Left alone, Lady Hetherington took a few minutes to recover herself. Her sister-in-law Caroline had always been a spoiled child, and accustomed to have her own way in the old home, in her own house when she married Mr. Mansergh--the richest, idlest, kindest old gentleman that ever slept in St. Stephen's first and in Glasnevin Cemetery scarcely more soundly afterwards--and generally everywhere since she had lost him. But she had been always remarkable for particularly sound sense, and had a manner of treating objectionably pushing people which succeeded in keeping them at a distance better even than the frigid hauteur which Lady Hetherington indulged in. The countess knew this, and, acknowledging it in her inmost heart, felt that she could make no great mistake in acceding to her sister-in-law's wishes. Moreover, she reflected, after all it was a mere small country-house dinner that day; there was no one expected about whose opinion she particularly cared; and as the man was domiciled in the house, was useful to Lord Hetherington, and was presentable, it was only right to show him some civility.
"They wouldn't wait down here," he said, as he helped her out of the boat. "Are the sahibs up above in the grove?" he inquired of the man.
Meanwhile other branches of the primal Iranian stock were spreading over the savage central forests of Europe, where they laid the foundation of the great Teuton and Gothic races, the destined world-rulers; but Nature to them was a gloomy and awful mother, and life seemed an endless warfare against the fierce and powerful elemental demons of frost and snow and darkness, by whom the beautiful Sun-god was slain, and who reigned triumphant in that fearful season when the earth was iron and the air was ice, and no beneficent God seemed near to help. Hideous idols imaged these unseen powers, who were propitiated by sanguinary rites; and the men and the god they fashioned were alike as fierce and cruel as the wild beasts of the forest, and the aspects of the savage nature around them.
Arthur saw that at last the time had come to set out his defence. "Yes, but why take it for granted that I should be wasting my life?" he began, and then, with one or two pauses at first, but gathering confidence in his own argument as he went on, he laid before her his plans for studying at Hartling and his hope for the future.
“Well, of the official version of the case.”
He was at the bottom of the stairs when Sandra jumped up and hurried to the balustrade.
The historians of botany have overlooked the real state of the case as here presented, or have not described it with sufficient emphasis; due attention has not been paid to the fact, that systematic botany, as it began to develope in the 17th century, contained within itself from the first two opposing elements; on the one hand the fact of a natural affinity indistinctly felt, which was brought out by the botanists of Germany and the Netherlands, and on the other the desire, to which Cesalpino first gave expression, of arriving by the path of clear perception at a classification of the vegetable kingdom which should satisfy the understanding. These two elements of systematic investigation were entirely incommensurable; it was not possible by the use of arbitrary principles of classification which satisfied the understanding to do justice at the same time to the instinctive feeling for natural affinity which would not be argued away. This incommensurability between natural affinity and a priori grounds of classification is everywhere expressed in the systems embracing the whole vegetable kingdom, which were proposed up to 1736, and which including those of Cesalpino and Linnaeus were not less in number than fifteen. It is the custom to describe these systems, of which those of Cesalpino, Morison, Ray, Bachmann (Rivinus), and Tournefort are the most important, by the one word ‘artificial’; but it was by no means the intention of those men to propose classifications of the vegetable kingdom which should be merely artificial, and do no more than offer an
“Henry, you may trust to my memory. Not for about thirty years. We had a little disagreement then about where we were to go for the summer. Oh, I remember it well—the agony it cost me! Don’t say ‘as we all do,’ General, for it would not be true.”
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