Full Online Books
BOOK CATEGORIES
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
LINKS
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
donate
Full Online Book HomeEssaysBacklog Studies - Sixth Study
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
Backlog Studies - Sixth Study Post by :prospertogether Category :Essays Author :Charles Dudley Warner Date :May 2012 Read :704

Click below to download : Backlog Studies - Sixth Study (Format : PDF)

Backlog Studies - Sixth Study

I

The King sat in the winter-house in the ninth month, and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him.... When Jehudi had read three or four leaves he cut it with the penknife.

That seems to be a pleasant and home-like picture from a not very remote period,--less than twenty-five hundred years ago, and many centuries after the fall of Troy. And that was not so very long ago, for Thebes, in the splendid streets of which Homer wandered and sang to the kings when Memphis, whose ruins are older than history, was its younger rival, was twelve centuries old when Paris ran away with Helen.

I am sorry that the original--and you can usually do anything with the "original"--does not bear me out in saying that it was a pleasant picture. I should like to believe that Jehoiakim--for that was the singular name of the gentleman who sat by his hearthstone--had just received the Memphis "Palimpsest," fifteen days in advance of the date of its publication, and that his secretary was reading to him that monthly, and cutting its leaves as he read. I should like to have seen it in that year when Thales was learning astronomy in Memphis, and Necho was organizing his campaign against Carchemish. If Jehoiakim took the "Attic Quarterly," he might have read its comments on the banishment of the Alcmaeonida, and its gibes at Solon for his prohibitory laws, forbidding the sale of unguents, limiting the luxury of dress, and interfering with the sacred rights of mourners to passionately bewail the dead in the Asiatic manner; the same number being enriched with contributions from two rising poets,--a lyric of love by Sappho, and an ode sent by Anacreon from Teos, with an editorial note explaining that the Maces was not responsible for the sentiments of the poem.

But, in fact, the gentleman who sat before the backlog in his winter-house had other things to think of. For Nebuchadnezzar was coming that way with the chariots and horses of Babylon and a great crowd of marauders; and the king had not even the poor choice whether he would be the vassal of the Chaldean or of the Egyptian. To us, this is only a ghostly show of monarchs and conquerors stalking across vast historic spaces. It was no doubt a vulgar enough scene of war and plunder. The great captains of that age went about to harry each other's territories and spoil each other's cities very much as we do nowadays, and for similar reasons;--Napoleon the Great in Moscow, Napoleon the Small in Italy, Kaiser William in Paris, Great Scott in Mexico! Men have not changed much;--The Fire-Tender sat in his winter-garden in the third month; there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. He cut the leaves of "Scribner's Monthly" with his penknife, and thought of Jehoiakim.

That seems as real as the other. In the garden, which is a room of the house, the tall callas, rooted in the ground, stand about the fountain; the sun, streaming through the glass, illumines the many-hued flowers. I wonder what Jehoiakim did with the mealy-bug on his passion-vine, and if he had any way of removing the scale-bug from his African acacia? One would like to know, too, how he treated the red spider on the Le Marque rose. The record is silent. I do not doubt he had all these insects in his winter-garden, and the aphidae besides; and he could not smoke them out with tobacco, for the world had not yet fallen into its second stage of the knowledge of good and evil by eating the forbidden tobacco-plant.

I confess that this little picture of a fire on the hearth so many centuries ago helps to make real and interesting to me that somewhat misty past. No doubt the lotus and the acanthus from the Nile grew in that winter-house, and perhaps Jehoiakim attempted--the most difficult thing in the world the cultivation of the wild flowers from Lebanon. Perhaps Jehoiakim was interested also, as I am through this ancient fireplace,--which is a sort of domestic window into the ancient world,--in the loves of Bernice and Abaces at the court of the Pharaohs. I see that it is the same thing as the sentiment--perhaps it is the shrinking which every soul that is a soul has, sooner or later, from isolation--which grew up between Herbert and the Young Lady Staying With Us. Jeremiah used to come in to that fireside very much as the Parson does to ours. The Parson, to be sure, never prophesies, but he grumbles, and is the chorus in the play that sings the everlasting ai ai of "I told you so!" Yet we like the Parson. He is the sprig of bitter herb that makes the pottage wholesome. I should rather, ten times over, dispense with the flatterers and the smooth-sayers than the grumblers. But the grumblers are of two sorts,--the healthful-toned and the whiners. There are makers of beer who substitute for the clean bitter of the hops some deleterious drug, and then seek to hide the fraud by some cloying sweet. There is nothing of this sickish drug in the Parson's talk, nor was there in that of Jeremiah, I sometimes think there is scarcely enough of this wholesome tonic in modern society. The Parson says he never would give a child sugar-coated pills. Mandeville says he never would give them any. After all, you cannot help liking Mandeville.

