Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
4. At Maidenhead H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Section 7

Page 3 of 8

Table Of Contents: The Secret Places of the Heart

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Sir Richmond noted how the doctor's chair creaked as he rolled to and fro with the uneasiness of these intimate utterances.

"I agree," said Sir Richmond presently. "One DOES think in this fashion. Something in this fashion. What one calls one's work does belong to something much bigger than ourselves.

"Something much bigger," he expanded.

"Which something we become," the doctor urged, "in so far as our work takes hold of us."

Sir Richmond made no answer to this for a little while. "Of course we trail a certain egotism into our work," he said.

"Could we do otherwise? But it has ceased to be purely egotism. It is no longer, 'I am I' but 'I am part.'. . . One wants to be an honourable part."

"You think of man upon his planet," the doctor pursued. "I think of life rather as a mind that tries itself over in millions and millions of trials. But it works out to the same thing."

"I think in terms of fuel," said Sir Richmond.

He was still debating the doctor's generalization. "I suppose it would be true to say that I think of myself as mankind on his planet, with very considerable possibilities and with only a limited amount of fuel at his disposal to achieve them. Yes. . . . I agree that I think in that way. . . . I have not thought much before of the way in which I think about things--but I agree that it is in that way. Whatever enterprises mankind attempts are limited by the sum total of that store of fuel upon the planet. That is very much in my mind. Besides that he has nothing but his annual allowance of energy from the sun."

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"I thought that presently we were to get unlimited energy from atoms," said the doctor.

"I don't believe in that as a thing immediately practicable. No doubt getting a supply of energy from atoms is a theoretical possibility, just as flying was in the time of Daedalus; probably there were actual attempts at some sort of glider in ancient Crete. But before we get to the actual utilization of atomic energy there will be ten thousand difficult corners to turn; we may have to wait three or four thousand years for it. We cannot count on it. We haven't it in hand. There may be some impasse. All we have surely is coal and oil,--there is no surplus of wood now--only an annual growth. And water-power is income also, doled out day by day. We cannot anticipate it. Coal and oil are our only capital. They are all we have for great important efforts. They are a gift to mankind to use to some supreme end or to waste in trivialities. Coal is the key to metallurgy and oil to transit. When they are done we shall either have built up such a fabric of apparatus, knowledge and social organization that we shall be able to manage without them--or we shall have travelled a long way down the slopes of waste towards extinction. . . . To-day, in getting, in distribution, in use we waste enormously. . . .As we sit here all the world is wasting fuel fantastically."

Page 3 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004