The Making of a Professor
THE Professor’s study was a single cube of brightness in the midst of the almost universal darkness of the little college town; and the Professor himself, silent and solitary, was sitting at his study table, — books to the right of him, books to the left of him, books in front of him, — hard at work on Terminations in T, while all the world slumbered.
The Professor’s dissertation on Sundry Suffixes in S, written for the degree of doctor of philosophy and published five years before, had won such golden opinions that he had launched into further investigation with eye single to the glory of scholarship, scorning delights, and living days so laborious that at thirty he already displayed signs of the silvery livery of advised age. Terminations in T was to be chapter xii in his book on Consonantal Terminations in the Comedies of Terence, which was to be followed by another volume on Prefixes in P in the Plays of Plautus. Hence his apparition among the many books with no end.
But something was amiss with the Professor. It was not the lateness of the hour, though it was long after midnight. Something more permanent than mere weariness was manifest in his countenance. His features wore a wondering, worrying, harried expression. You could see that he was unsettled.
The fact is that the Professor had for some time been wavering in his faith. Not his religious faith, — I don’t mean that, for Consonantal Terminations had so far crowded that out that it claimed small share in the Professor’s cogitations, — but his faith in the importance of terminations in general, and particularly of Consonantal Terminations in the Comedies of Terence. He had been losing — indeed, had lost — the reposeful sense of equilibrium and stability which had been to him the peace that passeth understanding so long as he had entertained absolutely no question as to the claim of Terminations to be his mission in life. And now a crisis was at hand.
For you must know that the Professor was, or had been when he came home from Europe to occupy his chair, a strictly approved product of the Great Graduate System of Scholarship. The appreciation of that fact, and of the process of its achievement, will help you to understand his present frame of mind.
He had been an eager student of the classics even in the secondary school, and his enthusiasm had grown during the college course. He thought he knew why men had for nineteen centuries loved Virgil’s lay and Livy’s pictured page, he was deeply stirred by the sentiment of Rome’s least mortal mind on Old Age and Friendship, and felt all the glowing delight of genial association with the wise and kindly heathen of the Sabine Farm. “ The wisdom of the ancients ” was to him no idle phrase; their words seemed to him golden. Of form, he had less appreciation; but there were rare moments when he thought that he too could hear the surge and thunder of the Odyssey, and feel the reposeful progress of the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man.
And so, under the double impulse of his enthusiasm for literature and his admiration for the genial and pure-hearted old professor who was also his friend and inspirer, he determined to spend his life in teaching the subject he loved. He had drunk of the waters freely, and longed to direct others to the fountain. To have young men and women sit at his feet and partake of the wisdom that giveth life to them that have it, to know that they felt toward their interpreter of the ancient masterpieces as he himself felt toward the venerable friend who illumined the page of antiquity for him, seemed to him the prize of a high calling abundantly worth pressing toward.
This was at the end of his junior year. By the end of the senior year he had decided to prepare for a college career, and arranged to spend three years in graduate study. He must be a scholar sans peur et sans reproche, and to insure against the possible failure of the world to recognize his genuineness, he must be approved by the System, and be stamped Ph. D.; and because the value of the stamp depended very much upon the imprimeur, he must go to a university which enjoyed an unassailable reputation for Scholarship.
He had always felt helpless before the immensity of knowledge, and nobly discontented with his own achievement, and had been sustained only by the conviction that he really saw the light, and saw it increasingly; but now that he was in the presence of Real Scholarship, he was aghast at the depth of his ignorance. Gross darkness covered him, and he groped in it. He despaired. What he knew about Latin seemed to count for nothing here; he was made to feel that the accuracy and thoroughness which he had been taught so well were pitifully inadequate. He knew his forms and syntax perfectly, and his translation was rich in idiom and spirit as a result, and he had supposed that it was to insure this end that his old preceptor had been so insistent upon the mastery of linguistic mechanism; but now, because he knew nothing of the theories of the subjunctive, and had never heard of rhotacism and vowel-weakening, he was of all men most miserable. He could read hexameter with ease, declaim Cicero with real effect, and was saturated with Socratic discourse, but no one seemed to value those accomplishments here; they went for naught because he was ignorant on the subjeet of rhythmical clausulæ, and unacquainted with the last seven articles in the Journal of Metrology on the comparative merits of the quantitative and accentual theories. His appreciation of the difference between the streaming eloquence of Ciceronianism and the jolting gravity of Tacitus, the smiling satire of Horace and the wrathful lashings of Juvenal, — of what avail, when he was unable to enumerate in order the annalists, or define the relationship between Lucilius and the Old Comedy? Of what consequence, too, that he was intimately acquainted with Pliny and Martial, and their manner of life and thought, when he knew only one theory of the cut of the Roman toga, and was unable to state whether sandals were removed in the vestibule or the atrium ? What virtue in his English versions of Catullus? Clearly the important thing there was to know the derivation of the manuscripts in class P’.
