“‘They ain’t a hair’s difference,’ he said. ‘He’s a little slicker than yours—that’s all—better groomed than the one in yo’ barn.’
were proposed as to the nature of plants, their organisation or mutual relations; the only point of interest was the knowledge of individual forms and of their medicinal virtues.
In another minute one of the most charming girls I have ever seen was ushered into the room. She was perhaps about five-and-twenty, with big brown eyes and a perfect figure. She was well-dressed and perfectly composed in manner.
There were but three opponents atop him, this time. The spotted hound was out of the fight, with a crunched leg and a craven heart. Nor were any of the three others unmarked by slash or nip or tear.
Thither we all repaired, and after inquiring from Dundonald the particulars of the house, which I found simple enough, for it was all one floor without partitions and but a single door, I laid out my plan of action to my men.
‘It is not the character (the marks used to characterise the genus) which makes the genus, but the genus which makes the character;’ but the very man, who first distinctly recognised this difficulty in the natural system, helped to increase it by his doctrine of the constancy of species. This doctrine appears in Linnaeus in an unobtrusive form, rather as resulting from daily experience and liable to be modified by further investigation; but it became with his successors an article of faith, a dogma, which no botanist could even doubt without losing his scientific reputation; and thus during more than a hundred years the belief, that every organic form owes its existence to a separate act of creation and is therefore absolutely distinct from all other forms, subsisted side by side with the fact of experience, that there is an intimate tie of relationship between these forms, which can only be imperfectly indicated by definite marks. Every systematist knew that this relationship was something more than mere resemblance perceivable by the senses, while thinking men saw the contradiction between the assumption of an absolute difference of origin in species (for that is what is meant by their constancy) and the fact of their affinity. Linnaeus in his later years made some strange attempts to explain away this contradiction; his successors adopted a way of their own; various scholastic notions from the 16th century still survived among the systematists, especially after Linnaeus had assumed the lead among them, and it was thought that the dogma of the constancy of species might find especially in Plato’s misinterpreted doctrine of ideas a philosophical justification, which was the more acceptable because it harmonised well with the tenets of the Church. If, as Elias Fries said in 1835, there is ‘quoddam supranaturale’ in the natural system, namely the affinity of organisms, so much the better for the system; in the opinion of the same writer each division of the system expresses an idea (‘singula sphaera (sectio) ideam quandam exponit’), and all these ideas might easily be explained in their ideal connection as representing the plan of creation. If observation and theoretical considerations occasionally
That threat was the last flare of Mr. Gracy’s indomitable spirit. The act of defiance which confirmed it brought on a severe attack of pleurisy. Delane nursed the old man with dogged patience, and he emerged from the illness diminished, wizened, the last trace of auburn gone from his scant curls, and nothing left of his old self but a harmless dribble of talk.
However, as I had my orders, and it was not for me to question them, I handed over the five hundred guineas with the Duke's letters and took his receipt for them, at the same time promising to give him a statement in writing of the robbery at Loch Broom, signed by Father O'Rourke and myself, in the morning.
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