II

We were talking of this late news from Jerusalem. The Fire-Tender was saying that it is astonishing how much is telegraphed us from the East that is not half so interesting. He was at a loss philosophically to account for the fact that the world is so eager to know the news of yesterday which is unimportant, and so indifferent to that of the day before which is of some moment.

MANDEVILLE. I suspect that it arises from the want of imagination. People need to touch the facts, and nearness in time is contiguity. It would excite no interest to bulletin the last siege of Jerusalem in a village where the event was unknown, if the date was appended; and yet the account of it is incomparably more exciting than that of the siege of Metz.

OUR NEXT DOOR. The daily news is a necessity. I cannot get along without my morning paper. The other morning I took it up, and was absorbed in the telegraphic columns for an hour nearly. I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of immediate contact with all the world of yesterday, until I read among the minor items that Patrick Donahue, of the city of New York, died of a sunstroke. If he had frozen to death, I should have enjoyed that; but to die of sunstroke in February seemed inappropriate, and I turned to the date of the paper. When I found it was printed in July, I need not say that I lost all interest in it, though why the trivialities and crimes and accidents, relating to people I never knew, were not as good six months after date as twelve hours, I cannot say.

THE FIRE-TENDER. You know that in Concord the latest news, except a remark or two by Thoreau or Emerson, is the Vedas. I believe the Rig-Veda is read at the breakfast-table instead of the Boston journals.

THE PARSON. I know it is read afterward instead of the Bible.

MANDEVILLE. That is only because it is supposed to be older. I have understood that the Bible is very well spoken of there, but it is not antiquated enough to be an authority.

OUR NEXT DOOR. There was a project on foot to put it into the circulating library, but the title New in the second part was considered objectionable.

HERBERT. Well, I have a good deal of sympathy with Concord as to the news. We are fed on a daily diet of trivial events and gossip, of the unfruitful sayings of thoughtless men and women, until our mental digestion is seriously impaired; the day will come when no one will be able to sit down to a thoughtful, well-wrought book and assimilate its contents.

THE MISTRESS. I doubt if a daily newspaper is a necessity, in the higher sense of the word.

THE PARSON. Nobody supposes it is to women,--that is, if they can see each other.

THE MISTRESS. Don't interrupt, unless you have something to say; though I should like to know how much gossip there is afloat that the minister does not know. The newspaper may be needed in society, but how quickly it drops out of mind when one goes beyond the bounds of what is called civilization. You remember when we were in the depths of the woods last summer how difficult it was to get up any interest in the files of late papers that reached us, and how unreal all the struggle and turmoil of the world seemed. We stood apart, and could estimate things at their true value.

THE YOUNG LADY. Yes, that was real life. I never tired of the guide's stories; there was some interest in the intelligence that a deer had been down to eat the lily-pads at the foot of the lake the night before; that a bear's track was seen on the trail we crossed that day; even Mandeville's fish-stories had a certain air of probability; and how to roast a trout in the ashes and serve him hot and juicy and clean, and how to cook soup and prepare coffee and heat dish-water in one tin-pail, were vital problems.

THE PARSON. You would have had no such problems at home. Why will people go so far to put themselves to such inconvenience? I hate the woods. Isolation breeds conceit; there are no people so conceited as those who dwell in remote wildernesses and live mostly alone.

THE YOUNG LADY. For my part, I feel humble in the presence of mountains, and in the vast stretches of the wilderness.

THE PARSON. I'll be bound a woman would feel just as nobody would expect her to feel, under given circumstances.