His disappointment was great. It seemed as if everything he had learned was of minor importance. What he had been taught to magnify he now had to minimize; instead of being carried along in the current of his enthusiasm, he found himself compelled to row against it.
At first, he bordered on rebellion. He had expected to continue the study of the Latin classics, — to read, interpret, criticise, and enjoy; but what he was actually occupied with was a variety of things no one of which was essential to literary enjoyment or appreciation, and whose sum total might almost as well have been called mathematics, or statistics, as classical literature. When he thought of his college instruction, he wondered whether the end and the means had not in some way got interchanged. He felt that now he was dealing with the husk instead of the kernel, with the penumbra rather than the nucleus, with the roots and branches, and not the flower. In his gloomier moments, he suspected that his preceptors and companions were actually ignorant that there was a flower; if they were aware of it, they were at least strangely indifferent to its color and perfume, In his more cheerful moments, it made him laugh to see the gravity with which, omnia magna loquentes, they considered the momentous questions, whether a poet wrote Jupiter with two p’s or one, Virgil with an i or an e, and how many knots were in the big stick of Hercules. It all seemed to him monstrous and distorted. He found himself thinking of five-legged calves, two-headed babies, and other side-show curiosities.
But he had always been docile, and did not fail to reflect that scholars of reputation surely knew better than he what stuff scholarship was made of. He put aside his own inclinations, and dutifully submitted to the System; its products were to be found in prominent positions throughout the land, and what better proof of its righteousness than that ? Under the direction of one professor, he filled a note-book with fragmentary data about Fescennine Verses, Varro Atacinus, and Furius Bibaculus; another book was devoted to membra of dramatists scattered from Susarion and Thespis to Decimus Laberius and Pseudo-Seneca; still another to the location, exact measurements (metric system), and history (dates), of every ruin of ancient Rome; others to statistics of the use of copulative coærdinates, the historical present, and diphthongal i. In the seminar he presented compilations of text criticism, and numerical comparisons of subjunctives and ablatives with imperatives and genitives, and spent weeks in preparing for a two-hours’ lead on six lines of text, treating them syntactically, epigraphically, paleographically, arelneologically, philologically, — and finally, if time permitted, æsthetically. He could not, indeed, escape the reflection that, in half the time which he was obliged to consume in these activities, he might have gone far on the road to those powers of literary appreciation and that richness of intellectual equipment which he had always coveted: the study of things about literature left him no time to study literature itself. He was athirst and famished: literature, literature everywhere, and not a moment for it. But he was in pursuit of Scholarship, and though it should slay him, yet would he trust in it. He settled to his work.
He was not long in learning the lesson. He was to be accurate, he was to be thorough, and he was to employ method. That is, he was to be scientific, — which, he soon found out, meant to treat his material as the mathematicians and chemists treated theirs. The seminar, he was told, was the laboratory of the classical student; and he gathered from the tone and manner in which the information was conveyed, that this was meant to dispose of a possible argument against the study of the classics. Why literature, which was an art, a thing of the spirit, should be treated as if it were composed of chemicals, or fossils, or mathematical symbols, or a quarry, he was not told, and did not audibly inquire, at least after the first month. He went on his way, trying hard to convince himself that it mattered, as greatly as his associates seemed to think, whether the battle of the Allia was fought in 390 or 388; whether the ratio of perfect subjunctives of prohibition in Plautus to present subjunctives expressing the same idea was 7 : 6 or 6.98 : 6; and whether the student of the Georgies knew the fragments of Junius Nipsus or not. It was a trifle tedious at limes, and he found himself wondering what there was about learning that it should be so stupid. He was the least bit surprised to find that it seemed expected that he would wonder; for it was explained to him more than once that it was all for the best, and he would soon get used to it. Every fragment of truth was important, he was told, and the slightest contribution to knowledge a legacy of inestimable value, whatever its apparent insignificance; and besides, this was the way it was done in Germany. He soon learned that the appeal to Germany was considered final, and even made use of it himself when it came handy.
