Credos

By Hutchinson, Dennis J. | The Yale Law Journal, March 2003 | Go to article overview

Credos


Hutchinson, Dennis J., The Yale Law Journal


When Byron White moved in the spring of 2001 from Washington, D.C., where he had been a public servant for forty years, back to Denver, where he had begun his legal career after World War II, he brought with him a vast cache of personal memorabilia that had been collected over a lifetime. The collection includes scrapbooks that his mother started when he was in high school and which were continued by his wife, Marion, after they were married in 1946. It also contains other artifacts--athletic programs, photographs, portraits, bronze busts, plaques, trophies--running the gamut of a life spent largely in the public eye since late adolescence. For the time being, the collection is being stored in the federal courthouse that bears his name, and a special room is being considered to house the collection. When White delivered the collection, two of his former law clerks who were living in the Denver area helped sort and arrange the material. Among the artifacts is a chapbook that White began in high school under the direction of his remarkable English literature teacher, Evelyn Schmidt Ely. (1) White explained to the former clerks that his values, first bred at home, took root under Mrs. Ely's direction. Two works, he said, became polestars in his life. The first was John Milton's sonnet, which is customarily entitled, On His Blindness:

   When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere hall my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that once Talent which is death to hide,
   Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
   To serve therewith my Maker, and present
   My true account, lest he returning chide;
   "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied,"
   I fondly ask; But Patience, to prevent
   That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
   Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
   Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his State
   Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
   And post o'er Land and Ocean without rest:
   They also serve who stand and wait." (2)

The poem, copied out in a round, young hand more than sixty-five years before, now carried an immediate poignancy--White had recently suffered a series of small strokes that prevented him from speaking more than a word or two at a time and that precluded him from sitting by designation on federal courts of appeals after his retirement from the Supreme Court. Thus, nearly a half-century of public service--"man's work[s]"--was finished.

The other work copied in the chapbook, its particular pages rubbed with wear, was the inspirational poem, If, written by Rudyard Kipling in 1910:

   If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
   If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
   If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
   Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
   Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
   And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
   If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
   If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
   If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
   Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
   And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
   If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
   And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
   If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
   And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
   If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with Kings--nor lose the common touch,
   If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
   If you can fill the unforgiving minute
   With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
   Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
   And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son! … 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Credos
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.