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thinks, to be still present a hundred years hence. is temperate in his account of it, but he finds eventually, when he reaches Utopia, that he can no longer tolerate the inheritance of safe investments.' The vices of a shareholding class must include the hampering of honesty and originality in the arts, of which it is the sole patron, and the deterioration of women's ideals by the prizes which it is able to offer to the more adventurous among them. For our comfort we are at the same time promised the growth and eventual cohesion of a new class of 'educated and 'intelligent efficients: ' a most important element, since it will spring up partly from among the shareholders themselves and will supply the only force capable of imposing any vital change upon the social mechanism. One of these changes must be the prevention of the multiplication of the Unfit, the removal of the present class of unemployed and unemployable. Our old social order, in Mr. Wells's view, has now melted and mingled into a vast intricate confusion ' of different sorts of people, some sailing about upon floating 'masses of irresponsible property, some buoyed by smaller 'fragments, some clinging desperately enough to insignificant 'atoms, a great and varied multitude swimming successfully 'without aid, or with an amount of aid that is negligible in 'relation to their own efforts, and an equally varied multitude 'of less capable ones clinging to the swimmers, clinging to 'the floating rich, or clutching empty-handed and thrust and 'sinking down ;' and this will soon be the typical aspect of all civilised societies. The description is a much juster and more subtle one than Mr. Bellamy's well-known picture of the coach on which the fortunate travellers who have for the time secured seats are dragged along, callous, remorseful, or apprehensive, by the envious and miserable poor. gives the economic aspect of a process which Mr. Wells sees to be going on in every direction, a world-wide process of 'social and moral deliquescence.' He wastes no time in lamenting it; it is producing at present a variety of types and ideals so mingled that they give, as mingled colours do, a general effect of greyness- the Government of the Grey is Mr. Wells's phrase for Democracy, which he criticises from the standpoint of one to whom it represents the mere "emptiness and disorder of the general mind.' But the outcome of it all will be, he thinks, a birth of power; not a one-man power, but the steady developement of a new and ' quite unprecedented educated class as a necessary aspect of 'the expansion of science and mechanism;' a class com
posed apparently to a large extent of doctors and engineers, scientific and disciplined people capable first of conducting modern war, and finally, at some more distant period, of bringing about the Larger Synthesis '-the establishment of one World-State at peace within itself. In this part of his discourse Mr. Wells shows an interest in war and foreign relations, and a grasp of both subjects, which are typical of the greatest political nation in Europe, and amusingly out of key with the ideal state on the high road to which they are conducting us. He concludes with a chapter on the 'Faith, Morals, and Public Policy of the New Republic.' It is more positive than final; but speculation so courageous and well mannered can bring no shame to its author even when he has outgrown a good deal of it. Quite inevitably,' says Mr. Wells, and this opinion he retains, the pre'dominant men of the new time will be religious men.' But he uses the word in a strict sense of his own. 'Being themselves, as by the nature of the forces that have selected them they will certainly be, men of will and purpose, they 'will be disposed to find, and consequently they will find, an effect of purpose in the totality of things.' They will take a share in the eternal process, and aim at harmony with the universal will; for any further or more intimate seeking after God Mr. Wells has nothing but stern reproof. He has not yet applied his scientific methods to an inquiry into the facts of religious experience, though he has thought enough on such matters to be reasonably dissatisfied with Christianity as it is often preached. His forecast of morals is even less orthodox. The men of the New Republic will favour the modest suicide of incurably melancholy or 'diseased or helpless persons'; they will extend the use of capital punishment-by narcotics-and they will regard the sexual relation as no more sacramental than a game of golf, with which, if we dissociate it from questions of offspring, it is entirely on all fours.' For the Unfit they will have little pity and less benevolence.' And the coloured races, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency? 'Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and . . . they will have to go.' On the other side it must be admitted that the new moral sanction-the welfare of the coming race-is evidently to Mr. Wells as binding as any known to influence men; and if the religion he anticipates is vague and impersonal it is none the less a pure and inspiring one. "By faith we disbelieve' is its watchword, and the world has long needed such a battle-cry against the superstitious and the persecutor.
This brief sketch can give no idea of the unflagging interest and originality of Anticipations; it passes over many stimulating topics on which the author shows that if his views are novel it is not for lack of reading; indeed, width rather than depth is his quality. What we have noted are certain milestones on the road which we must take if we are to arrive at an understanding of Mr. Wells or his Utopia. We go beyond them as he has gone beyond them. The book, he says himself, would stand a vast ' amount of controversial footnoting . . . it is written to 'provoke.' He reminds us here of Harrington's saying that Truth is a spark to which objections are like bellows;' and conveniently forgets his own first page where he told us that Necessarily diffidence will be one of the graces of 'the performance.' But if there is not diffidence, there are other graces, seriousness and courtesy; forgotten once, when public schools and headmasters are glanced at; but here Mr. Wells draws from a long inexperience and speaks more in anger than in earnest. The book as a whole is remarkable for its combined frankness and freedom from offence. We leave it with an impression of the author as a pleasant and stimulating companion possessed by two main ideas: a preference for the future over the past as a source of inspiration, and a belief that human character is mainly the product of environment. When we meet him again, however his mental physiognomy may have changed, we may be sure of recognising these two features at least: they are the eyes through which he looks out upon the world.