But atmosphere and association work wonders. In time, he began to understand better the ideal which inspired his comrades and instructors. By the end of the first year, he was in a fair way to sympathize with them as well. During the second year he woke to the error of his ways, and became almost regenerate. There was, after all, something enthusing about accuracy, whatever the value of the material concerned; to do a thing absolutely right, to be able to defy criticism, was supremely satisfying. He conceded to his associates that mathematical accuracy in literary study as such was impossible: there was some excuse for their calling literary criticism “ blue smoke.” To be thorough, too, to do a thing once for all, was equally gratifying; and to possess a method which could be applied to knowledge as a lever to dead matter, or as a machine to raw material, was surely a triumph. That he was foregoing his own pleasure, and in a way sacrificing himself by slighting the literary side of his subject, may also have contributed in no slight degree to his change of attitude. To be one of the glorious company of martyrs to the cause of truth, avaricious of nothing except praise, was a blessed thought. He began rather to like the sight of his pallor, and, consciously or unconsciously, to cultivate the incipient stoop of his shoulders. The zeal of his house was soon eating him up.
It was at this point that he laid the foundations of Sundry Suffixes in S. He did n’t more than half like the subject at first, but he had to have one which could be scientifically developed, — something which admitted of exhaustive treatment; something which had numerals in it and could therefore be definitely settled and disposed of; something, above all, which had not been written of before, in his own or any other language.
The last condition was the hardest to fulfill, and was really what determined his choice; for everything which seemed worth while had already been done, and he had to take what was available, regardless of his own tastes or of the value of the expected result. He was consoled, however, by his associates, who cheerfully told him to have no concern on that point, that not more than one in a thousand doctor’s dissertations contained anything worth while, and that the main thing was to display method, thoroughness, and accuracy. To be sure, that sounded very much like saying that it made no difference what the material of your house was, so long as the carpenter proved that he was master of his trade; but he could not afford to turn back, now that he had set his hand to the plough.
The two years following the taking of his degree he spent in Germany. His professors would not hear of his stopping with his present equipment. There he got new light, made addenda to Suffixes in S, which he sent home to be published in his absence, and became interested in Consonantal Terminations. To make my story short, what with long association with men of scholarly ideals, continual application in the effort to satisfy them and himself, and, above all, the impressiveness of German achievement in scholarship, he had gradually become imbued with scholarly ideals himself, and had even become enthusiastic. He was another triumph of the System.
Fame had preceded him on the way home: his dissertation had been published, and the comments of reviewers were all that could be desired. As he had hoped, they praised his method, his thoroughness, and his accuracy. That they said nothing of the intrinsic value of his work, he hardly noticed. He was full of the pride of scholarly achievement, and when his beloved Alma Mater extended a call to him, he tasted the joys of success, sweeter to him than honey in the honeycomb. His long period of labor had been rewarded, and he was about to enter upon the life-work of which he had so long dreamed, He accepted the call, stipulating, of course, that he be given the work in Terence. If his mission in the world was to be fulfilled, Consonantal Terminations must have every encouragement.
The Professor felt keenly the responsibility of his position. As he remembered it, the atmosphere of his Alma Mater had not been scholarly. His venerable friend the Latin professor he had gradually come to think of as lacking in accuracy and thoroughness. The Professor could not remember ever having been taught about the Atellanæ or Togatæ when he read comedy with him, or having heard him refer to Ribbeck’s Fragmenta. He was plainly behind the times, though perhaps useful in certain ways. The institution and the department needed a standard-bearer of Scholarship.
So the Professor had raised the standard and begun his march. He set out to cultivate the scientific temper among his students, and to set an example to his colleagues. His accuracy was wonderful, his conciseness a marvel, his deliberation unfailing, his thoroughness halted before no obstacle, his method was faultless. His recitations were grave and serious in manner and content. He never stooped to humor, for Scholarship was a jealous goddess. On one occasion, after the first of two public lectures on Latin Comedy, when some one very deferentially suggested that the next lecture would perhaps prove more attractive if he livened it up with a joke or a story now and then, “ What! ” cried the Professor, “ do you mean that I am to lend myself to the prostitution of Scholarship? ”
In class, he prescribed note-books and topics, and set his students to counting and classifying terminations. He also had them collect material to aid him on his new theory of the Subjunctive of Suggestibility, and required them to prepare abstracts of articles in the Journals of Metrology, Archæology, and Philology. He advocated and carried in Faculty meeting a measure providing for a thesis requirement, and brought about many other changes inspired by his love for the System.
