he's a fine fellow."
No one shall hear a word from me," said Rostov in an imploring voice, "but I can't apologize, by God I can't, do what you will!
How can I go and apologize like a little boy asking forgiveness?
I can't describe the feeling.
I congratulated him on Mack's arrival...
"No, but what I should like," added he, munching a pie in his moist-lipped handsome mouth, "would be to slip in over there."
"Hadn't I better ride over, your excellency?" asked Nesvitski.
I did, 'pon my word, I got that frightened! said he, as if bragging of having been frightened.
I have seen as much before now, mate!
"I don't myself know 'to who,'" replied the cornet in a serious tone, "but the prince told me to 'go and tell the colonel that the hussars must return quickly and fire the bridge.'"
I know the service, and it is my habit orders strictly to obey.
You said the bridge would be burned, but who would it burn, I could not know by the holy spirit!
"I will the bridge fire," he said in a solemn tone as if to announce that in spite of all the unpleasantness he had to endure he would still do the right thing.
"There, it's just as I thought," said Rostov to himself.
"Let him see whether I am a coward!" he thought.
"If I were Tsar I would never go to war," said Nesvitski, turning away.
"I should wish for nothing else, nothing, if only I were there," thought Rostov.
There--they are shouting again, and again are all running back somewhere, and I shall run with them, and it, death, is here above me and around...
Another instant and I shall never again see the sun, this water, that gorge!...
See if I don't get promoted to a sublieutenancy.
"Inform the prince that I the bridge fired!" said the colonel triumphantly and gaily.
I hope it is good news?
However, I will let you know.
I could not have a more welcome visitor, said Bilibin as he came out to meet Prince Andrew.
And I am sitting here ill, as you see.
* "But my dear fellow, with all my respect for the Orthodox Russian army, I must say that your victory was not particularly victorious."
We had expected, as I told you, to get at their rear by seven in the morning but had not reached it by five in the afternoon.
"I know," interrupted Bilibin, "you're thinking it's very easy to take marshals, sitting on a sofa by the fire!
Even I, a poor secretary of the Russian Embassy, do not feel any need in token of my joy to give my Franz a thaler, or let him go with his Liebchen to the Prater...
I confess I do not understand: perhaps there are diplomatic subtleties here beyond my feeble intelligence, but I can't make it out.
All that is beautiful, but what do we, I mean the Austrian court, care for your victories?
"Really I don't care about that, I don't care at all," said Prince Andrew, beginning to understand that his news of the battle before Krems was really of small importance in view of such events as the fall of Austria's capital.
Prince Auersperg is on this, on our side of the river, and is defending us--doing it very badly, I think, but still he is defending us.
Well, I think it is.
This is what I think.
"Oh, I must give you a treat," Bilibin whispered to Bolkonski.
"Wait, I have not finished..." he said to Prince Andrew, seizing him by the arm, "I believe that intervention will be stronger than nonintervention.
"Demosthenes, I know thee by the pebble thou secretest in thy golden mouth!" said Bilibin, and the mop of hair on his head moved with satisfaction.
I want to entertain him as far as I can, with all the pleasures of life here.
If we were in Vienna it would be easy, but here, in this wretched Moravian hole, it is more difficult, and I beg you all to help me.
You can undertake the theater, I society, and you, Hippolyte, of course the women.
"I shall scarcely be able to avail myself of your hospitality, gentlemen, it is already time for me to go," replied Prince Andrew looking at his watch.
"I should like to speak well of them, but as far as I know the facts, I can't," replied Bolkonski, smiling.
"I cannot inform Your Majesty at what o'clock the battle began at the front, but at Durrenstein, where I was, our attack began after five in the afternoon," replied Bolkonski growing more animated and expecting that he would have a chance to give a reliable account, which he had ready in his mind, of all he knew and had seen.
At seven o'clock, I believe.
I come from the archduchess'.
I heard nothing there.
That is what I ask you.
The French entered Vienna as I told you.
"I am not jesting," Bilibin went on.
I am going away.
But now I am off at once.
I know you think it your duty to gallop back to the army now that it is in danger.
You and I will travel comfortably in my caleche.
I am speaking sincerely as a friend!
Well, if need be, I shall do it no worse than others.
"Let them pass, I tell you!" repeated Prince Andrew, compressing his lips.
I am commander here, not you!
I was going to ask you.
I know nothing except that it was all I could do to get here.
I was wrong to laugh at Mack, we're getting it still worse, said Nesvitski.
"Well, I have got all I need into packs for two horses," said Nesvitski.
"I can't make out at all," said Nesvitski.
"I have the honor to present myself," repeated Prince Andrew rather loudly, handing Kutuzov an envelope.
Your excellency, I should like to be of use here.
"Get in," said Kutuzov, and noticing that Bolkonski still delayed, he added: "I need good officers myself, need them myself!"
"If a tenth part of his detachment returns I shall thank God," he added as if speaking to himself.
"That is why I beg to be sent to that detachment," he said.
I cannot find words to express to you my displeasure.
This morning I turned them all out and now look, it's full again.
I must go there, Prince, and scare them a bit.
"Yes, let's go in and I will get myself a roll and some cheese," said Prince Andrew who had not yet had time to eat anything.
I would have offered you something.
"Thank you very much, I will go on alone," said Prince Andrew, wishing to rid himself of this staff officer's company, "please don't trouble yourself further."
"No, friend," said a pleasant and, as it seemed to Prince Andrew, a familiar voice, "what I say is that if it were possible to know what is beyond death, none of us would be afraid of it.
"He higher iss dan I in rank," said the German colonel of the hussars, flushing and addressing an adjutant who had ridden up, "so let him do what he vill, but I cannot sacrifice my hussars...
"Once again, Colonel," said the general, "I can't leave half my men in the wood.
I beg of you, I beg of you," he repeated, "to occupy the position and prepare for an attack."
I don't vish to destroy my men for your pleasure!
I am not considering my own pleasure and I won't allow it to be said!
"Oh, how I will slash at him!" thought Rostov, gripping the hilt of his saber.
How is it I am not moving?
I have fallen, I am killed!
No, I am wounded and the horse is killed.
I have taken an officer prisoner.
I stopped the company.
I beg you will remember this, your excellency!
I remained at the front.
"I... don't..." he muttered, holding up two fingers to his cap.
"I cannot be afraid," thought he, and dismounted slowly among the guns.
I don't know where... such bad luck!
When I saw, your excellency, that their first battalion was disorganized, I stopped in the road and thought: 'I'll let them come on and will meet them with the fire of the whole battalion'--and that's what I did.
Gentlemen, I thank you all; all arms have behaved heroically: infantry, cavalry, and artillery.
"I think I sent you?" he added, turning to the staff officer on duty.
"One was damaged," answered the staff officer, "and the other I can't understand.
"I had not the pleasure of seeing you," said Prince Andrew, coldly and abruptly.
I had no men... your excellency.
I went there and found two thirds of the men and horses knocked out, two guns smashed, and no supports at all.
Yet I was once at home, strong, happy, and loved.
"And why did I come here?" he wondered.
Nor did he say to himself: "Pierre is a rich man, I must entice him to marry my daughter and lend me the forty thousand rubles I need."
I am very glad.
Here is something I have received from the chancellor.
I was nearly forgetting, he added.
Wait a bit, I have something in view for you this evening.
I only wanted to know your opinion, and Anna Pavlovna let Pierre go.
So you have never noticed before how beautiful I am?
You had not noticed that I am a woman?
Yes, I am a woman who may belong to anyone--to you too, said her glance.
"Well, I will leave you in your little corner," came Anna Pavlovna's voice, "I see you are all right there."
A little later when he went up to the large circle, Anna Pavlovna said to him: "I hear you are refitting your Petersburg house?"
I know something about that.
I have myself said she is stupid, he thought.
I will invite two or three people, and if he does not understand what he ought to do then it will be my affair--yes, my affair.
I am her father.
Every day he said to himself one and the same thing: It is time I understood her and made up my mind what she really is.
Was I mistaken before, or am I mistaken now?
Can it be that I have none?
"And what nonsense all this is that I am saying!" thought a diplomatist, glancing at the happy faces of the lovers.
Now I know that not because of her alone, nor of myself alone, but because of everyone, it must inevitably come about.
They are all expecting it, they are so sure that it will happen that I cannot, I cannot, disappoint them.
I do not know, but it will certainly happen! thought Pierre, glancing at those dazzling shoulders close to his eyes.
And besides, what have I done to bring it about?
I traveled from Moscow with Prince Vasili.
So why should I not stay at his house?
Then I played cards with her and picked up her reticule and drove out with her.
"I think I may congratulate you," whispered Anna Pavlovna to the old princess, kissing her soundly.
If I hadn't this headache I'd have stayed longer.
"The step must be taken but I cannot, I cannot!" thought Pierre, and he again began speaking about indifferent matters, about Sergey Kuzmich, asking what the point of the story was as he had not heard it properly.
I am very pleased.
I loved your father... and she will make you a good wife...
"It is too late now, it's done; besides I love her," thought Pierre.
* "I love you."
I am having the avenue swept, your honor.
I heard, your honor, that a minister is coming to visit your honor.
Your honor, I thought...
She thought: "If I seem not to notice he will think that I do not sympathize with him; if I seem sad and out of spirits myself, he will say (as he has done before) that I'm in the dumps."
"His Excellency Prince Vasili Kuragin and his son, I understand?" she said inquiringly.
I got him his appointment in the service, said the prince disdainfully.
Why his son is coming I don't understand.
I don't want him.
"Yes, I feel a kind of oppression," she said in reply to the prince's question as to how she felt.
Prince Vasili's two valets were busy dressing him, and he looked round with much animation and cheerfully nodded to his son as the latter entered, as if to say: "Yes, that's how I want you to look."
I say, Father, joking apart, is she very hideous?
I can't bear those old men!
How shall I enter the drawing room?
Even if I like him I can't now be myself with him.
I prefer you in your little gray everyday dress.
Katie," she said to the maid, "bring the princess her gray dress, and you'll see, Mademoiselle Bourienne, how I shall arrange it," she added, smiling with a foretaste of artistic pleasure.
"But no, it is impossible, I am too ugly," she thought.
"If anyone finds this silence inconvenient, let him talk, but I don't want to," he seemed to say.
It was as if he said to them: I know you, I know you, but why should I bother about you?
Oh!" and she shook her finger at him, "I have even heard of your doings in Paris!"
You have done up your hair in this new way for the visitors, and before the visitors I tell you that in future you are never to dare to change your way of dress without my consent.
