Little Dr. Osborne was in the habit of retiring to rest at an early hour. In the old days, before his "girl" married, he liked to sit up and hear her warble away at her piano, letting himself be gradually lulled off to sleep by the music; and in later times, when his fireside was lonely and when he was not expecting any special work, he would frequently drive over to Woolgreaves, or to the Churchill's at the Park, and play a rubber. But since he had quarrelled with Mrs. Creswell, since her "most disrespectful treatment of him," as he phrased it, he had never crossed the threshold at Woolgreaves, and the people at the Park were away wintering in Italy, so that the little doctor generally finished his modest tumbler of grog at half-past ten and "turned in" soon after. He was a sound sleeper, his housekeeper was deaf, and the maid, who slept up in the roof, never heard anything, not even her own snoring, so that a late visitor had a bad chance of making his presence known. A few nights after the events just recorded, however, one of Mr. Creswell's grooms attached his horse to the doctor's railings and gave himself up to performing on the bell with such energy and determination, that after two minutes a window opened and the doctor's voice was heard demanding, "Who's there?"
Socialist activities, it is manifest that competitive individualism destroys itself. This was reasoned out long ago in the Capital of Marx; it is receiving its first gigantic practical demonstration in the United States of America. Whatever happens, we believe that competitive industrialism will change and end—and we Socialists at least believe that the alternative to some form of Socialism is tyranny and social ruin. So, too, in the social sphere, whether Socialists succeed altogether or fail altogether, or in whatever measure they succeed or fail, it does not alter the fact that the family is weakening, dwindling, breaking up, disintegrating. The alternative to a planned and organized Socialism is not the maintenance of the present system, but its logical development, and that is all too plainly a growing complication of pretences as the old imperatives weaken and fade. We already live in a world of stupendous hypocrisies, a world wherein rakes and rascals champion the sacred institution of the family, and a network of sexual secrets, vaguely
For the attainment of this end it was above all things necessary for me to form a clear judgment respecting the influence of the views and principles enunciated by the different authors on the further development of botanical science. This is to the historian of science the central point round which all beside should be disposed, and without which the entire work breaks up into a collection of unmeaning details, and it is one which demands knowledge of the subject, and capacity and impartiality of judgment. On questions connected with times long gone by the decision of the experts has in most cases been already given, though I myself found to my surprise that older authors had for centuries been regarded as the founders of views which they had distinctly repudiated as absurd, showing how necessary it is that the works of our predecessors should from time to time be carefully read and compared together. But in the majority of cases there is no dispute at the present day respecting the historical value, that is the operative
The descriptions were at first extremely inartistic and unmethodical; but the effort to make them as exact and clear as was possible led from time to time to perceptions of truth, that came unsought and lay far removed from the object originally in view. It was remarked that many of the plants which Dioscorides had described in his Materia Medica do not grow wild in Germany, France, Spain, and England, and that conversely very many plants grow in these countries, which were evidently unknown to the ancient writers; it became apparent at the same time that many plants have points of resemblance to one another, which have nothing to do with their medicinal powers or with their importance to agriculture and the arts. In the effort to promote the knowledge of plants for practical purposes by careful description of individual forms, the impression forced itself on the mind of the observer, that there are various natural groups of plants which have a distinct resemblance to one another in form and in other characteristics. It was seen that there were other natural alliances in the vegetable world, beside the three great divisions of trees, shrubs, and herbs adopted by Aristotle and Theophrastus. The first perception of natural groups is to be found in Bock, and later herbals show that the natural connection between such plants as occur together in the groups of Fungi, Mosses, Ferns, Coniferae, Umbelliferae, Compositae, Labiatae, Papilionaceae was distinctly felt, though it was by no means clearly understood how this connection was actually expressed; the fact of natural affinity presented itself unsought as an incidental and indefinite impression, to which no great value was at first attached. The recognition of these groups required no antecedent philosophic reflection or conscious attempt to classify the objects in the vegetable world; they present themselves to the unprejudiced eye as naturally as do the groups of mammals, birds, reptiles,
The Well of St. Brendan, in High Island, has great virtue, but the miraculous power of the water is lost should a thief or a murderer drink of it. Now a cruel murder had been committed on the mainland, and the priest noticed the people that if the murderer tried to conceal himself in the island no one should harbour him or give him food or drink. It happened at that time there was a woman of the island afflicted with pains in her limbs, and she went to the Holy Well to make the stations and say the prayers, and so get cured. But many a day passed and still she got no better, though she went round and round the well on her knees, and recited the paters and aves as she was told.
antiseptics dear, and it is quite conceivable that after some stresses, a very nearly stable social equilibrium would be attained. After all it is this simple sort of life, without drains and without education, with child labour (in the open air for the most part until the eighteenth century—though that is a detail) and a consequent straightforward desire for remunerative children that has been the normal life of humanity for many thousands of years. We might not succeed in getting back to a landed peasantry, we might find large masses of the population would hang up obstinately in industrial towns—towns that in their simple naturalness of congestion might come to resemble the Chinese pattern pretty closely; but I have no doubt we could move far in that direction with very little difficulty indeed.
Venus and Bacchus meet, and all the world
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