It will perhaps be somewhat difficult for the men and women of a later day
to understand Jesse Bentley.
In the Last fifty years a vast change has taken place in the lives of our people.
A revolution has in fact taken place.
The coming of industrialism, attended by all the roar and rattle of affairs,
the shrill cries of millions of new voices that have come among us from over seas,
the going and coming of trains,
the growth of cities,
the building of the interurban car lines
that weave in and out of towns and past farmhouses,
and now in these later days the coming of the automobiles
has worked a tremendous change in the lives and the habits
of thought of our people of Mid-America.
badly imagined and written though they may be in the hurry of our times,
are in every household,
magazines circulate by the millions of copies,
newspapers are everywhere.
In our day a farmer standing by a stove in the store in his village
has his mind filled to overflowing with the words of other men.
The newspapers and the magazines have pumped him full.
Much of the old brutal ignorance that had in it also
a kind of beautiful childlike innocence is gone forever.
The farmer by the stove is brother to the men of the cities,
and if you listen you will find him talking as glibly and senselessly
as the best city man of us all