We do, in fact, find them again in his two suceeeding books. The first of these, The Discovery of the Future,' was originally delivered as a lecture, and might be still more appropriately described as a sermon, for it is pitched in the key of faith, and is more eloquent than convincing. It begins by distinguishing two divergent types of mind: the retrospective, legal, or submissive type, which interprets 'the things of the present, and gives value to this and ' denies it to that, entirely with relation to the past;' and the constructive, legislative, creative, organising or masterful type, which sees the world as one great workshop and the present as no more than material for the future.' The reason why the former is and has always been the predominant type is obvious. All people believe the past is 'certain, defined, and knowable, and only a few people 'believe that it is possible to know anything about the 'future.' This however is, in Mr. Wells's view, only the
belief of 'a mind without an imagination trained in scientific 'habits of thought;' as one assimilates the broad conceptions of science one becomes persuaded that the adequacy of causation is universal,' that the future, being in reality just as fixed and inevitable as the past, is also 'just as possible a matter of knowledge.' What we know of the past is derived from three sources: records of personal memory-a small and not entirely trustworthy class; records of history and tradition—a larger but less trustworthy class; records of the non-historical, geological or astronomical past-scantier, but wider in range and generally admitted to be beyond question. This non-historical past has come to us through a new and keener habit of inquiry and no 'sort of revelation; it may be fitly named the Inductive 'Past.' If, then, we spend an equal amount of labour upon the search for operating causes, we may be able to throw a searchlight of inference forward instead of backward, and attain a knowledge of the Inductive Future as clear, as 'universally convincing and infinitely more important.' Man, with his conscious and incalculable will, seems to introduce an uncertain element; but even man 'works out' if taken in the mass. Heroes and hero-worship do not exist for Mr. Wells: he believes that if Julius Cæsar, Napoleon, Edward IV., William the Conqueror, Lord Rosebery, and Robert Burns had all been changed at birth, it would not have produced any serious dislocation of the ' course of Destiny.' Mr. Hardy in The Dynasts' has said much the same thing in a vast and sombre manner of his own. He showed us nations as antheaps and navies as moths; but the great men he meant to take away he gave back to us in great literature. Mr. Wells, with his face towards the Inductive Future, perceives that man and all 'the world of men is no more than the present phase of a 'developement so great and splendid that, beside this vision, epics jingle like nursery rhymes and all the exploits of 'Humanity shrivel to the proportion of castles in the sand.' Man-even the efficient man of the coming world-state-is not final; beyond him are the beings who will inhabit the uplands of the future... still more gracious and splendid than anything we can either hope or imagine.' This is the purpose of the Will, and we must work to further it.
Our interest and sympathy would not suffer us to interrupt Mr. Wells in such a vein; we dread and deprecate the merely conservative view of the past as strongly as he does. But the ordinary man may surely reply, without being ‘legal'
or 'submissive,' that he is 'retrospective' because there is a real difference between our knowledge of the past and of the future. It is one thing to be given a result and trace it back to the main ancestral cause which it implies; it is quite another to take a cause and speculate on what progeny its line may produce in the distant future when the descent has been complicated by crossing with a thousand or a million other strains, most of them unforeseen. A man may know a good deal about his ancestors, but he cannot foretell his grandchildren's characteristics, even if he can guess who is to be his daughter-in-law, because he is not as intimate with her family history as with his own. To know all would be to foreknow all the rest; but the number of operating causes is infinite, and infinite knowledge is not to be had or co-ordinated even by scientific man. The field of astronomy-the most exact and positive of the sciencesis strewn with the wrecks of deflected planets and comets that never returned, or returned only as showers of meteorites. The past was at any rate once actual; the future remains largely hypothetical, and to the practical man a dead dog will always be more real than a hypothetical lion, and a fossilised fish more lifelike than a whole race of Inductive demigods. As for the masterful processes of constructive organisation and legislation, a man may be-we wish that all men were—as determined as Mr. Wells to improve on the past, but may still, whether for guidance or warning, prefer it to a possibility upon a possibility ten times removed.
There is a further consideration which helps to give the past its enormous predominance in our thoughts.' Among the possibilities of the future is always the possibility that there may be no future. Mr. Wells is desperately awake to this. He admits that he cannot show why certain things 'should not destroy and end the entire human race and story; why night should not come down and make all our 'dreams and efforts vain.' He rules out this possibility by an act of faith; it is not unreasonable that for fundamental 'beliefs we must go outside the sphere of reason and set 'our feet upon Faith.' But then the new sanction-the welfare of the future-is no more scientific than the old We could no longer work-it is Mr. Wells who says it-in harmony with the Universal Will if that Will were possibly intending to blow Humanity out like the flame of a candle. The more scientific religion, however, would clearly be that which should accept all conceivable intentions of
VOL. CCII. NO. CCCCXIII.