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

Section 7

Page 4 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

"Just as mentally--educationally we waste," the doctor interjected.

"And my job is to stop what I can of that waste, to do what I can to organize, first of all sane fuel getting and then sane fuel using. And that second proposition carries us far. Into the whole use we are making of life.

"First things first," said Sir Richmond. If we set about getting fuel sanely, if we do it as the deliberate, co-operative act of the whole species, then it follows that we shall look very closely into the use that is being made of it. When all the fuel getting is brought into one view as a common interest, then it follows that all the fuel burning will be brought into one view. At present we are getting fuel in a kind of scramble with no general aim. We waste and lose almost as much as we get. And of what we get, the waste is idiotic.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"I won't trouble you," said Sir Richmond, "with any long discourse on the ways of getting fuel in this country. But land as you know is owned in patches and stretches that were determined in the first place chiefly by agricultural necessities. When it was divided up among its present owners nobody was thinking about the minerals beneath. But the lawyers settled long ago that the landowner owned his land right down to the centre of the earth. So we have the superficial landlord as coal owner trying to work his coal according to the superficial divisions, quite irrespective of the lie of the coal underneath. Each man goes for the coal under his own land in his own fashion. You get three shafts where one would suffice and none of them in the best possible place. You get the coal coming out of this point when it would be far more convenient to bring it out at that--miles away. You get boundary walls of coal between the estates, abandoned, left in the ground for ever. And each coal owner sells his coal in his own pettifogging manner... But you know of these things. You know too how we trail the coal all over the country, spoiling it as we trail it, until at last we get it into the silly coal scuttles beside the silly, wasteful, airpoisoning, fog-creating fireplace.

"And this stuff," said Sir Richmond, bringing his hand down so smartly on the table that the startled coffee cups cried out upon the tray; "was given to men to give them power over metals, to get knowledge with, to get more power with."

"The oil story, I suppose, is as bad."

"The oil story is worse. . . .

"There is a sort of cant," said Sir Richmond in a fierce parenthesis, "that the supplies of oil are inexhaustible-- that you can muddle about with oil anyhow. . . . Optimism of knaves and imbeciles. . . . They don't want to be pulled up by any sane considerations. . . ."

For some moments he kept silence--as if in unspeakable commination.

Page 4 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