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Mad Shepherds and Other Human Studies   By: (1860-1955)

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MAD SHEPHERDS

AND OTHER HUMAN STUDIES

BY L. P. JACKS

WITH FRONTISPIECE BY L. LESLIE BROOKE

NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1910

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO SIR ROBERT BALL LL.D., F.R.S.

[Illustration: "SNARLEY BOB" From a Drawing by L. Leslie Brooke]

CONTENTS

MAD SHEPHERDS

1. SHOEMAKER HANKIN

2. SNARLEY BOB ON THE STARS

3. "SNARLEYCHOLOGY," I. THEORETICAL

4. "SNARLEYCHOLOGY," II. EXPERIMENTAL

5. A MIRACLE, I

6. A MIRACLE, II

7. SHEPHERD TOLLER O' CLUN DOWNS

8. SNARLEY BOB'S INVISIBLE COMPANION

9. THE DEATH OF SNARLEY BOB

OTHER HUMAN STUDIES

1. FARMER PERRYMAN'S TALL HAT

2. A GRAVEDIGGER SCENE

3. HOW I TRIED TO ACT THE GOOD SAMARITAN

4. "MACBETH" AND "BANQUO" ON THE BLASTED HEATH

There is nothing that so embases and enthralls the Souls of men, as the dismall and dreadfull thoughts of their own Mortality, which will not suffer them to look beyond this short span of Time, to see an houres length before them, or to look higher than these material Heavens; which though they could be stretch'd forth to infinity, yet would the space be too narrow for an enlightened mind, that will not be confined within the compass of corporeal dimensions. These black Opinions of Death and the Non entity of Souls (darker than Hell it self) shrink up the free born Spirit which is within us, which would otherwise be dilating and spreading it self boundlessly beyond all Finite Being: and when these sorry pinching mists are once blown away, it finds this narrow sphear of Being to give way before it; and having once seen beyond Time and Matter, it finds then no more ends nor bounds to stop its swift and restless motion. It may then fly upwards from one heaven to another, till it be beyond all orbe of Finite Being, swallowed up in the boundless Abyss of Divinity, [Greek: hyperanô tês ousias], beyond all that which darker thoughts are wont to represent under the Idea of Essence. This is that [Greek: theion skotos] which the Areopagite speaks of, which the higher our Minds soare into, the more incomprehensible they find it. Those dismall apprehensions which pinion the Souls of men to mortality, churlishly check and starve that noble life thereof, which would alwaies be rising upwards, and spread it self in a free heaven: and when once the Soul hath shaken off these, when it is once able to look through a grave, and see beyond death, it finds a vast Immensity of Being opening it self more and more before it, and the ineffable light and beauty thereof shining more and more into it.

Select Discourses of John Smith, the Cambridge Platonist, 1660.

MAD SHEPHERDS

AND OTHER HUMAN STUDIES

SHOEMAKER HANKIN

Among the four hundred human beings who peopled our parish there were two notable men and one highly gifted woman. All three are dead, and lie buried in the churchyard of the village where they lived. Their graves form a group unsung by any poet, but worthy to be counted among the resting places of the mighty.

The woman was Mrs. Abel, the Rector's wife. None of us knew her origin I doubt if she knew it herself: beyond her husband and children, assignable relatives she had none.

"Sie war nicht in dem Tal geboren, Man wusste nicht woher sie kam."

Her husband met her many years ago at a foreign watering place, and married her there after a week's acquaintance much to the scandal of his family, for the lady was an actress not unknown to fame. Their only consolation was that she had a considerable fortune the fruit of her professional work.

In all relevant particulars this strange venture had proved a huge success. To leave the fever of the stage for the quiet life of the village had been to Mrs. Abel like the escape of a soul from the flames of purgatory. She had rightly discerned that the Rev. Edward Abel was a man of large heart, high character, and excellent wit partly clergyman, but mostly man... Continue reading book >>




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