.. Baltimore. It's imperfect. Boy, is it imperfect. And there are parts of its past that make you wince. It's not all marble steps and waitresses calling you 'hon,' you know. Racial strife in the sixties, the riots during the Civil War. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was civilized and gay, rotted and polite. The terms are slightly anachronistic now, but I think he was essentially right.
In this couple defects were multiplied, as if by a dangerous doubling; weakness fed upon itself without a counterstrength and they were trapped, defaults, mutually committed, left holes everywhere in their lives. When you read their letters to each other it is often necessary to consult the signature in order to be sure which one has done the writing. Their tone about themselves, their mood, is the fatal one of nostalgia--a passive, consuming, repetitive poetry. Sometimes one feels even its most felicitious and melodious moments are fixed, rigid in experession, and that their feelings have gradually merged with their manner, fallen under the domination of style. Even in their suffering, so deep and beyond relief, their tonal memory controls the words, shaping them into the Fitzgerald tune, always so regretful, regressive, and touched with a careful felicity.
Now he realized the truth: that sacrifice was no purchase of freedom. It was like a great elective office, it was like an inheritance of power - to certain people at certain times an essential luxury, carrying with it not a guarantee but a responsibility, not a security but an infinite risk. Its very momentum might drag him down to ruin - the passing of the emotional wave that made it possible might leave the one who made it high and dry forever on an island of despair.. Sacrifice by its very nature was arrogant and impersonal; sacrifice should be eternally supercilious.
We to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in their congressmen, countries try to believe in their statesmen, but they. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical, ill-considered criticism. It's worse in the case of newspapers. Any rich, unprogressive old party with that particularly grasping, acquisitive form of mentality known as financial genius can own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to swallow anything but predigested food. For two cents the voter buys his politics, prejudices and philosophy. A year later there is a new political ring or a change in the paper's ownership, consequence: more confusion, more contradiction, a sudden inrush of new ideas, their tempering, their distillation, the reaction against them -