The Professor did not realize it for some time, but the fact was that his bearing was dignified to the point of ponderosity, and his classroom utterances on even those subjects which most roused his enthusiasm were measured and formal to the extent of frigidity. His students were compliant, and executed his commands,—they were Western students, — but they did so wonderingly, and on the basis of faith rather than reason.
Absorbed in his consonantal chase, the Professor for a long time took it for granted that his students were as much inspired as he himself by the ideals set before them. He was not stupid, however : it was only five years since he had sat in those same seats, and after several months he could not fail to note the look of bland wonder on the faces of the girls, and the incipient expression of weariness on the faces of the boys, whenever he mentioned his favorite subject. The former were possessed by a kind of childlike amazement that one small head could carry all he knew, the latter by an indifference which was saved from being disgust only by a mild conviction that the Professor was something less than absolutely right in his mentality. Among themselves they referred to him as Terminations, occasionally lengthened to Interminable Terminations.
Being really sympathetic and sensitive, the Professor noticed more and more the glances of his students. Once he detected two of them simultaneously touching their foreheads, and passing a significant wink. This came as a shock, and set him vigorously to thinking. It began to suggest itself to him increasingly that what was so fascinating to him might not be even mildly interesting to younger people who had not enjoyed his advantages of study and association. He could n’t help harking back to his own undergraduate days, the memory of which had been obscured by his experiences of the past years. He remembered the uplift he had received, and yet he recalled from his courses in Sophocles and Terence nothing about terminations or constitutional antiquities or codexes. The plays themselves had been the thing, and his teacher’s method had been merely, first, to see that he could translate his lessons, and then to illumine them by drawing on the wealth of his own rich garner of knowledge and experience. The effect had been spiritual, not mechanical; literature had seemed to be translated into life.
The Professor did not abate his zeal, however. He persisted in his course to the end of the year; for, was he not fostering Scholarship, and was not that his mission ? Whether students were interested or enthused was not his immediate concern; his duty was to serve his mistress, and to trust her to make her own appeal. He dismissed with disdain a budding inclination to popularize. Of all things that were in heaven above, or that were in the earth beneath, or that were in the water under the earth, the System had impressed him that the worst was to be popular.
But he thought a great deal during the summer vacation, nevertheless. It is true, he did not allow himself to debate: that would have been treason to Scholarship; but not even the all-absorbing Terminations kept him from being disturbed by a vague and undefined unrest. The result was that, with some little hurt to his conscience, — his Scholarly conscience, I mean, — he set fewer and simpler tasks during the following year, and obtruded Terminations with less frequency.
During the next summer he was engaged on M, and his progress was slower. His unrest was no longer vague and undefined, but vivid and insistent, a factor in every day’s experience. By the time he reached R, the following year, the serpent of doubt reared its ugly head and not only attacked the Professor’s scientific method in the classroom, but laid siege to Consonantal Terminations in their very citadel. He spoke of it to no one, of course. The only manifestation of his waywardness was in the gradual encroachment of geniality and humor upon the domain of the scientific method in his lectures and recitations. He came to the classroom with fewer notes and more smiles and spontaneity, talked more with his students, and less to them. Once or twice he was thrilled by the realization of an ancient ambition: he saw faces light up with the divine fire of enthusiasm for great art, just as he knew his had once lighted up, and he felt the joy of having put something rich into human life.
But Guilt followed him when he left the classroom. He was on the road to treason, against his will. He fought off doubt again and again, unwilling to part with the Olympian calm that sprang from the assurance that in holding to his course he was doing the supremely worth while. Often, indeed, he succeeded in reconvincing himself. The sight of his name in the learned periodicals, letters from his colleagues in other institutions, the coming of some eruditissimus Romanorum to deliver a lecture in his community, revived his spirit, and cast the old glamour once more over Terminations.
It must have occurred to you before this that the Professor was really a duality. He himself recognized the fact in time. He was Mr. Homo and Dr. Scholarship: the natural man with genuine and wholesome impulses, and the artificial product of a System; and Mr. Homo, long browbeaten into subjection, and venturing only now and then to reassert himself, was now clamoring aloud for full measure of recognition. The Professor saw that the day was near in the valley of decision, and that there could be no peace of mind for him until he should have entered into and emerged therefrom.