MANDEVILLE. I think the reason why the newspaper and the world it carries take no hold of us in the wilderness is that we become a kind of vegetable ourselves when we go there. I have often attempted to improve my mind in the woods with good solid books. You might as well offer a bunch of celery to an oyster. The mind goes to sleep: the senses and the instincts wake up. The best I can do when it rains, or the trout won't bite, is to read Dumas's novels. Their ingenuity will almost keep a man awake after supper, by the camp-fire. And there is a kind of unity about them that I like; the history is as good as the morality.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I always wondered where Mandeville got his historical facts.

THE MISTRESS. Mandeville misrepresents himself in the woods. I heard him one night repeat "The Vision of Sir Launfal"--(THE FIRE-TENDER. Which comes very near being our best poem.)--as we were crossing the lake, and the guides became so absorbed in it that they forgot to paddle, and sat listening with open mouths, as if it had been a panther story.

THE PARSON. Mandeville likes to show off well enough. I heard that he related to a woods' boy up there the whole of the Siege of Troy. The boy was very much interested, and said "there'd been a man up there that spring from Troy, looking up timber." Mandeville always carries the news when he goes into the country.

MANDEVILLE. I'm going to take the Parson's sermon on Jonah next summer; it's the nearest to anything like news we've had from his pulpit in ten years. But, seriously, the boy was very well informed. He'd heard of Albany; his father took in the "Weekly Tribune," and he had a partial conception of Horace Greeley.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I never went so far out of the world in America yet that the name of Horace Greeley did n't rise up before me. One of the first questions asked by any camp-fire is, "Did ye ever see Horace?"

HERBERT. Which shows the power of the press again. But I have often remarked how little real conception of the moving world, as it is, people in remote regions get from the newspaper. It needs to be read in the midst of events. A chip cast ashore in a refluent eddy tells no tale of the force and swiftness of the current.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I don't exactly get the drift of that last remark; but I rather like a remark that I can't understand; like the landlady's indigestible bread, it stays by you.

HERBERT. I see that I must talk in words of one syllable. The newspaper has little effect upon the remote country mind, because the remote country mind is interested in a very limited number of things. Besides, as the Parson says, it is conceited. The most accomplished scholar will be the butt of all the guides in the woods, because he cannot follow a trail that would puzzle a sable (saple the trappers call it).

THE PARSON. It's enough to read the summer letters that people write to the newspapers from the country and the woods. Isolated from the activity of the world, they come to think that the little adventures of their stupid days and nights are important. Talk about that being real life! Compare the letters such people write with the other contents of the newspaper, and you will see which life is real. That's one reason I hate to have summer come, the country letters set in.

THE MISTRESS. I should like to see something the Parson does n't hate to have come.

MANDEVILLE. Except his quarter's salary; and the meeting of the American Board.

THE FIRE-TENDER. I don't see that we are getting any nearer the solution of the original question. The world is evidently interested in events simply because they are recent.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I have a theory that a newspaper might be published at little cost, merely by reprinting the numbers of years before, only altering the dates; just as the Parson preaches over his sermons.

THE FIRE-TENDER. It's evident we must have a higher order of news-gatherers. It has come to this, that the newspaper furnishes thought-material for all the world, actually prescribes from day to day the themes the world shall think on and talk about. The occupation of news-gathering becomes, therefore, the most important. When you think of it, it is astonishing that this department should not be in the hands of the ablest men, accomplished scholars, philosophical observers, discriminating selectors of the news of the world that is worth thinking over and talking about. The editorial comments frequently are able enough, but is it worth while keeping an expensive mill going to grind chaff? I sometimes wonder, as I open my morning paper, if nothing did happen in the twenty-four hours except crimes, accidents, defalcations, deaths of unknown loafers, robberies, monstrous births,--say about the level of police-court news.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I have even noticed that murders have deteriorated; they are not so high-toned and mysterious as they used to be.

THE FIRE-TENDER. It is true that the newspapers have improved vastly within the last decade.

HERBERT. I think, for one, that they are very much above the level of the ordinary gossip of the country.

THE FIRE-TENDER. But I am tired of having the under-world still occupy so much room in the newspapers. The reporters are rather more alert for a dog-fight than a philological convention. It must be that the good deeds of the world outnumber the bad in any given day; and what a good reflex action it would have on society if they could be more fully reported than the bad! I suppose the Parson would call this the Enthusiasm of Humanity.

