INTRODUCTION Francis Bacon, in one of his prose fragments, draws a memorable distinction between "arts mechanical" and "sciences of conceit." "In arts mechanical," he says, "the first device comes shortest, and time addeth and perfecteth. But in sciences of conceit the first author goeth farthest, and time leeseth and corrupteth.... In the former, many wits and industries contributed in one. In the latter, many men's wits spent to deprave the... more...

INTRODUCTION When Great Britain declared war upon Germany in August 1914, she staked her very existence as a free nation upon an incalculable adventure. Two new means and modes of warfare, both of recent invention, enormously increased the difficulties of forecast and seemed to make precedents useless. Former wars had been waged on the land and on the sea; the development of submarines and aircraft opened up secret ways of travel for armed... more...

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON When a popular writer dies, the question it has become the fashion with a nervous generation to ask is the question, ‘Will he live?’  There was no idler question, none more hopelessly impossible and unprofitable to answer.  It is one of the many vanities of criticism to promise immortality to the authors that it praises, to patronise a writer with the assurance that our great-grandchildren, whose time... more...