'What am I attached to!'
"Well, do you think I shall prevent her, that I can't part from her?" said the old prince angrily.
Only let me tell you, I want to know my son-in-law better.
I will ask her tomorrow in your presence; if she is willing, then he can stay on.
"But am I not too cold with him?" thought the princess.
I try to be reserved because in the depth of my soul I feel too near to him already, but then he cannot know what I think of him and may imagine that I do not like him.
How happy I am now, and how happy I may be with such a friend and such a husband!
"Is it possible that Amelie" (Mademoiselle Bourienne) "thinks I could be jealous of her, and not value her pure affection and devotion to me?"
When your father writes to tell me that you are behaving well I will give you my hand to kiss.
"I told you it was all lumps and holes!" the little princess repeated.
"I should be glad enough to fall asleep, so it's not my fault!" and her voice quivered like that of a child about to cry.
And she knew I should notice it.
And don't I see that that idiot had eyes only for Bourienne--I shall have to get rid of her.
I never invited them.
"I have had a proposition made me concerning you," he said with an unnatural smile.
"I expect you have guessed that Prince Vasili has not come and brought his pupil with him" (for some reason Prince Bolkonski referred to Anatole as a "pupil") "for the sake of my beautiful eyes.
Last night a proposition was made me on your account and, as you know my principles, I refer it to you.
"How am I to understand you, mon pere?" said the princess, growing pale and then blushing.
And I ask you!
"I do not know what you think, Father," whispered the princess.
That's what I want to know.
Remember this, Princess, I hold to the principle that a maiden has a full right to choose.
I give you freedom.
But I do not know, Father!
I know you will pray over it.
"No, Princess, I have lost your affection forever!" said Mademoiselle Bourienne.
I love you more than ever," said Princess Mary, "and I will try to do all I can for your happiness."
"I quite understand," answered Princess Mary, with a sad smile.
I will go to my father, she said, and went out.
Decide, my dear, good, gentle Marie, whom I have always loved as a daughter!
Reply: yes or no," he shouted, "and then I shall reserve the right to state my opinion also.
I don't wish to marry, she answered positively, glancing at Prince Vasili and at her father with her beautiful eyes.
My dear, I must tell you that this is a moment I shall never, never forget.
Prince, what I have said is all there is in my heart.
I thank you for the honor, but I shall never be your son's wife.
I am very glad to have seen you.
And cost what it may, I will arrange poor Amelie's happiness, she loves him so passionately, and so passionately repents.
I will do all I can to arrange the match between them.
If he is not rich I will give her the means; I will ask my father and Andrew.
I shall be so happy when she is his wife.
Perhaps I might have done the same!... thought Princess Mary.
No, dearest, sweet one, honey, I won't give up--I know you know something.
I will, I will, only tell me!
Then I will go and tell at once.
"No, on my true word of honor," said Natasha, crossing herself, "I won't tell anyone!" and she ran off at once to Sonya.
Do I remember Nicholas?
"I remember Nikolenka too, I remember him well," she said.
But I don't remember Boris.
I don't remember him a bit.
It's not that I don't remember--I know what he is like, but not as I remember Nikolenka.
Him--I just shut my eyes and remember, but Boris...
I think if he writes, I will write too, she said, blushing.
And I should be ashamed to write to Boris.
Well, I don't know.
"And I know why she'd be ashamed," said Petya, offended by Natasha's previous remark.
About some Denisov or other, though he himself, I dare say, is braver than any of them.
I always said when he was only so high--I always said....
"I did not expect you today," he added.
I only sent you the note yesterday by Bolkonski--an adjutant of Kutuzov's, who's a friend of mine.
I did not think he would get it to you so quickly....
I can't tell you.
I say, send for some wine.
"Yes, and I have some money and a letter to give you," he added.
I can tell you for myself...
Do go somewhere, anywhere... to the devil!" he exclaimed, and immediately seizing him by the shoulder and looking amiably into his face, evidently wishing to soften the rudeness of his words, he added, "Don't be hurt, my dear fellow; you know I speak from my heart as to an old acquaintance."
I quite understand, said Berg, getting up and speaking in a muffled and guttural voice.
"Oh dear, what a beast I am!" muttered Rostov, as he read the letter.
Oh, what a pig I am, not to have written and to have given them such a fright!
Oh, what a pig I am! he repeated, flushing suddenly.
Much I need it! said Rostov, throwing the letter under the table.
It is some letter of recommendation... what the devil do I want it for!
I want nothing, and I won't be anyone's adjutant.
"You are still the same dreamer, I see," remarked Boris, shaking his head.
So far everything's all right, but I confess I should much like to be an adjutant and not remain at the front.
Would you believe it, Count, I was not at all alarmed, because I knew I was right.
Without boasting, you know, I may say that I know the Army Orders by heart and know the Regulations as well as I do the Lord's Prayer.
I knew I was in the right so I kept silent; was not that best, Count?...
Still I remained silent.
I am speaking of the staff in general.
Well then, on Friday after the review I shall expect you, Drubetskoy.
I should die of happiness!
The Tsar addressed the officers also: "I thank you all, gentlemen, I thank you with my whole heart."
I love and forgive everybody now.
"My God, how happy I should be if he ordered me to leap into the fire this instant!" thought Rostov.
When he entered, Prince Andrew, his eyes drooping contemptuously (with that peculiar expression of polite weariness which plainly says, "If it were not my duty I would not talk to you for a moment"), was listening to an old Russian general with decorations, who stood very erect, almost on tiptoe, with a soldier's obsequious expression on his purple face, reporting something.
I am very sorry you did not find me in yesterday.
I was fussing about with Germans all day.
I have been thinking about you.
"Yes, I was thinking"--for some reason Boris could not help blushing-- "of asking the commander-in-chief.
I only wanted to ask because I fear the Guards won't be in action, he added as if in apology.
Only let me report this gentleman's business, and I shall be at your disposal.
But this is what we'll do: I have a good friend, an adjutant general and an excellent fellow, Prince Dolgorukov; and though you may not know it, the fact is that now Kutuzov with his staff and all of us count for nothing.
I tell you he is in our hands, that's certain!
But I have come to you, Prince, as a petitioner on behalf of this young man.
You know I should be very glad to do all in my power both for you and for this dear young man.
I believe it, I believe it, fwiend, and I share and appwove...
I won't say he is out of sorts, but I fancy he would like to be heard.
He is a man in a gray overcoat, very anxious that I should call him 'Your Majesty,' but who, to his chagrin, got no title from me!
"I will do so," said Prince Andrew, moving away from the map.
"However, I think General Kutuzov has come out," said Prince Andrew.
"I wish you good luck and success, gentlemen!" he added and went out after shaking hands with Dolgorukov and Bilibin.
Kutuzov looked sternly at his adjutant and, after a pause, replied: I think the battle will be lost, and so I told Count Tolstoy and asked him to tell the Emperor.
That was the answer I got!
"Yes, it is very likely that I shall be killed tomorrow," he thought.
Tomorrow perhaps, even certainly, I have a presentiment that for the first time I shall have to show all I can do.
"Well then," Prince Andrew answered himself, "I don't know what will happen and don't want to know, and can't, but if I want this--want glory, want to be known to men, want to be loved by them, it is not my fault that I want it and want nothing but that and live only for that.
Death, wounds, the loss of family--I fear nothing.
He was saying, "Tit, I say, Tit!"
All the same, I love and value nothing but triumph over them all, I value this mystic power and glory that is floating here above me in this mist!
Oh, how I would guard him, how I would tell him the truth, how I would unmask his deceivers!
It won't be long now before I am off duty.
I'll take another turn and when I get back I'll go to the general and ask him.
"I expect it's snow... that spot... a spot--une tache," he thought.
(Won't she be surprised when I tell her how I've seen the Emperor?)
But what was I thinking?
How shall I speak to the Emperor?
I thought about him too, just opposite Guryev's house...
No, it was I who dared not.
But that's nonsense, the chief thing is not to forget the important thing I was thinking of.
I saw them this evening on that knoll; if they had retreated they would have withdrawn from that too....
They were there this evening, but now I don't know, your excellency.
Shall I go with some of my hussars to see? replied Rostov.
"Your excellency," said Rostov, "may I ask a favor?"
May I ask to be attached to the first squadron?
Then I may reckon on it, your excellency?
I will give the order.
"Tomorrow very likely I may be sent with some message to the Emperor," thought Rostov.
I will myself direct your battalions.
Last night I looked at the campfires and there was no end of them.
I say, shall we soon be clear?
Seeing them he kept thinking, "That may be the very standard with which I shall lead the army."
"I intended to re-form them beyond the village, your excellency," answered the general.
"How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not at all as I ran," thought Prince Andrew--"not as we ran, shouting and fighting, not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened and angry faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds glide across that lofty infinite sky!
How was it I did not see that lofty sky before?
And how happy I am to have found it at last!
"And if I should meet His Majesty before I meet the commander-in-chief, your excellency?" said Rostov, with his hand to his cap.
"How it will be there I don't know, but all will be well!" thought Rostov.
I shall see it close, he thought.
Why should I envy them?
"But that's the Grand Duke, and I want the commander-in-chief or the Emperor," said Rostov, and was about to spur his horse.
I held my sword in my left hand, Count.
I must look for the commander in chief here, and if all is lost it is for me to perish with the rest.
I ought to know the Emperor by now, after the times I've seen him in Petersburg.
I saw him just as I see you....
It's time I knew the Imperial horses and Ilya Ivanych.
I don't think Ilya drives anyone except the Tsar!
If the Emperor is wounded, am I to try to save myself? he thought.
It is as if I were glad of a chance to take advantage of his being alone and despondent!
"What have I done?" thought he.
I say, Tit! said the groom.
"Where is it, that lofty sky that I did not know till now, but saw today?" was his first thought.
"And I did not know this suffering either," he thought.
Yes, I did not know anything, anything at all till now.
"I commanded a squadron," replied Repnin.
"I bestow it with pleasure," said Napoleon.
But to whom should I say that?
There is nothing certain, nothing at all except the unimportance of everything I understand, and the greatness of something incomprehensible but all-important.
And I did not know...
I know, I know, said the count, kissing and embracing Denisov.
I want to know what you men are like.
Such a friend that I burned my arm for her sake.
I burned this to prove my love for her.
I just heated a ruler in the fire and pressed it there!
She, if she loves anyone, does it for life, but I don't understand that, I forget quickly.
"I never go back on my word," he said.
"No, no!" cried Natasha, "she and I have already talked it over.
