Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Vol. 1

Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Vol. 1

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Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Vol. 1

Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The American edition of the Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley calls for a few words by way of preface, for there existed a particular relationship between the English writer and his transatlantic readers.

From the time that his Lay Sermons was published his essays found in the United States an eager audience, who appreciated above all things his directness and honesty of purpose and the unflinching spirit in which he pursued the truth. Whether or not, as some affirm, the American public "discovered" Mr. Herbert Spencer, they responded at once to the influence of the younger evolutionary writer, whose wide and exact knowledge of nature was but a stepping-stone to his interest in human life and its problems. And when, a few years later, after more than one invitation, he came to lecture in the United States and made himself personally known to his many readers, it was this widespread response to his influence which made his welcome comparable, as was said at the time, to a royal progress.

His own interest in the present problems of the country and the possibilities of its future was always keen, not merely as touching the development of a vast political force--one of the dominant factors of the near future--but far more as touching the character of its approaching greatness. Huge territories and vast resources were of small interest to him in comparison with the use to which they should be put. None felt more vividly than he that the true greatness of a nation would depend upon the spirit of the principles it adopted, upon the character of the individuals who make up the nation and shape the channels in which the currents of its being will hereafter flow.

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