A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis is a publication of the Pennsylvania State University. This Portable
Document file is furnished free and without any charge of any kind. Any person using this
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Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis, the Pennsylvania State University, Electronic Classics Series, Jim
Manis, Faculty Editor, Hazleton, PA 18201-1291 is a Portable Document File produced as part
of an ongoing student publication project to bring classical works of literature, in English, to
free and easy access of those wishing to make use of them.
Cover Design: Jim Manis
Copyright © 2001 The Pennsylvania State University
The Pennsylvania State University is an equal opportunity university.
To Edith Wharton
The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist;
austere towers of steel and cement and limestone,
sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods. They were
neither citadels nor churches, but frankly and beautifully
The mist took pity on the fretted structures of earlier
generations: the Post Office with its shingle-tortured man-
sard, the red brick minarets of hulking old houses, factories
with stingy and sooted windows, wooden tenements col-
ored like mud. The city was full of such grotesqueries, but
the clean towers were thrusting them from the business
center, and on the farther hills were shining new houses,
homes—they seemed—for laughter and tranquillity.
Over a concrete bridge fled a limousine of long sleek hood
and noiseless engine. These people in evening clothes were
returning from an all-night rehearsal of a Little Theater
play, an artisti