"Yes, they have taken a wise decision," he thought, "I must remain free."
Oh, how glad I am to have you!
I don't think about him or anyone else, and I don't want anything of the kind.
I don't want to marry anyone.
And I'll tell him so when I see him!
There will be time enough to think about love when I want to, but now I have no time.
"Then am I to order those large sterlets?" asked the steward.
I must have two hundred pots here on Friday.
I must have singers too.
I shall have my own orchestra, but shouldn't we get the gypsy singers as well?
"Really, Papa, I believe Prince Bagration worried himself less before the battle of Schon Grabern than you do now," said his son with a smile.
"And am I to bring the gypsy girls along with him?" asked Nicholas, laughing.
I have to see him in any case.
Yes, I pity him from my heart, and shall try to give him what consolation I can.
Well, I will read them, then!
"Yes, he is very handsome," thought Pierre, "and I know him.
It would be particularly pleasant to him to dishonor my name and ridicule me, just because I have exerted myself on his behalf, befriended him, and helped him.
I know and understand what a spice that would add to the pleasure of deceiving me, if it really were true.
Yes, if it were true, but I do not believe it.
I have no right to, and can't, believe it.
"Why, I didn't recognize you!" he said.
This is what I like!
I challenge you! he ejaculated, and, pushing back his chair, he rose from the table.
"I should perhaps have done the same thing in his place," thought Pierre.
It's even certain that I should have done the same, then why this duel, this murder?
Either I shall kill him, or he will hit me in the head, or elbow, or knee.
Can't I go away from here, run away, bury myself somewhere? passed through his mind.
"I should not be doing my duty, Count," he said in timid tones, "and should not justify your confidence and the honor you have done me in choosing me for your second, if at this grave, this very grave, moment I did not tell you the whole truth.
"Oh yes, like that, I know, I only forgot," said he.
"So I can fire when I like!" said Pierre, and at the word "three," he went quickly forward, missing the trodden path and stepping into the deep snow.
In Moscow, I know.
I don't matter, but I have killed her, killed...
I have killed her lover, yes, killed my wife's lover.
How did I come to do it?"--"Because you married her," answered an inner voice.
"But in what was I to blame?" he asked.
And he vividly recalled that moment after supper at Prince Vasili's, when he spoke those words he had found so difficult to utter: "I love you."
Even then I felt it, he thought.
I felt then that it was not so, that I had no right to do it.
So this is what I was proud of!
I then thought that I did not understand her.
Now I have spoken that terrible word to myself all has become clear.
One day I asked her if she felt any symptoms of pregnancy.
"Yes, I never loved her," said he to himself; "I knew she was a depraved woman," he repeated, "but dared not admit it to myself.
Why did I bind myself to her?
Why did I say 'Je vous aime' * to her, which was a lie, and worse than a lie?
I am guilty and must endure... what?
* I love you.
But if you are alive--live: tomorrow you'll die as I might have died an hour ago.
"Why did I tell her that 'Je vous aime'?" he kept repeating to himself.
What have I...? stammered Pierre.
That I shall be the laughingstock of all Moscow, that everyone will say that you, drunk and not knowing what you were about, challenged a man you are jealous of without cause.
Because I like his company?
If you were cleverer and more agreeable, I should prefer yours.
I beg you, muttered Pierre hoarsely.
Why shouldn't I speak?
I feel so strange.
"Nothing... only I feel sad... sad about Andrew," she said, wiping away her tears on her sister-in-law's knee.
But my father is anxious and I feel afraid.
"Mary Bogdanovna, I think it's beginning!" said Princess Mary looking at the midwife with wide-open eyes of alarm.
I must go and meet him, he does not know Russian.
I love you all and have done no harm to anyone; why must I suffer so?
"I expected help from you and I get none, none from you either!" said her eyes.
"I love you all, and have done no harm to anyone; and what have you done to me?"--said her charming, pathetic, dead face.
I think there were not many such gallant sons of the fatherland out there as he.
Why, if he was so jealous, as I see things he should have shown it sooner, but he lets it go on for months.
I know you understand Fedya, my dear count; that, believe me, is why I am so fond of you.
"I know people consider me a bad man!" he said.
I don't care a straw about anyone but those I love; but those I love, I love so that I would give my life for them, and the others I'd throttle if they stood in my way.
I have an adored, a priceless mother, and two or three friends--you among them--and as for the rest I only care about them in so far as they are harmful or useful.
I have not yet met that divine purity and devotion I look for in women.
If I found such a one I'd give my life for her!
And believe me, if I still value my life it is only because I still hope to meet such a divine creature, who will regenerate, purify, and elevate me.
"Oh, yes, I quite understand," answered Rostov, who was under his new friend's influence.
There now, I like your Denisov though he is a rake and all that, still I like him; so you see I do understand.
I don't know how to put it... with this one everything is calculated, and I don't like that.
Well, I don't know about that, but I am uncomfortable with him.
"Where would I not go at the countess' command!" said Denisov, who at the Rostovs' had jocularly assumed the role of Natasha's knight.
"If I have time," answered Nicholas.
But I promised the Arkharovs; they have a party.
"And I was looking for you," said Natasha running out to him.
"I told you, but you would not believe it," she said triumphantly.
Much as Mamma pressed her, she refused, and I know she won't change once she has said...
Do you know, Nicholas--don't be angry--but I know you will not marry her.
I know, heaven knows how, but I know for certain that you won't marry her.
But I must talk to her.
"I have already refused," she said hurriedly.
No, but I must.
If you refuse him on my account, I must tell you the whole truth.
I love you, and I think I love you more than anyone else....
Then I am young.
In a word, I make no promise.
I love you as a brother and always shall, and I want nothing more.
You are an angel: I am not worthy of you, but I am afraid of misleading you.
Don't you wecollect what bad use I made of your lessons?
"I called once or twice at your house," said Rostov, reddening.
'He's a fool who trusts to luck, one should make certain,' and I want to try.
"I have no money with me," he said.
Please place your money on the cards or I may get muddled in the reckoning.
Yes, you might, but I am afraid of getting the accounts mixed.
So I ask you to put the money on your cards, replied Dolokhov.
I lose to the others but win from you.
Wasn't I fond of him?
And it's not my fault either," he thought to himself, "I have done nothing wrong.
Have I killed anyone, or insulted or wished harm to anyone?
Such a little while ago I came to this table with the thought of winning a hundred rubles to buy that casket for Mamma's name day and then going home.
I was so happy, so free, so lighthearted!
And I did not realize how happy I was!
I am well and strong and still the same and in the same place.
I had a splendid card all ready, as if it were the fun of the game which interested him most.
I only want to see whether you will let me win this ten, or beat it.
When am I to receive the money, Count?
I cannot pay it all immediately.
"I say, Rostov," said Dolokhov clearly, smiling and looking Nicholas straight in the eyes, "you know the saying, 'Lucky in love, unlucky at cards.'
Your cousin is in love with you, I know.
Then when am I to have it?
"I am so glad you've come!" said Natasha, without answering him.
It's your turn to sing the ba'cawolla--I entweat you!
Did I really take it?
Papa, I have come on a matter of business.
I was nearly forgetting.
I need some money.
I told you it would not be enough.
"I promised to pay tomorrow," said Nicholas.
"Yes, yes," he muttered, "it will be difficult, I fear, difficult to raise... happens to everybody!
I am telling you the fact, said Natasha indignantly.
I come to ask you what to do, and you call it 'nonsense!'
No, Mamma, I'm not in love with him, I suppose I'm not in love with him.
No, I will do it myself, only tell me what to say.
I know he did not mean to say it, but it came out accidently.
I am so sorry for him!
I don't know how I'm to say it.
I shall speak to him myself, said the countess, indignant that they should have dared to treat this little Natasha as grown up.
I will tell him myself, and you'll listen at the door, and Natasha ran across the drawing room to the dancing hall, where Denisov was sitting on the same chair by the clavichord with his face in his hands.
No, but you are so nice... but it won't do...not that... but as a friend, I shall always love you.
"Vasili Dmitrich, I thank you for the honor," she said, with an embarrassed voice, though it sounded severe to Denisov--"but my daughter is so young, and I thought that, as my son's friend, you would have addressed yourself first to me.
"Countess, I have done w'ong," Denisov went on in an unsteady voice, "but believe me, I so adore your daughter and all your family that I would give my life twice over..."
And I," continued Pierre, "shot Dolokhov because I considered myself injured, and Louis XVI was executed because they considered him a criminal, and a year later they executed those who executed him--also for some reason.
"I have hundreds of rubles I don't know what to do with, and she stands in her tattered cloak looking timidly at me," he thought.
"I make bold to ask your excellency to move a little for this gentleman," said the postmaster, entering the room followed by another traveler, also detained for lack of horses.
You are young and I am old.
I should like to help you as far as lies in my power.
I am very grateful to you.
On the contrary, I am very glad to make your acquaintance, said Pierre.
"Yes, I belong to the Brotherhood of the Freemasons," said the stranger, looking deeper and deeper into Pierre's eyes.
And in their name and my own I hold out a brotherly hand to you.
"I know your outlook," said the Mason, "and the view of life you mention, and which you think is the result of your own mental efforts, is the one held by the majority of people, and is the invariable fruit of pride, indolence, and ignorance.
"Just as I may suppose you to be deluded," said Pierre, with a faint smile.
"I should never dare to say that I know the truth," said the Mason, whose words struck Pierre more and more by their precision and firmness.
"I ought to tell you that I do not believe... do not believe in God," said Pierre, regretfully and with an effort, feeling it essential to speak the whole truth.
"Yes, yes, I am unhappy," assented Pierre.
But what am I to do?
"If He were not," he said quietly, "you and I would not be speaking of Him, my dear sir.
If it were a man whose existence thou didst doubt I could bring him to thee, could take him by the hand and show him to thee.
"I do not understand," said Pierre, feeling with dismay doubts reawakening.
"I don't understand," he said, "how it is that the mind of man cannot attain the knowledge of which you speak."
Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure vessel and judge of its purity?
Only by the inner purification of myself can I retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive.
"No, I hate my life," Pierre muttered, wincing.
"Yes, I never thought of it, but I have led a contemptible and profligate life, though I did not like it and did not want to," thought Pierre.
"I?... I'm going to Petersburg," answered Pierre, in a childlike, hesitating voice.
I agree with all you have said.
With my whole soul I wish to be what you would have me be, but I have never had help from anyone....
But it is I, above all, who am to blame for everything.
Help me, teach me, and perhaps I may...
