A DIGRESSION. 1864. ÆT. 43.
CHRONOLOGICALLY placed, the incidents to be narrated in this chapter should have been narrated some distance back in the preceding chapter; for instead of belonging to the close of 1864, they belong to its opening. But the narrative would have been confused had I adhered strictly to the order of occurrence. I have thought it better to make of these detached incidents the matter for a detached chapter.
Ten years had elapsed since, in the essay on the "Genesis of Science," I had discussed and rejected the classification of the sciences proposed by M. Comte. In the course of the criticism to which the first part of the essay was devoted, I expressed the opinion that the sciences do not admit of serial arrangement, whether considered logically in their natures or historically in their developments; and I expressed the further opinion that they stand in relations of divergence and re-divergence, which may be symbolized by the branches of a tree. More than once during these ten years, I had made attempts to represent on paper their ramifying relations, but without success: none of the diagrams I made came anywhere near satisfying me. But now, my attention having been again drawn to the subject by seeing these diagrams,