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Days Off: And Other Digressions

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CONTENTS : I. Days Off II. A Holiday in a Vacation III. His Other Engagement IV. Books that I Loved as a Boy V. Among the Quantock Hills VI. Between the Lupin and the Laurel VII. Little Red Tom VIII. Silverhorns IX. Notions about Novels X. Some Remarks on Gulls XI. Leviathan XII. The Art of Leaving Off ILLUSTRATIONS: Our canoes go with the river, but no longer easily or lazily O CONTENTS : I. Days Off II. A Holiday in a Vacation III. His Other Engagement IV. Books that I Loved as a Boy V. Among the Quantock Hills VI. Between the Lupin and the Laurel VII. Little Red Tom VIII. Silverhorns IX. Notions about Novels X. Some Remarks on Gulls XI. Leviathan XII. The Art of Leaving Off ILLUSTRATIONS: Our canoes go with the river, but no longer easily or lazily On such a carry travel is slow A notion to go down stream struck the salmon There was the gleam of an immense mass of silver in its meshes Tannery Combe, Holford "Billy began to call, and it was beautiful" There he stood defiant, front feet planted wide apart She took the oars and rowed me slowly around the shore a selection from the first story: DAYS OFF "A DAY OFF" said my Uncle Peter, settling down in his chair before the open wood-fire, with that air of complacent obstinacy which spreads over him when he is about to confess and expound his philosophy of life,-"a day off is a day that a man takes to himself." "You mean a day of luxurious solitude," I said, "a stolen sweet of time, which he carries away into some hidden corner to enjoy alone,-a little-Jack-Horner kind of a day?" "Not at all," said my Uncle Peter; "solitude is a thing which a man hardly ever enjoys by himself. He may practise it from a sense of duty. Or he may take refuge in it from other things that are less tolerable. But nine times out of ten he will find that he can't get a really good day to himself unless he shares it with some one else; if he takes it alone, it will be a heavy day, a chain-and-ball day,-anything but a day off." "Just what do you mean, then?" I asked, knowing that nothing would please him better than the chance to discover his own meaning against a little background of apparent misunderstanding and opposition. "I mean," said my Uncle Peter, in that deliberate manner which lends a flavour of deep wisdom to the most obvious remarks, "I mean that every man owes it to himself to have some days in his life when he escapes from bondage, gets away from routine, and does something which seems to have no purpose in the world, just because he wants to do it." "Plays truant," I interjected. "Yes, if you like to put it in that objectionable way," he answered; "but I should rather compare it to bringing flowers into the school-room, or keeping white mice in your desk, or inventing a new game for the recess. You see we are all scholars, boarding scholars, in the House of Life, from the moment when birth matriculates us to the moment when death graduates us. We never really leave the big school, no matter what we do. But my point is this: the lessons that we learn when we do not know that we are studying are often the pleasantest, and not always the least important. There is a benefit as well as a joy in finding out that you can lay down your task for a proper while without being disloyal to your duty. Play-time is a part of school-time, not a break in it. You remember what Aristotle says: 'ascholoumetha gar hina scholazomen.'"


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CONTENTS : I. Days Off II. A Holiday in a Vacation III. His Other Engagement IV. Books that I Loved as a Boy V. Among the Quantock Hills VI. Between the Lupin and the Laurel VII. Little Red Tom VIII. Silverhorns IX. Notions about Novels X. Some Remarks on Gulls XI. Leviathan XII. The Art of Leaving Off ILLUSTRATIONS: Our canoes go with the river, but no longer easily or lazily O CONTENTS : I. Days Off II. A Holiday in a Vacation III. His Other Engagement IV. Books that I Loved as a Boy V. Among the Quantock Hills VI. Between the Lupin and the Laurel VII. Little Red Tom VIII. Silverhorns IX. Notions about Novels X. Some Remarks on Gulls XI. Leviathan XII. The Art of Leaving Off ILLUSTRATIONS: Our canoes go with the river, but no longer easily or lazily On such a carry travel is slow A notion to go down stream struck the salmon There was the gleam of an immense mass of silver in its meshes Tannery Combe, Holford "Billy began to call, and it was beautiful" There he stood defiant, front feet planted wide apart She took the oars and rowed me slowly around the shore a selection from the first story: DAYS OFF "A DAY OFF" said my Uncle Peter, settling down in his chair before the open wood-fire, with that air of complacent obstinacy which spreads over him when he is about to confess and expound his philosophy of life,-"a day off is a day that a man takes to himself." "You mean a day of luxurious solitude," I said, "a stolen sweet of time, which he carries away into some hidden corner to enjoy alone,-a little-Jack-Horner kind of a day?" "Not at all," said my Uncle Peter; "solitude is a thing which a man hardly ever enjoys by himself. He may practise it from a sense of duty. Or he may take refuge in it from other things that are less tolerable. But nine times out of ten he will find that he can't get a really good day to himself unless he shares it with some one else; if he takes it alone, it will be a heavy day, a chain-and-ball day,-anything but a day off." "Just what do you mean, then?" I asked, knowing that nothing would please him better than the chance to discover his own meaning against a little background of apparent misunderstanding and opposition. "I mean," said my Uncle Peter, in that deliberate manner which lends a flavour of deep wisdom to the most obvious remarks, "I mean that every man owes it to himself to have some days in his life when he escapes from bondage, gets away from routine, and does something which seems to have no purpose in the world, just because he wants to do it." "Plays truant," I interjected. "Yes, if you like to put it in that objectionable way," he answered; "but I should rather compare it to bringing flowers into the school-room, or keeping white mice in your desk, or inventing a new game for the recess. You see we are all scholars, boarding scholars, in the House of Life, from the moment when birth matriculates us to the moment when death graduates us. We never really leave the big school, no matter what we do. But my point is this: the lessons that we learn when we do not know that we are studying are often the pleasantest, and not always the least important. There is a benefit as well as a joy in finding out that you can lay down your task for a proper while without being disloyal to your duty. Play-time is a part of school-time, not a break in it. You remember what Aristotle says: 'ascholoumetha gar hina scholazomen.'"

32 review for Days Off: And Other Digressions

  1. 5 out of 5

    Taylor John

    I bought an old beautiful copy of it on Ebay *about $50NZ incl. postage, but boy it well worth it.) It comes a close third place for me of the books I've read of his so far. Little Rivers, is my favourite. Then, Days Off. And, close equal second/third is Fisherman's Luck. All three books are amazing - and, I feel need to be re-published and promoted, so the world gets to enjoy these wonderful collections of amazing short stories! If you like Herman Hesse's Stramge News From Another Star, you wou I bought an old beautiful copy of it on Ebay *about $50NZ incl. postage, but boy it well worth it.) It comes a close third place for me of the books I've read of his so far. Little Rivers, is my favourite. Then, Days Off. And, close equal second/third is Fisherman's Luck. All three books are amazing - and, I feel need to be re-published and promoted, so the world gets to enjoy these wonderful collections of amazing short stories! If you like Herman Hesse's Stramge News From Another Star, you would love Henry Van Dyke! x This book, for me, surprised me how good and diverse the stories were. It grows on ya, til you treat it like a piece of gold when you put it back in your shelf when read x

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rosemarie

  3. 4 out of 5

    Landon Shultz

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thoreau

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jack Porter

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bowers

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Hudson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chiara

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maria Zapanta

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diana-Jane

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Lynn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trey Rogge

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lebow

  16. 5 out of 5

    Malak

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stunning Mess

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellice

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jill Porter

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lenore

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christy Parker

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  24. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Duffield

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alma

  27. 5 out of 5

    R L

  28. 5 out of 5

    Beth Bryant

  29. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindi Roberson

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

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