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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/201

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EVOLUTION AND ETHICS.

with a tenacious and powerful enemy as long as the world lasts. But, on the other hand, I see no limit to the extent to which intelligence and will, guided by sound principles of investigation, and organized in common effort, may modify the conditions of existence, for a period longer than that now covered by history. And much may be done to change the nature of man himself. The intelligence which has converted the brother of the wolf into the faithful guardian of the flock ought to be able to do something toward curbing the instincts of savagery in civilized men.

But if we may permit ourselves a larger hope of abatement of the essential evil of the world than was possible to those who, in the infancy of exact knowledge, faced the problem of existence more than a score of centuries ago, I deem it an essential condition of the realization of that hope that we should cast aside the notion that the escape from pain and sorrow is the proper object of life.

We have long since emerged from the heroic childhood of our race, when good and evil could be met with the same "frolic welcome"; the attempts to escape from evil, whether Indian or Greek, have ended in flight from the battle-field; it remains to us to throw aside the youthful overconfidence and the no less youthful discouragement of nonage. We are grown men, and must play the man

"strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield,"

cherishing the good that falls in our way and bearing the evil, in and around us, with stout hearts set on diminishing it. So far, we all may strive in one faith toward one hope:

"It may be that the gulfs will wash us down,
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

". . . but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note may yet be done."[1]

 


 
"Teach, and let the examination take care of itself," was the advice given by Mr. A. E. Hawkins, in his Notes on Science Teaching in the Public Schools, read in the British Association. In his experience he had found that a little knowledge went a long way in an examination. If necessary, the experiments of the lecture could be performed by one of the boys, the rest watching him; but it was better that all the boys should make experiments, preferably working in pairs.

  1. A great proportion of poetry is addressed by the young to the young; only the great masters of the art are capable of divining, or think it worth while to enter into, the feelings of retrospective age. The two great poets whom we have so lately lost, Tennyson and Browning, have done this, each in his own inimitable way; the one in the Ulysses, from which I have borrowed; the other in that wonderful fragment, Childe Roland to the dark Tower came.