My Garden of Memory: An Autobiography

My Garden of Memory: An Autobiography

My Garden of Memory: An Autobiography

My Garden of Memory: An Autobiography

Excerpt

"I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times."

"OUT of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness." Such was the riddle that Samson put forth unto his thirty companions, and at the end of three days and nights they could not expound it. Such a riddle does heredity put forth unto us, and at the end of three hundred times three days and nights we are equally unable to give the correct answer.

For how much do Indian fighters count to their posterity? What do teachers, preachers, lawyers and doctors, pioneers, Revolutionary heroes, Pilgrim mothers and fathers, and many score of ordinary, commonplace progenitors bequeath to their great-grandchildren? Does the leaven quicken the lump, or the lump prove too much for the leaven? "Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief," goes the old rhyme, and the order is followed, no doubt, in most genealogies. There is no mention of a thief among my kindred, although such a record would hardly be treasured with meticulous care; but on the other hand, no one of them ever painted a great picture, carved a great statue, or wrote a great poem; or if he did, no trace of his achievements has been preserved.

As I look back over the long roll of my mother's and father's people, I see that they are all, without exception, English and Welsh by blood, that they have been Americans about as long as any folk save the redskins, and that they must have been natural warriors, for they have been to the fore in every armed conflict in which our country . . .

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