The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature

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Author: 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.

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Chicago: Henry Van Dyke, "A Writer’s Request of His Master," The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature, ed. Paine, Albert Bigelow, 1861-1937 and trans. Townsend, R.S. in The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature (New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1916), Original Sources, accessed October 28, 2021, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Z1J911IKFLB4BEC.

MLA: Dyke, Henry Van. "A Writer’s Request of His Master." The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature, edited by Paine, Albert Bigelow, 1861-1937, and translated by Townsend, R.S., in The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature, Vol. 22, New York, A. L. Burt Company, 1916, Original Sources. 28 Oct. 2021. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Z1J911IKFLB4BEC.

Harvard: Dyke, HV, 'A Writer’s Request of His Master' in The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature, ed. and trans. . cited in 1916, The Ruling Passion; Tales of Nature and Human Nature, A. L. Burt Company, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 28 October 2021, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=Z1J911IKFLB4BEC.