Chapter 1 --- The Heritage
Chapter 2 --- The Wind's Will
Chapter 3 --- Shades of the Prison House
Chapter 4 --- A City By the Sea
Chapter 5 --- Veritas
Chapter 6 --- Camus, Reverend Sire
Chapter 7 --- Publish or Perish
Chapter 4 --- Heureux Qui Comme Ulysse --
We are all guided by examples; and the good ones are the best guides. Dr. Alston Hurd Chase was just this. Without realizing it he gave light and inspiration to hundreds of Andover men --- students --- not just boys, for under the regime of Andover of my day, entry and acceptance at the greatest young man's school in America meant a step up in tradition and transition --- the "boy" was considered an Andover man. The 13-year-olds on up rallied to that complimentary advance in years and its responsibilities.
Dr. Chase always represented good taste, manners, tradition, and the legacy of the best. His classes moved quickly, full of leadership totally alive, joyous, humorous, and, at times, biting, when it needed to be, and so structured as to open up the paths for learning and for aptitudes about which many of us had no awareness.
What a sublime experience it was to be in his class. The rules of Latin grammar, if ignored, brought a Jovian chastisement: UT NON must be followed by the SUBJUNCTIVE. Missing that ushered the postulant a big fat D into the records of Dr. Chase. All knew what it took to average out, and beyond, a black D --- at least perfect A's for weeks to come. NEVER TRY THAT AGAIN! One timeless remark was given by Dr. Chase to a fellow student, really a brilliant (otherwise) student, who went on later to be a leading Boston physician. This student translated the Latin word, SERMO, SERMONIS as sermon. This was reproved by Dr. Chase with his special relish, "M_____, the Romans, happy race, had no sermons."
My dear mother did not appreciate Dr. Chase when I quoted to her Dr. Chase' remark, "Children are only innocent in their incapacity to inflict evil." My mother, with her five children, said that obviously Dr. Chase had no children of his own. No, Mother, he had all of us! A favorite among all Masters, his House was a magnet for all the big athletes and sports chieftains on campus. He admits he had not known that sports groups vied for a room at his dormitory, Bishop Hall.
Nothing better can be found than a man, a good and wise man, who has opened broadly the doors for culture, every kind of knowledge, and the motivation to excellence or just plain love of learning given by Dr. Chase' example.
It has been said that after school and college there are really only three or four out of one's classes one would ever enjoy seeing again. All of us say Dr. Chase would be Number One of the top five. The flow of fun and wisdom was so massive.
In an interview with Le Figaro given by the great French writer, and one of the very few women listed in the Institut de France, Marguerite Yourcenar responded when she was asked --what word is important? --- the word, WISDOM, the word INTELLIGENCE, the word KINDNESS, the word CONCENTRATION, and above all, the word MODESTY. Knowing Dr. Chase, all of us could use dozens of other wonderful words to describe him, justifying one of the great experiences of our lives --- just being his students at Andover and his friends.
The story he has written, the history of the Chase family, his boyhood and education up to being the youngest ever to receive a PhD from Harvard, his teaching career at Andover, his fascinating travels to places now so marred by "tourist promotion," the War Years as part of the OSS with General Donovan, and his return to teaching at a vastly changing Andover .... what a joy to have the chance to see his book now in print.
Madame Yourcenar in speaking about important words in Le Figaro, might indeed have had Dr. Chase in mind!
"Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver
And her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
Proverbs 3: 13-15
George Parker, Jr.
Class of 1939