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“As like as not we’re listening to the sixteen-inch guns carried by the super-dreadnaught Queen Elizabeth,” admitted Jack. “I forget how many dozen miles they claim you can hear the sound, but it’s a long ways. Mark the location well, Amos.”
“Not the poison of the Borgias,” replied Poirot, with a twinkle. “I see your imagination mounting. I should say it was French chalk.”
When I see, as I frequently do, the newspapers and reviews praising the works of Mrs Humphry Ward and describing her as the greatest of living British female writers, I rub my eyes in astonishment and wonder why Miss Elizabeth Robins is overlooked. Mrs Humphry Ward can, it is true, tell a story: she knows well much of the behind-the-scenes life of modern politics: moreover, she is a woman of the world with a highly cultivated mind and a varied experience of life. But if ever there was a woman without genius, without, indeed, the true literary gift, she is that woman. She cannot fire the imagination, quicken the pulse, or stir the heart. She plays with puppets and never reveals life. Miss Robins, on the contrary, strikes deep into life—cleaves it asunder, disrupts it, opens it out to our gaze. She has the gift of tragedy.... When I think concentratedly of Mrs Humphry Ward’s books, I remember atmospheres, social environments, a few incidents, and I see dimly about half-a-dozen pictures. But when my mind dwells on The Open Question and The Magnetic North, I see and hear and touch live men and women.
“One for Sorrow,
Oh, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!"
Moving figures now caught their attention, three of them, and all stumbling along in the most reckless fashion. From their excited manner Jack immediately made up his mind they must be remnants of the force of gunners who had had charge of the battery. Wounded by some of the flying missiles when the shells burst around them, they had fled in a panic, that kept them pushing on even after the danger seemed past.
The newcomer was of middle height, compact of figure and feature, with graying hair cut short and combed sharply back.
The historians of botany have overlooked the real state of the case as here presented, or have not described it with sufficient emphasis; due attention has not been paid to the fact, that systematic botany, as it began to develope in the 17th century, contained within itself from the first two opposing elements; on the one hand the fact of a natural affinity indistinctly felt, which was brought out by the botanists of Germany and the Netherlands, and on the other the desire, to which Cesalpino first gave expression, of arriving by the path of clear perception at a classification of the vegetable kingdom which should satisfy the understanding. These two elements of systematic investigation were entirely incommensurable; it was not possible by the use of arbitrary principles of classification which satisfied the understanding to do justice at the same time to the instinctive feeling for natural affinity which would not be argued away. This incommensurability between natural affinity and a priori grounds of classification is everywhere expressed in the systems embracing the whole vegetable kingdom, which were proposed up to 1736, and which including those of Cesalpino and Linnaeus were not less in number than fifteen. It is the custom to describe these systems, of which those of Cesalpino, Morison, Ray, Bachmann (Rivinus), and Tournefort are the most important, by the one word ‘artificial’; but it was by no means the intention of those men to propose classifications of the vegetable kingdom which should be merely artificial, and do no more than offer an
and rise again, on the shore of Gallipoli; but I am sorry to say I have not myself seen him. I made inquiries only yesterday and one of my men, who has been at the camp of the New Zealanders a mile or more above us, told me he had seen and talked with the birdman. So I understand that he is taking advantage of the protection they are able to give him. The ground must differ radically from what we have here, because outside of one little exposed plateau there is absolutely no place an aeroplane could make a run to get a start when about to rise.”