Letters of Franklin K. Lane eBook

Franklin Knight Lane
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 419 pages of information about Letters of Franklin K. Lane.

When we come to the turn in the road, where you cross the creek to climb the hill, there the “Portugee” lives.  He always has lived there.  He was found just there when the Padres came.  And his name was Silva.  John Silva, of Stevenson’s Treasure Island—­born in the Azores, of course—­there are no other Portuguese in America.

And John has—­how many children?  Give you three guesses.  All by one wife, too, and she is in evidence, and a native daughter.  I saw her with my own eyes, black hair, dark skin, slight figure, voluble, smiling, large-knuckled hands and a flashy eye, oh! a long way from being uninteresting to John yet, or a merely “good woman.”  Well, how many children did they have, right there by the road?—­eleven.  Eight boys and three girls—­and four dead, too.  Fine boys and girls, one I saw plowing or cultivating straight up and down the vineyard, a sixty degree hill, I should say.  I was struggling with a cane to get one foot before another on the sloping road and he was outdoing a horse, that he drove with his neck and shoulders, while with his hands he guided the little plow straight up toward the sky.  I am not envious of such youth.  I never had it.  I was always lazy.  But it is a real joy for me to be near such youth—­just to know that such things can be done—­by angels from the Azores.  You remember Anne’s story, “In future it is prohibited to refer to our beloved Allies as ’the God-damned Portuguese’”?  Well, I feel the same way.

Yes, this land of yours is good. (All land is good, I believe.) And the stillness, and the birds, and the flowers!  The simplicity of these two dear hearts—­George and his wife—­the little they need!  A paper once a day for five minutes, a song to break day with, and a round of songs and piano pieces to end the day, every act one of consideration, and each word spoken with a tender look, a gay lilt to the voice, even in asking to pass the salt.  “Better a dinner of herbs where love is,” etc.  Well, they have it, herbs and all,—­beet tops and mustard leaves. ...  Good luck to you.

F. K. L.

P. S. You don’t deserve this—­you stingy, skimpy mollusk!

To Lathrop Brown

Morgan Hill, [March] 16, [1921]

My dear Lathrop,—­I wish I could be with you just to laugh away that cynical mood.  I know that I do not see the world undressed, naked, in the raw, as you youngsters do.  Illusions and delusions, let them be!  I shall cherish them.  For whatever it is inside of me that I call soul seems to grow on these things that seem so contrary to the results of experience.  “If a lie works, it’s the truth,” says Dooley.  So say I, in my pragmatism.  I have “become” in the eyes of men and I want to “become” in the eyes of my better self, that ego must be gratified at least by an effort.  And to “become” requires that there shall be some faith.  We don’t accomplish by disbelieving.  That is your Mother’s religion.  It is my philosophy.  She has capacity for faith which I have not, because she climbs, while I stand still.

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Letters of Franklin K. Lane from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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