This was his state of mind on the particular evening on which we caught our first glimpse of him in his room. Mr. Homo was rebellious in the extreme, and insisted on debate and decision once for all, threatening to fly in the face of Dr. Scholarship. The Professor threw down his pen in despair, leaned back and put his feet on the table in the midst of the sacred manuscript, and invited them to have it out. It was the first time he had really surrendered to the demands of his natural self for an impartial consideration of the question.
“ Confound him, anyway, with his solemn-faced ways! ” impetuously began Mr. Homo, who, not having had the benefit of the System, was less self-controlled than his enemy. “ Who or what is he that you make so much fuss over him ? What good is he to any one? Tell me, will you? — if you can! ” Mr. Homo addressed himself directly to the Professor; for Dr. Scholarship, he knew, considered himself above argument.
The Professor consequently answered for his learned protégé. Of course, he felt bound to manifest some indignation, especially as he was secretly fond of Mr. Homo, whose genial and direct ways he had always liked, and was guiltily conscious that he was inclined to agree with him.
“ What!” he exclaimed irritably. “ Don’t you believe in Scholarship at all ? ”
“ That is n’t what I said,” replied Mr. Homo. “ What I’m talking about is your version of it — your darling Terminations over there. I want to know what excuse they have for existence. Come now, who’s the better for them? Your students, I suppose! ” There was irony in his voice.
The Professor had to concede that five years’ experience had taught him that it was better for Terminations to keep away from his classroom.
“ Well, then,” went on Mr. Homo, “ if not your students, whose? ”
The Professor considered a moment; he could see no reason why what was repellant and useless when set before his own students should be of benefit to the students of any one else; and he was, to tell the truth, possessed of a lively doubt that Terminations would ever be introduced to the notice of other students. He was thinking of certain pet theories of his learned friends which his students had never heard of. He was silent.
“ Then whom do they benefit, and whom will they benefit ? The people at large? Nonsense! Whom then?”
“ The Scholars of the country,” said the Professor proudly, with letters and reviews in mind; and added haughtily, “ You know I don’t pretend to write for the common run of mankind.”
Mr. Homo looked him squarely in the eye. “ Very well. How many scholars are you writing for? ” he queried.
The Professor was honest. He considered a while, and did not dare to place the number of those interested in his line of investigation at more than two score.
“ And how many of the two score,” broke in Mr. Homo eagerly, “ are you sure wall read your work through, or ever refer to it again if they do? ”
Here the Professor’s glance happened to fall on the heap of uncut books, dissertations, and reprints, lying in the corner. He reflected that his knowledge of ninety-nine out of a hundred of the products of Scholarship was limited to what he read in reviews of them, and that the reviews themselves usually paid more attention to misprints and technical errors than to really significant qualities. He saw that it was easily possible that Terminations would never be read by any one except the friends who would “ kindly consent ” to read the proof in return for his gratitude, which he would manifest by giving them advertising space in the preface. Possibly there might be added a reviewer or two; though he knew something of their methods, and did n’t feel sure of them.
He confessed his thoughts like a man.
“ Then see what you are doing,” pursued Mr. Homo, with merciless logic. “ Here you have spent five years in becoming a scholar, and five more in a professor’s chair. During all the first five, you neglected the much coveted privilege of enriching your mind and soul for the sake of learning how to be accurate, exhaustive, and methodical in the treatment of mere lumber; and during most of the last five, you have been robbing yourself of physical, intellectual, and spiritual growth, and cheating your classes out of the inspiration which your institution meant you to give them, and which you yourself are secretly convinced is worth more than anything else they can get. And for what ? To write something for a half-dozen men to glance at and consign to a dusty heap like that of yours in the corner. Whatever good it does stops right there with those few individuals — without reaching either students or people, or contributing one iota toward making life more abundant. Waste, waste, absolute waste!” Mr. Homo’s temperature was rising.
“ But, my dear man,” remonstrated the Professor, “ you are unreasonable. There is waste in all production. Think of manufacturing processes. Think of the countless pages of scribbling and the scant body of real literature. Why, even Nature herself is wasteful! ” The System had taught him this argument.
“ All of which may be true,” replied Mr. Homo, “ without proving that waste is desirable, or that it is justifiable when it may be avoided.”
“ But my work is not waste! I insist on it,” said the Professor. “ It is a model of scholarly method, and will contribute to the spirit of scholarly activity. The nation needs it. Think of Germany! If every one should take your advice, there would be no scholarship at all! ” This was the best argument the System possessed.
