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SIR JAMES PAGET'S CONFESSION ON BEHALF OF SCIENCE. 61 our destination, where we soon pulled up; tunnel. Our tallow candles shed a dim and descended, wishing our “coachmen light around us, and we began to realize good-day.
that we were at the end of a narrow pasBetween the railway and the sea we sage deep down in the solid, or, to be corobserved a great quantity of chalky rub-rect, rather soft, lower chalk, but not ble, various machinery, and a hut or two. quite beneath the sea. Having picked up This was evidently an external view of a piece of chalk from the face of the headthe Channel Tunnel. As we walked to-ling and a nodule of iron pyrites, which wards what seemed to be the headquar- glistened like gold in the rays of our dips, ters, a man came forward, to whom we we retraced our sloppy steps, and once gave our other order. This he evidently more emerged into the light of day, after had heard about beforehand, for, after half an hour's walk in the heart of the hastily looking at our letter, he said : chalk. “You ain't a-goin' down like that, are We then appreciated the value of the you?” “Why not?" we replied. We miners' costumes, for we were wet through had our usual tweed suits on, and did not with icy-cold water, and our boots were imagine what we were in for. “Well, if filled with chalky mud; so we had a swim you do, you'll never be able to wear them in the now tepid sea, and once more reclothes again,” said our new friend. sumed our normal clothing. A delightful “What can we do, then ? " we asked. “ Fol- though terribly hot walk along that wild low me,” was all the answer we got; so and land-slipped coast soon brought us to we obeyed, and went into one of the huts, Folkestone, whence we returned to Dover where our guide who was to be, opened a by train, having enjoyed the privilege of a large box, from which he took some a walk to the bottom of the Channel miners' clothes, some broad-brimmed hats, Tunnel. and some very big india-rubber jack-boots.
In these formidable but useful garments we arrayed ourselves; and when our toilet was complete, I do not think even our parents would have known us. Having
From The Spectator. fixed a candle into each of our hats, we SIR JAMES PAGET'S CONFESSION ON began our exploration by entering a comparatively insignificant-looking hole, which SIR JAMES PAGEt was truly eloquent sloped gently downwards for a little way, this day week in the praise of science and when we, by turning a bend, lost sight of of the happiness which knowledge gives; daylight and began to look around us. but he made one confession which he evi. We found that we were tramping in Indian dently felt to be humiliating, when he said file along an exceedingly dirty sort of pas- that though science is full of wonders, scisage, upon the bottom of which was laid entific men completely lose their sense of a rough railway, on which the little trucks wonder in their every-day occupation with ran which brought the excavated chalk those wonders. “They looked,” he said, from the head of the boring. Presently “at a machine so perfect in construction, we stopped for a moment, and our guide so exact for the purpose for which it was told us we were coming to a wet spot; built, inade with such foresight and such and sure enough we were. It was one of precision that the mind of the inventor those fissures in the chalk which act as a really seemed to be in it; it seemed to be sort of underground watercourse, and working by mind; and there stood the through this the water was streaming; workman by the side of that machine, but not the sea-water, but the natural water his sense of wonder had long since passed which is always held by the chalk as a away. He knew what was going on, he sort of natural reservoir and which forms knew how all was to come to pass, and to the sources of our south-country water him, that which they thought to be a wonsupply. This water mixing with the finely der was a common experience of every-day ground chalk from the boring-machine, life." Is that the reason why literary formed an oozy mud, through which we culture is generally thought to have the waded till we came to the end of our jour- | advantage of scientific culture in quickenney, where the drill stood against the ing the mental life? Bacon, we know, heading, although, unfortunately, it was who of all men best appreciated the eager not then at work. As we stood there, craving of the scientific temperament for neither of us uttered a word, and the in the satisfaction of the higher kinds of tense stillness was only broken by the curiosity, did not scruple to say that “ dripping of the water from the roof of the mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.”
BEHALF OF SCIENCE.
“ Doth any man doubt,” he adds, in the cient for man. The possession of truth same essay, the essay on truth," that if means something much more than the there was taken out of men's minds, vain possession of knowledge ; it means the opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, possession of knowledge of a kind high imaginations as one would, and the like, enough to satisfy the human affections, but it would leave the minds of a number - in other words, of the knowledge of of men poor shrunken things, full of mel- anything and everything which can be ancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing contemplated with actual delight. For to themselves?” Sir James Paget seems example, to take what is by no means the in some measure to agree with this theory highest type of such knowledge, — the when he boasts that “science would sup- knowledge of what is intrinsically beautiply the life of men with wonders un- ful satisfies, for a time at least, the cravcounted,” only that the man of science ing of man's heart, and therefore tills him stands by with steady eye enumerating all with an emotion which pure scientific these wonders without a single thrill of knowledge is incapable of exciting. So awe or even astonishment, though he uses the knowledge of the wonderful and subtle the marvels he has discovered for his own ways of the human heart, which is the purpose, whether that be to determine the main subject of literature, is a kind of constitution of a sun separated from us by knowledge which it satisfies the heart to billions of miles, or to count the rate at contemplate without even pressing further which one such sun is approaching or to its issues. But you cannot contemplate separating from another. The men of the law of reflection or refraction, or the science lose the sense of wonder almost laws which govern the structure of the in the very act of achieving the feats by human body, or the laws which govern which it ought to be excited, because their the association of ideas, or any other of main object is not the kindling of feeling, the skeleton methods upon which the but the mastery of a new instrument, by physics and metaphysics of nature are the help of which they may serve some buiit up, with any sense of final satisfacuseful purpose.
