THE EXPANSION OF THE CELTS
WITH the Celts a very important factor enters into the history of civilization, and a much-expected work appears in this series -- expected for the subject's sake and for the author's.
About this racial group, and the capital part which it played in European history, it was known that the best-informed scholar, whose knowledge was both widest and most profoundly thought out, was Henri Hubert. Now Hubert died four years ago, and many despaired of ever seeing the work announced under his name.
It appears, with a long and grievous story behind it. "The main part of the work," in Hubert's own words, was done in 1914 (his letter of the 15th June, 1915). After the unavoidable interruption of the war -- during which he did valued work chiefly with the Ministry of Armament -- he hastened to pick up the threads, and on the 5th January, 1923, he wrote to me: "To-day I wrote the last line of my last chapter." He added: "Now I have to take up the whole thing again, to cut, patch together, and check." Various circumstances -- a cruel loss, family concerns, and ill-health which gradually grew worse -- delayed this work of revision, which he was carrying on at the same time as he was preparing his book on the Germans. In July, August, and October, 1925, he sent me news which was at once reassuring and saddening. "I am at work. I progress slowly but surely. I was kept in bed all May. I am gradually climbing up the hill...My work progresses steadily, but in very adverse circumstances. I have got rid of all my lectures. You can therefore count on me to the full extent of my will. But it seems that an evil fortune dogs me, and I do not know what it still has in store for me." On the 9th October, 1926, he again reassured me. "All intensive work upsets me, whatever it is. But I have done a little work, all the same, and I shall be able to do more. I cannot tell you when I shall have finished. It would be absurd. But it cannot be long now."
On Wednesday, the 18th May, 1927, he was once again telling