Welcome to the final instalment of our latest Tale for Our Time - Jack London's pertinent tale of societal re-primitivization, The Scarlet Plague.
Thank you for all your kind comments about this serialization. In tonight's concluding episode, the old man understands the frustrations of trying to pass on knowledge to those who do not even recognize its value:
"All that was lost must be discovered over again. Wherefore, earnestly, I repeat unto you certain things which you must remember and tell to your children after you. You must tell them that when water is made hot by fire, there resides in it a wonderful thing called steam, which is stronger than ten thousand men and which can do all man's work for him. There are other very useful things. In the lightning flash resides a similarly strong servant of man, which was of old his slave and which some day will be his slave again.
"Quite a different thing is the alphabet. It is what enables me to know the meaning of fine markings, whereas you boys know only rude picture-writing. In that dry cave on Telegraph Hill, where you see me often go when the tribe is down by the sea, I have stored many books. In them is great wisdom. Also, with them, I have placed a key to the alphabet, so that one who knows picture-writing may also know print. Some day men will read again; and then, if no accident has befallen my cave, they will know that Professor James Howard Smith once lived and saved for them the knowledge of the ancients."
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read the conclusion of The Scarlet Plague simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
Thank you so much for your compliments about Tales for Our Time during this time of lockdown and lawlessness. Some like the ripping yarns for boys, some the more genteel social comedy for girls, and some of you even enjoyed our summer whimsy from yours truly. But of the tales in totality all seem to be in favor. Thank you too for your continued kind words about our Covid-spawned audio edition of The Mark Steyn Show, and its various features such as Last Call and The Hundred Years Ago Show.
If you've yet to hear any of our Tales, you can enjoy almost four years' worth of audio adventures - by Conan Doyle, Kafka, Conrad, Gogol, Dickens, Baroness Orczy, P G Wodehouse, Louisa May Alcott, Robert Louis Stevenson and more - by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For details on membership, see here - and, if you're seeking the perfect gift for a fan of classic fiction, don't forget our Steyn Club Gift Membership. Sign up that special someone today!
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