'Winter and summer'


“Winter was always the effort to live; summer was tropical license. Whether the children rolled in the grass, or waded in the brook, or swam in the salt ocean, or sailed in the bay, or fished for smelt in the creeks, or netted minnows in the salt marshes, or took to the pinewoods and the granite quarries, or chased muskrats and hunted snapping turtles in the swamps or mushrooms or nuts on the autumn hills, summer and country were always sensual living, while winter was always compulsory learning. Summer was the multiplicity of nature; winter was school.

”The bearing of the two seasons on the education of Henry Adams was no fancy; it was the most decisive force he ever knew; it ran though life and made the division between its perplexing, warring, irreconcilable problems, irreducible opposites, with growing emphasis to the last year of study. From earliest childhood the boy was accustomed to feel that, for him, life was double. Winter and summer, town and country, law and liberty were hostile, and the man who pretended they were not was in his eyes a schoolmaster—that is, a man employed to tell lies to little boys.’’

— From The Education of Henry Adams, by Henry Adams (1838-1918), his posthumously published memoirs. The book, by a member of Massachusetts’s most distinguished family, won the Pulitzer Prize and is considered a great classic.