Failures of the Ages

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BY BOLTON HALL.<ref>Author of "Even as You and I"</ref>

THERE was a Man: stupid was he, and brutish. Yet he harried wild beasts and wilder men. It chanced that men came upon him and upon his child, and the child they would have taken for their food; but the Man withstood them, so that he was slain; and after all the child was taken by the men. Their children wondered at the Man.

There was a Man: ignorant was he, and fierce. Yet he fought with beasts and savage men. And it happened that men fell upon his villagers, and most of them escaped; but the Man stayed behind, defending women. At last the Man was killed, and the women were carried away by the men. Their children made a mound above the body of the Man.

There was a Man: weak was he, and dull. Yet he strove with chiefs and furious priests. It befell that, when his tribe went man-catching, the Man refused to help.

Therefore the priests commanded that he be burned; and the tribe went as before. For the Man their children built a tomb.

There was a Man: poor was he, and unlearned. Yet he pleaded with the unthinking, and with savage creeds. It came to pass that the rulers went astray, and he cried out to them. The rulers heeded him not, so that his heart was broken. Then he died, and the people mocked his sayings.

Their children called the Man a prophet of the Lord.

* * *

Yet, in every striving, it was given to the Soul to see that only he attaineth to the measure of a Man, who, with whatsoever light he hath in life or death, treads out the paths of God.


  • Bolton Hall, “Failures of the Ages,” Mind 1, no. 3 (December 1897): 176.