Science in Arcady

Grant Allen
Science in Arcady

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Science in Arcady, by Grant Allen
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Science in Arcady
Author: Grant Allen
Release Date: July 18, 2005 [EBook #16325]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SCIENCE
IN ARCADY ***

Produced by Clare Boothby, Peter Yearsley and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

SCIENCE IN ARCADY
BY
GRANT ALLEN

LONDON: LAWRENCE & BULLEN, 16, HENRIETTA STREET,
COVENT GARDEN, W.C. 1892.

To GRANT RICHARDS, _IN GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT
OF MANY KIND OFFICES._
Avuncular Greeting.

CONTENTS.
PAGE
MY ISLANDS 1
TROPICAL EDUCATION 21
ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND 40
A DESERT FRUIT 56
PRETTY POLL 71
HIGH LIFE 90
EIGHT-LEGGED FRIENDS 105
MUD 123
THE GREENWOOD TREE 140
FISH AS FATHERS 157
AN ENGLISH SHIRE 177
THE BRONZE AXE 212
THE ISLE OF RUIM 231
A HILL-TOP STRONGHOLD 250

A PERSISTENT NATIONALITY 266
CASTERS AND CHESTERS 274

PREFACE.
These essays deal for the most part with Science in Arcady. 'Tis my
native country: for I am not of those who 'praise the busy town.' On the
contrary, in the words of the great poet who has just departed to join
Milton and Shelley in a place of high collateral glory, I 'love to rail
against it still,' with a naturalist's bitterness. For the town is always
dead and lifeless. There are who admire it, they say--poor purblind
creatures--because, forsooth, 'there is so much life there.' So much life,
indeed! No grass in the streets; no flowers in the lanes; no beetles or
butterflies on the dull stone pavements! Brick and mortar have killed
out all life over square miles of Middlesex. For myself, I love better the
densely-peopled fields than this human desert, this beflagged and
macadamised man-made solitude. The country teems with life on every
hand; a thousand different plants and flowers in the spangled meadows;
a thousand varied denizens of pond, and air, and heath, and copses.
Their ways are endless. They attract me far more with their infinite
diversity than the grey and gloomy haunts of the cab-horse and the
stock-broker.
But my Arcady, as you will see, is none the less tolerably broad and
eclectic in its limits. These various essays have been suggested to my
pen by rambles far and wide between its elastic confines. The little
tractate on Mud, for example, recalls to mind some pleasant weeks
among the Italian lakes and on the plain of Lombardy. A Desert Fruit
owes its origin to a morning at Luxor. High Life had its key-note struck
by a fortnight in the Tyrol. Tropical Education is a dim reminiscence of
old Jamaican experiences. Our _Eight-Legged Friends_ were observed
at leisure on the window-panes of our own little nook at Dorking. _A
Hill-Top Stronghold_ was sketched in situ at Florence by a window
that looked across the valley to Fiesole. Excursions into books or into
the remoter past have given occasion for the arch├Žological essays

relegated here to the end of the volume.
My thanks are due to Messrs. Longmans for permission to reprint from
their magazine My Islands, _A Hill-Top Stronghold_, A Desert Fruit,
The Isle of Ruim, _Eight-Legged Friends_, and Tropical Education. I
have also to acknowledge a similar courtesy on the part of Messrs.
Smith & Elder with regard to Mud, The Bronze Axe, High Life, Pretty
Poll, The Greenwood Tree, On the Wings of the Wind, Casters and
Chesters, and Fish as Fathers, all of which originally appeared in the
Cornhill. Messrs. Chatto & Windus have been equally kind as regards
the paper on An English Shire contributed to the _Gentleman's_. A
Persistent Nationality made its first bow in the North American Review,
and has still to be introduced to an English audience.
G.A.
Hind Head, Surrey, _Oct._, 1892.

SCIENCE IN ARCADY.

MY ISLANDS.
About the middle of the Miocene period, as well as I can now
remember (for I made no note of the precise date at the moment), my
islands first appeared above the stormy sheet of the North-West
Atlantic as a little rising group of mountain tops, capping a broad boss
of submarine volcanoes. My attention was originally called to the new
archipelago by a brother investigator of my own aerial race, who
pointed out to me on the wing that at a spot some 900 miles to the west
of the Portuguese coast, just opposite the place where your mushroom
city of Lisbon now stands, the water of the ocean, as seen in a
bird's-eye view from
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 109
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.