THE PARSON. You'll see how far you can lift yourself up by your boot-straps.

HERBERT. I wonder what influence on the quality (I say nothing of quantity) of news the coming of women into the reporter's and editor's work will have.

OUR NEXT DOOR. There are the baby-shows; they make cheerful reading.

THE MISTRESS. All of them got up by speculating men, who impose upon the vanity of weak women.

HERBERT. I think women reporters are more given to personal details and gossip than the men. When I read the Washington correspondence I am proud of my country, to see how many Apollo Belvederes, Adonises, how much marble brow and piercing eye and hyacinthine locks, we have in the two houses of Congress.

THE YOUNG LADY. That's simply because women understand the personal weakness of men; they have a long score of personal flattery to pay off too.

MANDEVILLE. I think women will bring in elements of brightness, picturesqueness, and purity very much needed. Women have a power of investing simple ordinary things with a charm; men are bungling narrators compared with them.

THE PARSON. The mistake they make is in trying to write, and especially to "stump-speak," like men; next to an effeminate man there is nothing so disagreeable as a mannish woman.

HERBERT. I heard one once address a legislative committee. The knowing air, the familiar, jocular, smart manner, the nodding and winking innuendoes, supposed to be those of a man "up to snuff," and au fait in political wiles, were inexpressibly comical. And yet the exhibition was pathetic, for it had the suggestive vulgarity of a woman in man's clothes. The imitation is always a dreary failure.

THE MISTRESS. Such women are the rare exceptions. I am ready to defend my sex; but I won't attempt to defend both sexes in one.

THE FIRE-TENDER. I have great hope that women will bring into the newspaper an elevating influence; the common and sweet life of society is much better fitted to entertain and instruct us than the exceptional and extravagant. I confess (saving the Mistress's presence) that the evening talk over the dessert at dinner is much more entertaining and piquant than the morning paper, and often as important.

THE MISTRESS. I think the subject had better be changed.

MANDEVILLE. The person, not the subject. There is no entertainment so full of quiet pleasure as the hearing a lady of cultivation and refinement relate her day's experience in her daily rounds of calls, charitable visits, shopping, errands of relief and condolence. The evening budget is better than the finance minister's.

OUR NEXT DOOR. That's even so. My wife will pick up more news in six hours than I can get in a week, and I'm fond of news.

MANDEVILLE. I don't mean gossip, by any means, or scandal. A woman of culture skims over that like a bird, never touching it with the tip of a wing. What she brings home is the freshness and brightness of life. She touches everything so daintily, she hits off a character in a sentence, she gives the pith of a dialogue without tediousness, she mimics without vulgarity; her narration sparkles, but it does n't sting. The picture of her day is full of vivacity, and it gives new value and freshness to common things. If we could only have on the stage such actresses as we have in the drawing-room!

THE FIRE-TENDER. We want something more of this grace, sprightliness, and harmless play of the finer life of society in the newspaper.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I wonder Mandeville does n't marry, and become a permanent subscriber to his embodied idea of a newspaper.

THE YOUNG LADY. Perhaps he does not relish the idea of being unable to stop his subscription.

OUR NEXT DOOR. Parson, won't you please punch that fire, and give us more blaze? we are getting into the darkness of socialism.

III

Herbert returned to us in March. The Young Lady was spending the winter with us, and March, in spite of the calendar, turned out to be a winter month. It usually is in New England, and April too, for that matter. And I cannot say it is unfortunate for us. There are so many topics to be turned over and settled at our fireside that a winter of ordinary length would make little impression on the list. The fireside is, after all, a sort of private court of chancery, where nothing ever does come to a final decision. The chief effect of talk on any subject is to strengthen one's own opinions, and, in fact, one never knows exactly what he does believe until he is warmed into conviction by the heat of attack and defence. A man left to himself drifts about like a boat on a calm lake; it is only when the wind blows that the boat goes anywhere.

Herbert said he had been dipping into the recent novels written by women, here and there, with a view to noting the effect upon literature of this sudden and rather overwhelming accession to it. There was a good deal of talk about it evening after evening, off and on, and I can only undertake to set down fragments of it.

