- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 7 (1921-1922) /
26

(1908-1925) [MARC]
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Sweden. It dominated his work, his social relations
with others, his very life as it were. I believe that no
person ever came in contact with my father or entered
into even a ten minutes’ serious conversation with him,
without hearing him touch upon this subject so near
to his heart. It was upper most in his mind. It was the
very essence of his soul.

Time and time again I saw disinterested individuals
who dropped in on a business errand or, perhaps, for a
social chat, suddenly become aware of this overwhelming
force that swayed my father’s energies into bigger
channels than those of mediocre lives. I saw surprise,
credulity, even scepticism melt away in the torrent of
his enthusiasm. It didn’t matter whether or not they
had ever before heard of Sweden’s glory. If they had
not, their case required all the more eloquence. But
whoever they were or whatever their station in life might
be, they left the house with a new feeling of respect for
that little country across the sea. Perhaps, for the
moment, they saw that land through my father’s eyes.

Next to his love for Sweden stood his work and,
because this work was, to a great degree, impregnated with
his highest interest in life, it was perhaps through this
source that he gained his greatest happiness. For he
was never so utterly absorbed, so entirely oblivious of
the outside world and all its troubles and cares and
tribulations, so impatient at the least interruption on
the part of others, as he was when he was at his desk.
Time meant nothing to him then. Hours passed
unnoticed and dawn often found him, tired yet unflagging,
still bending over his manuscripts, with sheets and sheets
of discarded, half-filled legal-cap scattered about him
and books piled knee-deep on the floor.

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