He read on. Our children’s children—what of them? Who of them? New means must be discovered to find room for us under the sun. Shall this be done by war or can it be done by peaceful methods?”
Or will we all have to move to Canada?”
Our deepest convictions—will Science upset them? Our civilization—is it inferior to older orders of things—
And meanwhile, in the far-off dripping jungles of Yucatan, sounded the chopping of the axes of the gum-choppers. Do we want big men—or do we want them cultured? Take Joyce. Take President Coolidge. What star must our college students aim at? There is Jack Britton. There is Dr Henry Van Dyke. Can we reconcile the two? Take the case of Young Stribling.
And what of our daughters who must take their own Soundings? Nancy Hawthorne is obliged to make her own Soundings in the sea of life. Bravely and sensibly she faces the problems which come to every girl of eighteen.
It was a splendid booklet.
Are you a girl of eighteen? Take the case of a Joan of Arc. Take the case of Bernard Shaw. Take the case of Betsy Ross.
Think of these things in 1925— Was there a frisqué page in Puritan history? Were there two sides to Pocahontas? Did she have a fourth dimension?”
Are modern paintings—and poetry—Art? Yes and No. Take Picasso.
Have tramps codes of conduct? Send your mind adventuring.
There is Romance everywhere. Forum writers talk to the point, are possessed of humor and wit. But they do not try to be smart and are never long-winded.
Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual. He laid down the booklet.
And meanwhile, stretched flat on a bed in a darkened room in the house in Triana, Manuel Garcia Maera lay with a tube in each lung, drowning with the pneumonia. All the papers in Andalucia devoted special supplements to his death, which had been expected for some days. Men and boys bought full-length colored pictures of him to remember him by, and lost the picture they had of him in their memories by looking at the lithographs. Bullfighters were very relieved he was dead, because he did always in the bullring the things they could only do sometimes. They all marched in the rain behind his coffin and there were one hundred and forty-seven bullfighters followed him out to the cemetery where they buried him in the tomb next to Joselito. After the funeral every one sat in the cafés out of the rain, and many colored pictures of Maera were sold to men who rolled them up and put them away in their pockets.
NOW I LAY ME
THAT night we lay on the floor in the room and I listened to the silk-worms eating. The silk-worms fed in racks of mulberry leaves and all night you could hear them eating and a dropping sound in the leaves. I myself did not want to sleep because I had been living for a long time with the knowledge that if I ever shut my eyes in the dark and let myself go, my soul would go out of my body. I had been that way for a long time, ever since I had been blown up at night and felt it go out of me and go off and then come back. I tried never to think about it, but it had started to go since, in the nights, just at the moment of going off to sleep, and I could only stop it by a very great effort. So while now I am fairly sure that it will not really have gone out, yet then, that summer, I was unwilling to make the experiment.
I had different ways of occupying myself while I lay awake. I would think of a trout stream I had fished along when I was a boy; and fish its whole length very carefully in my mind; fishing very carefully under all the logs, all the turns of the bank, the deep holes and the clear shallow stretches, sometimes catching trout and sometimes losing them. I would stop fishing at noon to eat my lunch; sometimes on a log over the stream; sometimes on a high bank under a tree, and I always ate my lunch very slowly and watched the stream below me while I ate. Often I ran out of bait because I would take only ten worms with me in a tobacco tin when I started. When I had used them all I had to find more worms, and sometimes it was very difficult digging in the bank of the stream where the cedar trees kept out the sun and there was no grass but only the bare moist earth and often I could find no worms. Always though I found some kind of bait, but one time in the swamp I could find no bait at all and had to cut up one of the trout I had caught and use him for bait.