"I have come to you with a message and an offer, Count," he said without sitting down.
I consider it a sacred duty to fulfill that person's wishes.
"Yes, I do wish it," said he.
"One more question, Count," he said, "which I beg you to answer in all sincerity--not as a future Mason but as an honest man: have you renounced your former convictions--do you believe in God?"
"Yes... yes, I believe in God," he said.
"Yes, I do believe in God," he repeated.
"I wish you courage and success," and, pressing Pierre's hand, he went out.
I... desire regeneration, Pierre uttered with difficulty.
"No, I considered it erroneous and did not follow it," said Pierre, so softly that the Rhetor did not hear him and asked him what he was saying.
"Now I must disclose to you the chief aim of our Order," he said, "and if this aim coincides with yours, you may enter our Brotherhood with profit.
Think this over and I will come to you again.
It must be so, but I am still so weak that I love my life, the meaning of which is only now gradually opening before me.
"I am ready for everything," said Pierre.
"I must also inform you," said the Rhetor, "that our Order delivers its teaching not in words only but also by other means, which may perhaps have a stronger effect on the sincere seeker after wisdom and virtue than mere words.
"If you are resolved, I must begin your initiation," said the Rhetor coming closer to Pierre.
"But I have nothing here," replied Pierre, supposing that he was asked to give up all he possessed.
"And now, in token of candor, I ask you to reveal to me your chief passion," said the latter.
I have had so many, replied Pierre.
What am I doing?
Shan't I be ashamed to remember this?
I know all about it, and I can tell you positively that Helene is as innocent before you as Christ was before the Jews.
I know all about it and understand it all, he said.
I expect you feel it so yourself.
Prince, I did not ask you here.
A bit touched--I always said so.
I said so even at the time when everybody was in raptures about him, when he had just returned from abroad, and when, if you remember, he posed as a sort of Marat at one of my soirees.
I was against this marriage even then and foretold all that has happened.
"It is the sword of Frederick the Great which I..." she began, but Hippolyte interrupted her with the words: "Le Roi de Prusse..." and again, as soon as all turned toward him, excused himself and said no more.
I only wished to say...
There are precedents, I may mention Schwarzenberg.
I think so... but as you please, said Princess Mary, evidently intimidated and confused that her opinion had prevailed.
"But I wish it," he said.
I beg you--give it him!
Though he is a German--I congratulate him!
I can't make out what the commander at Korchevo--a certain Khandrikov--is up to; till now the additional men and provisions have not arrived.
"No, pardon me, I won't go now till the child is better," thought he, going to the door and looking into the nursery.
"Since the day of our brilliant success at Austerlitz," wrote Bilibin, "as you know, my dear prince, I never leave headquarters.
I have certainly acquired a taste for war, and it is just as well for me; what I have seen during these last three months is incredible.
I begin ab ovo.
May I have succeeded!'
I am called in to help sort the letters and take those meant for us.
I myself will remain in hospital at Ostrolenka till I recover.
I shall await your most gracious permission here in hospital, that I may not have to play the part of a secretary rather than commander in the army.
There are thousands such as I in Russia.
The Emperor proposes to give all commanders of divisions the right to shoot marauders, but I much fear this will oblige one half the army to shoot the other.
I was coming to tell you so.
"Well, I did not expect you, I am very glad," said Prince Andrew.
I can't tell you how much I have lived through since then.
I hardly know myself again.
No, I meant to ask...
I am going back to my sister today.
I will introduce you to her.
"I was very much surprised when I heard of it," said Prince Andrew.
Pierre blushed, as he always did when it was mentioned, and said hurriedly: I will tell you some time how it all happened.
"One thing I thank God for is that I did not kill that man," said Pierre.
I only know two very real evils in life: remorse and illness.
No, I can't agree with you!
I lived like that, I lived for myself and ruined my life.
No, I shall not agree with you, and you do not really believe what you are saying.
I experienced just the reverse.
I lived for glory.-- And after all what is glory?
The same love of others, a desire to do something for them, a desire for their approval.--So I lived for others, and not almost, but quite, ruined my life.
And I have become calmer since I began to live only for myself.
What error or evil can there be in my wishing to do good, and even doing a little--though I did very little and did it very badly?
What evil and error are there in it, if people were dying of disease without help while material assistance could so easily be rendered, and I supplied them with a doctor, a hospital, and an asylum for the aged?
And the main thing is," he continued, "that I know, and know for certain, that the enjoyment of doing this good is the only sure happiness in life."
I build a house and lay out a garden, and you build hospitals.
I envy him, but you want to make him what I am, without giving him my means.
But as I see it, physical labor is as essential to him, as much a condition of his existence, as mental activity is to you or me.
I go to bed after two in the morning, thoughts come and I can't sleep but toss about till dawn, because I think and can't help thinking, just as he can't help plowing and mowing; if he didn't, he would go to the drink shop or fall ill.
Just as I could not stand his terrible physical labor but should die of it in a week, so he could not stand my physical idleness, but would grow fat and die.
It would be different if you grudged losing a laborer--that's how I regard him--but you want to cure him from love of him.
I don't understand how one can live with such ideas.
I had such moments myself not long ago, in Moscow and when traveling, but at such times I collapsed so that I don't live at all--everything seems hateful to me... myself most of all.
Then I don't eat, don't wash... and how is it with you?...
I'm alive, that is not my fault, so I must live out my life as best I can without hurting others.
I should be thankful to do nothing, but here on the one hand the local nobility have done me the honor to choose me to be their marshal; it was all I could do to get out of it.
They could not understand that I have not the necessary qualifications for it--the kind of good-natured, fussy shallowness necessary for the position.
I have promised myself not to serve again in the active Russian army.
And I won't--not even if Bonaparte were here at Smolensk threatening Bald Hills--even then I wouldn't serve in the Russian army!
Well, as I was saying," he continued, recovering his composure, "now there's this recruiting.
If they are beaten, flogged, or sent to Siberia, I don't suppose they are any the worse off.
It is those people I pity, and for their sake I should like to liberate the serfs.
I shall never agree with you, said Pierre.
I myself thought like that, and do you know what saved me?
What do I think about it?
I am listening to you.
Why do I alone not see what you see?
You see a reign of goodness and truth on earth, but I don't see it.
Nor could I, and it cannot be seen if one looks on our life here as the end of everything.
If I see, clearly see, that ladder leading from plant to man, why should I suppose it breaks off at me and does not go farther and farther?
I feel that I cannot vanish, since nothing vanishes in this world, but that I shall always exist and always have existed.
I feel that beyond me and above me there are spirits, and that in this world there is truth.
And I have looked in....
She looked at him with her beautiful radiant eyes and seemed to say, "I like you very much, but please don't laugh at my people."
I am very glad to see you.
"I go by myself, benefactor," said Ivanushka, trying to speak in a bass voice.
I only came across Pelageya in Yukhnovo...
He is kind, he is one of God's chosen, he's a benefactor, he once gave me ten rubles, I remember.
When I was in Kiev, Crazy Cyril says to me (he's one of God's own and goes barefoot summer and winter), he says, 'Why are you not going to the right place?
On hearing those words I said good-by to the holy folk and went.
Oh, yes, master, I was found worthy.
And he dreamed that the Holy Virgin Mother of the Kiev catacombs came to him and said, 'Believe in me and I will make you whole.'
It's the real truth I'm telling you, I saw it myself.
I saw it myself, master, the star is fixed into the icon.
"Come, Pelageya, I was joking," said Pierre.
* "Princess, on my word, I did not wish to offend her."
Oh, I really did not mean to hurt her feelings.
I understand them so well and have the greatest respect for them.
"I have known you a long time, you see, and am as fond of you as of a brother," she said.
I am very anxious about him.
And I am also very much afraid for him spiritually.
Others don't notice it, but I see it.
He came to town and wanted to invite me to dinner--I gave him a pretty dinner!...
A fine fellow--your friend--I like him!
She is like a sister to me, and I can't tell you how it offended me... because... well, for that reason....
I ordered you not to let them eat that Mashka woot stuff!
And I saw with my own eyes how Lazarchuk bwought some fwom the fields.
"I have given the order again and again, your honor, but they don't obey," answered the quartermaster.
"I warn you, Captain," one of the officers, a short thin man, evidently very angry, was saying.
"Haven't I told you I won't give them up?" replied Denisov.
I shall answer for it and not you, and you'd better not buzz about here till you get hurt.
"I get there," began Denisov.
I go to the commissioner.
I enter, and at the table... who do you think?
Take this and this!' and I hit him so pat, stwaight on his snout...
'Ah, what a... what a...!' and I sta'ted fwashing him...
"I can't tear myself to pieces," the doctor was saying.
I shall be there.
Only we two, Makeev and I" (he pointed to the assistant), "keep on here.
I can't tell you, sir.
I am alone in charge of three hospitals with more than four hundred patients!
That one is dead, I fancy.
May I go in and look?
This is what I say: 'If I had wobbed the Tweasuwy...'
Haven't I said I'm not going to gwovel?
"I should like to see the great man," he said, alluding to Napoleon, whom hitherto he, like everyone else, had always called Buonaparte.
"I am speaking, Prince, of the Emperor Napoleon," he replied.
I've come at a bad time I think.
I should not have come, but I have business, he said coldly.
No, I only wonder how you managed to get away from your regiment.
* "In a minute I shall be at your disposal."
"I see I'm intruding," Rostov repeated.
"No, I came on business," replied Rostov, briefly.
I have heard of such cases and know that His Majesty is very severe in such affairs.
I think it would be best not to bring it before the Emperor, but to apply to the commander of the corps....
But in general, I think...
On the contrary, I will do what I can.
Boris doesn't want to help me and I don't want to ask him.
All is over between us, but I won't leave here without having done all I can for Denisov and certainly not without getting his letter to the Emperor.
"I may see him at any moment," thought Rostov.
If only I were to hand the letter direct to him and tell him all... could they really arrest me for my civilian clothes?
I will fall at his feet and beseech him.
"I come from Major Denisov," answered Rostov.
I cannot do it, General.
I cannot, because the law is stronger than I, and he raised his foot to the stirrup.
"Sire, I ask your permission to present the Legion of Honor to the bravest of your soldiers," said a sharp, precise voice, articulating every letter.
Tomorrow, I hear, the Preobrazhenskis will give them a dinner.
"Oh, the spring, I suppose," he thought as he turned round.
Look at those cramped dead firs, ever the same, and at me too, sticking out my broken and barked fingers just where they have grown, whether from my back or my sides: as they have grown so I stand, and I do not believe in your hopes and your lies.
