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These very fitting observations were greeted with a roar of laughter, at the end of which Mr. Fitzgerald, an ensign, said, with a mighty air of gravity: "Your Reverence is perfectly right; the same rule is still in force, and most strictly observed; but the truth is, that, like his Sacred Majesty, James III., our rightful positions are not fully recognized—de facto, as you Collegioners say, we are only Ensigns and Cadets, but de jure, we are Captains and Lieutenants in all the different degrees—just as Your Reverence is in the company of coarse, common soldiers, instead of hobnobbing with the heads of the Sacred College and other holy men." And his ribaldry was rewarded with a burst of laughter.
"Well, Gerty, and what then?"
Or the ivy that mantles the falling tower;
"What's the matter? Are you cross?"
"So I was, and you woke me up with your jabber."
It has always been the chief hindrance to a more rapid advance in botany, that the majority of writers simply collected facts, or if they attempted to apply them to theoretical purposes, did so very imperfectly. I have therefore singled out those men as the true heroes of our story who not only established new facts, but gave birth to fruitful thoughts and made a speculative use of empirical material. From this point of view I have taken ideas only incidentally thrown out for nothing more than they were originally; for scientific merit belongs only to the man who clearly recognises the theoretical importance of an idea, and endeavours to make use of it for the promotion of his science. For this reason I ascribe little value, for instance, to certain utterances of earlier writers, whom it is the fashion at present to put forward as the first founders of the theory of descent; for it is an indubitable fact that the theory of descent had no scientific value before the appearance of Darwin’s book in 1859, and that it was Darwin who gave it that value. Here, as in other cases, it appears to me only true and just to abstain from assigning to earlier writers merits to which probably, if they were alive, they would themselves lay no claim.
The rhythm of the immortal "Blue Danube" waltz swung through the big Indian ballroom. It was long before two-steps, Bostons, tangos were dreamed of, when, at any rate in India, the pas de quatre was still a novelty, and the "Washington Post" had not yet been introduced. Almost everyone was dancing; the only onlookers were a few partnerless, or non-dancing men, and a sprinkling of senior people whose exile in the East was nearly over. The aged white man or woman is seldom to be encountered in India; they have "done their time" and gone home--or to their graves. Sometimes they stay to live out last years in some more or less salubrious region, but such settlers are dying out, and, with easier transit home, are not replaced; for though living may be less expensive, and cheap luxuries attractive, there is always the loss of prestige and the desire to end their days in England.