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by the sudden appearance of Tom Peregrine, when out shooting on the hill: he seemed to spring up from the ground like Herne the Hunter. . . .The dog was almost as mysterious as the man himself. When in the woods, Tom's attitude and gait would at times resemble the movements of a cock-peasant: now stealing along for a few yards, listening for the slightest sound of any animal stirring in the underwood: standing for a time with bated breath. Did a blackbird-that dusky sentinel of the woods-utter her characteristic note of warning, he would whisper, "Hark!" Then, after due deliberation, he would add, ""Tis a fox!" or, "There's a fox in the grove"; and then he would steal gently up to try to get a glimpse of Reynard.


Mr. Gibbs was happy in the Godgiven gift of mingling with the undereducated or ignorant without a suspicion of condescension. His was the familiarity of a patriarchal chiefwith vassals who were bound to him by a thousand kind offices.

It need

or snow

hardly be said that with such a man no day was ever too long, and no month was ever dreary. When not actively amusing himself he was doing something for others, and he could possess himself in patience with his pen among his books till rain-bursts storms had blown over. Not that he shrank from facing the elements. Some of his sharpest cameos are cut from the desolation of the downs in winter, when crows, magpies and green plover had been driven to shelter on the Colne banks, and when the hares had buried The Quarterly Review.

themselves beneath the snow, only leaving scarcely perceptible breathing holes. Naturally he enjoyed the country most when woods and fields were most luxuriant. His angling rambles down his river, from its sources to his own village, will be another revelation, for the district has no great notoriety, and is beyond the range of the tourist. He is never more sympathetically poetical than when dilating on the beauties of his own special oasis, when the sun is sloping to the west in the flush of a September evening, or when the moonbeams fall glimmering through the lattice-work of the ash boughs. In his sympathy with animal nature, he is the rival of Jefferies, the disciple of White. He identifies himself with the shrewd strategy of the crafty old dogfox who laughed all the packs in the neighborhood to scorn; and he makes himself at home with the house-parties on his lawn in the autumn, when swans and ducks waddled up to the banquet to meet hand-bred pheasants and the songsters of the bushes. We said that the shadow of the future falls on the pages, and, strangely enough, on the last of them-with speculation on the future of the soul-is a solemn word of affectionate warning to the reader:

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My prescribed theme is "the 19th century." What is the 19th century? I do not mean to raise the controversy as to when the 19th century ends and the 20th begins a question the eager discussion of which affords a striking proof of the aphorism that the pleasures of investigation do not lie so much in the acquisition of truth as in its pursuit. My inquiry aims at a different mark, and, somewhat expanded, comes to this. When we mark off a century for particular consideration, what kind of period have we in our minds? The negative answer at all events seems plain. It is seldom, except by accident, exactly a hundred years. Moreover, it is seldom, except by accident, precisely the same period for two aspects of what we loosely but conveniently call the same century. Nature does not exhibit her uniformity by any pedantic adherence to the decimal system, and if we insist upon substituting rigid and arbitrary divisions of historical time for natural ones half the significance of history will be lost for us. For example, if we had to put our finger on the date which, in matters political, divided the last century from the present, we might for England choose the declaration of war with France in the last days of 1793; for France the assembling of the StatesGeneral in 1789; for the United States of America the Declaration of Independence, or the Peace of Versailles. For the corresponding event in literary history we might perhaps fix the publication of "Lyrical Ballads," in 1798 as the dawn of the new period for the English-speaking people, and, it may

* An Address by the Right Hon. Arthur J. Balfour, before the University Extension Students at Cambridge, Aug. 2, 1900.

be, Chateaubriand's "Génie du Christianisme" in 1802 for the beginning in France. Science is cosmopolitan, and in dealing with it we may eliminate the particularities of race and language. But, even in the case of science, the different centuries, if they are to be spoken of as separate entities, must not be too rigidly defined. Some gentle violence must be done to chronology if epochs are to be profitably distinguished; and I imagine that those who are qualified to speak on such subjects —which I am not-would regard Laplace's "Mécanique Céleste" (though not completed till 1825) as the culminating performance of the old century, the theories of Young and Dalton as belonging essentially to the new. Granting that a procedure of this kind is desirable if we are usefully to sum up the achievements of a particular epoch, it nevertheless remains true that no mere process of summation can quite explain the impression which different epochs produce on us.

