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mate game for expert dissection and creative energy; not why, but how; classification, and hence have added and we follow him as we would follow no new lineaments to Audubon's and a great explorer, or general, or voyager Wilson's portraits.
like Columbus, charmed by his candour, Darwin was full of what we may call dilated by his mastery. He is said to the sentiment of science. Darwin was have felt no need of poetry, or of what always pursuing an idea, always is called religion ; his sympathies were tracking a living, active principle. so large and comprehensive, the mere He is full of the ideal interpretation science in him is so perpetually overof fact, science fired with faith and arched by that which is not science, but enthusiasm, the fascination of the faith, insight, imagination, prophecy, inpower
mystery of nature. spiration—"substance of things hoped All his works have a human and for, the evidence of things not seen; almost poetic side. They are his love of truth so deep and abiding, doubtedly the best feeders of litera- and his determination to see things, ture we have yet had from the field facts, in their relations, and as they of science. His book on the earth- issue in principle, so unsleeping, that worm, or on the formation of vegetable both his poetic and religious emotions, mould, reads like a fable in which as well as his scientific proclivities, some high and beautiful philosophy found full scope, and his demonstrais clothed. How alive he makes the tion becomes almost a song. It is plants and the trees, shows all their
see how such a mind as movements, their sleeping and waking, Goethe's would have followed him and and almost their very dreams—does, supplemented him, not from its wealth indeed, disclose and establish a kind of scientific lore, but from its poetic of rudimentary soul or intelligence in insight into the methods of nature. the tip of the radicle of plants. No Again, it is the fine humanism of poet has ever made the trees so such a man as Humboldt that gives human. Mark, for instance, his dis- his name and his teachings currency. covery of the value of cross-fertilisa- Men who have not this humanism, tion in the vegetable kingdom, and who do not in any way relate their the means nature takes to bring it science to life or to the needs of the about. Cross-fertilisation is just as spirit, but pile up mere technical, important in the intellectual kingdom dessicated knowledge, are for the as in the vegetable. The thoughts of most part a waste or a weariness. the recluse finally become pale and Humboldt's humanism makes him a feeble. Without pollen from other stimulus or a support to all students minds how can one have a
of nature. The noble character, the vigorous seedlings of his own ? Thus poetic soul, shines out in all his works all Darwinian books have to me and gives them a value above and literary or poetic substratum. The beyond their scientific worth, great as old fable of metamorphosis and trans- that undoubtedly is. To his desire formation he illustrates afresh in his for universal knowledge he added Origin of Species,' in the Descent the love of beautiful forms, and his of Man.' Darwin's interest in nature • Cosmos' is an attempt at an artistic is strongly scientific, but our interest creation, an harmonious representain him is largely literary; he is tion of the universe that should satisfy tracking a principle, the principle of the ästhetic sense as well as the underorganic life, following it through all standing. It is a graphic description its windings and turnings and doub- of nature, not a mechanical one. Men lings and redoublings upon itself, in of pure science look askant at it, or at the air, in the earth, in the water, in Humboldt, on this account. the vegetable, and in all the branches of Berlin says he failed to reach the of the animal world ; the footsteps of utmost beight of science because of
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.
We can 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.
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 lei re 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. observations which science It
be said that science has makes upon nature and its procedure, added to the health and longevity “in whatever terms expressed, are of the
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 ?
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. 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, has some 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 the four o'clock train. My mother's diamond
particulars. The robbery had taken 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 my 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. He conbut also rom 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 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 have 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