Optimism

Optimism
An Essay

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Optimism by Helen Keller

Published:

1903

Pages:

33

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1,621

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Optimism
An Essay

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Book Excerpt

But Greece was not perfect. Her poetical and religious ideals were far above her practice; therefore she died, that her ideals might survive to ennoble coming ages.

Rome, too, left the world a rich inheritance. Through the vicissitudes of history her laws and ordered government have stood a majestic object-lesson for the ages. But when the stern, frugal character of her people ceased to be the bone and sinew of her civilization, Rome fell.

Then came the new nations of the North and founded a more permanent society. The base of Greek and Roman society was the slave, crushed into the condition of the wretches who "labored, foredone, in the field and at the workshop, like haltered horses, if blind, so much the quieter." The base of the new society was the freeman who fought, tilled, judged and grew from more to more. He wrought a state out of tribal kinship and fostered an independence and self-reliance which no oppression could destroy. The story of man's slow ascent from savagery through barb

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