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Child and Country A Book of the Younger Generation   By: (1878-1932)

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CHILD AND COUNTRY

BY WILL LEVINGTON COMFORT

LOT & COMPANY RED FLEECE MIDSTREAM DOWN AMONG MEN FATHERLAND

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY NEW YORK

Child and Country

A Book of the Younger Generation

BY

WILL LEVINGTON COMFORT

AUTHOR OF "MIDSTREAM," "LOT & COMPANY," "DOWN AMONG MEN," "ROUTLEDGE RIDES ALONE," ETC., ETC.

NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

Copyright, 1916, BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

TO THOSE

WHO COME AFTER THE WRECKERS

TO THE BUILDERS

OF THE RISING GENERATION

FOREWORD

... To day the first glimpse of this manuscript as a whole. It was all detached pieces before, done over a period of many months, with many intervening tasks, the main idea slightly drifting from time to time.... The purpose on setting out, was to relate the adventure of home making in the country, with its incidents of masonry, child and rose culture, and shore conservation. It was not to tell others how to build a house or plant a garden, or how to conduct one's life on a shore acre or two. Not at this late day. I was impelled rather to relate how we found plenty with a little; how we entered upon a new dimension of health and length of days; and from the safe distance of the desk, I wanted to laugh over a city man's adventures with drains and east winds, country people and the meshes of possession.

In a way, our second coming to the country was like the landing of the Swiss Family Robinson upon that little world of theirs in the midst of the sea. Town life had become a subtle persecution. We hadn't been wrecked exactly, but there had been times in which we were torn and weary, understanding only vaguely that it was the manner of our days in the midst of the crowd that was dulling the edge of health and taking the bloom from life. I had long been troubled about the little children in school the winter sicknesses, the amount of vitality required to resist contagions, mental and physical the whole tendency of the school toward making an efficient and a uniform product, rather than to develop the intrinsic and inimitable gift of each child.

We entered half humorously upon the education of children at home, but out of this activity emerged the main theme of the days and the work at hand. The building of a house proved a natural setting for that; gardens and woods and shore rambles are a part; the new poetry and all the fine things of the time belong most intensely to that. Others of the coming generation gathered about the work here; and many more rare young beings who belong, but have not yet come, send us letters from the fronts of their struggle.

It has all been very deep and dramatic to me, a study of certain builders of to morrow taking their place higher and higher day by day in the thought and action of our life. They have given me more than I could possibly give them. They have monopolised the manuscript. Chapter after chapter are before me revelations they have brought and over all, if I can express it, is a dream of the education of the future. So the children and the twenty year olds are on every page almost, even in the title.

Meanwhile the world madness descended, and all Europe became a spectacle. There is no inclination to discuss that, although there have been days of quiet here by the fire in which it seemed that we could see the crumbling of the rock of ages and the glimmering of the New Age above the red chaos of the East. And standing a little apart, we perceived convincing signs of the long promised ignition on the part of America signs as yet without splendour, to be sure. These things have to do with the very breath we draw; they relate themselves to our children and to every conception of home not the war itself, but the forming of the new social order, the message thrilling for utterance in the breasts of the rising generation. For they are the builders who are to follow the wreckers of war... Continue reading book >>




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