Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 87

Men are Oaks

Men are Oaks,

women are vines, children are flowers, and if there is any heaven in this world, it is in the family. It is where the wife loves the husband, and the husband loves the wife, and where the dimpled arms of children are about the necks of both. That is heaven, if there is any, and I do not want any better heaven in another world than that, and if in another world I cannot live with the ones I loved here, then I would rather not be there. I would rather resign.

Well, my friends, I have some excuses to make for the race to which I belong. In the first place, this world is not very well adapted to raising good men and good women. It is three times better adapted to the cultivation of fish than of people. There is one little narrow belt running zigzag around the world, in which men and women of genius can be raised, and that is all. It is with man as it is with vegetation. In the valley you [unclear: bad] the oak and elm tossing their branches defiantly to the storm, and as you advance up the mountain side the hemlock, the pine, the birch, the spruce, the fir, and finally you come to little dwarfed trees, that look like other trees seen through a telescope reversed—every limb twisted as through pain—getting a scanty subsistence from the miserly crevices of the rocks. You go on and on, until at last the highest crag is freckled with a kind of moss, and vegetation ends. You might as well try to raise oaks and elms Where the messes grow, us to raise great men and great women where their surroundings are unfavourable. You must have the proper climate and soil.

There never has been a man or woman of genius from the southern hemisphere, because the Lord didn't allow the right climate to fall on the land. It falls upon the water. There never was much civilisation except where there has been snow, and an ordinarily decent winter. You can't have civilisation without it. Where man needs no bed-clothes but clouds,