F. P. Grove's In Search of Myself
e-Edition ©2007




In Search of Myself:
The elusive Motto...




Motto on ISM Title-Page



Frederick Philip Grove, mid-1920s, from the UMA Phelps Collection



THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS


CONTENTS

EDITOR'S PREFACE By Henry Cabot Lodge
PREFACE
I. QUINCY (1838-1848)
II. BOSTON (1848-1854)
III. WASHINGTON (1850-1854)
IV. HARVARD COLLEGE (1854-1858)
V. BERLIN (1858-1859)
VI. ROME (1859-1860)
VII. TREASON (1860-1861)
VIII. DIPLOMACY (1861)
IX. FOES OR FRIENDS (1862)
X. POLITICAL MORALITY (1862)
XI. THE BATTLE OF THE RAMS (1863)
XII. ECCENTRICITY (1863)
XIII. THE PERFECTION OF HUMAN SOCIETY(1864)
XIV. DILETTANTISM (1865-1866)
XV. DARWINISM (1867-1868)
\XVI. THE PRESS (1868)
XVII. PRESIDENT GRANT (1869)
XVIII. FREE FIGHT (1869-1870)
XIX. CHAOS (1870)
XX. FAILURE (1871)
XXI. TWENTY YEARS AFTER (1892)
XXII. CHICAGO (1893)
XXIII. SILENCE (1894-1898)
XXIV. INDIAN SUMMER (1898-1899)
XXV. THE DYNAMO AND THE VIRGIN (1900)
XXVI. TWILIGHT (1901)
XXVII. TEUFELSDRÖCKH (1901)

XXVIII. THE HEIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE (1902)
***
"Ça vous amuse, la vie?"

XXIX. THE ABYSS OF IGNORANCE (1902)
XXX. VIS INERTIAE (1903)
XXXI. THE GRAMMAR OF SCIENCE (1903)
XXXII. VIS NOVA (1903-1904)
XXXIII. A DYNAMIC THEORY OF HISTORY(1904)
XXXIV. A LAW OF ACCELERATION (1904)
XXXV. NUNC AGE (1905)



***

CHAPTER XXVIII
THE HEIGHT OF KNOWLEDGE (1902)

AMERICA has always taken tragedy lightly. Too busy to stop the activity of their twenty-million-horse-power society, Americans ignore tragic motives that would have overshadowed the Middle Ages; and the world learns to regard assassination as a form of hysteria, and death as neurosis, to be treated by a rest-cure. Three hideous political murders, that would have fattened the Eumenides with horror, have thrown scarcely a shadow on the White House.

The year 1901 was a year of tragedy that seemed to Hay to centre on himself. First came, in summer, the accidental death of his son, Del Hay. Close on the tragedy of his son, followed that of his chief, "all the more hideous that we were so sure of his recovery." The world turned suddenly into a graveyard. "I have acquired the funeral habit." "Nicolay is dying. I went to see him yesterday, and he did not know me." Among the letters of condolence showered upon him was one from Clarence King at Pasadena, "heart-breaking in grace and tenderness -- the old King manner"; and King himself "simply waiting till nature and the foe have done their struggle."


The tragedy of King impressed him intensely: "There you have it in the face!" he said -- "the best and brightest man of his generation, with talents immeasurably beyond any of his contemporaries; with industry that has often sickened me to witness it; with everything in his favor but blind luck; hounded by disaster from his cradle, with none of the joy of life to which he was entitled, dying at last, with nameless suffering alone and uncared-for, in a California tavern. Ça vous amuse, la vie?"

The first summons that met Adams, before he had even landed on the pier at New York, December 29, was to Clarence King's funeral, and from the funeral service he had no gayer road to travel than that which led to Washington, where a revolution had occurred that must in any case have made the men of his age instantly old, but which, besides hurrying to the front the generation that till then he had regarded as boys, could not fail to break the social ties that had till then held them all together.


Ça vous amuse, la vie? Honestly, the lessons of education were becoming too trite. Hay himself, probably for the first time, felt half glad that Roosevelt should want him to stay in office, if only to save himself the trouble of quitting; but to Adams all was pure loss. On that side, his education had been finished at school. His friends in power were lost, and he knew life too well to risk total wreck by trying to save them.

As far as concerned Roosevelt, the chance was hopeless. To them at sixty-three, Roosevelt at forty-three could not be taken seriously in his old character, and could not be recovered in his new one. Power when wielded by abnormal energy is the most serious of facts, and all Roosevelt's friends know that his restless and combative energy was more than abnormal. Roosevelt, more than any other man living within the range of notoriety, showed the singular primitive quality that belongs to ultimate matter -- the quality that mediæval theology assigned to God -- he was pure act.





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