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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about The Defendant.
live in a world in which the sky was green and the grass blue, the symbolism would have been different.  But for some mysterious reason this habit of realizing poetically the facts of science has ceased abruptly with scientific progress, and all the confounding portents preached by Galileo and Newton have fallen on deaf ears.  They painted a picture of the universe compared with which the Apocalypse with its falling stars was a mere idyll.  They declared that we are all careering through space, clinging to a cannon-ball, and the poets ignore the matter as if it were a remark about the weather.  They say that an invisible force holds us in our own armchairs while the earth hurtles like a boomerang; and men still go back to dusty records to prove the mercy of God.  They tell us that Mr. Scott’s monstrous vision of a mountain of sea-water rising in a solid dome, like the glass mountain in the fairy-tale, is actually a fact, and men still go back to the fairy-tale.  To what towering heights of poetic imagery might we not have risen if only the poetizing of natural history had continued and man’s fancy had played with the planets as naturally as it once played with the flowers!  We might have had a planetary patriotism, in which the green leaf should be like a cockade, and the sea an everlasting dance of drums.  We might have been proud of what our star has wrought, and worn its heraldry haughtily in the blind tournament of the spheres.  All this, indeed, we may surely do yet; for with all the multiplicity of knowledge there is one thing happily that no man knows:  whether the world is old or young.

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A DEFENCE OF CHINA SHEPHERDESSES

There are some things of which the world does not like to be reminded, for they are the dead loves of the world.  One of these is that great enthusiasm for the Arcadian life which, however much it may now lie open to the sneers of realism, did, beyond all question, hold sway for an enormous period of the world’s history, from the times that we describe as ancient down to times that may fairly be called recent.  The conception of the innocent and hilarious life of shepherds and shepherdesses certainly covered and absorbed the time of Theocritus, of Virgil, of Catullus, of Dante, of Cervantes, of Ariosto, of Shakespeare, and of Pope.  We are told that the gods of the heathen were stone and brass, but stone and brass have never endured with the long endurance of the China Shepherdess.  The Catholic Church and the Ideal Shepherd are indeed almost the only things that have bridged the abyss between the ancient world and the modern.  Yet, as we say, the world does not like to be reminded of this boyish enthusiasm.

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