Palaces and Courts of the Exposition Part 8
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The old father and mother have had many children - many little primroses you will notice - but none more dear than this one. The charming panels will remind you that the old people of today are being rowed by the young. These children row the vessels, bring them to sh.o.r.e and fasten them to their moorings.
Many of the old people are deaf or blind and are straining to follow the young who, with willing hands are guiding them on. A most charming, lovely work is this, and adds a fine touch to the open book that we are reading. Don't lose the eagle and laurel wreath back of Youth. They are significant.
Oh the other side is the fine formal fountain of "El Dorado," by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney of New York.
The fountain of El Dorado brings to mind the old Indian legend of El Dorado, the Gilded One:
There was once among the South American tribes a belief that in a certain far-off country lived a king called El Dorado, the Gilded One.
He ruled over a region where gold and precious stones were found in abundance.
The story influenced a vast number of adventurers who led expeditions to seek the land of golden treasure, but, notwithstanding the fact that they searched most carefully and for long periods, they all failed to find it.
The idea of the unattainable gave the suggestion to Mrs. Whitney for her fountain.
The gold of El Dorado was used as the symbol of all material advantages which we so strongly desire - wealth, power, fame, etc.
In the panels are seen the men and women of life in their mad race for the unattainable.
Many have had a glimpse of El Dorado, the Gilded One, and are rus.h.i.+ng on to pa.s.s the mysterious gate behind which the desires of life await them.
Some faint by the roadside or stop in their race for the goal to contend or to loiter by the way, but those nearest the El Dorado increase their speed - rush madly on.
Beside the gateway that has only just allowed the fabled El Dorado, the Gilded One, to pa.s.s through are two mortals who have come close to the land of their desires, but only to find the door shut and slaves beside it barring the way. Their strength is expended, their courage gone in the long race for material things. The panels of this fountain tell us in satirical language something we can profitably think over and realize if we will.
The Ethical Side of the Court of the Universe
After man has created the great "Isthmian Way," it is well to think on his fine ethical standards.
Read on the triumphal arches these quotations on truth, honor, justice, wisdom:
"Truth, witness of the past, counsellor of the present, guide of the future." (Cervantes in Don Quixote.) East side of Arch of the Setting Sun.
"They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it." (Confucius from the Confucian a.n.a.lects translated by James Legge.) West side of the Arch of the Rising Sun.
"He that honors not himself lacks honor where soe'er he goes." (From the "Mu'allaqua" of Zuhayr ibn Abi Sulma translated by Reynold A.
Nicholson.) East side of the Arch of the Rising Sun.
"The world is in its most excellent state when justice is supreme."
(Dante Purgatoria.) West side of the Arch of the Setting Sun.
"A wise man teaches, be not angry; from untrodden ways turn aside."
(From the sayings of Phra Ruang, Prince Ram Khamheng of Sukhothai.) East side of the Arch of the Rising Sun.
Coming into this great Court of the Universe one hopes that truth, honor, justice and wisdom will be maintained.
The Floral Side of the Court of the Universe
This court will show a succession of beautiful bloom throughout the year. The daffodils will have their golden season, the rhododendrons their brilliant sheet of color, and in May the columns will support our various climbing roses, exhaling their perfume for all who come to this Land of Flowers.
Summer flowering annuals will follow and later the autumnal flowers.
Read the quotation on the aisle side of the Arch of the Rising Sun:
"The balmy air diffuses health and fragrance, So tempered is the genial glow that we know neither heat nor cold.
Tulips and Hyacinths abound.
Fostered by a delicious clime, the earth blooms like a garden."
(Annals of Kai-Kaus, in James Atkinson's translation of Shah Nameh.)
So, while thinking of a Persian garden in the quotation, we feel the applicability of these words to the California gardens.
The Festival Side of the Court of the Universe
There is still another side to realize in this meaningful court. The exposition is a great festival, a triumphal festival, and you meet the suggestions of it all around you.
This great court is entered on three sides by Triumphal Arches.
The Triumphal Arch of the Occident, The Triumphal Arch of the Orient, The Triumphal Arch of the Tower of Jewels.
The prototype of the triumphal arch is seen in many places, most satisfactorily today in Rome.
The Arch of Constantine is the best model for us to examine, for it has three openings - even if the shape of the side opening is not the same as that of the arches before us.
Palaces and Courts of the Exposition Part 8
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Palaces and Courts of the Exposition Part 8 summary
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