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his want of “physico-mathematical skilled in agriculture, in navigation, knowledge;" he was not sufficiently in engineering, in surgery, has steam, content with the mere dead corpse of electricity, gunpowder, dynamite-all nature to weigh and measure it. of this, it seems, is of little moment Lucky for him and for the world to literature. Are men better? Are that there was something that had a men greater? Is life sweeter ? These stronger attraction for him than the are the test questions. Time has been algebraic formulas.
Humboldt was saved, almost annihilated, by steam not content till he had escaped from the and electricity, yet where is the trammels of mechanical science into leisure? The more time we save the the larger and more vital air of litera- less we have. The hurry of the mature, or the literary treatment of chine passes into the man. nature. It is this tendency that gives outrun the wind and the storm, but the charm and value to his · Views we cannot outrun the demon of Hurry. of Nature;' it is this which keeps his The farther we go the harder he spurs Scientific Travels' alive, and makes
What we save in time we make them readable to this day.
up in space; we must cover more surNo man of letters was ever more face. What we gain in power and hospitable to science than Goethe; facility is more than added in the indeed some of the leading ideas of length of the task. The needlewoman modern science were distinctly fore- has her sewing-machine, but she must shadowed by him; yet they took the take ten thousand stitches now where form and texture of literature, or of she took only ten before, and it is prosentiment, rather than of exact science. bably true that the second condition They were the reachings forth of his is worse than the first. In the shoe spirit; his grasping for the ideal clues factory, knife factory, shirt factory, to nature, rather than logical steps of and all other factories, men and women his understanding; and his whole work harder, look grimmer, suffer interest in physics was a search for more in mind and body, than under a truth above physics—to get nearer, the old conditions of industry. The if possible, to this mystery called iron of the machine enters the soul; nature. “The understanding will not man becomes a mere tool, a cog or reach her,” he said to Eckermann; spoke or belt or spindle. More work “man must be capable of elevating is done, but in what does it all issue ? himself to the highest reason to come Certainly not in beauty, in power, in in contact with this divinity, which character, in good manners, in finer manifests itself in the primitive phe- men and women ; but mostly in giving nomena, which dwells behind them, wealth and leisure to people who use and from which they proceed." Of them to publish their own unfitness like purport is his remark that the for leisure and wealth. common observations which science
It may be said that science has makes upon nature and its procedure, added to the health and longevity " in whatever terms expressed, are of the race; that the progress in really after all only symptoms which, surgery, in physiology, in pathology, if any real wisdom is to result from in therapeutics, has greatly mitiour studies, must be traced back to gated human suffering and prolonged the physiological and pathological life. This is unquestionably true ; but principles of which they are the in this service science is but paying exponents."
back to one hand what it robbed the Literature, I say, does not keep other of. With its appliances, its pace with civilisation. That the world machinery, its luxuries, its immunities, is better housed, better clothed, better and its interference with the law of fed, better transported, better equipped natural selection, it has made the race for war, better armed for peace, more more delicate and tender, and if it did
not arm them better against disease bird and in the live animal, because also, we should all soon perish. An they dimly read themselves there, or old physician said that if he bled and see their own lives rendered in new physicked now, as in his early practice, characters on another plane. Flowers, his patients would all die.
trees, rivers, lakes, mountains, rocks, stronger, more hardy, more virile than clouds, the rain, the sea, are far more our ancestors ? We are more com- interesting to literature, because they fortable and better schooled than our are more or less directly related to our fathers, but who shall say we natural lives, and serve as vehicles for wiser or happier ? “Knowledge comes, the expression of our natural emotions. but wisdom lingers,” just as it always That which is more directly related has, and always will. The essential to what may be called our artificial conditions of human life are always life—our need for shelter, clothing, the same; the non-essential change food, transportation-such the with every man and hour.
factory, the mill, the forge, the Literature is more interested in railway, and the whole catalogue of some branches of science than in useful arts, is of less interest and others; more interested in meteorology literature is shyer of it. And it may than in mineralogy; more interested be observed that the more completely in physiology than in chemistry; more the thing is taken out of nature and interested in the superior sciences, like artificialised, the less interest we take astronomy and geology, than in the in it. Thus the sailing vessel is more inferior experimental sciences; has a pleasing to contemplate than the warmer interest in Humboldt the
steamer; the old grist-mill, with its traveller, than in Humboldt the mine- dripping water-wheel, than the steamralogist; in Audubon and Wilson, mill; the open fire than the stove or than in the experts and feather register.
register. Tools and implements are splitters who have finished their tasks; not so interesting as weapons; nor in Watts, Morse, Franklin, than in the trades as the pursuit of hunting, the masters of theories and formulas; fishing, surveying, exploring. A jackand has a greater stake in virtue, knife is not so interesting as an arrowheroism, character, beauty, than in all head, a rifle as a war-club, a watch the knowledge in the world. There as an hour-glass, a threshing machine is no literature without a certain subtle as the flying fail. Commerce is less and vital blending of the real and the interesting to literature than war, ideal.