I won't, I can't sleep, what's the use?
"You go to sleep, but I can't," said the first voice, coming nearer to the window.
I feel like sitting down on my heels, putting my arms round my knees like this, straining tight, as tight as possible, and flying away!
"Yes, here in this forest was that oak with which I agreed," thought Prince Andrew.
"I am not petitioning, your excellency," returned Prince Andrew quietly.
I am not petitioning about anything.
I have endorsed a resolution on your memorandum and sent it to the committee.
I do not approve of it, said Arakcheev, rising and taking a paper from his writing table.
I don't want one.
I have the honor...
"There's one thing I don't understand," he continued.
Just the same as now--I ask you, Count--who will be heads of the departments when everybody has to pass examinations?
"Those who pass the examinations, I suppose," replied Kochubey, crossing his legs and glancing round.
Well, I have Pryanichnikov serving under me, a splendid man, a priceless man, but he's sixty.
I am very glad to make your acquaintance.
I had heard of you, as everyone has, he said after a pause.
I hope you will find him sympathetic and ready to co- operate in promoting all that is reasonable.
I began the service from the lower grade.
"I think, however, that these condemnations have some ground," returned Prince Andrew, trying to resist Speranski's influence, of which he began to be conscious.
"I do not dispute that, but it cannot be denied that court privileges have attained the same end," returned Prince Andrew.
"If you will do me the honor of calling on me on Wednesday," he added, "I will, after talking with Magnitski, let you know what may interest you, and shall also have the pleasure of a more detailed chat with you."
It was evident that the thought could never occur to him which to Prince Andrew seemed so natural, namely, that it is after all impossible to express all one thinks; and that he had never felt the doubt, "Is not all I think and believe nonsense?"
I have just returned from my benefactor, and hasten to write down what I have experienced.
I told him everything as best I could, and told him what I had proposed to our Petersburg lodge, of the bad reception I had encountered, and of my rupture with the Brothers.
Joseph Alexeevich, having remained silent and thoughtful for a good while, told me his view of the matter, which at once lit up for me my whole past and the future path I should follow.
He surprised me by asking whether I remembered the threefold aim of the order: (1) The preservation and study of the mystery.
On this ground Joseph Alexeevich condemned my speech and my whole activity, and in the depth of my soul I agreed with him.
Talking of my family affairs he said to me, the chief duty of a true Mason, as I have told you, lies in perfecting himself.
I am again living with my wife.
I knew that if I once let myself see her I should not have strength to go on refusing what she wanted.
In my perplexity I did not know whose aid and advice to seek.
But if I forgive her for the sake of doing right, then let union with her have only a spiritual aim.
That is what I decided, and what I wrote to Joseph Alexeevich.
I told my wife that I begged her to forget the past, to forgive me whatever wrong I may have done her, and that I had nothing to forgive.
"What a strange antipathy," thought Pierre, "yet I used to like him very much."
Returned home for dinner and dined alone--the countess had many visitors I do not like.
I ate and drank moderately and after dinner copied out some passages for the Brothers.
I am going to bed with a happy and tranquil mind.
I got up late.
On waking I lay long in bed yielding to sloth.
I feel myself weak and unworthy.
I nominated him and was the Rhetor.
A strange feeling agitated me all the time I was alone with him in the dark chamber.
I caught myself harboring a feeling of hatred toward him which I vainly tried to overcome.
That is why I should really like to save him from evil and lead him into the path of truth, but evil thoughts of him did not leave me.
I could not be eloquent, nor could I frankly mention my doubts to the Brothers and to the Grand Master.
I wished to meditate, but instead my imagination pictured an occurrence of four years ago, when Dolokhov, meeting me in Moscow after our duel, said he hoped I was enjoying perfect peace of mind in spite of my wife's absence.
At the time I gave him no answer.
Now I recalled every detail of that meeting and in my mind gave him the most malevolent and bitter replies.
I recollected myself and drove away that thought only when I found myself glowing with anger, but I did not sufficiently repent.
His coming vexed me from the first, and I said something disagreeable to him.
I flared up and said much that was unpleasant and even rude to him.
He became silent, and I recollected myself only when it was too late.
My God, I cannot get on with him at all.
After dinner I fell asleep and as I was drowsing off I clearly heard a voice saying in my left ear, "Thy day!"
I dreamed that I was walking in the dark and was suddenly surrounded by dogs, but I went on undismayed.
I began to throttle it with my hands.
Scarcely had I torn it off before another, a bigger one, began biting me.
I lifted it up, but the higher I lifted it the bigger and heavier it grew.
I stepped on it, but it bent and gave way and I began to clamber up a fence which I could scarcely reach with my hands.
After much effort I dragged myself up, so that my leg hung down on one side and my body on the other.
I looked round and saw Brother A. standing on the fence and pointing me to a broad avenue and garden, and in the garden was a large and beautiful building.
I dreamed that Joseph Alexeevich was sitting in my house, and that I was very glad and wished to entertain him.
It seemed as if I chattered incessantly with other people and suddenly remembered that this could not please him, and I wished to come close to him and embrace him.
But as soon as I drew near I saw that his face had changed and grown young, and he was quietly telling me something about the teaching of our order, but so softly that I could not hear it.
He was telling me something, and I wished to show him my sensibility, and not listening to what he was saying I began picturing to myself the condition of my inner man and the grace of God sanctifying me.
And tears came into my eyes, and I was glad he noticed this.
He lay down on the edge of it and I burned with longing to caress him and lie down too.
I think you know it already.
Abashed by this question, I replied that sloth was my chief temptation.
But I replied that I should be ashamed to do it, and suddenly everything vanished.
And I awoke and found in my mind the text from the Gospel: The life was the light of men.
That day I received a letter from my benefactor in which he wrote about "conjugal duties."
I had a dream from which I awoke with a throbbing heart.
I saw that I was in Moscow in my house, in the big sitting room, and Joseph Alexeevich came in from the drawing room.
I seemed to know at once that the process of regeneration had already taken place in him, and I rushed to meet him.
I embraced him and kissed his hands, and he said, "Hast thou noticed that my face is different?"
I looked at him, still holding him in my arms, and saw that his face was young, but that he had no hair on his head and his features were quite changed.
And I said, "I should have known you had I met you by chance," and I thought to myself, "Am I telling the truth?"
And suddenly I saw him lying like a dead body; then he gradually recovered and went with me into my study carrying a large book of sheets of drawing paper; I said, "I drew that," and he answered by bowing his head.
And in my dream I knew that these drawings represented the love adventures of the soul with its beloved.
And on its pages I saw a beautiful representation of a maiden in transparent garments and with a transparent body, flying up to the clouds.
And I seemed to know that this maiden was nothing else than a representation of the Song of Songs.
And looking at those drawings I dreamed I felt that I was doing wrong, but could not tear myself away from them.
I shall perish of my debauchery if Thou utterly desertest me!
"You see," said Berg to his comrade, whom he called "friend" only because he knew that everyone has friends, "you see, I have considered it all, and should not marry if I had not thought it all out or if it were in any way unsuitable.
But on the contrary, my papa and mamma are now provided for--I have arranged that rent for them in the Baltic Provinces--and I can live in Petersburg on my pay, and with her fortune and my good management we can get along nicely.
I have my position in the service, she has connections and some means.
And I love her, because her character is sensible and very good.
I like your being businesslike about it....
"I should think so!" replied Natasha's laughing eyes.
What is it tonight?--But I have to tell you...
I know," she said seriously; "that's what I have come about.
Don't say it--I know.
At your age I was married.
He is very nice, and I love him like a son.
You have quite turned his head, I can see that....
"But if I want to..." said Natasha.
But if I want to...
I had a cousin...
Because I know it will end in nothing....
Well, I won't marry, but let him come if he enjoys it and I enjoy it.
No, he is a Freemason, I have found out.
How can I explain it to you?
I can't do it like that, said the maid who was holding Natasha's hair.
I have only my cap to pin on.
I hear they will marry him to that rich girl.
I can't bear him.
She was not concerned about the Emperor or any of those great people whom Peronskaya was pointing out--she had but one thought: Is it possible no one will ask me, that I shall not be among the first to dance?
They must know how I long to dance, how splendidly I dance, and how they would enjoy dancing with me.
I have a protegee, the young Rostova, here.
"I have the pleasure of being already acquainted, if the countess remembers me," said Prince Andrew with a low and courteous bow quite belying Peronskaya's remarks about his rudeness, and approaching Natasha he held out his arm to grasp her waist before he had completed his invitation.
"I have never enjoyed myself so much before!" she said, and Prince Andrew noticed how her thin arms rose quickly as if to embrace her father and instantly dropped again.
"Yes, I am very glad," he said.
I promised to go to a reception.
"Why do I strive, why do I toil in this narrow, confined frame, when life, all life with all its joys, is open to me?" said he to himself.
"I must use my freedom while I feel so much strength and youth in me," he said to himself.
Pierre was right when he said one must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and now I do believe in it.
Unfortunately she could not grant my request, but I hope, Count, I shall be more fortunate with you, he said with a smile.
I am at your service.
I wished to ask the countess and you to do me the honor of coming to tea and to supper.
But don't be late, Count, if I may venture to ask; about ten minutes to eight, please.
See how I managed from my first promotion.
And how have I obtained all this?
"Yes," answered Vera, "I don't at all want that.
That is what I consider true love.
Yes, I know him...
I expect he has told you of his childish love for Natasha?
I must have a talk with you, said Prince Andrew.
"I... but no, I will talk to you later on," and with a strange light in his eyes and restlessness in his movements, Prince Andrew approached Natasha and sat down beside her.
Only I feel afraid in his presence.
I am always afraid when I'm with him.
All the same I shan't sleep.
Already then, directly I saw him I felt something peculiar.
Darling Mummy, how I love you!
How happy I am! cried Natasha, shedding tears of joy and excitement and embracing her mother.
And I, you see, am hard at it.
"Well, dear heart," said he, "I wanted to tell you about it yesterday and I have come to do so today.
I never experienced anything like it before.
I am in love, my friend!
At last I live, but I can't live without her!
What did I tell you? said Pierre suddenly, rising and beginning to pace up and down the room.
I always thought it....
And I am sure there will not be a happier man than you.
"She does, I know," Pierre cried fiercely.
Do you know the condition I am in?
I must talk about it to someone.
"I should not have believed anyone who told me that I was capable of such love," said Prince Andrew.
It is not at all the same feeling that I knew in the past.
