By Ray Stannard Baker
This booklet is a facsimile reprint and should comprise imperfections corresponding to marks, notations, marginalia and fallacious pages.
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Extra resources for Adventures in Contentment
Doors shut in the street—how I saw them—a long, long street, silent, full of sunshine, and the doors shut, and no sound anywhere but the low sound of the grinding: and the mill with the wheels drowsily turning and no one there at all save one boy with ﬂuttering heart, tiptoeing in the sunlit doorway. And the voice of the bird. Not the song but the voice. Yes, a bird had a voice. I had known it always, and yet somehow I had not dared to say it. I felt that they would look at me with that questioning, incredulous look which I dreaded beyond belief.
I think he never knew it: or if he knew it, he regarded it as a wayward impulse that might lead him from his God. It was a spark of poetry: strange ﬂower in such a husk. In times of emotion it bloomed, but in daily life it emitted no fragrance. I have wondered what might have been if some one—some understanding woman—had recognised his gift, or if he himself as a boy had once dared to cut free! We do not know: we do not know the tragedy of our nearest friend! By some instinct the preacher chose his readings mostly from the Old Testament—those splendid, marching passages, full of oriental imagery.
Will you forgive me? ” Of that preacher’s sermons I remember not one word, though I must have heard scores of them—only that they were interminably long and dull and that my legs grew weary of sitting and that I was often hungry. It was no doubt the dreadful old doctrine that he preached, thundering the horrors of disobedience, urging an impossible love through fear and a vain belief without reason. All that touched me not at all, save with a sort of wonder at the working of his great Adam’s apple and the strange rollings of his cavernous eyes.
Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker