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Teacher's Sayings, (n.d.; document source not identified)


"Teacher's Sayings"

The busiest day is the day we stay at home to rest and find a few little odd jobs to do about the house.

When there is no light in the windows of the face.

Only the born fool makes the same mistake twice.

There are two things one engaged in a public work is sure to meet with and should ignore: unintelligent criticism and pathos. The first can't harm and the second can't help. They indicate more or less asininity. Nevertheless if the cause is a good one and it doesn't succeed there is a reason and the thing to do is to find it before trying again.

Last night you came to me, John. I do not know if it was a dream or your spirit presence. I felt your step so near and you were the very same - your manner and the smell of your clothes. I held your hand so tight and you called me Bill, but I felt the same glad thrill I always felt when you put my hand on your lips and said Hello Bill. Oh I was so happy because you had come back to me. Home isn't just the same when you are not there. We walked in the hill wood and we hunted toadstools and got a basket full that were good to eat. We walked home through the field and you said, "This is like the old times," and the way you said it brought peace to my heart. I can't tell if it was a dream or a vision. I only know I have been happier today because you called me Bill in the dear old way.

Unschooled in poetry, music, art, they eat the meagre (sic) loaf their hands have earned to still their bellies' empty pain and ache. They eat and are not glad at heart for the hunger of their souls is not appeased. They have no bread.

I would I could (sic) write a song with a thousand words in every line.

They think ephemeral promises will heal this world's commotion.

Faith a taper burning in an open room opens wide the gates of heaven and all things by men estammed (sic) were mine as in a dream.

Singled out by the majesty of Fate to be the comrade of the sad and dispirited and disinherited. All miseries are woven in the substance of my anguish, all the hurt and mained (sic) and desolate and blind turn to me for sympathy as Catholics reverently pray to their Mother of Sorrows.

Comes the daybreak of thy deliverance o'er hills and through valleys - holy fires of wisdom. It flows from peak to peak flooding land and sea with holy light in ever widening floods of morning light. Thy wondering gaze beholds revealed man's vision, dreams, and holiest aspiration consummated in the light of day, in that red and quivering light, dawn, hushed and holy light, the trackless vastitudes of space.

One moment I stand upon the noble height. My spirit has won through love and faith on sunlit peaks of thought. Freed at last from the restraining hands of sense with spiritual vision keen and swift I gaze fearful and angered at the brutal world of men. Lower than the beasts, they rend and kill each other. Divine humanity! Created in God's image! These cruel, curving, broken shards! The new-born radiance in my soul at the sight went out. Utter blindness covered me like a mantle of mortal pangs. Pangs from human hearts, immortal tears for human wrongs made darkness sweet and death desirable. Oh dark, sweet, protecting dark to thee I hold out beseeching hands. Fold me in thy comforting cool wings.

Guide the torch and light of an alll-lseeing world. Let me hide my burning face in thy still gloom. Pour upon my impatient wrath the balm of thy silent tides of might. Encompassed by darkness, wordless, bewildered, desolate, encompassed by silence and utter darkness I am.

What if my hunger is fed with all that seems most palatable, what if my enemies bite the dust and fate's arrows are lightly ground beneath my feet, what if my house is full of friends and laughter, what if my soul ascends on wings of flame, what if my garments of finest silk cling and flow if the endless lives that touch me as I pass are cold and hungry and joyless. My spirit's light goes out. I grope in the darkness. The world is a windowless dungeon.

Life that hangs on a tyrant's whim. Untrustworthy things: woman's love that must be bought, a soldier with a sword in his hand, government's riches and king's lies. Ignorance hath entwined men's minds and made them strangely blind. They thought the world was made for chosen men. Now clearer judgement tears the veil aside. So he knows that all the world is his to feed and clothe and cherish and enjoy.

Imagination paints before my inward eye flower and star and his beloved face. Should fancy cease my world would be a prison, all impenetrably dark.

The world is full of light and song. The world is full of visible things that sparkle and shine and sing. Forever that darkness and eyes that burn to break the seal of darkness.

With fingers of fire I touch thy weary eye-lids and lo, the seal of darkness is broken. Suddenly like a thousand gleaming swords light comes, glorious consummation thus to stand untrammelled of the senses. Free as the winds with vision limitless as the all-seeing mind. In guise of God's chastened messenger I come to you my brothers with fingers of fire.

The world is full of visible things that shine and sing - bird, fire and star - for ears that listen and eyes that are bright. But to me the world is dark night. Arrows of fate fly true. But I wear it like a blossom in my hair.

