Thursday, November 08, 2018


The Growth of Trees

G.G. Coulton (1858-1947), Fourscore Years: An Autobiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1943), p. 172 (on John Owen, 1854-1926):
Therefore, much as he loved his native tongue, he favoured no violent efforts to revive it. He had begun with his own family. For the first two or three children, he made a point of bringing nursemaids down who spoke the Cymric pure and undefiled of Snowdonia. This had one curious and unexpected reaction. His eldest boy was only four or five when, one fine summer day, Owen told me of a dialogue in the garden before breakfast. 'It's a fine morning, Father.' 'Yes, my boy.' 'Trees growing fine.' 'Yes, my boy.' 'Jesus Christ makes them grow.' 'Well ... yes, my boy.' 'I know what he makes them grow for ... He wants them to burn people with.' The nursemaid from Snowdonia was, probably, a Calvinistic Methodist whose own rudimentary eschatology had been absorbed in a still cruder form by the child.

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