manuscript; others have been scliolars who thought they knewrnenough grammar and meter to correct fault}’ texts. The resultsrnof these conjectural emendations are not always encouraging.rnR.D. Dawe, looking back over the 70 years of Aeschylean scholarshiprnthat preceded his Repertory of Conjectures, concluded:rn”The quality of conjectures is not such as to encourage thernthought that of all nature’s miracles, man is the finest.”rnNonetheless, the true sense of a textual tradition includes therncorrections and improvements made by intelligent scribes andrnmodern Greek and Latin scholars from Demetrius Triclinius tornErasmus to Bendey and Porson and A.E. Housman all the wayrndown to Roger Dawe and E. Christian Kopff.rnRepudiate tradition, and you will never make sense either ofrnthe text or of the poetic rhythm — nor of anything else under thernsun. A few scholars or geniuses will be charmingly eccentric,rnbut in the absence of tradition, most people will simply becomernservile tools of a cultural establishment that will not allow anrnchallenge to its authoritv. “When I use a word,” said Mr.rnHumpty Dumpty on a famous occasion, “it means just what Irnchoose it to mean —neither more nor less.” Wlien you breakrndown all traditional order, you do not produce freedom and diversit)-;rnyou produce the University of Wisconsin which, if itrncannot find sufficient ethnic variety among the Germans,rnFinns, and Poles of the Dairy State, will simply fake a publicityrnphotograph to prove its total commitment to uniform diversity.rnTradition, because it is a rival source of authority, providesrnammunition to those who would challenge an entrenchedrnregime. Destro}’ tradition, as the barbarians finally succeededrnin doing in the late 60’s, and vou have an army of lost souls “halfrna million strong,” all wearing the same clothes, smoking thernsame dope, reciting the same passages from Siddartha, all trudgingrnthe same weary trail “to get back to the Garden.” The 60’srnkids-turned-80’s entrepreneurs were not the “me” generation;rnthey were only the “me too” generation.rnNow, they are running the country and the world, and whoeverrnwas elected in November is one of Them —not lifestylernfreaks, but moral and cultural freaks, slaves to an anti-Christianrnand anti-Western ideology they can never doubt because theyrncannot read or think or even listen, if some alien from anotherrnci’ilization tries to tell them about the world tiiat once existedrnago but not so far awav. They are filled with bright ideasrnms; they use words like “innovation” andrn” and “liberation,” the vocabulary of enslavementrnthat keeps us as stupid and docile as a domesticatedrnanimal.rnhi repudiating tradition, in trying to “be ourselves,” we cutrnourselves off from the knowledge, so painfully acquired, of thernpast several thousand years. We do not, of course, make it backrnto the Garden or even to the Cave. We turn ourselves into onernof those people being watched on (or watching) daytime televisionrn—the guy having an affair with his wife’s brother or the “infantilist”rntruck driver wearing his Mar- Jane outfit, hi a hell thatrnis beyond Dante’s imagining, a hundred million brain-deadrnslaves watch each other on television everv’ night and day of thernweek. That is where Descartes’ and Zwingli’s cult of the individualrnhas led us—to self-annihilation.rnWe can be free, but only if we put our wills in service (that is,rnin subjection) to the traditions that Chesterton called “therndemocracy of the dead,” to the God in knowledge of Wliom, asrnMonsignor Knox was taught to say, “standeth eternal life,” andrn”whose service is perfect freedom.”rnJong. ^rnand new paradi^rn”change,” “progressrnSoul of the Riverrnby Brendan GalvinrnSlipping around the bendrnof an instant, a shy,rnwinged thing, a spindleshanksrnfor hanging a body on,rnIf the soul can be seenrnwhen it takes on the color of river icernor a wall of reeds, shapes itselfrnto a cedar, then to a place where barkrnsloughed off a gray pine trunk,rnand the river’s never the samernriver twice, but a mirror to the eagle’srnpassing rumor and the now-and-thenrnof geese jockeying down the airrnto announce opening water,rnthen the soul is the river’s constancy,rnand you are the soul of the river,rngreat blue, always near,rneven on this winter morning—a lobernof southern air pushing in unhl it’s Aprilrnor October for a few hours again —rnice on the river going, the lastrnsnow under roadsidernbittersweet and chokecherryrnlike edges of seafoam,rnthe marsh hawk up and hunting,rnheron, and you’ve been hunting, too,rnyour wet footprints crossing the road,rnthree toes and a spur, like a linernof tree runes on the asphalt, until that windrnchopping up the bay arrives to erase them.rn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn