Page:Studies of a Biographer 3.djvu/205
THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY
'Science and Literature,' said Huxley, 'are not two things, but two sides of one thing.' An aphorism in an after-dinner speech must not be too literally construed, but the phrase indicates the quality which makes Huxley's writings as refreshing to the literary as to the scientific critic. 'Exposition,' he observes, 'is not Darwin's forte. But there is a marvellous dumb sagacity about him like that of a sort of miraculous dog, and he gets to the truth by ways as dark as those of the Heathen Chinee.' The final cause of Huxley might seem—though the theory is a little out of place—to have been the provision of an articulate utterance for Darwin's implicit logic. He points an old moral for young literary gentlemen in want of a style. He does not believe in moulding one's style by any other process than that of 'striving after the expression of clear and definite conceptions.' First, indeed, he adds, you have to catch your clear conceptions. I will not presume to say that for writers of a different category a different
the wrong word and always instinctively choose the right one.' In private talk, lecturing, and public speaking, he was equally conspicuous in the humorous felicity which so often marks his admirable literary style.