We cannot, by cataloguing mental characteristics or describing fact and figure, convey the impression of a human personality. Neither can we, by a parallel process, justify our sentiments about a century, yet most of us have them-"the reason why we cannot tell, but only this we know full well," some centuries please us and some do not. It so happens, for example, that I dislike the 17th century and like the 18th. I do not pretend to justify my taste. Perhaps it is that there is a kind of unity and finish about the 18th century wanting to its predecessor. Perhaps I am prejudiced against the latter by my dislike of its religious wars, which were more than half political, and its political wars,

which were more than half religious. In any case the matter is quite unimportant. What is more to our present purpose is to ask whether the 19th century yet presents itself to any of us sufficiently as a whole to suggest any sentiment of the kind I have just illustrated. I confess that, for my own part, it does not. Of that portion of it with which most of us are alone immediately acquainted, say the last third, I feel I can in this connection say nothing. We are too much of it to judge it. The two remaining thirds, on the other hand, seem to me so different that I cannot criticise them together, and, if I am to criticise them separately I acknowledge at once that it is the first third and not the second that engages my sympathies. There are those, I am aware, who think that the great Reform Bill was the beginning of wisdom. Very likely they are right. But this is not a question of right, but a question of personal predilection, and from that point of view the middle third of the 19th century does not, I acknowledge, appeal to me. It is probably due to the natural ingratitude which we are apt to feel towards our immediate predecessors. But I justify it to myself by saying that it reminds me too much of Landseer's pictures and the revival of Gothic art, that I feel no sentiment of allegiance towards any of the intellectual dynasties which then held sway, that neither the thin lucidity of Mill nor the turbid prophesy ings of Carlyle, neither Comte nor yet Newman were ever able to arouse in me the enthusiasm of a disciple, and that I turn with pleasure from the Corn Laws to the great war, from Thackeray and Dickens to Scott and Miss Austen, even from Tennyson and Browning to Keats, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley. Observations like these, however, are rather in the nature of individual fancies than impersonal criticisms; and I hasten to con

sider whether, apart altogether from likes and dislikes, there is any characteristic note which distinguishes this century from any that has gone before it.

On this point I range myself with those who find this characteristic note in the growth of science. In the last 100 years the world has seen great wars, great national and social upheavals, great religious movements, great economic changes. Literature and art have had their triumphs and have permanently enriched the intellectual inheritance of our race. Yet, large as is the space which subjects like these legitimately fill in our thoughts, much as they will occupy the future historian, it is not among these that I seek for the most important and the most fundamental differences which separate the present from preceding ages. Rather is this to be found in the cumulative products of scientific research, to which no other period offers a precedent or a parallel. No single discovery, it may be, can be compared in its re sults to that of Copernicus; no single discoverer can be compared in genius to Newton; but, in their total effects, the advances made by the 19th century are not to be matched. Not only is the surprising increase of knowledge new, but the use to which it has been put is new also. The growth of industrial invention is not a fact we are permitted to forget. We do, however, sometimes forget how much of it is due to a close connection between theoretic knowledge and its utilitarian application which, in its degree, is altogether unexampled in the history of mankind. I suppose that, at this moment, if we were allowed a vision of the embryonic forces which are predestined most potently to affect the future of mankind, we should have to look for them not in the Legislature, nor in the Press, nor on the platform, nor in the schemes of practical statesmen, nor the dreams of

political theorists, but in the laboratories of scientific students whose names are but little in the mouths of men, who cannot themselves forecast the results of their own labors, and whose theories could scarce be understood by those whom they will chiefly benefit.

I do not propose to attempt any sketch of our gains from this most fruitful union between science and invention. I may, however, permit myself one parenthetic remark on an aspect of it which is likely more and more to thrust itself unpleasantly upon our attention. Marvellous as is the variety and ingenuity of modern industrial methods, they almost all depend in the last resort upon our supply of useful power; and our supply of useful power is principally provided for us by methods which, so far as I can see, have altered not at all in principle, and strangely little in detail, since the days of Watt. Coal, as we all know, is the chief reservoir of energy from which the world at present draws, and from which we in this country must always draw; but our main contrivance for utilizing it is the steam engine, and, by its essential nature, the steam engine is extravagantly wasteful. So that, when we are told, as if it was something to be proud of, that this is the age of steam, we may admit the fact, but can hardly share the satisfaction. Our coalfields, as we know too well, are limited. We certainly cannot increase them. The boldest legislator would hesitate to limit their employment for purposes of domestic industry. So the only possible alternative is to economize our method of consuming them. And for this there would, indeed, seem to be a sufficiency of room. Let a second Watt arise. Let him bring into general use some mode of extracting energy from fuel which shall only waste 80 per cent. of it, and lo! your coalfields, as sources of power, are doubled at once.

