The capacity to endure a more or less monotonous life is one which should be acquired in childhood. Modern parents are greatly to blame in this respect ; they provide their children with far too many passive amusements, such as shows and good things to eat, and they do not realize the importance to a child of having one day like another, except, of course, for somewhat rare occasions. The pleasures of childhood should in the main be such as the child extracts himself from his environment by means of some effort and inventiveness.
When I go into a stranger’s library I wander round the book-shelves to learn what sort of a person the stranger is, and when he comes in I feel that I know the key to his mind and the range of his interests. A house without books is a mindless and characterless house, no matter how rich the rugs and how elegant the furniture and ornaments.