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MY LIFE AND LOVES.

emphasize too the springing power in his loins and legs and the tearing strength of his front paws and claws; but if he lengthened his legs or diminished his jaw, he would denaturalize the true idea of the beast and would produce an abortion. The ideal, however, should only be indicated. Taine's talks, too, on literature and the importance of the environment even on great men, all made a profound impression on me. After listening to him for some time I began to see my way up more clearly. I shall never forget, too, some of his thought-inspiring words. Talking one day of the convent of Monte Casino, where a hundred generations of students, freed from all the sordid cares of existence, had given night and day to study and thought and had preserved besides the priceless manuscripts of long past ages and so paved the way for a Renascence of learning and thought, he added gravely:

"I wonder whether Science will ever do as much for her votaries as Religion has done for hers: in other words, I wonder will there ever be a laie Monte Casino!"

Taine was a great teacher and I owe him much kindly encouragement and even enlightenment.

I add this last word, because his French freedom of speech came as pure spring water to my thirsty soul. A dozen of us were grouped about him one day, talking when one student with a remarkable gift for vague thought and highfalutin' rhetoric, wanted to know what Taine thought of the idea that all the worlds and planets and solar systems were turning round one axis and moving to some divine fulfillment (accomplissement). Taine, who always disliked windy rhetoric, remarked quietly: "The only axis in my knowledge round which everything moves to some accomplishment is a woman's cunt (le con d'une