TYPES OF DREAMERS.
Let others wrangle, I will wonder.
When we have rid the mind of belief in things that are not true, we have discovered the way leading to freedom.
Or, said another way, no one can use all the mental and spiritual strength that is his portion if the mind is filled with untruths.
Thus, the suspicious man thinks untruths of his friend, and loses the friendship he might have kept and increased. He chops a limb off the tree of his life, and sometimes that kills the tree itself.
In quite the same way we misread life about us. We pity the laboring man and envy the poet. The one is, we think, a galley-slave to hard work; the other has a life of roses and fine wine.
Let us begin removing untruths with this one.
Here sits the poet. Before him, there are coming forth troops of new characters. Hu man life, as the poet sees it, is sending forth, through his gift of vision, new types; strong men and fair women, rogues, vampires and strangely terrible things.
With his pen in hand, he grasps at them so that they shall live, not only for him, but for all mankind. "These," he says, "are things as they are; let me make them plain for those who live among them and yet cannot see them." So he thinks and works and eats two or three meals a day, if he can get them—gen erally without roses and fine wine—and tends to business as hard as he can.
Here stands the laborer. Before him, the fields of the earth ; in his hand, not a pen, but a few seeds. Poor man, we say, he must sow his seeds and keep on toiling in the earth, fighting with nature until autumn. Hot days and rainy days find him out here in the fields. There is not much in life for him.
It is thus we interpret him and his work.
But we must remember these two facts : (I ) The poet has work to do—hard work at that; and (2) the laborer sees visions—so beautiful indeed that poets often try to write about them.
It is a wonderful thing to bring forth from the imagination the characters that Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens, and their kind, have made so real that we know them better than we know some of our own friends. But
it is no less a wonderful thing to sow seeds with the hand, and see, as one does it, growing grain, fair fruit, sleek cattle, and a contented family. These are real creations.
Both poet and farmer labor to bring into being things that do not exist. And they both see the things of their creation, in vision, long before they do exist.
We believe many things that are not true. One of them is that poet labor is easy, and earth labor is hard. We seem now to see that work is work, whatever its kind; and it is al ways hard work if the man who works wants to bring his conceptions out into the open for others to see. That is a great thing to do. And it is never easy.
A man who can write a beautiful message in the page of a book is no less a laborer than the one who can write a beautiful message in a field of the earth.
And probably, in the end, one is as great a poet as the other.
Now, here is a case in point : There was once a clergyman.
This man bought a farm, in south-eastern Pennsylvania, of fifteen acres—so run down that it would scarcely keep a horse and a cow.
As the clergyman had never before owned a farm, and knew nothing of farming, he also bought a book ; then some more books, which told him what other men had learned from ex perience.
So it was that the experience, as told in these books, set the clergyman that much fur ther ahead, for he already knew how to read the words in a book. Not many know how to do that to the best advantage.
Now the clergyman not only bought the fif teen-acre farm, but with it a greater handi cap than his lack of farm experience. He also bought it mortgaged for seven thousand, two hundred dollars.
At the end of the first year, after digging in the dirt of his farm, and digging in the pages of his books, he found himself forty-six dollars farther behind.
Then he took a deep breath, and prepared for a six years' race. At the end of that time he had gotten his second wind, and paid off the mortgage.