VOL. XXIX OCTOBER, 1924 No. 2
The publication committee and the editors disclaim responsibility for views expressed by
contributors to THE QUARTERLY
THE AMATEUR HISTORIAN'1
SAMUEL E. ASBURY
For every modern man the house of life has a thousand doors
and windows; his necessities, passions, ambitions, duties, pas-
times; all the arts, all the sciences, all the professions; religion,
politics. Were the light of each and all these thousand windows
and doors to beat upon us in the blinding splendor that the light
of one art, or one science; often beats upon the sharpened senses
of some one soul, either we should go blind in all our senses, or
we were geniuses. So nature is merciful. Most of the doors
and windows of our houses of life remain closed, or barely ajar.
Economic justification of our existence in this modern world
also demands that we close, and keep closed, nine hundred and
ninety-nine of the windows and doors of our house of life: one
science, or one art, or one profession, or less than that: one
division of a science or art or profession; one specialty of that
division; or even one specialty of that specialty. Such is the
price of success in our time. The price is slavery, physical, in-
tellectual, and spiritual. Great leadership is now great slavery.
There are but two escapes from this slavery. Either we may
dodge our share of the necessary drudgery of civilization, as
parasites; or we may stop short of leadership, the real modern
slavery, and content ourselves with secondary standings in the
hierarchy of success in one specialty, and then play our free
minds over the rest of the cosmos. The parasites are the idle
'Read at the annual meeting of the Texas State Historical Association,
May 15, 1924.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/. Accessed December 20, 2013.