dilluns, 29 de juny de 2015

Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman: A.D. 3000, in three acts, is the longest in the collection and opens in Galway Bay, in Ireland. There are still men with short lives, including the subjects of a British Empire with its capital in Baghdad and those of the Empire of Turania. The men who have the privilege of long lives, on the other hand, reside in the old British Isles, especially in Ireland. The irony of the Irishman Shaw is not spared on his fellow countrymen who have erected a monument to Falstaff, champion of cowardice, now at the apex of civil virtues after a series of wars which led to the end of European civilisations. Around the oracle of a Pythoness, we find some of the key personalities of history: an elderly gentleman from Baghdad, especially uncomfortable because of his “old age,” a politician who will go back to Baghdad giving a false version of the oracle of the Pythoness, and the Emperor of Turania, a caricature of Napoleon. The Pythoness will order death for the Emperor, so that he does not outlive his glory. Implacable, the Pythoness will also see to the death of the old gentleman by shaking his hand with a lethal grip, when he asks her to be able to remain in the kingdom of men with long life.One hardly knows which is the more appalling: the abjectness of the credulity or the flippancy of the scepticism. — Shaw's Preface” ― George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah 1 likes Like “It is not easy to make the best of both worlds when one of the worlds is preaching a Class War, and the other vigorously practising it.Back to Methuselah (A Metabiological Pentateuch) by George Bernard Shaw consists of a preface (An Infidel Half Century) and a series of five plays: In the Beginning: B.C. 4004 (In the Garden of Eden), The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas: Present Day, The Thing Happens: A.D. 2170, Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman: A.D. 3000, and As Far as Thought Can Reach: A.D. 31,920. As Far as Thought Can Reach: A.D. 31,920 As Far as Thought Can Reach is in a time when short-lived people are a mere footnote in ancient history, and great longevity is the norm. The opening scene is a sunlit glade at the foot of thickly wooded hill, on a warm summer afternoon in 31,920 AD. On the west side stands a little classic temple and in the middle of the glade there is a marble altar, shaped like a table, and long enough for a man to lie on. Rows of curved marble benches, spaced well apart, fan out from the altar. A path with stairs of rough-cut stone leads upward from the temple to the hill. In the glade, a group of youths and maidens, all appearing to be eighteen or older are dancing gracefully to music played on flutes. As they dance, a stranger, physically in the prime of life but with a wrinkled, timeworn face, comes down the stony stairs, rapt in contemplation, and bumps heedlessly into a pair of dancers. He is an "Ancient". Remonstrances ensue and the Ancient apologizes, saying that had he known there was a nursery here, he should have gone another way. However, after a swift reconciliation, he is invited to join the festivities. The Ancient refuses, saying he is too mature for gambolling; ancients must stick to their own ways of enjoyment. He leaves and the children pledge to stay forever young, but Chloe, somewhat older, says she feels drawn toward the ancient's way of life. She is nearly four years old and is wearying of the activities of children. This leads to a rift with two year old Stephen, her romantic partner, but she doesn't mind because it frees her to seek solitude, where she can meditate. Acís, a three-year old, tries unsuccessfully to comfort him, but Stephen insists on remaining disconsolate until he finds another partner. It will be a busy day at the nursery: a birth is scheduled followed by the Festival of the Artists. A She-Ancient arrives to supervise the birthing. She asks if the child is ready to be born and Acis says the child is more than ready, that she has been shouting and kicking inside her egg and refuses to wait quietly. The birthing proceeds: In procession, youths carry a new tunic, ewers of water, big sponges and, finally a huge egg, which is placed upon the altar. The egg keeps shouting "I want to be born! I want to be born!" and internal kicking rocks it so hard that it must be held steady to keep it from rolling off the altar. The Ancient deftly opens the shell using a pair of saws and reveals a pretty girl, looking fresh and rosy, but with strands of spare albumen clinging to her body. She looks seventeen years old. The other children bathe her, despite her shrieks and protestations. Her fury turns to delight with the beauty of her tunic when they dress her. She takes a few uncertain steps, but quickly learns to walk, then the Ancient names her Amaryllis, as requested by the other children. The Ancient examines the newly born carefully and pronounces her fit to live. The other children are jubilant because defective children are painlessly destroyed. She, however, will live until she has a fatal accident, which, by the laws of chance, is inevitable for everyone. The Ancient leaves the children to their play. Amaryllis provides amusing interludes throughout the remainder of the play. The Festival of the Artists begins. Their two greatest sculptors will show their latest masterpieces and be crowned with flowers, honoured with dithyrambs and have dances done around them. The sculptors, Arjillax and Martellus, arrive. Martellus apparently brought nothing and Arjillax is jeered because he brought busts of ancients, which the children think are ugly; they want youthful beauties, like themselves. Arjillax explains that he intends to place images in the temple that range in age from the newly-born to the full glory of maturity. Martellus laughs, but not in mockery; he says he, too, attempted such a project, but has smashed all his sculptures and thrown away his tools. Asked why, he says life alone is true and meaningful and that marble remains marble, no matter how skilfully it is shaped. Instead of sculptures, he has brought a scientist, Pygmalion, who is a greater artist than the world has seen before. Pygmalion has successfully created a pair of living, artificial human beings and is ready to display them, which he does, to an audience made impatient by his incomprehensible scientific explanations. The creations are a man and woman, noble in appearance, beautiful to look at and splendidly attired. Arriving hand in hand, they are gratified by the attention they receive. They are plainly modelled from the primitives of the twentieth century. Pleasant at first, their behaviour soon turns murderous and Pygmalion is killed during his efforts to control them. The Ancients arrive, having sensed that they were needed, and destroy the couple painlessly. Their remains are collected, using sanitary precautions, and burnt at Pygmalion's laboratory, which is also destroyed. The Ancients make use of the occasion to explain the realities of life to the young ones, compare artistic images to dolls and to say interest in them will be outgrown. One's own body is the last of many dolls and it will be shed, as well. A man's eventual destiny is to be bodiless, a vortex of energy, immortal, and free to roam among the stars. Tired of their talk with children, the Ancients go their separate ways. As night is falling, the children seek shelter in the temple. Darkness ensues and the ghost of Adam appears as a vague radiance. Next come the ghosts of Eve and Cain, then those of the Serpent and Lilith, mother of mankind. Each has a say, in accordance with their characters, and Lilith prophesies an end of life's slavery to matter, whereupon the spectres vanish.

In the year 31,920 AD, the human race has become egg-shaped. There are no more children because, as soon as they come out of the shell, the human beings start talking like adults. The prototype of this new race is a four-year old girl who prefers philosophical reflection about mathematics to children's games and feelings of love. Despite the control exercised on life, death and matter, it is impossible to know what will happen in the remote future and death may come unexpectedly, not with illness, but only by accidents of a various kind. A long discussion on the destiny of life takes place

