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The Ruling Passion - Henry van Dyke

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THE RULING PASSION

by Henry van Dyke

A WRITER'S REQUEST OF HIS MASTER


Let me never tag a moral to a story, nor tell a story without a 
meaning.  Make me respect my material so much that I dare not slight 
my work.  Help me to deal very honestly with words and with people 
because they are both alive.  Show me that as in a river, so in a 
writing, clearness is the best quality, and a little that is pure is 
worth more than much that is mixed.  Teach me to see the local 
colour without being blind to the inner light.  Give me an ideal 
that will stand the strain of weaving into human stuff on the loom 
of the real.  Keep me from caring more for books than for folks, for 
art than for life.  Steady me to do my full stint of work as well as 
I can: and when that is done, stop me, pay what wages Thou wilt, and 
help me to say, from a quiet heart, a grateful AMEN.



PREFACE


In every life worth writing about there is a ruling passion,--"the 
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