HERBERT. I should say that the distinguishing feature of the literature of this day is the prominence women have in its production. They figure in most of the magazines, though very rarely in the scholarly and critical reviews, and in thousands of newspapers; to them we are indebted for the oceans of Sunday-school books, and they write the majority of the novels, the serial stories, and they mainly pour out the watery flood of tales in the weekly papers. Whether this is to result in more good than evil it is impossible yet to say, and perhaps it would be unjust to say, until this generation has worked off its froth, and women settle down to artistic, conscientious labor in literature.

THE MISTRESS. You don't mean to say that George Eliot, and Mrs. Gaskell, and George Sand, and Mrs. Browning, before her marriage and severe attack of spiritism, are less true to art than contemporary men novelists and poets.

HERBERT. You name some exceptions that show the bright side of the picture, not only for the present, but for the future. Perhaps genius has no sex; but ordinary talent has. I refer to the great body of novels, which you would know by internal evidence were written by women. They are of two sorts: the domestic story, entirely unidealized, and as flavorless as water-gruel; and the spiced novel, generally immoral in tendency, in which the social problems are handled, unhappy marriages, affinity and passional attraction, bigamy, and the violation of the seventh commandment. These subjects are treated in the rawest manner, without any settled ethics, with little discrimination of eternal right and wrong, and with very little sense of responsibility for what is set forth. Many of these novels are merely the blind outbursts of a nature impatient of restraint and the conventionalities of society, and are as chaotic as the untrained minds that produce them.

MANDEVILLE. Don't you think these novels fairly represent a social condition of unrest and upheaval?

HERBERT. Very likely; and they help to create and spread abroad the discontent they describe. Stories of bigamy (sometimes disguised by divorce), of unhappy marriages, where the injured wife, through an entire volume, is on the brink of falling into the arms of a sneaking lover, until death kindly removes the obstacle, and the two souls, who were born for each other, but got separated in the cradle, melt and mingle into one in the last chapter, are not healthful reading for maids or mothers.

THE MISTRESS. Or men.

THE FIRE-TENDER. The most disagreeable object to me in modern literature is the man the women novelists have introduced as the leading character; the women who come in contact with him seem to be fascinated by his disdainful mien, his giant strength, and his brutal manner. He is broad across the shoulders, heavily moulded, yet as lithe as a cat; has an ugly scar across his right cheek; has been in the four quarters of the globe; knows seventeen languages; had a harem in Turkey and a Fayaway in the Marquesas; can be as polished as Bayard in the drawing-room, but is as gloomy as Conrad in the library; has a terrible eye and a withering glance, but can be instantly subdued by a woman's hand, if it is not his wife's; and through all his morose and vicious career has carried a heart as pure as a violet.

THE MISTRESS. Don't you think the Count of Monte Cristo is the elder brother of Rochester?

THE FIRE-TENDER. One is a mere hero of romance; the other is meant for a real man.

MANDEVILLE. I don't see that the men novel-writers are better than the women.

HERBERT. That's not the question; but what are women who write so large a proportion of the current stories bringing into literature? Aside from the question of morals, and the absolutely demoralizing manner of treating social questions, most of their stories are vapid and weak beyond expression, and are slovenly in composition, showing neither study, training, nor mental discipline.

THE MISTRESS. Considering that women have been shut out from the training of the universities, and have few opportunities for the wide observation that men enjoy, isn't it pretty well that the foremost living writers of fiction are women?

HERBERT. You can say that for the moment, since Thackeray and Dickens have just died. But it does not affect the general estimate. We are inundated with a flood of weak writing. Take the Sunday-school literature, largely the product of women; it has n't as much character as a dried apple pie. I don't know what we are coming to if the presses keep on running.

OUR NEXT DOOR. We are living, we are dwelling, in a grand and awful time; I'm glad I don't write novels.

THE PARSON. So am I.

OUR NEXT DOOR. I tried a Sunday-school book once; but I made the good boy end in the poorhouse, and the bad boy go to Congress; and the publisher said it wouldn't do, the public wouldn't stand that sort of thing. Nobody but the good go to Congress.

THE MISTRESS. Herbert, what do you think women are good for?

OUR NEXT DOOR. That's a poser.

