Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/211

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If I could give a complete account of that talk, this poor page would glow with wonder and admiration all merged in loving reverence. We talked or rather Smith talked for I soon found he knew infinitely more than I did, was able indeed to label my creed as that of Mill, "a bourgeois English economist" he called him with smiling disdain.

Ever memorable to me, sacred indeed, that first talk with the man who was destined to reshape my life and inspire it with some of his own high purpose. He introduced me to the communism of Marx and Engels and easily convinced me that land and its products, coal and oil, should belong to the whole community which should also manage all industries for the public benefit.

My breath was taken by his mere statement of the case and I thrilled to the passion in his voice and manner though even then I wasn't wholly convinced. Whatever topic we touched on, he illumined; he knew everything, it seemed to me, German and French and could talk Latin and Classic Greek as fluently as English. I had never imagined such scholarship and when I recited some verses of Swinburne as expressing my creed he knew them too and his Pantheistic Hymn to Hertha, as well. And he wore his knowledge lightly as the mere garment of his shining spirit! And how handsome he was, like a Sun-god! I had never seen anyone who could at all compare with him.

Day had dawned before we had done talking: then he told me he was the Professor of Greek in the State University and hoped I would come and study with him when the schools opened again in October. "To think of you as a cowboy" he said, "is impossible. Fancy a cowboy knowing books of Vergil and poems