For liver the only place is Vichy, where you drink the water straight out of the ground in yellow glasses before it has time to lose its radioactivity or whatever else its secret may be. The bottled water is quite useless. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, letter to Siegfried Trebitsch, Aug. 30, 1938 THE GLIMPSE OF REALITY In the fifteenth century A.D. Gloaming. An inn on the edge of an Italian lake. A stone cross with a pedestal of steps. A very old friar sitting on the steps. The angelus rings. The friar prays and crosses himself. A girl ferries a boat to the shore and comes up the bank to the cross. THE GIRL. Father: were you sent here by a boy from-- THE FRIAR [in a high, piping, but clear voice] I'm a very old man. Oh, very old. Old enough to be your great grandfather, my daughter. Oh, very very old. THE GIRL. But were you sent here by a boy from-- THE FRIAR. Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Quite a boy, he was. Very young. And I'm very old. Oh, very very old, dear daughter. THE GIRL. Are you a holy man? THE FRIAR [ecstatically] Oh, very holy. Very, very, very, very holy. THE GIRL. But have you your wits still about you, father? Can you absolve me from a great sin? THE FRIAR. Oh yes, yes, yes. A very great sin. I'm very old; but Ive my wits about me. I'm one hundred and thirteen years old, by the grace of Our Lady; but I still remember all my Latin; and I can bind and loose; and I'm very very wise; for I'm old and have left far behind me the world, the flesh, and the devil. You see I am blind, daughter; but when a boy told me that there was a duty for me to do here, I came without a guide, straight to this spot, led by St Barbara. She led me to this stone, daughter. It's a comfortable stone to me: she has blessed it for me. THE GIRL. It's a cross, father. THE FRIAR [piping rapturously] Oh blessed, blessed, ever blessed be my holy patroness for leading me to this sacred spot. Is there any building near this, daughter? The boy mentioned an inn. THE GIRL. There is an inn, father, not twenty yards away. It's kept by my father, Squarcio. THE FRIAR. And is there a barn where a very very old man may sleep and have a handful of peas for his supper? THE GIRL. There is bed and board both for holy men who will take the guilt of our sins from us. Swear to me on the cross that you are a very holy man. THE FRIAR. I'll do better than that, daughter. I'll prove my holiness to you by a miracle. THE GIRL. A miracle! THE FRIAR. A most miraculous miracle. A wonderful miracle! When I was only eighteen years of age I was already famous for my devoutness. When the hand of the blessed Saint Barbara, which was chopped off in the days when the church was persecuted, was found at Viterbo, I was selected by the Pope himself to carry it to Rome for that blessed lady's festival there; and since that my hand has never grown old. It remains young and warm and plump whilst the rest of my body is withered almost to dust, and my voice is cracked and become the whistling you now hear. THE GIRL. Is that true? Let me see. [He takes her hand in his. She kneels and kisses it fervently] Oh, it's true. You are a saint. Heaven has sent you in answer to my prayer. THE FRIAR. As soft as your neck, is it not? [He caresses her neck]. THE GIRL. It thrills me: it is wonderful. THE FRIAR. It thrills me also, daughter. That, too, is a miracle at my age. THE GIRL. Father-- THE FRIAR. Come closer, daughter. I'm very very old and very very very deaf: you must speak quite close to my ear if you speak low. [She kneels with her breast against his arm and her chin on his shoulder]. Good. Good. Thats better. Oh, I'm very very old. THE GIRL. Father: I am about to commit a deadly sin. THE FRIAR. Do, my daughter. Do, do, do, do, do. THE GIRL [discouraged] Oh, you do not hear what I say. THE FRIAR. Not hear! Then come closer, daughter. Oh, much much closer. Put your arm round my shoulders, and speak in my ear. Do not be ashamed, my daughter: I'm only a sack of old bones. You can hear them rattle. [He shakes his shoulders and makes the beads of his rosary rattle at the same time]. Listen to the old man's bones rattling. Oh, take the old old man to heaven, Blessed Barbara. THE GIRL. Your wits are wandering. Listen to me. Are you listening? THE FRIAR. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Remember: whether I hear or not, I can absolve. All the better for you perhaps if I do not hear the worst. He! He! He! Well well. When my wits wander, squeeze my young hand; and the blessed Barbara will restore my faculties. [She squeezes his hand vigorously]. Thats right. Tha-a-a-a-ats right. Now I remember what I am and who you are. Proceed, my child. THE GIRL. Father, I am to be married this year to a young fisherman. THE FRIAR. The devil you are, my dear. THE GIRL [squeezing his hand] Oh listen, listen; you are wandering again. THE FRIAR. Thats right: hold my hand tightly. I understand, I understand. This young fisherman is neither very beautiful nor very brave; but he is honest and devoted to you; and there is something about him different to all the other young men. THE GIRL. You know him, then! THE FRIAR. No no no no no. I'm too old to remember people. But Saint Barbara tells me everything. THE GIRL. Then you know why we cant marry yet. THE FRIAR. He is too poor. His mother will not let him unless his bride has a dowry-- THE GIRL [interrupting him impetuously] Yes, yes: oh blessed be Saint Barbara for sending you to me! Thirty crowns--thirty crowns from a poor girl like me: it is wicked--monstrous. I must sin to earn it. THE FRIAR. That will not be your sin, but his mother's. THE GIRL. Oh, that is true: I never thought of that. But will she suffer for it? THE FRIAR. Thousands of years in purgatory for it, my daughter. The worse the sin, the longer she will suffer. So let her have it as hot as possible. [The girl recoils]. Do not let go my hand: I'm wandering. [She squeezes his hand]. Thats right, darling. Sin is a very wicked thing, my daughter. Even a mother-in-law's sin is very expensive; for your husband would stint you to pay for masses for her soul. THE GIRL. That is true. You are very wise, father. THE FRIAR. Let it be a venial sin: an amiable sin. What sin were you thinking of, for instance? THE GIRL. There is a young Count Ferruccio [the Friar starts at the name], son of the tyrant of Parma-- THE FRIAR. An excellent young man, daughter. You could not sin with a more excellent young man. But thirty crowns is too much to ask from him. He cant afford it. He is a beggar: an outcast. He made love to Madonna Brigita, the sister of Cardinal Poldi, a Cardinal eighteen years of age, a nephew of the Holy Father. The Cardinal surprised Ferruccio with his sister; and Ferruccio's temper got the better of him. He threw that holy young Cardinal out of the window and broke his arm. THE GIRL. You know everything. THE FRIAR. Saint Barbara, my daughter, Saint Barbara. I know nothing. But where have you seen Ferruccio? Saint Barbara says that he never saw you in his life, and has not thirty crowns in the world. THE GIRL. Oh, why does not Saint Barbara tell you that I am an honest girl who would not sell herself for a thousand crowns. THE FRIAR. Do not give way to pride, daughter. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. THE GIRL. I know that, father; and believe me, I'm humble and good. I swear to you by Our Lady that it is not Ferruccio's love that I must take, but his life. [The Friar, startled, turns powerfully on her]. Do not be angry, dear father: do not cast me off. What is a poor girl to do? We are very poor, my father and I. And I am not to kill him. I am only to decoy him here; for he is a devil for women; and once he is in the inn, my father will do the rest. THE FRIAR. [in a rich baritone voice] Will he, by thunder and lightning and the flood and all the saints, will he? [He flings off his gown and beard, revealing himself as a handsome youth, a nobleman by his dress, as he springs up and rushes to the door of the inn, which he batters with a stone]. Ho there, Squarcio, rascal, assassin, son of a pig: come out that I may break every bone in your carcass. THE GIRL. You are a young man! THE FRIAR. Another miracle of Saint Barbara. [Kicking the door] Come out, whelp: come out, rat. Come out and be killed. Come out and be beaten to a jelly. Come out, dog, swine, animal, mangy hound, lousy--[Squarcio comes out, sword in hand]. Do you know who I am, dog? SQUARCIO [impressed] No, your Excellency. THE FRIAR. I am Ferruccio, Count Ferruccio, the man you are to kill, the man your devil of a daughter is to decoy, the man who is now going to cut you into forty thousand pieces and throw you into the lake. SQUARCIO. Keep your temper, Signor Count. FERRUCCIO. I'll not keep my temper. Ive an uncontrollable temper. I get blinding splitting headaches if I do not relieve my temper by acts of violence. I'll relieve it now by pounding you to jelly, assassin that you are. SQUARCIO [shrugging his shoulders] As you please, Signor Count. I may as well earn my money now as another time. [He handles his sword]. FERRUCCIO. Ass: do you suppose I have trusted myself in this territory without precautions? My father has made a wager with your feudal lord here about me. SQUARCIO. What wager, may it please your Excellency? FERRUCCIO. What wager, blockhead! Why, that if I am assassinated, the murderer will not be brought to justice. SQUARCIO. So that if I kill you-- FERRUCCIO. Your Baron will lose ten crowns unless you are broken on the wheel for it. SQUARCIO. Only ten crowns, Excellency! Your father does not value your life very highly. FERRUCCIO. Dolt. Can you not reason? If the sum were larger your Baron would win it by killing me himself and breaking somebody else on the wheel for it: you, most likely. Ten crowns is just enough to make him break you on the wheel if you kill me, but not enough to pay for all the masses that would have to be said for him if the guilt were his. SQUARCIO. That is very clever, Excellency. [Sheathing his sword]. You shall not be slain: I will take care of that. If anything happens, it will be an accident. FERRUCCIO. Body of Bacchus! I forgot that trick. I should have killed you when my blood was hot. SQUARCIO. Will your Excellency please to step in? My best room and my best cooking are at your Excellency's disposal. FERRUCCIO. To the devil with your mangy kennel! You want to tell every traveller that Count Ferruccio slept in your best bed and was eaten by your army of fleas. Take yourself out of my sight when you have told me where the next inn is. SQUARCIO. I'm sorry to thwart your Excellency; but I have not forgotten your father's wager; and until you leave this territory I shall stick to you like your shadow. FERRUCCIO. And why, pray? SQUARCIO. Someone else might kill your Excellency; and, as you say, my illustrious Baron might break me on the wheel for your father's ten crowns. I must protect your Excellency, whether your Excellency is willing or not. FERRUCCIO. If you dare to annoy me, I'll handle your bones so that there will be nothing left for the hangman to break. Now what do you say? SQUARCIO. I say that your Excellency over-rates your Excellency's strength. You would have no more chance against me than a grasshopper. [Ferruccio makes a demonstration]. Oh, I know that your Excellency has been taught by fencers and wrestlers and the like; but I can take all you can give me without turning a hair, and settle the account when you are out of breath. That is why common men are dangerous, your Excellency: they are inured to toil and endurance. Besides, I know all the tricks. THE GIRL. Do not attempt to quarrel with my father, Count. It must be as he says. It is his profession to kill. What could you do against him? If you want to beat somebody, you must beat me. [She goes into the inn]. SQUARCIO. I advise you not to try that, Excellency. She also is very strong. FERRUCCIO. Then I shall have a headache: thats all. [He throws himself ill-humoredly on a bench at the table outside the inn. Giulia returns with a tablecloth and begins preparing the table for a meal]. SQUARCIO. A good supper, Excellency, will prevent that. And Giulia will sing for you. FERRUCCIO. Not while theres a broomstick in the house to break her ugly head with. Do you suppose I'm going to listen to the howling of a she-wolf who wanted me to absolve her for getting me killed? SQUARCIO. The poor must live as well as the rich, sir. Giulia is a good girl. [He goes into the inn]. FERRUCCIO [shouting after him] Must the rich die that the poor may live? GIULIA. The poor often die that the rich may live. FERRUCCIO. What an honor for them! But it would have been no honor for me to die merely that you might marry your clod of a fisherman. GIULIA. You are spiteful, Signor. FERRUCCIO. I am no troubadour, Giuliaccia, if that is what you mean. GIULIA. How did you know about my Sandro and his mother? How were you so wise when you pretended to be an old friar? you that are so childish now that you are yourself? FERRUCCIO. I take it that either Saint Barbara inspired me, or else that you are a great fool. GIULIA. Saint Barbara will surely punish you for that wicked lie you told about her hand. FERRUCCIO. The hand that thrilled you? GIULIA. That was blasphemy. You should not have done it. You made me feel as if I had had a taste of heaven; and then you poisoned it in my heart as a taste of hell. That was wicked and cruel. You nobles are cruel. FERRUCCIO. Well! do you expect us to nurse your babies for you? Our work is to rule and to fight. Ruling is nothing but inflicting cruelties on wrongdoers: fighting is nothing but being cruel to one's enemies. You poor people leave us all the cruel work, and then wonder that we are cruel. Where would you be if we left it undone? Outside the life I lead all to myself--the life of thought and poetry--I know only two pleasures: cruelty and lust. I desire revenge: I desire women. And both of them disappoint me when I get them. GIULIA. It would have been a good deed to kill you, I think. FERRUCCIO. Killing is always sport, my Giuliaccia. SANDRO'S VOICE [on the lake] Giulietta! Giulietta! FERRUCCIO [calling to him] Stop that noise. Your Giulietta is here with a young nobleman. Come up and amuse him. [To Giulietta] What will you give me if I tempt him to defy his mother and marry you without a dowry? GIULIA. You are tempting me. A poor girl can give no more than she has. I should think you were a devil if you were not a noble, which is worse. [She goes out to meet Sandro]. FERRUCCIO [calling after her] The devil does evil for pure love of it: he does not ask a price: he offers it. [Squarcio returns]. Prepare supper for four, bandit. SQUARCIO. Is your appetite so great in this heat, Signor? FERRUCCIO. There will be four to supper. You, I, your daughter, and Sandro. Do not stint yourselves: I pay for all. Go and prepare more food. SQUARCIO. Your order is already obeyed, Excellency. FERRUCCIO. How? SQUARCIO. I prepared for four, having you here to pay. The only difference your graciousness makes is that we shall have the honor to eat with you instead of after you. FERRUCCIO. Dog of a bandit: you should have been born a nobleman. SQUARCIO. I was born noble, Signor; but as we had no money to maintain our pretensions, I dropped them. [He goes back into the inn]. Giulia returns with Sandro. GIULIA. This is the lad, Excellency. Sandro: this is his lordship Count Ferruccio. SANDRO. At your lordship's service. FERRUCCIO. Sit down, Sandro. You, Giulia, and Squarcio are my guests. [They sit]. GIULIA. Ive told Sandro everything, Excellency. FERRUCCIO. And what does Sandro say? [Squarcio returns with a tray]. GIULIA. He says that if you have ten crowns in your purse, and we kill you, we can give them to the Baron. It would be the same to him as if he got it from your illustrious father. SQUARCIO. Stupid: the Count is cleverer than you think. No matter how much money you give the Baron he can always get ten crowns more by breaking me on the wheel if the Count is killed. GIULIA. That is true. Sandro did not think of that. SANDRO [with cheerful politeness] Oh! what a head I have! I am not clever, Excellency. At the same time you must know that I did not mean my Giulietta to tell you. I know my duty to your Excellency better than that. FERRUCCIO. Come! You are dear people: charming people. Let us get to work at the supper. You shall be the mother of the family and give us our portions, Giulietta. [They take their places]. Thats right. Serve me last, Giulietta. Sandro is hungry. SQUARCIO [to the girl] Come come! do you not see that his Excellency will touch nothing until we have had some first. [He eats]. See, Excellency! I have tasted everything. To tell you the truth, poisoning is an art I do not understand. FERRUCCIO. Very few professional poisoners do, Squarcio. One of the best professionals in Rome poisoned my uncle and aunt. They are alive still. The poison cured my uncle's gout, and only made my aunt thin, which was exactly what she desired, poor lady, as she was losing her figure terribly. SQUARCIO. There is nothing like the sword, Excellency. SANDRO. Except the water, Father Squarcio. Trust a fisherman to know that. Nobody can tell that drowning was not an accident. FERRUCCIO. What does Giulietta say? GIULIA. I should not kill a man if I hated him. You cannot torment a man when he is dead. Men kill because they think it is what they call a satisfaction. But that is only fancy. FERRUCCIO. And if you loved him? Would you kill him then? GIULIA. Perhaps. If you love a man you are his slave: everything he says--everything he does--is a stab to your heart: every day is a long dread of losing him. Better kill him if there be no other escape. FERRUCCIO. How well you have brought up your family, Squarcio! Some more omelette, Sandro? SANDRO [very cheerfully] I thank your Excellency. [He accepts and eats with an appetite]. FERRUCCIO. I pledge you all. To the sword and the fisherman's net: to love and hate! [He drinks: they drink with him]. SQUARCIO. To the sword! SANDRO. To the net, Excellency, with thanks for the honor. GIULIA. To love, Signor. FERRUCCIO. To hate: the noble's portion! SQUARCIO. The meal has done you good, Excellency. How do you feel now? FERRUCCIO. I feel that there is nothing but a bait of ten crowns between me and death, Squarcio. SQUARCIO. It is enough, Excellency. And enough is always enough. SANDRO. Do not think of that, Excellency. It is only that we are poor folk, and have to consider how to make both ends meet as one may say. [Looking at the dish] Excellency--? FERRUCCIO. Finish it, Sandro. Ive done. SANDRO. Father Squarcio? SQUARCIO. Finish it, finish it. SANDRO. Giulietta? GIULIA [surprised] Me? Oh no. Finish it, Sandro: it will only go to the pig. SANDRO. Then, with your Excellency's permission--[he helps himself]. SQUARCIO. Sing for his Excellency, my daughter. Giulia turns to the door to fetch her mandoline. FERRUCCIO. I shall jump into the lake Squarcio, if your cat begins to miaowl. SANDRO [always cheerful and reassuring] No, no, Excellency: Giulietta sings very sweetly: have no fear. FERRUCCIO. I do not care for singing: at least not the singing of peasants. There is only one thing for which one woman will do as well as another, and that is lovemaking. Come, Father Squarcio: I will buy Giulietta from you: you can have her back for nothing when I am tired of her. How much? SQUARCIO. In ready money, or in promises? FERRUCCIO. Old fox. Ready money. SQUARCIO. Fifty crowns, Excellency. FERRUCCIO. Fifty crowns! Fifty crowns for that black-faced devil! I would not give fifty crowns for one of my mother's ladies-in-waiting, Fifty pence, you must mean. SQUARCIO. Doubtless your Excellency, being a younger son, is poor. Shall we say five and twenty crowns? FERRUCCIO. I tell you she is not worth five. SQUARCIO. Oh, if you come to what she is worth, Excellency, what are any of us worth? I take it that you are a gentleman, not a merchant. GIULIA. What are you worth, Signorino? FERRUCCIO. I am accustomed to be asked for favors, Giuliaccia, not to be asked impertinent questions. GIULIA. What would you do if a strong man took you by the scruff of your neck, or his daughter thrust a knife in your throat, Signor? FERRUCCIO. It would be many a year, my gentle Giuliaccia, before any baseborn man or woman would dare threaten a nobleman again. The whole village would be flayed alive. SANDRO. Oh no, Signor. These things often have a great air of being accidents. And the great families are well content that they should appear so. It is such a great trouble to flay a whole village alive. Here by the water, accidents are so common. SQUARCIO. We of the nobility, Signor, are not strict enough. I learnt that when I took to breeding horses. The horses you breed from thoroughbreds are not all worth the trouble: most of them are screws. Well, the horsebreeder gets rid of his screws for what they will fetch: they go to labor like any peasant's beast. But our nobility does not study its business so carefully. If you are a screw, and the son of a baron, you are brought up to think yourself a little god, though you are nothing, and cannot rule yourself, much less a province. And you presume, and presume, and presume-- GIULIA. And insult, and insult, and insult. SQUARCIO. Until one day you find yourself in a strange place with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own wits-- GIULIA. And you perish-- SANDRO. Accidentally-- GIULIA. And your soul goes crying to your father for vengeance-- SQUARCIO. If indeed, my daughter, there be any soul left when the body is slain. FERRUCCIO [crossing himself hastily] Dog of a bandit: do you dare doubt the existence of God and the soul? SQUARCIO. I think, Excellency, that the soul is so precious a gift that God will not give it to a man for nothing. He must earn it by being something and doing something. I should not like to kill a man with a good soul. Ive had a dog that had, I'm persuaded, made itself something of a soul; and if anyone had murdered that dog, I would have slain him. But shew me a man with no soul: one who has never done anything or been anything; and I will kill him for ten crowns with as little remorse as I would stick a pig. SANDRO. Unless he be a nobleman, of course-- SQUARCIO. In which case the price is fifty crowns. FERRUCCIO. Soul or no soul? SQUARCIO. When it comes to a matter of fifty crowns, Excellency, business is business. The man who pays me must square the account with the devil. It is for my employer to consider whether the action be a good one or no: it is for me to earn his money honestly. When I said I should not like to kill a man with a good soul, I meant killing on my own account: not professionally. FERRUCCIO. Are you such a fool then as to spoil your own trade by sometimes killing people for nothing? SQUARCIO. One kills a snake for nothing, Excellency. One kills a dog for nothing sometimes. SANDRO [apologetically] Only a mad dog, Excellency, of course. SQUARCIO. A pet dog, too. One that eats and eats and is useless, and makes an honest man's house dirty. [He rises]. Come, Sandro, and help me to clean up. You, Giulia, stay and entertain his Excellency. He and Sandro make a hammock of the cloth, in which they carry the wooden platters and fragments of the meal indoors. Ferruccio is left alone with Giulia. The gloaming deepens. FERRUCCIO. Does your father do the house work with a great girl like you idling about? Squarcio is a fool, after all. GIULIA. No, Signor: he has left me here to prevent you from escaping. FERRUCCIO. There is nothing to be gained by killing me, Giuliaccia. GIULIA. Perhaps; but I do not know. I saw Sandro make a sign to my father: that is why they went in. Sandro has something in his head. FERRUCCIO [brutally] Lice, no doubt. GIULIA [unmoved] That would only make him scratch his head, Signor, not make signs with it to my father. You did wrong to throw the Cardinal out of the window. FERRUCCIO. Indeed: and pray why? GIULIA. He will pay thirty crowns for your dead body. Then Sandro could marry me. FERRUCCIO. And be broken on the wheel for it. GIULIA. It would look like an accident, Signor. Sandro is very clever; and he is so humble and cheerful and good-tempered that people do not suspect him as they suspect my father. FERRUCCIO. Giulietta: if I reach Sacromonte in safety, I swear to send you thirty crowns by a sure messenger within ten days. Then you can marry your Sandro. How does that appeal to you? GIULIA. Your oath is not worth twenty pence, Signor. FERRUCCIO. Do you think I will die here like a rat in a trap--[his breath fails him]. GIULIA. Rats have to wait in their traps for death, Signor. Why not you? FERRUCCIO. I'll fight. GIULIA. You are welcome, Signor. The blood flows freeest when it is hot. FERRUCCIO. She devil! Listen to me, Giulietta-- GIULIA. It is useless, Signor. Giulietta or Giuliaccia: it makes no difference. If they two in there kill you it will be no more to me--except for the money--than if my father trod on a snail. FERRUCCIO. Oh, it is not possible that I, a nobleman, should die by such filthy hands. GIULIA. You have lived by them, Signor. I see no sign of any work on your own hands. We can bring death as well as life, we poor people, Signor. FERRUCCIO. Mother of God, what shall I do? GIULIA. Pray, Signor. FERRUCCIO. Pray! With the taste of death in my mouth? I can think of nothing. GIULIA. It is only that you have forgotten your beads, Signor [she picks up the Friar's rosary]. You remember the old man's bones rattling. Here they are [she rattles them before him]. FERRUCCIO. That reminds me. I know of a painter in the north that can paint such beautiful saints that the heart goes out of one's body to look at them. If I get out of this alive I'll make him paint St Barbara so that every one can see that she is lovelier than St Cecilia, who looks like my washerwoman's mother in her Chapel in our cathedral. Can you give St Cecilia a picture if she lets me be killed? GIULIA. No; but I can give her many prayers. FERRUCCIO. Prayers cost nothing. She will prefer the picture unless she is a greater fool than I take her to be. GIULIA. She will thank the painter for it, not you, Signor. And I'll tell her in my prayers to appear to the painter in a vision, and order him to paint her just as he sees her if she really wishes to be painted. FERRUCCIO. You are devilishly ready with your answers. Tell me, Giulietta: is what your father told me true? Is your blood really noble? GIULIA. It is red, Signor, like the blood of the Christ in the picture in Church. I do not know if yours is different. I shall see when my father kills you. FERRUCCIO. Do you know what I am thinking, Giulietta? GIULIA. No, Signor. FERRUCCIO. I am thinking that if the good God would oblige me by taking my fool of an elder brother up to heaven, and his silly doll of a wife with him before she has time to give him a son, you would make a rare duchess for me. Come! Will you help me to outwit your father and Sandro if I marry you afterwards? GIULIA. No, Signor: I'll help them to kill you. FERRUCCIO. My back is to the wall, then? GIULIA. To the precipice, I think, Signor. FERRUCCIO. No matter, so my face is to the danger. Did you notice, Giulia, a minute ago? I was frightened. GIULIA. Yes, Signor. I saw it in your face. FERRUCCIO. The terror of terrors. GIULIA. The terror of death. FERRUCCIO. No: death is nothing. I can face a stab just as I faced having my tooth pulled out at Faenza.

GIULIA [shuddering with sincere sympathy] Poor Signorino! That must have hurt horribly.
FERRUCCIO. What! You pity me for the tooth affair, and you did not pity me in that hideous agony of terror that is not the terror of death nor of anything else, but pure grim terror in itself.
GIULIA. It was the terror of the soul, Signor. And I do not pity your soul: you have a wicked soul. But you have pretty teeth.
FERRUCCIO. The toothache lasted a week; but the agony of my soul was too dreadful to last five minutes: I should have died of it if it could have kept its grip of me. But you helped me out of it.
GIULIA. I, Signor!
FERRUCCIO. Yes: you. If you had pitied me: if you had been less inexorable than death itself, I should have broken down and cried and begged for mercy. But now I have come up against something hard: something real: something that does not care for me. I see now the truth of my excellent uncle's opinion that I was a spoilt cub. When I wanted anything I threatened men or ran crying to women; and they gave it to me. I dreamed and romanced: imagining things as I wanted them, not as they really are. There is nothing like a good look into the face of death: close up: right on you: for shewing you how little you really believe and how little you really are. A priest said to me once, "In your last hour everything will fall away from you except your religion." But I have lived through my last hour; and my religion was the first thing that fell away from me. When I was forced at last to believe in grim death I knew at last what belief was, and that I had never believed in anything before: I had only flattered myself with pretty stories, and sheltered myself behind Mumbo Jumbo, as a soldier will shelter himself from arrows behind a clump of thistles that only hide the shooters from him. When I believe in everything that is real as I believed for that moment in death, then I shall be a man at last. I have tasted the water of life from the cup of death; and it may be now that my real life began with this [he holds up the rosary] and will end with the triple crown or the heretic's fire: I care not which. [Springing to his feet] Come out, then, dog of a bandit, and fight a man who has found his soul. [Squarcio appears at the door, sword in hand. Ferruccio leaps at him and strikes him full in the chest with his dagger. Squarcio puts back his left foot to brace himself against the shock. The dagger snaps as if it had struck a stone wall].
GIULIA. Quick, Sandro.
Sandro, who has come stealing round the corner of the inn with a fishing net, casts it over Ferruccio, and draws it tight.
SQUARCIO. Your Excellency will excuse my shirt of mail. A good home blow, nevertheless, Excellency.
SANDRO. Your Excellency will excuse my net: it is a little damp.
FERRUCCIO. Well, what now? Accidental drowning, I suppose.
SANDRO. Eh, Excellency, it is such a pity to throw a good fish back into the water when once you have got him safe in your net. My Giulietta: hold the net for me.
GIULIA [taking the net and twisting it in her hands to draw it tighter round him] I have you very fast now, Signorino, like a little bird in a cage.
FERRUCCIO. You have my body, Giulia. My soul is free.
GIULIA. Is it, Signor? I think Saint Barbara has got that in her net too. She has turned your jest into earnest.
SANDRO. It is indeed true, sir, that those who come under the special protection of God and the Saints are always a little mad; and this makes us think it very unlucky to kill a madman. And since from what Father Squarcio and I overheard, it is clear that your Excellency, though a very wise and reasonable young gentleman in a general way, is somewhat cracked on the subject of the soul and so forth, we have resolved to see that no harm comes to your Excellency.
FERRUCCIO. As you please. My life is only a drop falling from the vanishing clouds to the everlasting sea, from finite to infinite, and itself part of the infinite.
SANDRO [impressed] Your Excellency speaks like a crazy but very holy book. Heaven forbid that we should raise a hand against you? But your Excellency will notice that this good action will cost us thirty crowns.
FERRUCCIO. Is it not worth it?
SANDRO. Doubtless, doubtless. It will in fact save us the price of certain masses which we should otherwise have had said for the souls of certain persons who--ahem! Well, no matter. But we think it dangerous and unbecoming that a nobleman like your Excellency should travel without a retinue, and unarmed; for your dagger is unfortunately broken, Excellency. If you would therefore have the condescension to accept Father Squarcio as your man-at-arms--your servant in all but the name, to save his nobility--he will go with you to any town in which you will feel safe from His Eminence the Cardinal, and will leave it to your Excellency's graciousness as to whether his magnanimous conduct will not then deserve some trifling present: say a wedding gift for my Giulietta.
FERRUCCIO. Good: the man I tried to slay will save me from being slain. Who would have thought Saint Barbara so full of irony!
SANDRO. And if the offer your Excellency was good enough to make in respect of Giulietta still stands--
SQUARCIO. Rascal: have you then no soul?
SANDRO. I am a poor man, Excellency: I cannot afford these luxuries of the rich.
FERRUCCIO. There is a certain painter will presently make a great picture of St Barbara; and Giulia will be his model. He will pay her well. Giulia: release the bird. It is time for it to fly.
She takes the net from his shoulders.