"Darkness and gloom," reiterated Pierre: "yes, yes, I understand that."
I cannot help loving the light, it is not my fault.
And I am very happy!
I know you are glad for my sake.
"If only they would let me end my days as I want to," thought the old man, "then they might do as they please."
I don't think, and don't want to think about it!
And I don't at all want to get married.
And I am afraid of him; I have now become quite calm, quite calm.
I don't want... to be tormented?
I had to talk over a very important matter with him.
I only got back last night," he said glancing at Natasha; "I want to have a talk with you, Countess," he added after a moment's pause.
"I am at your disposal," she murmured.
I will call you, said the countess in a whisper.
"I have come, Countess, to ask for your daughter's hand," said Prince Andrew.
(she grew confused) is agreeable to us, and I accept your offer.
I hope... but it will depend on her....
I will speak to her when I have your consent....
My father, to whom I have told my plans, has made it an express condition of his consent that the wedding is not to take place for a year.
And I wished to tell you of that, said Prince Andrew.
"I will send her to you," said the countess, and left the room.
I have loved you from the very first moment I saw you.
"You know that from the very day you first came to Otradnoe I have loved you," she cried, quite convinced that she spoke the truth.
I shall die, waiting a year: it's impossible, it's awful!
I am so happy.
I cannot take him away from his grandfather, and besides...
Do you know I have entrusted him with our secret?
I have known him from childhood.
"Whatever trouble may come," Prince Andrew continued, "I beg you, Mademoiselle Sophie, whatever may happen, to turn to him alone for advice and help!
Your loss is so terrible that I can only explain it to myself as a special providence of God who, loving you, wishes to try you and your excellent mother.
Religion, and religion alone, can--I will not say comfort us--but save us from despair.
The first death I saw, and one I shall never forget--that of my dear sister-in-law--left that impression on me.
Five years have passed since then, and already I, with my petty understanding, begin to see clearly why she had to die, and in what way that death was but an expression of the infinite goodness of the Creator, whose every action, though generally incomprehensible to us, is but a manifestation of His infinite love for His creatures.
Perhaps, I often think, she was too angelically innocent to have the strength to perform all a mother's duties.
As it is, not only has she left us, and particularly Prince Andrew, with the purest regrets and memories, but probably she will there receive a place I dare not hope for myself.
Then, at the moment of our loss, these thoughts could not occur to me; I should then have dismissed them with horror, but now they are very clear and certain.
In spite of my wish to see you, I do not think so and do not want to do so.
He, as I wrote you before, has changed very much of late.
He has again become as I used to know him when a child: kind, affectionate, with that heart of gold to which I know no equal.
I am anxious about him and glad he is taking this trip abroad which the doctors recommended long ago.
I hope it will cure him.
I do not think my brother will ever marry again, and certainly not her; and this is why: first, I know that though he rarely speaks about the wife he has lost, the grief of that loss has gone too deep in his heart for him ever to decide to give her a successor and our little angel a stepmother.
Secondly because, as far as I know, that girl is not the kind of girl who could please Prince Andrew.
I do not think he would choose her for a wife, and frankly I do not wish it.
But I am running on too long and am at the end of my second sheet.
If the doctors did not keep me here at the spas I should be back in Russia, but as it is I have to postpone my return for three months.
I want nothing from him.
It won't be long--I shall soon set him free.
"Why shouldn't I marry her?" he asked his daughter.
I shall come to a place and pray there, and before having time to get used to it or getting to love it, I shall go farther.
I am so tranquil and happy now.
"How shall I put it?" replied Natasha.
I was in love with Boris, with my teacher, and with Denisov, but this is quite different.
I feel at peace and settled.
I know that no better man than he exists, and I am calm and contented now.
And don't attach importance to her being so bright: that's because she's living through the last days of her girlhood, but I know what she is like every time we receive a letter from him!
"I knew," thought Nicholas, "that I should never understand anything in this crazy world."
I know he is!
And what I have done, I have done; but, if you like, I won't speak to him again.
No, I beg you to attend to the business.
Forgive me if I have caused you unpleasantness.
I understand it all less than you do.
Well, I don't like Anna Mikhaylovna and I don't like Boris, but they were our friends and poor.
"I sent Uvarka at dawn to listen," his bass boomed out after a minute's pause.
I knew you would!
Sonya said you wouldn't go, but I knew that today is the sort of day when you couldn't help going.
I shall certainly go, said Natasha decisively.
I was sure of it," began "Uncle."
I knew you wouldn't be able to resist it and it's a good thing you're going.
"I know a thing or two myself!" said Nastasya Ivanovna.
He understands the matter so well that Daniel and I are often quite astounded, said Simon, well knowing what would please his master.
Everywhere, at cards and in war, I am always unlucky.
"Only once in my life to get an old wolf, I want only that!" thought he, straining eyes and ears and looking to the left and then to the right and listening to the slightest variation of note in the cries of the dogs.
Shall I loose them or not?
I gave him one with the fox.
"I don't understand," continued Ilagin, "how some sportsmen can be so jealous about game and dogs.
For myself, I can tell you, Count, I enjoy riding in company such as this... what could be better?
(he again raised his cap to Natasha) "but as for counting skins and what one takes, I don't care about that."
All I care about is to enjoy seeing the chase, is it not so, Count?
"Ah, he has found one, I think," said Ilagin carelessly.
How can I join in?
Well, I am like any other dog as long as it's not a question of coursing.
I did once, but gave it up.
I am not fit for it.
I can't make head or tail of it.
That's for you--I haven't brains enough.
I have got him a good balalayka.
I haven't touched it for a long time.
Fetching water clear and sweet, Stop, dear maiden, I entreat--
I feel so comfortable! answered Natasha, almost perplexed by her feelings.
"I?" said Nicholas, trying to remember.
Well, you see, first I thought that Rugay, the red hound, was like Uncle, and that if he were a man he would always keep Uncle near him, if not for his riding, then for his manner.
Yes, first I thought that we are driving along and imagining that we are going home, but that heaven knows where we are really going in the darkness, and that we shall arrive and suddenly find that we are not in Otradnoe, but in Fairyland.
And then I thought...
"I know, I expect you thought of him," said Nicholas, smiling as Natasha knew by the sound of his voice.
And then I was saying to myself all the way, 'How well Anisya carried herself, how well!'
I have no other friend like her and never shall have.
It is your happiness I wish for, she added, feeling that she was telling an untruth and was becoming entangled.
I would sacrifice anything for you--even my feelings.
"Maybe I do love a poor girl," said Nicholas to himself.
Am I to sacrifice my feelings and my honor for money?
I wonder how Mamma could speak so to me.
Because Sonya is poor I must not love her," he thought, "must not respond to her faithful, devoted love?
I can always sacrifice my feelings for my family's welfare," he said to himself, "but I can't coerce my feelings.
If I love Sonya, that feeling is for me stronger and higher than all else.
Him... I want him... now, this minute!
I want him! said Natasha, with glittering eyes and no sign of a smile.
Don't look; I shall cry directly.
Mamma, I want him.
Why should I be wasted like this, Mamma?
"What can I do with them?" thought Natasha.
Oh, Nikita, please go... where can I send him?...
"What can I do, where can I go?" thought she, as she went slowly along the passage.
"Nastasya Ivanovna, what sort of children shall I have?" she asked the buffoon, who was coming toward her in a woman's jacket.
Oh, where am I to go?
What am I to do with myself?
That's just how she started and just how she came up smiling timidly when all this happened before," thought Natasha, "and in just the same way I thought there was something lacking in her."
I am just finishing the design.
"You always find something to do, but I can't," said Natasha.
Tell him I want him to come and sing.
I am so afraid it will never be!
And, worst of all, I am growing old--that's the thing!
Perhaps he came yesterday and I have forgotten it.
"I should think so!" he replied.
I have felt like that when everything was all right and everyone was cheerful.
The thought has come into my mind that I was already tired of it all, and that we must all die.
Once in the regiment I had not gone to some merrymaking where there was music... and suddenly I felt so depressed...
Oh yes, I know, I know, I know!
When I was quite little that used to be so with me.
Do you remember when I was punished once about some plums?
You were all dancing, and I sat sobbing in the schoolroom?
I shall never forget it: I felt sad and sorry for everyone, for myself, and for everyone.
And I was innocent--that was the chief thing, said Natasha.
"I remember," answered Nicholas.
I remember that I came to you afterwards and wanted to comfort you, but do you know, I felt ashamed to.
I had a funny doll then and wanted to give it to you.
Of course I remember.
"Yes, yes, I do remember something too," Sonya answered timidly.
Of course I do, I remember his teeth as if I had just seen them.
"No, I don't believe we ever were in animals," said Natasha, still in a whisper though the music had ceased.
"May I join you?" said Dimmler who had come up quietly, and he sat down by them.
How do I know what I was before?
The soul is immortal--well then, if I shall always live I must have lived before, lived for a whole eternity.
"Mamma, I don't at all want to," replied Natasha, but all the same she rose.
"Zakhar is shouting that I should turn to the left, but why to the left?" thought Nicholas.
"I think this used to be Natasha," thought Nicholas, "and that was Madame Schoss, but perhaps it's not, and this Circassian with the mustache I don't know, but I love her."
I know by the horses, replied some voices.
I didn't know him!
I can't look at him... different voices were saying.
I suppose it is one of the Rostovs!
Yes, I will; Pelageya Danilovna, let me!
"Louisa Ivanovna, may I?" asked Sonya.
May I go at once?
"Natasha!" he whispered in French, "do you know I have made up my mind about Sonya?"
I am so glad, so glad!
I was beginning to be vexed with you.
Now I am so glad!
So you are glad and I have done right?
I nearly stormed at Mamma.
I will never let anyone say anything bad of Sonya, for there is nothing but good in her.
"I see someone with a mustache," said Natasha, seeing her own face.
"Why is it others see things and I don't?" she said.
Today I feel so frightened!
I know she will.
But why shouldn't I say I saw something?
Besides who can tell whether I saw anything or not? flashed through Sonya's mind.
"Yes, I saw him," she said.
At first there was nothing, then I saw him lying down.
After that, I could not make out what there was; something blue and red...
When shall I see him!
Be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, I tell you!... she almost screamed, so as to drown his voice.
I have tried, and have always found that they too in the depths of their souls understand it as I do, and only try not to see it.
But I--what is to become of me? thought he.
I have a solution ready, but have no time now--I'll think it all out later on!
I said it twice... and he doesn't obey!
