REVISITING THE EARTH

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Overview

CONTENTS


I. REVISITING THE EARTH

II. THE PICTURE LAND OF THE HEART

III. THE DEAREST SPOT ON EARTH TO ME

IV. THE LAND OF USED-TO-BE

V. SEEN THROUGH THE LONG VISTA OF DEPARTED YEARS

VI. WHERE WE PLAYED MUMBLE-THE-PEG

VII. THE SCENE OF THE SCHOOL FIGHTS

VIII. TOUCHING A LONG SLUMBERING CHORD

IX. WHAT HAD BECOME OF THE OLD ECCENTRICITIES

X. TO SEE AND FEEL THE PAST

XI. A RETURN TO ONE'S HOLY LAND

XII. LOOKING UP THE SONS OF WELL-REMEMBERED MOTHERS

XIII. THINGS THAT HAD PASSED AWAY "STILL LIVE"

XIV. WHERE A VISITANT SEES MORE THAN A RESIDENT

XV. WHERE I MET MYSELF

XVI. RETRACING THE OLD PATHS

XVII. GOING BACK TO MY PADAN-ARAM

XVIII. A NEW KNOCK AT AN OLD DOOR




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


THE LITTLE SEMINARY OF LETTERS

"I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS BORN"

THE LITTLE SANCTUARY

PARADISE LOST--BEFORE THE SALEM FIRE

PARADISE REGAINED--AFTER THE CONFLAGRATION

THE MEETING OF "THE SENATE"

A SEAT OF LEARNING FULL OF MEMORIES

THE GROUNDS OF THE BELOVED COLLEGE

THE GREATEST PLEASURE GIVEN TO MAN




REVISITING THE EARTH




CHAPTER I

REVISITING THE EARTH


To revisit the earth after one's departure from it has always been a
common wish among men. The frequency with which this desire is expressed
in biographies and in literature, keeps the project alive, and works it
to the front in one's plans. Benjamin Franklin presents the thought in
such attractive dress that we incline to adopt it for a programme. There
is one item in his proposition that calls for argument at the bar of
public opinion. It touches the length of the interval that should be
suffered to elapse before the visit is made. So rapid is the growth, so
radical are the changes, that if one's reappearance is too long delayed
he would recognize nothing in the new conditions. He might as well set
himself down in some other unfamiliar place. The postponement should not
exceed a third of a century. It is his world that a man wants to see,
and each one has his own. His antecedents and experiences have given to
it a distinctive character.


_To Open Books that are Sealed_

On a golden day the thought came to me unbidden, I have seen three and
thirty years rise and fall since I have viewed the identical spots that
I would care most to look upon. Instantly I made the resolve, I will
visit, in the first eight weeks of summer, every place in which I have
lived or loved or labored. I ascertained, in advance, the name of some
kindly disposed person at each point in my itinerary, who could identify
the site of the house in which I lived, if it is not still standing,
also of the school and church that I attended. The letter I had written
was handed in one case to the editor of the local paper, who featured
it, in his columns, asking for the names of persons now living who
remembered me. Here is plainly seen an insuperable objection to waiting
Ben Franklin's interval of one hundred years before revisiting the
earth. This correspondence, which contributed immeasurably to the
pleasure and profit of the project, ought to be undertaken, while there
are two parties to conduct it. Where one's coming is expected and
welcomed he passes at once into the right relations to the place, also
into the atmosphere he desires.


_Let Me Drop a Hint Here Like a Seed_

I care not how widely you have traveled if you have never made a pious
pilgrimage to your childhood's shrines--you have still missed your
superlative pleasure.

It is possible for you to live your life over and the part commended for
you to live over again is when you were young.

Here is rejuvenation. To live one's life over is to live it twice. This
amounts to doubling it. Who would not do it? If the period of time
during which one may live on the earth is fixed, it certainly is
limited, if there is a possible way to live twice, what one does live,
he would better be extremely hospitable to the scheme. Opposition will
come from three sources, first from the man who thinks himself taken up
by the future and by his hopes. But it is patience that works
"experience and experience hope." Hope detached from the present and the
past is such a baseless fabric of a vision that it probably will not
leave even so much as a wreck behind. Another man will counter with the
familiar statement that his eyes are on the front of his head and he
only travels in the direction that they lead.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012769367
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 7/19/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 161 KB

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