The Ruling Passion - Henry Van Dyke - Страница 1 из 197


THE RULING PASSION
by Henry van Dyke
A WRITER'S REQUEST OF HIS MASTER
Let me never tag a moral to a story, nor tell a story without a meaning.
Make me respect my material so much that I dare not slight my work. Help
me to deal very honestly with words and with people because they are
both alive. Show me that as in a river, so in a writing, clearness is
the best quality, and a little that is pure is worth more than much that
is mixed. Teach me to see the local colour without being blind to the
inner light. Give me an ideal that will stand the strain of weaving into
human stuff on the loom of the real. Keep me from caring more for books
than for folks, for art than for life. Steady me to do my full stint of
work as well as I can: and when that is done, stop me, pay what wages
Thou wilt, and help me to say, from a quiet heart, a grateful AMEN.
PREFACE
In every life worth writing about there is a ruling passion,--"the very
pulse of the machine." Unless you touch that, you are groping around
outside of reality.
Sometimes it is romantic love: Natures masterpiece of interested
benevolence. In almost all lives this passion has its season of empire.
Therefore, and rightly, it is the favourite theme of the storyteller.
Romantic love interests almost everybody, because almost everybody knows
something about it, or would like to know.
But there are other passions, no less real, which also have their place
and power in human life. Some of them come earlier, and sometimes they
last longer, than romantic love. They play alongside of it and are mixed


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