"And if you allow yourself," he screamed in a fury, addressing Princess Mary for the first time, "to forget yourself again before her as you dared to do yesterday, I will show you who is master in this house.
"He is old and feeble, and I dare to condemn him!" she thought at such moments, with a feeling of revulsion against herself.
"You don't understand?" shouted the prince, "but I do!
Be off, I tell you...
Keep calm, I will call again tomorrow, said Metivier; and putting his fingers to his lips he hastened away.
I cannot endure any more, he said, and left the room.
I have thought it over, and it will be carried out--we must part; so find some place for yourself....
On that day I always go to pay my devotions to the relics of Prince Nicholas Bolkonski.
He shifts the Dukes about as I might move my serfs from Bald Hills to Bogucharovo or my Ryazan estates.
"I have read our protests about the Oldenburg affair and was surprised how badly the Note was worded," remarked Count Rostopchin in the casual tone of a man dealing with a subject quite familiar to him.
Yes, I heard something: he said something awkward in His Majesty's presence.
I turned him out of my house this morning.
I went to a party last night, and there out of five ladies three were Roman Catholics and had the Pope's indulgence for doing woolwork on Sundays.
And they themselves sit there nearly naked, like the signboards at our Public Baths if I may say so.
His words are music, I never tire of hearing him! said the old prince, keeping hold of the hand and offering his cheek to be kissed.
"May I stay a little longer?" he said, letting his stout body sink into an armchair beside her.
Because I have noticed that when a young man comes on leave from Petersburg to Moscow it is usually with the object of marrying an heiress.
I can read him like a book.
"It would be a relief," thought she, "if I ventured to confide what I am feeling to someone.
I should like to tell everything to Pierre.
"Oh, my God, Count, there are moments when I would marry anybody!" she cried suddenly to her own surprise and with tears in her voice.
I don't know what is the matter with me today.
Don't take any notice-- forget what I have said!
I was told they are coming soon.
I am also expecting Andrew any day.
I should like them to meet here.
I only wish I could spare my brother the first moments.
I wish they would come sooner.
I hope to be friends with her.
"I don't know how to answer your question," he said, blushing without knowing why.
I really don't know what sort of girl she is; I can't analyze her at all.
She is enchanting, but what makes her so I don't know.
Princess Mary sighed, and the expression on her face said: "Yes, that's what I expected and feared."
Ah, I so long to like her!
Tell her so if you see her before I do.
"I hear they are expected very soon," said Pierre.
"Ah, my dear, I can't tell you how fond I have grown of Julie latterly," she said to her son.
"And how I pity her mother," she went on; "today she showed me her accounts and letters from Penza (they have enormous estates there), and she, poor thing, has no one to help her, and they do cheat her so!"
"My dear," said Anna Mikhaylovna to her son, "I know from a reliable source that Prince Vasili has sent his son to Moscow to get him married to Julie.
I am so fond of Julie that I should be sorry for her.
"I can always arrange so as not to see her often," thought Boris.
I suppose you'll have everything new.
I congratulate you on your betrothed.
I am glad for your sake and I've known him since he was so high.
I like him and all his family.
You see I have known him a long time and am also fond of Mary, your future sister-in-law.
Am I right or not?
I beg you to excuse me, to excuse me...
I did not know, madam.
God is my witness, I did not know you had honored us with a visit, and I came in such a costume only to see my daughter.
I beg you to excuse me...
God is my witness, I didn't know-" he repeated, stressing the word "God" so unnaturally and so unpleasantly that Princess Mary stood with downcast eyes not daring to look either at her father or at Natasha.
I beg you to excuse me, excuse me!
God is my witness, I did not know, muttered the old man, and after looking Natasha over from head to foot he went out.
"I couldn't begin talking about him in the presence of that Frenchwoman," thought Natasha.
"I think, Princess, it is not convenient to speak of that now," she said with external dignity and coldness, though she felt the tears choking her.
"What have I said and what have I done?" thought she, as soon as she was out of the room.
I can't tell you, I don't know.
I would not be silly and afraid of things, I would simply embrace him, cling to him, and make him look at me with those searching inquiring eyes with which he has so often looked at me, and then I would make him laugh as he used to laugh.
And his eyes--how I see those eyes! thought Natasha.
No, I had better not think of him; not think of him but forget him, quite forget him for the present.
I can't bear this waiting and I shall cry in a minute! and she turned away from the glass, making an effort not to cry.
"Oh yes, I heard it today," said Shinshin, coming into the Rostovs' box.
If only they knew how little I am concerned about any of them.
"I suppose it has to be like this!" she thought.
The whole town is singing their praises and I don't even know them!
"I want to become a Moscovite too, now," said Helene.
I have already heard much of you in Petersburg and wanted to get to know you, said she to Natasha with her stereotyped and lovely smile.
I had heard about you from my page, Drubetskoy.
But now I like it very much indeed, he said, looking at her significantly.
Ought I to put it right? she asked herself, and she could not refrain from turning round.
I am lost! she said to herself.
How could I let him?
What was that terror I felt of him?
I have done nothing, I didn't lead him on at all.
Nobody will know and I shall never see him again, she told herself.
"I will tell my sister to ask her to dinner," said Anatole.
"You know, I adore little girls, they lose their heads at once," pursued Anatole.
"I don't like those fashionable churches," she said, evidently priding herself on her independence of thought.
I don't like it, it's just self-indulgence!
No, I won't let you off!
My husband is away in Tver or I would send him to fetch you.
So she knows I am engaged, and she and her husband Pierre--that good Pierre--have talked and laughed about this.
I don't care to have anything to do with Bezukhova and don't advise you to; however, if you've promised--go.
"I don't think so when I look at you!" said Anatole, following Natasha.
You are enchanting... from the moment I saw you I have never ceased...
What can I do? said he.
I tell you I am madly, madly, in love with you!
I cannot come to visit you but is it possible that I shall never see you?
I love you madly.
Can I never...? and, blocking her path, he brought his face close to hers.
I have nothing to say, her eyes replied.
It means that he is kind, noble, and splendid, and I could not help loving him.
"Well, friends, I have now thought the whole matter over and this is my advice," she began.
Yesterday, as you know, I went to see Prince Bolkonski.
Well, I had a talk with him....
He took it into his head to begin shouting, but I am not one to be shouted down.
I said what I had to say!
And I am sorry I went to see him and took her, said the old count.
Though I don't like letting you go, it is the best way.
What I say is true!
Only so could I be completely happy; but now I have to choose, and I can't be happy without either of them.
But am I really to abandon forever the joy of Prince Andrew's love, in which I have lived so long?
I love him! thought Natasha, reading the letter for the twentieth time and finding some peculiarly deep meaning in each word of it.
How was it I noticed nothing?
"No, Sonya, I can't any longer!" she said.
I can't hide it from you any longer.
"Ah, Sonya, if you only knew how happy I am!" cried Natasha.
"But I can't believe it," insisted Sonya.
Natasha, I don't believe you, you're joking!
It seems to me that I have never loved anyone before.
I had heard that it happens like this, and you must have heard it too, but it's only now that I feel such love.
As soon as I saw him I felt he was my master and I his slave, and that I could not help loving him.
Whatever he orders I shall do.
What can I do?
I can't leave it like this.
"I told you that I have no will," Natasha replied.
Then I won't let it come to that...
I shall tell! cried Sonya, bursting into tears.
I have confided in you....
You know Prince Andrew gave you complete freedom--if it is really so; but I don't believe it!
I don't know what the reasons are.
If he is an honorable man he should either declare his intentions or cease seeing you; and if you won't do this, I will.
I will write to him, and I will tell Papa! said Sonya resolutely.
"But I can't live without him!" cried Natasha.
Natasha, I don't understand you.
I don't want anyone, I don't love anyone but him.
Don't you know that I love him? screamed Natasha.
I don't want to quarrel with you, but go, for God's sake go!
You see how I am suffering!
Natasha, how glad I am you're not angry with me!
Oh, Sonya, if you knew him as I do!
He asked me what I had promised Bolkonski.
He was glad I was free to refuse him.
I don't think anything, only I don't understand this...
I don't think badly of anyone: I love and pity everybody.
But what am I to do?
"Natasha," said she, "you asked me not to speak to you, and I haven't spoken, but now you yourself have begun.
I don't trust him, Natasha.
Natasha, I am afraid for you!
It won't be you, but I, who'll suffer.
What am I to do?
"Well, anyway," thought Sonya as she stood in the dark passage, "now or never I must prove that I remember the family's goodness to me and that I love Nicholas.
If I don't sleep for three nights I'll not leave this passage and will hold her back by force and will and not let the family be disgraced, thought she.
I am speaking seriously.
Why should I joke about it?
I did it all.
Do you think I am not grateful?
I helped you, but all the same I must tell you the truth; it is a dangerous business, and if you think about it--a stupid business.
Didn't I explain to you?
Then, I don't know....
"I don't want to," answered Anatole continuing to smile.
I am quite out of horses.
"I say, Balaga," said Anatole, putting his hands on the man's shoulders, "do you care for me or not?
"When they are dead, what shall I drive?" said Balaga with a wink.
I think you remember that, your excellency?
"Do you know, one Christmas I drove from Tver," said Anatole, smilingly at the recollection and turning to Makarin who gazed rapturously at him with wide-open eyes.
I couldn't hold them in, my hands grew numb in the sharp frost so that I threw down the reins--'Catch hold yourself, your excellency!' says I, and I just tumbled on the bottom of the sleigh and sprawled there.
I am going abroad.
Ah, Prince, how sorry I am to part from you!
I have heard what elopements are like, continued Dolokhov with a wink.
Fool, I told you the sable one!
I won't hear a word.
It's no use pretending: you listen when I speak to you!
Listen when I speak!
I'd treat you differently, but I'm sorry for your father, so I will conceal it.
"Do you hear what I am saying or not?" she added.
I shall die! she muttered, wrenching herself from Marya Dmitrievna's hands with a vicious effort and sinking down again into her former position.
I wish for your good.
Lie still, stay like that then, I won't touch you.
I won't tell you how guilty you are.
But when your father comes back tomorrow what am I to tell him?
"I have no betrothed: I have refused him!" cried Natasha.
He, your father, I know him... if he challenges him to a duel will that be all right?
What wouldn't I give to be like him! he thought enviously.
For fifty-eight years have I lived in this world and never known anything so disgraceful!
And I will go and tell her it is no use expecting him!
I do so regret having come here....
I will be frank with you.
Let him tell you whether I have told the truth.
Yes, I have just seen him.
I must speak to you, he added in French.