COOLE PARK, Summer, 1909.

dissabte, 27 de juny de 2015

ninety miles long, from the island of Chios on the north to the lasian Gulf on the south, and from twenty to thirty miles broad. Above it were the /Eolians, and below it the Dorians, while the high- lands of the interior were inhabited by the native Carians, Phrygians, and Lydians. Ionia contained twelve beautiful cities, and ancient writers tell us that it boasted as many marvels as Greece herself. The climate, according to Herodotus, 1 was the most delightful ih the whole world. The prolific soil was watered by refreshing streams, the valleys teemed with flowers and fruit, the mountains were furnished with groves of timber and precipices of marble. The uneven coast afforded excellent harbours, as well as captivating glimpses of the blue ^Egcan and the rocky islands of the Archipelago. Nor were spiritual asso- ciations wanting to a land peopled by the Hellenes. Divine myths clustered around well and grotto; the fanes of heroes arose by the wayside, and magnificent temples adorned the cities. Miletus in the days of Thalcs was a flourishing metropolis. It was built on a promontory of the Latmian Gulf, beside the mouth of the Meander. Its territory extended from the peninsula of Posidion to the fertile holms of that famous river. The city was walled, as usual in those times, and possessed four ports, one of which was capable of sheltering a fleet of galleys. For the Milesians were a maritime people ; their commerce extended throughout the Mediter- ranean as far as the Pillars of Hercules, and they had planted nearly a hundred colonics on the shores of the Euxine and Propontis, of which Abydos and Sinopc are still extant. Their staple export was wool from the highlands of Phrygia ; but the bazaars of the city were filled with hides from the Black Sea, 1 Herodotus, i. 143.

fire kindled by the electrical bottle, when the healths of all the 
famous electricians in England, Holland, France, and Germany 
are to be drunk in electrified bumpers, under the discharge of 
guns from the electric battery? l 

In sending a spark across the Schuylkill rivcr ; the 

circuit was completed by a wire stretched over the 

water at the ferry. One end of it was connected to 

the outer coating of a Lcydcn jar, the other to a metal 

spoon containing a little spirits. The inner coating 

of the jar was connected through a post with the 

water, and the spark was directed to the spirits by a 

metal point communicating with the water. Dr. 

Watson, in London, had also administered ' shocks ' 

to people across the Thames at old Westminster 

Bridge by a similar arrangement. But neither he nor 

the ingenious Franklin, whose mind was bent on a 

practical application

And just as eager to get burnt up," replied Gazen, with a smile. "Let us pass now to the planets. The little one next the sun is Mercury, who can be seen as a rosy-white star soon after sunset or before sunrise. He is about 36 million miles, more or less, from the sun; travels round his orbit in 88 days, the length of his year; and spins about his axis in 24 hours, making a day and night. His diameter is 3,000 miles, and his mass is nearly seven times that of an equal volume of water. The attraction of gravity on his surface is barely half that on the earth, and a man would feel very light there. Mercury seems to have a dense atmosphere, and probably high mountains, if not active volcanoes. The sunshine is from four to nine times stronger there than on the earth, and as summer and winter follow each other in six weeks, he is doubtless rather warm. "Venus, the 'Shepherd's Star,' and the brightest object in the heavens after the moon, can sometimes be seen by day, and casts a distinct shadow at night. She is about 67 million miles from the sun, revolves round him in 225 days, and rotates on her axis in 23 to 24 hours, or as Schiaparelli believes, in 224 days. Her diameter is 7,600 miles, and her mass nearly five times that of an equal volume of water. Gravity is rather less there than it is here. Like Mercury, she appears to have a cloudy atmosphere, and very high mountains. On the whole she resembles the earth, but is, perhaps, a younger as well as a warmer planet. "The green ball, next to Venus, is, I need hardly say, our own dear little world. Terra, or the earth, is 93 million miles from the sun, goes round him in 365 days, and turns on her axis in 24 hours less four minutes. Her diameter is 7,918 miles, and her density is 5.66 times that of water. She is attended by a single satellite, the moon, which revolves round her in 27.3 days, at a distance of 238,000 miles. The moon rotates on her axis in about the same time, and hence we can only see one side of her. She is 2,160 miles in diameter, but her mass is only one-eightieth that of the earth. A pound weight on the moon would scale six pounds on the earth. Having little or no atmosphere or water, she is apparently a dead world. "The red planet beyond the earth is Mars, who appears in the sky as a ruddy gold or coppery star. He is 141 million miles from the sun, travels his orbit in 687 days, and wheels round his axis in 24 hours 37 minutes. His diameter is 4,200 miles, and his mass about one-ninth that of the earth. A body weighing two pounds on the earth would only make half a pound on Mars. As you know, his atmosphere is clear and thin, his surface flat, and subject to floods from the melting of the polar snows. Mars is evidently a colder and more aged planet than the earth. "He is accompanied by two little moons, Phobos (Fear), which is from ten to forty miles in diameter, and revolves round him in 7 hours 39 minutes, at a distance of 6,000 miles, a fact unparalleled in astronomy; and Deimos (Rout), who completes a revolution in 30 hours 18 minutes, at a distance of 14,500 miles. "About 400 planetoids have been discovered up to now, but we are always catching more of them. Medusa, the nearest, is 198 million miles, and Thule, the farthest, is 396 million miles from the sun. Vesta, the brightest and probably the largest, a pale yellow, or, as some say, bluish white orb, visible with the naked eye, is from 200 to 400 miles in diameter. It is impossible to say which is the smallest. Probably the mass of the whole is not greater than one quarter that of the earth. "Jupiter, surnamed the 'giant planet,' who almost rivals Venus in her splendour, is 480 million miles from the sun; travels round his orbit in 12 years less 50 days; and is believed to whirl round his axis in 10 hours. His diameter is 85,000 miles, and his bulk is not only 1,200 times that of the earth, but exceeds that of all the other planets put together. Nevertheless, his mass is only 200 to 300 times that of the earth, for his density is not much greater than that of water. What we see is evidently his vaporous atmosphere, which is marked by coloured spots and bands or belts, probably caused by storms and currents, especially in the equatorial regions. Jupiter is thought to be self luminous, at least in parts, and is, perchance, a cooling star, not yet entirely crusted over. "Four or five numbered satellites, about the size of our moon and upwards, are circulating round him in orbits from 2,000 to 1,000,000 miles distant in periods ranging from 11 hours to 16 days 18 hours. "Saturn, the 'ringed planet,' who appears as a dull red star of the first magnitude, is the most interesting of all the planets. He is 884 million miles from the sun; his period of revolution is 29½ years, and he turns on his axis in 10 hours 14 minutes. His diameter is 75,000 miles, but his mass is only 94 times that of the earth, for he is lighter than pinewood. His atmosphere is marked with spots and belts, and on the whole his condition is like that of Jupiter. "Two flat rings or hoops, divided by a dark space, encircle his ball in the plane of his equator. The inner ring is over 18,000 miles from the ball, and nearly 17,000 miles broad. The gap between is 1,750 miles wide, and the outer ring is over 10,000 miles broad. The rings are banded, bright or dark, and vary in thickness from 40 to 250 miles. They consist of innumerable small satellites and meteoric stones, travelling round the ball in rather more than ten hours, and are brightest in their densest parts. Of course they form a magnificent object in the night sky of the planet, and it may be that our own zodiacal light is the last vestige of a similar ring, and not an extension of the solar corona. "Saturn has eight moons outside his rings, the nearest, Mimas, being 115,000, and the farthest, Japetus, 220,400 miles from his ball. With the exception of Japetus, they revolve round him in the plane of his rings, and when these are seen edgewise, appear to run along it like beads on a string. "Uranus, the next planet visible, is a pale star of the sixth magnitude, 1,770 million miles from the sun, and completes his round in 84 years. His axis, differing from those of the foregoing planets, lies almost in the plane of his orbit, but we cannot speak as to his axial rotation. He is 31,000 miles in diameter, and somewhat heavier, bulk for bulk, than water. Four satellites revolve round him, the nearest, Ariel, being 103,500, and the farthest, Oberon, 347,500 miles distant. Unlike the orbits of the foregoing satellites, which are nearly in the same plane as the orbits of their primaries, those of the satellites of Uranus are almost perpendicular to his own. They are travelled in periods of two and a half to thirteen and a half days. "Neptune, invisible to the naked eye, but seen as a pale blue star in the telescope, is 2,780 million miles from the sun, and makes a revolution in 165 years. His diameter is about 35,000 miles, and his density rather less than that of water. "Neptune has one satellite, at a distance of 202,000 miles, which, like those of Uranus, revolves about its primary in an orbit at a considerable angle to his own in five days twenty-one hours. Both Neptune and Uranus are probably dying suns. "Comets of unknown number travel in long elliptical or parabolic orbits round the sun at great velocities. They seem to consist partly of glowing vapours, especially hydrogen, and partly of meteoric stones. 'Shooting stars,' that is to say, stones which fall to the earth, are known to swarm in their wake, and are believed to be as plentiful in space as fishes in the sea." "The trash or leavings of creation," said I reflectively. "And the raw material, for nothing is lost," rejoined Gazen. "Now, in spite of all its diversity, there is a remarkable symmetry in the solar system. The planets are all moving round the sun in one direction along circular paths. As a rule each is nearly as far again from the sun as the next within it. Thus, if we take Mercury as ¾ inch from the sun, Venus is about 1¼ inches, the Earth 2¼, Mars 2, the planetoids 5¼, Jupiter 9¾, Saturn 14, Uranus 36, and Neptune 60 inches. On the same scale, by the way, Enckes' comet at Aphelion, its farthest distance from the sun, would be about 12 feet; Donatis almost a mile; and Alpha Centauri, a near star in the Milky Way, some ten miles. "The stately march of the planets in their orbits becomes slower the farther they are from the sun. The velocity of Mercury in its orbit is thirty, that of Jupiter is eight, and that of Neptune is only three miles a second. On the other hand, the inner planets, as a rule, take some twenty-four hours, and the outer only ten hours to spin round their axis. The inner planets are small in comparison with the outer. If we represent the sun by a gourd, 20 inches in diameter, Mercury will seem a bilberry (⅟₁₆ inch) Venus, a white currant, the Earth a black currant (¼ inch), Mars a red currant (⅛ inch), the planetoids as fine seed, Jupiter an orange or peach (2 inches), Saturn a nectarine or greengage (1 inch), Uranus a red cherry (¾ inch), and Neptune a white cherry (barely 1 inch in diameter). By putting the sun and planets in a row, and drawing a contour of the whole, we obtain the figure of a dirk, a bodkin, or an Indian club, in which the sun stands for the knob (disproportionately big), the inner planets for the handle, and the outer for the blade or body. Again, the average density of the inner planets exceeds that of the outer by nearly five to one, but the mass of any planet is greater than the combined masses of all which are smaller than it. The inner planets derive all their light and heat from the sun, and have few or no satellites; whereas the outer, to all appearance, are secondary suns, and have their own retinue of worlds. On the similitude of a clan or house we may regard the inner planets as the immediate retainers of the chief, and the outer as the chieftains of their own septs or families." "How do you account for the symmetrical arrangement?" I enquired. "The origin of the solar system is, you know, a mystery," replied the astronomer. "According to the nebular hypothesis we may imagine that two or more dark suns, perhaps encircled with planets, have come into collision. Burst into atoms by the stupendous shock they would fill the surrounding region with a vast nebula of incandescent gases in a state of violent agitation. Its luminous fringes would fly immeasurably beyond the present orbit of Neptune, and then rush inwards to the centre, only to be driven outwards again. Surging out and in, the fluid mass would expand and contract alternately, until in course of ages the fiery tides would cease to ebb and flow. If the impact had been somewhat indirect it would rotate slowly on its axis, and under the influence of gravity and centrifugal force acquire a globular shape which would gradually flatten to a lenticular disc. As it cooled and shrank in volume it would whirl the faster round its axis, and grow the denser towards its heart. By and by, as the centrifugal force overcame gravity, the nebula would part, and the lighter outskirts would be shed one after another in concentric rings to mould the planets. The inner rings, being relatively small and heavy, would probably condense much sooner than the large, light, outer rings. The planetoids are apparently the rubbish of a ring which has failed to condense into one body, perhaps through its uniformity or thinness. The separation of so big a mass as Jupiter might well attenuate the border." "If the planetoids were born of a single small ring, might not several planets be condensed from a large one?" "I see nothing to hinder it. A large ring might split into smaller rings, or condense in several centres." "Because it seems to me that might explain the distinction between the inner and the outer planets. Perhaps the outer were first thrown off in one immense ring, and then the inner in a smaller ring. Before separation the nebula viewed edgewise might resemble your Indian club." "A 'dumb-bell nebula,' like those we find in the heavens," observed Gazen. "Be that as it may, the rings would collect into balls, and some of these, especially the outer, would cast off rings which would condense into moons, always excepting the rings of Saturn, which, like the planetoids, are evidently a failure. The solar system would then appear as a group of suns, a cluster of stars, in short, a constellation. Each would be what we call a 'nebulous star,' not unlike the sun at present; that is to say, it would be surrounded by a glowing atmosphere of vapours, and perhaps meteoric matter. Under the action of gravity, centrifugal force, and tidal retardation, their orbits would become more circular, they would gradually move further apart, rotate more slowly on their axes, and assume the shapes they have now. In cooling down, new chemical compounds, and probably elements would be formed, since the so-called elements are perhaps mere combinations of a primordial substance which have been produced at various temperatures. The heavier elements, such as platinum, gold, and iron, would sink towards the core; and the lighter, such as carbon, silicon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, would rise towards the surface. A crust would form, and portions of it breaking in or bursting out together with eruptions and floods of molten lava, would disturb the poise of the planet, and give rise to inequalities of surface, to continents, and mountains. When the crust was sufficiently stable, sound, and cool, the mists and clouds would condense into rivers, lakes, or seas, and the atmosphere would become clear. In due course life would make its appearance." "Can you account for that mystery?" "No. Science is bound in honour, no doubt, to explain all it can without calling in a special act of creation; but the origin of life and intelligence seems to go beyond it, so far. Spontaneous generation from dead matter is ruled out of court at present. We believe that life only proceeds from life. As for the hypothesis that meteoric stones, the 'moss-grown fragments of another world' may have brought life to the earth, I hardly know what to think of it." "Has life ever been found on a meteoric stone?" "Not that I know. Carbon, at all events in the state of graphite and diamond, has been got from them. They arc generally a kind of slag, containing nodules or crystals of iron, nickle, and other metals, and look to me as if they had solidified from a liquid or vapour. Are they ruins of an earlier cosmos—the crumbs of an exploded world—matter ejected from the sun—the snow of a nebulous ring—frozen spray from the fiery surge of a nebula? we cannot tell; but, according to the meteoric as distinguished from the nebular hypothesis of the solar system, the sun, planets, and comets, as well as the stars and nebula were all generated by the clash of meteorites; and not as I have supposed, of dead globes." "Which hypothesis do you believe?" "There may be some truth in both," replied Gazen. "The two processes might even go on together. What if meteorites are simply frozen nebula? It is certain that the earth is still growing a little from the fall of meteoric stones, and that part of the sun's heat comes from meteoric fuel. Most of it, however, arises from the shrinkage of his bulk. Five or ten million years ago the sun was double the size he is now. Twenty or thirty million years ago he was rather a nebula than a sun. In five or ten million more he will probably be as Jupiter is now—a smoking cinder." "And the earth—how long is it since she was crusted over?" "Anything from ten to several hundred million years. In that time the stratified rocks have been deposited under water, the land and sea have taken their present configurations; the atmosphere has been purified; plants and animals have spread all over the surface. Man has probably been from twenty to a hundred thousand years or more on the earth, but his civilization is a thing of yesterday." "How long will the earth continue fit for life?" "Perhaps five or ten million years. The entire solar system is gradually losing its internal heat, and must inevitably die of sheer inanition. The time is coming when the sun will drift through space, a black star in the midst of dead worlds. Perhaps the system will fall together, perhaps it will run against a star. In either case there would probably be a 'new heaven and a new earth.'" "Born like a phoenix from the ashes of the old," said I, feeling the justice of the well-worn simile. "I daresay the process goes on to all eternity." "Like enough." The sublime idea, with its prospect of the infinite, held us for a time in silence. At length my thoughts reverted to the original question which had been forgotten. "Now, whether should I go to Mars or Venus?" I enquired, fixing my eyes on these planets and trying to estimate their relative distances from the earth. Gazen made a mental computation, and replied with decision, "Venus." "All right," I responded. "Venus let it be."The heaven that rolls around cries aloud to you while it displays its eternal harmony, and yet your eyes are fixed upon the earth alone." DANTE. "This truth within thy mind rehearse, That in a boúndless universe Is boundless better, boundless worse. "Think you this mould of hopes and fears Could find no statelier than his peers In yonder hundred million spheres?" TENNYSON. A TRIP TO VENUS. CHAPTER I. A MESSAGE FROM MARS. While I was glancing at the Times newspaper in a morning train for London my eyes fell on the following item:— A STRANGE LIGHT ON MARS.—On Monday afternoon, Dr. Krueger, who is in charge of the central bureau at Kiel, telegraphed to his correspondents:— "Projection lumineuse dans région australe du terminateur de Mars observée par Javelle 28 courant, 16 heures.—Perrotin." In plain English, at 4 a.m., a ray of light had been observed on the disc of the planet Mars in or near the "terminator"; that is to say, the zone of twilight separating day from night. The news was doubly interesting to me, because a singular dream of "Sunrise in the Moon" had quickened my imagination as to the wonders of the universe beyond our little globe, and because of a never-to-be-forgotten experience of mine with an aged astronomer several years ago. This extraordinary man, living the life of a recluse in his own observatory, which was situated in a lonely part of the country, had, or at any rate, believed that he had, opened up a communication with the inhabitants of Mars, by means of powerful electric lights, flashing in the manner of a signal-lantern or heliograph. I had set him down as a monomaniac; but who knows? perhaps he was not so crazy after all. When evening came I turned to the books, and gathered a great deal about the fiery planet, including the fact that a stout man, a Daniel Lambert, could jump his own height there with the greatest ease. Very likely; but I was seeking information on the strange light, and as I could not find any I resolved to walk over and consult my old friend, Professor Gazen, the well-known astronomer, who had made his mark by a series of splendid researches with the spectroscope into the constitution of the sun and other celestial bodies. It was a fine clear night. The sky was cloudless and of a deep dark blue, which revealed the highest heavens and the silvery lustre of the Milky Way. The great belt of Orion shone conspicuously in the east, and Sirius blazed a living gem more to the south. I looked for Mars, and soon found him farther to the north, a large red star, amongst the white of the encircling constellations. Professor Gazen was quite alone in his observatory when I arrived, and busily engaged in writing or computing at his desk. "I hope I'm not disturbing you," said I, as we shook hands; "I know that you astronomers must work when the fine night cometh." "Don't mention it," he replied cordially; "I'm observing one of the nebulas just now, but it won't be in sight for a long time yet." "What about this mysterious light on Mars. Have you seen anything of it?" Gazen laughed. "I have not," said he, "though I did look the other night." "You believe that something of the kind has been seen?" "Oh, certainly. The Nice Observatory, of which Monsieur Perrotin is director, has one of the finest telescopes in existence, and Monsieur Javelle is well-known for his careful work." "How do you account for it?" "The light is not outside the disc," responded Gazen, "else I should ascribe it to a small comet. It may be due to an aurora in Mars as a writer in Nature has suggested, or to a range of snowy Alps, or even to a bright cloud, reflecting the sunrise. Possibly the Martians have seen the forest fires in America, and started a rival illumination." "What strikes you as the likeliest of these notions?" "Mountain peaks catching the sunshine." "Might it not be the glare of a city, or a powerful search-light—in short, a signal?" "Oh dear, no," exclaimed the astronomer, smiling incredulously. "The idea of signalling has got into people's heads through the outcry raised about it some time ago, when Mars was in 'opposition' and near the earth. I suppose you are thinking of the plan for raising and lowering the lights of London to attract the notice of the Martians?" "No; I believe I told you of the singular experience I had some five or six years ago with an old astronomer, who thought he had established an optical telegraph to Mars?" "Oh, yes, I remember now. Ah, that poor old chap was insane. Like the astronomer in Rasselas, he had brooded so long in solitude over his visionary idea that he had come to imagine it a reality." "Might there not be some truth in his notion? Perhaps he was only a little before his time." Gazen shook his head. "You see," he replied, "Mars is a much older planet than ours. In winter the Arctic snows extend to within forty degrees of the equator, and the climate must be very cold. If human beings ever existed on it they must have died out long ago, or sunk to the condition of the Eskimo." "May not the climate be softened by conditions of land and sea unknown to us? May not the science and civilisation of the Martians enable them to cope with the low temperature?" "The atmosphere of Mars is as rare as ours at a height of six miles, and a warm-blooded creature like man would expire in it." "Like man, yes," I answered; "but man was made for this world. We are too apt to measure things by our own experience. Why should we limit the potentiality of life by what we know of this planet?" "In the next place," went on Gazen, ignoring my remark, "the old astronomer's plan of signalling by strong lights was quite impracticable. No artificial light is capable of reaching to Mars. Think of the immense distance and the two atmospheres to penetrate! The man was mad, as mad as a March hare! though why a March hare is mad I'm sure I don't know." "I read the other day of an electric light in America which can be seen 150 miles through the lower atmosphere. Such a light, if properly directed, might be visible on Mars; and, for aught we know, the Martians may have discovered a still stronger beam." "And if they have, the odds against their signalling just when we are alive to the possibility of it are simply tremendous." "I see nothing incredible in the coincidence. Two heads often conceive the same idea about the same time, and why not two planets, if the hour be ripe? Surely there is one and the same inspiring Soul in all the universe. Besides, they may have been signalling for centuries, off and on, without our knowing it." "Then, again," said Gazen, with a pawky twinkle in his eye, "our electric light may have woke them up." "Perhaps they are signalling now," said I, "while we are wasting precious time. I wish you would look." "Yes, if you like; but I don't think you'll see any 'luminous projections,' human or otherwise." "I shall see the face of Mars, anyhow, and that will be a rare experience. It seems to me that a view of the heavenly bodies through a fine telescope, as well as a tour round the world, should form a part of a liberal education. How many run to and fro upon the earth, hunting for sights at great trouble and expense, but how few even think of that sublimer scenery of the sky which can be seen without stirring far from home! A peep at some distant orb has power to raise and purify our thoughts like a strain of sacred music, or a noble picture, or a passage from the grander poets. It always does one good." Professor Gazen silently turned the great refracting telescope in the direction of Mars, and peered attentively through its mighty tube for several minutes. "Is there any light?" I inquired. "None," he replied, shaking his head. "Look for yourself." I took his place at the eye-piece, and was almost startled to find the little coppery star, which I had seen half-an-hour before, apparently quite near, and transformed into a large globe. It resembled a gibbous moon, for a considerable part of its disc was illuminated by the sun. A dazzling spot marked one of its poles, and the rest of its visible surface was mottled with ruddy and greenish tints which faded into white at the rim. Fascinated by the spectacle of that living world, seen at a glance, and pursuing its appointed course through the illimitable ether, I forgot my quest, and a religious awe came over me akin to that felt under the dome of a vast cathedral. "Well, what do you make of it?" The voice recalled me to myself, and I began to scrutinise the dim and shadowy border of the terminator for the feeblest ray of light, but all in vain. "I can't see any 'luminous projection'; but what a magnificent object in the telescope!" "It is indeed," rejoined the professor, "and though we have not many opportunities of seeing it, we know it better than the other planets, and almost as well as the moon. Its features have been carefully mapped like those of the moon, and christened after celebrated astronomers." "Yourself included, I hope." "No, sir; I have not that honour. It is true that a man I know, an enthusiastic amateur in astronomy, dubbed a lot of holes and corners in the moon after his private friends and acquaintances, myself amongst them: 'Snook's Crater,' 'Smith's Bottom,' 'Tiddler's Cove,' and so on; but I regret to say the authorities declined to sanction his nomenclature." "I presume that bright spot on the Southern limb is one of the polar ice-caps," said I, still keeping my eye on the planet. "Yes," replied the professor, "and they are seen to wax and wane in winter and summer. The reddish-yellow tracts are doubtless continents of an ochrey soil; and not, as some think, of a ruddy vegetation. The greenish-grey patches are probably seas and lakes. The land and water are better mixed on Mars than on the earth—a fact which tends to equalise the climate. There is a belt of continents round the equator: 'Copernicus,' 'Galileo,' 'Dawes,' and others, having long winding lakes and inlets. These are separated by narrow seas from other islands on the north or south, such as: 'Haze Land, 'Storm Land,' and so forth, which occupy what we should call the temperate zones, beneath the poles; but I suspect they are frigid enough. If you look closely you will see some narrow streaks crossing the continents like fractures. These are the famous 'Canals' of Schiaparelli, who discovered (and I wish I had his eyes) that many of them were 'doubled,' that is, had another canal alongside. Some of these are nearly 2,000 miles long, by fifty miles broad, and 300 miles apart." "That beats the Suez Canal." "I am afraid they are not artificial. The doubling is chiefly observed at the vernal equinox, our month of May, and is perhaps due to spring floods, or vegetation in valleys of the like trend, as we find in Siberia. The massing of clouds or mists will account for the peculiar whiteness at the edge of the limb, and an occasional veiling of the landscape." While he spoke, my attention was suddenly arrested by a vivid point of light which appeared on the dark side of the terminator, and south of the equator. "Hallo!" I exclaimed, involuntarily. "There's a light!" "Really!" responded Gazen, in a tone of surprise, not unmingled with doubt. "Are you sure?" "Quite. There is a distinct light on one of the continents." "Let me see it, will you?" he rejoined, hastily; and I yielded up my place to him. "Why, so there is," he declared, after a pause. "I suspect it has been hidden under a cloud till now." We turned and looked at each other in silence. "It can't be the light Javelle saw," ejaculated Gazen at length. "That was on Hellas Land." "Should the Martians be signalling they would probably use a system of lights. I daresay they possess an electric telegraph to work it." The professor put his eye to the glass again, and I awaited the result of his observation with eager interest. "It's as steady as possible," said he. "The steadiness puzzles me," I replied. "If it would only flash I should call it a signal." "Not necessarily to us," said Gazen, with mock gravity. "You see, it might be a lighthouse flashing on the Kaiser Sea, or a night message in the autumn manoeuvres of the Martians, who are, no doubt, very warlike; or even the advertisement of a new soap." "Seriously, what do you think of it?" I asked. "I confess it's a mystery to me," he answered, pondering deeply; and then, as if struck by a sudden thought, he added: "I wonder if it's any good trying the spectroscope on it?" So saying, he attached to the telescope a magnificent spectroscope, which he employed in his researches on the nebulæ, and renewed his observation. "Well, that's the most remarkable thing in all my professional experience," he exclaimed, resigning his place at the instrument to me. "What is?" I demanded, looking into the spectroscope, where I could distinguish several faint streaks of coloured light on a darker background. "You know that we can tell the nature of a substance that is burning by splitting up the light which comes from it in the prism of a spectroscope. Well, these bright lines of different colours are the spectrum of a luminous gas." "Indeed! Have you any idea as to the origin of the blaze?" "It may be electrical—for instance, an aurora. It may be a volcanic eruption, or a lake of fire such as the crater of Kilauea. Really, I can't say. Let me see if I can identify the bright lines of the spectrum." I yielded the spectroscope to him, and scarcely had he looked into it ere he cried out— "By all that's wonderful, the spectrum has changed. Eureka! It's thallium now. I should know that splendid green line amongst a thousand." "Thallium!" I exclaimed, astonished in my turn. "Yes," responded Gazen, hurriedly. "Make a note of the observation, and also of the time. You will find a book for the purpose lying on the desk." I did as directed, and awaited further orders. The silence was so great that I could plainly hear the ticking of my watch laid on the desk before me. At the end of several minutes the professor cried— "It has changed again: make another note." "What is it now?" "Sodium. The yellow bands are unmistakable." A deep stillness reigned as before. "There she goes again," exclaimed the professor, much excited. "Now I can see a couple of blue lines. What can that be? I believe it's indium." Another long pause ensued. "Now they are gone," ejaculated Gazen once more. "A red and a yellow line have taken their place. That should be lithium. Hey, presto!—and all was dark." "What's the matter?" "It's all over." With these words he removed the spectroscope from the telescope, and gazed anxiously at the planet "The light is gone," he continued, after a minute. "Perhaps another cloud is passing over it. Well, we must wait. In the meantime let us consider the situation. It seems to me that we have every reason to be satisfied with our night's work. What do you think?" There was a glow of triumph on his countenance as he came and stood before me. "I believe it's a signal," said I, with an air of conviction. "But how?" "Why should it change so regularly? I've timed each spectrum, and found it to last about five minutes before another took its place." The professor remained thoughtful and silent. "Is it not by the light which comes from them that we have gained all our knowledge of the constitution of the heavenly bodies?" I continued. "A ray from the remotest star brings in its heart a secret message to him who can read it. Now, the Martians would naturally resort to the same medium of communication as the most obvious, simple, and practicable. By producing a powerful light they might hope to attract our attention, and by imbuing it with characteristic spectra, easily recognised and changed at intervals, they would distinguish the light from every other, and show us that it must have had an intelligent origin." "What then?" "We should know that the Martians had a civilisation at least as high as our own. To my mind, that would be a great discovery—the greatest since the world began." "But of little use to either party." "As for that, a good many of our discoveries, especially in astronomy, are not of much use. Suppose you find out the chemical composition of the nebulæ you are studying, will that lower the price of bread? No; but it will interest and enlighten us. If the Martians can tell us what Mars is made of, and we can return the compliment as regards the earth, that will be a service." "But the correspondence must then cease, as the editors say." "I'm not so sure of that." "My dear fellow! How on earth are we to understand what the Martians say, and how on Mars are they to understand what we say? We have no common code." "True; but the chemical bodies have certain well-defined properties, have they not?" "Yes. Each has a peculiarity marking it from all the rest. For example, two or more may resemble each other in colour or hardness, but not in weight." "Precisely. Now, by comparing their spectra can we not be led to distinguish a particular quality, and grasp the idea of it? In short, can the Martians not impress that idea on us by their spectro-telegraph?" "I see what you mean," said Professor Gazen; "and, now I think of it, all the spectra we have seen belong to the group called 'metals of the alkalies and alkaline earths,' which, of course, have distinctive properties." "At first, I should think the Martians would only try to attract our notice by striking spectra." "Lithium is the lightest metal known to us." "Well, we might get the idea of 'lightness' from that." "Sodium," continued the professor, "sodium is a very soft metal, with so strong an affinity for oxygen that it burns in water. Manganese, which belongs to the 'iron group,' is hard enough to scratch glass; and, like iron, is decidedly magnetic. Copper is red—" "The signals for colour we might get from the spectra direct." "Mercury or quicksilver is fluid at ordinary temperatures, and that might lead us to the idea of movement—animation—life itself." "Having got certain fundamental ideas," I went on, "by combining these we might arrive at other distinct conceptions. We might build up an ideographic or glyphic language of signs—the signs being spectra. The numerals might be telegraphed by simple occultations of the light. Then from spectra we might pass by an easy step to equivalent signals of long and short flashes in various combinations, also made by occulting the light. With such a code, our correspondence might go on at great length, and present no difficulty; but, of course, we must be able to reply." "If the Martians are as clever as you are pleased to imagine, we ought to learn a good deal from them." "I hope we may, and I'm sure the world will be all the better for a little superior enlightenment on some points." "Well, we must follow the matter up, at all events," said the professor, taking another peep through the telescope. "For the present the Martian philosophers appear to have shut up shop; and, as my nebula has now risen, I should like to do a little work on it before daybreak. Look here, if it's a fine night, can you join me to-morrow? We shall then continue our observations; but, in the meanwhile, you had better say nothing about them." On my way home I looked for the ruddy planet as I had done in the earlier part of the night, but with very different feelings in my heart. The ice of distance and isolation separating me from it seemed to have broken down since then, and instead of a cold and alien star, I saw a friendly and familiar world—a companion to our own in the eternal solitude of the universe.


