Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Its Second Childhood

Remembered and then looked up in Pictures from an Institution,  near the end of Part V, "Gertrude and Sydney":
The demands American education could not meet--that it give a continent a college education--had forced this portion of it into regression: Benton was in its second childhood. it had sloughed off the awful protean burden of Magdalenian caves and Patmos and palm-leaf scriptures from Ceylon; of exiles' letters from Thrace or the banks of the Danube; of soldiers' letters from the Wall--the Roman Wall, the Chinese Wall. Benton did not see that it is we who ride upon Proteus, and that without him our journey is weary and our way unfriended. So, most of their burden flung off, the people of Benton went light and refreshed on their way, their broad smooth concrete Way; and when, soon, their legs got tired, they said to one another that it is the destiny of man to get tired.

1 comment:

  1. Heh. Read that one when attending a small women's college... or maybe just before or after. I adored Jarrell back in high school, and read his poetry and essays.

    That's still a great condemnation and apt. And you can't help but think of Bunyan and burdens, and of the narrow, harder way that is the way to life.