"When I tell you that I must talk to you!..." repeated Pierre.
"You're a scoundrel and a blackguard, and I don't know what deprives me from the pleasure of smashing your head with this!" said Pierre, expressing himself so artificially because he was talking French.
I... I didn't think of it.
I never promised, because...
"I shan't be violent, don't be afraid!" said Pierre in answer to a frightened gesture of Anatole's.
I know I can't prevent your doing so, but if you have a spark of conscience...
"I don't know about that, eh?" said Anatole, growing more confident as Pierre mastered his wrath.
"I don't know that and don't want to," he said, not looking at Pierre and with a slight tremor of his lower jaw, "but you have used such words to me--'mean' and so on--which as a man of honor I can't allow anyone to use."
"Though it was tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte," Anatole continued, "still I can't..."
"I take them back, I take them back!" said Pierre, "and I ask you to forgive me."
I know his pride will not let him express his feelings, but still he has taken it better, far better, than I expected.
"Yes, I am well," he said in answer to Pierre's question, and smiled.
I do not, and never did, like Speranski personally, but I like justice!
I have received a refusal from Countess Rostova and have heard reports of your brother-in-law having sought her hand, or something of that kind.
"I much regret her illness," said Prince Andrew; and he smiled like his father, coldly, maliciously, and unpleasantly.
"And where is your brother-in-law now, if I may ask?" he said.
But I don't know, said Pierre.
Tell Countess Rostova that she was and is perfectly free and that I wish her all that is good.
"I say, do you remember our discussion in Petersburg?" asked Pierre, "about..."
I said that a fallen woman should be forgiven, but I didn't say I could forgive her.
"Yes... I will tell him," answered Pierre; "but..."
"No, I know all is over," she said hurriedly.
I'm only tormented by the wrong I have done him.
Tell him only that I beg him to forgive, forgive, forgive me for everything....
"I will tell him, I will tell him everything once more," said Pierre.
But... I should like to know one thing....
I should like to know, did you love...
But I don't know, don't know at all....
I am not worth it! exclaimed Natasha and turned to leave the room, but Pierre held her hand.
If I were not myself, but the handsomest, cleverest, and best man in the world, and were free, I would this moment ask on my knees for your hand and your love!
Where can I go now?
I've seen him twice, as I see you now.
I saw him give the cross to one of the veterans....
I will not make peace as long as a single armed enemy remains in my country!
Yesterday I learned that, despite the loyalty with which I have kept my engagements with Your Majesty, your troops have crossed the Russian frontier, and I have this moment received from Petersburg a note, in which Count Lauriston informs me, as a reason for this aggression, that Your Majesty has considered yourself to be in a state of war with me from the time Prince Kuragin asked for his passports.
In fact, the ambassador, as he himself has declared, was never authorized to make that demand, and as soon as I was informed of it I let him know how much I disapproved of it and ordered him to remain at his post.
In the contrary case, Your Majesty, I shall see myself forced to repel an attack that nothing on my part has provoked.
I won't detain you longer, General.
I will send it to the Emperor.
"You are perfectly at liberty to treat me with respect or not," protested Balashev, "but permit me to observe that I have the honor to be adjutant general to His Majesty...."
I have received the letter you brought from the Emperor Alexander and am very glad to see you.
"I desire peace, no less than the Emperor Alexander," he began.
Have I not for eighteen months been doing everything to obtain it?
I have waited eighteen months for explanations.
If you gave me Petersburg and Moscow I could not accept such conditions.
You say I have begun this war!
And you offer me negotiations when I have expended millions, when you are in alliance with England, and when your position is a bad one.
I hear you have made peace with Turkey?
Yes, I know you have made peace with the Turks without obtaining Moldavia and Wallachia; I would have given your sovereign those provinces as I gave him Finland.
Barclay is said to be the most capable of them all, but I cannot say so, judging by his first movements.
I know the number of your battalions as exactly as I know my own.
You have not two hundred thousand men, and I have three times that number.
I give you my word of honor," said Napoleon, forgetting that his word of honor could carry no weight--"I give you my word of honor that I have five hundred and thirty thousand men this side of the Vistula.
"But what do I care about your allies?" said Napoleon.
I have allies-- the Poles.
Yes, I will throw you back beyond the Dvina and beyond the Dnieper, and will re- erect against you that barrier which it was criminal and blind of Europe to allow to be destroyed.
Napoleon nodded condescendingly, as if to say, I know it's your duty to say that, but you don't believe it yourself.
I have convinced you.
I will detain you no longer, General; you shall receive my letter to the Emperor.
"I beg your Majesty's pardon," returned Balashev, "besides Russia there is Spain, where there are also many churches and monasteries."
That I do not... understand.
Has he not thought that I may do the same? and he turned inquiringly to Balashev, and evidently this thought turned him back on to the track of his morning's anger, which was still fresh in him.
"And let him know that I will do so!" said Napoleon, rising and pushing his cup away with his hand.
He doesn't understand, so I must explain it, and he must hear me out, thought the old prince.
If there is any misunderstanding and discord between you and Mary, I can't blame her for it at all.
I know how she loves and respects you.
"Thank God that I can," replied Prince Andrew.
I am very sorry you can't.
"I understand you" (she looked down).
If I were a woman I would do so, Mary.
"If Mary is already persuading me to forgive, it means that I ought long ago to have punished him," he thought.
And I am off to the army.
I myself don't know.
I want to meet that man whom I despise, so as to give him a chance to kill and laugh at me!
I am very glad to see you!
Why, you yourselves know everything better than I do.
The best generals I have known were, on the contrary, stupid or absent-minded men.
But now, at the commencement of the campaign, I should feel dishonored, not only in my comrades' eyes but in my own, if I preferred my own happiness to my love and duty to the Fatherland.
I have come from the staff, Count.
"I can't stand this any more," said Ilyin, noticing that Rostov did not relish Zdrzhinski's conversation.
It is not the sugar I want, but only that your little hand should stir my tea.
"No, gentlemen, you have had your sleep, but I have not slept for two nights," replied the doctor, and he sat down morosely beside his wife, waiting for the game to end.
Before Rostov had decided what to do with him, the officer cried, "I surrender!"
Have I disgraced myself in any way?
And I remember how my arm paused when I raised it.
"So others are even more afraid than I am!" he thought.
And did I do it for my country's sake?
He thought that I should kill him.
Why should I kill him?
I can't make it out at all.
I'm pretty, I'm young, and I know that now I am good.
"Teach me what I should do, how to live my life, how I may grow good forever, forever!" she pleaded.
"Lord God, I submit myself to Thy will!" she thought.
I want nothing, wish for nothing; teach me what to do and how to use my will!
She smiled at me yesterday and asked me to come again, and I love her, and no one will ever know it.
I have a sackful of letters to parents.
"I want to try to sing again," she said, adding as if by way of excuse, "it is, at least, something to do."
How glad I am you've come!
I am so proud of him.
Oh yes, I sent that announcement.
But I don't want to interrupt you, he added, and was about to go to the drawing room.
"I don't know myself," Natasha answered quickly, "but I should not like to do anything you disapproved of.
I believe in you completely.
If I were in his place...
"On my word, I don't know what I've done with it," he said.
I'll drive home, I must have left them there.
What sort of warrior should I make?
I can't make it out.
I don't know, I am very far from having military tastes, but in these times no one can answer for himself.
Well, Papa, I tell you definitely, and Mamma too, it's as you please, but I say definitely that you must let me enter the army, because I can't... that's all....
Fedya Obolenski is younger than I, and he's going too.
Besides, all the same I can't study now when...
Be quiet, I tell you! cried the count, with a glance at his wife, who had turned pale and was staring fixedly at her son.
And I tell you--Peter Kirilych here will also tell you...
Nonsense, I tell you.
There, there, I tell you, and the count moved to go out of the room, taking the papers, probably to reread them in his study before having a nap.
No, I think I'll go home.
Yes, I had forgotten...
I really must go home... business... said Pierre hurriedly.
"Because I love you!" was what he wanted to say, but he did not say it, and only blushed till the tears came, and lowered his eyes.
No, simply I have business....
No, I can't petition him myself--that would be too bold.
I said if only we waited--and so it was! was being joyfully said by various people.
Though I don't agree with the gentleman...
"I think that before discussing these questions," Pierre continued, "we should ask the Emperor--most respectfully ask His Majesty--to let us know the number of our troops and the position in which our army and our forces now are, and then..."
In the first place, I tell you we have no right to question the Emperor about that, and secondly, if the Russian nobility had that right, the Emperor could not answer such a question.
"I only said that it would be more to the purpose to make sacrifices when we know what is needed!" said he, trying to be heard above the other voices.
Seeing the position we are in, I think there is little need for discussion.
He wrote to Arakcheev, the Emperor's confidant: It must be as my sovereign pleases, but I cannot work with the Minister (meaning Barclay).
I confess I do not want to.
You plotted against me, you lied to Prince Andrew about my relations with that Frenchwoman and made me quarrel with him, but you see I need neither her nor you!
I?... said the prince as if unpleasantly awakened, and not taking his eyes from the plan of the building.
I have said and still say that the theater of war is Poland and the enemy will never get beyond the Niemen.
But I didn't invent it myself.
Ah yes, there was something else important, very important, that I was keeping till I should be in bed.
No, I told him about them.
Yes, I know, Prince Andrew's letter!
"No, no, I don't want anything!" he shouted.
That's what I say.
Just what I think, Yakov Alpatych.
What do I care?
"Inform the prince and princess that I knew nothing: I acted on the highest instructions--here..." and he handed a paper to Alpatych.
I am just starting myself.
We'd have to pay seven rubles a cartload to Dorogobuzh and I tell them they're not Christians to ask it!
So tell them that I shall await a reply till the tenth, and if by the tenth I don't receive news that they have all got away I shall have to throw up everything and come myself to Bald Hills.
"Prince," said Berg, recognizing Prince Andrew, "I only spoke because I have to obey orders, because I always do obey exactly....
"Well then," continued Prince Andrew to Alpatych, "report to them as I have told you"; and not replying a word to Berg who was now mute beside him, he touched his horse and rode down the side street.
I took down the name and rank of their commanding officer, to hand in a complaint about it.
I expect the Minister (Barclay de Tolly) has already reported the abandonment of Smolensk to the enemy.
I, for my part, begged him personally most urgently and finally wrote him, but nothing would induce him to consent.
I swear to you on my honor that Napoleon was in such a fix as never before and might have lost half his army but could not have taken Smolensk.
With fifteen thousand men I held the enemy at bay