The next evening promised well, and I kept my appointment, but unfortunately a slight haze gathered in the sky and prevented us from making further observations. While hoping in vain for it to clear away, Professor Gazen and I talked over the possibility of journeying to other worlds. The gist of our argument was afterwards published in a conversation, entitled "Can we reach the other planets?" which appeared in The Day after To-morrow. It ran as follows:
I. (the writer). "Do you think we shall ever be able to leave the earth and travel through space to Mars or Venus, and the other members of the Solar System?"
G. (Checking an impulse to smile and shaking his head), "Oh, no! Never."
I. "Yet science is working miracles, or what would have been accounted miracles in ancient times."
G. "No doubt, and hence people are apt to suppose that science can do everything; but after all Nature has set bounds to her achievements."
I. "Still, we don't know what we can and what we cannot do until we try."
G. "Not always; but in this case I think we know. The celestial bodies are evidently isolated in space, and the tenants of one cannot pass to another. We are confined to our own planet."
I. "A similar objection might have been urged against the plan of Columbus."
G. "That was different. Columbus only sailed through unknown seas to a distant continent. We are free to explore every nook and cranny of the earth, but how shall we cross the immense void which parts us from another world, except on the wings of the imagination?"
I. "Great discoveries and inventions are born of dreams. There are minds which can foresee what lies before us, and the march of science brings it within our reach. All or nearly all our great scientific victories have been foretold, and they have generally been achieved by more than one person when the time came. The telescope was a dream for ages, so was the telephone, steam and electric locomotion, aerial navigation. Why should we scout the dream of visiting other worlds, which is at least as old as Lucian? Ere long, and perhaps before the century is out, we shall be flying through the air to the various countries of the globe. In succeeding centuries what is to hinder us from travelling through space to different planets?"
G. "Quite impossible. Consider the tremendous distance—the lifeless vacuum—that separates us even from the moon. Two hundred and forty thousand miles of empty space."
I. "Some ten times round the world. Well, is that tremendous vacuum absolutely impassable?"
G. "To any but Jules Verne and his hero, the illustrious Barbicane, president of the Gun Club."[1]

[1] The Voyage à la Lune, by Jules Verne.
I. "Jules Verne has an original mind, and his ideas, though extravagant, are not without value. Some of them have been realised, and it may be worth while to examine his notion of firing a shot from the earth to the moon. The projectile, if I remember, was an aluminium shell in the shape of a conical bullet, and contained three men, a dog or two, and several fowls, together with provisions and instruments. It was air tight, warmed and illuminated with coal gas, and the oxygen for breathing was got from chlorate of potash, while the carbonic acid produced by the lungs and gas-burners was absorbed with caustic potash to keep the air pure. This bullet-car was fired from a colossal cast-iron gun founded in the sand. It was aimed at a point in the sky, the zenith, in fact, where it would strike the moon four days later, that is, after it had crossed the intervening space. The charge of gun-cotton was calculated to give the projectile a velocity sufficient to carry it past the 'dead-point,' where the gravity of the earth upon it was just balanced by that of the moon, and enable it to fall towards the moon for the rest of the way. The sudden shock of the discharge on the car and its occupants was broken by means of spring buffers and water pressure."
G. "The last arrangement was altogether inadequate."
I. "It was certainly a defect in the scheme."
G. "Besides, the initial velocity of the bullet to carry it beyond the 'dead-point,' was, I think, 12,000 yards a second, or something like seven miles a second."
I. "His estimate was too high. An initial velocity of 9,000 yards, or five miles a second, would carry a projectile beyond the sensible attraction of the earth towards the moon, the planets, or anywhere; in short, to an infinite distance. Indeed, a slightly lower velocity would suffice in the case of the moon, owing to her attraction."
G. "But how are we to give the bullet that velocity? I believe the highest velocity obtained from a single discharge of cordite, one of our best explosives, was rather less than 4,000 feet, or only about three-quarters of a mile per second. With such a velocity, the projectile would simply rise to a great height and then fall back to the ground."
I. "Both of these drawbacks can be overcome. We are not limited to a single discharge. Dr. S. Tolver Preston, the well-known writer on molecular science, has pointed out that a very high velocity can be got by the use of a compound gun, or, in other words, a gun which fires another gun as a projectile.[2] Imagine a first gun of enormous dimensions loaded with a smaller gun, which in turn is loaded with the bullet. The discharge of the first gun shoots the second gun into the air, with a certain velocity. If, now, the second gun, at the instant it leaves the muzzle of the first, is fired automatically, say by utilising the first discharge to press a spring which can react on a hammer or needle, the bullet will acquire a velocity due to both discharges, and equivalent to the velocity of the second gun at the time it was fired plus the velocity produced by the explosion of its own charge. In this way, by employing a series of guns, fired from each other in succession, we can graduate the starting shock, and give the bullet a final velocity sufficient to raise it against gravity, and the resistance of the atmosphere, which grows less as it advances, and send it away to the moon or some other distant orb."

