"Oh. Say, Doc, what's this about the Sherevsky end game?"
"Now the story starts to go deeper."
"You know perfectly well what I mean. What did he say to you about that night?" She hated herself for asking the question, and hated Guy also for making her ask it.
"'The Coming of the Prince—the Coming of the Prince,'" he repeated over to himself. But here Mr. Murray ventured to cough, meaningly, and the Prince said, as if in answer, "Yes, yes; I must go," and, with the words that we would meet again, he shook hands with us all and withdrew.
I caught fire from my friend’s enthusiasm, and late one night, just when I had finished a long notice of a new play, I overheard the night editor regretting to one of the sub-editors that news of a particularly horrible murder in 112Stepney had just reached the office when all the reporters were out on duty. “Let me go!” I urged. “But you are in evening dress,” he objected. “Never mind; send me off.” And ten minutes later I was being rushed in a taxi-cab at full speed to Stepney. I found the scene of the murder—a mean little house in a mean little street. Outside the house was a crowd of eager loafers, a score of reporters, and as many policemen, who, refusing to be bribed, kept us all in the street without news. However, such was my enthusiasm that I alone of all the reporters got into the house and into the cellar where the wretched woman had been butchered to death three hours earlier. I drew a hasty plan of the underground floor, interviewed a sister of the murdered woman, obtained full particulars, and then jumped into the taxi-cab to return to the office. Within an hour of leaving my desk I was back again, and in another twenty minutes I had ready as vivid and thrilling a “story” as ever I hope to write. Knowing that the paper was on the point of going to press, I did not, as I ought to have done, hand my copy to one of the sub-editors, but took it straight to the machines. Whilst I was waiting for a proof, I was summoned to my editor’s room. He was frowning, and he looked very much perturbed.
"We can't," Hubert replied. "It isn't safe. You never know what the old man'll find out—he's damnably sharp in some things, and he's got us all as tight as wax. If he chose to cut up rough, he could turn any of us out of here without a blessed penny. I don't suppose he'd like it, for instance, if he knew that I was talking like this to you. But—I don't know—I wanted to tell you, and that affair of Ken's makes you think a bit, doesn't it? He's in a cleft stick all right now—like the rest of us."
suggested objections to such views, these objections were usually little regarded, and in fact reflections of this kind on the real meaning of the natural system did not often make their appearance; the most intelligent men turned away with an uncomfortable feeling from these doubts and difficulties, and preferred to devote their time and powers to the discovery of affinities in individual forms. At the same time it was well understood that the question was one which lay at the foundation of the science. At a later period the researches of Nägeli and others in morphology resulted in discoveries of the greatest importance to systematic botany, and disclosed facts which were necessarily fatal to the hypothesis, that every group in the system represents an idea in the Platonic sense; such for instance were the remarkable embryological relations, which Hofmeister discovered in 1851, between Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Vascular Cryptogams and Muscineae; nor was it easy to reconcile the fact, that the physiologico-biological peculiarities on the one hand and the morphological and systematic characters on the other are commonly quite independent of one another, with the plan of creation as conceived by the systematists. Thus an opposition between true scientific research and the theoretical views of the systematists became more and more apparent, and no one who paid attention to both could avoid a painful feeling of uncertainty with respect to this portion of the science. This feeling was due to the dogma of the constancy of species, and to the consequent impossibility of giving a scientific definition of the idea of affinity.
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
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