An Autobiography: Herbert Spencer - Vol. 2

By Herbert Spencer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLV.
AN EXTRA BOOK. 1872-73. ÆT. 52-53.

ANOTHER overlap in the narrative, like two already made, has to be made here. Without causing some confusion, I could not, until now, give any account of work which was undertaken before the second volume of the Psychology was finished; and which, as lately implied, was one cause of its long-postponed publication. Going back some six months, I must here say something about an extra book then commenced.

"Why an extra book?" thinks the reader. "Surely the remaining volumes of the Synthetic Philosophy formed a sufficiently large task, and to attempt more was unwise, if not, indeed, absurd." This reflection is perfectly just, and I have nothing to say in mitigation of censure save that, though very reluctant, I was in a manner forced to commit myself to this extra book.

I have already described the scheme of Prof. Youmans which resulted in "The International Scientific Series"; and I have noted some efforts I made in aid of it. In the course of his negotiations with one or other author, he urged me to contribute a volume to the series. I felt, as the reader above imagined feels, that I had quite enough on my hands, and for some time resisted the suggestion. But my friend was pressing; and, being un-

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