[2] Engineering, January 13th, 1893.
G. "Your spit-fire mode of progression is well enough in theory, but it strikes me as just a little complicated and risky. I, for one, shouldn't care to emulate Elijah and shoot up to Heaven in that style."
I. "If it be all right in theory, it will be all right in practice. However, instead of explosives we might employ compressed air to get the required velocity. In the air-gun or cannon, as you probably know, a quantity of air, compressed within a chamber of the breech, is allowed suddenly to expand behind the bullet and eject it from the barrel. Now, one might manage with a simple gun of this sort, provided it had a very long barrel, and a series of air chambers at intervals from the breech to the muzzle. Each of these chambers, beginning at the breech, could be opened in turn as the bullet passed along the barrel, so that every escaping jet of gas would give it an additional impulse."
G. (with growing interest). "That sounds neater. You might work the chambers by electricity."
I. "We could even have an electric gun. Conceive a bobbin wound with insulated wire in lieu of thread, and having the usual hole through the axis of the frame. If a current of electricity be sent through the wire, the bobbin will become a hollow magnet or 'solenoid,' and a plug of soft iron placed at one end will be sucked into the hole. In this experiment we have the germ of a solenoid cannon. The bobbin stands for the gun-barrel, the plug for the bullet-car, and the magnetism for the ejecting force. We can arrange the wire and current so as to draw the plug or car right through the hole or barrel, and if we have a series of solenoids end to end in one straight line, we can switch the current through each in succession, and send the projectile with gathering velocity through the interior of them all. In practice the barrel would consist of a long straight tube, wide and strong enough to contain the bullet-car without flexure, and begirt with giant solenoids at intervals. Each of the solenoids would be excited by a powerful current, one after the other, so as to urge the projectile with accelerating speed along the tube, and launch it into the vast."
G. "That looks still better than the pneumatic gun."
I. "A magnetic gun would have several advantages. For instance, the currents can be sent through the solenoids in turn as quickly as we desire by means of a commutator in a convenient spot, for instance, at the butt end of the gun, so as to follow up the bullet with ease, and give it a planetary flight. By a proper adjustment of the solenoids and currents, this could be done so gradually as to prevent a starting shock to the occupants of the car. The velocity attained by the car would, of course, depend on the number and power of the solenoids. If, for example, each solenoid communicated to the car a velocity of nine yards per second, a thousand solenoids, each magnetically stronger than another in going from breech to muzzle, would be required to give a final velocity of five miles a second. In such a case, the length of the barrel would be at least 1,000 yards. Economy and safety would determine the best proportions for the gun, but we are now considering the feasibility of the project, not its cost. With regard to position and supports, the gun might be constructed along the slope of a hill or mound steep enough to give it the angle or elevation due to the aim. As the barrel would not have to resist an explosive force, it should not be difficult to make, and the inside could be lubricated to diminish the friction of the projectile in passing through it. Moreover, it is conceivable that the car need never touch the sides, for by a proper adjustment of the magnetism of the solenoids we might suspend it in mid-air like Mahomet's coffin, and make it glide along the magnetic axis of the tube."
G. "It seems a promising idea for an actual gun, or an electric despatch and parcel post, or even a railway. The bullet, I suppose, would be of iron."
I. "Probably; but aluminium is magnetic in a lower degree than iron, and its greater lightness might prove in its favour. We might also magnetise the car, say by surrounding it with a coil of wire excited from an accumulator on board. The car, of course, would be hermetically sealed, but it would have doors and windows which could be opened at pleasure. In open space it would be warmed and lighted by the sun, and in the shadow of a planet, if need were, by coal-gas and electricity. In either case, to temper the extremes of heat or cold, the interior could be lined with a non-conductor. Liquefied oxygen or air for breathing, and condensed fare would sustain the inmates; and on the whole they might enjoy a comfortable passage through the void, taking scientific observations, and talking over their experiences."
G. "It would be a novel observatory, quite free from atmospheric troubles. They might be able to make some astronomical discoveries."
I. "A novel laboratory as well, for in space beyond the attraction of the earth there would be no gravity. The travellers would not feel a sense of weight, but as the change would be gradual they would get accustomed to it, and suffer no inconvenience."
G. "They would keep their gravity in losing it."
I. "The car, meeting with practically no resistance in the ether, would tend to move in the same direction with the same velocity, and anything put overboard would neither fall nor rise, but simply float alongside. When the car came within the sensible attraction of the moon, its velocity would gradually increase as they approached each other."
G. "Always supposing the aim of the gun to have been exact. You might hit the moon, with its large disc and comparatively short range, provided no wandering meteorite diverted the bullet from its course; but it would be impossible to hit a planet, such as Venus or Mars, a mere point of light, and thirty or forty million miles away, especially as both the earth and planet are in rapid motion. A flying rifle-shot from a lightning express at a distant swallow would have more chance of success. If you missed the mark, the projectile would wheel round the planet, and either become its satellite or return towards the earth like that of Jules Verne in his fascinating romance."
I. "Jules Verne, and other writers on this subject, appear to have assumed that all the initial effort should come from the cannon. Perhaps it did not suit his literary purpose to employ any other driving force. At all events he possessed one in the rockets of Michel Ardan, the genial Frenchman of the party, which were intended to break the fall of the projectile on the moon."
G. "If I recollect, they were actually fired to give the car a fillip when it reached the dead-point on its way back to the earth."
I. "Even in a vacuum, where an ordinary propeller could not act, the bullet may become a prime mover, and co-operate with the gun. A rocket can burn without an atmosphere, and the recoil of the rushing fumes will impel the car onwards."
G. "Do you think a rocket would have sufficient power to be of any service?"
I. "Ten or twelve large rockets, capable of exerting a united back pressure of one and a half tons during five or six minutes on a car of that weight at the earth's surface, would give it in free space a velocity of two miles a second, which, of course, would not be lost by friction."
G. "So that it would not be absolutely necessary to give the projectile an initial velocity of five miles a second."
I. "No; and, besides, we are not solely dependent on the rocket. A jet of gas, at a very high pressure, escaping from an orifice into the vacuum or ether, would give us a very high propelling force. By compressing air, oxygen, or coal-gas (useful otherwise) in iron cylinders with closed vents, which could be opened, we should have a store of energy serviceable at any time to drive the car. In this way a pressure or thrust of several tons on the square inch might be applied to the car as long as we had gas to push it forwards."
G. "Certainly, and by applying the pressure, whether from the rocket or the gas, to the front and sides, as well as to the rear of the car, you would be able to regulate the speed, and direct the car wherever you wanted to go."
I. "Moreover, beyond the range of gravitation, we could steer and travel by pumping out the respired air, or occasionally projecting a pebble from the car through a stuffing box in the wall, or else by firing a shot from a pistol."
G. "You might even have a battery of machine guns on board, and decimate the hosts of heaven."
I. "Our bullets would fly straight enough, anyhow, and I suppose they would hit something in course of time."
G. "If they struck the earth they would be solemnly registered as falling stars."
I. "Certainly they would be burnt up in passing through the atmosphere of a planet and do no harm to its inhabitants."
G. "Well, now, granting that you could propel the car, and that although your gun was badly aimed you could steer towards a planet, how long would the journey take?"
I. "The self-movement of the car would enable us to save time, which is a matter of the first importance on such a trip. In the plan of Jules Verne, the bullet derives all its motion from the initial effort, and consequently slows down as it rises against the earth's attraction, until it begins again to quicken under the gravitation of the moon. Hence his voyage to our satellite occupied four days. As we could maintain the velocity of the car, however, we should accomplish the distance in thirteen hours at a speed of five miles a second, and more or less in proportion."
G. "About as long as the journey from London to Aberdeen by rail. What about Mars or Venus?"
I. "At the same speed we should cover the 36,000,000 miles to these planets in 2,000 hours, or 84 days, that is, about three months. With a speed of ten miles a second, which is not impossible, we could reach them in six weeks."
G. "One could scarcely go round the world in the same time. But, having got to a planet, how are you going to land on it? Are you not afraid you will be dissipated like a meteorite by the intense heat of friction with the planet's atmosphere, or else be smashed to atoms by the shock?"
I. "We might steer by the stars to a point on the planet's orbit, mathematically fixed in advance, and wait there until it comes up. The atmosphere of the approaching planet would act as a kind of buffer, and the fall of the car could be further checked by our means of recoil, and also by a large parachute. We should probably be able to descend quite slowly to the surface in this way without damage; but in case of peril, we could have small parachutes in readiness as life-buoys, and leap from the car when it was nearing the ground."
G. "I presume you are taking into account the velocity of the planet in its orbit? That of the earth is 18 miles a second, or a hundred times faster than a rifle bullet; that of Venus, which is nearer the sun, is a few miles more; and that of Mars, which is further from the sun, is rather less."
I. "For that reason the more distant planets would be preferable to land on. Uranus, for instance, has an orbital velocity of four miles a second, and his gravity is about three-fourths that of the earth. Moreover, his axis lies almost exactly on the plane of the ecliptic, so that we could choose a waiting place on his orbit where the line of his axis lay in the direction of his motion, and simply descend on one of his poles, at which the stationary atmosphere would not whirl the car, and where we might also profit by an ascending current of air. The attraction of the sun is so slight at the distance of Uranus, that a stone flung out of the car would have no perceptible motion, as it would only fall towards the sun a mere fraction of an inch per second, or some 355 feet an hour; hence, as Dr. Preston has calculated, one ounce of matter ejected from the car towards the sun every five minutes, with a velocity of 880 feet a second, would suffice to keep a car of one and a half tons at rest on the orbit of the planet. Indeed, the vitiated air, escaping from the car through a small hole by its own pressure, would probably serve the purpose. Just before the planet came up, and in the nick of time we could fire some rockets, and give the car a velocity of two or three miles a second in the direction of the planet's motion, so that he would overtake us, with a speed not over great to ensure a safe descent. Our parachutes would be out, and at the first contact with the atmosphere, the car would probably be blown away; but it would soon acquire the velocity of the planet, and gradually sink downwards to the surface."
G. "What puzzles me is how you are to get back to the earth."
I. "Whoever goes must take the risk; but if, as appears likely, both Mars and Venus are inhabited by intelligent beings, we should probably be able to construct another cannon and return the way we came."
G. (smiling). "Well, I confess the project does not look so impracticable as it did. After all, travelling in a vacuum seems rather pleasant. One of these days, I suppose, we astronomers will be packed in bullets and fired into the ether to observe eclipses and comets' tails."
I. "In all that has been said we have confined ourselves to ways and means already known; but science is young, and we shall probably discover new sources of energy. It may even be possible to dispense with the gun, and travel in a locomotive car. Lord Kelvin has shown that if Lessage's hypothesis of gravitation be correct, a crystal or other body may be found which is lighter along one axis than another, and thus we may be able to draw an unlimited supply of power from gravity by simply changing the position of the crystal; for example, by raising it when lighter, and letting it fall when heavier. This form of 'perpetual motion' might be equally obtainable if Dr. Preston's theory of an ether as the cause of gravity be true. Indeed, Professor Poynting is now engaged in searching for such a crystal, which, if discovered, will upset the second law of thermo-dynamics. I merely mention this to show that science is on the track of concealed motive powers derived from the ether, and we cannot now tell what the engines of the future will be like. For ought we know, the time is coming when there will be a regular mail service between the earth and Mars or Venus, cheap trips to Mercury, and exploring expeditions to Jupiter, Saturn, or Uranus."

