Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 158



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 158

longer he pursued a conscious process of reasoning, the farther he got from the position. But the instinct remained strong.

On his way back from the West, he stopped in Philadelphia again to consult his friend, George W. Childs; and here he found the only person who was ready to encourage him to make the change.

Bok now laid the matter before his mother, in whose feminine instinct he had supreme confidence. With her, he met with instant discouragement. But in subsequent talks he found that her opposition was based not upon the possibilities inherent in the position, but on a mother’s natural disinclination to be separated from one of her sons. In the case of Fanny Davenport’s offer the mother’s instinct was strong against the proposition itself. But in the present instance it was the mother’s love that was speaking; not her instinct or judgment.

Bok now consulted his business associates, and, to a man, they discouraged the step, but almost invariably upon the argument that it was suicidal to leave New York. He had now a glimpse of the truth that there is no man so provincially narrow as the untravelled New Yorker who believes in his heart that the sun rises in the East River and sets in the North River.

He realized more keenly than ever before that the decision rested with him alone. On September 1, 1889, Bok wrote to Mr. Curtis, accepting the position in Philadelphia; and on October 13 following he left the Scribners, where he had been so fortunate and so happy, and, after a week’s vacation, followed where



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