But Mr. Homo knew little of the arguments of the System. “ That’s where you ’re way off,” he said. His language was not always Systematically dignified. “ I am not objecting to effort over something worth while, nor even to a reasonable amount of training as a means to an end. But I am objecting to the confusion of means and end, to the publication of books and articles on trivial subjects which have interest for few people, and value for none at all. I am objecting to the sham of writing merely for the sake of writing, and to the pretense of scholarship for the sake of gratifying personal vanity, receiving calls to coveted positions, or ministering to the greed of book concerns. I am objecting to the fraud of a system which treats the most important of the humanities as if it were the most material instead of the most spiritual of subjects; and, by inordinately emphasizing the trivial unknown, encourages the neglect of the great field of the known and approved. Here are hundreds of graduate students spending nine-tenths of their time in learned trifling over unliterary detail, and calling it scholarship; while not one out of ten of them has yet read all of his Horace or Virgil, or could give an intelligent account of their significance in universal literary history, to say nothing of making them attractive to a class. Have you read your Virgil within the past five years? Have you ever read Homer through, or Tasso, or Dante, or Milton ? There, never mind, I don’t want to embarrass you! ”
“ Am I then to contribute nothing to scholarship? ” cried the Professor. “ Is my life to be fruitless in the great cause? ”
“ Oh, dear me, no! Not at all! ” Mr. Homo reassured him. “ You may be a scholar yet, but don’t think that you must do it right away. You are not ripe for it now. What are you about, anyway, trying to write books at thirty? One might think you had some great message for the world! Bless your heart, you don’t know enough yet to write anything worth putting into print! You have n’t lived enough or thought enough to possess real knowledge. The beginning and source of good writing is to know! What you have on those sheets there [the Professor had involuntarily glanced at Terminations in T] is n’t knowledge — any more than a neat pile of bricks is architecture. Shall I give you some good advice ? ”
The Professor nodded assent, and tried to frown as he did so. He liked Mr. Homo’s sincerity and fearlessness, but the System was still strong enough with him to restrain him from open confession.
“ Well then,” continued his mentor, “ drop this nonsense! ” He pointed toward Terminations. “ Don’t write books until you have something to write about. And don’t fancy that the writing of books on such subjects as that of yours is the only form of scholarship, or is necessarily scholarship at all. To be able to commune with the souls of the world’s great poets, — who are, after all, the world’s greatest creative scholars, - and to interpret their message to humanity, is a higher form of scholarship than the capacity for collection and arrangement of data about them. That is the work of a mechanician, and requires ingenuity rather than intellect. It does n’t really take brains to do that. Remember that you are a teacher of literature, and that the very highest form of creative scholarship in literature is to produce new combinations in thought and language, just as in chemistry it is to discover new combinations of chemicals. If you cannot create, the next best is to interpret and transmit. Don’t fancy, too, that there is no scholarship except what appears in print. If there can be sermons in stones and books in the running brooks, all the more can there be scholarship in human personality. Hearken to my commandments, and your peace shall be as a river. Fill your head and your heart with the riches of our literary heritage, so that out of the abundance of the heart your mouth shall speak, so that virtue shall go out from you to those who touch the hem of your garment, and transmute for them life’s leaden metal into gold. Inspire, and point the way! Your old teacher was one of that kind — and to think that for a time you thought you knew more than he! He will be dead and gone years before you know as much as he knew ten years ago.”
The Professor himself had for some time gradually been coming to that conclusion, and felt no resentment at the words. Nor was this his only change of opinion. The truth was, Mr. Homo had only summed up in convincing manner the Professor’s most intimate cogitations for the past year or two. His conviction and conversion were only the natural result of a long process. The trammels of the System should no longer be on him. Nature, the good friend whom the pitchfork of the System had expelled, should henceforth be allowed a voice in the direction of his effort. He would know more of great books, of men, of life; his tongue and pen should flow from inspiration as well as industry; he would tell not only what was, but what it meant.
He rose and gathered together his material on Consonantal Terminations, carried it over to the corner of the room, and deposited it with the heap of reprints. Then he turned out the light and started to leave the room, but on second thought went back and picked up the sheets again, and put them in the fireplace. By the cheerful light they gave, he removed to the dusty shelves of his closet all the apparatus on Terminations which covered the table, and loaded the revolving case, and set in its place his favorite poets, novelists, historians, and essayists, glowing with pleasure at the promise of the future.