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.

I write for information.  Tell me—­do you think good will come of it?  My immediate judgment is against it, strongly.  In purpose—­ good, in method, name,—­impossible.  It is as if one were to say, “Come let us gather together the Good and the Wise, and say who shall be called honest men.”  Cicero, I believe, formed government by the “boni.”  No one likes the good who advertise.  I don’t.  Am I all wrong? ...

LANE

To Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt

[Pasadena], March 25, [1921]

Your letters, my dear Mrs. Franklin, are refreshing breezes.  They are quite what breezes should be—­warm, kindly, stimulating; not hard, stiff, compelling things, off a granite Northern shore.  Anne rejoices in them, without words.

I have been lately with my one brother on his ranch—­a large name implying vast herds quietly grazing over infinite valleys and mountains.  But all farms here are ranches, as you doubtless know, as all weather is fine.  My brother’s ranchita is eighty acres of beauty; a stream below, running up to manzanita crowns on good-sized hills, and oaks and sycamores and bays, and many other trees between.  He has a house, all of which he planned in fullest detail himself, with as lovely a site as anywhere, and a pretty and artistic wife; a good saddle horse, a noble dog, a loyal and most excellent cook, many books—­and what more could he have in heaven?  Outside his dining-room window he has built a dining-table for the birds, and so as we dined within, they dined without.  Each morning I saw the sun rise, and I whistled as I dressed.  One morning I climbed the hills and found the cow and drove it in for the man to milk.  But my only morning duty was to pick a golden poppy or a cherokee rose or a handful of wild forget-me-nots for my button-hole.  All day I sat in the sun, or drove a bit or walked a little —­talking, talking, talking; of law, and Plato, and Epictetus, and Harry Lauder, (whom we imitated, at a distance; for my brother sings Scotch songs); and we talked too of our old girls and the early days of good hunting in this semi-civilized land, and of Woodrow Wilson and H. G. Wells and Emerson and Henry George, and of Billy Emerson, the negro minstrel, and William Keith our great artist.  And we planned houses, adobe houses, that should be built up above, over the manzanita bushes, and the swimming-pool that should just naturally lie between the two live-oaks hidden behind the natural screen of mountain laurel, but open clear up to the sun.  Each night we closed with a round of songs, and maybe a hymn.  And bed was early.  Now wasn’t that a good place to be?

Not so very different in atmosphere from Hyde Park!  But what would Broadway say of such a life!  Oh, the serenity of it all, the dignity, the independence, the superiority over so much that we think important.  There one could get a sense of proportion, and see things more nearly in their natural color and size.  Truly, I could have been religious if I lived in the country—­and not been too hard driven for a living! (For one can’t be anything good or great when pressed and bullied by necessity of any kind.)

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