because it is more artificial; nature Unless knowledge in some way
does not have such full swing in it. issues in life, in character, in im- The blacksmith interests us more than pulse, in motive, in love, in virtue, the gunsmith, we see more of nature in some live human quality or attri- at his forge ; the farmer is dearer to bute, it does not belong to literature. literature than the merchant; the Man, and man alone, is of perennial gardener than the agricultural chemist; interest to man. In nature we glean the drover, the herder, the fisherman, only the human traits-only those the lumberman, the miner, are more things that in some way appeal to, or interesting to her than the man of are interpretative of, the meaning or more elegant and artificial pursuits. ideal within us. Unless the account The reason of all this is clear to see. of your excursion to field and forest, We are embosomed in nature, we are or to the bowels of the earth, or to an apple on the bough, a babe at the the bottom of the sea,
breast. In nature, in God, we live human interest, and in some measure and move and have our being. Our falls in with the festival of life, life depends upon the purity, the literature will none of it.
closeness, the vitality of the connecAll persons are interested in the live tion. We want and must have nature at first hand; water from the spring, painters, romancers, musicians, oramilk from the udder, bread from the tors ? Certain branches of scientific wheat, air from the open. Vitiate inquiry drew Goethe strongly, but his our supplies, weaken our connection, aptitude in them was clearly less than and we fail. All our instincts, appe- in his own chosen field. Alexander tites, functions must be kept whole Wilson left poetry for ornithology, and and normal; in fact, our reliance is he made a wise choice. He became wholly upon nature, and this bears eminent in the one, and he was only fruit in the mind. In art, in litera- mediocre in the other. Sir Charles ture, in life, we are drawn by that Lyell also certainly chose wisely in which seems nearest to, and most in abandoning verse-making for geology. accord with, her. Natural or untaught In the latter field he ranks first, and knowledge, how much closer it touches in making “nature's infinite book of us than professional knowledge. Keep secrecy," as it lies folded in the geome close to nature, is the constant logical strata, he found ample room demand of literature; open the win- for the exercise of all the imagination dows and let in the air, the sun, let and power of interpretation he posin health and strength; my blood sessed. His conclusions have skymust have oxygen, my lungs must be room and perspective, and give us a momentarily filled with the fresh sort of poetic satisfaction. unhoused element. I cannot breathe The true poet and the true scientist the cosmic ether of the abstruse in- are not estranged. They go forth into quirer, nor thrive on the gases of the nature like two friends. Behold them scientist in his laboratory; the air of strolling through the summer fields hill and field alone suffices.
and woods. The younger of the two The life of the hut is of more is much the more active and inquiring ; interest to literature than the life of he is ever and anon stepping aside to the palace, except so far as the same examine some object more minutely, nature has her way in both. Get rid plucking a flower, treasuring a shell, of the artificial, the complex, and let pursuing a bird, watching a butterin the primitive and the simple. Art fly; now he turns
a stone, and poetry never tire of the plough, the peers into the marshes, chips off a scythe, the axe, the hoe, the flail, the fragment of a rock, and everywhere oar; but the pride and glory of the seems intent on some special and paragricultural warehouse--can that be ticular knowledge of the things about sung? The machine that talks and him. The elder man has more an air of walks and suffers and loves, is still leisurely contemplation and enjoythe best. Artifice, the more artifice ment—is less curious about special there is thrown between us and nature, objects and features, and more desirous the
appliances, conductors, of putting himself in harmony with fenders, the less freely her virtue the spirit of the whole. But when passes. The direct rays of the open his younger companion has any fresh fire are better even for roasting a and characteristic bit of information potato than conducted heat.
to impart to him, how attentively he Science will no doubt draw off, and listens, how sure and discriminating has already drawn off, a vast deal of is his appreciation. The interests of force and thought that has heretofore the two in the universe are widely found an outlet in other pursuits, per- different, yet in no true sense are they haps in law, criticism, or historical in- hostile or mutually destructive. quiries; but is it probable that it will nip in the bud any great poets,
MY FRIEND THE PROFESSOR.
