« PreviousContinue »
CONTAINING THE INSPIRED
PRINTED AND MADE INTO A BOOK BY THE
HEN Elbert Hubbard was storing up in his Scrap Book the fruits of other men's genius, he did not contemplate a volume for publications He was merely gathering spiritual provisions for his own refreshment and delectation
To glance at the pages of his Scrap Book is to realize how far and wide he pursued the quest, into what scented rose gardens of Poetry, and up what steep slopes of Thought. To Alpine Valleys of classical literature it led him, and through forests and swamps of contemporary writing. For him it was the quest that mattered, it was the quest he loved
The Reader will remember Keats' dream of "a very pleasant life." "I had an idea that a Man might pass a very pleasant life in this manner: Let him on a certain day read a certain page of full Poesy or distilled Prose, and let him wander with it, and muse upon it, and reflect from it, and dream upon it: until it becomes stale-But when will it do so? NeverWhen a man has arrived at a certain ripeness in intellect any one grand and spiritual passage serves him as a starting-post towards all the two-and-thirty Palaces.' How happy is such a voyage of conception, what delicious, diligent indolence!"
Elbert Hubbard's lifelong labor has placed in all our hands the power to realize Keats' dream. Here in Hubbard's Scrap Book the Reader will find "full Poesy" and "distilled Prose," of a pleasing savor to the tongue and a strangely nourishing relish to the intelligence.
Let the reader browse but a moment and to use Keats' image-he will find the sails of his soul set for one of those high voyages of the spirit which give to life its most exalted meaning, and bring back as cargo the thrice-tried gold of ecstasy and vision.
What inspired Elbert Hubbard should set other pulses to beating. What stimulated and uplifted him should furnish others with strength for the struggle against the eroding sameness of the workaday world. Such at least is the purpose to which the book is dedicated; such is the pious hope of Elbert Hubbard's literary executors.