Vanishing Roads and Other Essays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about Vanishing Roads and Other Essays.
feeling, or one to be reasoned about; and that is why we very properly exempt woman from the necessity of being reasonable.  She is not, we say, a reasonable being, and in so saying we pay her a profound compliment.  For she transcends reason, and on that very account is mysteriously wise, the wisest of created things—­mother-wise.  When we say “mother-wit,” we mean something deeper than we realize—­for what in the universe is wiser than a mother, fed as she is through the strange channels of her being with that lore of the infinite which seems to enter her body by means of organs subtler than the brain?

A certain famous novelist meant well when recently he celebrated woman as “the mother of the male,” but such celebration, while ludicrously masculine in its egotistic limitation, would have fallen short even if he had stopped to mention that she was the mother of the female, too; for not merely in the fact that she is the mother of the race resides the essential mystery of her motherhood.  We do not value woman merely, if one may be permitted the expression, as a brood mare, an economic factor controlling the census returns.  Her gift of motherhood is stranger than that, and includes spiritual affinities and significances not entirely represented by visible babes.  Her motherhood is mysterious because it seems to be one with the universal motherhood of nature, one with the motherhood that guards and warms to life the eggs in the nest and the seeds in the hollows of the hills, the motherhood of the whole strange vital process, wherever and howsoever it moves and dreams and breaks into song and flower.  And, as nature is something more than a mother, so is woman.  She is a vision, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace and goodness at the heart of life; and her beauty is the sacred seal which the gods have set upon her in token of her supernatural meaning and mission; for all beauty is the message of the immortal to mortality.  Always when man has been in doubt concerning his gods, or in despair amid the darkness of his destiny, his heart has been revived by some beatific vision;

          Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
          From our dark spirits.

Woman is our permanent Beatific Vision in the darkness of the world.

III

THE LACK OF IMAGINATION AMONG MILLIONAIRES

Considering the truly magical power of money, it must often have struck the meditative mind—­particularly that class of meditative mind whose wealth consists chiefly in meditation—­to what thoroughly commonplace uses the modern millionaire applies the power that is his:  in brief, with what little originality, with what a pitiful lack of imagination, he spends his money.  One seldom hears of his doing a novel or striking thing with it.

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Vanishing Roads and Other Essays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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