The Simple Life Antique Book by Charles Wagner C1904
Reference id: slcp0AsbrJI 645
Antique book "The Simple Life" by Charles Wagner, McClure Phillips & Co, copyright 1904.
Cloth cover with anchor design, faint markings/stains on cover, writing inside, clean pages.
Our complex life
the essence of simplicity
simplicity of thought
simplicity of speech
the mercenary spirit and simplicity
notoriety and the inglorious good
the world and the life of the home
pride and simplicity in the intercourse of men
the education for simplicity
The sick man, wasted by fever, consumed with thirst, dreams in his sleep of a fresh stream wherin he bathes, or of a clear fountain from which he drinks in great draughts. So, amid the confused restlessness of modern life, our wearied minds dream of simplicity.
The thing called by this fine name - is it a vanished good? I do not think so. If simplicity depended upon certain exceptional conditions, found only in rare epochs of the past, we must indeed renounce all idea of realizing it again. Civilization is no more to be brought back to its beginnings than the flood-tide of a river to the peaceful valley where alders meet above its source.
But simplicity does not belong to such and such economic or social phases: rather, it is a spirit, able to vivify and modify lives of very different sorts. Far from being reduced to vainly regretting it, we may, I affirm, make it the object of resolve, the end of practical effort.
Aspire to simple living? That means, aspire to fulfill the highest human destiny All of mens agitations for greater justice and more light have been also movements toward a simpler life; and the simplicity of olden times, in manners, art, and ideas, still keeps its incomparable value, only because it achieved the setting forth in high relief of certain essential sentiments and certain permanent truths. It is a simplicity to cherish and reverence; but he little comprehends it who thinks its peculiar virtue lies in its outward manifestations. In brief, if it is impossible for us to be simple in the forms our fathers used, we may remain simple, or return to simplicity, in their spirit. Our was are not their ways, but the journeys end remains in truth the same. It is always the polestar that guides the seaman, whether he cruise under sail or on a steamship. To make headway toward this end, with the means at our command, this is the essential thing, to-day as yesterday; and it is by frequent deviations from our route, that we have confused and complicated our life.
Should I succeed in making others share this quite spiritual notion of simplicity, I shall not have labored in vain. For some of my readers will then think that such an idea should inform our customs, manners, and development, and will begin to cultivate it within themselves, sacrificing to it some of those habits which hinder us from being men.
Too many hampering futilities separate us from that ideal of the true, the just, and the good, that should warm and animate our hearts. All this brushwood, under pretext of sheltering us and our happiness, has ended by shutting out our sun. When shall we have the courage to meet the delusive temptations of our complex and unprofitable life with the sages challenge: "Out of my light"?
Paris, May, 1895.
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