Directly they invent tion; you are always spurred on to distheir instruments, they set to work to use cover what the method leads to, what use them, and you can no more be constantly can be made of it, what locks it will open, engaged in using an instrument, however what knots it will untie. wonderful, and yet continue to overflow This is the real difference, as it seems, with wonder at its delicacy and strength, between scientific and literary culture. than you can emulate Dickens's inimitable The former is full of discipline in the vari. hypocrite in eating and drinking chiefly in ous directions to which Sir James Paget order that you may realize how great "a referred. It teaches vigilance in observbenefactor to his race is he who windsing. It teaches accuracy in recording and up and sets going the very beautiful and ineasuring. It teaches immeasurable pawonderful digestive apparatus contained tience in disentangling difficulties. It in his own body. The sense of wonder teaches fertility of resource, as well as still collapses before the practical habit of use, greater patience in conceiving what may and reserves itself for those attitudes of be the secret of the whole process and in the mind in which, as in all great literary coinparing the guess with the facts till all effects, we are contemplating final results the erroneous guesses are excluded. And on which the mind loves to rest, and not it teaches above all the limitless self-conmerely instruments by which it hopes to trol which is needed for all these processes attain to some ulterior end. And this is the alike. Literary culture teaches some of great difference, surely, between scientific these habits of mind as well as science, and literary culture, — that the one is a and some of them much less well. It culture in the apt choice of means to ends teaches a very different kind of vigilance beyond themselves, the other a culture in in observation, — vigilance in noticing the the appreciation of what is intrinsically significance of expression rather than viginteresting, interesting for its own sake. ilance in noticing the traces of agency or When Bacon spoke of minds shrinking in cause. It teaches accuracy, again, in renan atmosphere of mere truth, for want of dering the shade of meaning expressed in the vain opinions, flattering hopes, and one language into the nearest equivalent false valuations without which man is in a different language. It teaches pahardly able to live, he was certainly unjust tience in tracking out the various traces to the human intellect. It is not mere of association which words and gestures truth but mere knowledge which is insuffi- convey. And it stimulates to the effort
From The Standard.
of imagination necessary to form a full conception of the purpose with which a
AVALANCHES ON MOUNT ST. BERNARD. great poet or thinker' was possessed, in the construction of any of his great works. Two avalanches have fallen on the But the two cultures differ in this. The famous Hospice of St. Bernard. The scientific culture never inclines one to church has been almost entirely buried in rest in any of its achievements; it reveals snow. No loss of life is reported. Beat best a method which is always urging tween landslips and avalanches the chronon the mind that grasps it to apply it, and icle of disaster is already full. There is finds hardly any satisfaction in it except no distinction of place - the plains of so far as the application yields a further Lombardy are no better off than the high mastery over nature. The literary culture valleys of the Oberland, and the bad tid. leads to real satisfactions that do not, like ings that reach us to-day from the Pass the treadmill, compel the inquirer to push of the Great St. Bernard may be paralleled further, and deaden him to the wonder of by the news of tearible avalanches in sunny what he has achieved. The literary cul- Spain. The undiscriminating remorseture which exhibits Isaiah or Homer, or lessness of nature was never, however, Æschylus or Virgil, or Goethe or Shake more strikingly shown than in the blind speare, in his full grandeur, gives the mind fate which marked the Alpine hospice for a resting-place as well as a discipline. doom. If anything could appeal for pity The scientific culture which exhibits a to the elements, it would turely be the physical, or geological, or biological, or gentle labors of those monks who, from psychological method of investigation, century to century, have spent their little gives a discipline but not a resting-place, span of life in succoring the victims of — rather, indeed, a spur to the elaboration the storm. The destruction of the Eddyof new methods. For scientific culture is stone lighthouse in a gale would not be the piercing of a path through a never- more dramatically touching than the en. ending wilderness, which, however useful, gulfment in a huge snow-slope of this always insists on being pursued further. Alpine haven of refuge and centre of reLiterary culture is the piercing of a path lief. If the practice of heroic beneficence through a wilderness which leads to view and of self-denial, directed to the most after view in which you would willingly useful as well as the most noble ends, rest and even live. The one deals with could render any spot of earth holy ground, means that only suggest new means; the the hospice of St. Bernard ought to stand other, with ends that too often satisfy first among the sacred places. There, for without urging on to further ends. nearly a thousand years, the lamp of civil.
