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He printed a small volume called "A Letter to American Teachers," which he sent to his associates in the American Historical Association, hoping to provoke some response. At all events, he was still pondering over the problem in 1910, when he tried to deal with it in another way which might be more intelligible to students. At the utmost, the active-minded young man should ask of his teacher only mastery of his tools. The tailor's object, in this volume, is to fit young men, in universities or elsewhere, to be men of the world, equipped for any emergency; and the garment offered to them is meant to show the faults of the patchwork fitted on their fathers. Probably he saw it in advance, for he used to say, half in jest, that his great ambition was to complete St. Augustine, like a great artist, had worked from multiplicity to unity, while he, like a small one, had to reverse the method and work back from unity to multiplicity. Setting himself to the task, he began a volume which he mentally knew as 'Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres: a Study of Thirteenth-Century Unity.' From that point he proposed to fix a position for himself, which he could label: 'The Education of Henry Adams: a Study of Twentieth-Century Multiplicity.' With the help of these two points of relation, he hoped to project his lines forward and backward indefinitely, subject to correction from any one who should know better." The "Chartres" was finished and privately printed in 1904. The point on which the author failed to please himself, and could get no light from readers or friends, was the usual one of literary form.
The idea of the two books was thus explained at the end of Chapter XXIX: — "Any schoolboy could see that man as a force must be measured by motion from a fixed point.
Had he been consulted, would he have cared to play the game at all, holding such cards as he held, and suspecting that the game was to be one of which neither he nor any one else back to the beginning of time knew the rules or the risks or the stakes?
He was not consulted and was not responsible, but had he been taken into the confidence of his parents, he would certainly have told them to change nothing as far as concerned him. Probably no child, born in the year, held better cards than he.
Collect about me the innumerable swarm of my fellows; let them hear my confessions; let them groan at my unworthiness; let them blush at my meannesses!
HENRY CABOT LODGE September, 1918 JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU began his famous Confessions by a vehement appeal to the Deity: "I have shown myself as I was; contemptible and vile when I was so; good, generous, sublime when I was so; I have unveiled my interior such as Thou thyself hast seen it, Eternal Father!
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Once acquired, the tools and models may be thrown away.