divendres, 19 de juny de 2015

AXIOMS. I. Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else. II. That which cannot be conceived through anything else must be conceived through itself. III. From a given definite cause an effect necessarily follows ; and, on the other hand, if no definite cause be granted, it is impossible that an effect can follow. IV. The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves the knowledge of a cause. V. Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood, the one by means of the other ; the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other. VI. A true idea must correspond with its ideate or object. VII. If a thing can be conceived as non-existing, its essence does not involve existence. PROPOSITIONS. PROP. I. Substance is by nature prior to its modifications. Proof.-This is clear from Deff. iii. and v. PROP. II. Two substances, whose attributes are different, have nothing in common. Proof.-Also evident from Def. iii. For each must exist in itself, and be conceived through itself ; in other words, the conception of one does not imply the conception of the other. PROP. III. Things which have nothing in common cannot be one the cause of the other. Proof.-If they have nothing in common, it follows that one cannot be apprehended by means of the other (Ax. v.), and, therefore, one cannot be the cause of the other (Ax. iv.). Q.E.D. PROP. IV. Two or more distinct things are distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of the attributes of the substances, or by the difference of their modifications. Proof.-Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else (Ax. i.),-that is (by Deff. iii. and v.), nothing is granted in addition to the understanding, except substance and its modifications. Nothing is, therefore, given besides the understanding, by which several things may be distinguished one from the other, except the substances, or, in other words (see Ax. iv.), their attributes and modifications. Q.E.D. PROP. V. There cannot exist in the universe two or more substances having the same nature or attribute. Proof.-If several distinct substances be granted, they must be distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of their attributes, or by the difference of their modifications (Prop. iv.). If only by the difference of their attributes, it will be granted that there cannot be more than one with an identical attribute. If by the difference of their modifications-as substance is naturally prior to its modifications (Prop. i.),-it follows that setting the modifications aside, and considering substance in itself, that is truly, (Deff. iii. and vi.), there cannot be conceived one substance different from another,-that is (by Prop. iv.), there cannot be granted several substances, but one substance only. Q.E.D. PROP. VI. One substance cannot be produced by another substance. Proof.-It is impossible that there should be in the universe two substances with an identical attribute, i.e. which have anything common to them both (Prop. ii.), and, therefore (Prop. iii.), one cannot be the cause of the other, neither can one be produced by the other. Q.E.D. Corollary.-Hence it follows that a substance cannot be produced by anything external to itself. For in the universe nothing is granted, save substances and their modifications (as appears from Ax. i. and Deff. iii. and v.). Now (by the last Prop.) substance cannot be produced by another substance, therefore it cannot be produced by anything external to itself. Q.E.D. This is shown still more readily by the absurdity of the contradictory. For, if substance be produced by an external cause, the knowledge of it would depend on the knowledge of its cause (Ax. iv.), and (by Def. iii.) it would itself not be substance. PROP. VII. Existence belongs to the nature of substances. Proof.-Substance cannot be produced by anything external (Corollary, Prop vi.), it must, therefore, be its own cause-that is, its essence necessarily involves existence, or existence belongs to its nature. PROP. VIII. Every substance is necessarily infinite. Proof.-There can only be one substance with an identical attribute, and existence follows from its nature (Prop. vii.) ; its nature, therefore, involves existence, either as finite or infinite. It does not exist as finite, for (by Def. ii.) it would then be limited by something else of the same kind, which would also necessarily exist (Prop. vii.) ; and there would be two substances with an identical attribute, which is absurd (Prop. v.). It therefore exists as infinite. Q.E.D. Note I.-As finite existence involves a partial negation, and infinite existence is the absolute affirmation of the given nature, it follows (solely from Prop. vii.) that every substance is necessarily infinite. Note II.-No doubt it will be difficult for those who think about things loosely, and have not been accustomed to know them by their primary causes, to comprehend the demonstration of Prop. vii. : for such persons make no distinction between the modifications of substances and the substances themselves, and are ignorant of the manner in which things are produced ; hence they may attribute to substances the beginning which they observe in natural objects. Those who are ignorant of true causes, make complete confusion-think that trees might talk just as well as men-that men might be formed from stones as well as from seed ; and imagine that any form might be changed into any other. So, also, those who confuse the two natures, divine and human, readily attribute human passions to the deity, especially so long as they do not know how passions originate in the mind. But, if people would consider the nature of substance, they would have no doubt about the truth of Prop. vii. In fact, this proposition would be a universal axiom, and accounted a truism. For, by substance, would be understood that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself-that is, something of which the conception requires not the conception of anything else ; whereas modifications exist in something external to themselves, and a conception of them is formed by means of a conception of the thing in which they exist. Therefore, we may have true ideas of non-existent modifications ; for, although they may have no actual existence apart from the conceiving intellect, yet their essence is so involved in something external to themselves that they may through it be conceived. Whereas the only truth substances can have, external to the intellect, must consist in their existence, because they are conceived through themselves. Therefore, for a person to say that he has a clear and distinct-that is, a true-idea of a substance, but that he is not sure whether such substance exists, would be the same as if he said that he had a true idea, but was not sure whether or no it was false (a little consideration will make this plain) ; or if anyone affirmed that substance is created, it would be the same as saying that a false idea was true-in short, the height of absurdity. It must, then, necessarily be admitted that the existence of substance as its essence is an eternal truth. And we can hence conclude by another process of reasoning-that there is but one such substance. I think that this may profitably be done at once ; and, in order to proceed regularly with the demonstration, we must premise :- 1. The true definition of a thing neither involves nor expresses anything beyond the nature of the thing defined. From this it follows that- 2. No definition implies or expresses a certain number of individuals, inasmuch as it expresses nothing beyond the nature of the thing defined. For instance, the definition of a triangle expresses nothing beyond the actual nature of a triangle : it does not imply any fixed number of triangles. 3. There is necessarily for each individual existent thing a cause why it should exist. 4. This cause of existence must either be contained in the nature and definition of the thing defined, or must be postulated apart from such definition. It therefore follows that, if a given number of individual things exist in nature, there must be some cause for the existence of exactly that number, neither more nor less. For example, if twenty men exist in the universe (for simplicity’s sake, I will suppose them existing simultaneously, and to have had no predecessors), and we want to account for the existence of these twenty men, it will not be enough to show the cause of human existence in general ; we must also show why there are exactly twenty men, neither more nor less : for a cause must be assigned for the existence of each individual. Now this cause cannot be contained in the actual nature of man, for the true definition of man does not involve any consideration of the number twenty. Consequently, the cause for the existence of these twenty men, and, consequently, of each of them, must necessarily be sought externally to each individual. Hence we may lay down the absolute rule, that everything which may consist of several individuals must have an external cause. And, as it has been shown already that existence appertains to the nature of substance, existence must necessarily be included in its definition ; and from its definition alone existence must be deducible. But from its definition (as we have shown, notes ii., iii.), we cannot infer the existence of several substances ; therefore it follows that there is only one substance of the same nature. Q.E.D. PROP. IX. The more reality or being a thing has, the greater the number of its attributes (Def. iv.). PROP. X. Each particular attribute of the one substance must be conceived through itself. Proof.-An attribute is that which the intellect perceives of substance, as constituting its essence (Def. iv.), and, therefore, must be conceived through itself (Def. iii.). Q.E.D. Note-It is thus evident that, though two attributes are, in fact, conceived as distinct-that is, one without the help of the other-yet we cannot, therefore, conclude that they constitute two entities, or two different substances. For it is the nature of substance that each of its attributes is conceived through itself, inasmuch as all the attributes it has have always existed simultaneously in it, and none could be produced by any other ; but each expresses the reality or being of substance. It is, then, far from an absurdity to ascribe several attributes to one substance : for nothing in nature is more clear than that each and every entity must be conceived under some attribute, and that its reality or being is in proportion to the number of its attributes expressing necessity or eternity and infinity. Consequently it is abundantly clear, that an absolutely infinite being must necessarily be defined as consisting in infinite attributes, each of which expresses a certain eternal and infinite essence. If anyone now ask, by what sign shall he be able to distinguish different substances, let him read the following propositions, which show that there is but one substance in the universe, and that it is absolutely infinite, wherefore such a sign would be sought in vain. PROP. XI. God, or substance, consisting of infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality, necessarily exists. Proof.-If this be denied, conceive, if possible, that God does not exist : then his essence does not involve existence. But this (Prop. vii.) is absurd. Therefore God necessarily exists. Another proof.-Of everything whatsoever a cause or reason must be assigned, either for its existence, or for its non-existence-e.g. if a triangle exist, a reason or cause must be granted for its existence ; if, on the contrary, it does not exist, a cause must also be granted, which prevents it from existing, or annuls its existence. This reason or cause must either be contained in the nature of the thing in question, or be external to it. For instance, the reason for the non-existence of a square circle is indicated in its nature, namely, because it would involve a contradiction. On the other hand, the existence of substance follows also solely from its nature, inasmuch as its nature involves existence. (See Prop. vii.) But the reason for the existence of a triangle or a circle does not follow from the nature of those figures, but from the order of universal nature in extension. From the latter it must follow, either that a triangle necessarily exists, or that it is impossible that it should exist. So much is self-evident. It follows therefrom that a thing necessarily exists, if no cause or reason be granted which prevents its existence. If, then, no cause or reason can be given, which prevents the existence of God, or which destroys his existence, we must certainly conclude that he necessarily does exist. If such a reason or cause should be given, it must either be drawn from the very nature of God, or be external to him-that is, drawn from another substance of another nature. For if it were of the same nature, God, by that very fact, would be admitted to exist. But substance of another nature could have nothing in common with God (by Prop. ii.), and therefore would be unable either to cause or to destroy his existence. As, then, a reason or cause which would annul the divine existence cannot be drawn from anything external to the divine nature, such cause must perforce, if God does not exist, be drawn from God’s own nature, which would involve a contradiction. To make such an affirmation about a being absolutely infinite and supremely perfect is absurd ; therefore, neither in the nature of God, nor externally to his nature, can a cause or reason be assigned which would annul his existence. Therefore, God necessarily exists. Q.E.D. Another proof.-The potentiality of non-existence is a negation of power, and contrariwise the potentiality of existence is a power, as is obvious. If, then, that which necessarily exists is nothing but finite beings, such finite beings are more powerful than a being absolutely infinite, which is obviously absurd ; therefore, either nothing exists, or else a being absolutely infinite necessarily exists also. Now we exist either in ourselves, or in something else which necessarily exists (see Axiom. i. and Prop. vii.). Therefore a being absolutely infinite-in other words, God (Def. vi.)-necessarily exists. Q.E.D. Note.-In this last proof, I have purposely shown God’s existence à posteriori, so that the proof might be more easily followed, not because, from the same premises, God’s existence does not follow à priori. For, as the potentiality of existence is a power, it follows that, in proportion as reality increases in the nature of a thing, so also will it increase its strength for existence. Therefore a being absolutely infinite, such as God, has from himself an absolutely infinite power of existence, and hence he does absolutely exist. Perhaps there will be many who will be unable to see the force of this proof, inasmuch as they are accustomed only to consider those things which flow from external causes. Of such things, they see that those which quickly come to pass-that is, quickly come into existence-quickly also disappear ; whereas they regard as more difficult of accomplishment-that is, not so easily brought into existence-those things which they conceive as more complicated. However, to do away with this misconception, I need not here show the measure of truth in the proverb, "What comes quickly, goes quickly," nor discuss whether, from the point of view of universal nature, all things are equally easy, or otherwise That thing Time or Moments in ZEN is called free but Time is Money and Space is money too in the holly name of our Trump , which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing like Moments of Zen or wasted Time is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action...Explanation of the star number in this or another show -I should say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind : for, of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributes may be denied ; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains in its essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation of the number of novas and supernovae that burst in the Daily SHOW ...PROP. XVII. God acts solely by the laws of his own nature, and is not constrained by anyone. Proof.-We have just shown (in Prop. xvi.), that solely from the necessity of the divine nature, or, what is the same thing, solely from the laws of his nature, an infinite number of things absolutely follow in an infinite number of ways ; and we proved (in Prop. xv.), that without God nothing can be nor be conceived ; but that all things are in God. Wherefore nothing can exist outside himself, whereby he can be conditioned or constrained to act. Wherefore God acts solely by the laws of his own nature, and is not constrained by anyone. Q.E.D. Corollary I.-It follows : 1. That there can be no cause which, either extrinsically or intrinsically, besides the perfection of his own nature, moves God to act. Corollary II.-It follows : 2. That God is the sole free cause. For God alone exists by the sole necessity of his nature (by Prop. xi. and Prop. xiv., Coroll. i.), and acts by the sole necessity of his own nature, wherefore God is (by Def. vii.) the sole free cause. Q.E.D. Note.-Others think that God is a free cause, because he can, as they think, bring it about, that those things which we have said follow from his nature-that is, which are in his power, should not come to pass, or should not be produced by him. But this is the same as if they said, that God could bring it about, that it should follow from the nature of a triangle that its three interior angles should not be equal to two right angles ; or that from a given cause no effect should follow, which is absurd. Moreover, I will show below, without the aid of this proposition, that neither intellect nor will appertain to God’s nature. I know that there are many who think that they can show, that supreme intellect and free will do appertain to God’s nature ; for they say they know of nothing more perfect, which they can attribute to God, than that which is the highest perfection in ourselves. Further, although they conceive God as actually supremely intelligent, they yet do not believe that he can bring into existence everything which he actually understands, for they think that they would thus destroy God’s power. If, they contend, God had created everything which is in his intellect, he would not be able to create anything more, and this, they think, would clash with God’s omnipotence ; therefore, they prefer to asset that God is indifferent to all things, and that he creates nothing except that which he has decided, by some absolute exercise of will, to create. However, I think I have shown sufficiently clearly (by Prop. xvi.), that from God’s supreme power, or infinite nature, an infinite number of things-that is, all things have necessarily flowed forth in an infinite number of ways, or always flow from the same necessity ; in the same way as from the nature of a triangle it follows from eternity and for eternity, that its three interior angles are equal to two right angles. Wherefore the omnipotence of God has been displayed from all eternity, and will for all eternity remain in the same state of activity. This manner of treating the question attributes to God an omnipotence, in my opinion, far more perfect. For, otherwise, we are compelled to confess that God understands an infinite number of creatable things, which he will never be able to create, for, if he created all that he understands, he would, according to this showing, exhaust his omnipotence, and render himself imperfect. Wherefore, in order to establish that God is perfect, we should be reduced to establishing at the same time, that he cannot bring to pass everything over which his power extends ; this seems to be a hypothesis most absurd, and most repugnant to God’s omnipotence. Further (to say a word here concerning the intellect and the will which we attribute to God), if intellect and will appertain to the eternal essence of God, we must take these words in some significance quite different from those they usually bear. For intellect and will, which should constitute the essence of God, would perforce be as far apart as the poles from the human intellect and will, in fact, would have nothing in common with them but the name ; there would be about as much correspondence between the two as there is between the Dog, the heavenly constellation, and a dog, an animal that barks. This I will prove as follows. If intellect belongs to the divine nature, it cannot be in nature, as ours is generally thought to be, posterior to, or simultaneous with the things understood, inasmuch as God is prior to all things by reason of his causality (Prop. xvi., Coroll. i.). On the contrary, the truth and formal essence of things is as it is, because it exists by representation as such in the intellect of God. Wherefore the intellect of God, in so far as it is conceived to constitute God’s essence, is, in reality, the cause of things, both of their essence and of their existence. This seems to have been recognized by those who have asserted, that God’s intellect, God’s will, and God’s power, are one and the same. As, therefore, God’s intellect is the sole cause of things, namely, both of their essence and existence, it must necessarily differ from them in respect to its essence, and in respect to its existence. For a cause differs from a thing it causes, precisely in the quality which the latter gains from the former. For example, a man is the cause of another man’s existence, but not of his essence (for the latter is an eternal truth), and, therefore, the two men may be entirely similar in essence, but must be different in existence ; and hence if the existence of one of them cease, the existence of the other will not necessarily cease also ; but if the essence of one could be destroyed, and be made false, the essence of the other would be destroyed also. Wherefore, a thing which is the cause both of the essence and of the existence of a given effect, must differ from such effect both in respect to its essence, and also in respect to its existence. Now the intellect of God is the cause both of the essence and the existence of our intellect ; therefore, the intellect of God in so far as it is conceived to constitute the divine essence, differs from our intellect both in respect to essence and in respect to existence, nor can it in anywise agree therewith save in name, as we said before. The reasoning would be identical in the case of the will, as anyone can easily see. PROP. XVIII. God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things. Proof.-All things which are, are in God, and must be conceived through God (by Prop. xv.), therefore (by Prop. xvi., Coroll. i.) God is the cause of those things which are in him. This is our first point. Further, besides God there can be no substance (by Prop. xiv.), that is nothing in itself external to God. This is our second point. God, therefore, is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things. Q.E.D. PROP. XIX. God, and all the attributes of God, are eternal. Proof.-God (by Def. vi.) is substance, which (by Prop. xi.) necessarily exists, that is (by Prop. vii.) existence appertains to its nature, or (what is the same thing) follows from its definition ; therefore, God is eternal (by Def. viii.). Further, by the attributes of God we must understand that which (by Def. iv.) expresses the essence of the divine substance-in other words, that which appertains to substance : that, I say, should be involved in the attributes of substance. Now eternity appertains to the nature of substance (as I have already shown in Prop. vii.) ; therefore, eternity must appertain to each of the attributes, and thus all are eternal. Q.E.D. Note.-This proposition is also evident from the manner in which (in Prop. xi.) I demonstrated the existence of God ; it is evident, I repeat, from that proof, that the existence of God, like his essence, is an eternal truth. Further (in Prop. xix. of my "Principles of the Cartesian Philosophy"), I have proved the eternity of God, in another manner, which I need not here repeat. PROP. XX. The existence of God and his essence are one and the same. Proof.-God (by the last Prop.) and all his attributes are eternal, that is (by Def. viii.) each of his attributes expresses existence. Therefore the same attributes of God which explain his eternal essence, explain at the same time his eternal existence-in other words, that which constitutes God’s essence constitutes at the same time his existence. Wherefore God’s existence and God’s essence are one and the same. Q.E.D. Coroll. I.-Hence it follows that God’s existence, like his essence, is an eternal truth. Coroll. II-Secondly, it follows that God, and all the attributes of God, are unchangeable. For if they could be changed in respect to existence, they must also be able to be changed in respect to essence-that is, obviously, be changed from true to false, which is absurd. PROP. XXI. All things which follow from the absolute nature of any attribute of God must always exist and be infinite, or, in other words, are eternal and infinite through the said attribute. Proof.-Conceive, if it be possible (supposing the proposition to be denied), that something in some attribute of God can follow from the absolute nature of the said attribute, and that at the same time it is finite, and has a conditioned existence or duration ; for instance, the idea of God expressed in the attribute thought. Now thought, in so far as it is supposed to be an attribute of God, is necessarily (by Prop. xi.) in its nature infinite. But, in so far as it possesses the idea of God, it is supposed finite. It cannot, however, be conceived as finite, unless it be limited by thought (by Def. ii.) ; but it is not limited by thought itself, in so far as it has constituted the idea of God (for so far it is supposed to be finite) ; therefore, it is limited by thought, in so far as it has not constituted the idea of God, which nevertheless (by Prop. xi.) must necessarily exist. We have now granted, therefore, thought not constituting the idea of God, and, accordingly, the idea of God does not naturally follow from its nature in so far as it is absolute thought (for it is conceived as constituting, and also as not constituting, the idea of God), which is against our hypothesis. Wherefore, if the idea of God expressed in the attribute thought, or, indeed, anything else in any attribute of God (for we may take any example, as the proof is of universal application) follows from the necessity of the absolute nature of the said attribute, the said thing must necessarily be infinite, which was our first point. Furthermore, a thing which thus follows from the necessity of the nature of any attribute cannot have a limited duration. For if it can, suppose a thing, which follows from the necessity of the nature of some attribute, to exist in some attribute of God, for instance, the idea of God expressed in the attribute thought, and let it be supposed at some time not to have existed, or to be about not to exist. Now thought being an attribute of God, must necessarily exist unchanged (by Prop. xi., and Prop. xx., Coroll. ii.) ; and beyond the limits of the duration of the idea of God (supposing the latter at some time not to have existed, or not to be going to exist) thought would perforce have existed without the idea of God, which is contrary to our hypothesis, for we supposed that, thought being given, the idea of God necessarily flowed therefrom. Therefore the idea of God expressed in thought, or anything which necessarily follows from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, cannot have a limited duration, but through the said attribute is eternal, which is our second point. Bear in mind that the same proposition may be affirmed of anything, which in any attribute necessarily follows from God’s absolute nature. PROP. XXII. Whatsoever follows from any attribute of God, in so far as it is modified by a modification, which exists necessarily and as infinite, through the said attribute, must also exist necessarily and as infinite. Proof.-The proof of this proposition is similar to that of the preceding one. PROP. XXIII. Every mode, which exists both necessarily and as infinite, must necessarily follow either from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, or from an attribute modified by a modification which exists necessarily, and as infinite. Proof.-A mode exists in something else, through which it must be conceived (Def. v.), that is (Prop. xv.), it exists solely in God, and solely through God can be conceived. If therefore a mode is conceived as necessarily existing and infinite, it must necessarily be inferred or perceived through some attribute of God, in so far as such attribute is conceived as expressing the infinity and necessity of existence, in other words (Def. viii.) eternity ; that is, in so far as it is considered absolutely. A mode, therefore, which necessarily exists as infinite, must follow from the absolute nature of some attribute of God, either immediately (Prop. xxi.) or through the means of some modification, which follows from the absolute nature of the said attribute ; that is (by Prop. xxii.), which exists necessarily and as infinite. PROP. XXIV. The essence of things produced by God does not involve existence. Proof.-This proposition is evident from Def. i. For that of which the nature (considered in itself) involves existence is self-caused, and exists by the sole necessity of its own nature. Corollary.-Hence it follows that God is not only the cause of things coming into existence, but also of their continuing in existence, that is, in scholastic phraseology, God is cause of the being of things (essendi rerum). For whether things exist, or do not exist, whenever we contemplate their essence, we see that it involves neither existence nor duration ; consequently, it cannot be the cause of either the one or the other. God must be the sole cause, inasmuch as to him alone does existence appertain. (Prop. xiv. Coroll. i.) Q.E.D. PROP. XXV. God is the efficient cause not only of the existence of things, but also of their essence. Proof.-If this be denied, then God is not the cause of the essence of things ; and therefore the essence of things can (by Ax. iv.) be conceived without God. This (by Prop. xv.) is absurd. Therefore, God is the cause of the essence of things. Q.E.D. Note.-This proposition follows more clearly from Prop. xvi. For it is evident thereby that, given the divine nature, the essence of things must be inferred from it, no less than their existence-in a word, God must be called the cause of all things, in the same sense as he is called the cause of himself. This will be made still clearer by the following corollary. Corollary.-Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner. The proof appears from Prop. xv. and Def. v. PROP. XXVI. A thing which is conditioned to act in a particular manner, has necessarily been thus conditioned by God ; and that which has not been conditioned by God cannot condition itself to act. Proof.-That by which things are said to be conditioned to act in a particular manner is necessarily something positive (this is obvious) ; therefore both of its essence and of its existence God by the necessity of his nature is the efficient cause (Props. xxv. and xvi.) ; this is our first point. Our second point is plainly to be inferred therefrom. For if a thing, which has not been conditioned by God, could condition itself, the first part of our proof would be false, and this, as we have shown is absurd. PROP. XXVII. A thing, which has been conditioned by God to act in a particular way, cannot render itself unconditioned. Proof.-This proposition is evident from the third axiom..

there will be a truly final moment of Zen?
  • Artur Rey de Caralho mesmo No No they never end is a never-ending history by eternity of Zen , this Jon of Garfieldean origin means existence itself, in so far as it is
    conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of
    that which is eternal and what is ephemeral

