How to explain a set of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire? A space-ax? Or the old-fashioned child's rocking-chair, the chemistry set—or, most of all, the scrap of gaily printed fabric that, when he picked it up, turned out to be a girl's scanty bathing suit? It was slightly reassuring, McCray thought, to find that most of the objects were more or less familiar. Even the child's chair—why, he'd had one more or less like that himself, long before he was old enough to go to school. But what were they doing here?
‘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
She gave a half glance at him, a half smile, but did not disturb the chain of her reflections. “That’s something, Markham,” she said.
“Dat’s whut I thout, suh,” he continued, “but bless yo’ soul, honey, my wife hadn’t bin dead er week befo’ I got up one mornin’ an’ all onbeknownst to myself I foun’ myself blackin’ my shoes! Cudn’t hep it to sabe my life, suh—jes’ had to do it. De naixt day, suh, ’tirely unbeknownst to de state ob my naturality, I kotch myself in de act ob puttin’ h’ar-oil on my hair, cinnermun-draps on my handkerchief, an’ pullin’ off de eel-skin gyarters I dun bin wearin’ forty years fur de rumertizn. No mo’ rumertiz fur me; er man nurver hes rumertizn arter his wife dies—least-wise,” he whispered, knowingly, “not twell he marries erggin an’ den he hes it so bad he can’t cut stove-wood fur her,” he laughed.
It was good to be human again, and McCray howled with pain and joy as the icy needle-spray of the showers cleansed his body. He devoured the enormous plates of steak and potatoes the ship's galley shoved before him, and drank chilled milk and steaming black coffee in alternate pint mugs. McCray let the ship's surgeon look him over, and laughed at the expression in the man's eyes. "I know I'm a little wobbly," he said. "It doesn't matter, Doc. You can put me in the sickbay as long as you like, as soon as I've talked to the captain. I won't mind a bit. You see, I won't be there—" and he laughed louder, and would not explain.
"And my mother got to Portsmouth this morning to see me, and she hasn't much money, and can only stay a week, and I can't go ashore to see her because I didn't keep my face clean and mussed my jacket."详情 ➢
Copyright © 2020