Because Lady Why, if she loves you (as I trust she does), will take care that you are beaten, lest you should fancy it was really profitable to live like a cunning sort of animal, and not like a true man. And how she will do that I can tell you. She will take care that you always come across a worse man than you are trying to be,—a more apish man, who can tumble and play monkey-tricks for people’s amusement better than you can; or a more swinish man, who can get at more of the pig’s-wash than you can; or a more wolfish man, who will eat you up if you do not get out of his way; and so she will disappoint and disgust you, my child, with that greedy, selfish, vain animal life, till you turn round and see your mistake, and try to live the true human life, which also is divine;—to be just and honourable, gentle and forgiving, generous and useful—in one word, to fear God, and keep His commandments: and as you live that life, you will find that, by the eternal laws of Lady Why, all other things will be added to you; that people will be glad to know you, glad to help you, glad to employ you, because they see that you will be of use to them, and will do them no harm. And if you meet (as you will meet) with people better and wiser than yourself, then so much the better for you; for they will love you, and be glad to teach you when they see that you are living the unselfish and harmless life; and that you come to them, not as foolish Critias came to Socrates, to learn political cunning, and become a selfish and ambitious tyrant, but as wise Plato came, that he might learn the laws of Lady Why, and love them for her sake, and teach them to all mankind. And so you, like the plants and animals, will get your deserts exactly, without competing and struggling for existence as they do.
And all this has come out of looking at the hay-field and the wild moor.
Why not? There is an animal in you, and there is a man in you. If the animal gets the upper hand, all your character will fall back into wild useless moor; if the man gets the upper hand, all your character will be cultivated into rich and fertile field. Choose.
Now come down home. The haymakers are resting under the hedge. The horses are dawdling home to the farm. The sun is getting low, and the shadows long. Come home, and go to bed while the house is fragrant with the smell of hay, and dream that you are still playing among the haycocks. When you grow old, you will have other and sadder dreams.
Hullo! hi! wake up. Jump out of bed, and come to the window, and see where you are.
What a wonderful place!
So it is: though it is only poor old Ireland. Don’t you recollect that when we started I told you we were going to Ireland, and through it to the World’s End; and here we are now safe at the end of the old world, and beyond us the great Atlantic, and beyond that again, thousands of miles away, the new world, which will be rich and prosperous, civilised and noble, thousands of years hence, when this old world, it may be, will be dead, and little children there will be reading in their history books of Ancient England and of Ancient France, as you now read of Greece and Rome.