    PROP. XVII. God acts solely by the laws of his own nature, and
    is not constrained by anyone.
    Proof.-We have just shown (in Prop. xvi.), that solely from
    the necessity of the divine nature, or, what is the same thing,
    solely from the laws of his nature, an infinite number of things
    absolutely follow in an infinite number of ways ; and we proved
    (in Prop. xv.), that without God nothing can be nor be conceived
    ; but that all things are in God. Wherefore nothing can exist
    outside himself, whereby he can be conditioned or constrained to
    act. Wherefore God acts solely by the laws of his own nature,
    and is not constrained by anyone. Q.E.D.
    Corollary I.-It follows : 1. That there can be no cause
    which, either extrinsically or intrinsically, besides the
    perfection of his own nature, moves God to act.
    Corollary II.-It follows : 2. That God is the sole free
    cause. For God alone exists by the sole necessity of his nature
    (by Prop. xi. and Prop. xiv., Coroll. i.), and acts by the sole
    necessity of his own nature, wherefore God is (by Def. vii.) the
    sole free cause. Q.E.D.
    Note.-Others think that God is a free cause, because he can,
    as they think, bring it about, that those things which we have
    said follow from his nature-that is, which are in his power,
    should not come to pass, or should not be produced by him. But
    this is the same as if they said, that God could bring it about,
    that it should follow from the nature of a triangle that its
    three interior angles should not be equal to two right angles ;
    or that from a given cause no effect should follow, which is
    Moreover, I will show below, without the aid of this
    proposition, that neither intellect nor will appertain to God’s
    nature. I know that there are many who think that they can show,
    that supreme intellect and free will do appertain to God’s nature
    ; for they say they know of nothing more perfect, which they can
    attribute to God, than that which is the highest perfection in
    ourselves. Further, although they conceive God as actually
    supremely intelligent, they yet do not believe that he can bring
    into existence everything which he actually understands, for they
    think that they would thus destroy God’s power. If, they
    contend, God had created everything which is in his intellect, he
    would not be able to create anything more, and this, they think,
    would clash with God’s omnipotence ; therefore, they prefer to
    asset that God is indifferent to all things, and that he creates
    nothing except that which he has decided, by some absolute
    exercise of will, to create. However, I think I have shown
    sufficiently clearly (by Prop. xvi.), that from God’s supreme
    power, or infinite nature, an infinite number of things-that is,
    all things have necessarily flowed forth in an infinite number of
    ways, or always flow from the same necessity ; in the same way as
    from the nature of a triangle it follows from eternity and for
    eternity, that its three interior angles are equal to two right
    angles. Wherefore the omnipotence of God has been displayed from
    all eternity, and will for all eternity remain in the same state
    of activity. This manner of treating the question attributes to
    God an omnipotence, in my opinion, far more perfect. For,
    otherwise, we are compelled to confess that God understands an
    infinite number of creatable things, which he will never be able
    to create, for, if he created all that he understands, he would,
    according to this showing, exhaust his omnipotence, and render
    himself imperfect. Wherefore, in order to establish that God is
    perfect, we should be reduced to establishing at the same time,
    that he cannot bring to pass everything over which his power
    extends ; this seems to be a hypothesis most absurd, and most
    repugnant to God’s omnipotence.
    Further (to say a word here concerning the intellect and the
    will which we attribute to God), if intellect and will appertain
    to the eternal essence of God, we must take these words in some
    significance quite different from those they usually bear. For
    intellect and will, which should constitute the essence of God,
    would perforce be as far apart as the poles from the human
    intellect and will, in fact, would have nothing in common with
    them but the name ; 
    there would be about as much correspondence
    between the two as there is between the Dog,

For we are faced with a dilemma. All the attributes are in a metaphorical phrase co-extensive, and accordingly my mind is identical not only with my body 1 A reader not interested in Spinoza scholarship may be recommended to pass over this section but with modes under all the other attributes — let us take one of them for short and call it the ^-attribute. Why then do I not perceive my #-ian mode as well as my body ? I do not, and Spinoza insists that I cannot (Ep. 64). But if so, there must be thought - modes which correspond not only to body- modes, as they do, but to *-modes, that is (to quote Mr. Joachim *), " there are modes of Thought which are not the thought-side of modes of Extension, and the ' completeness ' of the Attribute of Thought is more full than the ' completeness ' of any other Attribute," or as Tschirnhaus put it, the attribute of Thought is much wider than the other Attri- butes — is in fact coextensive with them all. Even Mr. Joachim regards the difficulty as insoluble. One commentator, Sir F. Pollock, in his excellent book, 2 reminding us that an Attribute is what intellect perceives in Sub- stance as constituting its essence, has accepted this last result and given Spinoza's doctrine a kink in the direction of idealism. Yet exactly the same kind of reflection might with proper changes be applied to Extension, which would then be wider than all the other attri- butes, and Spinoza might thus receive a kink in the direction of materialism. Spinoza himself answers Tschirnhaus briefly, and per- haps a little impatiently, in a letter which I will quote (Ep. 66) : "In answer to your objection I say, that although each particular thing be expressed in infinite ways in the infinite intellect of God, yet those infinite ideas, whereby it is expressed, cannot con- stitute one and the same mind of a particular thing, but infinite minds ; seeing that each of these infinite ideas has no connection with the rest (and he refers to Eth. ii. 7, and Sch. i. 10). If you will reflect on these passages a little, you will see that all the difficulty vanishes." CURAVI CUM CURARE HUMANAS ET UH MANOS ACTIONES NUM RIDERE SOMBRIUS NON LUGERE SENÃO APANHAM SOL E INDA APANHAM UM TIRO ASSIM BRANQUINHOS FICAM FINOS ...NEQUE SOCRATES DETESTARI SED INTELLIGERE....IN SPÍNOLA BY SPINOZA Spinoza and Time ...BUT NOT SPACE ...IS A SPACELESS JEW of Sephardi Portuguese origin....THE WORLD OF EVENTS: TIME AS INTRINSIC IF Time.become familiar with Time , to take Time seriously, an essential ingredient in the constitution of things. Mr. Bergson, indeed, has declared Time to be the ultimate reality. The mathematicians and physicists refer things no longer to three axes of coordinates, but to four, the fourth being the time axis. It will take much thought between physicists and philosophers in co-operation before opinion settles down upon the exact amount of reality we are to ascribe to Time and its companion Space, whether they are in the strict sense realities at all, or only constructions of the mind, and what their relation to each other is. But there is one proposition which is vital to the understanding of the theory of relativity, and is presupposed in its finished form as put forward by Mr. Einstein, and that is the proposition that the world is a world of events. I fancy we are accustomed to think of the world as a mass of things spread out in one comprehensive Space, and somehow or other Time is merely an interesting addition, whereby things happen and have a history. The discovery of Time means that we are to rid ourselves of this innocent habit of mind, and regard the world as through and through and intrinsically historical, and treat every- thing in it as events, not merely what are obviously events, but the most permanent things also, which seem to us fixed in their repose — stones and hills and tables — which become what Mr. Whitehead calls " chunks of events." This is the simple meaning of the proposition of the mathematicians that we live in a four-dimensional world. It is another and purely mathematical way of saying that Time is not something which happens to extended things, but that there is no extended thing which is not temporal, that there is no reality but that of events, and that Space has no reality apart from Time, and that in truth neither has any reality in itself, but only as involved ih the ultimate reality of the system of events or Space- Time. It is really quite a simple proposition, and though it is revolutionary enough, it is not so revolutionary as it sounds. In particular we are not to imagine that, as many people, I think, fear, Mr. Einstein and his predecessors have discovered a new kind of thing or sub- stance. A reputable illustrated newspaper gave a picture of what a cube was like in four dimensions : it seemed to be surrounded by a kind of aura or haze. This comes from supposing that the four dimensions are all spatial, whereas the fourth is Time. Things, I may assure you, are in the four-dimensional world exactly what we are familiar with. The only difference is that we have learnt that they are four-dimensional, chunks of events. We have been living all our lives in four dimensions, but have only just come to know it, just as . Jourdain discovered that he had been talking prose all his life without knowing it. In his book on Dickens, Mr. Chesterton observes that M. Jourdain's delight at this discovery showed that he had the freshness of the romantic spirit. And I do not know anything more romantic than that the common things which surround us, including our own selves, have all this time been in the mathematical sense four-dimensional. It will not make them different, nor ourselves better, any more than when Berkeley maintained that bodies were but ideas in the mind, he maintained them to be less solid than before, though the unmetaphysical Dr. Johnson believed so. We have only gained a deeper and more satisfying insight. Accordingly, since Time has thus stepped into the foreground of speculative interest, it seemed to me that I could best respond to the invitation of this Society to deliver the Arthur Davis Memorial Lecture by asking how far Spinoza could guide us to an under- standing of Time and of the part which it plays in the reality of the world. The seventeenth century was in philosophy as well as in physical science the seminal period of European thought, and, at least in all the questions that lie on the borderland of phi- losophy and physics, we are nearer to the great philosophers of that time than we are to those of the nineteenth century, and our minds go back to them to get their help or make clear to ourselves how we differ from them. Spinoza is more particularly suitable to consult, apart from the interest which any Jewish society must needs take in one of the greatest of Jews. For has not Heine said of him, with as much truth as wit, alluding to Spinoza's occupation of a maker of lenses, that all subsequent philosophers have seen through glasses which Spinoza ground ? I do not, however, propose to enter minutely into Spinoza's philosophy. There are two ways of approaching a great philosopher. The one is to study his precise teaching, setting it into relation with his age and with his contemporaries and immediate predecessors. I have the greatest admiration for those who perform this work of scholarship, which is the only satisfactory and respectful method of understanding a philosoper, requiring as it does both historical research and the most sympathetic philosophical insight. But it is beyond my competence, and the only addition I shall attempt to make to the interpretation of Spinoza I shall have to omit in addressing you for want of time. I shall follow the other and easier method of inquiring what a phi- losopher can teach us in our present problems. Relying on those who have expounded him for us with such care, I shall repeat what he has to say upon Time, and then I shall ask, in view of the new prospects opened by our present speculation, what difference it would make to Spinoza's philosophy if we assign to Time a position not allowed to it by Spinoza himself, but suggested by the difficulties and even obscurities in which he has left it. SPINOZA'S CONCEPTION OF TIME THE trouble is that there is very little to say about Spinoza's conception of Time. It stands for the general character which things have of existence : they exist for a longer or a shorter time, according as they are determined by other things. Thus the momentary closing of a current produces a flash of light ; if the current remains switched on, the light endures. But when we speak thus we are, according to Spinoza, not using the language of philosophy but of imagination. We are comparing one duration of time with another in our sensible world, and we may even conceive of these bits of time as limitations of an indefinite duration. But neither the bits of duration nor the indefinite duration are true realities. We are but using relative measures of duration ; because we are considering things as if they were separate from one another and had an independent existence, whereas thev are but manifestations of the one reality which is God. Now just as Newton contrasts what he calls the relative measures of time with absolute Time, we might expect Spinoza to contrast these pieces of duration with Time or Duration as such. This is what he does when he considers Space or Extension. There too, when we speak of lengths and figures of things, we are not dealing with reality except in the confused manner of imagination. There are no separate lengths and figures, but only Space as such, which is God under a certain attribute, and is indivisible into lengths. But Spinoza does not contrast durations with duration as such, but with eternity, and eternity is not Time, but is timeless. When he declares that there is something eternal in the human mind, which lies at the basis of our experience that we are immortal, he does not mean that we are immortal in the sense of indefinite continuance after death. To be eternal is to be comprehended in the nature of God, and things are real in so far as they are thus comprehended and are seen in the light of eternity, sub specie quddam aeternitatis. Thus times are not contrasted with Time as bits of space with Space, but with timelessness. Had he treated Time as he treats Space, Time would have been an attribute of God. As it is, Time is no more than a character of finite things. I am proposing to explain what difference it would make to Spinoza's philosophy if, to make an impossible hypothesis, he had treated Time as an attribute of God. It is not so much to be wondered at that Spinoza has failed to conceive the relation of finite times to infinite Time with the same clearness as he has conceived that of finite spaces to infinite Space. Time is indeed thoroughly perplexing, in a way in which at first sight Space is not. For bits of space can be kept together before our minds at once, and though we cannot imagine Space as a whole, but only an indefinitely large space, we can readily think of it. But we cannot do this with the parts of time. For Time is successive ; there is no sense in a duration which is not a duration that is passing away, and when you experience a moment of time, the immediately preceding moment is gone. Otherwise Time would be a kind of Space. No doubt we do experience Time as not merely a succession but as a duration, as something that lasts : the moments of time are not discontinuous, but are as much continuous as the points of space. But how can we in our thoughts reconcile the persistence of Time which we experience, with its habit of dying from one moment to another ? You will say the past is preserved for us in memory, in which the past and the present are before our minds together, just as the parts of space, distant and near, are before our eyes together. But now comes Mr. Bergson and says that when we thus conceive Time we are spatializing it, turning it into Space, and urges that the Time we thus spatialize is not real Time. There are more ways than one of meeting these difficulties. One was the naive answer of Descartes, to which we shall recur, that things are conserved and endure, because they are being re-created by God at each moment. This is the very ne plus ultra of the conception that I alluded to, that things are extended, and that Time happens to them. A nether way is to show that Space and Time are not independent of each other, but as the mathematicians say, are but aspects or elements of Space-Time. Spinoza takes neither one view nor the other, yet he gives us indications which stimulate the reflecting mind to pass from the one to the other. ...Sedulo curavi humanas actiones non ridere, non lugere, neque detestari, sed intelligere


LET me first remind you of the main out- 
lines of Spinoza's metaphysical doctrine. 
Spinoza is a pantheist, not in the superficial 
sense that God is a spirit which pervades all 
things, but in the truer sense that all things 
are in God and are modifications of him. 
There is and can be but one being which is 
entirely self-dependent, needing no other being 
for its explanation ; this being is Substance 
or God or Nature : it is the universe as a 
whole, not as an aggregate of things, not even 
as a whole of parts in the sense in which you 
and I who are organic are wholes of parts 
without being mere aggregates, but as a 
unitary being from which all its so-called parts 
draw their nature and in the end their existence. 
In themselves these parts, or as Spinoza calls 
them, modes, have no being except in God. 
Only our fancy, as I have noted, assigns 

them in what he calls the common order of 


nature a fictitious independence. God is the 
unity of all his modes conceived in their 
interrelation with one another and in their 
eternal, that is, ultimate and timeless, effluence 
from himself ; and Spinoza tries steadily to 
think of God as the positive comprehension 
of all things, though, as his commentators have 
pointed out, he sometimes falls into the mystical 
conception which defines God by the negation 
of all positive predicates. 

For him the finite is the negation of the 
infinite, and not the infinite the negation of 
the finite, however much he may drop into 
the other way of thought. In truth, for 
Spinoza and Descartes and the men of their 
day the infinite was conceived positively as 
prior to the finite, as it is in modern mathe- 
matics, and in fact it is only by negativing the 
infinitude of God that we can arrive at the 
notion of quantity at all. To apply the idea 
of quantity to God were to make him not 
infinite but indefinitely large. Most of our 
modern difficulties have arisen from trying to 
reconcile the notion of infinity with that of 
quantity, and the reconciliation has been 
accomplished in present mathematics. 

Now, Substance or God presents itself to 
intellect, not to our intellect alone, but to 


intellect of every sort, under the form of 
attributes. They are not constructions of the 
intellect nor forms of it in the Kantian sense, 
but what intellect discovers in the Substance, 
so that so far there is in Spinoza no suggestion 
of idealism. God as infinite possesses infinite 
such attributes or aspects, but only two of 
these are discoverable to the* human intellect, 
namely Extension and Thought. How we are 
to understand the infinite other attributes is a 
longstanding puzzle in the interpretation of 
Spinoza to which I shall advert later. These 
attributes reveal the whole of God's nature 
or essence ; and the great forward step which 
Spinoza took in philosophy consisted in this 
doctrine. For it follows that since God is 
perceived completely either as Extension or 
as Thought or Thinking, Extension and 
Thought are not two different realities, but 
two forms of one and the same reality. 

It follows further that since modes are 
modifications of God, each of them is alike 
extended and a thought. Hence in the first 
place our thoughts and our bodies are not 
two different things, but the same mode of 
God under two different attributes. This is 
the way Spinoza would answer the question 
whether brain-processes and their correspond- 

ing thought-processes accompany each other 
or act upon each other. For him they are 
the same thing twice over ; there is neither 
correspondence nor interaction between them, 
but identity of essence. This he expresses 
by saying that an idea or thought is the idea 
of a certain condition of the body, which 
varies with the object which provokes this 
bodily condition. I only wish there were 
room for me within the limits of my subject 
to develop his famous proposition which really 
follows from this conception, that the idea 
which I have of the table informs me rather 
of the state of my body than of the table, or 
in other words the table reveals itself to me 
in so far as it induces in me a certain process 
of body (we should say of the brain) which 
is identical with what we call the thought of 
the table. 

Next it is a consequence of the truth that 
every mode exists under both attributes that 
not only our self but every extended mode is 
also a thinking one, and that all things are 
* in a manner animated.' The importance of 
this we shall see later on. 

So much is simple and clear. But now I 
have to turn to one of the most difficult and 
at the same time most fascinating parts of 

the doctrine. Between God as perceived 
under the attribute of extension and the finite 
extended modes which are singular bodies 
there intervene infinite modes which as it 
were break the fall from Heaven to earth. 
Spinoza touches them only lightly, enough for 
his immediate purpose of explaining the con- 
stitution of our bodies, yet it is about these 
that what I have to say centres. The ' im- 
mediate ' infinite mode of extension Spinoza calls 
motion and rest. The first step in breaking up 
the unity of God's infinite extension into multi- 
plicity (a multiplicity still retained within the 
unity) is its manifestation as motion and rest. 
The next step is the ' mediate ' infinite mode, 
in which God's extension is the whole system 
of bodies as reduced to terms of motion and 
rest ; and the finite modes or singular things 
are but the parts of this ' face of the whole 
universe,' when those parts are considered, 
as they must be for science, in their rela- 
tion to the whole — as varying modifications 
of motion and rest. These are the gradations 
in the specification of God as extended. The 
corresponding gradations between God as 
a thinking being and finite thinking things or 
thoughts are harder to identify, and I need 
not refer to them further. 


These immediate and mediate infinite modes 
of motion and rest take us back to the doctrine 
of Descartes in the second part of his Principles. 
Spinoza takes it as axiomatic, speaking first 
of uncompounded bodies, that they are all 
either in motion or at rest, and move either 
more quickly or more slowly. Rest seems to 
be regarded as something positive, not the 
mere absence of motion, and a slower motion 
is as it were the blending of motion with 
rest, much as Goethe later regarded colour 
as a blending of light and darkness. Des- 
cartes apparently, perhaps only apparently, 
has the same notion. Compound bodies, what 
we ordinarily call bodies, are constituted of 
these simple bodies impinging on one another 
and communicating their motions in a certain 
proportion. Such an individual body remains 
the same when the proportion of its compo- 
nent motions is undisturbed, and the whole 
" moves altogether if it moves at all," and 
hence, though affected by other bodies in many 
ways, it may retain its own nature. The 
individual changes if this proportion is dis- 
turbed. The dissolution of our body at death is 
a case in point, occurring in a very composite 
body composed of many individual bodies 
which are its parts. 



THE details do not concern us so much. 
After all, vague as it is, the picture is 
but the familiar one that in the end bodies 
are complexes of motions. I would fain linger 
on its consequences for the theory of science. 
Motion and rest being the common characters 
of bodies, their laws are the ultimate and 
simplest conceptions for science, which Spinoza 
contrasts with such vague and confused con- 
ceptions as being, thing, something, which he 
calls transcendental terms. Motion and rest 
would be the true universals, in contrast 
with what are vaguely called universals, such 
as man, tree, etc. But I must not be tempted 
away from my immediate topic. 

