Hermione and Her Little Group of Serious Thinkers/Symbols and Dew-Hopping

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LAST week the loveliest man lectured to us—to our Little Group of Advanced Thinkers, you know—on the Ultimate Symbolism. In art and life both, you know.

It was simply wonderful—wonderful!

Art, you know, used to be full of symbolism.

But now, it seems, symbolism has dropped out of Art, and Nature has taken it up.

Odd, isn't it? But really not surprising when you come to think about it.

For, you know, Nature is always trying to keep up with advanced ideas—evolving and evolving toward the Superman.

And the Superwoman, too.

I think it is the duty of us who are advanced thinkers to give Nature a worthy ideal to evolve toward, don't you?

To set Nature a mark to come up to, you know.

For what is the use of evolution if it doesn't evolve forward instead of backward?

And the Best People, I think, should feel a sense of social responsibility and give evolution a model. Each should be a Symbol—that's what I always ask myself each night now: "Have I been a Symbol today? Or have I failed to be a Symbol?"

Down at the beach last week I nearly drowned—you don't mean to say you hadn't heard of it? It was frightful.

I'd always heard that, when a person sinks, his whole past life passes before him in review.

But it didn't with me. What I said as I went down was: "Have I been a Symbol? Or have I failed?"

And the life guard who got me out—he was simply the most gorgeous man!—Burned bronze, you know, and with shoulders like a Greek god! and with the most wonderful eyes and white teeth—he asked me, the guard did, "What, marm?"

It was fearfully disappointing! Sometimes they are college men, you know, just life-guarding through the summer. But would any college man have said, "What, marm?"

And then he went and saved a blonde creature in the most scandalous bathing suit I ever saw.

He saved one in the most business-like way, too, as if he were a waiter, you know, passing from one table to another.

No wonder the social fabric is crumbling when quite impossible people like life guards permit them selves to become blasé over such matters!

The lower classes are very discouraging anyhow, don't you think?—after all we do for them in the way of philanthropy and sociology and uplifting them generally, you know!

Of course, I haven't lost my interest in sociology—not by any means. I always hold fast the thought that all the world are brothers.

I'm taking up Dew-hopping next week. It's a wonderful new nerve cure. Formerly it was quite the thing to walk barefoot in the dew at dawn.

But at this new place I've discovered they don't merely walk—that's going out, quite. They hop. Like frogs and toads, you know.

It brings the patients into closer kinship with the electric currents of the earth, hopping does, the doctor says. It's wonderful!

He is the loveliest man—with mystic eyes!—the doctor is.