X. The flood-tide of youth.
To one who returns in middle or later life, like myself, to dwell in some college town where the first years of youth were spent, there is something that may fairly be called tremendous in the presence of that flood-tide of youth which surges forever through the streets.
It is at first dismaying, then interesting, and at last quite absorbing in its fascination.
The new-comer soon finds that he has in a manner to hold himself firm against it as against an incoming sea. To say that he feels insignificant before it is to say nothing; it carrieth him away as with a flood.
What is all that which makes up the sum of his personal existence-his childhood, his early loves and hopes and fears, his gratified or ungratified ambitions, and what he calls his work in the world — in presence of this resistless wave of another generation, sweeping on to replace him and to annihilate the very trace of him and his?