For us the question is by what right Spinoza 
can pass from God's attribute of extension to 
the infinite mode of motion and rest. That 
he deliberately faced the problem is clear from 
his attitude towards Descartes. Bodies for 


Spinoza are intrinsically complexes of motion 
and rest. For Descartes body was nothing 
but extension, figure, size, in three dimensions. 
Extension without body, that is empty space, 
was nothing. An empty space between two 
bodies or in the pores of a body meant only 
the presence of some other body ; hence, 
in the famous illustration, if a vessel could 
be completely emptied of body, the sides of 
the vessel would be in contact. Motion, 
according to Descartes, was a mode or state 
of body, and it was imparted to body by God. 
Spinoza protests in explicit terms in two 
letters to his friend Tschirnhaus against the 
Cartesian view and denies that the variety 
of the universe can be deduced a priori from 
extension alone. Descartes' view that motion 
is imparted by God is in fact a confession that 
body in motion is not mere extension, if 
extension is conceived as by Descartes as 
created, not as by Spinoza as being an attribute 
of God. Matter, says Spinoza, must neces- 
sarily be explained through an attribute which 
expresses eternal and infinite essence. This 
attribute he found in Extension, which he 
conceived to manifest itself immediately as 
we have seen in the infinite mode of motion 
and rest. 


Spinoza is thus aware of the problem ; 
and it is a great advance upon Descartes to 
see that body or matter is intrinsically motion 
and rest, and not bare extension into which 
motion is introduced by the creative act of 
God. But has Spinoza solved the problem ? 
The answer must be, I think, that he has 
failed because he has omitted Time. It 
seems to him indeed that matter is motion 
because extension expresses God's essence, or 
as Mr. Joachim puts it, expresses God's 
omnipotence. Substance, this admirable inter- 
preter urges, is not lifeless, but alive, and 
doubtless this was at the bottom of Spinoza's 
mind. But life and omnipotence are undefined 
ideas, transferred from our experience to 
describe metaphorically the being of God 
which is held to be behind and beyond the 
things of experience. Life implies change and 
so does omnipotence ; and change implies 
time. Yet Time is excluded from the eternal 
nature of God, who comprehends Time indeed, 
but only, to use a paradoxical phrase, in its 

If, therefore, motion is to be the infinite 

mode of God's extension, it must be because 

Time has been slipped into Extension out of 

the undefined activity of God. We might be 



tempted to say that extension includes not 
only extension in space but duration in time. 
This would make extension a double-faced 
attribute. It would solve Spinoza's problem, 
but there is no word of it in Spinoza and could 
not be. On the contrary, such a supposition 
would make existence of which Time is the 
general character an attribute of God, which 
for Spinoza it is not. God's essence and his 
existence are, he says, one and the same thing. 
The truth appears to be that Spinoza could 
pass so easily from extension to motion 
because motion was conceived as it were 
statically. Nothing seems so obvious to us as 
the proposition that motion takes time and 
is unintelligible without it. But Descartes 
certainly, and it would seem Spinoza as 
well, conceives motion as change of place. 
Motion Descartes describes as ' the trans- 
ference of a part of matter or body from the 
neighbourhood of those which are touching 
it immediately and which we consider as at 
rest to the neighbourhood of some other 
bodies.' This conception of motion makes it 
something geometrical instead of physical. 
Consistently with this conception Descartes 
could think of motion only as an impulse 
given to matter from God. Spinoza's insight 


was a deeper one. Extension being an attri- 
bute of God reflected the activity of God's 
nature, and therefore the modes of extension 
were intrinsically motion, to correspond with 
the activity of God. He did not see that this 
implied Time also as an attribute. The activity 
of God could not translate itself into motion, 
when motion was conceived as more than a 
change of place, except God's activity was 
expressed by Time. In other words, if motion 
and rest is the infinite mode of extension, that 
extension must be not Space but Space- 
Time. By insisting that bodies are intrinsically 
complexes of motion, Spinoza, though he has 
rather stated the problem than solved it, has 
put us upon the way of solution. 1 

1 I have omitted to notice minor difficulties in 
Spinoza's doctrine of motion and rest, such as the 
question how simple bodies come to have variety of 
motion. (See Camerer, Die Lehre Spinozas, 1877, 
p. 61 ff.) For an admirable account of the difficulties 
of Descartes' treatment of motion, see N. Kemp 
Smith, Studies in the Cartesian Philosophy, London, 
1902, pp. 75 ff. 


LET us ask then what changes are produced 
in Spinoza's doctrine if we regard Time 
itself as an attribute of the ultimate reality. 
In what remains I propose to offer these con- 
sequences as a gloss upon Spinoza's teaching, 
remarking explicitly that they are a gloss and 
not a commentary. A commentary must be his- 
torically true, but for Spinoza it was impossible 
to think of Time as an attribute. Slight as 
the change may seem verbally, it leads to a 
remodelling of the whole. Yet unhistorical as 
the procedure is, I venture upon it before an 
Historical Society because the real greatness 
and spirit of a man may often be best appre- 
ciated by asking not what he said himself 
but what he may lead us to say. 

(i) In the first place the ultimate reality 
would be something which in one aspect, under 
one attribute, is Space, under another, Time. 

It would be Space-Time or Motion itself. 


I dare not yet assume that Time in this 
conception replaces Thought as the second 
attribute which our intellect perceives. It 
might still be true that Thought is a third 
attribute. It will appear, however, presently 
that Thought is not an attribute at all, but 
is an empirical or finite mode. 

The ultimate reality or Space-Time ceases 
also to be Substance in Spinoza's sense, still 
less is it identifiable with God, which is for 
Spinoza the only substance. It is rather 
identical with the infinite immediate mode of 
motion and rest, or if we rid ourselves of the 
perplexing idea of rest as something positive, 
with the infinite mode of motion. It is still 
infinite and self-contained and the ground of 
all finite modes. But it is not so much the 
Substance of which things are modes as the 
stuff of which they are pieces, the material 
out of which they are made. It is comparable 
rather to the Space which in the Platonic 
Timcens is that which receives definite character 
through the ingression (I borrow the word 
from Mr. Whitehead) of the Forms or Ideas. 
The difference from Plato is that the material 
which thus receives form is in the Timaus 
purely spatial, and contains intrinsically no 
time. For Plato Time comes into being with 


the creation of things and is but the shadow 
of eternity. In our gloss upon Spinoza the 
ultimate reality is full of Time, not timeless 
but essentially alive with Time, and the 
theatre of incessant change. It is only time- 
less in the sense that taken as a whole it is 
not particularized to any one moment or 
duration, but comprehends them all. 

For Spinoza the ultimate reality was 
necessarily conceived as Substance, as the one 
self-dependent, self-contained or infinite, self- 
caused, being ; this distinguished it from the 
finite things which were its modes. The very 
difference and advance which he made upon 
Descartes was that created things, which for 
Descartes were in a secondary sense sub- 
stances, became for Spinoza mere modes of 
the one Substance. And at least it is clear 
that if the ultimate reality is described as 
Substance, finite things, which in the words 
of Locke " are but retainers to other parts of 
nature for that which they are most taken 
notice of by us," cannot be substances in the 
same sense. But in fact substance, causality 
and the like are categories applicable in the 
first instance to finite things, and only trans- 
ferred to infinite reality by a metaphor in 
which their meaning is changed ; and it has 


now become a commonplace since Kant to 
declare that the categories of finite things are 
not applicable to the ground of finite things. 
And when once Time is regarded as an attribute 
of ultimate reality, the contrast of the Spino- 
zistic Substance and its modes falls away. 
Reality is Space-Time or motion itself, infinite 
or self-contained and having nothing outside 
itself ; and the vital contrast is that of this 
infinite or a priori stuff of the Universe and 
the empirical things or substances which are 
parts or modes of it. For this reason I speak 
of the ultimate reality of motion not as 
substance but as stuff. 

Before passing to these empirical modes let 
me observe that the conception of Space- 
Time or Motion as the stuff of the Universe is 
not in all respects the same as that taken of 
it in the theory of relativity. That theory is 
a physical and not a metaphysical theory, 
and, properly, as a physical theory it begins 
with bodies. Space-Time for it is perhaps 
best described as an order or system of relations 
that subsists between bodies. Whether this is 
to be accepted as an ultimate statement for 
philosophy is just one of those matters to 
which I alluded at the beginning, on which 
discussion has yet to do its work. I may 


merely note in passing that one pronounced 
supporter of the relativity theory in this 
country maintains that when it is said that 
Space-Time is wrinkled or warped in the 
presence of matter this means that matter is 
the very wrinkle in Space-Time. From this 
to the proposition which I have taken as 
included in our gloss upon Spinoza, viz. that 
Space-Time is the stuff of which matter is 
made, is but a step. 

(2) I pass to the singular things which in 
their totality constitute the fades totius 
universi. As with Spinoza, they are modifica- 
tions of the ultimate reality which has now 
become Space-Time. But there is now no 
ditch to jump between the ultimate ground 
of things and things themselves ; for things 
are, as Spinoza himself would say, but com- 
plexes of motion and made of the stuff which 
the ultimate or a priori reality is. In this way 
the danger is avoided which besets Spinoza's 
doctrine, the danger that the modes or things 
should be engulfed in an ultimate being which 
purports to be the positive ground of its modes, 
but always is on the point of slipping into 
bare indefiniteness. 

This danger I have noted already, but it 
may be well to revert to it here by way of 


pointing out the source of the difficulty. 
The modes for Spinoza determine each other 
into existence within the modal system in a 
chain of causation. But they follow, con- 
sidered in the light of eternity, from the nature 
of Substance or God, who is their cause or 
ground. This causal issuing from God is, 
however, not the physical relation of cause 
and effect, but the geometrical one of ground 
and consequent. The modes follow from 
God as the properties of a triangle follow 
from the nature of the triangle. This being 
so, the ultimate Substance being the ground 
of the modes must be a positive reality which 
accounts for them, of which they are, in modern 
phrase, the appearance. But then, we have 
to urge, the modes are not properties of 
Substance, but are things. 

On the other hand, if we ask for the ground 
of these things which are modes, and are told 
that they follow from the ground, but that 
the characters which things possess in the 
common order of nature are the confused 
deliverances of our imagination, how can we 
conceive the ground otherwise than as some- 
thing or other, we know not what except that 
it is their ground ? The case is different if 
things are regarded as modes of the stuff 


which is Space-Time. Their relation to their 
ground is no longer that of the properties 
of a triangle to the triangle, but rather that 
of the two triangles which compose an oblong 
to the oblong. They are involved in the 
oblong ; and in like manner the valley and 
the mountain are both contained in that con- 
figuration of nature which we call a valley 
or a mountain, but the valley does not follow 
from the mountain geometrically in the sense 
in which the properties of the triangle follow 
from the triangle. 

But if the reality in its barest character 
is Space-Time, the face of the whole universe 
is the totality of all those configurations into 
which Space-Time falls through its inherent 
character of timefulness or restlessness. The 
stuff of reality is not stagnant, its soul's wings 
are never furled, and in virtue of this unceasing 
movement it strikes out fresh complexes of 
movements, created things. 

(3) This leads us directly to a third con- 
sequence. All things as in God are alike 
perfect ; they are what they are and can- 
not be other. Yet there are grades of per- 
fection amongst things, the one has more 
reality than another. On this subject, as 
I cannot express Spinoza's sense so well 


myself, I will transcribe a page from Mr. 
Joachim's book : T 

" God, as the necessary consequent of his 
own free causality, is Natura Naturata — 
an ordered system of modes following with 
coherent necessity from Natura Naturans. 1 
But though all things follow with the same 
inevitable necessity from God's nature, they 
differ from one another in degree of perfection 
or reality ; and indeed the difference is one 
not only of degree but also of kind. ' For 
although a mouse and an angel, sadness and 
joy, depend equally on God, yet a mouse 
cannot be a species of angel, nor sadness a 
species of joy' (Ep. 23). 'The criminal 
expresses God's will in his own way, just as 
the good man does in his ; but the criminal is 

1 H. H. Joachim, A Study of the Ethics of Spinoza, 
Oxford, 1 90 1, p. 73. 

1 For the distinction of natura naturans and 
naturata, see Eth. i. 29, Sch. God as free cause 
is natura naturans ; natura naturata is all the 
modes of God's attributes, so far as they are con- 
sidered as things which are in God and which cannot 
either be or be conceived without God. See Mr. 
Joachim's note 1, p. 65. Mr. Joachim adds that 

Natura naturata is not the world of sense-percep- 
tion, but the universe in all its articulation as a per- 
fect understanding would grasp it, if that understand- 
ing apprehended it as the effect of God's causality." 


not on that account comparable with the good 
man. The more perfection a thing has, the 
more it participates in the divine nature and 
the more it expresses God's perfection. The 
good have incalculably more perfection than 
the vicious ; and therefore their " virtue " is 
not to be compared with the " virtue " of the 
vicious. . . .' (Ep. 19.) 

" It is in ' natura naturata,' the eternal 
system of modes, that those degrees of per- 
fection or reality are exhibited. For there is 
an order in the sequence of the modes from 
God's nature, and on that order their degree 
of perfection depends. The order is not a 
temporal, but a logical one. There is no before 
and after, no temporal succession, in the 
relation of the modes to God ; all modes are 
the eternal consequence of God's causality. 
But there is a logical priority and posteriority ; 
and on this their degrees of reality depend. 
' That effect is the most perfect which is 
produced by God immediately ; and the more 
mediating causes which any effect requires, the 
less perfect it is.' (Eth. i. App.) " 

Now directly Time has become an attribute 
of the ultimate reality, this order ceases to 
be merely a logical one, and becomes temporal. 
The grades of modal perfection are no longer 


a ' static ' series of forms, but a hierarchy pro- 
duced in the order of time. The idea of 
evolution is introduced, and from matter or 
from before matter there have grown up in 
time the modes of physical existence, and 
thence the forms of life and finally of mind. 
Existence is stratified, level upon level with 
each its distinctive quality, and the strata 
are not barely superposed, but each higher 
level is the descendant in time of the lower. 
Hence, for instance, living things are not 
merely alive, but their life is a differentiation 
of physico-chemical body, and that body is 
but a particular complexity of mere matter. 
Upon what particular basis bare matter 
depends is a question not for the philosopher 
but the physicist to decide. If the old doctrine 
of the Timaus should be true, according to 
which solid matter is composed of elementary 
figures in space, we should have the notion 
here suggested as flowing from our gloss upon 
Spinoza, that the primary modes are the mere 
differentiations of bare Space-Time. But all 
the particular history of this long descent 
(or call it rather ascent) to higher levels of 
perfection amongst the modes is to be traced 
empirically under the guidance of science. 
(4) The last level of things accessible to our 


senses would be that of minds, or as Spinoza 
would call them thinking things. Thought, 
therefore, upon our gloss becomes not an 
attribute of the ultimate reality but the dis- 
tinguishing quality of the highest level of 
empirical things. We are left with Space 
and Time as the two attributes which our 
intellect perceives, and Time displaces Thought 
in the Spinozistic scheme. And yet we arrive 
also at a conclusion which seems to repeat 
Spinoza's view that thought is a universal 
feature of things, only with a difference. All 
things for him are in a sense animated, they 
are all in their degree thinking things. For 
us things which are not minds, which are 
merely alive or are inanimate, are no longer 
minds, but they do bear an aspect, or contain 
in themselves an element, which corresponds 
to the aspect or element of mind in a thinking 
thing. That aspect or element is Time. 

We may express the relation between the 
orders of modes in two different ways. We 
may say that life is the mind of the living body, 
colour the mind of the coloured material body, 
matter or materiality the mind of the spatio- 
temporal substructure of a material body. 
In doing so, we are humouring our propensity 
to construe things on the pattern of what is 


most familiar to us, our own selves, in which 
mind is united with a living body ; and are 
just comparing one set of empirical things with 
another. The other way penetrates more 
deeply into the nature of things. It starts 
with a piece of space-time, in which there are 
the bare aspects of its space and its time, 
and it construes thinking things after the 
pattern of this. One portion of the living 
thing, let us say its brain, is at once a peculiarly 
differentiated portion of space and corre- 
spondingly and inevitably a peculiarly differ- 
entiated complex of time. Were it not for 
the peculiar complexity of the brain, we 
should have the brain a merely living structure ; 
as it is, when living matter is so differentiated 
as to be a brain, its time element becomes 
mind, or rather the character of mentality. It 
is as if we had a clock which not only showed 
the time but was the time it showed. 

According, then, to the one method all things 
are, as Spinoza says, thinking things, and in 
the end, paradoxical as it sounds to say so, 
Time is the mind of Space. According to 
the other, mind is the time of its brain, life 
the time of the living parts of the living 
body and the like. On either method we 
realize the same truth that all the world and 


everything in it are constructed on the same 
plan, which betrays itself most plainly in 
our thinking bodies. But the Spinozistic 
method is a comparison of the modes with one 
another ; the other method views the modes 
in the light of the ultimate or a priori reality 
from which they derive. 

The same result is reached from a different 
consideration. Thinking things know, they 
have ideas. The idea of a tree which I have 
when I see one is for Spinoza the thought- 
aspect of the bodily condition into which I 
am thrown by the action of the tree upon my 
bodily senses. Or as we should say nowadays, 
it is the inner side of the brain-process. What 
is a brain-process under the attribute of 
extension is an idea or thinking process under 
the attribute of thought. To think of the 
tree means to have an idea or a bodily process 
which would be different if the tree were 
replaced by a table ; and accordingly if for 
some reason or other this bodily condition 
recurs in the absence of the tree I still have 
the tree before my view as an image. Whether 
this is or is not a true account of the knowing 
process is under some discussion at the present 
moment among philosophers. But that does 
not concern us here. What does concern us

is that it applies in its degree to all things 
alike whether minds in the empirical sense or 
not. The stone knows its surroundings in 
the same way as we know ours, though of 
course not to the same extent. Now, if this 
is so, it would seem again, that thought or 
knowing is a universal character of things and 
might claim therefore to be an attribute. Yet 
once more, thought as knowing is in truth 
merely a relation among the modes. In so far 
as my mind or the stone is affected by other 
things, it knows them. Accordingly knowing, 
being an affair of modes inter se, is not an 
attribute. For an attribute is not a character 
which arises out of the interrelation of modes, 
but every mode intrinsically possesses a char- 
acter in so far as it is considered under an 
attribute. We again arrive at the conclusion 
that thought is empirical, not a priori or 
ultimate ; and so far Space and Time are seen 
to exhaust the attributes of reality.