The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder (Mary Drevenstedt)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 00 1 Thornton Wilder - 1967The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Washington Square Press Edition, 1967

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 00 0 - Thornton Wilder - 1927 (Amy Drevenstedt)The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Grosset & Dunlap, First Edition, 1927

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 01 - Frontspiece (Drevenstedt)(Frontspiece)

From all this saddening data

Brother Juniper contrived an index for each peasant.

He added up the total for victims

and compared it with the total for survivors,

to discover that the dead were five times more worth saving.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 37 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (37)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 65 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (65)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 77 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (77)

It looked almost as though the pestilence had been directed

against the really valuable people in the village of Puerto.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 86 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (86)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 91 - Esteban (Drevenstedt)Esteban (91)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 113 - Esteban (Drevenstedt)Esteban (113)

And on that afternoon

Brother Juniper took a walk along the edge of the Pacific.

He tore up his findings and cast them into the waves;

he gazed for an hour upon the great clouds of pearl

that hang forever upon the horizon of that sea,

and extracted from their beauty a resignation

that he did not permit his reason to examine.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 149 - Uncle Pio (Drevenstedt)Uncle Pio (149)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 173 - Esteban (Drevenstedt)Esteban (173)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 205 - Uncle Pio (Drevenstedt)Uncle Pio (205)

The discrepancy between faith and the facts

is greater than is generally assumed.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 221 - Perhaps an Intention (Drevenstedt)Perhaps an Intention (221)

Heaven’s My Destination, by Thornton Wilder – 1934, 1960 [Unknown Artist]

“It seems to me I live.”

heavens-my-destination-thornton-wilder-1960-henry-koerner_edited-1“Now listen!  Listen to me!” she said, emphatically. 
“You make me sick. 
Where do they get yuh, your the’ries and your ideas? 
Nowhere! 
Live, kid, – live! 
What’d become of all of us sons-of-bitches,
if we stopped to argue out every step we took? 
Stick down to earth.”
Brush looked at her with furrowed brow and said in a low voice,

“It seems to me I live.”

* * * * * * * * * *

George Brush is my name;
America’s my nation;
Ludington’s my dwelling place
And Heaven’s my destination.

(Doggerel which children of the Middle West were accustomed to write in their schoolbooks.)