Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker

By Ray Stannard Baker

This booklet is a facsimile reprint and will comprise imperfections similar to marks, notations, marginalia and improper pages.

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You have said the first kind words I have heard, it seems to me, in years. I don’t know who you are. ” I cannot well describe the intensity of the passion with which he spoke, his face shaking with emotion, his hands trembling. ” “No no,” he returned. ” And yet I longed to know of the life within this strange husk of manhood. “I know,” he said, as if reading my thought, “you think”—and he tapped his forehead with one finger—”but I’m not. ” It was a strange story he told. It seems almost unbelievable to me as I set it down here, until I reflect how little any one of us knows of the deep life within his nearest neighbour—what stories there are, what tragedies enacted under a calm exterior!

In a week’s time, having reached the warm sunshine of the upper air, it forgets its humble beginnings. Its roots wither swiftly and die out, but the sickly yellow stems continue to flourish and spread, drawing their nourishment not from the soil itself, but by strangling and sucking the life juices of the hosts on which it feeds. I have seen whole byways covered thus with yellow dodder—rootless, leafless, parasitic—reaching up to the sunlight, quite cutting off and smothering the plants which gave it life.

You have said the first kind words I have heard, it seems to me, in years. I don’t know who you are. ” I cannot well describe the intensity of the passion with which he spoke, his face shaking with emotion, his hands trembling. ” “No no,” he returned. ” And yet I longed to know of the life within this strange husk of manhood. “I know,” he said, as if reading my thought, “you think”—and he tapped his forehead with one finger—”but I’m not. ” It was a strange story he told. It seems almost unbelievable to me as I set it down here, until I reflect how little any one of us knows of the deep life within his nearest neighbour—what stories there are, what tragedies enacted under a calm exterior!

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