Parthagica Directory 03
But one has to ask oneself what exactly an imaginative man means by success, and what it is that attracts him in the idea of it. Putting aside the more obvious and material advantages,--wealth, position, influence, reputation,--a man of far-reaching mind and large ideas may well be haunted by a feeling that if he had entered public life, he might by example, precept, influence, legislation, have done something to turn his ideas and schemes into accomplished facts, have effected some moral or social reform, have set a mark on history. It must be remembered that a great writer's fame is often a posthumous growth, and we must be very careful not to attribute to a famous author a consciousness in his lifetime of his subsequent, or even of his contemporary, influence. It is undoubtedly true that Ruskin and Carlyle affected the thought of their time to an extraordinary degree. Ruskin summed up in his teaching an artistic ideal of the pursuit and influence of beauty, while Carlyle inculcated a more combative theory of active righteousness and the hatred of cant. But Ruskin's later years were spent in the shadow of a profound sense of failure. He thought that the public enjoyed his pretty phrases and derided his ideas; while Carlyle felt that he had fulminated in vain, and that the world was settling down more comfortably than ever into the pursuit of bourgeois prosperity and dishonest respectability.
Lizards and other reptiles make an obvious advance on the frog type; they lay relatively few eggs, but they begin to care for their young. The family is not here abandoned at birth, as among frogs, but is frequently tended and fed and overlooked by the mother. In birds we have a still higher development of the same marked parental tendency; only three or four eggs are laid each year, as a rule, and on these eggs the mother sits, while both parents feed the callow nestlings till such time as they are able to take care of themselves and pick up their own living. Among mammals, which stand undoubtedly at the head of created nature, the lower types, like mice and rabbits, have frequent broods of many young at a time; but the more advanced groups, such as the horses, cows, deer, and elephants, have usually one foal or calf at a birth, and seldom produce more than a couple. Moreover, in all these higher cases alike, the young are fed with milk by the mother, and so spared the trouble of providing for themselves in their early days, like the young codfish or the baby tadpole. Starvation at the outset is reduced to a minimum.