Kipling and Elbert Hubbard

Kipling and Elbert Hubbard
Frontispiece illustration of Elbert Hubbard (Elbert Hubbards’s Scrap Book)

I was searching for a book in one of my bookcases and noticed Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book (one of several works by Hubbard) and discovered his sage collection once again.

Here’s what could be viewed as an epigraph to the above title:

“There is an ancient legend which tells us that when a man first achieved a most notable deed he wished to explain to his tribe what he had done. As soon as he began to speak, however, he was smitten with dumbness, he lacked words, and sat down. Then there arose – according to the story – a masterless man, one who had taken no part in the action of his fellow, who had no special virtues, but afflicted – that is the phrase – with the magic of the necessary words. He saw, he told, he described the merits of the notable deed in such a fashion, we are assured, that the words ‘became alive and walked up and down in the hearts of all his hearers.’ Thereupon, the tribe seeing that the words were certainly alive, and fearing lest the man with the words would hand down untrue tales about them to their children, they took and killed him. But later they saw that the magic was in the words, not in the man.”

— Kipling

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