Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/62

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50
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

evolutional stand-point serves as yet one further illustration of the almost infinite ramifications to which natural selection and its associated doctrines of development may be applied.—Macmillan's Magazine.

 

SUNLIGHT, SEA, AND SKY.

THERE are many ways in which men have looked at life, the higher kind of life, that ideal which each of us forms in his own mind, to which we each hope that we are always tending. But all these various ideas may for the most part be grouped under two heads: the Ideal of Rest and the Ideal of Work. "Rest, rest!" said a brave old German worker, "shall I not have Eternity to rest in?" That represents one view. "Work, work!" said another; "must I not work now, that I may the better work in Eternal Life?" That represents the other. But, without entering upon the somewhat transcendental question of a future life, these ideas and aspirations have a meaning and reality even in the life which we now live. How do we hope to spend the leisure which old age may some day bring? Or, nearer still, when the day's work is done, and the day itself is not quite spent; or when such holiday as may befall each of us comes round, how do we hope to spend the time? Do we long for mere rest, for that

"land

In which it seemed always afternoon?"

Do we desire to sit us
"down upon the yellow sand

Between the sun and moon upon the shore,"

and sing with the lotus-eaters:
"All things have rest; why should we toil alone,

Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm,
Nor hearken what the inner spirit sings.
There is no joy but calm?"

Or do we rather with Ulysses say:
"How dull to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Too little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some [few] suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star
Beyond the utmost bounds of human thought."