“Old Bill” Suggests—
. . . . “Every life has pages vacant still.
Whereon a man may write the thing he will.”
From a padded armchair, that would be tosh. From Henry Van Dyke it was not. Stern, spare, with level brow and direct glance, his thinking had no cushions. Nor had his life.
His ancestors were Pennsylvania Dutch. He was a Presbyterian minister and the son of a Presbyterian minister. The high peak of his boyhood was fighting another boy for abusing a horse—and taking a terrific licking.
Twenty-two years in the ministry, representative of the United States in the Netherlands, navy chaplain in the war (he gave all his pay to establish a prize at Annapolis) and college professor at Princeton. Degrees from universities all over the world.
Mentally he would have been hard—he “didn’t believe in applying patent medicine remedies to religion”—except for the humanizing feature of his love of the out-of-doors.
From a friendly fellow fisherman, we can all take advice.