The hope seems a modest one, but it is not yet fulfilled; and therefore it is that we must qualify the satisfaction with which at the end of the century we contemplate the unbroken course of its industrial triumphs. We have, in truth, been little better than brilliant spendthrifts. Every new invention seems to throw a new strain upon the vast but not illimitable, resources of nature. Lord Kelvin is disquieted about our supply of oxygen; Sir Willam Crookes about our supply of nitrates. The problem of our coal supply is always with us. Sooner or later the stored-up resources of the world will be exhausted. Humanity, having used or squandered its capital, will thenceforward have to depend upon such current income as can be derived from that diurnal heat of the sun and the rotation of the earth till, in the sequence of the ages, these also begin to fail. With such remote speculations we are not now concerned. It is enough for us to take note how rapidly the prodigious progress of recent discovery has increased the drain upon the natural wealth of old manufacturing countries, and especially of Great Britain, and, at the same time, frankly to recognize that it is only by new inventions that the collateral evils of old inventions can be mitigated; that to go back is impossible; that our only hope lies in a further advance.

After all, however, it is not necessarily the material and obvious results of scientific discoveries which are of the deepest interest. They have effected changes more subtle and perhaps less obvious which are at least as worthy of our consideration and are at least as unique in the history of the civilized world. No century has seen so great a change in our intellectual apprehension of the world in which we live. whole point of view has changed. The mental framework in which we arrange the separate facts in the world of men


and things is quite a new framework. The spectacle of the universe presents itself now in a wholly changed perspective. We not only see more, but we see differently. The discoveries in physics and in chemistry, which have borne their share in thus re-creating for us the evolution of the past, are in process of giving us quite new ideas as to the inner nature of that material whole of which the world's traversing space is but an insignificant part. Differences of quality once thought ultimate are constantly being resolved into differences of motion or configuration. What were once regarded as things are now known to be movement. Phenomena apparently so wide apart as light, radiant heat, and electricity, are, as it is unnecessary to remind you, now recognized as substantially identical.

From the arrangement of atoms in the molecule, not less than their intrinsic nature, flow the characteristic attributes of the compound. The atom itself has been pulverized, and speculation is forced to admit as a possibility that even the chemical elements themselves may be no more than varieties of a single substance. Plausible attempts have been made to reduce the physical universe, with its infinite variety, its glory of color and of form, its significance and its sublimity, to one homogeneous medium in which there are no distinctions to be discovered but distinction of movement or of stress. And

although no such hypothesis can, I suppose, be yet accepted, the gropings of physicists after this, or some other not less audacious unification, must finally, I think, be crowned with success. The change of view which I have endeavored to indieate is purely scientific, but its consequences cannot be confined to science. How will they manifest themselves in other regions of human activity, in literature, in art, in religion? The subject is one rather for the lecturer on the 20th century than

for the lecturer on the 19th. I, at least, cannot endeavor to grapple with it.

But, before concluding, I will ask one question about it, and hazard one prophecy. My question relates to art. We may, I suppose, say that artistic feeling constantly expresses itself in the vivid presentation of sensuous fact and its remote emotional suggestion. Will it be dulled by a theory of the world which carries with it no emotional suggestion; which is perpetually merging the sensuous fact in its physical explanation; whose main duty, indeed, it is to tear down the cosmic scene-painting and expose the scaffolding and wheelwork by which the world of sense-perception is produced? I do not know, I do not hazard a conjecture; but the subject is worth consideration. So much for my question. My prophecy relates to religion. We have frequently seen in the history of thought that any development of the mechanical conception of the physical world gives an impulse to materialistic speculation. Now, if the goal to which, consciously or unconsciously, the modern physicist is pressing be ever reached, the mechanical view of things will receive an extension and a completeness never before dreamed of. There would then, in strictness, be only one natural science-namely, physics, and only one kind of explanation-namely, the dynamic. Would this conception in its turn foster a new and refined materialism? For my own part I conjecture that it would not. I believe the very completeness and internal consistency of such a view would establish its inadequacy. The very fact that within it there seemed no room for spirit would convince mankind that spirit must be invoked to explain it. I know not how the theoretic reconciliation will be effected, for I mistrust the current philosophical theories upon the subject. But that, in some way or other, future generations will, each in

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