O Great Humility by Anthony Esolen

Column: Illuminations

O Great Humility

by Anthony Esolen

As I write this, my dog Jasper, he of the seventy tricks, is lying atop the sofa, and looking out the window to check for the neighborhood children coming home from school. He waits patiently for me also when I come home from school, as patiently as did the dog Argos, "Flash" as I call him, when Odysseus his master came home after twenty years of war and wandering. No disguise could fool the sagacious dog. But so feeble was old Flash, flea-stung and neglected, warming his bony form on the dung heap, that all he could do to greet his master was flatten his ears a little and whimper and try to wag his tail. Odysseus wiped a tear from his eye, asked the good swineherd about the dog, and passed on, as death and darkness closed the eyes of Flash, first of all creatures to recognize the return of the king.

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Anthony Esolen is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire. His many books include Sex in the Unreal City: The Demolition of the Western Mind, Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a regular contributor to Chronicles, Crisis Magazine, The Claremont Review, Inside the Vatican Things, The Catholic Thing, and American Greatness. He has translated Dante's Divine Comedy. He is a Roman Catholic and lives with his wife in New Hampshire. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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more from the online archives

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