“MY DEAR VANE, -A line in haste. If you the drive home I learned a few more can possibly manage it, come down here by
particulars. The robbery had taken the four o'clock train. My mother's diamond has been stolen. Don't bring a detective ;
place, as far as could be judged, either we'll try it ourselves first. Telegraph, if you during the night before last or on the
preceding day. The house and the “Yours in haste,
effects of the servants had been " H. CARGILL.”
searched without avail, and Harold I found this letter waiting for me had only waited my arrival before at my club one morning towards the taking further steps. We talked the end of May. Go! of course I should ; matter over at great length both on I had nothing particular to keep me in our way home and after dinner. That town; so by the four o'clock train I one of the servants was guilty seemed found myself travelling south in a to me quite evident, but I could conmuch more lively frame of mind than vince neither of the others on this I had experienced in the morning point. endeavouring to while away the time Mrs. Cargill left us soon to our with conjectures as to what could wine, and I continued
endeavours really have taken place. The diamond without avail to prove to Harold that I knew well. It was truly a precious strict measures should at
once be stone, not only for its intrinsic worth, taken with all the servants. but also from the fact that it had tended that a thorough search had been given by an Indian Rajah to already been made. Mrs. Cargill's father, and, further, it "My dear fellow," I said at length, was the last gift of a parent whose “you should have allowed me to use memory was loved by all who had my discretion in the matter, and I known him. Mrs. Cargill wore it would have brought you down a plainly set in gold as a brooch, and French detective or two." wore it more frequently than perhaps " And what would your detectives most women would have thought it have done? Made up a nice story, wise to air so valuable a treasure. implicating one or all of the servants,
My friend lived with his mother and probably the gardener as an outand a little sister in a quaint old door agent, but not found the diamond. house with considerable grounds, in Now where is the use of investigations a very quiet and unpretending manner. unless we recover the diamond ?" The nearest village of any importance A happy thought struck me as he was at a distance of some four and a spoke. “If your object, Harold, is half miles. Often had I envied him entirely the recovery of the diamond the quiet peace of his home. His and not the punishment of the thief, tastes were artistic, like mine; and, I have a suggestion to make; and it with such work as he might choose to may be, after all, that if we discover do, and the occasional superintendence the stone first we may learn more of his family acres, as might be neces- afterwards. Let us have down this sary to divert his attention, life must great mesmerist and thought-reader bave been very pleasant indeed. who is making such a small commotion
My friend Harold was waiting for just now. We'll tax him (if he'll me when I reached the little station come) to conduct us to the stone. It about seven in the evening, and on is probably still in the house; the robbery was discovered so very quickly he readily agreed to accompany me, that even with an outside agency in and postpone for a few days the private the person of the gardener, whom I
engagements which he had on hand at grant you I don't like, it is unlikely the time; but in the course of our the stone can have got so far as the journey down (for we returned that village yet.”
night) the reason of his compliance On this suggestion (made half in came out. He wished to include the jest, half in earnest) we eventually robbery in his advertisements; and decided to act. The robbery had all that I could say to the contrary been discovered the morning before, would not convince him that my friend and the servants had since then been would scarcely care for his name to pretty closely watched, so that, after be mixed up in the matter. After a further talk, which it is needless to considerable discussion we thought it say went over and over the same best to inform Mrs. Cargill later in ground at least a score of times, each the evening who and what our visitor of us attempting to prove to himself really was. and to the other that detective work The Professor explained to us that, was what Providence had severally as Mrs. Cargill knew the diamond and meant us for, we came to the determi- had worn it so long, she was the one nation that we would ask the great who, with her hand in his, could best thought-reader, Professor Landley,
Professor Landley, communicate to him where to lead to come to our assistance.
her. “ If,” said he, “the day is clear The greatest secrecy of course was and bright, I shall lead you to-morrow necessary. Not even Mrs. Cargill to the spot, Mrs. Cargill, provided you should know at first who our visitor have sufficient strength of mind to really was; for our only hope of keep your ideas fixed entirely upon the success lay in the chance that if one of stone. You must keep it vividly bethe servants was the thief the stone
and I shall lead might be still hidden in the house, or you to it, if it is in the house or perhaps buried in the ground outside, grounds.” till it could with greater safety be Nothing had occurred in the houseremoved when the matter had had hold since my departure in the morntime to be partly forgotten.
ing, and the robber (whoever he was) I went to town early next morning, must now, we judged, be beginning and called at once upon the learned to feel somewhat easier in mind : so Professor. He was "out," but was in case of his deeming it necessary to be in again very soon.
I strolled to alter the probable hiding-place of about the neighbourhood some time so the stone, we determined upon immeas not to miss him, having a shrewd diate action, deciding to commence suspicion that he had not yet made next morning at daybreak, before his appearance at breakfast. Sure the world would be properly awake. enough I found bim at a little The Professor did not much apprebefore noon eating in a languid man- ciate the idea of such an early start, ner the remains of a fowl which had but we succeeded in overcoming his done duty before, and drinking small scruples, and it was
scruples, and it was arranged before beer. Knowing a little of professional we parted for bed that we should all men, however, I recognised the exi- meet in the dining-room at three o'clock gencies of the case, and after the usual next morning civilities, explained the reason of my Mrs. Cargill was down before me, call. He was a tall man, rather thin, and Harold shortly after. Of course, with weak eyes, but sufficiently gentle- we were all before the time, and to manly to pass muster both in dress wait in dumb silence (even with the and manner. Rather to my surprise prospect of a most interesting experi
No. 321.-VOL. LIV.