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Aphorisms and Reflections from the works of T. H. Huxley   By: (1825-1895)

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MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED LONDON . BOMBAY . CALCUTTA MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY NEW YORK . BOSTON . CHICAGO ATLANTA . SAN FRANCISCO

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD. TORONTO

[Illustration: T. H. Huxley]

APHORISMS AND REFLECTIONS

From the Works of T. H. HUXLEY

Selected by HENRIETTA A. HUXLEY

MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON 1908

RICHARD CLAY AND SONS, LIMITED, BREAD STREET HILL, E.C., AND BUNGAY, SUFFOLK.

First Edition, 1907. Reprinted, 1908.

PREFACE

Although a man by his works and personality shall have made his mark upon the age he lives in, yet when he has passed away and his influence with him, the next generation, and still more the succeeding one, will know little of this work, of his ideals and of the goal he strove to win, although for the student his scientific work may always live.

Thomas Henry Huxley may come to be remembered by the public merely as the man who held that we were descended from the ape, or as the apostle of Darwinism, or as the man who worsted Bishop Wilberforce at Oxford.

To prevent such limitation, and to afford more intimate and valuable reasons for remembrance of this man of science and lover of his fellow men, I have gathered together passages, on widely differing themes, from the nine volumes of his "Essays," from his "Scientific Memoirs" and his "Letters," to be published in a small volume, complete in itself and of a size that can be carried in the pocket.

Some of the passages were picked out for their philosophy, some for their moral guidances, some for their scientific exposition of natural facts, or for their insight into social questions; others for their charms of imagination or genial humour, and many not the least for their pure beauty of lucid English writing.

In so much wealth of material it was difficult to restrict the gathering.

My great wish is that this small book, by the easy method of its contents, may attract the attention of those persons who are yet unacquainted with my husband's writings; of the men and women of leisure, who, although they may have heard of the "Essays," do not care to work their way through the nine volumes; of others who would like to read them, but who have either no time to do so or coin wherewith to buy them. More especially do I hope that these selections may attract the attention of the working man, whose cause my husband so ardently espoused, and to whom he was the first to reveal, by his free lectures, the loveliness of Nature, the many rainbow coloured rays of science, and to show forth to his listeners how all these glorious rays unite in the one pure white light of holy truth.

I am most grateful to our son Leonard Huxley for weeding out the overgrowth of my extracts, for indexing the text of the book and seeing it through the press for me.

HODESLEA, EASTBOURNE, June 29th, 1907.

APHORISMS AND REFLECTIONS

I

There is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and of action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is when the garment of make believe by which pious hands have hidden its uglier features is stripped off.

II

Natural knowledge, seeking to satisfy natural wants, has found the ideas which can alone still spiritual cravings. I say that natural knowledge, in desiring to ascertain the laws of comfort, has been driven to discover those of conduct, and to lay the foundations of a new morality.

III

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

IV

The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.

V

No delusion is greater than the notion that method and industry can make up for lack of motherwit, either in science or in practical life... Continue reading book >>




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