the world, no matter how precocious the children.
The period when Bacon
sought to imitate them is scarcely nearer; and when that great intellect found itself so over-weighted with the visible facts, it seems unkind for Mr. Donnelly
to burden him retrospectively with even one cipher more.
The omnivorous student, who would gladly keep the touch of all branches of knowledge, finds them steadily slipping away from him, and may be glad if he can watch with fidelity the newest developments in some single minute field, such as fossil cockroaches or the genitive case.
It is useless for Mr. Cabot
to tell us that Emerson
was not a great scholar; we knew it already, he could not in this age have been a great scholar and a great writer.
resolutely limited himself to the observation of external nature in one small township in Massachusetts
; and he assigned himself a task so far beyond his grasp that we find him in his diaries puzzling over the common brown cocoon of the Attacus
moth as if it was some wholly new phenomenon; indeed, he seems scarcely to have noticed the insect world at all. The best-trained observation, in