Adventures in Contentment - download pdf or read online
By Ray Stannard Baker
This booklet is a facsimile reprint and should include imperfections reminiscent of marks, notations, marginalia and fallacious pages.
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He threw out one arm and brought it back with a shudder. ” In response to Harriet’s melting compassion he had spoken with unfathomable bitterness. Suddenly he leaned forward toward me with a piercing gaze as though he would look into my soul. His face had changed completely; from the loose and vacant mask of the early evening it had taken on the utmost tensity of emotion. ” I asked. ” He paused a moment and then broke out in a higher key: “You think I am a tramp. Yes—you do. I know—a worthless fellow, lying, begging, stealing when he can’t beg.
It was not dissipation, I decided; it was rather an indeﬁnable looseness and weakness, that gave one alternately the feeling I had ﬁrst experienced, that of anger, succeeded by the compassion that one feels for a child. To Harriet, when she had once seen him, he was all child, and she all compassion. We disturbed him with no questions. Harriet’s fundamental quality is homeliness, comfortableness. Her tea-kettle seems always singing; an indeﬁnable tabbiness, as of feather cushions, 49 DAVID GRAYSON ADVENTURES IN CONTENTMENT lurks in her dining-room, a right warmth of table and chairs, indescribably comfortable at the end of a chilly day.
Such pictures: that silver cord, that golden bowl! And why and wherefore? A thousand ways I turned them in my mind—and always with the sound of the preacher’s voice in my ears—the resonance of the words conveying an indescribable ﬁre of inspiration. Vaguely and yet with certainty I knew the preacher spoke out of some unfathomable emotion which I did not understand—which I did not care to understand. Since then I have thought what those words must have meant to him! Ah, that tall lank preacher, who thought himself a failure: how long I shall remember him and the words he read and the mournful yet resonant cadences of his voice—and the barren church, and the stony religion!
Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker