Chapter 7

           AweekofheavyreadinghadpassedsincetheeveninghefirstmetRuthMorse,andstillhedarednotcall. Timeandagainhenervedhimselfuptocall,butunderthedoubtsthatassailedhimhisdeterminationdiedaway. Hedidnotknowthepropertimetocall,norwasthereanyonetotellhim,andhewasafraidofcommittinghimselftoanirretrievableblunder. Havingshakenhimselffreefromhisoldcompanionsandoldwaysoflife,andhavingnonewcompanions,nothingremainedforhimbuttoread,andthelonghourshedevotedtoitwouldhaveruinedadozenpairsofordinaryeyes. Buthiseyeswerestrong,andtheywerebackedbyabodysuperblystrong. Furthermore,hismindwasfallow. Ithadlainfallowallhislifesofarastheabstractthoughtofthebookswasconcerned,anditwasripeforthesowing. Ithadneverbeenjadedbystudy,anditbitholdoftheknowledgeinthebookswithsharpteeththatwouldnotletgo. 

           Itseemedtohim,bytheendoftheweek,thathehadlivedcenturies,sofarbehindweretheoldlifeandoutlook. Buthewasbaffledbylackofpreparation. Heattemptedtoreadbooksthatrequiredyearsofpreliminaryspecialization. Onedayhewouldreadabookofantiquatedphilosophy,andthenextdayonethatwasultra-modern,sothathisheadwouldbewhirlingwiththeconflictandcontradictionofideas. Itwasthesamewiththeeconomists. OntheoneshelfatthelibraryhefoundKarlMarx,Ricardo,AdamSmith,andMill,andtheabstruseformulasoftheonegavenoclewthattheideasofanotherwereobsolete. Hewasbewildered,andyethewantedtoknow. Hehadbecomeinterested,inaday,ineconomics,industry,andpolitics. PassingthroughtheCityHallPark,hehadnoticedagroupofmen,inthecentreofwhichwerehalfadozen,withflushedfacesandraisedvoices,earnestlycarryingonadiscussion. 

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