And this is why science so often be ization and of active piety has been aglow numbs the imaginations of her devotees. in the sternest and bleakest spot that any The curiosity to which she ministers is society of human beings lias ever chosen an insatiable hunger which is only whetted for a retreat. Happily, there is no reason by what it feeds on. There is hardly any to believe that the accident involves any food for love in the wonders which she break in the continuity of these far-reachreveals, only food for a triumph which ing traditions. The church has, indeed, immediately goads the mind to seek a been almost entirely buried in the snow; further triumph. The domain which has but the snow can be a kind protector when been once annexed by science never seems it pleases. The summer's sun, however, to yield any further harvest or gratification will restore to light and air the walls which after the first conquest, or after the first for two centuries have been hallowed by full appreciation of the conquest achieved prayers as true as were ever breathed by by others. The domain which has been the devout. The work to which the Fraannexed by literature never ceases to ternity of St. Bernard dedicate themselves afford fresh' delight; it is one in which the is a perfect illustration of the old maxim mind is only too disposed to rest, for it is Laborare est orare. Whether when St. one in which there is some satisfaction for Bernard came, nine hundred and sixthe higher affections of man as well as for teen years ago, from the quiet hamlet of his higher reason. Here it is, and here Menthon to the icy solitude of the pass, alone, that, in our opinion, Sir James he contemplated in all its fulness the fuPaget under-estimates the culture of the ture of the community he established there, literary school, when he regards, as we it is vain to speculate. But the brother. understand him to regard, scientific cul- hood in its worst times was true to the ture as its equal, if not its superior. mission of humanity, and still, in the al
tered conditions of modern life, it main the Middle Ages and in later days, it is tains unimpaired the ancient standard of enough to recall that Napoleon crossed lofty courage, of unstinted hospitality, and the barrier in 1800 with thirty thousand never-wearying zeal. There are recluses men; that the monastery was garrisoned who carry asceticism, in the sense of self- (like many another sacred place) by the denial, as far as the brothers of St. Ber. soldiers of France ; and that some of the nard; but there are none who, by forego fiercest fighting of the campaign took ing their own delights, contribute so much place among the snowy wastes and in the to the welfare of their fellow.men. Few bleak defiles. There is to this day a sinexamples of sacrifice can surpass that of gular charm about the crossing of these the young man who leaves the comfort of giant walls, which separate the cold Teuthe pleasant valleys of Savoy and conse- tonic lands of the north from the verdure crates deliberately what measure of health and softness of the Italian south. The and energy is meted out to him, to live on very hardships of the passage accentuate the lonely crest - more than eight thou- the sense of delicious surprise. The railsand feet above the level of the sea ways which have pierced the St. Gothard where summer, if it can be said to come and the Cenis have, of course, destroyed at all, only dwells capriciously for three for this unfortunate generation the whole months in the year, and all the remaining imaginative pleasure. You go in at one nine are claimed by winter in its harshest end of a tunnel and you come out at anand most gloomy form. It is not merely other; you have your refreshments, and a question of altitude; many a high place, continue your journey. That is all. But as Davos Platz shows, may be genial it was not so with the scholar or the adenough under the wintry sun; but the venturer of mediæval days. When the Hospice of St. Bernard has a bad pre-emi- horrors and the dangers, both of which nence, even among its peers, for the in- were very real, were surmounted, there clemency of its climate. The monastery burst upon him as a recompensing delight is there because there lies the duty that that first glimpse of the world of Latin the monks have vowed to fulfil. The Pass romance, if he were coming from the Gerof Great St. Bernard does not compare in man outer land, or that first look at the point of picturesqueness with many of its regions beyond the mountains if he were famous brother passes. The St. Gothard on his way from Rome or Florence to see is incomparably finer; and the Simplon what fortune would yield at Paris or at and the Cenis are more interesting. But Bâle. For the men of those days the in the fascination which historical associ- monastery was an institution of the highation gives, it vies with the most roman est political and international importance. tic. The Romans used it as their highway Nobly did its inmates discharge their func. northwards a century before the Christian tions, and most generously, let us add, did era. The military importance of the road the great ones of Europe attest their adin imperial times is shown in the name of miration of what they did and equip them the town which may be regarded as the for carrying on the noble work. Things southern terminus of the strictly Alpine have changed sadly since then, even for road. In the modern Aosta, a part of the the monks of St. Bernard. The noble old Latin name of the station, Augusta endowments have been curtailed, or, as Pretoria Salossorum, is preserved. Long blunt people would say, confiscated. The before the decline and fall of Rome its travellers on whom it was once a pious maintenance was an item in the military exercise to bestow alms and the grace of budgets of the emperors; and when the timely shelter, have been succeeded by a barbarians were masters of Italy, they used horde of mere sightseers, who come and it in their turn. The Plan de Jupiter, a go, enjoy their meals, and grumble about level space in the neighborhood, was the their beds, and pass on, leaving to their site of the temple of Jupiter Pæninus - bomely entertainers by way of thank-offerfamous, if for nothing else, for the fact ing hardly as much as would cover the bill that it has given to the range the name of for the worst night's lodging in the sorriPennine Alps, by which it is known to est hotel. Still the work does not lanmodern mapmakers. To pass over all the guish; nor has the necessity for heroism incidents which made the pass famous in I passed away.
No. 2285. - April 14, 1888.