HERBERT. Well, I think they are in a tentative state as to literature, and we cannot yet tell what they will do. Some of our most brilliant books of travel, correspondence, and writing on topics in which their sympathies have warmly interested them, are by women. Some of them are also strong writers in the daily journals.

MANDEVILLE. I 'm not sure there's anything a woman cannot do as well as a man, if she sets her heart on it.

THE PARSON. That's because she's no conscience.

CHORUS. O Parson!

THE PARSON. Well, it does n't trouble her, if she wants to do anything. She looks at the end, not the means. A woman, set on anything, will walk right through the moral crockery without wincing. She'd be a great deal more unscrupulous in politics than the average man. Did you ever see a female lobbyist? Or a criminal? It is Lady Macbeth who does not falter. Don't raise your hands at me! The sweetest angel or the coolest devil is a woman. I see in some of the modern novels we have been talking of the same unscrupulous daring, a blindness to moral distinctions, a constant exaltation of a passion into a virtue, an entire disregard of the immutable laws on which the family and society rest. And you ask lawyers and trustees how scrupulous women are in business transactions!

THE FIRE-TENDER. Women are often ignorant of affairs, and, besides, they may have a notion often that a woman ought to be privileged more than a man in business matters; but I tell you, as a rule, that if men would consult their wives, they would go a deal straighter in business operations than they do go.

THE PARSON. We are all poor sinners. But I've another indictment against the women writers. We get no good old-fashioned love-stories from them. It's either a quarrel of discordant natures one a panther, and the other a polar bear--for courtship, until one of them is crippled by a railway accident; or a long wrangle of married life between two unpleasant people, who can neither live comfortably together nor apart. I suppose, by what I see, that sweet wooing, with all its torturing and delightful uncertainty, still goes on in the world; and I have no doubt that the majority of married people live more happily than the unmarried. But it's easier to find a dodo than a new and good love-story.

MANDEVILLE. I suppose the old style of plot is exhausted. Everything in man and outside of him has been turned over so often that I should think the novelists would cease simply from want of material.

THE PARSON. Plots are no more exhausted than men are. Every man is a new creation, and combinations are simply endless. Even if we did not have new material in the daily change of society, and there were only a fixed number of incidents and characters in life, invention could not be exhausted on them. I amuse myself sometimes with my kaleidoscope, but I can never reproduce a figure. No, no. I cannot say that you may not exhaust everything else: we may get all the secrets of a nature into a book by and by, but the novel is immortal, for it deals with men.

The Parson's vehemence came very near carrying him into a sermon; and as nobody has the privilege of replying to his sermons, so none of the circle made any reply now.

Our Next Door mumbled something about his hair standing on end, to hear a minister defending the novel; but it did not interrupt the general silence. Silence is unnoticed when people sit before a fire; it would be intolerable if they sat and looked at each other.

The wind had risen during the evening, and Mandeville remarked, as they rose to go, that it had a spring sound in it, but it was as cold as winter. The Mistress said she heard a bird that morning singing in the sun a spring song, it was a winter bird, but it sang.

If you like this book please share to your friends :
NEXT BOOKS

Backlog Studies - Seventh Study Backlog Studies - Seventh Study

Backlog Studies - Seventh Study
We have been much interested in what is called the Gothic revival. We have spent I don't know how many evenings in looking over Herbert's plans for a cottage, and have been amused with his vain efforts to cover with Gothic roofs the vast number of large rooms which the Young Lady draws in her sketch of a small house. I have no doubt that the Gothic, which is capable of infinite modification, so that every house built in that style may be as different from every other house as one tree is from every other, can be adapted to our
PREVIOUS BOOKS

Backlog Studies - Fifth Study Backlog Studies - Fifth Study

Backlog Studies - Fifth Study
I I wish I could fitly celebrate the joyousness of the New England winter. Perhaps I could if I more thoroughly believed in it. But skepticism comes in with the south wind. When that begins to blow, one feels the foundations of his belief breaking up. This is only another way of saying that it is more difficult, if it be not impossible, to freeze out orthodoxy, or any fixed notion, than it is to thaw it out; though it is a mere fancy to suppose that this is the reason why the martyrs, of all creeds, were burned at the
NEXT 10 BOOKS | PREVIOUS 10 BOOKS | RANDOM 10 BOOKS
LEAVE A COMMENT