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The Heart of Nature or, The Quest for Natural Beauty   By: (1863-1942)

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[Note: for this online edition I have moved the Table of Contents to the beginning of the text and added three asterisks to mark breaks between sections. I have also made the following spelling changes: latitute to latitude and mountain ash berberis to mountain ash berberries]

THE HEART OF NATURE

OR

THE QUEST FOR NATURAL BEAUTY

BY SIR FRANCIS YOUNGHUSBAND K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E. PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY AUTHOR OF "THE HEART OF A CONTINENT"

LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET 1921

CONTENTS

Preface ix x Introduction xv xxviii

PART I

Chapter I. The Sikkim Himalaya. The sacred Ganges A beneficent power Beauty of the plains First sight of the Himalaya 3 12

Chapter II. The Teesta Valley. Mystery of the forest The gorges Sequestered glens 13 19

Chapter III. The Forest. Butterflies Ferns Orchids Flower friends Rhododendrons Temperate vegetation Primulas Artic vegetation The range of vegetation 20 37

Chapter IV. The Denizens of the Forest. Butterflies Moths Birds Reptiles Mammals Animal beauty Primitive man Higher races 38 54

Chapter V. The Sum Impression. Two views of Nature Variety of life Intensity of life The battle of life Adaptation and selection Purposiveness Purposeful structures Interdependence Organising Activity Gradation Care of offspring the Activity not mechanical but Spiritual Nature's end a Common aspiration 55 85

Chapter VI. Kinchinjunga. The foothills Darjiling A vision of the mountain Full view Mountain grandeur Dawn on the mountain Sunset on the mountain 86 99

Chapter VII. High Solitudes. Kashmir Barren mountains Dazzling peaks Purity of beauty 100 108

Chapter VIII. The Heavens. Desert sunsets Tibetan sunsets The stars The whole universe our home A Heavenly Presence 109 120

Chapter IX. Home Beauty. One's own country Woman's beauty Love and beauty Their Divine Source Wedding Divine union The Inmost Heart of Nature 121 134

Chapter X. The Nature of Nature. A spiritual background Purpose in Nature Higher beings No confining plan Immanent Spirit Collective personality England a Person Nature a Person Moved by an ideal The ideal in plants The ideal in animals The ideal in the world 135 160

Chapter XI. Nature's Ideal. Battling with physical Nature Battling with man In tune with Nature At the heart of the Universe is Love Divine fellowship is Nature's Ideal 161 171

Chapter XII. The Heart of Nature. Picturing the Ideal The Ideal Man Man and woman Perfecting the Ideal Discipline necessary Leadership Nature's method Our own responsibility The lovability of nature God at the Heart of Nature 172 192

PART II

Natural Beauty and Geography

Presidential Address to the Royal Geographical Society 195 216

An Address to the Union Society of University College, London 217 235

PREFACE

The value of Knowledge and Character is duly impressed upon us. Of the value of Freedom we are told so much that we have come to regard it as an end in itself instead of only a means, or necessary condition. But Beauty we are half inclined to connect with the effeminate. Poetry, Music, and Literature are under suspicion with the average English schoolboy, whose love of manliness he will share with nothing else. Yet love of Beauty persists in spite of all discouragement, and will not be suppressed. Natural Beauty, especially, insists on a place in our affections, derived originally from Love, and essentially and inseparably connected with it, Natural Beauty acknowledges supremacy to Love alone. And it deserves our generous recognition, for it is wholesome and refreshing for our souls.

The acute observation and telling description of Natural Beauty is at least as necessary for the enjoyment of life as the pursuit of Natural Science to which so much attention is paid. For the concern of the former is the character, and of the latter only the cause of natural phenomena; and of the two, character is the more important. It is, indeed, high time that we Englishmen were more awake than we are to the value of Natural Beauty... Continue reading book >>




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