Hunger and pestilence like a skulking wolf at every humble door and over all the dread menace of world - destroying war, fear-vexed hearts and ever active and alert the treacherous leader in cunning disguise that sets their hearts asunder. Blood-bespattered fields denied the fructifying seeds of bounteous life left to barrenness and waste, their sterility a hideous commentary on the deeds of those who rule over us.

Tells how the interminable hungers of life hurt. How can the man who sees his wretched wife tired always, clad in coarsest stuffs, his dull, old-faced babies tugging at her shapeless skirt. He looks with sullen resignation that tells now that even little hope is dead how his degredation (sic) hurts.

Russia. They glorify this teeming world of hate. The measure of their loss is now my own.

There are confused memories of groping soundless days of rain, of hurrying footsteps of nameless persons moving, of horses, of animals, of flickering annoying contacts that made me fidget and whimper uneasily. Tears and fears and falling and clutching, of hands tender and forceful, of face close to mine and comforting arms round me, bananas and honey, wild grapes and persimmons, buckwheat cakes with sweet syrup, all luscious nameless things; rain, the smell of earth and throbs in my ear drums that made me stand still afraid of strong dark things; mornings hot and dripping, nights cool and odorous. I lean out of a window. A perfumed wind blows my hair. I grope for it but it escapes through my fingers.

Elemental things - hunger, fire, water, hot sands that sting my bare feet.

The flower fields of the spirit are as wonderful as the bright gardens that delight your eyes.

She has a face like a morning in spring.

Polly: "How unreal she looks. Her whole body registers weariness, her voice. It is unutterably sad. Teacher has failed greatly the last few months.

From Miss Laughren:
Helen is my child, my very life.
Each man must follow the law of his being.
Thank God I gave my life that Helen might live. God help her to live without me when I go.
Then she cried: "Nurse, nurse. The snow is falling soft, cold, and white. It is burying me out of sight." Then with a smile she said, "Oh, nurse, you could make poetry out of that. "

Ideas when they are right accumulate strength as they go along.

Truth can lose nothing by agitation but may gain all. That is why agitators are feared, imprisoned, and killed.

Debs. Dead his country acclaims him patriot - dear majestic ghost. Rome atoned for power consummate by her colossal fall. Now Britain's empire has grown to such a height it appals (sic) her rivals and lo, history repeats itself. Her friends turn enemies and rend the hand that fed them, grown weary of the imperial curb and her own sons dastardly.

genius (sic) - that passion of the spirit alone lifts the sod (sic) man is to fame in song and glory. With fiery words Debs fought for what he deemed the people's good and proved his words by his offered liberty and sealed his honor with life imprisonment.

Night gathers the stars under her great soft wings and silently steals away.

I gaze into the glory of the sun and find it good.

Real sorrows are apparently at peace in the deep bed that they have made for themselves where they seem to sleep though all the while they never cease to fret and eat away the soul (Balzac).

Mankind is laboring with heavy thoughts.

Does the soul only flower on nights of storm?

We are too driven to pay any tribute to friendship.

My treacherous eyesight balks me always about study and production. When I am in mood to read they betray me cursedly.

How often it happens that the thing we rashly assume to be impossible is fund by subsequent experiment to be possible and desirable.

A vision shines before me of men, my brothers - of workers, my comrades, Striving, suffering, dying, they shape the age anew.

He was the embodiment of the power to make one think.

We must not touch our idols. The gilt sticks to our fingers.

Battle-fields, grim accusers of the wicked deeds of men - interpreting in dumb pantomime the significance of war and master minds at work.

Till they plant their flaming banners on the masthead of the future. Through thoughts and words and deeds heroic, the new state.

Imagination, the cunning master-key, flings wide the gates of heaven.

The world was a child's playhouse. I was full of thoughts. I saw mothers suckling their babies. I felt the thrill of their little fingers on my breasts. Millions of young people in the streets hunting work, love, food, pleasure, forgetfulness. Restless, furtive, unsatisfied they track the streets. Reckless hungry eyes marred, ugly fear - empty of thought, empty of joy, they scurry and huddle through openings in the gray-like walls and plunge down subway steps like water over a dam.

Wild apple rains sweet odors on the air.

Let me retrace the record of the years that made me what I am, a woman bound upon a solitary rock, prey of the vultures of circumstance. Always straining at my chains, again and again beaten to my knees by forces stronger than my human will. Yet I am not beaten with my forehead in the dust. I stel (sic) moments of freedom clinging to the skirts of faith, I climb upwards to heights where I glimpse bright worlds of thought, of love, and liberty. And through the midnight stillness of my soul I hear the loud insistent moan of others in bondage and like me disinherited, creatures who sigh and sleep and wake a sigh again.

