A Salutary Admonition
Is it possible to have a blog and not be pedantic? I wouldn't think so. Regardless, herewith more from "The Path to Rome". Accusations of hypocrisy may be sent to the address at the left.
“In Ulrichen was a warm, wooden, deep-eaved, frousty, comfortable, ramshackle, dark, anyhow kind of a little inn called ‘The Bear’. And entering, I saw one of the women whom God loves.
“She was of middle age, very honest and simple in the face, kindly and good. She was messing about with cooking and stuff, and she came up to me stooping a little, her eyes wide and innocent, and a great spoon in her hand. Her face was extremely broad and flat, and I had never seen eyes set so far apart. Her whole gait, manner, and accent proved her to be extremely good, and on the straight road to heaven. I saluted her in the French tongue. She answered me in the same, but very broken and rustic, for her natural speech was a kind of mountain German. She spoke very slowly, and had a nice soft voice, and she did what only good people do, I mean, looked you in the eyes as she spoke to you.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
“Beware of shifty-eyed people It is not only nervousness it is also a kind of wickedness. Such people come to no good. I have three of them now in my mind as I write. One is a Professor.
“And, by the way, would you like to know why universities suffer from this curse of nervous disease? Why the greatest personages stammer or have St. Vitus’ dance, or jabber at the lips, or hop in their walk, or have their heads screwed round, or tremble in the fingers, or go through life with great goggles like a motor car? Eh? I will tell you. It is the punishment of their intellectual pride
, than which no sin is more offensive to the angels.
“What! here are we with the jolly world of God all round us, able to sing, to draw, to paint, to hammer and build, to sail, to ride horses, to run, to leap; having for our splendid inheritance love in youth and memory in old age, and we are to take one miserable little faculty, our one-legged, knock-kneed, gimcrack, purblind, rough-skinned, underfed, and perpetually irritated and grumpy intellect, or analytical curiosity rather (a diseased appetite), and let it swell till it eats up every other function? Away with such foolery.”
“Lector. When shall we get on to. . . .”
“Auctor. Wait a moment. I say, away with such foolery. Note that pedants lose all proportion. They never can keep sane in a discussion. They will go wild on matters they are wholly unable to judge, such as Armenian Religion or the Politics of Paris or what not. Never do they use one of those three phrases which keep a man steady and balance his mind, I mean the words (1) After all it is not my business.
(2) Tut! Tut! You don’t say so!
And (3) Credo in Unum Deum Patrem Omnipotentem, Factorem omnium visibilium atque invisibilium
; in which last there is a power of synthesis that can jam all their analytical dust-heap into such a fine, tight, and compact body as would make them stare to see. I understand that they need six months’ holiday year. Had I my way they should take twelve, and an extra day on leap years.”
“Lector. Pray, pray return to the woman at the inn.”
“Auctor. I will, and by this road: to say that on the day of Judgment, when St. Michael weighs souls in his scales, and the wicked are led off by the Devil with a great rope, as you may see them over the main porch of Notre Dame (I will heave a stone after them myself I hope), all the souls of the pedants together will not weigh as heavy and sound as the one soul of this good woman at the inn.”