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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 168 pages of information about Physics and Politics, or, Thoughts on the application of the principles of "natural selection" and "inheritance" to political society.
and lethargic as the canal that passes by his door.  There was one cottage into which the boy would often peep on his way home from school, the home of seven brothers and one sister, all old, toothless, worn—­working together in the daytime at their tiny farm; at night sitting in the gloomy kitchen, lit by one smoky lamp—­all looking straight before them, saying not a word; or when, at rare intervals, a remark was made, taking it up each in turn and solemnly repeating it, with perhaps the slightest variation in form.  It was amidst influences such as these that his boyhood was passed, almost isolated from the world, brooding over lives of saints and mystics at the same time that he studied, and delighted in, Shakespeare and the Elizabethans, Goethe and Heine.  For his taste has been catholic always; he admires Meredith as he admires Dickens, Hello and Pascal no less than Schopenhauer.  And it is this catholicity, this open mind, this eager search for truth, that have enabled him to emerge from the mysticism that once enwrapped him to the clearer daylight of actual existence; it is this faculty of admiring all that is admirable in man and in life that some day, perhaps, may take him very far.

It will surprise many who picture him as a mere dreamy decadent, to be told that he is a man of abiding and abundant cheerfulness, who finds happiness in the simplest of things.  The scent of a flower, the flight of sea-gulls around a cliff, a cornfield in sunshine—­ these stir him to strange delight.  A deed of bravery, nobility, or of simple devotion; a mere brotherly act of kindness, the unconscious sacrifice of the peasant who toils all day to feed and clothe his children—­these awake his warm and instant sympathy.  And with him, too, it is as with De Quincey when he says, “At no time of my life have I been a person to hold myself polluted by the touch or approach of any creature that wore a human shape”; and more than one unhappy outcast, condemned by the stern law of man, has been gladdened by his ready greeting and welcome.  But, indeed, all this may be read of in his book—­I desired but to make it clear that the book is truly a faithful mirror of the man’s own thoughts, and feelings, and actions.  It is a book that many will love—­all those who suffer, for it will lighten their suffering; all those who love, for it will teach them to love more deeply.  It is a book with its faults, doubtless, as every book must be; but it has been written straight from the heart, and will go to the heart of many ...

Alfred Sutro


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