A vision floats between me and earth's darkness.

She knew that interesting, exciting play was one of the ways of filling the void. So the first thing she did was to teach me to play. She played with me. The resourcefulness of genius was in the games we played together. I learned language, arithmetic, history, geography, zoology, botany while I played with all the zest of a puppy. A boat on the Tennesse (sic) river, the barnyard, the circus, the village store were our playgrounds. Our games were a combination of almost everything. They supplied me with an enormous amount of knowledge and education. All out of doors was a museum of object lessons. We examined everything - stones, plants, fruits, birds, and insects. We were eager to find out all we could about them. It was great fun. My teacher was interested in everything; that is why I was so interested in everything. We talked about our wonderful discoveries and daily the bond of understanding and friendship strengthened between us. Next to a circus a picnic furnishes the greatest number of object lessons. A picnic is a lovely succession of experiences, beginning with a long drive into the country, the vehicle full to bursting with delicious things to ear. One sits in a little boat and the boys row violently for what seems hours and hours but is really only a few minutes to the opposite side of a beautiful lake. The sun is burning hot but nobody notices it. We all get out and help unload the cargo and set the table under a great tree. What fun it is to take the mysterious packages out of the baskets - pickles, jam, small lumps of sugar, hard-boiled eggs, sandwiches, ginger snaps, cookies, fried chicken, potato chips, bananas. Thermos bottles of coffee and lemonade and milk for the babies. Everything put on the table cloth spread out in the shade of the tree. We look for stones to hold down the corners. We fold the paper napkins neatly and put knife and fork and spoon on them to keep them in place. We gather wild flowers and cones and pretty sprays of leaves for a center piece. At last everything is ready. Then the feast! So good everything is. The food eaten indoors never has the flavor of picnic food. It seems as if one could eat forever. But no, the moment comes when one cannot swallow another bite. There's no room even for a ginger snap. Then there is the packing up. That's not quite so interesting. But the fire at the end is exciting. When scraps and papers are thrown in and it blazes up we cover our faces and scamper to safety under great trees. Then there is the important question to decide whether to walk or ride or row to the road on the other side of the lake. Usually the boat got most votes. It was such fun to row against the head wind and feel the boat leap through the water like a hop-toad.

Next to circus and picnic sleeping on the ground all night is a thrilling adventure. When we are little what joy to cook our own bacon and eggs and sit around a nice fire of sweet smelling pine. sticks telling stories, feeling sure that the wild people of the woods are peeping at us from bush and tree and stony barricade. I remember how sleepy we used to get and how glad we were to roll in our blankets and lie around the smouldering (sic) camp fire.

Clippings made by or for Teacher

    Reviews of

  • James Joyce's Ulysses
  • John Clare: A Life by J.W. and Anne Tibble
  • Theory of Education in the United States Albert J. Nook
  • Florence Nightingale I.B. O'Malley
  • Agnes Irwin Agnes Repplier
  • Ageless Woman Percy R. Broemel
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton as Revealed in Her Diary, Letters and Reminicenses Edited by Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch
  • Under the Fifth Rib, A Belligerent Autobiography C.E.M. Joad
  • Padraic Colum's Review of Marlo Rossi's "Pilgrimage in the West" (a book about Ireland)
  • Journey to the End of Night Louis-Ferdinand Celine
  • A Backward Glance Edith Wharton
  • Woman, Theme and Variations A. Corbett-Smith
  • The Modern Woman and Herself Margaret Kornitzer
  • The True Woman C. K. Munro
  • Weird Tales E.T.A. Hoffmanm
  • Emerson Rodey by Bliss Perry - Reviewed by John Macy
  • The House of Exile - Nora Waln
  • Views and Reviews - Havelock Ellis
  • The American Notebooks - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Life and Mind of Emily Dickinson - Genevieve Taggard
  • Poverty and the State - Gilbert Slater

Clippings for or by Teacher


  • Tranquility, a Pearl of Great Price
  • D.H. Lawrence and his biographers
  • Burns's poverty
  • Jeseph Hergesheimer on writing (The Lamentable Trade of Letters)
  • censorship of Hawthorne by his wife
  • Obituary appreciation of Nora Archibald Smith
  • Obituary appreciation of Mrs. Hamlyn, mistress of Clovelly
  • Letter from Romain Rolland to President Wilson
  • John Millington Synge
  • George Fox
  • Henry James
  • friendship of Coleridge and Lamb
  • Articles on their personal beliefs by Ellen Glasgow and Rose Macaaulay
  • J.B.S. Heldane
  • Proust
  • Boston Transcript
  • W.H. Hudson

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